Trial dates set forformer Calcutta doctor
LISBON -- Two trials are set in December for a former Calcutta physician accused of sex crimes involving his patients.
Judge C. Ashley Pike of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court set a sexual battery trial for Dec. 3 and a gross sexual imposition trial for Dec. 17.
Accused of the offenses is Dr. Anil Bajaj, 39, who now lives near Cleveland.
Dr. Bajaj, who is licensed to practice internal medicine, is free on bond. He is not working as a doctor.
Authorities say he fondled two female patients during separate examinations that occurred July 27, 2001, at his Calcutta office.
Another suspicious fire
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Fire fighters say an early morning fire is suspicious. The porch of 201 Patterson Ave. caught fire at about 3:37 a.m. today, firemen said. The house has been vacant for six to eight months, they said. It was unclear this morning who owns the house.
Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the porch, and the state police fire marshal was called to investigate. It is the fourth suspicious blaze in the city in four days. Three Grant Street houses were hit by arson Monday.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Area residents can tour gardens while helping raise money for the Lawrence County Women's Shelter/Rape Crisis Center. Tours will be given from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. There will be refreshments, demonstrations, lectures, a raffle and more at the starting point, the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts.
Featured gardens include those at the Hoyt and the homes of Linda Williams and Marianne Cirelli, Elinore Snyder and Stephen Shaftic, Robert and Linda Vinton and David Polding. Tickets are $10 at the event and $8 in advance. For tickets call Michael at (724) 652-9206, Ext. 105 or go to the following locations: the shelter, Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, Butz Flowers, Weingartner Flowers and Gifts, King's Jewelry in Union Square, the Tavern on the Square in New Wilmington and Elizabeth's Feed Mill.
County gets grant
MERCER. Pa. -- The Mercer County Joint Sewage Agency will get a $31,000 state grant to help pay for its sewage enforcement efforts under Pennsylvania Act 537. The money is coming from the state Department of Environmental Protection and represents about half of the county agency's costs.
Act 537, the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, requires all municipalities to develop and implement sewage plans that address present and future sewage disposal needs, said Sen. Robert Robbins of Greenville, R-50th, who announced the grant approval.
The state provides reimbursement to offset municipal costs associated with developing or revising those plans as well as costs incurred while enforcing the plans' programs, Robbins said.
STRUTHERS -- Police charged Jeremiah J. Balluck, 20, of 90 Center Street, with child endangering after he allowed a 14-year-old girl to drive. A 6-year-old boy was also in the car.
The man told police he was teaching his girlfriend's daughter to drive when a patrolman followed the vehicle into the parking lot of Stanton's Market about 8:15 p.m. Friday. Police became suspicious when the car the girl was driving stopped at an intersection and failed to proceed even though there was no oncoming traffic and then pulled into the parking lot of a store that was closed.
Police charged the girl with operating a motor vehicle without a license.
South Side carjacking
YOUNGSTOWN -- A 22-year-old Deerfield man who stopped at a South Side drive-through was carjacked by a man who held a gun to his chest. The man told city police he was standing beside his car in the parking lot of Big A's on Glenwood Avenue when he was approached by the man who asked how much he had paid for the car and its 18-inch chrome rims.
When the car owner got into his car, the robber pulled the gun, ordering him to get out and leave his wallet and keys behind, police reports show. When the driver hesitated, the robber said, "What do you think, I'm playing with you?" Besides the driver, two male passengers, both of Boardman, exited the car.