The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 16, 2012

IN BRIEF | Suspect charged in arson that killed tot


The Tribune-Democrat

— ALTOONA – A little boy died after a man set fire to a family’s Altoona home, thinking his ex-girlfriend was inside.

Altoona police said 62-year-old Aaron Wilson Dishong set the fire in an attempt to kill his ex, but only two young children and their mother were inside.

Three-year-old Daryl Etchison Jr. was killed in the blaze. Authorities said his mother jumped from a third-floor window to save herself and her 2-year-old daughter.

Dishong allegedly incriminated himself during a phone call with a witness that was monitored by police.

Investigators said he had been stalking his ex-girlfriend, who had a restraining order against him.

Dishong was jailed Thursday night on homicide, arson and related charges. He denied setting the fire following his arraignment.

The children’s mother remains hospitalized.

2nd ring theft suspect turns himself in

EBENSBURG – A second suspect wanted in the theft of three diamond rings from a Cambria Township jewelry store turned himself in to police Friday afternoon.

Daniel G. Wyers, 28,  of Indiana was to be taken by  township police to the office of District Judge Fred Creany for arraignment on theft, conspiracy and related charges.

Police alleged that Wyers and John Charles Illingworth, 23, of Indiana, stole the rings Nov. 6 from Decker Diamond Jewelers after walking into the store and asking to look at rings. The diamond rings were valued at $11,500, police said.

Illingworth was arrested

Nov. 9 by township police and arraigned on the charges. He was lodged in the Cambria County Prison in lieu of $20,000 bond.

2 women die in separate accidents

GREENSBURG – The Westmoreland County coroner’s office has completed investigations into two deaths caused by vehicle accidents.

 Janessa J. Fleming, 25, of Indiana was killed as she attempted to turn at the intersection of Route 130 and Pleasant Unity Mutual Road in Unity Township. The accident was reported at 7:23 p.m.

She pulled into the path of a pickup driven by Richard Bowers, 48, of Mount Pleasant, authorities said.

Bowers and a passenger in Fleming’s car, 20-year-old Acacia Macey of Greensburg, were injured in the crash.

In a separate accident, the coroner reported that Amanda C. Ciccarelli, 39, of Greensburg was killed Thursday when she turned from Route 22 onto Scenic Drive. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:18 p.m.

Mich. fugitive caught in Somerset

SOMERSET – A fugitive from Michigan was apprehended in Somerset on Thursday by members of the U.S. Marshals Western Pennsylvania Fugitive Task Force.

 Petmany Choummanivong, 40, was arrested at about

9:35 a.m. in the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel.

The marshals were acting on information received from marshals in Michigan that Choummanivong and a female companion might be traveling through the region.

After canvassing the area around the Somerset turnpike terminal, marshals spotted a vehicle matching the one being used by Choummanivong in the parking lot of the motel. He and a woman were detained as they tried to enter the vehicle.

Choummanivong was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He appeared in U.S. District Court in Johnstown before Magistrate Judge Keith Pesto and remained detained pending his removal to Michigan.

Patton receives grant to correct drainage

PATTON – Borough leaders learned Thursday that the community will receive nearly a million dollars from the state to replace galvanized drainage structures in seven areas along two streams.

The $936,000 grant will come from the state’s H2O PA grant program and is part of $33.5 million made available to projects statewide through funds from the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

The work in Patton will involve structures that  are part of an existing earthen levee built for flood control along Chest Creek and Flannigan Run.

Problems with the pipes were discovered through an inspection this summer, Patton Mayor Steve Bakajza said.

Event to benefit local restaurateur

An afternoon of music, art and fun to benefit the family of Johnstown restaurateur Ignazio Panebianco will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Art Works in Johnstown!, 413 Third Ave. in Cambria City.

The group Friends of Ignazio is rallying support after he was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors. The group has established a special trust to assure Panebianco that his children’s needs, especially education, will be met.

The entertainment lineup features the Johnstown Concert Ballet at 1, Painted by Millions at 2, Matt Otis  at 3:15 and Ku­lani-West African Dance at 4:30.

Organizers are seeking a donation of $10 for adults and $5 for students.

Firefighters taking supplies to N.J.

The Johnstown Chapter of the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club has joined forces with a number of local fire companies in an effort to support fellow firefighters in New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Over the past two weeks, the group has gathered surplus firefighting equipment from area departments as well as cleaning supplies and nonperishable food items.

This morning, more than

60 sets of personal protective clothing, as well as lighting equipment, hose and nozzles will be taken from the Franklin fire station to Beach Haven Fire Department on Long Beach Island, N.J. The department is located about 30 miles north of Wildwood and sits directly on the Atlantic Coast.

In addition, the group will deliver a large supply of donated cleaning supplies and food items.