Here is a look at the top stories of local interest published in The Indiana Gazette the week of June 23-29.
SUNDAY, JUNE 23
Citing poor performance due to the recent economy and competition from Internet sales, the owner of Spotts Music Center on Oakland Avenue said the store will be closing at the end of June. The music lessons, instrument repair and service, and the school music programs will continue, and the location in DuBois will continue to operate. Spotts has been open since the early 1990s.
MONDAY, JUNE 24
A plan for accessibility improvements at the Black Lick fire station will advance this summer and has been given a high priority ranking by the Burrell Township board of supervisors. The township leaders and Indiana County Office of Planning and Development agreed at the supervisors’ monthly meeting last week to invest the township’s 2012 share of block grant money in handicapped-accessibility upgrades at the fire station along Main Street.
That means delaying a waterline extension project for the Fairfield Heights neighborhood for one year.
TUESDAY, JUNE 25
Two Glen Campbell men have been charged with killing an Ernest man during a narcotics transaction Monday evening on a walking trial in Clymer, according to state police and the Indiana County district attorney’s office. Christopher Salsgiver, 22, and Gregory “Sam” Patterson, 33, were charged Tuesday with criminal homicide and held at the Indiana County Jail without bond, accused in connection with the slaying of James “Porky” Alexander, 46, about 9 p.m. Monday in an area near Penn and Sage streets in the southwest section of Clymer.
Patterson faces 15 charges including one count of homicide, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of robbery, and six counts of conspiracy, all felonies; two misdemeanor counts of simple assault and two summary counts of harassment. Troopers filed 12 charges against Salsgiver including one count of criminal homicide, one count of conspiracy to homicide, two counts each of aggravated assault, robbery and conspiracy to robbery, all felonies; plus two counts each of simple assault and harassment.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26
Strong storms that pushed through the area Tuesday night and early this morning caused downed trees and caused widespread power outages while firefighters scrambled to handle a deluge of calls. At one point Tuesday evening, more than 4,200 customers in Indiana County and 250 in Cambria County were without power, REA Energy reported. More than 1,550 Penelec customers were without power during the worst of the storm.
THURSDAY, JUNE 27
White Township will purchase a tract of land adjacent to the recreation complex in an agreement approved at Wednesday’s meeting.
The property, from the estate of Margaret Blosser, borders the back end of the complex, said Milt Lady, township manager. Supervisors approved an agreement of sale to purchase the property at $1,000 an acre for no less than $15,000, said Mike Delaney, solicitor. The agreement is contingent upon a survey to determine the property’s acreage, which is likely in the area of 14 acres.
FRIDAY, JUNE 28
Former doctor Tahir Mir, of White Township, was convicted Thursday of narcotics law violations at a medical clinic he operated along South Fifth Street in Indiana.
Mir, 62, is scheduled to appear Sept. 13 for sentencing, and could be ordered to serve 28 years in prison for his convictions on four felony counts. A jury found Mir guilty of four violations of the Controlled Substances Drugs Devices and Cosmetics Act, including two counts each of writing unlawful prescriptions to the women who accepted them in exchange for sex with him, and two counts of conspiracy to writing unlawful prescriptions between 2008 and 2011.
SATURDAY, JUNE 29
A southern Indiana County woman who stole a quarter-million dollars from Walmart by manipulating coupon redemptions while employed by the retail giant was sentenced in Indiana County Court Friday to serve up to a year in jail. Eileen Zimmerman, 39, of Graceton, might avoid jail time if her application for intermediate house arrest — which would allow her to keep working at her new job — is approved.
President Judge William Martin sentenced Zimmerman to spend six to 12 months in the Indiana County Jail followed by six years on probation, pay a $500 fine and $313.50 as the cost of prosecution, and reimburse Walmart $254,638.50 after she pleaded guilty to theft. State police in Indiana charged Zimmerman with stealing the money from the Walmart in Burrell Township starting in August 2010.