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Man arraigned

| Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Fayette County man is in jail after being charged with robbing and sexually assaulting a disabled woman.

State police at Uniontown said Raymond Lucas Prinkey, 18, of 213 Harris Road, Normalville, was arraigned on charges of burglary, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and theft in connection with the assault on the victim, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. He was placed in the Fayette County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail and faces a preliminary hearing May 2 before District Judge Robert Breakiron, of Bullskin Township.

According to police, Prinkey entered the 66-year-old woman's Saltlick Township home on Sunday morning with a key he found and asked her for money and medications, specifically, Oxycontin. Prinkey then sexually assaulted her and blindfolded her while he searched the home for money, police said.

He fled with an undetermined amount of cash.

Mt. Pleasant

Residents sentenced for

bank fraud, identity theft

Two Westmoreland County residents have been sentenced in federal court in Pittsburgh on convictions of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

United States District Judge Thomas Hardiman imposed a sentence on Tony Leasure, 34, of 167 Maple St., Mt. Pleasant, of 38 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release. Tia Gondosh, 20, of 1515 Clearview Drive, Latrobe, was sentenced to eight months of home detention and five years of probation.

According to information presented to the court by Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway, Leasure and Gondosh obtained stolen checks and stolen bank statements that had been mailed to recipients but not received. Leasure and Gondosh went to numerous banks in the region and cashed and attempted to cash the stolen checks using the stolen bank statements as identification.


GOP spring dinner

set for Saturday

The Fayette County Republican Party will hold a spring dinner Saturday at Lakeside Party Center, Route 21, McClellandtown. Keynote speaker will be Lynn Swann. Reception, open bar and dinner will be at 4:30 p.m., and dinner and cash bar at 5:45 p.m. Cost is $50 for the reception, open bar and dinner and $30 for dinner and cash bar. Tickets are available at the Republican headquarters, 40 W. South St., Uniontown. For more information, call 724-437-5620.

Unity Township

Identification of

accident victims released

A couple killed in a single-vehicle accident that shut down a portion of Route 30 in Unity Township for three hours Sunday night have been identified.

State police at Greensburg said Vicki L. Sinemus, 40, of Latrobe, was behind the wheel of a 2006 Pontiac G-6 that was traveling westbound near Beatty Crossing Road when it went off the highway and hit a utility pole, a billboard and tree about 8:35 p.m.

She and her passenger, Michael Kolbosky, 38, of Hannastown, were pronounced dead at the scene by Westmoreland County Deputy Coroner Dennis Johns at 10:12 p.m.

Neither Sinemus or Kolbosky was wearing a seat belt, according to police. Johns listed their cause of death as blunt-force trauma to the head and torso.

Police said the accident downed electrical wires across both lanes of Route 30 and damaged four vehicles traveling east of Route 30. No other injuries were reported.

Toxicology test results will be available in several weeks.


Five Star Trail access

limited due to construction

Because of the reconstruction of the Depot Street Bridge in Youngwood, the Five Star Trail has been rerouted through the Depot Street parking lot. Trail users can still ride or walk through Youngwood between Buncher Park and Hillis Street. Mainline trail traffic has been detoured through the project via temporary fencing through the parking lot near the Youngwood Railroad Museum. However, the trail connection across the Depot Street Bridge to connect with the Westmoreland County Community College is closed and will remain closed until construction is completed in the fall.

Trail users can still park at WCCC and use the trail from Armbrust, through the college campus and toward Youngwood, but the connection to the remainder of the trail at Depot Street is suspended.

The trail access and parking lot at Depot Street, near the Railroad Museum, has been closed and will remain closed throughout the project. Trail parking is available on the north end of Buncher Park at Trolley Line Avenue, which also is known as Avenue A.


Summer food service

program starts June 19

The Connellsville Area School District is offering its summer food service program at no cost to the district or participants. All children ages 18 and younger are eligible for a free lunch regardless of family size or income. No registration is necessary. The program runs from June 19 through Aug. 11. The school district offers this program from six sites: Bullskin Elementary, Dunbar Borough Elementary, Dunbar Township Elementary, South Side Elementary, Springfield Elementary and Zachariah Connell Elementary schools. Meals will be served at all sites from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The following sites are closed to the program this year: Connellsville Community Center and Autistic Support.

For more information about the summer food service programs, call Gloria Clawson at 724-626-4019.


Measure limits

pickets at funerals

Legislation sponsored by state Sen. John Pippy (R-37) and state Sen. Bob Regola (R-39) to limit the scope of protests at funerals and memorial services has been approved by the state Senate.

Pippy and colleagues took action after news reports of protestors at military funerals in Pennsylvania and around the country. The pickets target grieving family members with vulgar language and other harassment to protest social and political issues.

Senate Bill 1150 is supported by a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both chambers of the General Assembly. A similar version was introduced by state Rep. Jennifer Mann (D-132) in the House of Representatives.

The bills would require protesters to remain 500 feet from any funeral, memorial service or memorial procession beginning one hour before and ending one hour after the event. Violators would be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor.

State Sen. Don White (R-41), who is chairman of the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said the measure would crack down on irresponsible behavior at memorial services.

Wisconsin, Indiana and South Dakota recently have enacted laws limiting protests at funerals, and at least 12 other states are considering similar legislation. The legislation is supported by the American Legion, the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police and the Pennsylvania War Veterans Council and other organizations.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate

Program applications available

Applications for the state's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for 2006 are available.

Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits people who are 65 or older, widows and widowers age 50 or older, and disabled people 18 or older. People who meet the age requirements and whose household income is less than $15,000 may receive a refund of up to $500 based on the amount of property tax or rent they paid during the previous year. Those who apply can deduct half of any Social Security -- including Medicare premiums -- or railroad retirement benefits from other income when determining eligibility.

Residents can receive a property tax/rent rebate only on a residence they occupied during the period for which a rebate is claimed.

If applicants own a residence, they must have paid their property taxes prior to filing for a rebate. Renters need to make certain their landlords paid property taxes on the rental property.

Residents can file a claim for a deceased individual. Their name should be entered as the "estate of." In addition to the other information on the application, a copy of Letters of Administration or the short certificate must be attached. The deceased individual must have been alive for the entire year.

Residents also must be able to verify that they paid property taxes or rent. Proof can include receipted tax bills for owners and rent certificates or rent receipts for renters.

If applicants are claiming a rebate because they are disabled, they need to submit proof that they are receiving disability benefits from a federal agency or program. If applicants are not covered by any disability program, they must submit a complete medical report from their family physician.

Applications must be filed by June 30.

More information is available at the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Web site:

Coal Center

IU board meeting

Thursday at Coal Center

The Intermediate Unit I board of directors will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the board room of the unit's central office, One Intermediate Unit Drive, Coal Center.

-- Staff reports

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