THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Here is a look at the top stories of local interest published in The Indiana Gazette during the week of July 6-12:
SUNDAY, JULY 6
Penns Manor Area High School graduate Meagan Hilty reached a milestone this year when she earned her high school diploma — and an accompanying associate’s degree from Penn Highlands Community College.
And she did it a year earlier than anticipated.
Her accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without the dual enrollment program the school district offers to its students. Penns Manor has two cooperative agreements, one with Penn Highlands and another with Mount Aloysius College that allows the district to offer dual enrollment credits to its high school students so they can receive college credit while they are earning high school credit.
MONDAY, JULY 7
Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco, who was born and raised in Punxsutawney and spent his summers playing in the local Junior and Senior Legion baseball leagues, has been picked to play in the All-Star Game. Mesoraco, a former first-round draft pick, learned Sunday that he was chosen for the game, which will be played Tuesday at Target Field, in Minneapolis.
In just his second full season in the major leagues, Mesoraco is having quite a year.
Through 51 games, he was batting .307 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs. Earlier this season, he hit a home run in five consecutive games, and in the process became the first player in major league history to hit a solo home run, a two-run homer, a three-run homer and a grand slam, in that order, in four consecutive games.
TUESDAY, JULY 8
A fire of uncertain origin early today destroyed the assembly and distribution plant of the V-King Corp. in a secluded section of Center Township along Route 954 between Indiana and Brush Valley.
Volunteers from 10 area fire departments answered the alarm at 4:58 a.m., most of them responding with tanks and hoses to help run water to the burning building. V-King, a small manufacturer and supplier of parts and rigs for the well drilling industry, is owned by LeRoy and Lois Hetager, of White Township.
It was located near Snyder Road.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 9
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for a 25-year-old man accused of providing the heroin that killed a friend last fall. Ryan J. Gould, of Shelocta, is to appear Wednesday before District Judge Jennifer Rega on charges of drug delivery resulting in death, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, recklessly endangering another person and making unsworn falsification to authorities.
According to state police in Indiana, Gould acquired the heroin that led to the death of Stephanie I. Elliott, of Blacklick Township. Elliott, 23, was Indiana Area High School graduate and was attending Penn State’s Erie campus, where she was pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering.
THURSDAY, JULY 10
The Indiana County commissioners Wednesday credited Indiana County Jail Warden Sam Buzzinotti and Kami Anderson, executive director of the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission, with successfully shepherding the Medical Assistance County Jail Pilot Program, which led to the county receiving a Criminal Justice Best Practices Award from the County Commissioners Association.
The pilot program, launched in May 2013, enables jail inmates, upon their release at the completion of their sentence, to go directly into residential drug and alcohol treatment programs, if needed.
Previously, long periods of time often elapsed between an inmate’s release from jail and the start of needed drug and alcohol treatment, and in some cases inmates never followed through on getting needed treatment.
FRIDAY, JULY 11
A state police fire marshal has been asked to investigate the cause of a blaze that heavily damaged a vacant house being remodeled at 80 Pinecrest Drive, White Township.
Firefighters from Indiana and Clymer responded to the alarm about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Ron Moreau, rescue captain of the Indiana Fire Association, said the home’s owners, who were not identified, smelled smoke inside the home and called 911. The firefighters had to pull down ceilings to make sure the burning insulation near the roof trusses was extinguished, Moreau said.
No serious injuries were reported.
A damage estimate has not yet been set.
SATURDAY, JULY 12
An Indiana County man faces child pornography charges after his arrest at his home Tuesday, according to the state attorney general’s office.
John O’Harra, 42, 24 Wilgus Road, Apt. 1, Hillsdale, was one of eight men charged as part of ongoing statewide effort to target the online sharing, downloading and distribution of child pornography, Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced Friday.
According to the criminal complaint, agents located several files containing suspected child pornography that were being made available for download through a peer-to-peer network.
The computer’s IP address was later identified as serving O’Harra’s apartment, according to police.