The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 12, 2012

Evening News Brief | 2 children die in Pittsburgh house fire


Associated Press

PITTSBURGH —

Authorities say two children died in a Pittsburgh house fire.

Police say the fire began about 3:20 p.m. Friday in the Greenfield neighborhood. One 3-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene and a 4-year-old died at a nearby hospital.

A babysitter reportedly suffered back injuries when she jumped from a third-floor window to escape.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.

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3 cars of freight train derail

LANCASTER — Three freight train cars have derailed in Lancaster.

Lancaster police say the accident happened around 9 a.m. Friday and involved Norfolk Southern cars carrying sugar, alcohol and aluminum. Norfolk Southern spokesman Dave Pidgeon says the train was headed to Lititz.

He says officials aren't sure what caused the train to derail. Police say Amtrak passenger lines were able to continue running in the area, but some roadways in the area had to be closed.

There were no injuries.

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Man critical after being shot by officers

NEW CASTLE — Four officers have been placed on leave while state police investigate their shooting of an armed man, ending a reported hostage standoff in western Pennsylvania.

New Castle police say 43-year-old Ivy Lanthier was shot early Friday when he emerged from his home carrying a shotgun and pistol and fired at police. Four officers in the city about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh returned fire.

Police Chief Bobby Salem says his officers and will be on leave until the state police investigate. It's routine for an outside agency to review officer-involved shootings.

No police were hurt but Lanthier was in critical condition at a Youngstown, Ohio hospital.

Police went to Lanthier's house about 9:30 p.m. Thursday after he reportedly held a man at gunpoint, ordered his family to leave and fired guns into the ceiling.

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Man dies after being pinned by backhoe

BETHLEHEM — A man has died after getting pinned beneath a backhoe at an equipment lot in eastern Pennsylvania.

The accident happened around 7:15 a.m. Friday at a private lot in Bethlehem. Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek was at the scene, but did not immediately release the victim's name.

Officials with the Ray Gonzales Trucking company say they had called the victim in to do work on the backhoe, but don't know exactly what happened. They say they store equipment at the site and that the victim had been working alone there on Friday morning.

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FBI in Philly reports theft of new $100 notes

PHILADELPHIA — The FBI is reporting an unusual heist of some newly designed $100 bills that aren't going into circulation until next year.

Agent Frank Burton Jr. says the cash was stolen from a plane that arrived at Philadelphia International Airport around 10:25 a.m. Thursday from Dallas.

Investigators said these Benjamins are easy to spot. The new bills have sophisticated elements to thwart counterfeiters, like a disappearing Liberty Bell in an orange inkwell and a bright blue security ribbon.

The FBI said a "large amount" of bills were stolen, but agents aren't giving specifics.

The theft was reported by a courier service transporting the C-notes when the shipment arrived Thursday afternoon at the Federal Reserve Building in East Rutherford, N.J. Officials then discovered some of the money was missing.

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AG alleges pharmacist took 37K pills from work

HARRISBURG — A pharmacist was accused Friday of stealing more than $20,000 worth of prescription drugs, mostly the painkiller hydrocodone, from the south-central Pennsylvania grocery store where he worked.

The state attorney general's office charged Phillip A. Henkel, 60, of Millersville, with two felony drug charges and one count of felony theft.

Prosecutors said Henkel gave away about $3,000 worth of drugs and took drugs for himself, and that he stole other things from the Weis Markets store in the town of Willow Street, including cash and merchandise.

"Henkel advised while working at Weis he was a loose cannon," wrote William J. Delgado, an investigator with the attorney general's office, in a court affidavit. "Henkel stated besides diverting medications for him and friends, he stole money from the cash register or pocketed customers' co-pays."

Delgado said Henkel also admitted to pocketing money rather than ring up minor sales, and to stealing groceries.

Reached at his home for comment, Henkel said "don't believe everything you hear," then hung up on a reporter.

The arrest affidavit said a store audit found nearly 38,000 pills were missing.

Henkel faces charges of theft by unlawful taking, illegal dispensing of controlled substances and obtaining controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge.