The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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January 11, 2013

Evening News Brief | Officer pulls woman from car as train nears

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POTTSTOWN —

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Man jailed on charge he forged eviction appeal

CANONSBURG — A western Pennsylvania man has been jailed on charges he forged a court document to keep a state constable from evicting him from his apartment last month.

The Observer-Reporter of Washington, Pa. says 38-year-old John Matthew Thomas was arrested Thursday after Canonsburg police determined he faked the yellow eviction appeal notice he used to convince a constable to let him stay in his apartment.

Thomas' landlord filed for eviction claiming Thomas was $2,700 behind on his rent, and the constable went to serve the notice on Dec. 15. That's when Thomas allegedly presented a copy of the forged document which, had it been legitimate, would have allowed him to legally remain in the residence until the appeal could be heard.

Washington County court clerks reviewed the document for police and determined it was bogus.

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President signs Sandy disaster decree for Pa.

HARRISBURG — The federal government has declared a major disaster in the state from last year's Superstorm Sandy, which left more than a million people without power and hundreds of roads closed due to debris and downed trees.

President Barack Obama signed the disaster declaration on Thursday. More disaster relief could be approved if ongoing damage assessments show it is needed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

The declaration makes aid available to reimburse the state and local governments for costs to remove debris and repair damage on publicly owned property and for emergency preparation and response costs. The state has counted about $22 million in damage from the storm to properties including roads, bridges and water treatment plants, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency said Friday.

Federal funding will be available for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities. It applies to affected areas in Bedford, Bucks, Cameron, Dauphin, Forest, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Potter, Somerset, Sullivan and Wyoming counties.

The storm caused record outages in Pennsylvania. At its peak, 1.2 million customers in the state were without power.

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