The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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January 2, 2013

In Brief | Sheetz closing old store along Scalp


JOHNSTOWN — Turnpike tolls to increase on Sunday

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls are scheduled to increase this weekend.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said Wednesday most cash-paying customers will see a 10 percent increase, while E-ZPass users will pay

2 percent more. Motorists on the Southern Beltway in the Pittsburgh area will see a steeper increase in cash tolls.

The increases take effect Sunday.

The commission has been expanding the differential between cash and electronic tolls since 2011. E-ZPass travelers saved up to 17 percent last year, and the pending changes will widen that to 25 percent in 2013.

As part of a campaign to convert the turnpike to all-electronic tolls, officials have reduced fees in the E-ZPass program.

They say using technology to deduct tolls as vehicles roll through the toll booths is safer, less expensive and more convenient.

Pgh. clinic overlooks worker safety: Report

PITTSBURGH – Violence prevention efforts at a Pittsburgh psychiatric clinic where a gunman shot six people last year focus too much on patients and not enough on employee safety, a consultant hired by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration found.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Wednesday reported the findings by Jane Lipscomb, a professor at the University of Maryland Nursing School who was paid nearly $31,000 by OSHA to review workplace violence at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. That’s where mentally ill gunman John Shick killed one worker and wounded five others before he was fatally shot by University of Pittsburgh campus police on March 8.

“WPIC’s workplace violence prevention efforts are completely overshadowed by patient safety considerations,” Lipscomb found, though she acknowledged “a number of initiative(s) designed to protect patients also infer staff safety.”

Still, she concluded, “WPIC’s management commitment to violence prevention is obscured by their nearly singular focus on patient safety.”

Prank caller targets widows

GREENSBURG – Police in Greensburg are trying to find a prank caller who has played a sick joke on recently widowed women.

Police said the caller tells the women that their relative has been abducted and tied up.

The caller has targeted two women whose husbands recently died and, in each case, used the specific name of a relative. That’s leading police to believe that the caller is finding the names of widows in newspaper obituaries and then using the names of surviving relatives as part of the ruse.

Police said both widows contacted them after receiving the calls last month. Police determined neither relative had really been harmed.

Greensburg police Lt. Doug Marcoz said, “Nothing leads us to believe that anybody is in any danger.”

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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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