Here is a look at the top stories of local interest published in The Indiana Gazette during the week of Sept. 1-7.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 1
The deadline to vote in the effort to save Indiana’s Palace Theater Drive-In from going dark is Monday by 9 a.m. To vote, log on to www.projectdrivein.com and search for Indiana, Pa., to cast your vote for Palace Gardens. Also, text your “Vote105” to the number 444999. The American Honda Motor Co. started an online voting site to collect votes, and the company will donate a digital projector, needed to upgrade the drive-in, to each of the five theaters that receive the most ballots. Locally, The Indiana Gazette and Delaney Honda are teaming up on the effort.
MONDAY, SEPT. 2
The Gazette did not publish because of the Labor Day holiday.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 3
Twelve area bands will participate in Band Fest on Saturday, Sept. 21. The event begins at 6 p.m. at Indiana Area Senior High School’s Andy Kuzneski Field. The concession stand will open at 5 p.m. Participating will be high school bands from Blairsville, Burrell, DuBois, Freeport, Indiana Area, Marion Center Area, Northern Cambria, Penns Manor, Punxsutawney, Purchase Line and United.
The show will conclude with a performance by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania marching band.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 4
Two Glen Campbell men were ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges relating to the murder of an Ernest man during a drug deal on a Clymer walking trail. Testimony during the preliminary hearing revealed cellphone records and saw two new criminal complaints related to gun theft charges against the accused continued.
All charges against Gregory “Sam” Patterson, 34, and Christopher Salsgiver, 23, were held for trial at the hearing presided over by Magisterial District Judge George Thachik. The two are charged with killing James “Pork” Alexander, 46, during a narcotics transaction on the evening of June 24. Alexander and a friend, Jeffrey Swigart, met with the two on the trail around 8 p.m. after Patterson had texted Swigart looking to buy three bundles of heroin.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 5
One person was killed and three others were injured Wednesday morning in a traffic accident involving a shuttle bus transporting elderly women to an adult day-care facility. According to authorities, Sondra Livingston, 70, of Homer City, died after being thrown from the shuttle when it collided with a car at Ben Franklin Road and Shelly Drive in White Township.
Livingston and two other women were on their way to the SeniorCARE facility in White Township when the accident occurred. Police said the shuttle driver, Michael Smith, 20, of Nanty Glo, failed to stop at a red light and collided with a vehicle driven by Frank Fazio Jr., 77. Livingston was flown to Allegheny General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 12:14 p.m. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma to her head and torso.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 6
A Butler County woman was killed and her son was injured in a head-on collision Thursday on Route 286 near Abbey Road in White Township, authorities reported.
Martha Jane Sybert, 80, of Renfrew, died from blunt-force injuries to her head and chest, according to Chief Deputy Coroner Jerry Overman. He said Sybert had used a seat belt.
State police reported Sybert was killed about 4:15 p.m. when the eastbound car she was driving crossed the center of the road into the path of a westbound pickup truck driven by John Stark Jr., of Latrobe, Westmoreland County.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 7
The state Superior Court has upheld the conviction of a man serving a life sentence for the 2001 murder of a Plumville woman.
In a ruling issued Wednesday, the court rejected Randy Whitacre’s latest appeal of the life sentence he is serving for the murder of Theresa Dalessio. He is incarcerated at SCI Benner in Centre County.
Whitacre shot Dalessio, 32, and injured her 18-month-old son when he broke into their house the night of Oct. 6, 2001.
According to state police, Whitacre had been upset about the slow pace of a lawsuit against Dalessio’s husband, Douglas.