2 die in Route 18 crash
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Two people died and two others were injured when the van they were riding in collided with a tractor-trailer. Driver Crystal R. Carper, 40, and passenger David Kerr, 19, both of New Castle, were pronounced dead at the scene, said Lawrence County Coroner Russell S. Noga.
Two other passengers were taken to Pittsburgh hospitals. Their names were not being released by police this morning. Police said all four were in a van traveling south on Pa. Route 18 when the van attempted to pass a pickup truck and collided with a tractor-trailer at 9:18 a.m. Wednesday.
Police said the tractor-trailer driver, who police also did not identify, was not injured.
Robbery at bar
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A man wearing a ski mask and carrying a machete robbed a patron in Friend's Bar on Rear Butler Avenue, police said.
Police said the man walked into the bar at 9:35 p.m. Tuesday demanding money from the bartender and the two patrons in the bar. He grabbed a woman's purse and ran, later dropping the woman's identification, credit cards and money. The woman's wedding band and engagement ring and five personal checks are missing, police said.
LISBON -- Columbiana County commissioners will meet in special session at 9 a.m. Friday at the courthouse. The commissioners will discuss the local government funds distribution plan and meet in executive session to discuss pending litigation.
Teen charged in theft
SHARON, Pa. -- Police have filed a juvenile court petition against a 16-year-old Brookfield Township boy in the Tuesday burglary of a home in the 400 block of Lorain Street.
The home's door was kicked in and various items were taken, police said, adding that other juveniles are expected to be charged as well. The 16-year-old is charged with burglary, theft and receiving stolen property and was released to his parents' custody, police said.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Police said an undetermined number of cartons of cigarettes were taken from a Cascade Street convenience store.
Police were called to Cascade Express at 2:12 a.m. today and discovered the back glass door had been shattered by a large rock and the cigarettes were stolen.
Hazardous waste grant
MERCER, Pa. -- Mercer County has been awarded a $22,456 state grant to help residents dispose of hazardous household waste. The grant will cover half the cost of developing and operating a household hazardous waste collection event.
Materials collected will be used as a waste fuel or be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility.
School bus inspections
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- State police discovered 797 discrepancies in Lawrence County school buses during an annual inspection this month.
Initially, 62 of 255 school buses did not pass inspection because of problems with exhaust, steering or brakes. This is an average of 24 percent failing, but 61 of the 62 buses have since been repaired and rechecked.
All but one is back on the road with an up-to-date inspection, state police said. One bus will not be repaired.
The buses serve all eight Lawrence County school districts and Portersville Christian Academy.
Search for fugitive
NEW BRIGHTON, Pa. -- State police are searching for a man who did not return from a work release program. Kenneth Edward Lucas, 32, of Hamilton Road, Pittsburgh, was working at Groves Construction, Seton Drive, Pittsburgh, and did not return to Penn Pavilion, a state-run halfway house in Beaver County.
Lucas is described as white, 5 feet 11 inches tall, about 185 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair and a tattoo on his chest that says "Youth Gone Wild."
Anyone with information on his location should call police at (724) 773-7400.
Fire on school roof
FARRELL, Pa. -- The fire atop the Monsignor Monti Elementary School at 1225 Union St. "looked worse than it was," said Fire Chief Joseph Santell.
School doesn't begin until Tuesday, and workers were tarring the roof when the fire broke out around 2 p.m. Wednesday, Santell said. They were using a propane heater to warm the tar and left it briefly unattended, he said, explaining that the tar bubbled over onto the heater hose, causing it to rupture and allowing the flame to ignite the tar.
A 10-by-10-foot section of the roof was damaged but there was no internal damage to the building, Santell said.