The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 8, 2012

Midday Briefing | Police: Baby fatally ingested heroin


Police say a southeastern Pennsylvania baby's death this summer was caused by heroin he ingested.

Collingdale police say the July 15 death of Niccolo Varner was the result of acute heroin intoxication. Police and Delaware County prosecutors say the death is under investigation.

Niccolo died after paramedics were called to his home for a report of a child in respiratory distress.

No charges were filed at the time of Varner's death. The boy was at home with his parents, a sibling and a house guest when he was stricken.


Student detained after bringing gun to school

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh boy has been detained by authorities after he was found with a gun in a city high school.

Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh says she doesn't know if the gun was loaded and says school officials don't yet know "what his intentions were" when the student was found with the handgun Wednesday afternoon at Perry Traditional Academy.

Pugh says the student is relatively new to the school, so authorities don't believe he had the gun in connection with street gang members who are known to be active in that school and others in the city.

The school was on lockdown while school police and security officials dealt with the issue. The school will have extra security, including police K-9 units for the rest of the week.

The incident remains under investigation.


Man waives hearing in friend's shoving death

EVERETT — A Pennsylvania man has waived his right to a preliminary hearing on involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges stemming from an alcohol-fueled shoving match with his life-long friend.

Forty-nine-year-old Dennis Sprigg died nearly seven weeks after the Aug. 11 shoving match involving 51-year-old Randy Foor at Foor's Bedford home. Police arrested Foor on Friday and he waived his right to a hearing on the charges Wednesday, meaning he must now stand trial or plead guilty to the charges.

Police say Sprigg was knocked unconscious when he hit his head but regained consciousness long enough to tell medics that Foor had shoved him.

The men were arguing over a softball game and Foor's attorney has called the death a "horrible, tragic accident."

Bedford County District Attorney William Higgins agrees, but says Foor must still be held responsible.


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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