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Briefs: Dallas pastor with Pitt degree to lead seminary

| Friday, July 22, 2005

The Rev. William J. Carl III, pastor of the 1,700-member First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, has been named the next president of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in East Liberty.

The Presbyterian seminary's board of directors announced the appointment Thursday. Carl will succeed the Rev. Carnegie Samuel Calian, who will retire in January after 25 years as seminary president.

Carl, 56, was chosen from a field of more than 100 candidates. He has been pastor of the Texas church since 1983. He received his doctorate in rhetoric and communication from the University of Pittsburgh in 1977.

Carl will become president-elect of the seminary Oct. 1 and assume full duties as president Feb. 1.

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, founded in 1794, has about 380 students annually in ministry and lay-leadership programs.

Port Authority remaining on 'high' alert

The Port Authority of Allegheny County remained on "high" alert Thursday after the attempted bombings in London's transit system.

Small explosions were reported in London subway stations and on a bus, but they were not nearly as devastating as the July 7 bombings that killed 56 people.

The Port Authority and other U.S. transit systems were bumped to a "high" threat level by the federal government after the bombings more than three weeks ago. Agency officials would not say what new security measures were put in place as a result.

Nearly 230,000 riders use Port Authority buses and light rail daily in Allegheny County and portions of neighboring counties.

The Port Authority employs a 68-member police force that includes 45 officers.

Downtown
Greyhound terminal moving to Second Avenue

The Greyhound bus station will move temporarily to a city-owned parking lot along Second Avenue, starting at 3 a.m. Wednesday.

The station, now located at Liberty Avenue and 11th Street, soon will be razed to make way for construction of the Grant Street Transportation Center. The 1,000-space parking garage will house a new bus station and will sit atop a new Port Authority of Allegheny County subway station. Demolition of the present station is scheduled for September.

The Grant Street Transportation Center is projected to cost $35 million. The authority plans to open demolition and construction bids Aug. 11.

Greyhound plans to post signs notifying customers of the move.

Project to close some lanes on Bigelow

The outbound lanes of Bigelow Boulevard will be shut down for the weekend.

The closing is planned from 7 p.m. today to 6 a.m. Monday from Downtown to near the Heron Avenue intersection.

One inbound lane also will be closed, as well as access ramps to Bigelow Boulevard from the Veterans Bridge and near Mellon Arena, Uptown.

A PennDOT contractor, Lindy Paving, is replacing the driving surface on Bigelow Boulevard.

Hill District
Police have two suspects in separate bank robberies

A man wanted in two city bank robberies turned himself in, police said.

James Folks, 31, called officers and was arrested at his mother's house in the Hill District, police said.

Police say Folks, who is homeless, robbed the National City Bank on Smithfield Street, Downtown, on July 11 and Northwest Savings Bank, at 300 Sixth Ave., on July 5. He is being held at Allegheny County Jail on two counts of robbery.

Police also arrested John Lynch, 45, of North Braddock, in his cell Wednesday at the county jail in the July 11 robbery of Parkvale Savings Bank at 4300 Murray Ave., Greenfield. Lynch was being held for an unrelated robbery when he was arrested.

Carrick Pet shop owner faces cruelty charges

Ten citations for animal cruelty were filed Thursday against John Regelman, owner of the Cobra's Den, along Brownsville Road in Carrick, by the Animal Friends humane investigations department.

Neighbors called humane officers Tuesday after seeing dead or dying animals inside cages at the shop. Authorities found three dead rats, a dead snake and a dead guinea pig. Two turtles, two guinea pigs and two snakes survived.

Regelman, 49, said he hired a friend several weeks ago to take over most of the care of the animals.

"I was feeding them and giving them water every day, but I made a major error by leaving them in the window, and the heat got to them," Regelman said.

Beltzhoover
Police say pedestrian shot multiple times

A North Side man was taken to Mercy Hospital, Uptown, after he was shot in his back and an arm while walking on a Beltzhoover street early Thursday by a gunman, police said.

The 21-year-old victim told police he was walking on Gearing Street about 1:20 a.m. when he heard gunshots. Several shell casings were found in the 600 block of Gearing, along with a silver pistol with a wooden grip and a cell phone, police said.

North Shore
Work begins on garage for parking, light rail

City officials marked the start of construction Thursday of a 1,321-space parking garage along Reedsdale Street between the North Shore sports facilities.

The 10-story garage -- projected to cost $29 million -- will have 5,000 square feet of ground-level retail space and house a new light-rail station.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County plans to start construction in the fall of a $393 million extension of its light-rail system to the North Shore and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.

The garage design allows for an additional 500 parking spaces to be on top of the light-rail station after it is built. Work is scheduled to be completed next June.

East
Braddock
Crime Stoppers seeks clues in man's death

Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible in the July 1 death of Jeffrey Williams in Braddock.

Williams, 24, was found in a patch of weeds in a vacant lot on Center Street. Williams was from Braddock.

Police responded to 911 calls of shots fired on the 500 block of Center Street at 1 a.m. but did not discover Williams' corpse until the afternoon. Investigators believe there is more than one suspect.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 412-255-8477. Callers can remain anonymous.

West
Moon
Officials to get 6,000 letters pleading for bases

More than 6,000 letters supporting three local military facilities targeted for closure will be delivered today to officials in Washington. Pit-BRAC, a group fighting to keep the facilities open, organized the campaign.

The Pentagon proposed closing the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon and the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility in Collier and moving the 99th Regional Readiness Command from Moon to Fort Dix, N.J. The changes would cost the area an estimated 1,400 jobs.

The plan for the 911th consists of moving its eight C-130H cargo planes to Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina. Pit-BRAC said it will outline an alternative for deploying C-130s that would keep the 911th open.

Mt. Lebanon
Hearing reset for man in sexual-assault case

A worker at a behavioral-treatment center in Mt. Lebanon accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl while she was a resident there had his preliminary hearing rescheduled from Thursday until Aug. 18 before District Judge Blaise Larotonda.

Carl Kondrach, 33, of Wheeling Island, W.Va., was released from Allegheny County Jail after undergoing a behavioral evaluation and posting $50,000 bond Monday. He is charged with five counts each of institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors, as well as single counts of endangering the welfare of children and unlawful contact with a minor.

Kondrach is accused of having sex with the girl between January and May at the Bradley Center off McNeilly Road. He since has been fired from the job. Kondrach's attorney, Warner Mariani, has accused the girl of fabricating the charges.

East
Rankin
Suspect sought in chase, assault turns himself in

A man who police said threatened to kill his girlfriend during a domestic dispute and then nearly ran down a Rankin police officer Saturday night surrendered to authorities Wednesday night.

Mark Clements, 29, of Highland Park, turned himself in at the Allegheny County Jail. He was wanted on charges of aggravated assault, making terroristic threats, endangering the welfare of a child, and fleeing and eluding police, Allegheny County police said.

Police said Clements, 29, threatened to kill his girlfriend and then led police on a high-speed chase with his young son in the car. The chase ended in Larimer. Clements released his son after the chase before escaping on foot.

Mon Valley
Clairton
Jury convicts man in bank fraud, identity theft

A federal jury Thursday convicted Jide Komolafe, 30, of the 400 block of Glenn Street in Clairton, of bank fraud and identity theft.

Komolafe was accused of opening bank accounts in the names of people without authorization, making fraudulent deposits in those accounts and using the money to make purchases.

At the time of his arrest Aug. 2 last year, Komolafe had the names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of about 68 people.

Chief U.S. District Justice Donetta Ambrose scheduled sentencing for Sept. 18. Komolafe faces a maximum of 82 years in prison and a fine of $2.75 million.

North
O'Hara
EX-CFO gets prison term for embezzling $1M

Senior U. S. District Judge William Standish on Thursday sentenced to two years in prison a man who pleaded guilty to embezzling $1 million from the O'Hara company where he was chief financial officer. He also must serve three years of supervised release after his prison term.

Louis Eperthener, 58, formerly of McCandless, but now living in Lake Worth, Fla., embezzled money from American Thermoplastic Co., a manufacturer of school supplies and ring binders, during his tenure there from 1991 until August 2001. Court records show that Eperthener lost the money that he embezzled in the stock market.

Allegheny County
Police sweep nets 15 for skipping court dates

Police and sheriff's deputies rounded up 15 men in a sweep in four Allegheny County towns Thursday morning.

The men -- from Wilmerding, Wall, North Versailles and East McKeesport -- were arrested primarily because they skipped Family Court hearings in spouse- and child-support cases, said sheriff's Detective Vince Longo.

Police conducted the sweep after court records pointed to a large number of deadbeat dads in those areas, Longo said.

"We put our heads together and lined up the addresses," he said.

Some of those arrested were taken to the Allegheny County Jail; others were taken to Family Court, said Longo.

Region
Beaver County
Woman sentenced for hindering apprehension

A New Sewickley woman whose husband was fatally shot by one of the couple's daughters was sentenced Wednesday to serve 2 to 23 1/2 months at Beaver County Jail for trying to cover up the crime.

Elsie Kost, 60, pleaded guilty to hindering apprehension before Beaver County Common Pleas Judge John P. Dohanich.

Edward M. Kost, 60, was fatally shot and his body was dumped in a cistern on the family's Cycle Road farm last Nov. 16. Elsie Kost confessed to the killing five days later, but a further investigation led to homicide charges being filed in March against Melissa Ann Kost, 26, of Rochester, who is awaiting trial.

Pool where boy drowned passes state inspection

The pool in which a 10-year-old Penn Hills boy drowned Monday passed its annual inspection Wednesday by the state Department of Health.

The visit by state inspectors to Pine Valley Bible Camp in North Sewickley, Beaver County, "coincided completely and accidentally" with the death of Frank Edison, of Relative Drive. His body was found floating at the bottom of the pool Monday evening.

"The pool was not back in operation at the time of inspection, but we didn't see any problems, so whenever they wanted to reopen it, they could," health department spokesman Richard McGarvey said.

Police are awaiting the results of an internal investigation by camp officials.

Overpass work to close Parkway lanes 2 nights

PennDOT will shut down the Parkway West in both directions tonight and Saturday evening to accommodate construction of a new overpass for Interstate 79.

All lanes will close from just before midnight Friday until 9 a.m. Saturday and from 1 to 9 a.m. Sunday. The closings will occur between the Campbell's Run Road ramp and the junction with I-79.

Before all lanes are shut off, PennDOT will close one lane in each direction, starting at 11 p.m. today and at midnight Saturday.

PennDOT's contractor, Trumbull Corp., plans to place new beams for the I-79 bridge that crosses over the parkway.

Outbound parkway motorists will be able to enter I-79.

The inbound detour will take motorists south on I-79 to Carnegie and Noblestown Road. The outbound detour will take motorists north on I-79 to the Crafton exit and onto Route 60.

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