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Teen tried to light shoes, flight crew says

| Sunday, Aug. 4, 2002

A 17-year-old boy and his father were being interviewed by the FBI late Saturday night at Pittsburgh International Airport after the youth allegedly tried to set his shoes on fire on a flight from Toronto, Canada, to Pittsburgh yesterday.

Allegheny County police Sgt. Robert Clark said a flight attendant noticed the smell of something burning on the flight, and found the youth flicking a lighter. The youth told the flight attendant he was trying to light his shoes, Clark said.

The youth and his father were detained at the airport by county police at the conclusion of the flight.

Overbrook

Dozens of Overbrook residents were without water service for several hours on Saturday.

Pennsylvania American Water Company crews worked to repair the broken 8-inch water line along Homehurst Avenue, which affected about two-dozen homes.

The break created a 4-foot crater-like hole in the road, located near Route 88 and the Baldwin Township border.

Cambria County

A 13-year-old who organized a team and raised $500 for an American Cancer Society benefit has found out she has cancer herself.

Amanda Zettle, of Johnstown, who recently finished putting together a relay team for the Relay for Life, during which people walk for 24-hours to raise money, was diagnosed with leukemia July 26 after she woke up with strange bruises.

Amanda, a student at St. Benedict School in Giestown, is scheduled to begin chemotherapy. Her treatment was pushed back after she experienced complications from two hours of surgery to place a catheter in her chest for the cancer treatments.

Her father said Amanda decided to take part in the fund-raiser because her two aunts died of cancer. Although she will be unable to take part in the relay, she hopes to cut off her hair and donate it to make wigs for other cancer patients.

Crawford County

A trio of zebra mussels have invaded French Creek in Cochranton, much to the dismay of wildlife experts.

Three adult zebra mussels were found in the stream during an endangered-species survey in preparation for construction of a new bridge at Gravel Run Road in Crawford County. The mussels, which have spread rapidly through the Great Lakes, have been blamed for causing millions in damage to power plants and boats.

While the invasion was expected, Greg Zimmerman, a mussel expert who found the zebra mussels in French Creek, said the fact that there were only three might mean the stream isn't friendly to the creature.

The finding is providing some hope that the mussels will fail to establish in French Creek.

Bedford County

Three families living near a motorcycle and ATV track have filed a lawsuit seeking to shut down the recreational site.

The families complain that dust and noise from the Breezewood Proving Grounds violates Monroe Township's nuisance ordinance, and they want a judge to have township supervisors enforce the law.

Township solicitor Anthony Zanoni says supervisors have no authority to stop such commercial activities. Supervisors have said the owner is trying to make a good faith effort to reconcile the matter with his neighbors.

The lawsuit was filed by John and Joann Davis, Kenneth and Judith King and Clyde and Denise Crotts after supervisors refused to stop operation of the track.

Erie County

Widespread kills of salamanders and fish and clusters of dead birds have researchers bracing for an outbreak of avian botulism along Lake Erie for a fourth straight year.

"I would have to say we probably are seeing a reoccurrence," said Eric Obert, an environmental specialist for Pennsylvania Sea Grant. "All the signs are there. Although we have not seen a lot of dead birds locally, we are just getting into the season."

Obert said researchers haven't received results to confirm whether another outbreak of avian botulism has hit the Erie shoreline, but birds in New York and Ontario, Canada have tested positive for the bacteria.

Scientists first discovered an avian botulism outbreak on the shoreline of Lake Erie in 1999.

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