VIENNA -- Several previously activated members of the Air Force Reserve 910th Airlift Wing's Security Forces Squadron were scheduled to be deployed today for an indefinite period of time.
The group was to take off at noon in a C-130 headed for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, where they were to pick up more equipment and supplies.
They were then scheduled to fly to another major Air Force base along the East Coast for future deployment to the Area of Responsibility of the U.S. Central Command.
For security reasons, the Air Force Reserve would not release the total number of personnel deployed.
Fire destroys home
MERCER, Pa. -- A faulty kerosene heater is being looked at as the possible cause of a fire that destroyed the mobile home of Robby Poling at 7903 Lamor Road in Jefferson Township.
Township Fire Chief Tom King said Poling wasn't home when the fire broke out shortly before 3 p.m. Monday, but his father, Robert, was there, recovering from recent surgery.
The elder Poling was napping on the couch when the smoke alarm went off. He saw thick dark smoke in the hallway and fled, King said.
King, who lives nearby, was one of the first on the scene and said fire was already coming out of the windows. He estimated the damage at between $30,000 and $35,000.
Storm causes wrecks
MERCER, Pa. -- State police said Monday morning's snowstorm caused a large number of accidents, including a tractor-trailer crash that left more than 20 tons of Idaho potatoes spilled across the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 here.
Police said the driver, Tommy Thao, 30, of Fresno, Calif., lost control of his rig on a curve around 1 p.m. and it jackknifed, separating the tractor from the trailer.
The trailer fell onto its side and split open, spilling 42,500 pounds of potatoes that were headed for market in New Jersey, police said.
Car flips over
NEW MIDDLETOWN -- Melissa L. Ladesic, 30, of New Castle suffered facial cuts and a broken nose when her car went off the side of the road on state Route 170, struck a culvert and flipped over at 11:30 p.m. Monday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.
Ladesic was charged with DUI and failure to observe marked lanes, the patrol said.
She was in stable condition today in St. Elizabeth Health Center.
West Branch contracts
BELOIT -- The West Branch school board awarded contracts for technology for the high school and the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade buildings, both under construction.
Midwest Telephone Service of Girard will provide the cabling for $3,000, and NEC of Brecksville will provide communications systems for $853,700.
The board also voted to purchase three buses from Myers Equipment of Canfield at a cost of $53,773 each. The state will provide $62,999 toward the purchase.
The board hired district residents Larry Griffith and Chuck Pierce as coaches for the junior varsity softball team. The position pays $2,592, which will be split by the coaches.
HARRISBURG (AP) -- Gov. Ed Rendell has authorized the early release of $257 million to go toward buying fuel to help the state's cities and towns clean up after severe winter weather.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is scheduled to release the money to all the state's 2,566 municipalities beginning March 14. The payments normally begin after April 1.
Revenue is generated from a portion of the state gasoline tax.