The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 15, 2013

IN BRIEF | Union, care homes begin contract talks

— Union, care homes begin contract talks

Contract talks began Tuesday for SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members employed by four local facilities.

Presbyterian Home of Greater Johnstown in Upper Yoder Township and Golden Living Center homes in Hastings, Richland and Meyersdale are among 80 facilities statewide bargaining to renew contracts set to expire this year, Service Employees International Union officials said.  

About 150 negotiating committee members from across the state traveled to Harrisburg to meet with industry representatives.

Hoganas donates $10G to city fire department

In a sign of appreciation, North American Hoganas presented the Johns­town Fire Department a $10,000 donation on Friday.

The department extinguished a fire earlier last week at the company’s plant on Bridge Street in the city’s Moxham neighborhood.

Registrations due for kindergarten event

A kindergarten transition family event will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at Laurel Valley Elementary School, 137 Education Lane, New Florence, and R.K. Mellon Elementary School, 559 Bell St., Ligonier.

Parents should register by Thursday by calling the school where their child will attended kindergarten in the fall.

Parents will receive a school tour, an overview of school routines and staff introductions. Kindergarten registration forms will be available, and staff members will be present to answer questions. While the parent presentation takes place, preschool children will rotate through four fun centers geared toward motor skills. After the parent tour, families will be reunited in the cafeteria for pizza and refreshments.

For more information, call 724-235-2723, Laurel Valley Elementary, or 724-238-5663, R.K. Mellon Elementary.

Police charge suspect in copper theft

A Johnstown man was charged Monday in connection with the theft of $500 of scrap copper from a property in Lower Yoder Township, authorities said.

West Hills Regional police charged David Chance Osborne, 27, of the 800 block of Wood Street, with theft by unlawful taking or disposition and receiving stolen property.

Police alleged that Osborne stole the copper from a location along St. Clair Road on Dec. 16 and 17, then sold it to a scrap metal dealer. Osborne confessed to taking the copper and then selling it, police said.

He will answer the charges before District Judge John Barron of Upper Yoder Township.

Jury selected for ex-cop’s bar fight trial

ALTOONA – A jury has been picked for the trial of a former Blair County police officer charged with assaulting a man at a bar, then trying to cover-up the incident.

The Altoona Mirror reported testimony is set to begin Tuesday for the former Altoona officer, 30-year-old Duane Eichenlaub, after a jury was picked Monday.

Another former officer, 32-year-old Eric Kriner, has pleaded guilty to simple assault and conspiracy to obstruct an investigation and will testify against Eichenlaub.

State prosecutors contend Kriner and Eichenlaub beat up a man who allegedly fondled Eichenlaub’s wife under her dress while the officers and others were at the bar following a wedding reception in May 2010. The two allegedly tried to get fellow officers who responded to overlook the incident.

Eichenlaub’s attorney told prospective jurors his client acted in self-defense.

Mom pleads in dog’s fatal attack on newborn

McKEESPORT – A western Pennsylvania woman will spend three years on probation, including six months on house arrest, after pleading guilty to child endangerment in the mauling death of her newborn son by the family’s pet husky.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that 22-year-old Brandy Furlong, of McKeesport, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday by an Allegheny County judge.

Furlong and the baby’s father are still living together and no longer have pets.

She’s also hoping to get partial custody of two other children, ages 3 and 7, who live with their father in Somerset County.

Prosecutors said Furlong left her son in an infant seat on the floor in February when she went into another room, only to return to find the dog was hovering over the bloody child. The dog has been court-ordered to live in an animal sanctuary.

Jurors being picked in torture slaying trial

GREENSBURG – Four jurors have been selected to try a man charged with instigating the torture killing of a mentally disabled woman in February 2010.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported jury selection was to continue Tuesday for Ricky Smyrnes, 26, of Greensburg. A Westmoreland County judge last year rejected Smyrnes’ offer to plead guilty but mentally ill in the death of Jennifer Daugherty.

Investigators said Smyrnes and five others tortured Daugherty for more than two days in a dingy Greensburg apartment before killing her and dumping her body.

Another co-defendant has already been sentenced to death, and a third to life in prison.