Detour needs another detour

Detour needsanother detour
SHARON, Pa. -- The city's east-west traffic flow problems got a lot more difficult at 5 a.m. today when a pickup truck snapped off a utility pole on East State Street in front of Sharon Regional Health System.
That section of road is the designated east-west detour route around the Shenango Valley Freeway, which was closed Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's morning's implosion of the Oakland Avenue Viaduct.
Closing the freeway caused traffic bottlenecks all day Thursday and police were out in force this morning to reroute traffic around the detour, which was expected to be closed until at least noon as power crews replaced the utility pole.
Details of the crash weren't immediately available, but authorities said the driver of the truck wasn't injured. The impact snapped the pole off at its base and caused it to splinter about 20 feet off the ground, allowing power lines to sag across State Street.
Rail crossings closed
LEETONIA -- Railroad crossings at Walnut and Wilson streets remain closed due to replacement of the rail lines by Norfolk and Southern Railroad Co., village Administrator Gary Phillips said. He said the Wilson Street crossing is to reopen sometime today.
The Walnut Street crossing, however, will remain closed until June 29 due to heavier than normal train traffic, he said. Norfolk and Southern closed the Walnut Street crossing June 9 and the Wilson Street crossing June 18.
To receive grant
ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. -- State Rep. Frank LaGrotta of Ellwood City, D-10th, said Clay Township in Butler County will receive a $19,011 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
The grant will be used to reimburse 50 percent of the township's expense to employ a host municipal inspector -- a local on-call government official that inspects the region's waste facilities. The money comes from the Host Municipal Grant Program created in 1988.
Programs for kids
PORTERSVILLE, Pa. -- A naturalist will conduct "Weather Watch" at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Kildoo picnic area of McConnell's Mill State Park on U.S. Route 422. The program will focus on cloud formations as well as what causes tornadoes, lightning and thunder.
Youth Environmental Learning Series programs will include "How Long Does Litter Last?" an event for 4- and 5-year-olds beginning at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Kildoo ball field. Participants will learn where litter goes after being picked up, and a scavenger hunt follows.
"Where Does Garbage Go?", a program for children 6 to 8, will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Kildoo picnic area. Kids will learn about what happens to garbage after it leaves the curb, as well as differences between landfills and dumps. Participants will be able to construct a miniature dump and landfill.
Custody charges
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A woman accused of concealing the whereabouts of a child and interfering with the custody of a child waived her right to a preliminary hearing.
Stephanie Atchley, 27, is accused of running off with her 11-month-old son, Brandon, in March from the Super 8 Motel in Shenango Township. The child's father, Don Sluder, has legal custody of Brandon and a second child, Amanda, 13. He left Brandon with Atchley for an overnight visit, and when he returned the next day both were gone.
Atchley faces similar charges in New Castle for the April disappearance of Amanda. Atchley and the two children were eventually found in San Antonio, Texas. A preliminary hearing today on those charges is expected to be postponed, according to Atchley's attorney David Acker.
District Justice David Rishel reduced Atchley's bond from $25,000 to $5,000 during Thursday's preliminary hearing.
Charges in theft
SHARON, Pa. -- Police have charged Roger E. Ashley, 52, of Malleable Street with receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy in the theft of some women's clothing from The Winner, a women's off-price fashion store on West State Street.
Police said Ashley took the clothing May 21. A warrant was secured for his arrest and he turned himself in at the office of District Justice James McMahon around 12:45 p.m. Thursday. He was arraigned and freed on his own recognizance.
Police said other arrests are pending.

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