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Briefs: Police officer taken to hospital after crash

| Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Pittsburgh police officer was hospitalized after being involved in car accident early Friday.

The officer, whose name was not released, was traveling near North Dallas and Penn avenues in Point Breeze just after midnight when his cruiser collided with another car, police said.

The officer had chest pains and was taken to UPMC Presbyterian hospital, Oakland, for observation. No additional information on his condition was available. No one else was injured.

East Oakmont New police chief to take command

David DiSanti will take office June 21 as the Oakmont Police Department's new chief.

Formerly a sergeant with the McCandless Police Department and a patrolman in Fawn, DiSanti brings 27 years of experience to the job, Oakmont Manager Roger Dunlap said.

He said DiSanti was chosen over other candidates, including interim chief Dave Brankley, in part because of his experience in managing a larger department and his work as an undercover narcotics officer. DiSanti is a graduate of the FBI National Academy at the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va.

DiSanti said he looks forward to being an accessible police chief. "I'm not a guy who sits behind a desk looking at a computer," he said.

Allegheny Valley West Deer DUI defendant waives preliminary hearing

A Westmoreland County man accused of driving drunk and causing a one-vehicle crash that killed a passenger waived a preliminary hearing Friday and now faces trial in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

Charges against Matthew J. Enciso, 24, of Upper Burrell, include homicide by vehicle, homicide by vehicle while driving drunk, involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault while driving drunk.

Enciso was driving a Jeep on April 20 on Bakerstown-Culmerville Road in West Deer that slammed into a tree and a utility pole. The crash killed Anthony B. DeSanto, 29, of New Kensington, Westmoreland County. Enciso left court without commenting yesterday. "This is a tragic situation," said his lawyer, Joseph Alexander Paletta. "The DeSanto family has our deepest sympathies."

Saxonburg Boulevard to be resurfaced

PennDOT plans to start resurfacing work on Saxonburg Boulevard in West Deer on Monday and cautions that motorists should expect delays as one lane will remain closed through October.

Flaggers will direct drivers through the work zone between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Work is planned on weekdays and Saturdays. PennDOT plans to resurface 2.6 miles between Bairdford Road and Bakerstown/Culmerville Road.

East Monroeville Police probe projectile that shattered window

Monroeville police are investigating an incident in which a window of a woman's sport utility vehicle was shattered by some kind of projectile as she was leaving the Monroeville Mall.

Sandy Dinzeo, 43, of Murrysville, said the incident occurred about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday as she drove behind the mall on the road near Macy's. Dinzeo said she thinks a pellet or bullet came from a hillside above the road. A back passenger-side window of her Ford Expedition was shattered. Neither she nor her 14-year-old daughter, who was in the front passenger seat, were injured.

Monroeville police said they are trying to determine if the projectile came from a gun.

North Jackson Man killed in crash on Interstate 79

A man from Southeastern Pennsylvania was killed early Friday on Interstate 79 in Jackson when his truck hit a bridge abutment, state police said.

William L. McCauley, 64, of Schwenksville, Montgomery County, was traveling south at 1:19 a.m. when he lost control of his vehicle. The truck went over a guide rail, continued traveling in the center median and then struck a bridge abutment, state police said.

McCauley was pronounced dead at the scene. McCauley died of blunt force trauma, and the cause of death was ruled accidental, according to the Butler County Coroner's Office.

He was not wearing a seat belt, state police said.

The accident, which remains under investigation, occurred at mile marker 86.

McCandless North Park Lake funding passes U.S. House

Funding for $350,000 worth of revitalization work at North Park Lake is included in a bill that has passed in the U.S. House, according to the office of state Rep. Melissa Hart, R-Bradford Woods.

The bill is under consideration in the Senate.

The funding, which will be allocated to the Army Corps of Engineers, would be used to dredge the lake to restore its shrinking natural habitat for wildlife.

When the lake first was constructed in 1935, it was 75 acres in size, but water runoff and sediment deposits have reduced the lake to 63 acres and decreased its depth from 22 feet to 11 feet, according to a study by the Corps.

South Collier PennDOT to close exit ramps for paving work

PennDOT plans to shut down the Kirwan Heights ramps at Exit 55 that access Interstate 79 nightly for one week starting Monday for roadwork.

The ramps would close at 8 each night and reopen by 5 a.m. the next day. Work is scheduled to occur weeknights, ending the morning of June 16. Workers plan to pave the interstate in the area of the ramps. Detours will be posted.

The work is part of the $93 million project reconstructing I-79 between Exit 54 and Exit 60.

Lane to close while slide is repaired

PennDOT plans to begin repairing a slide along Forsythe Road in Collier on Monday.

One lane will remain closed during the work, and flaggers will direct drivers through the area, about 500 feet north of Thoms Run Road. The lane will be closed weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Mon Valley Forward Bunola River Road lane closing for resurfacing

PennDOT plans to shut down a lane of Bunola River Road in Forward starting Monday through late July during a resurfacing project.

Flaggers will control traffic through the work area from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The resurfacing is planned between Drake Road and Third Street.

Allegheny Valley East Deer Work planned on Days Run Road bridges

PennDOT plans to replace major pieces of two bridges starting Monday and detour motorists around Days Run Road in East Deer through late July.

The agency plans to replace the superstructures of the two bridges along Days Run Road starting at 7 a.m. The superstructure is the main portion of the bridge that sits atop the piers and supports the driving surface.

The bridges cross Days Run Creek between Dellenbaugh Road and Bailies Run Road. A detour will be posted. The 52-year-old bridges are deteriorating.

Region Beaver County Football players catch robbery suspect

Three Geneva College football players captured a bank robbery suspect in Beaver Falls on Friday, police said.

The holdup occurred at 12:15 p.m. at the National City Bank on Ninth Avenue when a man vaulted the counter with a knife and demanded money. He ran out of the bank, and the athletes chased him.

About a block away, they caught David A. Staats Jr., 21, of Freedom, Beaver County, who was arrested on charges of robbery, theft and receiving stolen property, police said.

McKean County Police probe apparent murder-suicide

A Bradford couple was found dead a few hours before the man was to be sentenced for insurance fraud, and police said they might have agreed to die together.

The bodies of Lauren Dart, 71, and his wife, Sala Dart, 62, were found Thursday morning after someone saw a note on their door and reported it to authorities. Police would not say what the note said. Each died of a gunshot wound to the chest, police said.

It still was unclear who fired the shots, although "a preliminary determination has been made that both parties cooperated in ending their lives," Foster Township police officer Tom Munn said Friday.

Lauren Dart pleaded guilty in March to two counts each of insurance fraud and theft by deception. He was accused of filing more than $100,000 worth of phony medical insurance claims.

Crawford County Physician to face trial in alleged patient assaults

A Titusville doctor accused of sexually assaulting five female patients was ordered this week to stand trial on charges of indecent assault and harassment by physical contact.

Dr. Khanh Nguyen Vu was suspended by Titusville Area Hospital in April after officials learned of a complaint against him.

The women testified at his preliminary hearing that Vu touched them inappropriately.

One woman, who said she had gone to Vu because of a sinus headache, said that Vu began touching her after noticing her tattoo. She said she asked him to stop, but he continued. As she was leaving, she said, Vu asked her if she wanted a pelvic exam.

Blair County Hospital to cut 16 positions, eliminate vacant jobs

The Altoona Regional Health System plans to cut the equivalent of 85 full-time jobs to stem losses that could hurt the hospital system's ability to borrow money for capital improvements.

The jobs of 16 workers, nine of them full-time, will be eliminated. The hospital will cut the others by eliminating vacant positions, cutting clinical overtime and cutting hours for part-time and casual workers. The system has the equivalent of more than 2,300 full-time employees, hospital spokesman Ron McConnell said. Sue Croft, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, declined comment.

The health system has been losing money this year and needs a profit of at least 2 percent to maintain the bond rating necessary to borrow money for long-term plans, McConnell said.

State Turnpike group seeks firms to add to signs

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is seeking companies wishing to add their names to roadside signs, maintenance vehicles and tollbooth windows in a new corporate sponsorship program called Mileposts Partners.

Commission CEO Joe Brimmeier said the revenues would allow the agency to continue to improve and expand services, such as call boxes.

A meeting is scheduled June 21 at the commission's headquarters in Middletown, Dauphin County, and proposals are due July 28.

Western Pennsylvania Bill contains $16M for flood protection/span>

Nearly $16 million for eight flood-protection projects is included in an appropriations bill the House and Senate Conference Committee has approved, U.S. senators Rick Santorum, R-Penn Hills, and Arlen Specter, R-Philadelphia, announced Friday.

The funding is contained in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill conference report that is expected to pass the House and Senate early next week.

The communities that would receive funding include Millvale, Tarentum and Turtle Creek in Allegheny County; Burgettstown in Washington County, Meyersdale in Somerset County; and Brookville and Sykesville in Jefferson County. The James G. Fulton Project on the Chartiers Creek in Allegheny County also would receive funding.

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