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Retail theft at Wal-Mart

| Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2005

Randy Dimpfl was under surveillance by Wal-Mart associates and Wal-Mart loss prevention. It was determined by Wal-Mart loss prevention that Dimpfl was concealing merchandise in an attempt to steal the items. Wal-Mart employees contacted state police to report a retail theft in progress.

Upon arrival by police, contact was made with Dimpfl. Dimpfl was arrested for criminal attempt to commit retail theft. Dimpfl has attempted to steal $4,414.96 worth of merchandise. Dimpfl was processed and arraigned before Magisterial District Justice Lawrence Blair Sr. Bail was set at $15,000 straight cash. Unable to post bail, Dimpfl was remanded to the Fayette County Prison.

After Dimpfl's first arrest, Wal-Mart video surveillance showed a second attempt within the archives. Dimpfl was arraigned before Blair and bail was set at $50,000 straight cash. Bail was not met and Dimpfl was re-committed to the Fayette County Prison.

Area blood drives planned

American Red Cross blood drives will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Holiday Inn, Uniontown, and from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Ohiopyle/Stewart Center.

Bullskin Township

Hearing continued

A man accused of allegedly firing a 12-gauge shotgun at a man in Bullskin Township on July 25 has had his preliminary hearing continued.

State police at Uniontown report that Larry Harshman Swink, 53, allegedly shot a slug at Eric Swink, 20, punched Jerry Swink, 51, in the nose and tackled and choked Karen Swink, no age provided. No addresses were provided for anyone involved.

Harshman Swink also tried to strike a trooper who responded to the scene, police reported. He was arraigned before Magisterial District Justice Robert Breakiron and lodged in the Fayette County Prison on $150,000 bond.

Charges against Harshman Swink included criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and resisting arrest.

He faces a preliminary hearing before Breakiron at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 23.

Smithfield

500 jobs coming to service center

State Rep. Larry Roberts joined Gov. Ed Rendell last week to present a check to NiSource Inc. for $5.5 million to consolidate its customer service operations center from multiple states to a location in Smithfield, Fayette County.

Roberts said NiSource Inc. is the nation's third-largest natural gas distribution company, and has established a 10-year agreement with IBM to operate its call distribution center. The call center is currently leasing a 30,000-square-foot facility from Fay-Penn Economic Development Council and may construct additional buildings.

"The Governor's Action Team has worked in conjunction with both companies to create this partnership," Roberts said. "I am pleased that NiSource recognized the benefits of locating in Pennsylvania, and in Fayette County.

"The company anticipates increasing jobs at the call center by 500 within five years. While 'outsourcing' usually has a negative connotation, in this case several hundred jobs are being outsourced to Fayette County."

The $5.5 million financial package is a combination of a $1.5 million Opportunity Grant, $500,000 in Job Training Assistance, $1.5 million in Job Creation Tax Credits and a $2 million Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loan.

The Governor's Action Team is the point of contact for businesses worldwide considering a move to Pennsylvania. Since 2003, GAT has worked to create or maintain more than 164,000 jobs in the commonwealth, Roberts added.

Roberts said he and state Sen. Richard Kasunic worked with Columbia Gas for several months to retain jobs. Roberts is pleased that they were successful in keeping current employees and adding more.

"All parties worked very hard to make this scenario possible, but it all comes down to the employees at the Fayette County call center, they made all the difference. They have been recognized and rewarded for their good work," Roberts said. "No one could have justified moving their jobs elsewhere."

-- Staff reports

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