The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 5, 2012

Evening News Brief | Residents put ribbon on burned-out house


Associated Press

PENN HILLS — Some residents of a Pittsburgh suburb have gift-wrapped something they hope will be gone by Christmas: a charred and abandoned house that burned nine months ago.

Amy Davis tells WPXI-TV that residents put a big red bow on the house next door to hers, so Penn Hills officials will get moving on tearing it down. The house burned in March.

Residents say it's unsafe and an eyesore, and that they fear it could harm their property values.

Davis says gift-wrapping the house "was done in jest to bring light to a situation where there's no humor at all." She says the fire frightened her and caused $8,000 worth of damage to her 100-year-old home.

Municipal code enforcement officer John McCafferty tells the TV station he just got approval to tear down the home.

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1 worker dead after fall into empty water tank

EAGLEVILLE — An official says one person is dead after falling 100 feet into an empty water tank outside Philadelphia, while a second is dangling in a safety harness.

Montgomery County coroner Walter Hofman says the body will be recovered from the bottom of the tank after rescuers get the survivor out. Hofman says the survivor is suspended by a safety harness and did not hit the ground. Information on his condition isn't available.

County emergency dispatchers say they received a call shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday that two people fell into the empty tank while working on it. Their names have not been released.

Officials said the tank is owned by the Audubon Water Co.

The accident happened in Lower Providence Township, about 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

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Parents charged with taking baby from hospital

Police have filed charges against the parents of a seriously ill baby who allegedly removed her from an eastern Pennsylvania hospital without permission.

Lehigh County prosecutors say April Saul and Daniel Rivera took their daughter out of Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown against doctor's orders. Authorities say they also used obscene language when confronted by medical staff.

The baby was born prematurely last July. She remained at the hospital until Oct. 23, when Saul and Rivera removed the child and said they planned to take her to Philadelphia for treatment.

Prosecutors say the child was too ill to leave.

Saul and Rivera were charged Wednesday with endangering the welfare of children and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.

The couple does not have a listed phone number and could not be reached.

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DA: Woman 'smelled sex' on boyfriend, killed him

ERIE — Prosecutors say a northwestern Pennsylvania woman told her boyfriend she had "smelled sex" on him before she killed him earlier this year.

Thirty-one-year-old Rachel Kozloff is on trial in the April 12 killing of her boyfriend of eight weeks.

Investigators say Kozloff shot Michael Henry at his Erie apartment because she suspected him of cheating on her. Her then-10-month-old son was in a nearby room.

Kozloff has denied killing Henry but said he pushed her down the stairs during an argument.

The Erie Times-News reports Kozloff's attorney deferred making an opening statement until he begins presenting his case.

Police never found the alleged murder weapon but found spent 9mm shells in Henry's apartment. Investigators say Kozloff had purchased a .40-caliber handgun and a kit to convert it to 9mm.

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Man to trial in fatal shaken baby case

VANDERGRIFT — A suburban Pittsburgh man has been ordered to stand trial on charges he allegedly shook a 2-month-old girl so hard she died from brain damage.

Thirty-year-old 30-year-old Matthew Milisits, of Vandergrift, has been in custody since police say he acknowledged shaking the girl Nov. 15 at his home about 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Police added a criminal homicide charge when 8-week-old Sophia Ludwiczak was removed from life support on Nov. 19.

Defense attorney Duke George said after Tuesday's preliminary hearing that he didn't believe police proved Milisits shook the baby or intentionally caused death or injury.

Police initially said Sophia was Milisits' daughter but he has since said he wasn't sure he was the girl's father.