The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 6, 2012

Evening News Brief | 55 piglets found in trailer on highway

Associated Press

READING — Fifty-five piglets have been taken to an animal shelter after they were found left behind in a trailer on an eastern Pennsylvania highway median.

The Reading Eagle reports the baby pigs were found left in a trailer on Route 222 in Bern Township on Wednesday afternoon. They've been taken to the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.

Officials say two of the trailer's wheels had been removed and it was sitting on the grass just south of an interchange. Construction workers called police when they saw that the trailer had been abandoned for several hours.

Police are now trying to track down their owner.


$109M verdict in woman's power line death

PITTSBURGH — The family of a western Pennsylvania woman killed in front of her mother-in-law and young daughters by a downed power line has won a $109 million wrongful death verdict.

The jury verdict Thursday for Michael Goretzka and his two young daughters included $61 million in punitive damages against West Penn Power Co.

Jurors heard nearly three weeks off testimony about the June 2009 death of 39-year-old Carrie Goretzka, of Irwin. She was standing in the yard calling 911 when the line fell on her, and suffered burns over 80 percent of her body.

Shanin Specter, who represents the Goretzka family, argued that West Penn employees failed to properly install the power line.

Judge Michael Della Vecchia says it's the largest personal injury verdict ever awarded in Allegheny County.


Armstrong plans to hire 145 workers at W.Va. plant

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Armstrong World Industries plans to hire 145 workers at its Randolph County hardwood plant to meet increasing demand.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin confirmed the hirings Thursday at the 575-worker plant in Beverly.

The Lancaster, Pa.-based company makes flooring, ceilings and cabinets.

The company plans job fairs at the plant on Dec. 8 and 15, and on Jan. 5 and 19.

In April, the company recalled dozens of workers who were laid off in November 2011.


Coal mines will have to install defibrillators

HARRISBURG — Coal mine owners in Pennsylvania will have three months to install automated external defibrillators on the surface near mine entrances and underground in each working mine section.

The Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday that the requirement will be published Friday and take effect March 8. It was written by the Board of Coal Mine Safety, which includes representatives from the United Mine Workers of America and mine owners.

The equipment is used to restore a stable heart rhythm in the event of a heart attack.

The board was created in 2008 as part of the first comprehensive update to Pennsylvania's mine safety law in nearly half a century. It was designed to keep mine safety regulations current without needing lawmakers' approval.

Pennsylvania is the nation's fourth-largest coal-mining state.


State docs get break from cash-flush license agency

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania doctors are getting some good news when they attempt to renew their two-year state licenses.

A spokesman for the Department of State said Thursday the State Board of Medicine voted earlier this year to waive the $360 cost for medical doctors.

Ruman says the board currently has about $30 million in the bank, which is more than four times its $7 million-a-year budget.

The money pays to investigate complaints and take disciplinary action. It's also used to develop new regulations and administer the board itself.

The deadline to renew for 2013 and 2014 is the end of December.

Ruman says state law prevents surplus money in that account from being used for other purposes by state government, which is currently in the midst of a several-year budget crunch.


Kin's mob memoir details Scarfo's bloody reign

PHILADELPHIA — As the latest mob trial unfolds in Philadelphia, a new memoir is out this month from the longtime underboss to Nicodemo "Nicky" Scarfo.

"Mafia Prince" author Philip Leonetti has been in hiding since turning on his mob family in 1990 and spilling secrets to the FBI.

Leonetti admits in the book to killing 10 people for Scarfo, his notoriously ruthless uncle, in the 1970s and 1980s.

His testimony led to his early release from prison in 1992, after serving just five years of a 45-year sentence. Leonetti and his wife now live on the California coast under assumed names.

The 83-year-old Scarfo remains in prison in Atlanta, with a parole date of 2033.