Condemnation OK'd for downtown project

Condemnation OK'dfor downtown project
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- City council approved condemnation for eight properties needed for the downtown revitalization project. Most of the property is on the one-block area between Mercer and Mill streets, just below Grant Street.
City Solicitor James Manolis has said he was negotiating with property owners to sell the land, but wanted council to condemn the property to speed up the process.
City officials say they should take possession of seven of the lots sometime next month and hope to have the buildings leveled and a new park and parking lot built by December. The eighth lot at the southwest corner of Market and South Mill streets is being taken for a sanitary-sewer line.
No date for when that work would be done was available at Wednesday's special council meeting. The property is needed as part of the city's revitalization project intended to attract more businesses to downtown.
Charged in ATM theft
ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. -- A Beaver County woman is accused of taking money from an automated teller machine that she was in charge of filling with cash.
Michelle Lee Romano, 28, of 38th Street, New Brighton, faces charges of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, theft by unlawful taking or disposition and receiving stolen property. Pennsylvania State Police said Romano was a teller/clerk at National City Bank on Lawrence Avenue from November 2000 to March 2001 and her main duties were balancing and supervising the automated teller machine. Police said Romano is accused of taking $2,000 from the machine from Feb. 1-20.
She was arraigned Wednesday before District Justice Samuel Battaglia and released without bond.
Charged in accident
SALEM -- A Salem man is charged with a traffic violation after his pickup truck collided with a Salem city school bus. Joseph Duriga, 59, of 13006 W. Pine Lake Road, was cited by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Canfield Post with failure to maintain assured clear distance between vehicles.
Duriga's truck struck the back of the school bus as it slowed to pick up a pupil on state Route 14 near Benton Road in Goshen Township, Mahoning County, a patrol spokesman said today. The accident occurred shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday. Five pupils ranging from high school to middle school were on the bus when the accident occurred. No injuries were reported.
Rail line ceremony
DARLINGTON, Pa. -- U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart of Bradford Woods, Pa., R-4th, will speak at a ceremony set for Friday to mark the reopening of a rail line that once served Beaver County.
The Columbiana County Port Authority is reactivating the former Youngstown & amp; Southern Railway, which runs from Darlington to Youngstown. The railroad will serve about a dozen businesses along it. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. at General Shale Brick, 602 Morris St., in Darlington, one of the businesses that will use the reactivated railroad for shipping.
MVEDC grant
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp. is receiving a $77,000 grant from U.S. Department of Defense's Procurement Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program.
The funds will be used for the agency's Technical Procurement Center, which offers marketing and technical help to local small and medium businesses seeking contracts with government agencies.
Break-in reported
GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Pennsylvania State Police said someone broke into Steese's Ice Cream on Blacktown Road sometime Monday night and stole cash and a woman's purse.
Police uncover story
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Police said a 17-year-old Clarksville Road boy lied when he told them an intruder tried to break into his bedroom by removing a screen from a window around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday.
It turns out the boy was trying to cover up his own crime after police came to the area to search for an intruder who had broken into a 16-year-old girl's bedroom in the same 800 block of Clarksville Road, police said.
Under further questioning, the boy admitted he had broken into the girl's bedroom, police said, adding that he will be charged in juvenile court with burglary.

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