Fatal fire ruledan accident
EAST LIVERPOOL -- The fire that killed a 34-year-old rooming house tenant started accidentally, the state fire marshal's office has determined. In a ruling announced Thursday, the agency said an electrical fault near a stove started the July 17 blaze in the three-story house at 228 W. Seventh St. Daniel Sanders died in the fire. Additional details were unavailable this morning. Firefighters tried to rescue Sanders from a third-floor window, but he refused to climb onto a ladder, saying he was afraid of heights. Four other occupants survived the early-morning blaze.
BESSEMER, Pa. -- Mohawk Area School District has hired two new teachers: Alison Badger, elementary classroom instructor, and Timothy Mosley, secondary health and physical education instructor. They will each be paid $34,300 for the 2001-2002 school year. During its regular meeting on Monday, the school board also agreed to buy milk on an as-needed basis from Schneider Dairy of Ambridge, Pa.
Man faces charges
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Police arrested Charles N. Hunt, 19, of Meek Street, Sharon, on charges of robbery, conspiracy and simple assault in an attempted purse snatching in the parking lot of the Shenango Valley Mall. Police said this morning that Hunt is accused of approaching a woman in the lot around 8 p.m. Tuesday and grabbing her purse. When she refused to let go, he punched her in the chest several times, police said. He fled empty-handed to a waiting car but witnesses got a description and license number for the vehicle, leading police to Hunt. He turned himself in at the police station at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and was arraigned before District Justice Henry Russo, who ordered him held in Mercer County Jail on $2,500 bond. Police said two people in the car with Hunt may face conspiracy charges. The victim suffered neck and arm sprains, police said.
Forgery, theft charges
SHARON, Pa. -- A Farrell woman was freed on an unsecured bond after her arrest on charges of forgery and theft. Sonya K. Townsend, 33, of Market Avenue, is accused of stealing a check from a relative and then forging the victim's name on the check and cashing it at a bank in Sharon for $237 Aug. 2. Townsend turned herself in at the police station Monday and was arrested.
Driver hits tree
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A woman reaching for her inhaler lost control of her car and crashed into a tree. City police said Crystal J. Stewart, 38, of Shaw Street started having breathing problems and reached for the inhaler, which had dropped on the floor of her Chevy Tracker, at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday. The car veered off Logan Street and crashed into a tree. Stewart was treated at Jameson Hospital for minor injuries.
Fire destroys barn
HADLEY, PA. -- Fire of undetermined origin destroyed a barn at the farm of Clayton Armour at 3344 Perry Highway in northern Mercer County. Steve Vansickle, Sheakleyville fire chief, said a neighbor spotted the blaze around 9:35 a.m. Thursday. The barn was filled with hay and there was a car and some farm equipment stored inside, Vansickle said. All was lost in the fire but the barn was insured, he said. Firefighters were hampered by gusting winds that fanned the flames, he said. A state police fire marshal was called in to help pinpoint the cause of the blaze. Vansickle said the fire didn't appear to be suspicious, but could have been caused by an electrical problem or spontaneous combustion in a hayloft.
Fire department grant
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today that seven Ohio fire departments will receive grants in the fourth round of awards under the Assistance to Firefighters Program. The departments include Milton Township Volunteer department, Berlin Center; $97,934 for personal protective equipment. The department is among the 216 across the U.S. that will receive nearly $9.9 million in grants in this round of awards.