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Gunfire wounds three bystanders

on April 01, 2013 10:55 AM

EDGEWOOD (AP) — Police are investigating a gunfight at a Pittsburgh area shopping plaza that left three people wounded.

It happened late Saturday afternoon at the Edgewood Towne Centre.

Edgewood police told media outlets two men started shooting at each other, wounding three bystanders.

The victims were taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported one man was in fair condition Saturday night after undergoing surgery for a stomach wound.

Another man and a woman suffered leg wounds.

Police are still looking for the gunmen.

Steep ascent eyed in fatal air crash

SMOKETOWN (AP) — Authorities in central Pennsylvania said the crash of an ultralight aircraft shortly after takeoff that killed the pilot may have been due to a too-steep ascent.

Officials in Lancaster County said the aircraft took off from Smoketown Airport shortly after 5:45 p.m. Saturday but went down about 100 yards away.

Police in East Lampeter Township said Sunday that the aircraft crashed into an unoccupied mobile home that was being dismantled on the site of an auto repair garage.

The pilot, Michael Blank, 30, of Gap, was killed. He was the only person in the aircraft.

Officer Nathan Westerman said investigators believe that the aircraft ascended too rapidly and stalled in midair, leading to the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration defers investigation of ultralight crashes to local law enforcement.

Paper: Fired officer will get pension

READING (AP) — An eastern Pennsylvania police officer fired after mistakenly killing a fellow officer during a shootout nearly a decade ago will be eligible for a $36,000 annual pension in June, according to records reviewed by a newspaper.

Reading’s mayor and police chief said James Palange, 39, qualifies for the pension because he remained on paid suspension for six years while appealing his termination, The Reading Eagle reported.

He had 13 years on the force, counting the suspension time, more than the dozen needed to be vested.

Mayor Vaughn Spencer and Chief William Heim both declined to say what took so long, saying it was a personnel matter.

In June 2004, three undercover officers were trying to arrest Andrew Smith, 24, in connection with an earlier shooting.

A shootout began, and Palange pulled up on what he said appeared to him to be rival gangs firing at each other.

He opened fire, and one bullet ricocheted and killed officer Michael Wise II, 32, of Myerstown, who was in the car.

CONSOL checking mine after fire

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — CONSOL Energy officials said they don’t know when production will resume at a mine straddling the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border that was shut down by a fire.

Six teams working rotating shifts began examining the mine Wednesday.

CONSOL said the fire is out. The company continues to monitor gas levels.

The mine was cleared March 12 when smoke began pouring from the Orndorff shaft in Wayne Township, which is in Pennsylvania.

The mine is a massive longwall operation that employs more than 500 workers. Pittsburgh-based CONSOL says it produces about 400,000 tons a month when operating normally.

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