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Daily Archives: July 11, 2018

Cities, States, Business Push for More Electric Vehicles

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By: Andrea Sears

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Cities and states are using their collective influence to speed up the transition to electric vehicles. This weekend is the second running of the Formula E Championship, ten teams driving electric cars in a race along the Brooklyn waterfront.

Against that backdrop, The Climate Group, an international organization dedicated to fighting global climate change, launched the “Zero Emission Vehicle Challenge.” Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson said cities and businesses operate large fleets, and by switching to electric, they send a signal to car manufacturers.

“Zero-emission vehicles are here today, so the sooner we can really get them into the market, the better,” Clarkson said. “And by really pulling this demand signal together, we give the surety to manufacturers that they can switch, and they can switch quickly.”

The State of California, as well as cities like Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and major businesses around the world, have joined the Zero Emission Vehicle Challenge.

According to Grant Ervin, Pittsburgh’s Chief Resilience Officer, they are not only bringing low- and zero-emission vehicles into the city’s fleet, they’re adding infrastructure, like solar-powered charging stations.

“What we’re looking to do is create a total zero-emissions lifecycle where we can not just have zero emissions at the tailpipe but also, using renewable energy to power those vehicles, as well,” Ervin said.

He said the city is also installing charging stations in public garages to encourage residents to make the shift to electric vehicles.

Clarkson noted that as demand increases, the price of electric vehicles is falling. As more cities, states and businesses commit to the Zero Emission Challenge, she said, the message is clear.

“We want with this challenge to say to the automotive industry, ‘Tell us what your end game is,'” Clarkson said. “This is happening, so how quickly can you do it? What can you commit to by 2025, and what can you commit to beyond that?”

She added that several countries, including the United Kingdom, Norway, France and India, have said they will ban internal-combustion engines beginning in the year 2040.

Use of County Clean-Air Funds for Building Renovation Challenged

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By: Andrea Sears

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Clean air advocates contend using the County Clean Air Fund for Allegheny County Health Department office renovations is illegal.

The Group Against Smog and Pollution, or GASP, and the Clean Air Council have asked the Court of Common Pleas to stop the county from using the money for purposes that don’t advance efforts to end air pollution. Allegheny County is in the top 2 percent of counties nationwide for cancer risk related to inhaled toxins.

GASP’s Executive Director Rachel Filippini explained the money comes from fines paid by companies that violate pollution permits, and the law dictates how it is supposed to be spent.

“Projects that will actually improve air quality, that help to educate Allegheny County residents about air pollution,” Filippini said; “they could go towards things like supplying a university with money to do a study on air pollution, to try to figure out how to control it better.”

Allegheny County Health Department officials have not responded to reporters’ requests for comment on the lawsuit. The renovation is expected to cost about $9 million, with half the money coming from the Clean Air Fund. The other half would come from a fund used to issue and enforce Title V pollution permits.

Attorney Logan Welde with the Clean Air Council pointed out that many facilities in Allegheny County have been operating for years with expired Title V permits.

“With the Title V fund, they could have sped that process up, hired inspectors,” Welde said. “We believe that both the Clean Air Fund and the Title V fund could have been put to a better use.”

He added that Allegheny County has a rainy-day fund of about $46 million, and the County Council recently approved $114 million for infrastructure bonds.

Filippini noted the law does allow the County Health Department to use up to 5 percent of the balance of the Clean Air Fund every year for operational expenses, but the building renovation project would use much more than that.

“It’s just inappropriate to use this much, an unprecedented, huge amount of this money – nearly 40 percent of the remaining balance – on one building renovation project,” she said.

The groups are asking the Court of Common Pleas to issue a judicial order preventing the use of air-quality improvement funding on the office renovation.


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A convicted drug dealer will serve up to 16 years in prison for a 2017 sale of fentanyl that killed an Elizabethtown man.

Tyler S. Bobola, 22, pleaded guilty in April to felony drug delivery resulting in death and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.

On Aug. 31, Bobola sold the 22-year-old victim heroin – actually pure fentanyl – and the victim overdosed shortly after at his North Cherry Alley home.

Regarding the endangering charge, police found heroin and fentanyl residue near Bobola’s infant child when they searched Bobola’s South Market Street apartment on Sept. 6.

At a recent hearing in Lancaster County Court, Judge Merrill Spahn Jr. sentenced Bobola to 6 years and 8 months to 16 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Barry Goldman said there are differences between legitimate dealers and individuals who sell drugs solely to support their own drug habits.

Bobola’s operation was profitable and had been going on for years, Goldman said.

Goldman showed Judge Spahn photos of what was found at Bobola’s apartment – about 1,000 bags of heroin/fentanyl and eight cellphones, believed to be used in the drug-dealing operation.

Elizabethtown Borough police Detective Dustin Ryan filed charges.


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(In photos: Weeple, left, and Donohue. Donohue also in black-and-white photo.)


Police are still seeking one of two men involved in a home-invasion robbery in Manheim where a couple were threatened at gunpoint and one was struck with a baseball bat.

Manheim Borough police, through investigation, charged:

  • Nathan J. Weeple, 30, of Heisey Avenue, Elizabethtown

  • Mark E. Donohue, 50, of West Main Street, Mount Joy

Both men are charged with numerous offenses, including felony robbery, burglary and aggravated assault regarding the late-night home-invasion on July 5 at an apartment in the 100 block of North Main Street, Manheim.

Both men have prior convictions that prevent them from legally possessing firearms.

Donohue turned himself in to a parole officer Tuesday evening.

Anyone with information about Weeple is asked to contact Manheim Borough police Detective Jeffrey Kiesel at 717-665-2481, or submit tips via this CrimeWatch page or related Facebook post.

The incident happened this way:

Two occupants, a man and woman, reported that two intruders entered their apartment by breaking a window.

Weeple was wearing an “Anonymous/Guy Fawkes” mask, which came off during a scuffle in the apartment. The victims knew him by appearance. The mask was recovered by police.

Weeple struck the male occupant in the head with a baseball bat, requiring hospitalization and stitches.

Donohue was not wearing a mask and brandished a gun during the robbery. He directed the female occupant, at gunpoint, to two safes in the home. Two rifles and about $10,000 was taken.

Donohue was identified by the victims via photos he posted on Facebook. Also, surveillance video captured a vehicle involved in the robbery – it was registered to Donohue.

The video footage shows two individuals, believed to be Weeple and Donohue, fleeing the apartment with loot and leaving in the vehicle.

Based on information gathered so far, it is believed that at least Weeple knew the victims.

via Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office 

Stabbing On East Mifflin Street in Lancaster

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On Monday 09 July 2018 at approximately 1516 hrs. Officers from Platoon C responded to the area of E. Mifflin St. & S. Plum St. for a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, Officers located a 21 year old male with a stab wound to the torso. The victim was conscious and alert and did not provide any details of what had occurred. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment. His injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

Officers canvassed the area for witnesses, evidence and locations for cameras. At this point in the investigation it appears that the victim had been involved in a physical confrontation with a group on the 400 blk. E. Mifflin St. During the fight, one of the people in the group stabbed the victim with an unknown object. The group left and were last seen east toward S. Ann St. The victim went west toward S. Plum St.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Lancaster City Polcie at 717-735-3300.


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(In photo, from left: Salome-Chevere, Ramos-Ocasio, Rosa.)

The collaboration of several Lancaster County law-enforcement agencies led to arrests of three alleged heroin dealers charged with causing the fatal overdose of an Elizabethtown man.

The 37-year-old decedent overdosed on July 2 at his West High Street home. He was pronounced dead at Hershey Medical Center.

An investigation led by Elizabethtown police Detective Dustin Ryan revealed the victim’s direct supplier, Juan M. Rosa, and two other men higher up in the supply chain – Angel Ramos-Ocasio and Erick Salome-Chevere.

All three Lancaster city men are charged with felony drug delivery resulting in death and conspiracy.

Salome-Chevere, 27, believed to be the highest-level dealer of the group, is also charged with felony drug-dealing and related counts. Police found 1,000 bags of heroin-fentanyl at the time of his arrest. He is at Lancaster County Prison on $400,000 bail.

Ramos-Ocasio, 24, and Rosa, 25, are at Lancaster County Prison on $200,000 bail apiece.

Detective Ryan filed charges regarding the death, with assistance in the investigation and arrests by the Lancaster County Drug Task Force, Lancaster city police’s Selective Enforcement Unit, and Ephrata police.

The Lancaster County Drug Task Force charged Salome-Chevere regarding the 1,000 bags.

Assistant District Attorney Barry Goldman approved the charges.

All three men are presumed innocent.

Here is a summation of the investigation:

Detective Ryan went to the West High Street home and learned from another occupant that the decedent obtained the heroin from Rosa. Also, Facebook messages showed contact between Rosa and the decedent.

Detective Ryan and the Drug Task Force arrested Rosa at a location in Lancaster city.

Police later obtained information about Ramos-Ocasio, believed to be Rosa’s supplier. Detective Ryan, the Drug Task Force and Selective Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant in Lancaster city, where Ramos-Ocasio was located along with evidence that linked him to Salome-Chevere.

Salome-Chevere was arrested July 4 during a traffic stop in Ephrata, coordinated by Ephrata police, Detective Ryan and the Drug Task Force.

Salome-Chevere had approximately 1,000 bags of heroin/fentanyl at the time of arrest.

The investigation is ongoing.


Vehicle Theft; Cruelty to Animals in East Lampeter

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On 6/29/2018, the East Lampeter Township Police Department responded to the Rockvale Diner 2472 Lincoln Highway East for a vehicle theft that just occurred. Upon arrival, the victim reported that her green 2002 Ford Explorer had been stolen while she was in the restaurant. The vehicle contained personal property and her dog, a Cairn Terrier. The total value of all property was estimated at $3,000.00.

On 6/30/2018, the victim’s dog was found deceased in the 500 block of Noble Rd., Christiana PA. The dog had apparently been abandoned leading to its death. On 7/3/2018 The Pennsylvania State Police (Avondale) located the stolen vehicle, unoccupied, in Highland Township.

The investigation led to the identification of the suspect as Bryan Joseph DEVOE, 30, of Oxford, PA. Charges were filed against DEVOE on 7/10/2018 for (1) count Theft of Motor Vehicle (F-3), (1) count Theft by Unlawful Taking (M-1), (1) count Cruelty to Animals (M-2).

Sourced: ELTPD

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