Bahai News - News Digest
Saturday, March 10, 2001
A Port Authority Transportation spokesman said yesterday that charges have
not been filed against trolley operator James Fisher in connection with an
accident Thursday that left a Beaver County tow truck driver hospitalized.
Bob Grove said the 2:50 p.m. incident at East Warrington Avenue and Craighead
Street in Beltzhoover remains under investigation. He would not release the
name of the 52-year-old victim from Industry who suffered a broken leg and was
in fair condition at Mercy Hospital.
Woman held for trial
A Terrace Village woman was held for trial Wednesday on charges she had
fraudulently obtained $132,581 in state public assistance, medical benefits
and federal food stamps over nearly 18 years, ending in December 1999.
The suspect, Lisa Wade, 37, of Bentley Drive in the Hill District, was
released on $10,000 bail following her preliminary hearing before
McKeesport District Justice Thomas S. Brletic.
The case against Wade is believed to be the largest welfare fraud case
ever investigated by the state's office of inspector general. She is
charged with unlawfully obtaining $76,979 in Pennsylvania Public
Assistance, $34,094 in medical benefits and $21,508 in food stamps
between Nov. 1, 1982, and Dec. 31, 1999.
According to testimony, a caseworker received information that Wade was
receiving benefits for a son, Ronald, who was not under her care and
control. A follow-up investigation showed her son had never lived with
her at any time since he was born.
MAN FOUND NEAR TRACKS
An unidentified elderly man found yesterday lying near a CSX railroad
tunnel behind Iron City Brewery in Lawrenceville remained in critical
condition at UPMC Presbyterian late yesterday.
Medics and police said the man, whose core body temperature had dropped
several degrees below normal, had abrasions.
He was found at 6:45 a.m. and was wearing a flannel shirt, hospital
scrubs and socks. Police believe he is between 60 and 70 years old. They
said he is very thin, has gray hair and severe arthritis in his legs.
PANEL TO DISCUSS MEDIA
The Black/Jewish Dialogue of Pittsburgh is sponsoring a panel discussion
tomorrow on the media's role in race and ethnicity at the Episcopal
Church of the Redeemer.
The free program will feature Frank Bolden, former editor of the old
Pittsburgh Courier; Tene Croom, news director of the American Urban
Radio Network; David Johnson, news anchor for WPXI-TV; and Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette columnist Sally Kalson.
Among topics will be the media's handling of stories dealing with racial
and ethnic themes.
The Black/Jewish Dialogue of Pittsburgh is a joint subcommittee of the
Pittsburgh chapter of the American Jewish Committee and the United
Jewish Federation's community relations committee. The program is
offered in cooperation with the African American Chamber of Commerce,
the Pittsburgh branch of the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People and the Urban League of Pittsburgh Inc.
The church is at 5700 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill.
BAHA'I FAITH OVERVIEW
As part of an ongoing program to expand the public's awareness of the
Baha'i faith, the Pittsburgh Baha'i community is sponsoring a guest
speaker and discussion today at the University of Pittsburgh.
Michael Penn, a professor of psychology at Franklin & Marshall College
and past academic dean at the Landegg Baha'i Academy in Switzerland,
will present an introduction to Baha'i principles.
The Baha'i Faith was founded in 1863 by a Persian nobleman in Iran. Its
followers are estimated at 5 million in more than 220 countries and
Baha'is believe in the oneness of God, accept the truth of the basic
foundations of the major world religions and are devoted to the
principle of oneness of humanity.
Penn's talk will be at the Public Health Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is free. For details, call 412-630-9175.
GRAND MARSHAL NAMED
A trustee for Teamsters Union Local 249 has been named grand marshal of
Pittsburgh's annual St. Patrick's Day parade next Saturday.
James Mullin of Shaler will receive the grand marshal sash following the
annual St. Patrick's Mass at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the center ballroom of
the Marriott City Center hotel, Uptown. The parade, held annually since
at least 1869, has become one of the largest St. Patrick's Day
processions in the United States.
Mullin is a truck driver for the H.J. Heinz Co. and a member of the
Ancient Order of Hibernians. The parade is sponsored by the Irish
Society for Education and Charity and will feature the theme "Marching
into the New Millennium."
DRUG TRAFFICKING VERDICT
A jury on Thursday found a Moon woman guilty of participating in a
large-scale drug-trafficking operation between New York City and
Pittsburgh, according to U.S. Attorney Harry Litman.
From June 1995 to June 1998, Litman said, Linda Lee Chandler, 38, of
Newton Square Drive, and her co-conspirators drove regularly from
Pittsburgh to New York in vehicles with hidden compartments where she
hid tens of thousands of dollars. In New York, Chandler bought cocaine
and resold it in Pittsburgh, Litman said. Chandler will be sentenced on
REVITALIZATION PLANS OFFERED
Two revitalization proposals were presented to commissioners Thursday
Both ideas, presented by the Neville Island Development Association,
revolve around access to Interstate 79, the availability of good
riverfront property, and the combination of residential and industrial
The first plan would use existing facilities to attract a new economic
base. The second plan would develop the township as a recreational site
to attract visitors to the island and improve the economy.
The verdict in the trial of a Penn Township man accused of sexually
molesting a teenage girl was sealed yesterday after the defendant
collapsed with chest pains while the jury was deliberating his fate.
Mark Ressler was stricken in the Westmoreland County Courthouse lobby about
an hour and a half after his case went to the jury. He was taken to Jeannette
District Memorial Hospital, where he was being evaluated last night.
The jury did not know about Ressler's problem and continued to
deliberate until it reached a decision in late afternoon.
County park police said Ressler, 41, told them he had a history of heart
problems and that he did not have his medication with him when the pains
Ressler is accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl several times about
four years ago. He is charged with aggravated indecent assault, indecent
assault, child endangerment and two counts of corrupting a minor.
"This has never happened to me before," said Common Pleas Judge Richard E.
McCormick Jr., who sealed the verdict and placed a gag order on the jury.
McCormick said state law requires that the verdict be announced in the
presence of the defendant. He said he will recall the jury when Ressler
is a able to appear in court again.
Defense attorney David Caruthers objected to the jury's continued
deliberations after Ressler was stricken, but he did not ask for a mistrial.
West Mifflin police and the FBI are investigating a bank robbery that
occurred at 2:50 p.m. yesterday at Iron and Glass Bank on Lebanon Church
In the West Mifflin robbery, police are looking for a white male in his
late 30s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, medium to heavy build, wearing a
baseball cap, sunglasses and a heavy olive green down jacket, according
to FBI spokesman Bill Crowley.
Descriptions of recent area bank robberies, some with photos, are on the
Web site www.bankguys.net.
COUPLE SUES COUNTY
A city couple filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging Allegheny County's
decision to assess property at 100 percent of market value this year,
based on the results of the reassessment.
In their Common Pleas Court complaint, Kevin and Jennifer Garrett of
South Lexington Avenue, Point Breeze, charge that values set as part of
the countywide reassessment, as the whole, do not equal 100 percent of
If allowed to stand, the Garretts, who are appealing their assessment,
claim they will pay more than their fair share in taxes because their
property value is one that is at 100 percent of sales price.
Others in the same situation also will be harmed, the lawsuit stated.
The couple's attorney, John Silvestri, said he has found areas where the
assessments computed by county contractor Sabre Systems and Service
range from 80 percent to 88 percent of the 2000 sales price.
The lawsuit is asking a judge to force the county to establish a
different ratio based on what percentage assessments are to 2000 sales
prices, for use in appeal hearings.
©Copyright 2001, Post-Gazette Publishing
Page last updated/revised 031001
Return to the Bahá'í Association's Main Web Page