South Ave. Block Watch
YOUNGSTOWN -- The South Avenue Block Watch will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church at Gibson Street and Cameron Avenue. City police Detective Jack Palma will speak, and other city officials are to attend.
Alarm fails to soundin fire at building
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Firefighters said the fire alarm system failed when fire broke out on a clothes dryer in the Beeghly Gymnasia at Thiel College.
Fire Chief Steve Thompson said several people pulled alarms as they fled the building when the fire broke out around 1 p.m. Thursday, but the buildingwide system failed to activate. There were no injuries, but Thompson said several fire doors inside the building had been left propped open, allowing smoke to travel throughout the structure.
The cause of the fire was accidental, he said, explaining that someone left a stack of towels on top of a gas-fired clothes dryer, not realizing the open flame heating element was located there without any protective guards to shield the flame. Thiel staff tried to put out the fire with portable extinguishers. Firefighters arrived and put out the blaze and ventilated the building, Thompson said.
He had no damage estimate.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Tawana Walton apparently didn't see the police badge hanging around Patrolman Mike Brindisi's neck or hear the police scanner when she leaned into his unmarked cruiser on Covington Street Thursday afternoon and asked if he "needed a date." The question is one used by prostitutes, police said. Brandisi said that after Walton, 25, of Curry Street quoted $20 for a sex act, he and his partner arrested her on a charge of soliciting an undercover police officer.
Pupil made threat
CAMPBELL -- The principal of Campbell Middle School, Anthony DeFelice, told police an 11-year-old girl told him she wanted to know where he lived so she could get a gun and shoot him. The threat occurred around 9 a.m. Wednesday, DeFelice said, after he suspended the girl from school for two days and issued her three days of in-school suspension. He told police he wanted a report of the matter on file.
BOARDMAN -- Township police are investigating a suspicious set of photographs that were developed for a customer at the Wal-Mart store on Doral Drive. Authorities are trying to determine if the series of 24 photos are pornographic and involve children. An adult male appears nude in some of the photos. A clothed teenage boy also appears in some of the photos. No sexual acts are depicted in any of the photographs. Police have spoken to the individual who tried to pick up the pictures from the store, but no arrest has been made.
WARREN -- A Warren woman will be arraigned later this month on a charge of vehicular homicide. Kirstie Bournias, 21, 196 Oak Knoll S.E., has been charged in the crash that killed 8-year-old Ian B. Wheeler on Christmas Day. The boy's parents and 10-year-old sister were injured. According to reports, Bournias lost control of her SUV on state Route 193 in Vienna around 8:10 p.m. and sideswiped the Wheelers' car. Bournias will appear in Girard Municipal Court at 9 a.m. Jan. 21 on the first-degree misdemeanor charge.
Cops seek thieves
NILES -- Police are searching for two women who stole more than $4,600 in jewelry from Shail Import on Youngstown-Warren Road. A clerk told police she was waiting on a customer around 1:15 p.m. Thursday and when she finished, she noticed an empty placard, which normally holds more than 200 tongue posts. Security tapes show a black woman with braided hair and wearing green slacks, a light shirt and a black leather jacket walk up to the counter and place the case under her jacket and walk away. Further investigation shows the first customer served as a distraction for the second woman, reports said.
GIRARD -- The high school robotics team is collecting aluminum cans for recycling as a fund-raiser. Residents are asked to save their cans and drop them off at the high school Feb. 28 and March 1. The team will again design, build and program a robot for competition this year. Money raised is used to pay for the team's travel expenses. Last year, Girard was first runner-up at a regional competition in Toronto, Canada. This year the team hopes to compete in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and at the national event in Houston. Student participation has increased each year in the program, which teaches math, science and technology, as well as team organization, promotion, video production, animation and Web site design.
For more information, call Judy Barber at (330) 545-5431, ext. 107.