Pa. holiday fatalities
HARRISBURG -- State police said 18 people were killed on Pennsylvania highways during the Labor Day weekend in crashes they investigated. Col. Paul J. Evanko said only one person killed was wearing a seat belt.
In addition to the fatalities, 421 people were injured in the 771 crashes to which state police responded. State police issued 5,419 speeding citations, arrested 270 people on charges of driving under the influence, cited 272 people for not wearing seat belts and issued citations to 26 people for failing to secure children in child safety seats.
Guilty plea in sex case
YOUNGSTOWN -- A 20-year-old man faces one to five years in jail after pleading guilty in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Wednesday to having sexual contact with his underage girlfriend.
Jacob M. Burkholder, Moore Street, Struthers, pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact with a minor, a third-degree felony, said assistant prosecutor Deena Calabrese.
A grand jury indicted Burkholder in August 2000 on allegations of having sexual contact with the girl earlier that month, court records show. He had turned 18 a month earlier. She was 12.
Calabrese said the two were boyfriend and girlfriend and authorities learned of the relationship from the girl's mother after the woman reported to police that the girl had run away. The couple had saved up a small sum of money and were staying at a hotel, Calabrese said.
Store owner charged
YOUNGSTOWN -- For the second time, Iqbal Singh, the manager at South Avenue Gas Mart at 2325 South Ave., has been charged with selling alcohol to an underage person.
Vice squad officers had a 19-year-old undercover cooperating witness enter the store Wednesday evening. Singh sold the teenager a six-pack of beer, police said.
In January, Singh was charged with underage sales. He pleaded no contest to a reduced charge in April. Judge Robert P. Milich found Singh guilty, gave him 30 days in jail, suspended it all, fined him $100 and placed him on one year's nonreporting probation.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A 45-year-old Almyra Avenue man called police from a pay phone on North Garland Avenue at 12:45 a.m. today and said he was the victim of a carjacking.
The man said he had left a relative's house and had stopped for the traffic light at McGuffey Road and Berkley Avenue when two young men approached on foot. He said he was ordered out of his 1987 Jeep Cherokee at gunpoint.
School report improves
LORDSTOWN -- The school district might finally be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.
A report released at Wednesday's meeting of the state financial oversight commission says the district will finish the fiscal year more than $131,000 in the black.
The good news -- original projections were the district would show a deficit next June of more than $140,000 -- is primarily the result of increased collections in personal property taxes, according to school officials.
Operating in fiscal emergency since December 2000, the district has worked with the state-appointed commission to improve district finances.
Several staff and faculty positions have been eliminated, others have been combined and voters passed an emergency levy in November. The report also projects Lordstown schools will finish the 2004 fiscal year with a balance of more than $585,000.
Apartment shot at
YOUNGSTOWN -- Shots were fired into an apartment in the 2600 block of Tyrell Street on the city's West Side, and two bullets lodged in a bedroom wall, just above a baby's crib, police said.
The 19-year-old resident told police she was in the living room when she heard the gunfire about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
WARREN -- N.E.E.D., or North End Environmental Development, will have its second annual neighborhood cleanup from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The gathering point will be St. Joseph Church on North Street Northwest. Volunteers should be there by 9 a.m. Gloves and bags are available. Lunch will be at noon.
The cleanup is targeting North Park Avenue, Mahoning Avenue, Hall, North, Packard and Roosevelt.
Roosevelt Elementary and Turner Middle School pupils will help clean up the neighborhood Friday.