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Briefs: New Kensington man pleads guilty in holdup

| Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 3:59 a.m.

A Westmoreland County man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to robbing a bank by using a fake bomb in a cooler.

Robert Joris, 45, of Barnes Street, New Kensington, pleaded guilty to a charge of armed bank robbery in the Dec. 17, 2003, holdup of the National City Bank branch on Fifth Avenue in Arnold.

Joris was arrested a year ago after telling a confidential informant that he had gotten away with a robbery by using a phony bomb in a cooler, court documents state. Sentencing is scheduled Sept. 14 before Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond.

Pitt rehab unit earns award

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg on Monday gave Pitt's Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology the 2005 Chancellor's Affirmative Action Award.

The award is given annually to an outstanding university program or individual who has made a significant contribution in affirmative action. In a letter to department Chairman Rory A. Cooper, Nordenberg recognized its many contributions "to ensure that those with disabilities have the opportunity to fully participate in university life, as well as in the larger community."

The award includes a $2,500 prize, which will be presented as an increase in the department's budget.

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