TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

Belle Vernon woman visits ship like lander she helped build as WWII welder

By Tony Raap
Helen Filak ran her fingers along an inside wall of LST 325, the only restored World War II-era landing ship tank still operational, which is ...

Toprani out to stay on Ringgold board

By Chris Buckley 12:10 a.m.
Although the November ballot will not include a GOP candidate for a vacant Ringgold School Board seat, a Republican will seek the post. Steve Toprani told ...

Belle Vernon Area turf ready to go

By Chris Buckley
In the hot, late-summer sun, crews worked Thursday to handle final details on the turf at James Weir Stadium. Friday is opening night for the newly-renovated ...

North Charleroi man’s child sex case continued

By Chris Buckley
A judge issued a continuance Thursday in the case of a North Charleroi man accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl numerous times over a six-month period. Washington County Assistant District Attorney Traci MacDonald said the continuance was requested by the ...

Donora handbag dispute sparks fight

By Stacy Wolford
A confrontation between two women over a lost handbag sparked a large fight Tuesday at a Donora public housing complex. Donora police were called to 146 ...

No quorum in Rostraver

By The Valley Independent
The Rostraver board of commissioners will meet Sept. 16 after not having enough members present for a quorum Wednesday. Commissioners Gary Beck and Ray Iacoboni were present. Commissioners Pat Egros, Brian Sokol and Gary Litvany were not in attendance. The board will ...

Bentleyville man accused in stabbing

By The Valley Independent
A Bentleyville man is in jail after police said he threatened two men with a knife before stabbing one of them in the hand Monday ...

Fayette man charged in child sex case

By Stacy Wolford
A Vanderbilt man who pleaded guilty last year in a Westmoreland County child indecent exposure case is now accused of assaulting a young girl in Fallowfield. Jason Wesley Colbert, 36, of Flatwoods Road allegedly threatened to harm the girl’s family if ...

History abounds at site of Maple Creek Distributing

By Ron Paglia
At first glance, the large building that houses Maple Creek Distributing in Charleroi looks like many other business sites. But the appearance of the 20,000-square-foot structure ...

Alleged Mon Valley heroin trafficker arrested

By Stacy Wolford
A Crawford County woman who police consider a source of heroin trafficking in the Mon Valley is accused of biting a Monessen police officer Tuesday ...

New contract for Monessen teachers

By Rick Bruni Jr.
A throng of Monessen teachers gathered Tuesday evening outside the elementary center — as they have before previous school board gatherings. This time, the crowd was all smiles and applauding en masse. Monessen Education Association President Nicole Popelas had just announced the ...

New Mon Valley Regional Chamber committee is inviting young professionals to join

By Chris Buckley
The young professionals of today are the leaders of tomorrow, said Ryan Galiotto. With that goal in mind, the Young Professionals of the Mon Valley is ...

Rostraver man pleads guilty in 2012 deadly wreck on I-70

By Rich Cholodofsky
A Rostraver man pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing an elderly woman and her nephew in a car crash more than three years ago on Interstate 70. Police said Gary King, 41, was driving toward his home with his 2-year-old son on ...

Retired Monessen mail carrier, veteran, 97, still loves to travel the world

By Chris Buckley
Scipio White has done a lot of traveling in his life, first to the South Pacific to fight for his country, and for nearly 40 ...

Committee planning BVA anniversary celebration

By For The Valley Independent
A half-century has passed since a years-long process concluded to merge the one-time Rostraver School District and Bellmarette Joint School District into a single entity ...

Two Cal U students charged in altercation

By Chris Buckley
Two California University of Pennsylvania students were charged following a fight at a borough apartment early Sunday. Deonte Dupree Smith, 22, of Aliquippa was charged with terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, police reported. Zachery Hooks, 22, of Freedom was charged ...

Cops: Charleroi man found dead in Carroll bathroom

By Chris Buckley
A Charleroi man found dead in his friend’s bathroom Friday had two bundles of suspected heroin in his pants pocket, police said. But Carroll police are still uncertain how Craig Alan Carlson Jr., 33, of Crest Avenue, died. A spokeswoman in the ...

Belle Vernon Reality Tour offers close look at ‘nightmare’ of drug abuse

By Chris Buckley
The enormity of the drug epidemic hit home for Celeste Trilli Palamara when her son came to her with a plea. “He came to me when he was in trouble,” Trilli Palamara said. “He said, ‘Mom, I need help.’ “He’s been in ...

Brownsville native draws from life experience in series of books

By Franklin Lacava
Although Richard Wells has made Michigan his home for more than 60 years, the Brownsville native still feels the tug of the Mon Valley town ...

St. Vincent de Paul store in Monessen still growing

By Emma Jene Lelik
Well into its 16th year of operation, the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Monessen continues to grow. Election of officers of the governing body, St. Vincent de Paul Mon Valley Council, this month resulted in Kathy Steffey being elected ...

Cops nab 4 in Monessen drug hangout

By Stacy Wolford
Four Mon Valley residents were arrested at a Monessen house police described as a place drug users go to get high. The Monessen police investigation also ...

Former Charleroi Area teacher who stole from union sentenced

By Chris Buckley
A former Charleroi Area teachers’ union officer who stole $65,000 from the organization avoided jail when she was sentenced. Rae Dawn Grillo, 55, of Fallowfield, pleaded guilty Thursday in Washington County Court to theft by unlawful taking. Common Pleas Judge John ...

Alleged Donora Towers burglar jailed

By Rick Bruni Jr.
A homeless man accused of illegally entering the Donora Towers several times is in jail. Donora police also allege Joseph J. Zellie, 54, exposed himself to ...

‘Color Run’ planned for Mon Valley

By For The Valley Independent
A “Color Run” along the lines of the event growing in worldwide popularity will be held in the Mon Valley for the first time in October. Participants in the inaugural fundraiser being organized by students, staff and parents at Belle Vernon ...

Mother, son share musical talent with Elizabeth Forward band students

By Chris Buckley
Lisa Spang’s musical education started early. “When I was 5, my mom started to teach me the piano,” Spang said of her mother, Elise Silko, who ...

Police investigating Monessen fight

By The Valley Independent
A Monessen man told police he was pepper-sprayed, punched and struck by a stun gun during a large fight in front of a city residence. As city police arrived to the 300 block of Short Street about 5:30 p.m. Monday, a ...

Traffic stop in Monessen yields drug charges

By Stacy Wolford
A Charleroi woman is accused of stashing two bundles of suspected heroin in her bra during a traffic stop in Monessen. Kali Rubino, 25, of Meadow Avenue, and Louis G. Vasquez of Monessen, the alleged driver, were arrested on drug charges ...

Namath performed in contest at, not against, Monessen

By Ron Paglia
Leave it to the inquisitive members of the Breakfast Club at McDonald’s in Rostraver to come up with another debate about sports in this mid-Monongahela Valley. “Didn’t Joe Namath play baseball against a team from Monessen sometime in the ...

Death penalty considered for Rostraver man accused in bludgeoning death of sister’s boyfriend

By Rich Cholodofsky
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said Tuesday he will soon decide whether to seek the death penalty against a Rostraver man accused of bludgeoning ...

Belle Vernon Area thaw began at meeting

By Chris Buckley
In a packed high school auditorium, shortly before the start of Monday’s Belle Vernon Area School Board meeting, district teachers chanted, “What do we want? A contract. When do we want it? Now.” From across the room, an unidentified man replied, ...

North Belle Vernon council settles dispute with borough couple

By Rick Bruni Jr.
North Belle Vernon council approved payment Tuesday for a plethora of street projects while settling a potentially messy dispute with a borough couple. At the request of council President Dennis Simboli, council approved a $1,600 payment to Rich and Heather Fazio ...

CNG refueling site opens in Bentleyville

By Chris Buckley
At the site of the former RC Cola factory in Bentleyville, trucks refuel with compressed natural gas. The refueling site – named Energy From US or ...

Belle Vernon Area, teachers reach deal early Tuesday, avoid strike

By Chris Buckley
The Belle Vernon Area School District and the teachers’ union reached a tentative agreement Tuesday morning, averting a strike. Board president Aaron Bialon announced just after ...

Monessen agrees to sale of 2 buildings

By Rick Bruni Jr.
Two local developers Monday thought they made Monessen Council an offer it couldn’t refuse: a free building. And after two tie votes, an outburst by nearly 100 residents in attendance and closed-door meeting, council unanimously accepted a $265,000 bid for ...

Heroin suspected in overdose fatality of Fallowfield man, 21

By Rick Bruni Jr.
For a second straight week, a suspected heroin overdose claimed the life of a Mid-Mon Valley resident, this time a 21-year-old Fallowfield man. It is unclear if the fatality was linked to a batch of potent heroin distributed this month in ...

Ellsworth Marine veteran recalls Battle of Iwo Jima

By Chris Buckley
Joe Ross recently visited Parris Island, S.C., for the first time in 71 years since completing boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. The ...

BVA strike still set for Tuesday

By Chris Buckley
Belle Vernon Area’s teacher contract impasse was headed to fact-finding when the union suddenly pulled out of the agreement and decided to strike, BVA superintendent Dr. John Wilkinson said Sunday. During a bargaining session on Wednesday, Wilkinson said, teacher union …

Assistant band director drums up support to save Monessen building

By Morgan Cushey
The historic building known as 500 Donner Ave. in downtown Monessen has sat vacant for more than 20 years and is at risk for demolition. ...

Eagle Scout hopeful tackles grave project at Belle Vernon Cemetery

By Joe Napsha
Many of the unmarked graves of babies and young children buried in the “Angels Row” section of the Belle Vernon Cemetery now have markers, thanks ...