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North Hills

Ross man to mark stroke anniversary with trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro

Tony LaRussa
| Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
David Edgerton, left, will accompany Bill Zlatos of Ross when he marks the fifth anniversary of suffering a stroke by scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania this summer.
David Edgerton, left, will accompany Bill Zlatos of Ross when he marks the fifth anniversary of suffering a stroke by scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania this summer.
Wexford resident Jim Hollock's true crime saga, Born to Lose, is on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's summer reading list.
Wexford resident Jim Hollock's true crime saga, Born to Lose, is on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's summer reading list.

Bill Zlatos of Ross is determined not to let a stroke dash his desire for adventure and accomplishment.

So the retired Tribune-Review newspaper reporter will commemorate the fifth anniversary of his stroke by attempting a life-long dream climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

“I call this my ‘I'm not dead yet tour,'” Zlatos said. “Just because a stroke or other illness knocks you down doesn't mean you should let it defeat you.”

Zlatos will scale the 19,341 foot dormant volcano — the highest mountain in Africa — with David Edgerton, an employee of Erie Insurance, which is a sponsor of the American Heart and Stroke Association.

Zlatos and Edgerton are climbing the mountain to raise funds for the non-profit organization.

“Bill has defied the odds and dedicated countless hours in preparation for this heartfelt and meaningful journey,” Edgerton said. “We will hike more than 43 miles over seven days in honor of the American Heart and Stroke Association cause.”

Zlatos also hopes his trek will promote the North Boroughs YMCA where he trains for the climb.

To make a donation, see: 2heartwalk.org, click on Heart Walk and enter “David Edgerton” in the search field for a walker, team or event.

All proceeds will be donated to the non-profit organization.

Crime novel makes for killer summer reading

A 2011 true crime novel by a Wexford author who chronicled the nationwide manhunt for murderer Stanley Hoss is getting new life as part of the Carnegie Library's Summer Reading Program.

“Born To Lose: Stanley Hoss and the Crime Spree That Gripped a Nation” by Jim Hollock of Marshall Township chronicles how a small time criminal who was unknown beyond the police departments in the Pittsburgh area launched a crime spree that made him the target of an intensive nationwide manhunt in 1969.

“While Born To Lose is categorized as true crime, it could just as well be true human interest,” said Hollock, who spent a decade researching the book. “I think that's because of the people met on the pages — the chief villain and plenty other cutthroats, high politicians, our local cops, and so many victims that you come to know well.”

Dan Hensley, adult program coordinator of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, said the accolades Hollock's book has garnered and its continuing popularity makes it “one of the better tales of true crime written in quite a while.

“This powerful story is a national gold medal winner and regional best seller, making it an easy and unanimous choice by our staff,” Hensley said.

Famed Coroner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht praised Hollock's meticulous attention to detail.

“The amount of work that went into compiling this account of a criminal madman is staggering, yet reads like a fictional suspense thriller,” Wecht wrote. “Truly, a remarkable piece of writing...and a riveting argument for the death penalty.”

The book is available at most local libraries and bookstores, as well as on Amazon.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368 or tlarussa@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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