Police arrest felontrying to buy firearm
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- State police say they are cracking down on people with previous convictions who are attempting to buy firearms.
They arrested a city man Tuesday who attempted to buy a rifle from Duke's Sporting Goods on East Washington Street in November. Police said the store refused to sell the rifle to the man after a background check showed he had two previous felony convictions and arrests in Ohio.
Anyone with a felony or misdemeanor conviction in Pennsylvania or the equivalent in other states is not permitted to buy or own a firearm in Pennsylvania, state police said.
Police charged the 39-year-old Franklin Avenue man with three counts of sale or transfer of firearms and providing false information to authorities. He was arraigned before District Justice Samuel Battaglia in Ellwood City and placed in jail after failing to post a $2,500 bond.
ODOT public meeting
EAST LIVERPOOL -- Ohio Department of Transportation will have a public meeting to get opinions on the proposed widening of state Route 170 in the Calcutta commercial district in St. Clair Township.
The proposal would widen a section of the road from three lanes to five, provide additional turning lanes, and upgrade traffic signals to improve traffic flow and alleviate congestion.
The project would affect a section of state Route 170 from its intersection with U.S. Route 30 to its intersection with Calcutta-Smith Ferry Road.
The meeting is set from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 17 at the St. Clair Township Hall, 15446 East Liverpool Road, which is about a half-mile off Route 170.
Rats, other items taken
SALEM -- Items missing after a break-in at a home on the 100 block of West Fourth Street included 15 pet rats, police say.
Besides the rats, the resident said about $40 in cash, a computer game and a DVD were taken.
There was no sign of forced entry, police said. The crime was reported about 7 a.m. Tuesday.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- City firefighters are investigating an arson at a vacant Cumberland Avenue home.
Fire Chief James Donston said the blaze started in the doorway of a second-floor bedroom at 9:37 p.m. Tuesday. The house was boarded up, but the back door had been pried open, Donston added.
County real estate records show Mary Jane Assalone is the owner, but Donston said her whereabouts are unknown and the house has been vacant.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the bedroom, he said.
Seeking cause of fire
CANFIELD -- Fire investigators are still trying to determine what caused a fire that destroyed an Ellsworth Township home.
Assistant Chief Robert Sternburg of the Ellsworth Township Fire Department said a ruling on what started the blaze early Monday at 8605 Palmyra Road should be in by later this week. He added a damage estimate would also be available then.
Sternburg said the nine-room structure, which sat on a 69-acre general farm owned by Dolores A. Strollo, was demolished, but some contents were saved.
Firefighters from Canfield, Berlin Center, North Jackson, Milton Township and Greenford Township assisted in fighting the fire.
WRTA renews contract
YOUNGSTOWN -- Western Reserve Transit Authority awarded a $50,000 contract for planning services to Eastgate Council of Governments. Jim Ferraro, WRTA executive director, said the contract from July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2003, is renewed annually and covers things such as changes in scheduling, routing and bus stop signs.
The board also authorized Ferraro to solicit bids for the 53 exterior lights that will be installed throughout the parking areas at WRTA's Mahoning Avenue offices, garage and maintenance facility, and awarded Lofaro Concrete of Youngstown a contract to complete renovations, including an unfinished floor, in the maintenance building.
Injured by bullet
YOUNGSTOWN -- A 32-year-old Buckeye Court man was slightly injured by a bullet that passed through the trunk and the back and front seats of his car and grazed his lower back.
The man told police he was driving along Lucius Avenue on Monday afternoon when he heard three shots. The man said he saw a bullet hole in the right quarter panel of his car and another bullet hole in the trunk. He was treated at Forum Health Northside Medical Center.