The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 9, 2012

Morning Briefing | Boy, 13, charged with slaying grandparents


Associated Press

FRANKLIN — State police have charged a 13-year-old boy as an adult on charges that he fatally shot his grandparents in their northwestern Pennsylvania home.

Troopers from the Franklin barracks announced the charges Tuesday against Zachery James Proper, of Oil City, but provided few details.

The Derrick in Oil City first reported the charges, which state police confirmed in a short news release.

Police say Proper shot his grandmother, Dorothy Fross, and step-grandfather, George Fross, at their home in Sandycreek Township about 4 p.m. Sunday.

Police did not immediately say how they linked the boy to the killings. Online court records don't list an attorney for the boy and a criminal complaint was not immediately available.

It was not immediately clear if Proper had been arraigned.

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Teen charged in fatal birthday party shooting

YORK — Authorities say they have charged a central Pennsylvania teenager in a shooting death at a birthday party over the weekend and have been seeking others.

Police in York said 18-year-old Denzel Turane was gunned down during the party Sunday morning at a home in the city.

Officials said a 14-year-old girl was critically injured and a 16-year-old girl was grazed by a bullet.

Authorities said a youth who was 16 at the time but turned 17 on Monday has been charged with criminal homicide, attempted homicide and aggravated assault.

Police said they wanted to talk to three other people and located two of them Monday but are still seeking the third.

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Body found near Pittsburgh wharf is man, 68

PITTSBURGH — A body found floating in a river near Pittsburgh's Mon Wharf parking lot has been identified as that of a 68-year-old East Liberty man.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that an autopsy is planned for Tuesday for David L. King, who was found in the Monongahela River on Monday.

The body was reported shortly before noon Monday along the parking area, which lines a half-mile section of the north shore of the Monongahela River downtown.

Officials at the scene had tethered the body so it would not float away until they could remove it from the river.

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Hundreds expected at western trooper's funeral

MONACA — Hundreds of state troopers and other officers are expected to attend the funeral for a state trooper killed in a western Pennsylvania vehicle crash last week.

Forty-seven-year-old Trooper Blake Coble was on patrol when his cruiser was struck by a tractor-trailer Thursday morning in Beaver County. The crash remains under investigation.

Coble's funeral is set for noon Tuesday at the Golden Dome athletic facility at the Community College of Beaver County. A funeral procession to St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Beaver Falls will follow.

Gov. Tom Corbett has ordered state flags at the Capitol in Harrisburg and other state facilities in Beaver County to fly at half-staff until Coble is buried.

Coble is survived by his wife, Brenda, and two children. He was three months shy of retiring when he died.

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Sandusky sentencing nearly kept man from funeral

BELLEFONTE — The need for extra security outside the Centre County Courthouse because of Jerry Sandusky's sentencing nearly kept an inmate from being able to attend the funeral for his 2-year-old daughter.

County officials said the sheriff's office was not going to have the manpower to escort 27-year-old Joshua Steele to the funeral because of added security at the courthouse for Sandusky's sentencing Tuesday morning.

But the Centre Daily Times reports Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver offered up two of his officers to take Steele, who is serving time on a theft charge from July. His daughter died Thursday.

Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in June.

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Jury selection to start Tuesday in Philly mob case

PHILADELPHIA — Jury selection is set to start Tuesday in the federal trial for seven defendants charged in a Philadelphia mob case.

The indictment accuses Philadelphia's La Cosa Nostra of gambling, loansharking and extortion under acting boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi. Six co-defendants will also be on trial with Ligambi. Prosecutors accuse La Cosa Nostra of gambling, loansharking and extortion.

Five others have pleaded guilty in the case and three more await a separate trial.

The judge has nixed defense questions about whether jurors have formed opinions about the Mafia from books or movies, so jurors won't be asked if they are "Sopranos" fans.

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Pot-bellied pig runs amok in neighborhood

MIDLAND — A pot-bellied pig that someone likely abandoned as a pet has been running amok in one western Pennsylvania neighborhood.

Folks in Midland Heights, a neighborhood in Beaver County about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, say they've had no luck catching the pig, which is rooting around in yards and frightening children.

Resident Kristi Bilotto tells KDKA-TV that she contacted the Pennsylvania Game Commission, but they told her they don't handle wild animals and referred her to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Those folks told her to contact the local animal shelter or humane society.

Bilotto says the pig has so far outsmarted residents who have tried to trap it or put it in a cage.

She says she thinks "it's a cute little pig, but it belongs on a farm ... not in the Heights!"