The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 21, 1990 · Page 22
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The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 22

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Wednesday, March 21, 1990
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no LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS Police review board legislation signed Gov. Robert P. Casey has signed legislation that replaces peer review boards with arbitration panels in disciplinary proceedings involving Pittsburgh police officers. Under existing law, police officers who are charged with wrongdoing go before a trial board consisting of three police officers. The act eliminates this method and requires arbitration before a panel consisting of one member appointed by the employer, one ap- Einted by the employee's collective rgaining representative and a "neutral" member. The law takes effect in 60 days. Bridge to reopen The Coraopolis-Neville Island Bridge is scheduled to reopen by noon Monday. . The county-owned bridge has been closed during the winter months for the past three years due to concerns about the effects of cold on the brittle steel of the century-old span. Construction of a replacement bridge could begin late this year or early next year. Hearing waived A North Versailles man accused of using a computer to obtain a credit card under the account number of an Equibank executive has waived a preliminary hearing on theft and forgery charges. Milton R.Nance, 31, was returned to the Westmoreland County Detention Center yesterday in lieu of $150,000 bond. He waived a scheduled hearing before District Justice Bruce V. King of Scottdale, Westmoreland County. State police contend Nance used the account number of Joseph Ear-ley, a senior executive vice president of Equibank, to get a Citibank Visa card. He waived a hearing on similar charges last month. Ex-area man pleads not guilty in scheme A former Monroeville man has pleaded innocent to charges that he participated in a scheme to bilk investors of $57 million in several land development projects, including Seven Fields in Butler County. James C. Chotiner, 44, entered the not guilty plea during a brief hearing yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Gary Lancaster. He is charged with conspiracy and mail fraud in an 87-count indictment which also names former state Sen. Edward Zemprelli, 63, of Clairton, as one of the five co-defendants. Chotiner was returned to Pittsburgh from New Jersey, where he is serving a 10-year sentence in state prison on unrelated fraud charges. ' Also charged are Thomas J. Reil-ly, 50, of Adams, Butler County; Philip H. Joyce, 53, of Bridgeville; and Frank P. Wayhart, 61, of Pittsburgh. All pleaded not guilty. Rt. 65 reopens; old Rt. 28 closed A portion of Route 65 that was closed for a week because of a landslide has reopened, but PennDot says a section of Old Route 28 blocked by falling debris will stay closed for about a month. The two northbound lanes of Route 65 in Kilbuck, closed since March 13, were reopened to traffic about 3 p.m. yesterday, said PennDot spokesman Dick Skrinjar. Fire guts home A wood-burning stove is being blamed for a fire that destroyed a home in Munhall. Munhall Fire Chief Rich Votedian said Terry Pachuta of York Street, his wife and two children were not home when the fire broke out about 12:30 p.m. yesterday. He said the fire was put out about 2 p.m. n wm mm rap tm ftx gem fest Uniontown acts to end arson By Ken Guggenheim The Pittsburgh Press Uniontown police and firefighters have formed a task force to try to stop a wave of arsons including three fires in three days this week. Members of the task force, formed after a meeting of police, fire and city officials yesterday, will patrol the Fayette County city to try to stop deliberately set fires, said Cpl. Kyle Sneddon of the Eolice department's detective ureau. Sneddon also said a $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone on arson charges. Private contributors will pay it, he said. The city also plans to step up its code enforcement and inspection Punching death of Canonsburg man ruled homicide The death of a Washington County man, who never regained consciousness after being punched in the face Thursday, has been ruled a homicide. James Gregris, Allegheny County chief deputy coroner, said the ruling was made yesterday after an autopsy on Richard Thompson, 40, of Canonsburg. The Allegheny County coroner's Search from Page Bl She sent the information to Schambier, who checked with De-Pew's mother in Norwich. Schambier was told his daughter had died in a car explosion. Schambier said a friend then went to the Carnegie Library in Oakland and found a newspaper story about the explosion. On July 25, 1957, DePew lured his estranged wife into a dynamite-rigged car parked in the 500 block of East Ohio Street. People who knew the couple speculated at the time that Mrs. DePew refused to reconcile with her husband. DePew then touched two wires together, and the dynamite exploded. Her body was thrown 60 feet; his body was found across trolley tracks Suspect in '86 Plum killing dies after Atlanta chase By Ken Guggenheim The Pittsburgh Press A suspect in the 1986 killing of a Plum businessman was shot to death by Atlanta police after a five-mile car chase. Police said Rafik "Fiki" Brooks, also known as Eugene Tiaub Brooks, fired at officers before he crashed his car yesterday in East Point, Ga. Allegheny County police had an arrest warrant charging Brooks, 24, of St. Clair Village with homicide and robbery in the shooting Dec. 18, 1986, of Tim Anderson, 35, a self- Home from Page Bl local zoning case. In its petition to enter the case, Justice said it had an interest in upholding the Fair Housing Act, which was amended last March to include a ban on discrimination in housing based on disability. The act already prohibited property owners from discriminating on the basis of race and sex. "We felt we were outgunned. We're an affluent community, but there's no way we could ever wage a legal battle against the full might and power of the federal government," Moon Manager Greg Smith said in explaining the township decision to quickly settle the case. Anticipating approval of the settlement, worked out months ago, the township in January rescinded the ordinance and approved payment of $8,170 to Zimmer, Ms. Bradich and Boyd, Smith said. That sum covers expenses and u lauibank n n mm Pittsburgh's Straight Talk Bank The Pittsburgh Press LOCAL NEWS programs to try to eliminate dilapidated buildings that are frequent targets of arsonists. "We've had this rash of arsons over the last 18 months," Sneddon said. "It's growing and growing." There were a combined 58 cases of arson in Uniontown in 1988 and last year, Sneddon said. Already this year, there have been 12 confirmed arsons and other fires that are considered suspicious. "We've always had more than our share of arsons, but never like this," said Sneddon, a volunteer firefighter and son of Fire Chief William Sneddon. Fires in the county seat helped pad Fayette County's ranking as third in the state in the number of arsons three out of the past four years. It trailed only Allegheny and Philadelphia counties. office did the autopsy because Thompson died at Presbyterian-University Hospital. Washington County Coroner Far-rell Jackson said he will hold an inquest March 29 to determine whether charges should be filed against Thompson's alleged assailant, J.T. Brown, 34, of Frederick-town, Washington County. near the wrecked car. Besides the couple, 8-year-old Linda Kraus of the East End was killed. In a letter to Rocco in 1986, Schambier asked for help in finding his daughter. He said that after he helped his wife give birth in their apartment, she urged him to place the baby with a neighbor, Alice Miller, and find work. Two hours later, he said, Mrs. Schambier died. Schambier left the child with Mrs. Miller and went to his native New England to look for a job. When he was passing through the county airport in 1944, Schambier said, he called the Miller home and a woman said, "Alberta has been adopted legally. You abandoned her. We want no part of you," and slammed down the phone. employed wholesaler who dealt in flea market items. Anderson's wife, Roberta, was beaten by Brooks' accomplice, Robert "Bobo" McCaskill of Hazelwood. Police arrested McCaskill and the getaway car driver, Aaron Robinson of Homestead, two days later. A $1,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of Brooks. In 1988, he was featured on the television program, "America's Most Wanted," but he was not found. This account of Brooks' death was provided by Vince Monardo, speaking for the Greater Pittsburgh Fugi legal fees incurred in the suit. Pushinsky's co-counsel, Mark Murphy of the Disabilities Law Project, said the intervention of the Justice Department hastened settlement of the case. "Moon officials acted reasonably when they realized their ordinance would not withstand scrutiny under the law," he said. Smith said supervisors believed that by passing the 1985 ordinance, they were establishing responsible guidelines to permit group homes within the township. Moon currently has 16 such homes, while 78 municipalities in Allegheny County have, none, he noted. Smith also said officials recognized their commitment to the handicapped by constructing a playground for the disabled at Moon Park in 1986. So far this week, there have been at least three suspected arsons: A couch on the porch of a vacant house on Collins Avenue burned about 9 p.m. Sunday. It was quickly extinguished, Kyle Sneddon said. A fire Monday on Connells-ville Street destroyed what was left of a building damaged in a suspicious fire three weeks ago. The building, which had housed Erma's Dairy Bar, had been vacant since the earlier fire. The back door of the building had been kicked in and the fire apparenty started in the second floor hallway, Sneddon said. A fire yesterday morning on East Fayette Street caused extensive damage to an unoccupied three-story apartment building. "If it's not destroyed, it's darn A report filed by Tim McCallister, an Allegheny County deputy coroner, said Thompson and Brown fought at a residence in Fredericktown about after Thompson "said something derogatory about Mr. Brown's mother." Thompson was punched in the face and struck his head on a con Schambier, who worked for many years for the Veterans Administration and the Department of the Army and is a professional bowler, said he was "misled many times" in his search. According to the marriage license, he said, his daughter believed that his first name was Felix . actually his middle name and that he was Canadian and deceased. Rocco checked city directories, welfare rolls and postal records in -an unsuccessful attempt to locate the Millers. Later, Rocco learned that Alberta Elaine, who was never legally adopted, was raised by a woman named Grace Williams in Bridgeville and sometimes used that last name. Mrs. Williams' had acted as guardian and gave permission for her marriage. tive Task Force; the East Point police and the Atlanta Journal and Constitution newspaper. Atlanta police were unaware that Brooks was a fugitive when they stopped his car Monday night for a speeding violation. When an officer approached, Brooks sped away, driving into East Point with Atlanta police in pursuit. He fired four or five shots at them while he was driving. The car ran off the road and lodged between trees. Brooks jumped out and raced toward the officers. It is not clear if he was holding a gun, but officers said he Also under terms of the settlement, for the next five years Moon must submit changes in zoning ordinances affecting residential areas to the Justice Department. Smith said it's unlikely any ordinances will be adopted in the next few years. "We are very pleased we have been able to reach a settlement guaranteeing repeal of an ordinance we thought clearly violated the Fair 0 SJS)?s? DAILY WEAR SOFT CONTACTS . . . INCLUDING EYE EXAM!! (New Patients Only Limit One) 3 ( 99 CI BA C INCLUDING iMiii'iii7t;ifiiijrav m epidemic . near destroyed," Sneddon said. No one was injured in these fires. "We've been lucky," he said. "We haven't had any fatals from the arsons, but we had some injuries." Ten firefighters were injured in an Oct 21, 1988, blaze when a fire escape and wall collapsed. That fire was ruled an arson, Sneddon said. One firefighter was injured Feb. 5 when part of a building collapsed in a suspicious fire that destroyed four buildings, he said. Uniontown has needed the assistance of neighboring communities to help its department of 13 paid firefighters and 50 active volunteers, Sneddon said. "Our volunteers are getting beat," he said. "Our paid men are getting beat, too." crete wall. He was taken to Brownsville General Hospital in Washington County and then transported by helicopter to Presbyterian-University Hospital, where he died at 7:50 p.m. Monday. McCallister said toxicology tests on Thompson's body produced evidence of alcohol, cocaine and Tylenol. Alberta Elaine DePew In 1957 photograph had something in his hand. Police fired once, striking Brooks in the left side. He ran about 50 yards and collapsed., but officers still had to struggle to restrain him "They did not know who they had till they ID'ed him through fingerprints, Monardo said. Police recovered 101 small packets of crack cocaine and $500 to $600 cash from the car. Brooks was one of the 12 fugitives sought by the task force when it was formed last year. With his death, the task force has accounted for all 12, Monardo said. Housing Act," said acting Assistant Attorney General James Turner. Pushinsky said he hopes the settlement will spur -McKees Rocks to settle a federal suit he and Murphy filed challenging its ordinance barring unmarried or unrelated adults from sharing residential housing. The suit contends the ordinance is designed to keep group homes out. The Justice Department didn't intervene in that suit. it. 'Mm" FRAMES & PLASTIC LENSES ...INCLUDING EYE EXAM!!! SOFTCON EXTENDED WEAR THE EXAM! CONTACTS Wednesday, March 21, 1990 Shooting from Page Bl a justifiable use of deadly force," said Deputy District Attorney W. Christopher Conrad. Conrad said he hadn't seen the reports from Loop and Barrett or other evidence from the scene. He said Loop and Barrett were "obviously uniformed police officers trying to make an arrest." Police officers can use deadly force to protect themselves or another person from death or serious bodily injury, Conrad said. Officers also have the right to use deadly force to prevent an escape if the individual has committed a "forcible felony." A forcible felony is described as any involving force to another individual, such as aggravated assault. A third basis for the use of deadly force would be to stop the escape of an individual who otherwise indicates he will endanger human life if his arrest is delayed, Conrad said. "Those are the areas we will be looking at," said Conrad. "It's not a complicated case." Brennan said King had been convicted earlier of driving under the influence of alcohol and his license had been suspended. King also was convicted in 1981 of two misdemeanors, simple assault and reckless endangerment. Brennan said King had a quantity of suspected marijuana in his possession when he died. His neighbors in Stowe, like Ann Trapuzzano who watched King grow up say they remember him as friendly and polite. King recently was landscaping the small yard around his family's neat, two-story brick duplex, she said. King's family declined comment. However, neighbors and friends raised questions about the shooting and described King as a likable, polite man not known as a troublemaker. "He was a good boy," said Mrs. Trapuzzano, who lives across the street from the King family home. "I was shocked. This never should have happened." Mrs. Trapuzzano also said King was a childhood playmate of her son and was nicknamed "Boo Boo." He graduated from Stowe High School and worked for Alcosan, she said. Alcosan Executive Director William Trefz said King resigned in early February as a maintenance laborer. He said he did not know King or the reasons for his resignation. King's mother is the administrative assistant to county Clerk of Courts John Kyle. Neighbor Mary Rose said she, too, had known King since he was a little boy. "He was a nice kid," she said, adding that she never knew him to cause trouble in the neighborhood. Shift in bill on lawsuits favors buyer HARRISBURG (AP) - A bill designed to provide protection for manufacturers against lawsuits underwent a dramatic change in a House committee, coming out in a form that favored consumers over business. The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill yesterday to spell out when people can sue for accidents from defective products, but not before stripping the measure of its most controversial sections. A vote by the full House is expected next week. Michael McLaughlin, president of the Pennsylvania Task Force on Product Liability, said the changes would do little to bring down the escalating costs of court battles or protect companies from frivolous lawsuits. Supporters of the measure formed the task force to represent the interests of more than 400 companies, including such corporate giants as Phillip Morris, General Electric and Merck Pharmaceuticals. 11 D!!)BI-FOCALS (New Patients Limit One)

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