The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 21, 2013

State News in Brief | Gas drillers pay $750K settlement

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Newly released court documents show gas drilling company Range Resources and other defendants paid $750,000 to settle claims that the activity ruined a Washington County family’s property.

Stephanie and Chris Hallowich had sued the companies claiming drilling and other activity on a neighboring property had made their home in Hickory, about 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, virtually unsellable.

The documents released Wednesday also show the Hallowichs agreed there was no medical evidence that drilling harmed their health or their children’s health. The family had also previously acknowledged that it was receiving royalty payments from hydraulic fracturing on the property. It’s not clear from the settlement if that’s still the case.

Man to be tried for murder of 2

ARNOLD – A man who reportedly was embarrassed when a woman confronted him about a $700 drug debt will stand trial in the baseball-bat killings of that woman and her adult son.

Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said DNA found on a jacket, hat and baseball bat found at the scene matches 39-year-old Robert Briestensky, of Brackenridge.

A district judge on Thursday ordered Briestensky to stand trial on first-degree murder and other charges in the deaths of 46-year-old Bonnie Lee Broadwater and 24-year-old Lance Holt.

The decomposing bodies of Broadwater and Holt were found at their Arnold home on Oct. 4, about a week after police believe Briestensky killed them.