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News Briefs: Man hit by truck remains hospitalized

| Monday, July 29, 2002, 12:00 p.m.

A man remained hospitalized in critical condition Sunday of injuries suffered when he was hit by a pickup truck as he attempted to cross the street in Banksville, city police said.

Paul Huber, 84, of Dormont, was being treated in Mercy Hospital, Uptown, for injuries suffered at 12:37 p.m. near the intersection of Wenzell and West Liberty avenues, police said.

Police said they must finish their investigation before determining if charges will be filed against the truck driver, H. D. Hardy, 21, of Grandview Avenue, Mt. Washington.

Police investigating death of area man

Allegheny County and Carnegie police continued Sunday to investigate the death of a man whose body was found at the bottom of some steps at his home Friday, officials said.

James Goldbach, 36, of Carnegie died of head injuries at 1:36 a.m. Saturday at Mercy Hospital, Uptown, a spokesperson for the Allegheny County Coroner's Office said.

Investigators are trying to determine how and when Goldbach was injured.

Officials seek state funds for facilities

Erie County officials want $1 million from the state to help build a new work release facility and to create government-mandated solitary confinement cells at the county jail.

A work release facility would help relieve prison overcrowding and free space in the county courthouse, where the current work-release center is, said Rick Schenker, county executive.

"Every section of the courthouse — the judges, the district attorney, county council, and other elected officials — all agree this is the right thing to do," Schenker said. "A standard work-release center is going to relieve a lot of the overcrowding in the prison and in the courthouse."

The county agreed to build the solitary confinement cells in July 2000 to settle a federal lawsuit by inmates who complained the prison was improperly using restraint chairs to punish inmates.

Police professionalism focus of task force

A task force says there should be a policy on tattoos for Erie's city police force.

Some tattoos could be offensive and detract from professionalism, said Public Safety Director Joseph Weindorf, a member of a task force which recommended ways to increase professionalism.

"Professionalism deals not only with appearance, but with communication skills and competency," Weindorf said. "If the public is dealing with an officer who projects an image of professionalism, that image will be the first impression. If an officer is in good shape, that's a good image of a police officer who is competent in his job."

Erie motorcycle officer Tom Pietras, who has a bald eagle and the Harley-Davidson wheel tattooed on his arms, said they are signs of pride.

But the department has gotten some complaints about tattoos, Weindorf said.

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