Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2002 · Page 4
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 4

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 27, 2002
Page 4
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— Sunday, October 27, 2002 REGION (gazette Obituaries Leona Kowchuck Leona Grace Bagley Kowchuck, 73, of Indiana, died Thursday, Oct. 24, 2002, at Beacon Ridge Nursing Center. She was born July 29,1929, in Indiana, a daughter of Clarence Roy and Mary Sickenberger Bagley. Mrs. Kowchuck was a homemaker. She is survived by her husband, Paul Kowchuck Jr. of Indiana; a daughter, Paulette Sexton and her husband John, of Clymer; a son, Thomas Kowchuck and his wife Cathy, of Ernest; two sisters: Freeda Palombo and her husband Andy, of Ocala, Fla., and Ester Ruth Bourdess, of Commodore; six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents. Friends will be received today from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Bence-Mihalcik Funeral Home in Indiana, where funeral services will be held Monday at 11 a.m. The Rev. Gary J. Smith will officiate. Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Indiana. Her family requests memorial contributions be made to the Visiting Nurse Association, 1265 Wayne Ave., Suite 303, Indiana, PA, 15701. Vivian Magnelli Vivian Jean Magnelli, 84, of Saltsburg, formerly of Shaler Township in the Pittsburgh area, died Thursday, Oct. 24,2002, at her home. . She was born Aug. 26, 1918, in Dorothy, W. Va., a daughter of Anthony and Rose Potecnia Shermenti. t Mrs. Magnelli was a member of the Madonna of Jerusalem Catholic Church in Sharpsburg and the Saltsburg Senior Center. • She is survived by her nieces Mary Ann Davis and her husband Nick of Saltsburg and Bernice Bavone and her husband Fred of Homer City, as well as many other nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Gerard Magnelli, in 1992; three brothers: John, Joe and Andrew Shermenti; and two sisters: Mary Davila and Ann Kennedy. I Friends will be received today from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Curran Funeral Home in Saltsburg, where a blessing service will be conducted Monday at 10 a.m. The Rev. Richard Mackiewicz will officiate. Interment will follow in St. Marys Cemetery, OTIara Township, Pittsburgh. Funerals KOWCHUCK, Leona Grace (Bagley), 11 a.m., Bence-Mihalcik Funeral Home, Indiana MAGNELLI, Vivian Jean, 10 a.m., Curran Funeral Home, Saltsburg RIDDLE, Isabelie, 10:30 a.m., Bowser-Minich Funeral Home, Indiana SHANK, Blair A. "Bud" Sr, 10:30 a.m., St. Barbara Church, Harrison City (James E. Lindsay Funeral Home, Inc., Harrison City) STILES, Helen M., 2 p.m., Swamp Church, Cherryhill Township (Robinson-Lytle, Inc., Indiana) STOIKA, Cary J., 11 .m., Askew- House Funeral Home, Inc., Nanty GIo Deaths elsewhere By The Associated Press Leonard Green LOS ANGELES — Leonard Green, founder of the West Coast's largest merchant and investment banking firm and chairman of the board of the Los Angeles Opera, died Friday of complications from heart surgery in Venice, Italy, where he was on vacation. He was 68. In 1969, Green co-founded Gibbons, Green, van Amerongen, a pioneer firm in the management buyout industry. Specializing in management-led, non-hostile leveraged buyouts, Green then established his own firm Leonard Green & Partners in Los Angeles in 1989. The merchant and investment banking firm acquired several companies over the years, including Carr-Gottstein Foods Co., Australian Resources Limited, Big 5 Sporting Goods and Thrifty Corp. Milos Vojnovic ZAGREB, Croatia — Milos Vo- jnovic, a leader of ethnic Serbs in Croatia, died Friday of a heart attack. He was 50. Vojnovic died at his home in Vuko- var. Vojnovic worked as a judge in the Serb para-state that rebels proclaimed in the Vukovar area seized in the 1991 war. The fighting erupted when Serbs took up arms to rebel against the country's declaration of independence from the former, Serb-dominated Yugoslavia. Croatia, which re-established its rule in 1995, had indicted Vojnovic for participation in the armed rebellion, but the charges were dropped in 1996 under an amnesty law that pardoned thousands of Serbs who joined the rebels. Suspect sought place in life Aggie Hockenberry of Indiana with her children, Natalie, 4, and Caleb, 4 months, listened to a ghost story before heading out on the haunted walk Saturday evening. (Photo by Thomas Slusser) Haunted walk benefits Saltsburg Library SALTSBURG — Screams and shrieks coming from a trail along the Kiskiminetas River were a sure sign of Halloween in Saltsburg on Saturday night as the Saltsburg Free Library held a haunted walk. People came from Blairsville, Indiana and other parts of the county to get the chills and scares by ghosts, witches, werewolves and zombies along the path. Missie Hall, vice president of the library board, led groups on the 15- minute walk in North Park. She warned at the beginning that if anyone wanted to turn back, it was their last chance. Four-year-old Natalie Hockenber- ry of Indiana was so scared that her knees were shaking, her mother, Aggie said. They, along with Aggie's husband, Sam, and 4-month-oId son, Caleb, went to support "Aunt Sandy" Blystone of Saltsburg, who was in the walk. The fright must have been overwhelmed by the fun because many on the walk cried, "Can we go again?" as they climbed the hill at the end. The walk was held Friday and Saturday nights, preceded by a bonfire at which "Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin Patch" was read. All the money raised went to the library. — Stephanie Bernat Students in the news Chrissy Hartz The United States Achievement Academy announces that Chrissy Hartz of Creekside has been recognized for academic achievement as a United States National Honor Roll Award winner. Hartz, who attends Marion Center High Schoo!, will appear in the United States Achievement Academy official yearbook, which is published nationally. She is the daughter of Sam and Susan Hopkins, of Creekside, and David Harlz of Kittanning. She is the granddaughter of Harold and Ruth Pears, of Indiana, and Delores Brown, of Marion Center. Three on president's list atWCCC The follovving area students have been named to the Westmoreland County Community College president's list for achieving a 4.0 quality point average for the summer 2002 semester: James L. Weimer, Blairsville; Michael D. Flanders, Indi-. ana; and Deneen A. Ault, Seward. WCCS releases dean's List The following area students have been named to the college's dean's list for achieving a 3.5 quality point average during the summer 2002 semester: APOLLO — Laurene L. Alles, Holly M. Gerardi AVONMORE — Joseph R. Montali III BLACK LICK —Jeremy J. Flickinger BLAIRSVILLE — Bryan E. Bish, Peggy E. Lenz, Kirnberly A. Lopes, Steven M. McCully, James M. Mock, Michelle M. Ruffner BOLIVAR — Joshua K. Anderson CORAL—Thomas E. Bruner DERRY — Amanda M. Barron, Beth A. Conrad, Jessica L. Dempsey, Diane M. Mackert, Adam J. McCullough, Michael C. McGraw, Alicia A. Ridilla, Matthew A. Secrist HOMER CITY—Jane Meagher INDIANA — Scott R. Burnett, Cindy L Cadile, Beth A. Fletcher St. Francis awards scholarships Saint Francis University of Loretto has announced its endowed scholarship recipients for the 2002-2003 academic year with several area students receiving the scholarships including: GLEN CAMPBELL — Bradley Gardner, Robert L. Hitc Memorial Scholarship. NAN1Y GLO — Nicole Forcellini, Fr. Jack O'Malley Scholarship in Business Administration. NORTHERN CAMBRIA — Jessica Chervenak, Regina Morrison and Christina Yasick, Rev. Anthony Berhely Scholarship; Wanda Brown, Gunard Berry Carlson Memorial Scholarship; Alicia Westover, Frank J. Kuzemchak Accounting Scholarship; and Leonard Sapp and Roger Spanella, Dr. Albert A. Zan/Aiccki Scholarship in Accounting. PUNXSUTAWNEY — Ashley Merrell, Rudolph & Geraldine (Lingenfelter) Schonek Endowment for Excellence in Nursing. ROBINSON — Ryan Robertson, William Ryan Scholarship. VINTONDALE — Jody Zaragoza, Eugene A. Creany Scholarship. Perm State DuBois dean's List Three area students were named to the Penn State DuBois summer 2002 dean's list. Students must maintain a minimum 12-credit course load and achieve a minimum 3.5 out of a possible 4.0 grade point average to earn the distinction. The local students who were named to the dean's list were Michelle Niver, of Big Run; and Alice Gray, Lee Mitchell, and John States, ali of Punxsutawney. John Lazor CORAL — John M. Lazor, son of Dennis and Trudy Lazor, of Coral, recently graduated from Chatham College in Pittsburgh with a master's of occupational therapy degree. He received the Class of 2002 Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. He successfully passed the Board Certification Exam and is an occupational therapist registered. He is a graduate of IUP and Homer-Center High School. DuBois Business College releases president's list DuBois Business College named four local students to the president's list for the summer 2002 quarter. To be named to the list, students must attain a grade point average of at least 3.4. Area students named to the list are: Omajean Buck, Big Run; Roxanne Rearigh, Dayton; and Lucinda Aaron and Danielle Cessna, Punxsutawney. Continued from page A-1 something inhuman — perhaps leaving a wife or leaving the Army? Or was there a slow, almost imperceptible accumulation of frustrations, outrages, disappointments and indignities that finally dragged Muhammad into the darkness? Or was it both? Content, sociable, average John Allen Williams, later known as John Muhammad, was born to loss. One of five children, he lost his mother to cancer when he was 5; his father went his own way. The children were left to be raised by other relatives in Baton Rouge, La., according to family members. John found joy and forgetfulness in the surge and stretch of his own blood and muscle. He smacked tennis balls, sweated on the track, jarred his senses on the football field. He began wearing military fatigues. Even in the neon glare of hindsight, though, his family and neighbors say they remember him as content, sociable, average. He graduated from Scotlandville High School in 1978 and soon entered the Louisiana National Guard, swapping scholastic for military regimentation. He married a local girl and later fathered a boy. But any hope of finding permanent anchors in marriage or die military was frayed within five years. Where hope retreated, defiance and rage rushed into the void. In 1982, Muhammad admitted he was late to policing duty and was demoted from sergeant back to specialist. The next year, one of his fits of temper got him into more trouble. He was sentenced to a week in confinement, though it was suspended. He had hit an officer in the head. He fell out with his wife, too, and they eventually went their own ways. But Muhammad was far from ready to give up, either as father or fighter. In 1985, he joined the regular Army He was sent to Fort Lewis, a foggy encampment in Washington state. The area was crawling with climbers, stoic Norwegians and semiretired hippies from nearby California, half a continent and a world away from the soul food and song- filled Baptist churches of the South. He trained as a combat engineer, learning about land mines, bridge building and anti-tank ditches. He did not take special sniper training but earned an expert rating in the M- 16 rifle — the military cousin of the .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle used in the sniper shootings. On the homefront, he completed his divorce and, within weeks, married another woman he had begun seeing. A convert to Islam, he would share a faith with her and later change his name to Muhammad. They would eventually have three children of their own. In 1990, the boy from Baton Rouge was transferred to Germany with the 84th Engineer Company, but a longer, more wrenching journey was coming. Saddam Hussein's army invaded Kuwait, jolting the stability of the region. For a time, American forces struck back from the air. Foot soldiers had to follow. Muhammad's engineering unit rolled into Iraq at the vanguard of the American invasion. Military records say they cut through an 8- foot-high earthen wall on the Saudi- Iraq border to clear lanes for tanks and other forces. The Pentagon says his unit may FDA joins probe into contamination PITTSBURGH (AP) — The federal Food and Drug Administration has joined an investigation of a dozen patients who became infected with bacteria from contaminated medical equipment at a western Pennsylvania hospital. Officials with Allegheny General Hospital, the Pittsburgh hospital where the infections occurred, and Allegheny County and state health officials are investigating the October outbreak of pseudomonas aeruginosa in 12 patients, one of whom died. The bacteria doesn't usually cause illness in healthy people, but it can affect those who are already sick or those with weakened immune systems. The patients were apparently infected with the bacteria from bronchoscopes, flexible tubes inserted through the mouth or nose to examine a patient's windpipe or lungs. Officials have said the contamination may have been caused by defects in the scopes, problems with cleaning machines or mistakes by hospital staff. The FDA investigation so far has focused on the sterilizers, said Dr. Richard Shannon, chairman of medicine at Allegheny General. The hospital found three scopes contaminated by the bacteria and have replaced all of the bronchoscopes that were used in the hospital when the outbreak was discovered. The hospital has also changed the way it cleans the scopes. have been exposed to low levels of chemical weapons tucked away in bunkers destroyed by advancing U.S. troops. It is not clear if anyone was harmed. For his war duty, Muhammad earned the Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal and the Saudi Arabia Liberation Medal as did many others. Back home, he was assigned to Fort Ord, Calif., but soon returned to Fort Lewis. In 1994, he left active duty with-an honorable discharge. He began showing a powerful rigidity and need for control in civilian life. His 12-year-old son from Louisiana came for a visit and did not return as expected at summer's end, according Sheron Norman, his ex-wife's sister. She says that when he finally did — under his mother's court order—he had lost 20 pounds. The boy complained of an exercise regimen and strict diet, as if he were in the Army. Muhammad wasn't ready to give up the military in his own life. He went to Portland and worked in the Oregon National Guard for a year. Weaned from the military — in fact, if not in mind — Muhammad would never find a way to lay a foundation for his financial security. He and a partner opened a karate school in Tacoma. Muhammad talked of signing up many Muslim students. The partners argued over money, and the school eventually went under. Muhammad opened a car-repair shop that advertised house calls. It didn't last. He began to knock around with Malvo, a teenager adrift since his illegal entry into the United States from Jamaica. Despite the age disparity, they were both trim and liked to exercise at gyms. They both needed something: Maybe it was each other. At some point — it's not clear when — Muhammad began romancing the teenager's mother and began telling others that the boy was his son. Muhammad's second wife filed for divorce in 1999. The court gave her full custody of the children. Blamed for "actions of domestic violence and abduction of children," Muhammad was denied the right to visit them. Muhammad began showing an intense interest in guns. In late 1999, he bought a semiautomatic .223-caliber rifle at a Tacoma gun shop. In March 2000, a judge issued a restraining order telling him not to harass or stalk his wife or children. Muhammad sold the gun back to the shop. In January 2001, he took the children to the Caribbean island of Antigua — he said with their mother's permission. Still, his ex-wife claimed in January 2001 that he was keeping them away from her. While in Antigua, Muhammad boasted to an acquaintance of being a CIA agent and sharpshooter who could "take out a man" a quarter of a mile away. They returned a few months later and the children were reunited with their mother. But in another restraining order, she claimed Muhammad threatened to kill her. Back in this country, Muhammad met up with Malvo again. By October 2001, luckless and ostensibly penniless, they lived in a homeless shelter in Bellingham, near the Canadian border. Their suspicions aroused, authorities detained Malvo and his mother for almost a month as illegal aliens. Eventually, though, they let her go on bond and released her son to her. He soon fell back in with Muhammad. "Anywhere the older guy went, the younger guy was there. It was like he was in his back pocket," said a neighbor who knew them when they lived together in Tacoma. Muhammad kept living hand-to- mouth. In February, Tacoma police investigated him for allegedly shoplifting about $27 worth of meat and frozen food, a police spokesman says. He skipped court. Downward spiral The downward spiral of Muhammad's life appeared to accelerate this year. Over the last six months, Muhammad visited an old Fort Lewis buddy, Robert Edward Holmes, and showed him rifles. He talked of aligning a scope and speculated on "the damage you could do if you could shoot with a silencer," the government says in court papers. In July, the FBI gave a heads-up about Muhammad to federal firearms investigators. Harjee Singh, of Bellingham, had told the bureau he knew Muhammad and Malvo from a local YMCA and they told him "they were likely to do a sniper attack." The targets could be police and maybe a tanker truck. Faced with vague, possibly idle threats, authorities apparently didn't pursue the case. That same month, the pair visited Baton Rouge. Neighbor Denitra King says Muhammad often talked of his Muslim beliefs. He didn't like the American role in Afghanistan. The Seattle Times has quoted federal sources as saying Muhammad and Malvo had spoken with sympathy about the Sept. 11 terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center last year. But there has been no sign that the two men participated in any terrorist group. Still, old friends began noticing a change in Muhammad. King said of a visit, "He wasn't the same person. He just looked different." Relatives in Louisiana were alarmed by Muhammad's seeming control over his teenage tag-along. Muhammad's former sister-in-law, Norman, said Malvo's diet was limited to crackers, honey and vitamins. "You could tell he was scared," she said. "You could tell he didn't like the way he was living." Back in Tacoma, Muhammad somehow illegally laid hands on another .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, according to the manufacturer, despite a restraining order"that barred him from keeping a gun. Neighbors at the house where they now lived in Tacoma reported the loud crack of a high-powered rifle in the back yard. In August, as if totally unhinged from his own life, Muhammad appeared inexplicably in a bar in New Jersey, accompanied by a teenager who was presumably Malvo. He bought a $250 Chevy Caprice with almost 150,000 miles. Authorities believe they used it in the shootings. Within weeks, on Oct. 2, the sniper claimed his first capital-area victim, James Martin. Martin was also a milr itary veteran. Unlike Muhammad, his life brimmed with meaning: He was a school volunteer, church trustee and Boy Scout leader. JUST FOR KIDS: SHORTCUTS, PAGE E-8 EVERY SUNDAY Call i ••§"'§0 51™w3 3 3 to reserve your ad space and add extra sparkle to your holiday profits ————^—^— HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE PUPLISHING DATE Is FRIDAY,. NOVEMBER 15,2002 AD DEADLINE is WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6,2002 * y«i By Tke Owtoum Gogeife

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