Firefighters reject report
SALEM -- City firefighters have rejected a fact-finding report stemming from stalled labor negotiations. The contract for 15 firefighters represented by the International Association of Firefighters Local 283 expired June 30.
Thursday's rejection means the issue will move next to binding arbitration unless the two parties can reach an agreement, Lt. Dave Slagle, a union spokesman, said today.
Firefighters rejected the report because of a staffing provision that they believe could leave shifts shorthanded and at risk, Slagle explained.
The fact finder recommended pay increases of 3 percent, 3.5 percent and 4 percent spread over a three-year period, according to the report, which was provided by the city administration through a public records request.
LISBON -- A former village worker who sued the village, contending her firing was retaliatory, has dropped her lawsuit.
Lori Smith of state Route 154, Negley, dismissed the case recently in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court. A court document did not explain the reason for the dismissal.
Smith claimed in the lawsuit, filed in April, that she was fired in October 2001 because she filed a worker's compensation claim after being injured on the job.
Boy in critical condition
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Police said a 7-year-old Masury boy was in critical condition this morning at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh with injuries sustained in a one-car accident on Lynnwood Drive.
Aaron Brooks of Columbia Street was a passenger in a car driven by his grandmother, Barbara Swartz, 54, of McConnell Road, New Wilmington, which veered off the roadway and struck a utility pole around 8:45 a.m. Thursday.
Aaron suffered head injuries and was first taken to UPMC Horizon in Farrell before being flown to Pittsburgh.
Police to charge teen
SHARON, Pa. -- Police said they will file charges against a sixth juvenile involved in a fight at Freddie Fresh's, a teen club on West State Street.
The fight started around 10 p.m. Wednesday, prompting police to order the club closed for the night. Four girls and a boy between the ages of 13 and 17 were arrested Wednesday night on charges of riot, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct. Police said the sixth juvenile, a 16-year-old Farrell boy, will be charged in juvenile court with simple assault. He is one of the instigators in the fight, police said.
Pension fund secure
MERCER, Pa. -- The county's pension fund is in good shape despite the recent downturn in the stock market.
County Controller Thomas Amundsen reported at the meeting of the Mercer County Retirement Board Thursday that the pension plan is secure. In the last six months, the $30,507,666 fund suffered a net loss of $1,609,183, and had a minus five percent rate of return.
Commissioner Olivia Lazor credited Robert Jazwinski, who administers the fund, with good management.
Thief takes money,medicine, electronics
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- State police are searching for a man who broke into a Union Township home, woke the owner and took off with cash and prescription drugs. They said the man removed a screen from an open window at about 4:50 a.m. Thursday.
He demanded money from the sleeping resident and then emptied her purse, taking a bottle of Methadone. State police said a video cassette recorder, DVD player and an Adelphia digital cable box with remote were also taken from the Meegan Street home. They noted that the battery was taken from the victim's cordless telephone also.
History exhibit to open
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The Lawrence County Historical Society will display its newest exhibit, & quot;Wild About Nature, & quot; from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Joseph A. Clavelli History Center, 408 N. Jefferson St.
The exhibit examines the region's prehistoric eras and natural history through fossils, rocks, minerals, animals, photographs, maps, models, and original artwork. Light refreshments will be served. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call (724) 658-4022.
New fire chief
WARREN -- A 14-year member of the fire department has received a letter notifying him he would be named fire chief upon certification by the city's civil service commission.
Capt. Ken Nussle, 37, of Warren, said he received the letter but he declined to comment further until the commission certifies the results.