The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

November 13, 2012

Evening News Brief | Pittsburgh councilman wants to shame bad landlords

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto wants to shame problem landlords by putting signs in front of the 10 worst-maintained properties in the city.

Peduto's bill would empower city building inspectors to identify the worst properties based on housing court convictions and citations, though citizens could also nominate troubled properties for the list. Those properties would then get a sign listing the owner's name, address and phone so neighbors could complain directly to the landlords.

Peduto says the city did the same thing in the mid-1990s and it worked on five blighted properties, but the idea was never carried forward and continued.

Peduto says the program is important because one blighted house can affect an entire street and "once we lose the street, we begin to lose the neighborhood."

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Teen fatally struck by pickup truck

POTTSTOWN — Police say a 16-year-old southeastern Pennsylvania boy is dead after being struck by a pickup truck while crossing a street.

Officials haven't released the name of the teen but say he's a junior at Pottsgrove High School.

The Montgomery County district attorney's office and Lower Pottsgrove police say the teen was standing in the middle of a turn lane when he was struck.

Investigators say the driver involved is cooperating with the investigation and voluntarily provided a blood sample to police.

The district said it is providing counseling services to students.

An autopsy is scheduled.

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Defendant in cop killing found 'unresponsive'

PITTSBURGH — A man charged with fatally shooting a Pittsburgh-area police officer has been found unresponsive in his jail cell, indefinitely delaying jury selection in his death penalty trial.

Defense attorney Veronica Brestensky tells The Associated Press that 35-year-old Ronald Robinson is on life support and doctors have been running tests to determine what is wrong with him. She says he was found on the floor of his Allegheny County Jail cell on Tuesday. Brestensky says Robinson was not hanged and that initial tests have found no drugs in his system.

Prosecutors allege Robinson gunned down Penn Hills officer Michael Crawshaw who arrived shortly after Robinson allegedly killed 40-year-old Danyal Morton over a $500 drug debt in December 2009.

Jury selection was to begin Tuesday, with testimony scheduled for Nov. 26.

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