Motorcycle crash suit
YOUNGSTOWN -- A Salem man, injured when his motorcycle crashed on Western Reserve Road Extension, is suing Mahoning County for unspecified damages.
Jeffrey L. Hoffman of Valleyview Court says in the suit that the poor condition of the road caused him to lose control of his cycle, which overturned in April 2001. He suffered a broken right leg and other injuries.
The suit, filed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, says Hoffman was riding on a portion of Western Reserve Road in western Mahoning County that borders Portage County.
PITTSBURGH -- A New Castle woman pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy and falsification of firearm purchase forms. Assistant United States Attorney Tina Oberdorf Miller said Elaine R. Wilder, 24, of Lincoln Avenue bought five firearms from a local sports shop for a felon who is prohibited from owning firearms. Miller said the sports shop where the firearms were bought is not facing any charges. The charges against Wilder stem from a law that makes it illegal to misrepresent the identity of the purchaser of firearms on a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms form that every firearm buyer must complete. Wilder will be sentenced at 9 a.m. May 22 and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a $500,000 fine or both.
West Nile virus check
MERCER, Pa. -- Sate Sen. Robert Robbins of Greenville, R-50th, said the state will give Mercer County $46,000 to check for the presence of the potentially deadly West Nile virus. No cases have been reported in the county, but the grant will help launch a mosquito monitoring and virus surveillance program as well as an education program for county residents, he said. The West Nile virus was detected for the first time in Pennsylvania in 2000, turning up in birds, mosquitos and a horse. It showed up in 17 counties by the end of 2001, the nearest being Erie County.
SHARON, Pa. -- Johnnie Williams, 28, of Church Hill Road, Liberty Township, was freed on his own recognizance after arraignment on a charge of acquisition of a controlled substance by means of forgery. Police said Williams secured a legitimate prescription from the University Hospitals System in Cleveland for Tussionex, a drug used for cough suppression that contains Hydrocodone, a controlled narcotic. His prescription was for 4 ounces, but Williams is accused of changing it to read 14 ounces and then trying to get it filled at the Rite Aid pharmacy on East State Street around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The pharmacist became suspicious and called police, who said Williams had apparently tried to get the prescription filled earlier at pharmacies in Warren and Liberty Township before coming to Sharon. Tussionex can be sold for $50 an ounce on the street, police said.
Theft in New Castle
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Someone took a semiautomatic pistol, ammunition and other items from a Moravia Street home. Police said today that the items were discovered missing at 2:25 p.m. Wednesday. It is not known when they were taken. Other items taken include a 34-inch Mitsubishi television, videocassette recorder, DVD player and a gold rope necklace.
Fire damages garage
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- A fire of suspicious origin damaged a garage at the former Wolford Sheet Metal Works at 36 Achre Way. Fire Chief Steve Thompson said firefighters were called to the scene around 10:20 p.m. Thursday. Hempfield and West Salem Township firefighters assisted. The building is owned by Fred and Lillian Rutter, who use the garage for storage of auto parts. Firefighters had to lay hoses over the railroad tracks near North Race and Shenango streets, forcing train traffic to a halt for about three hours.
EBay scam arrest
BEAVER, Pa. (AP) -- A woman has been arrested and was being held on $750,000 bond Thursday, accused of selling nonexistent electronic equipment on the online auction site eBay, police said.
Police are unsure of her true identity or where she lives. Tatsiana Vladimirovna Zverava, or Diana Lutsevich, was in Beaver County Jail after failing to post bond.
Police are searching for two men in connection with the scam. Police said the three took user identifications from eBay accounts that had been dormant for some time. Police have identified several people who sent money to the trio but did not receive merchandise in return.