Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on September 18, 1990 · Page 3
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 3

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Indiana, Pennsylvania
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Tuesday, September 18, 1990
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Page 3
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STATE Friday, September 19, 2003 — Page 3 Briefs By The Associated In attempt on wife, husband kills man UNIONTOWN — A 29- year-old man set fire to an apartment building in an attempt to kill his wife but instead killed a 76-year-old man, state police said. Richard Saluga, of Uniontown, remained in the Fayette County Prison, charged with starting the fire Sunday that killed William Earnest Mason, who was at the apartment building, about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh. According to court records, Saluga drew a diagram and told a 14-year-old girl he wanted to set fire to the building to kill his estranged wife. After the fire, the teen asked Saluga about the fire and he confessed to her, police said. Last link to death convicted GREENSBURG — Trie last of six people charged in the robbery and slaying of a drug dealer found in his burned- out van two years ago has •been convicted. After 10 hours of deliberations, a Westmoreland County jury on Thursday found John Smith, 19, of Arnold, guilty of third-degree murder in the June 14, 2001, bludgeoning and shooting of Larry Dunmire. Three women, who prosecutors said lured Dunmire to the trailer, testified against Smith and two other men as part of a plea deal. The women are serving 5- to 10- year prison sentences. Public defender Dante Bertani said he will ask that Smith serve no more than the women because they were also convicted of third-degree murder. Boy suspended for threatening bus ERIE — An 11-year-old northwestern Pennsylvania boy was suspended after school officials say he bran_dished'_a fake' g^ehkde and thr'eateiied 'to' blow up riis , The boy/'a sixth-grader at ! Lawrence Park Elementary School near Erie, showed the inactive grenade to classmates on his bus on Wednesday and said he would pull the pin and blow up the bus, said Charles Lewis, chief of the Lawrence Park police. School officials said the boy has been suspended while they consider alternative education plans for him. He also faces juvenile charges of bringing a weapon onto school property, disorderly conduct and terroristic threats. Letter gets man 4 to 8 years in jail PITTSBURGH — A man who failed in his scheme for a perfect alibi when a letter asking a friend to lie for him was returned and read by jail guards could spend the next eight years behind bars. Demetrius Murrell, 24, of Pittsburgh, was sentenced to four to eight years in prison on Thursday for shooting a 19-year-old man to death in a Pittsburgh bar on March 24, 2001. Murrell pleaded guilty earlier this month after prosecutors read a letter he wrote to his friend, asking for a "a little alibi" during his upcoming trial. Murrell also asked his friend to testify that the shooter was "a liT bit taller than me and he was darker." But his friend never got the letter. Murrell apparently had an incorrect address and not enough postage, so the letter was returned to the Allegheny County Jail where it was read by jail guards. Prosecutors argue against charges PITTSBURGH — Allegheny County prosecutors told state Superior Court judges that criminal charges should not be brought against workers at a group home where a resident drowned. Timothy Michaels, a. 50- year- old retarded man, drowned in a bathtub on Sept. 27, 2000, at the Gertrude A. Barber Center near Pittsburgh, sparking three years of legal battles over whether workers committed a criminal act of negligence or were simply giving him privacy. • No criminal charges in mine mishap By JUDY UN Associated Press Writer PITTSBURGH — Criminal charges will not be filed in a mine accident .last summer that trapped nine men hundreds of feet below the earth for three days, a state grand jury ruled. An investigating grand jury found inadequate evidence to support reckless conduct in the Quecreek Mine accident, which was blamed on poor mine maps and an inadequate regulatory system, state Attorney General Mike Fisher and U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said Thursday. "The harrowing ordeal endured by the Quecreek miners and the anxiety suffered by their "In all likelihood, had that map been used, the Quecreek mine accident would not have occurred." — Attorney General Mike Fisher families and co-workers was a tragedy. It would only compound that tragedy if we would have pursued criminal charges where evidence does not exist to support those charges," Buchanan said. After interviewing 38 people and examining thousands of documents, the grand jury found the Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Mine Act that has regulated the state's mining industry since 1961 to be "antiquated and inadequate," Fisher said. The grand jury recommended that Gov. Ed Rendell and the Legislature make changes in the law to give the state Department of Environmental Protection more regulatory authority and advised the agency to update its permit- ting process. The grand jury also recommended the law be amended to increase barriers between mines when an adjacent mine map is unavailable and issue greater fines and jail time against violators. The nine miners thought they were still some 300 feet away from the abandoned Saxman Mine when they breached it July 24, 2002, releasing millions of gallons of water mat trapped them for 77 hours underground until rescuers could drill a hole to pull them out. Last month, the Mine Safety and Health Administration issued citations against Black Wolf Coal Co., the contractor employing the miners; PBS Coals Inc., which owns the Quecreek Mine; and Musser Engineering Inc., which helped prepare the mine maps in support for the company's state permit. A 1963 map of the adjacent mine was discovered at the Windber Coal Museum and it depicted more extensive mining than any map known to exist. The map, which was marked final, was never certified or filed with the state. "In all likelihood, had that map been used, the Quecreek mine accident would not have occurred," Fisher said. There also was confusion among DEP personnel as to how far mining can lake place near abandoned mines. 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