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Westmoreland Neighborhoods
Westmoreland Briefs: 4/23/03

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

PENN TOWNSHIP: More sinkholes appear

Officials from Penn Township and the state Bureau of Surface Mines are investigating what caused two more sinkholes to appear in a matter of days in that rural Westmoreland County township.

The first, along Boxcartown Road in the northern sector near the new Oak Farms housing plan, is about 15 feet wide, 50 feet long and at least 3 feet deep and was first spotted by a motorist last week.

Bureau of Surface Mines inspector Tom Constensen said the hole was probably caused by mine subsidence and the state will investigate and repair it.

A second sinkhole, this one about 40 feet wide, 100 feet long and 4 to 5 feet deep, was spotted Sunday along Claridge-Elliott Road.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's maintenance manager for Westmoreland County, Duane Moffat, said workers will dig about 15 feet down to the mine shaft to fill the hole in with about 1,000 tons of dirt to fix the problem.

Earlier this month the township asked the government to step in and fix a 2- feet-deep-by-3-feet-wide hole along Burrell Hill Circle, a new housing development. The spot is currently flagged and awaiting repairs. Authorities said there is no danger to adjacent properties.

WESTMORELAND COUNTY: Man guilty of killing woman

A man pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for killing a Monessen mother of four after Westmoreland County prosecutors dropped a first-degree murder charge yesterday.

Jason Brock was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison by Common Pleas Judge Debra A. Pezze as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors.

Brock, formerly of Charleroi, shot and killed 25-year-old Stacey Savko as she sat in her living room on Dec. 16, 2001, investigators said.

Jason Sisley, another adult who lived in the home with Brock and Savko, told investigators that he heard the two argue about a dirty kitchen, then he heard a shot and Brock ran from the house.

Brock, 25, later surrendered to Monessen police.

Two of Savko's children, both younger than 10, witnessed the killing and that was a principal reason for the plea bargain which was reached during a conference between both sides yesterday, senior Assistant District Attorney Wayne B. Gongaware said.

The girls would have had to testify during Brock's trial, Gongaware said, and he wanted to avoid that if he could.

Tire, scrap cleanup set

The county commissioners and PA CleanWays of Westmoreland County are sponsoring a tire, battery and scrap metal collection on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wynnsong Plaza/Carmike Cinema on Route 22 in Delmont. Salandro Refuse, Crabtree and Dan's Tires, Dawson, collect the material for recycling.

Vehicle batteries, clean scrap metal (no plastic, cloth or rubber attached) and non-freon containing appliances will be accepted at no charge. No electronic items (televisions, computers, stereos, microwaves) will be accepted. Freon-containing appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, and dehumidifiers will be accepted for a $10 fee. There is a fee for tire disposal.

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