Latrobe Bulletin from Latrobe, Pennsylvania on February 11, 1995 · 1
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Latrobe Bulletin from Latrobe, Pennsylvania · 1

Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 11, 1995
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VOL. 93, No. 45 LATROBE, PA., FEBRUARY 11, 1995 25c Discovery Crew Land Safely CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) Discovery's astronauts returned home in triumph today after an eight-day flight that featured a historic rendezvous with the Russian space station. Commander James Wetherbee guided the shuttle down onto the runway at Kennedy Space Center at 6:50 a.m. just before sunrise. About 250 people gathered in the early-morning chill to welcome Discovery home, including the families of the six astronauts. "Welcome home and congratulations on an outstanding mission," Mission Control told the crew. The last of Discovery's 3'i million-mile journey took the shuttle diagonally across the United States in darkness: Over Tacoma, Wash., Idaho and Wyoming, down through the Midwest and South and on into Florida. Discovery glided through a clear sky on final approach. ' . " . The flight's dramatic high point came when Wetherbee steered Discovery within 37 feet of the 100-ton Mir space station Monday. He described the 245-mile-high tryst as " a truly spectacular and beautiful event." '. It was the first U.S.-Russian meeting in space since the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz docking. It also was a dress re hearsal for the June docking of Mir and the shuttle Atlantis.' ;: ; Seven Atlantis-Mir dockings are planned through 1997, when the United States, Russia and other nations plan to start building an international space station. "This may be the end of your mission, but you have set the stage for limitless future possibilities as we move into an era of world cooperation in space," Mission Control told Wetherbee late Friday night. A day after the rendezvous, cosmonaut Vladimir Titov, the second Russian to ride an American shuttle, used Discovery's robot arm. to release an astronomy Satellite. V-'V" '; ': : The satellite, which contains an ultraviolet telescope, spent two days of free flight focusing on interstellar gas and dust before astronauts hauled it back aboard for the ride home. Then astronauts Bernard Harris Jr. and Michael Foale ventured out on a spacewalk Thursday to practice moving the 2,800-pound satellite with a handle that looked like a steering wheel. NASA wanted to know how easily future spacewalkers will be able to move massive objects during space station construction. They didn't have much trouble moving the satellite, but they did struggle against space temperatures of about 125 degrees below zero. Rookie astronaut Eileen Collins became NASA's first female spaceship pilot when Discovery blasted off Feb. 3. Harris made history as the first black person to walk in space. Lesko Confession Read Into Record GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) A prosecutor and a police detective read aloud in court from a 15-year-old statement by crime-spree killer John C. Lesko, whose penalty-phase trial continued Friday. Pittsburgh police Detective Frank Amity read Lesko 's words from his purported confession to police in 1980, a day after the slaying of Apollo police Officer Leonard Miller. Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck read the words of Amity, Le-sko's original questioner. " Lesko was convicted in 1981 and sentenced to die for his role in Miller's slaying during his quadruple-homicide crime spree with Michael Travaglia. His sentence was overturned on appeal, and he is now undergoing a trial to determine his sentence. The jury could give him life in prison or the death penalty. In the statement, Lesko described the events leading up to Miller's slaying on the last day of an eight-day, robbery-and-murder spree that began Dec. 27, 1979. Lesko said he and his friend, Michael Travaglia, wanted to rob a convenience store but thought Miller was too close by. - To lure Miller away from the store, Travaglia sped past him, and Miller pulled them over. "The police officer got out of the car. Mike turned and fired two (hots at him. Saturday night... Cloudy, cold with a few flurries. Low near 5. Sunday...Partly sunny and cold with a few flurries. High around 15. The police officer went down and we took off and I heard six shots come through one window," Lesko told police. Lesko also described how he shot Marlene Newcomer of Connellsvillc at Trava-glia's suggestion and how they stole her pickup truck; how Travaglia fatally shot Peter Levato of Pittsburgh; and how they both drowned William Nicholls of Mount Lebanon in a cold Indiana County lake. Travaglia is on Pennsylvania's death row, waiting for results from his appeals. Peck said the prosecution could rest its case when the trial resumes Monday. Defense Attorney Rabe Marsh said he plans to summon five or six witnesses to talk about Lcsko's childhood abuse and neglect. Police Charge Man In Area Shooting A Homestead man has been charged in the shooting incident two months ago at the Fort Ligonier Motor Lodge. Charles W. Pharos, 44, allegedly fired a handgun in his room around 4:55 a.m. on Nov. 27 while at the hotel located on Route 30 East. Ptlm. Mike Matrunics, Ligonier Borough police reported that at the time of the incident a witness called police to complain that Phares was making noise and hanging out of the window of his room waving a handgun. Phares broke out of the window before police arrival. Westmoreland County Detectives found blood, a broken window and two bul Code Violates Rights PEORIA, 111. (AP) A code of conduct Caterpillar Inc. has drafted for the day striking employees return to work violates the employees' rights, the National Labor Relations Board says. The 4 'Standards of Conduct" bar shirts, buttons and signs with slogans referring to the United Auto Workers' strike, now almost eight months long. The standards also bar derogatory language and limit workers' ability to file grievances. Violations could bring a suspension or discharge. The NLRB complaint, issued Friday, means an administrative judge must decide whether Caterpillar has violated labor law. The board also may seek a court order to block the proposed standards. "There is no legal precedent to justify such wholesale infringement of employees' statutory rights no matter how laudable the goal of reducing tension and acrimony in the workplace," NLRB Regional Director Glenn Zipp said. He said a company cannot set conditions a union must accept before ending a strike. Caterpillar's head of labor relations, Jerry Brust, said the company repeatedly asked the union to help set standards for strikers returning to work. The company . decided it had to go ahead without union input. "We believe ourproposcd standards ultimately ... would be found not only ap-propriate and allowable under federal law, but the responsible, common-sense action for an employer to take under such circumstances," Brust said. UAW bargaining chairman Jerry Baker said Caterpillar lacks the power to set such rules. "We're very pleased with the labor board," he said. "This is what we've been saying all along: that Cat is violating federal law." The UAW has been on strike against Caterpillar the world's leading maker of digging machinery since June 1994. The strike affects eight factories in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Colorado. Ex-Arizona Senator Dies TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) A former state senator and longtime community leader here has died after 74 years of contributions to politics and the arts. Doug Holsclaw died Thursday after a lifetime battle with tuberculosis. He was 96. let holes in the room, one in the front wall, the other in the door. Phares had paid for the room with a credit card and him name was on the receipt. Police called Phares the following day and admitted to breaking the window and firing the gun. The gun was fired in the direction of the balcony, parking lot and the highway, and near a residential area. Phares has been charged with recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, and prohibited gun discharge in the borough. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 27 before District Justice Dcnisc SnydcrThiel. Fred Rogers To Be Given Award In Pittsburgh The Vocational Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh has named Latrobe native Fred Rogers as recipient of the 1995 Joseph F. Mulach Jr. Award. The award will be presented at VRC'sannual Mulach Awards Benefit Dinner March 21 at the Pittsburgh Hilton and Towers. Eugene J. Barone, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania, will serve as honorary dinner chair. The Mulach Award is presented annually by the VRC board of directors to a person who has significantly improved the quality of life for persons with disabilities. The award was established in 1976 to honor former board chairman, philanthropist and industrialist Joseph F, Mu-lach Jr. Rogers is the creator of the well-known children's program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Through his warm and caring television neighborhood, he has been able to help children, as well as adults, learn how to cope with a disability and has taught others how to accept a person with a disability. Rogers developed Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in 1966 with national distribution beginning in 1968 through the Public Broadcasting Service. It has become the longest-running program on public television. Besides two George Foster Pcabody awards and several Emmys, Rogers has received virtually every major award in children's television, and dozens of other from special-interest groups in education, communications and early childhood. Rogers has received honorary degrees from more than 30 colleges and universities, including Yale University, Hobart and William Smith, Rollins College (his alma mater) and Boston University. Past Mulach Award recipients include Robert Dale Lynch, AIA; John T. Man Jailed For Child Molestation A Sunbury man has been arrested and charged after sexually assaulting a five-year-old Indiana County boy. . State police, Indiana, reported that John Elliot Raker, 19, was arrested Friday from the incident which allegedly occurred Dec. 12 at the victim's White Township home when Raker was babysitting him and his two-year old sister while their parents were shopping. The boy's sister was unharmed. The victim was told by the accused not to tell anyone this had happened. The boy approached his father two days later and told him what happened. During the course of the investigation police learned that the accused had left the area and went to Sunbury. Raker was arrested Friday by state police, Indiana when he arrived for an interview at slate police barracks in Sclinsgrovc. He was arraigned and unable to post the $ 100,000 set in Selinsgrove and transported to Indiana where bond was set at $20,000. Raker was committed to the Indiana County Jail pending a preliminary hearing. Raker has been charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and corruption of minors. rib ' E . Fred Rogers Hoover; Dr. Abraham J. Twerski; Vincent A. Sarni; Linda A. Dickerson; Douglas Danforth; Ginny Thorn-burgh, and the late Hon. Leonard C. Staisey. The Vocational Rehabilitation Center is a nonprofit United Way agency founded in 1927 with headquarters in Pittsburgh and a Mon Valley division in Rostravcr Township. VRC's mission is to help those with disabilities enter the workforce and become wage-earning, independent citizens. At the same ceremony, VRC will honor Edward V, Randall Jr. as recipient of the 1995 James F. Compton Humanitarian Award. Police To Give Teddy Bears In Program The Pennsylvania State Police will observe "Child Passenger Safety Week" tomorrow through Feb. 1 8 by giving free teddy bears to children who are properly secured in seat belts or safety scats. James B. Hazen, acting commissioner for the state police said that officers will distribute 10,000 teddy bears with the message, "Love Me, Buckle Me" during the week. The six inch tall bear will be given out during all routine traffic checks and enforcement stops. "The teddy bears will serve to remind both the children and adults of the importance of child safety seats and scat belts," said Hazen. "the program will help foster good will between state troopers and youngsters." Hazen said that studies indicate 71 percent of unrestrained children who died in accidents would have survived had they been secured in safety scats. During "Child Passenger Safety Week"", the state police will also step up enforcement of the state's seat belt law. The law requires that all children under four years of age be secured in an approved child safety seat. Other than children covered by the restraint law, all other front scat occupants must wear a seat belt. Violators are subject to an $89 fine. During the first nine months of 1994, the state police have issued 3,015 child scat violations and 2,885 scat Retiree Sues PHILADELPHIA (AP) A Scott Paper Co. retiree has filed a class-action suit against the company and its retirement plan, claiming the fund violated insurance laws by making an unauthorized loan to Scott Paper. Charles W. CrileofNew Castle, Del., filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court The Compton award was established in 1992 in memory of VRC's former board chairman. At the time of his death, Compton was director of investment relations for PPG Industries Inc. The award recognizes the efforts of a corporate chairman, president or chief executive officer in improving the quality of life for persons with disabilities through cn-hanccd employment opportunities. Randall, president and chief executive officer of PNC Bank, NA - Pittsburgh, has been with PNC Bank for more than 30 years. He serves as chairman of the PNC Bank Foundation, is director emeritus and founding chairman of the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development and member of the board of trustees at Carlow College. Randall also is a board member of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, the Financial and Real Estate Corp. and Cities In Schools, Pittsburgh-Allegheny County. He is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Transportation and Technology Museum. Past Compton Award recipients include Dr. Robert Mehrabi an, Wesley W. von Schack and Eugene J. Barone. belt citations. The $9,500 to purchase the teddy bears for the program came from state highway funds. In addition to the teddy bears, state troopers from Company A, Greensburg will be scheduling regulatory traffic checkpoints in which the "Love Me, Buckle Me Bears will be given to persons who comply with the child passenger restraint laws. All traffic laws will be enforced at the checkpoints, with the emphasis on child restraint violations. PSPAsks For Fences On Bridges BELLE VERNON, Pa. (AP) The state Department of Transportation will consider fencing off Interstate 70 overpasses in Westmoreland County to help curb a string of potentially deadly attacks on motorists. State police in Belle Vernon recently wrote to the de-partmcnt to request the fences. Police also would like warnings about such attacks, like the one in January that critically injured a driver, to be broadcast on the state's road condition radio station. The fencing wouldn't make it impossible to throw objects from overpasses but would inhibit it, police Sgt. William Zimmerman said. Nearly 30 incidents involving steel and concrete objects being thrown at moving vehicles or sharp welded metal items being placed on 1-70 have been reported within the past three years. Brkfgt 14 Class 15 Comic 14 Abby , 7 Editorial 4 Oblt$ 3 Sports 10 TVt 8

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