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Pittsburgh and regional briefs

| Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wilkinsburg Taliban sympathizer enters weapons plea

A Wilkinsburg man identified by the FBI as a Taliban sympathizer pleaded not guilty to a weapons charge on Wednesday in federal court.

Khalifa Ali Al-Akili, 34, is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm based on a seven-second video showing him at a gun range holding a .22 caliber rifle, according to court records. Al-Akili was formerly known as James Marvin Thomas Jr., and he pleaded guilty in 2001 to two felony drug charges in Westmoreland County, court records state.

Al-Akili was being held without bail based on several factors, including his criminal history and evidence that he has committed crimes while out on bond and has fled to avoid prosecution, according to court records.

Older couple killed in Robinson crash identified

A married couple from Robinson who died when their car slammed into a tree has been identified, a spokesman for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said on Wednesday.

Lois Napoli, 78, was driving along Steubenville Pike near the intersection with East Windhaven Road in Robinson when her vehicle left the roadway about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday and hit the tree, police said. She died at the scene.

Her husband, Dominic Napoli, 86, was taken to Ohio Valley General Hospital and died a short time later, the medical examiner said.

It appears Lois Napoli suffered a medical incident just before the crash, Robinson police Chief Dale Vietmeier said.

Police manhunt shuts down Allegheny College campus

A police search for an armed man in Meadville led to an overnight lockdown at Allegheny College.

College spokeswoman Kathy Roos said the Crawford County school went on lockdown about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday as police chased Keith Green near campus. The school canceled classes and other activities.

Green is wanted for a shooting on Tuesday in Ashtabula County, Ohio.

An emergency notification asked students and staff to remain indoors. School officials advised students to return to their dormitories in groups and encouraged those who live off-campus to stay with friends in residence halls.

A Meadville police officer said the department was attempting to serve a warrant for Green when he fled on foot.

Roos anticipates the college will return to its normal schedule today.

Warrant sought for East Deer hit-and-run suspect

A Wilmerding motorist accused of causing serious injuries to a pedestrian in a hit-and-run crash in East Deer was ordered on Wednesday to stand trial on charges of aggravated assault with a vehicle, driving under the influence and alcohol and related crimes.

District Judge Carolyn Bengel also asked an Allegheny County judge to issue an arrest warrant for the motorist, Freddie Knight, 39, who failed to appear for the preliminary hearing.

Knight is accused of driving the sports car that hit Tammy Roberts, 47, of East Deer, and her boyfriend, Pete Gerhart, on Feb. 3 as they stood on a sidewalk outside Creighton Hotel along Freeport Road.

One of Roberts' legs was amputated.

Lien put against Korbe's Indiana Township house

Federal prosecutors filed a lien on Wednesday against the Indiana Township home of the woman who killed FBI Special Agent Samuel Hicks.

Christina Korbe, 42, is serving 15 years and 10 months in prison for fatally shooting Hicks, 33, as he led other officers into her home in November 2008 to arrest her husband on drug charges. U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry ordered Korbe to pay $2.8 million in restitution to Hicks' family.

Filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, the lien is on the property along Woods Run Road where she lived.

McVerry also ruled that at least half of any salary Korbe earns in prison and at least 20 percent of any income she receives after her release will go to Hicks' family until the amount is paid off.

Pittsburgh Public Schools Board to vote on age to begin school|

The school board plans to vote next Wednesday on a proposal to require children to start school as 6-year-olds.

Under state law, children are required to go to school between ages 8 and 17, but districts have the authority to set an earlier starting age, said Ira Weiss, solicitor for Pittsburgh Public Schools.

"We believe the additional time will benefit students," he said.

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