The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

July 23, 2013

State in brief 7/24/2013

Heavy rains cause flash flooding

PHILADELPHIA – Drivers were urged to use caution as heavy storms Monday night brought flash flooding, closing some roadways in the eastern part of the state.

Roads were closed in Philadelphia and some surrounding communities as the rains swept through the region, leaving large amounts of water in some areas. Standing water was reported on parts of Interstate 95 and the Schuylkill Expressway.

A flash flood warning remained in effect in the region Tuesday, but officials said most of the roads were reopening.

Further west, in Berks County, officials said a portion of Route 12 was closed due to flooding.

Philly teen charged in Williamsport homicide

WILLIAMSPORT – Police said a 14-year-old boy was charged in a fatal shooting in Williamsport, Lycoming County, over the weekend.

The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reported Philadelphia resident Tyrell Boyd is charged with homicide and other counts in the killing of 21-year-old Ansari Wilson on Saturday night.

Witnesses heard the shots around 5:30 p.m. Police said officers found Wilson lying on the living room floor with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Authorities said he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Authorities said they then tracked Boyd to Philadelphia. He was arraigned Monday night and is being held without bail. It couldn’t immediately be determined if he had an attorney.

Cops: Forged checks used for fake donations

ERIE – The surprise donations of $200,000 from an Erie County company seemed too good to be true, and authorities said that’s because the checks were forged.

State police are trying to determine who allegedly forged three checks from Erie Landscape Supply and sent them to nearby Millcreek Township as donations, the Erie Times-News reported Tuesday. The company said the checks weren’t legitimate, and police believe someone may have intercepted blank checks that were sent to a former address of the company.

Millcreek Township police Chief Tom Carlotti said one $100,000 check was made out to the police department, and two for $50,000 were made out to the Parks and Recreation Department and the township.

Officials didn’t cash the checks because they were for an absurd amount.

Wrong-way driver cause of fatal crash

PITTSBURGH – Police said a wrong-way driver was the cause of a crash that killed two people on Interstate 279 near Pittsburgh.

Authorities aren’t sure why 45-year-old Amy Tua of Harmony was driving in the wrong direction in Ohio Township just before 8 p.m. Monday. Her car collided head-on with one driven by 42-year-old Gary Helba II of Pittsburgh, who also was killed in the crash.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office said toxicology results are pending and the crash remains under investigation.

Police said those lanes of the highway, which is called Parkway North, were closed following the crash.

Man pleads guilty in shaken baby death

BEAVER – A Beaver County man pleaded guilty in the shaking death of his 2-month-old child.

Police said 29-year-old Robert Heibert of Beaver admitted that he shook and spanked Melanie Alexander before she died in July 2012, The Beaver County Times reported. Heibert pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter on Monday.

A police report found that the girl died of severe brain trauma.

Heibert told police the child was crying and that he shook her with such force that her chin struck her chest in a whiplash-like motion.

A sentencing date hasn’t been set.

Volunteer fireman killed on way to crash

CORNWALL – A volunteer firefighter was killed in a crash while responding to an accident in Lebanon County.

Twenty-year-old Warwick Township resident Bruce Sensenig was heading to the Quentin Fire Company in response to an accident around 6:30 p.m. Monday. Authorities said he apparently lost control amid heavy rain and his car was struck by a minivan.

Cornwall Borough police Chief Bruce Harris said Sensenig was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other driver was injured and is listed in serious condition.

Thieves make escape in stolen luxury cars

PHILADELPHIA – Authorities said thieves broke into a Philadelphia apartment and stole the keys to a Bentley and a yellow Lamborghini before speeding off in the luxury cars.

Police said the thieves broke in through a second-floor window in the city’s East Falls neighborhood around 1 a.m. Tuesday. They took the keys to the two cars, along with about $2,500 and two flat-screen televisions.

Police described the stolen vehicles as a 2006 yellow Lamborghini Gallardo with a Batman sticker on the back window and a 2006 black Continental Flying Sport Bentley.

Chief Inspector Scott Small said it appears the owner had been targeted.

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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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