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6/28/2016
ROBERT CRISSMAN TO BE SENTENCED TODAY
MAN WAS FOUND GUILTY OF ESCAPING ARMSTRONG CO. JAIL AND KILLING A WOMAN
A Templeton man who escaped from the Armstrong County Jail last July and murdered a woman while he was out will learn his fate today as he is sentenced in Armstrong County Court. 39-year-old Robert Crissman was found guilty of Criminal Homicide, Robbery-inflicting serious injuries, escape and two charges each of theft and receiving stolen property at his trial in May.  In late July of 2015, Crissman was in the Armstrong County Jail and was working as a trustee delivering morning breakfast trays when he walked out an open door and escaped.  He went to the home of Terry Slagle and Tammy Long after his escape, and after Slagle left for work, he strangled and beat Long and took one of their vehicles.  After Crissman was on the run for about 24 hours, he went to someone’s house for further assistance, but the woman at the home closed the door and called 911.  Police later caught Crissman after the second vehicle he stole crashed as he tried to ram a police car. Crissman faces a life sentence in jail.  It’s not known at this time if Crissman plans to appeal.
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6/28/2016
INDIANA SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES FINAL 2016-2017 BUDGET
DISCUSSION ON THREE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SYSTEM ALSO HELD
The Indiana School Board passed their budget for the 2016-2017 school year at last night’s meeting. The budget calls for a 2.3% increase in taxes.  The millage rate, readjusted for the reassessment was 14.726, with the district increasing taxes to 15.06 mills.  The deficit in the budget was around $1.3 million.  Along with the tax increase, Superintendent Dale Kirsch said that there were other procedures in place to fill the deficit. In other business, discussion was held on having a three-school elementary system in the district.  This was the first of three discussion sessions for the district, as they will explore options on having a three-school elementary system, a two-school system, or leaving things the way they are with a four-school system.  Most of the decision on school upgrades or closures will depend on how much money is received from PlanCon state funding.  It was announced that the PlanCon application was submitted on time, and the district’s request is being considered.
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6/28/2016
DERRY AREA TRAFFIC CRASH CLAIMS LIFE OF 8-YEAR-OLD BOY
A traffic crash in the Derry area on Monday afternoon took the life of an 8-year-old boy. Reports say the victim was Augustus Anderson of Derry Borough, who was riding in the car with his father Anthony when an SUV driven by 31-year-old Adam Duffy hit the back of Anderson’s car when it was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Route 22 and Stone Jug road, just east of New Alec at 12:15 Monday afternoon.  State Police from the Kiski Area barracks say that Anthony Anderson was also injured in the crash, but the extent of his injuries is not known at this time.  Duffy was not injured. Augustus was pronounced dead at 12:58 pm on Monday at the Excela Health Latrobe Hospital, according to Westmoreland County Deputy Coroner Tim O’Donnell.  Police say the boy was wearing a seatbelt.  The investigation is on-going at this time.
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6/28/2016
DOWNTOWN INDIANA STREETSCAPE CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES
Work is continuing in the evening hours on Philadelphia Street as part of the Downtown Indiana Streetscape Project.   The night-time work started last week as crews were installing new cross-pipes at intersections between 9th and 6th streets.  Now, crews are working on storm sewer replacement at the intersection of 7th and Philadelphia streets and at the intersection of 7th Street and Carpenter Alley.  So that the work does not interfere with traffic, all the work is going on between 7 PM and 6 AM.   Next week, daytime work is expected to resume, and will focus on work between Carpenter Alley and HB Culpeppers in the 600 block of Philadelphia Street.  Crews will be focusing on curb and sidewalk repairs, pole base excavation and removal, and work on an underground vault at the Culpeppers location.  Crews will also work on the curbs, sidewalks and conduits along with pole base installation in the South 700 block of Philadelphia Street. Downtown Indiana is reminding everyone that businesses remain open during the construction.
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6/28/2016
PRE-TRIAL HEARING HELD FOR MAN CHARGED WITH KILLING COP IN DUI CRASH
The man who was accused of killing a Ligonier Township Police officer in a head-on DUI crash on Route 30 last year says he expects to hear a guilty verdict when he goes up for trial later this year. Yesterday was a pre-trial conference for Clair Fink the Third, who is charged with third degree murder, Homicide by vehicle while DUI and several other crimes in connection with the crash that took the life of Lt. Eric Eslary on May 5th of 2015.  The prosecution says Fink was intoxicated that night when he was driving a van from Westmoreland Pools and Spas and collided head on with a police vehicle driven by Eslary near the entrance to Idlewild Park and Soakzone.  The crash killed Eslary and injured his K-9 Partner, Blek.  Previous reports state that Fink and his passenger were drinking heavily and had gone to several establishments prior to the crash.  If convicted of third degree murder, Fink would spend at the most 20-40 years in prison. Few details are known about what was discussed at the pre-trial conference yesterday.  Assistant District Attorney Allen Powanda said that the defense has requested to move the trial out of Westmoreland ...
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