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Dealership problems



Published: Fri, February 15, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Dealership problems

EAST PALESTINE -- Police are investigating complaints from Heritage Ford customers. The car dealership closed Monday without warning.

According to police, about a half-dozen customers have reported problems with the dealer.

One customer said the truck he bought two weeks ago was repossessed. The truck was owned by Donnell Ford, and Heritage has apparently not paid the other dealer for the vehicle.

Chief John Martin said the main complaint from customers is that Heritage has not paid off vehicles they have traded in.

Martin said he is turning the cases over to the Columbiana County prosecutor and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Zoning proposal

SALEM -- City council and the city planning commission will hold a joint hearing regarding a proposal to zone recently annexed property. The hearing is set for 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at city council chambers in city hall. It's proposed to zone the property so that commercial enterprises and multiple-family residential units could be constructed there. The property is on the city's east side, north of state Route 14, which is also East State Street.

District seeks principal

HERMITAGE, Pa.-- The Hermitage Area School District is looking for a new middle school principal. Sandra Dunham is retiring at the end of the school year after about 10 years in the post, Duane Piccirilli, school board president, said this morning. The middle school houses seventh- and eighth-graders.

Applicants for the post must submit a letter of interest and r & eacute;sum & eacute; to Superintendent Karen Ionta by March 1.

Charged in burglaries

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A camera found in a car in Idaho led police to a man they say could be connected to a string of burglaries in the New Castle area. Neshannock Township Police Superintendent Philip Carlo said the camera was taken last summer in a burglary at The Coffee Grinder, a Wilmington Road business. When Soda Springs, Idaho, police arrested Matthew Skeen, 22, of Albert Street, New Castle, in July 2001, they found the camera in his car and police linked it to Neshannock Township, he said. Carlo said Skeen is in jail in Idaho facing burglary charges and possession of 1,000 OxyContin pills, morphine, drug paraphernalia and several burglary tools. Lawrence County officials are waiting to extradite him to Pennsylvania. Carlo said Skeen faces 11 charges each of burglary, theft and receiving stolen property for burglaries in Neshannock Township that took place in May, June and July 2001.

Proposal about landfill

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Lawrence County officials expect to ask the state for at least two years to review a proposal for an industrial waste landfill. Lawrence County Planning Director James Gagliano said the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has asked all counties and municipalities affected by the landfill proposed by Sechan Limestone Industries, near McConnell's Mill State Park in Lawrence and Butler counties, to say how much time they'll need to review the landfill proposal.

The proposed landfill has irked area environmentalists because it is about 1,000 feet from the state park and near the Slippery Rock Creek, a main water source for southern Lawrence County. They should know next month whether DEP will agree. He said there are several steps in the review process including one where the state tries to determine the impact a landfill would have on an area. If they determine the problems outweigh the benefits of locating in a certain spot, it could be denied, he said.

Embezzlement sentence

AUSTINTOWN -- A Madrid Drive man has been sentenced to six months of house arrest for stealing $21,657 from the United Steelworkers of America Local Union 4564 in Girard.

Stephen Hanlon, 47, who formerly served as the union's financial secretary, also was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to repay the union by Chief U.S. District Judge Paul Matia. Hanlon pleaded guilty to embezzlement in November.

The U.S. attorney's office announced the sentencing Thursday.

In his plea agreement, Hanlon said he took the money by writing checks from the union to himself or cash. He also took cash returns from union bank deposits and diverted IRS refund checks to the union.

Hanlon falsified treasurer's records and did not provide bank statements in an effort to cover the thefts.




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