The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 23, 2012

Local and state briefs 11/24/2012

Home booby trap kills Nanty Glo resident

NANTY GLO – A Nanty Glo man was killed Wednesday evening while trying to disconnect a booby trap at his residence on Second Street, authorities said.

Robert S. Edwards, 37, was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound to the head at the scene at 7:37 p.m., said Cambria County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey Lees.

Edwards, who lived alone, had been concerned about burglars, so he rigged a 12-gauge shotgun in a first-floor closet as a booby trap, Lees said.

The trap had a safety latch on the floor inside the closet. It appears that Edwards was unhooking the latch when the gun discharged, killing him instantly, Lees said.

The death was ruled an accident, he said.

A state police Emergency and Special Operations Unit searched the residence but found no other traps, Lees said.

Fire damages apartment complex

JENNERSTOWN – At least 10 people fled to safety Friday when flames engulfed an apartment complex in Jennerstown, authorities said.

Fire broke out in the fireplace of an apartment in the 100 block of Mountain Road at 3:30 a.m., Jennerstown Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dave Robert­son said.

“It started as a flu fire in one of the apartments,” he said. “Then it started to follow the ceiling.”

The fire was contained to one apartment, but two others sustained smoke and water damage, Robertson said. Damage to the building, which has about eight units, was estimated at $30,000, he said.

The building is owned by Mountain Playhouse and Green Gables Restaurant, he said.  

Cash, jewelry stolen from Jenner Twp. home

BOSWELL – Thieves made off with $3,700 in cash and jewelry from a Jenner Township residence, state police in Somerset said.

The theft occurred Nov. 9 at a home in the 200 block of Four Seasons Road, troopers said.

Anyone with information on the crime can contact police at 445-4104.

Charity set up for boy who died at Pgh. zoo

PITTSBURGH – The family and friends of a 2-year-old boy who was fatally mauled by wild African dogs at the Pittsburgh Zoo have set up a Christmas charity to honor his memory.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday that organizers of the Trucks for Maddox charity hope to make it an annual event.

The parents of Maddox Derkosh originally requested the trucks instead of flowers because the boy loved to play with trucks and share them with his friends.

More than 4,000 trucks have been donated already. They’ll be given to Christmas charities for needy children.

In Cambria County, a Trucks for Maddox collection will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at The Galleria in Richland Township. Items can be dropped off in the lower level parking lot nearest the Sears entrance or inside near the information booth and Boscov’s. The local effort is being coordinated by volunteers from Bedford Speedway, Thunder Valley Raceway, Cruisin’ for Courtney Charities and Hea­ther’s Haven, a camp for children battling cancer.

More information is available online:

Blood drive to honor tot with leukemia

Ashville – The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Ashville VFW banquet room.

The event is being held in honor of 3-year-old Drue Storm, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of cancer affecting white blood cells, shortly after Halloween last year. He is less than halfway through the projected 31/2-year treatment program.

Friends and family of the Fallentimber child are encouraging area residents to donate blood and help raise awareness of the need for blood and blood products for patients such as Drue.

To schedule an appointment for this or any other American Red Cross blood drive, call 800-RED CROSS (733-2767) or visit

Panel to discuss funding for nonprofits

SOMERSET – The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, in collaboration with Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, will present a panel discussion from 2 to

4 p.m. Wednesday at Somerset Country Club, 416 Plank Road.

Panelists will represent the foundation, PNC Charitable Trust Review Committee, Lee Initiatives, United Way of the Laurel Highlands and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The discussion will feature foundation leaders and staff with a demonstrated interest in funding in Cambria, Bedford and/or Somerset counties and other rural communities.

It is free and open to any nonprofit organization.

For more information or to register, contact Melody Harris at 412-471-6488 or email

Parents sue district for not protecting girl

KITTANNING – The parents of an Armstrong County student claim in a federal civil rights lawsuit that school officials failed to protect her from a former girls’ tennis coach convicted of groping her during practice when she was 15 years old.

The Tribune-Review reported the parents and daughter are identified only by initials in the lawsuit filed Wednesday. They are suing the Armstrong County School District and 64-year-old Dennis Lee Zellefrow, the Kittanning High School coach who pleaded guilty in September 2011 to corruption of minors and indecent assault.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge William Shaffer sentenced Zellefrow in October 2011 to up to three months in jail and nearly five years of probation, according to court records.


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