CHESWICK — District attorney's detectives say a 53-year-old western Pennsylvania woman used her power of attorney to steal more than $20,000 from her 101-year-old aunt.
Online court records don't list an attorney for Kathryn Romea, of Cheswick, who didn't answer her cell phone Thursday. She faces a Nov. 7 preliminary hearing.
The Allegheny County prosecutor's office say Romea spent the money by cashing checks from her aunt's bank account and later by spending money in a second account she opened that mixed her aunt's Social Security income with that from the suspect's own pay checks and her husband's unemployment checks.
A second person granted power of attorney over the alleged victim's finances cooperated with detectives, who were also told by the alleged victim that she never gave Romea permission to keep or spend the money on herself.
Man dead after car hits carcass hit by another
WORTHINGTON — State police say a western Pennsylvania man has been killed after his car hit the carcass of a deer that was knocked into his lane by another car, causing the victim's car to crash into a tri-axle truck.
Troopers in Kittanning have yet to release the name of the 34-year-old Homer City man killed Thursday about 5:20 a.m. on U.S. Route 422 in West Franklin Township. That's about 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Police say the deer was first hit by an eastbound car, sending the carcass into the westbound lanes where the victim's car also hit the animal, went out of control, then smashed into the eastbound truck.
The passenger in the dead man's car has been taken to a Pittsburgh hospital with serious injuries. Police say the truck driver was treated nearby.
2 workers injured in brewery boiler mishap
BREINIGSVILLE — Production at the Samuel Adams Pennsylvania Brewery has been halted after a boiler mishap left a pair of workers with minor injuries.
Michelle Sullivan says the accident happened just after 12 p.m. Thursday at the facility and emergency services responded to the scene. She says one worker in the boiler room was hit with either smoke or steam and that it had agitated his eyes while another worker was hit on the head.
Neither was taken to a hospital.
The brewery's 100 or so workers were evacuated to the parking lot and production has been halted while officials investigate the cause of the incident.
The brewery is one of three that The Boston Beer Co. operates, along with its flagship location in Boston and a third in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Teen moved, double-slaying hearing delayed
FRANKLIN — A 13-year-old northwestern Pennsylvania boy has been transferred to a juvenile detention center.
Zachary Proper, of Oil City, has been moved from the Venango County Jail in Franklin to a detention center in Erie, where he remains held without bond in the Oct. 7 slayings of his grandparents, 69-year-old George Fross and 67-year-old Dorothy Fross. Police say the teen told them he shot the couple after they made disparaging remarks about his mother.
Proper's defense attorney did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday.
The boy is charged as an adult in the slayings and faces up to life in prison if convicted, though his attorney could petition to move the case to juvenile court where he'd face incarceration or supervision only until he turns 21.
Wednesday's preliminary hearing has been postponed until Oct. 31.
Gas drilling operation to pay $84k EPA fine
AVELLA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a gas drilling company has agreed to pay $84,500 to settle alleged violations at natural gas production sites in western Pennsylvania.
Atlas Resources LLC, based in Pittsburgh, was cited for Clean Air Act violations and for failing to provide emergency responders with information on hazardous chemicals stored at a facility in Avella in 2008 and 2009. That's about 35 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
Atlas says in a statement that it cooperated with EPA and agreed to install additional equipment at the site to protect the environment.
Atlas did not admit or deny EPA's allegations.
Scranton Parking Authority can't pay its creditors
SCRANTON — The Scranton Parking Authority will be notifying former employees that their only recourse to getting their back pay may be to sue.
The Times-Tribune reports that the authority's solicitor Joseph O'Brien said Wednesday there are no funds to pay former employees' back pay or two bank loans. Exact amounts of what is owed to former employees and the banks were not immediately available.
A court-appointed receiver has taken over the beleaguered parking authority.
Its dismantling has been unfolding over the past four months and aims to reduce the amount of debt the city must pay back if the authority cannot fully make its bond payments.
Steelworkers ratify contract with ArcelorMittal
PITTSBURGH — The United Steelworkers say that workers have ratified a three-year contract with ArcelorMittal USA that negotiators agreed to last month.
The contract covers nearly 14,000 workers at ArcelorMittal USA's flat carbon, long carbon and iron ore mining locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Louisiana and South Carolina.
The USW says in a statement released Thursday that 94 percent of the ballots were in favor of the contract.
ArcelorMittal said in a statement last month that it was pleased to have reached a "fair and equitable outcome without disruption to our business operations."
Smith, Casey tangle over Medicaid, Social Security
PHILADELPHIA — Protecting Social Security and Medicare are emerging as high-profile issues in Pennsylvania's race for U.S. Senate.
Democratic Sen. Bob Casey went on the attack in a news conference Thursday in an effort to fend off Republican challenger Tom Smith.
Casey wouldn't give specifics on what he'd support to extend the programs' solvency. He says a broad, bipartisan agreement will have to be negotiated in Congress after the election and that he's willing to work with Republicans.
Smith's campaign says he'd let a temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax expire in January.
Smith also supports giving taxpayers the option of diverting Social Security taxes into private investment accounts and giving future Medicare beneficiaries the option of getting a government check to help buy private coverage.
Casey opposes those ideas.