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Allegheny area news briefs
[June 13, 2012]

Allegheny area news briefs

Jun 13, 2012 (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Fixes limit parking space in 2 Downtown garages Commuters who regularly park in two Downtown garages found space limited on Tuesday morning because of the start of renovations that will continue through January.

In a $4.5 million project, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority is repairing decks, support beams and columns in garages at Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Sixth Street; and at Smithfield Street and Liberty Avenue.

Construction is limiting access to about 300 spaces in the Fort Duquesne-Sixth garage and about 200 in the Smithfield-Liberty garage. The number of available parking spaces will vary daily depending on construction.

2 jailed, accused of robbing woman in Squirrel Hill Two teens robbed a woman in Squirrel Hill using a pellet gun, Pittsburgh police said.

Police charged Jordan Garza, 16, of Carrick, and Austin Prino, 17, of Squirrel Hill as adults with robbery, conspiracy, reckless endangerment, possessing instruments of a crime and carrying a facsimile of a firearm.

The woman told police that three teens showed her a gun and demanded her purse after she left work at the Giant Eagle on Murray Avenue about 11:50 p.m. Monday.

Police found a group of people, including Garza and Prino, around the corner on Forbes Avenue, spotted the gun in a flower pot and found the woman's debit card. The woman identified Garza and Prino as two of the robbers and police took them to Allegheny County Jail.

Man arraigned in assault at First Niagara Pavilion concert A Beaver County man is accused of knocking a woman to the ground, beating her and biting off the tip of her right ring finger during a concert earlier this month in Hanover.

Zachary Nicholas Leone, 22, of Hopewell was attending the Lady Antebellum concert at First Niagara Pavilion on June 2 when he got into an altercation with the woman, whose name has not been released, according to a criminal complaint.

Leone was arraigned on Monday before District Judge Gary Havelka on charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. He was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 19.

Internet monitoring of waterways OK'd The Port of Pittsburgh Commission has awarded a $1.3 million contract to a Cambria County company to develop and operate a wireless Internet network for the region's waterways.

The "Wireless Waterways" project -- portions of which are scheduled to be up and running by late summer -- will cover waterways in Allegheny, Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland counties. It will be paid for with a $975,000 port-security federal grant and $325,000 from the commission.

In addition to allowing law enforcement agencies to monitor rivers and streams through camera's linked to the Internet, the public eventually can go online when they are on the water.

The contract was awarded to Conxx Pennsylvania Inc. of Johnstown.

Corps offers Q&A about nuke-cleanup in Parks Twp.

The Army Corps of Engineers will conduct a public meeting on June 26 to answer questions about the cleanup of the nuclear-waste dump along Route 66 in Parks.

The corps doesn't have much new information to present but wants the public to have an opportunity to ask questions at the 6 p.m. meeting about the future cleanup of the site, a spokesman said.

The waste dump, owned by BWX Technologies (Babcock & Wilcox), was active from about 1960 to the early 1970s . It received nuclear and chemical waste from the former Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. (NUMEC) in Apollo and Parks, which produced nuclear fuel for submarines and a range of nuclear products for the government and private industry.

UPMC Shadyside expansion, parking plan OK'd The Pittsburgh Planning Commission recommended approval on Tuesday of a 10-year development plan guiding UPMC's plans to expand its Shadyside hospital and develop parking as well as medical and other facilities.

Some neighborhood residents said they were concerned that the changes would bring too much traffic into the area. UPMC made changes to the project to address those concerns.

The master plan and necessary zoning changes now go to City Council for approval.

Slaying results in 20-40-year term for North Side man An Allegheny County judge sentenced a North Side man on Tuesday to 20 to 40 years in prison for fatally shooting a Hazelwood man on Father's Day.

Common Pleas Judge Anthony Mariani imposed the sentence on Rayshawn Edwards, 21, of Fineview for the slaying of Christopher Jones, 27. Mariani convicted him of third-degree murder, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment for the shooting that occurred on June 19 in the 1700 block of Belleau Drive in Fineview.

Prosecutor Daniel Fitzsimmons said that Edwards shot Jones in the chest and a woman in the hip. The woman survived.

Fitzsimmons said Jones had just gotten off the phone with his father when the shooting occurred.

Monroeville hires manager A municipal manager was hired on Tuesday night in Monroeville to replace former manager Tim Little, who resigned in January under pressure from a majority of council.

After an interview process that included dozens of applicants, council hired Jeffrey Silka at a starting salary of $90,000. Silka is the executive director of the Somerset County Economic Development Council and has 11 years of experience as a community manager, including three years as city manager in Johnstown.

Council voted 6-0 in favor of the hire. Councilman Clarence Ramsey was not in attendance for the vote.

Councilman Bernhard Erb called Silka a good fit for the community, saying: "What he brings to Monroeville will be very beneficial." Silka is scheduled to start July 11.

Pittsburgh Public Schools studies idea for online academy The Pittsburgh Public Schools board is studying a proposal to implement an online academy for students in grades 6-12 who are enrolled in a cyber charter school and live in the city.

Superintendent Linda Lane told a board committee meeting on Tuesday that the district spends more than $11 million on cyber charter schools, which she said "lack oversight and accountability to educate students who live within our district." Lane said students who enroll in the online academy would "receive an education that meets state standards" and make them eligible for scholarships.

The board is expected to vote on the school later this month. If approved, the school will open in September under an arrangement with Waterfront Learning, a service of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

Tweet ___ (c)2012 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) Visit The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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