The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 2, 2013

Region in brief 5/3/2013

City man accused of false fire alarm

A Johnstown man was jailed Thursday after police said he called 911 with a false report that a city bar was on fire.

Police charged Mitchell Roy Hopkins, 35, of Jacoby Street, with false alarms to an agency of public safety, false reports, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment.

Police alleged that Hopkins, also known as Sonny, called 911 at 1:18 a.m. to report that a bar in the 1000 block of Bedford Street was on fire and there were people still inside. Police and firefighters arrived and found no flames.

Officers later identified the caller as a man named Sonny.

The bartender said she had earlier thrown out a man named Sonny for harassing female customers, police said. Officers found a man fitting his description on Bedford Street and took him into custody.

Hopkins denied making the phone call, police said.

Hopkins was arraigned by District Judge Leonard Grecek of Roxbury and sent to the Cambria County Prison.  

Troopers find meth lab in Twin Rocks

TWIN ROCKS – State police said Thursday that arrests are pending following their discovery of a methamphetamine laboratory on Station Road in Twin Rocks just before 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said that the laboratory was positively identified by a state police laboratory team.

City farmers markets set to reopen

The Downtown Johnstown Farmers Market, sponsored by 1st Summit Bank and Tammy V. Watt Nationwide Insurance Agency, will be held at Central Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays from today through Oct. 25.

The West End Farmers Market will be held at the SeniorLIFE parking lot, 401 Broad St., from 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays starting June 11 and running through Oct. 22.

Vendors will offer fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, cheeses, meats, whole grain breads, herbs, spices, freshly popped kettle corn, flowers, dyed yarns, soaps and lotions.

On June 7, the downtown market will feature its free giveaway of a reusable grocery tote with purchases totaling $10 or more.

Chef demonstrations and musical performances will be held in the Central Park gazebo. Demonstration dates are to be determined.

For more information, call Josh Summits at 533-2045.

Car wash to benefit Johnstown K9 corps

The West End Improvement Group will hold a car wash to benefit the Johnstown Police Department K9 Corps on Saturday.

The fundraiser will begin at 9 a.m. at Fairfield Avenue Auto Exchange, 271 Fairfield Ave.

Donations will be accepted.

Run/walk will aid Cambria City facility

Friends of the Steeples will hold a 5K race/fun walk on Sunday.

The event will start at the Grand Halle, located in the Cambria City section of Johns­town. Registration will begin at 8 a.m.

The cost is $20 per person.

Proceeds will be used to purchase tables and chairs for the Grand Halle.

For more information, call Rose Howarth at 535-2499 or Marie Mock  at 539-0181.

DA questions defendant in triple murder case

GREENSBURG – An Indiana County man on trial in the killings of his mother, sister and elderly aunt testified Thursday that the deaths left him so emotionally distraught that when questioned about them he forgot he had a girlfriend.

Kevin Murphy, 52, of Conemaugh Township acknowledged his statement wasn’t true under cross-examination by Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck. Murphy said he was so shaken by the killings he simply forgot about his romantic relationship when questioned on April 23, 2009 – the day his relatives’ bodies were found inside his auto glass shop.

Peck raised the question to suggest Murphy avoided mentioning his girlfriend because she was the motivation for Murphy to kill his mother, 69-year-old Doris Murphy; his 43-year-old sister, Kris Murphy; and his aunt, 81-year-old Edith Tietge.

Murphy has denied the killings, but Peck contends Murphy shot his relatives because they disapproved of his relationship with the married woman.

A jury will hear closing arguments today.

Bones, clothing found on Huntingdon property

HUNTINGDON – A prosecutor said crews have found bones and clothing on land in Warriors Mark Township owned by the former father-in-law of a woman reported missing in 1999.

Kenneth Leighty, 65, has not been charged in the disappearance of his former daughter-in-law, Sherry Leighty. The Altoona man remains jailed on charges he fought with Altoona police who tried to speak with him about the case last month.

Huntingdon County District Attorney George Zanic said forensic experts are examining the bones.

Trial ordered in shooting of deer from store lot

BLAIRSVILLE – A Westmoreland County man who allegedly shot a deer near a busy Wal-Mart parking lot on the first day of rifle season last year was ordered to stand trial on reckless endangerment and state game charges after a hearing Wednesday in Blairsville.

Arcangelo “Angelo” Bianco Jr., of Derry Township, spotted a deer in the parking lot Nov. 26, fired several shots, then ran to the side of the Burrell Township store where workers were loading tractor-trailers, wildlife conservation officers contend.

Bianco allegedly continued shooting at the fleeing deer, and he eventually retrieved it from a woman’s yard on the other side of a highway.

Among other things, authorities contend Bianco violated a state “safety zone” law by firing a weapon within 150 yards of an occupied structure and

didn’t have a hunting license.


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