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Fire probe continues



Published: Thu, May 31, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Fire probe continues

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- It could be at least a month before fire investigators know the cause of a fire at Bruno's Tin Man Lounge on West Washington Street.

Trooper Mark Baer, the Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal assigned to the case, said he was unable to determine the cause during his investigation after the blaze was extinguished Tuesday. Samples from the building were sent to the state police crime laboratory in Greensburg, Pa.

Baer said the blaze started in the bar area sometime between 2:15 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the three-story brick building was destroyed.

The bar owners say they plan to reopen in another location or rebuild on that site.

Man faces drug charges

SHARON, Pa. -- Police said a 21-year-old Spearman Avenue man stopped for driving too fast faces drug charges after officers found a partially smoked marijuana cigarette in his vehicle and what appeared to be fake crack cocaine on him.

The man was stopped by police in the 300 block of Mesabi Street around 12:40 a.m. and consented to be searched after the marijuana cigarette was spotted in his vehicle, police said.

Officers found what appeared to be some rocks of crack cocaine packaged for sale, but a field test showed the drugs were fake. The rocks will be sent to a state police lab for testing, police said.

The suspect was held overnight and faced arraignment today on charges of possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

House fire in Sharon

SHARON, Pa. -- Firefighters said a man who fell asleep while smoking accidentally set fire to a chair in his living room early today.

J.C. Laurence of 290 Norris St. told authorities he awoke around 12:40 a.m. to find the chair on fire. The blaze spread to a wall, but firefighters were able to confine the flames to the living room. However, the entire two-story house sustained smoke and heat damage. Laurence wasn't injured.

Assault arraignment

SHARON, Pa. -- Michael Milliron, 29, of Scenic Mobile Home Park, Transfer, was in Mercer County Jail on $10,000 bond today after arraignment on assault charges.

He's accused of attacking a former girlfriend and the woman's teen-age daughter. Police said Milliron struck his 34-year-old ex-girlfriend in her home in the 300 block of Tamplin Street around 8:30 a.m. and then returned to the house around 4 p.m. and grabbed the woman's 17-year-old daughter by the neck, slammed her against a doorjamb and threw her to the floor.

Milliron was picked up about 90 minutes later in Sharpsville and arraigned Wednesday before District Justice James McMahon on charges of simple and aggravated assault.

Complaints delayed

COLUMBUS -- Election complaints against Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere will have to wait a while longer.

An Ohio Elections Commission hearing, already delayed twice, was to occur Wednesday but has been pushed back to Aug. 23 at the request of Columbus attorney Don McTigue, who represents William Jobe, who filed the complaint.

In October, Alphonse Cincione, commission chairman, gave Altiere 90 days to fully answer questions from the Trumbull County Board of Elections and work out any other differences with the board before the commission would hear the case.

More than 400 questions centered on Altiere's campaign finance reports from 1993-98. The commission is expected to determine if the questions have been fully answered and if any fines or sanctions should be leveled against Altiere.

Murder trial date set

YOUNGSTOWN -- Mark Batcho's murder case is set for trial Jan. 22, 2002, in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Batcho, 34, of Campbell, faces charges of aggravated murder, murder, aggravated robbery and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Authorities say he shot to death Boardman businessman Lawrence Sisman in March 1996. Prosecutors have said the multiple murder counts are because there are separate and distinct circumstances surrounding the death.

Batcho is already serving an 18-year sentence for trying to kill Paul Gains in December 1996, a week before Gains took office as Mahoning County prosecutor, and for shooting Atty. Gary Van Brocklin in his downtown office.




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