Fire destroys company
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- An area steel products company was destroyed by fire early today. Greenville police said flames were seen shooting from the roof of the Sha-CO Welding and Fabricating company at 53 Canal St. around 4:38 a.m. The fire was contained about three hours later, authorities said. They said the company, which is owned by Warren Shaw of Greenville, could not be saved. Additional information, including the cause of the blaze and a damage estimate, had not been determined this morning.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Most of downtown New Castle lost electric power Wednesday evening. Penn Power spokesman Bart Spagnola said it appears that a car crashed into a utility pole on Falls Street, causing plastic spacers separating high voltage lines to crack. The car and the driver were gone when electric company workers found the damage, he said. The cracked spacers allowed the lines to touch and short out at 4:56 p.m., Spangola said. Streetlights, traffic signals and about 164 electric users from Falls to Mill streets lost power. About 71 customers got electric power back at 6:23 p.m. and the rest was restored at 8:50 p.m.
Land donated to SRU
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- Developer and former New Castle resident Stanley P. Kraus and his wife, Marilyn, gave Slippery Rock University a piece of property near downtown Sharon valued at $700,000. Edward Bucha, executive director of the Slippery Rock University Foundation, said SRU will sell the property and apply the proceeds to one of the university's initiatives. They haven't decided how it will be spent yet. The Krauses, who now live in Boca Raton, Fla., previously donated money in 1983 for a student residence hall and in 1996 they gave SRU a piece of property in Armstrong County that provides enough money for five yearly scholarships. Kraus has developed commercial and residential real estate in western Pennsylvania, and pioneered the renovation of several buildings in downtown Pittsburgh including the Westin William Penn Hotel. He continues to develop homes and commercial property in South Florida.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A search committee has narrowed the list of candidates for provost at Youngstown State University. The four finalists are Dr. Tony Atwater, dean of the college of professional studies and education at Northern Kentucky University; Dr. Rochelle Kelz, dean of the college of arts and sciences at Indiana University, Kokomo Campus; Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey, dean of the college of liberal arts at Wright State University; and Dr. Braja Das, dean of the college of engineering and computer science at California State University in Sacramento. The candidates will visit YSU over the next several weeks, and President David Sweet is expected to make an appointment by the fall.
EVANS CITY, Pa. (AP) -- Firefighters drew water from nearby creeks to fight a fire fueled by 80-degree temperatures and gusty winds that destroyed a steel pin warehouse. The Fibercon International warehouse, about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh, caught fire around 4 p.m. Thursday after workers had left. No one was injured in the fire. George Mitchell, president of the company, said the fire caused $2 million in damage to the warehouse, which held materials to make steel fiber pins used in construction work. Evans City Police Chief Joe McCombs said the fire may have been started by a burning trash pile that spread to wooden pallets stacked near the building. "You can see a burn pile off to the side of the warehouse," McCombs said. Mitchell said he wasn't aware of employees' burning trash. Fire officials are investigating the blaze and have not determined a cause, said Scott Jameson, chief of the Evans City Volunteer Fire Department.
Trial in mass shooting
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Mass shooting defendant Richard Baumhammers lived a tortured life filled with delusional and paranoid thoughts and visits to psychiatrists that started at age 5, a psychiatrist testified. Defense attorneys called their first witness, psychiatrist and neurologist Dr. James Merikangas, as they began presenting evidence Thursday. Attorneys for Baumhammers, 35, contend he is mentally ill and not responsible for killing five people and wounding a sixth in Allegheny and Beaver counties during a shooting spree April 28, 2000.
Hearings set for 2
GIRARD -- Preliminary hearings are scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday in municipal court for two 19-year-old men charged with aggravated robbery. Cory Cannon of Warren-Sharon Road, Vienna, and Anthony Leibert of East Park Avenue, Brookfield, are accused of robbing the Vienna Pharmacy on Monday of the prescription painkiller OxyContin. They appeared Tuesday before municipal Judge Michael Bernard, who set their bonds at $20,000 cash or surety.
Cannon remains in the county jail in lieu of bond, and Leibert was released after posting bond.