Metro digest

Gas-well mishap

BOARDMAN — A pressure tank on a gas well on Mathews Road ruptured, flying 70 feet through a fence and an earthen dam.

The well and tank, owned by Everflow Eastern, is in an open area behind a vacant house. The rupture occurred around 1:30 a.m. Monday.

A malfunction of two pressure-release devices on the gas tank is believed to be the cause.

The rupture created a leak in the gas-supply line from the gas well.

A valve controlling gas flow was turned off to stop the leak.

Hearing waived

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Mahoning Township Supervisor Francis “Poncho” Exposito waived a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Central Court.

Exposito’s attorney, David Acker, said the hearing was waived because both sides agree on the basic facts of the case.

An arraignment date will now be set. Exposito, 58, who is also township fire chief and roadmaster, was charged last month with five felony counts in the use of a Mahoning Township Volunteer Fire Department credit card to make about $3,000 worth of personal purchases at Lowe’s and Sam’s Club.

After the brief court appearance, Acker said Exposito has now paid back all the money that he charged on the credit cards, adding, “This is not a case in which the man was trying to steal from the fire department.”

He said Exposito had signed for the credit cards for the fire department and was personally liable for them. He added, “The fire department doesn’t have a problem with Poncho.” Exposito did not speak in court, and he only signed papers waiving the preliminary hearing before District Judge Jerry Cartwright.

The prosecution was represented by Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter of the attorney general’s criminal prosecutions section in Pittsburgh.

Gates Foundation award for Pittsburgh schools

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt says his district’s proposal to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been accepted.

Roosevelt says he got the word from the Seattle-based foundation Tuesday. He says the school district and the foundation need to agree on a contract spelling out details of their partnership before things proceed.

Pittsburgh was one of 10 school districts nationwide that the Microsoft founder invited to submit proposals for improving teacher effectiveness. It wasn’t immediately clear how many of those 10 will participate in the foundation’s $500 million initiative.

University rejects gunman’s bequest

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The University of Pittsburgh says it won’t accept an estimated $225,000 bequest from the gunman who committed suicide after killing three women and wounding nine others at a Pittsburgh-area health club.

Court papers of the intended estate gift were filed Friday by the brother and executor for 48-year-old George Sodini. University spokesman Robert Hill rejected the offer Tuesday.

Two women injured in the Aug. 4 shooting an L.A. Fitness club intend to sue Sodini’s estate. Lisa Marie Fleeher and Ashley Ferragonio filed notices Tuesday in Allegheny County court.

Attorney Henry Sneath says both women were shot and have undergone surgery. He says they’re recovering but face additional surgeries.

Sodini graduated from Pitt in 1992 and named the school as beneficiary in a 2007 will.

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