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80-year-old woman charged with stealing more than $36,000 from charity

Published: Thursday, June 14, 2018 @ 1:13 AM

80-Year-Old Woman Allegedly Stole $36,000 From Church

An 80-year-old Pennsylvania woman is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from her Westmoreland County church.

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According to police, she took money from her personal account to help others, then would reimburse herself using money from St. Vincent de Paul.

Once president of St. Florian's St. Vincent de Paul charity, Eleanor Wallak is now accused of stealing more than $36,000 from the account that's meant to help the needy.

"She was using it to purchase things like cigarettes, cat food," said Trooper Steve Limani with Pennsylvania State Police. "She was using it to entertain herself at social clubs, and one of her clients she was supposed to actually help passed away in 2011." 

"If they feel like I used the money improperly, I would be glad to take care of it," Wallak said.

Wallak ran the program through the church to help people with utility bills, food or housing, but instead police say she was spending thousands on herself. 

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She told WPXI that it's all a misunderstanding.

"I did the best I could for the people," Wallak said. "I don't think you could find one person that called for help that I didn't help. Not one." 

From October 2013 to 2016, investigators told WPXI, bank records show more than $14,000 was withdrawn from area ATMS, from the Meadows to Trauger Social Hall.

She's also accused of spending $1,400 at a beer distributor and nearly $5,000 paying off utility bills for herself and her two sons.

"Some of it, they're doing for spite and some of it they're doing whatever reason, I don't know," Wallak said.

"It's the last thing you think an elderly person would do is take advantage of people that are supposed to be receiving money because they're needy," Limani said.

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Couple finally engaged after airline lost luggage containing ring 

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 4:51 AM

An engagement ring was lost during a flight from Europe to Dallas.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
An engagement ring was lost during a flight from Europe to Dallas.(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

A Texas couple is formally engaged after the bride-to-be’s engagement ring was lost in a luggage snafu for nearly three weeks, WFAA reported.

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Ben Adams and his girlfriend Elizabeth Kahle landed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport two-and-a-half weeks ago after a trip to Europe.

Adams hoped to propose to Kahle at her family’s home in Frisco, Texas. But the engagement ring was in one of his suitcases, and during a layover in Iceland all of their luggage was misplaced, WFAA reported.

The luggage was on Iceland-based WOW Airlines. When their flight to Dallas was canceled, Adams and Kahle were rerouted to New York and then Atlanta before finally reaching their destination. 

Adams had to confess to Kahle that the engagement ring was in his luggage, WFAA reported.

“The stakes just went from here to here!” Kahle told the television station.

Adams eventually discovered that their luggage was sent to Boston. The bags were shipped home, and Adams made his formal marriage proposal Wednesday night, WFAA reported.

Kahle said yes.

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Hundreds of Pittsburgh protesters marching over death of Antwon Rose shut down traffic for miles

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 11:10 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:01 AM

Officer Allegedly Kills Unarmed Teen After Being Sworn In Hours Before

Hundreds of marchers took to the streets of Pittsburgh Thursday night, protesting the fatal police shooting of a teenager during a traffic stop Tuesday night.

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Traffic was brought to a standstill as protesters spilled onto Pittsburgh’s Parkway East.

 

The protest was described by WPXI reporters on the scene as “tense,” but “peaceful so far.”

Marchers, holding signs and cell phones, sat down in the street, blocking traffic and causing a back up for miles. 

Protesters were told to voluntarily disperse by 1 a.m. Friday. Pennsylvania State Police were able to clear all protesters by 2:45 a.m. At least one woman was arrested.

Residents were angry and upset over the fatal police shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Antwon Rose.

Allegheny County police officials said that Rose was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in East Pittsburgh around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday because it fit the description of a car seen fleeing the area of a shooting in the nearby borough of North Braddock. As an officer handcuffed the driver of the car, which investigators said had bullet damage to the back window, Rose and a second passenger got out of the car and ran. 

Footage of the shooting posted on Facebook Tuesday shows the scene from a distance. The 18-second video shows Rose and the other passenger, who has not been found by police, get out of the car and make a break for the yard between two nearby houses.

Three shots are heard and one of the passengers appears to fall into the grass.

Rose, who police officials said was struck three times, was taken to McKeesport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

The Allegheny County medical examiner on Thursday ruled the teen’s death a homicide. 

The East Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed Rose  was sworn in just hours before the fatal encounter.

Mayor Louis Payne told WPXI Wednesday that the unidentified officer who killed Rose previously spent seven years working in other departments, but confirmed that he was working his first shift following his official swearing in with the East Pittsburgh Police Department.

Pictured is the spot on East Pittsburgh's Grandview Avenue where unarmed teen Antwon Rose was shot and killed by a police officer Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Witnesses said Rose, 17, was shot in the back as he ran from a traffic stop.(Keith Srakocic/via AP)

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Driver surprised by snake surrounding leg while driving

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 8:59 AM

Woman Finds Snake Wrapped Around Leg While Driving

Time to get a new car! 

A woman said she was driving when she felt something on her leg. And it wasn’t her imagination. The unidentified woman saw a six-foot-long snake slithering up her leg, WSPA reported.

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A pest removal service in Rutherford County said that a customer of theirs had a box in her car that she was taking to the dump. The box had been sitting outside and the snake had crawled in. The Bug Man reminded people in its Facebook post about the incident, to always check boxes and planters before moving them. Snakes and other critters can make containers their home.

She called police for help and they got the serpent out of her vehicle using snake tongs, WSPA reported.

The stowaway’s story doesn’t end there. The snake actually got out of its container while police were relocating it, but eventually got out of the police car and made its way into a creek, WSPA reported.

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Teen sucked into drainage pipe by floodwaters, emerges across street

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 10:43 PM

Ben Smith estimates he was trapped in the pipe for about a minute before washing out in a small creek on the other side of the road. (WPXI.com)
Ben Smith estimates he was trapped in the pipe for about a minute before washing out in a small creek on the other side of the road. (WPXI.com)

A Pennsylvania teenager admits he’s lucky to be alive after getting sucked into a drainage pipe underneath a road south of Pittsburgh.

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Ben Smith was helping clear debris from outside of neighbors’ houses during massive flooding Wednesday night.

"There was a quick moment when I thought I wouldn't get out. It felt like I was going down," Smith said. "We were trying to move a van away from it and clear some debris. I went to go after this wood panel and my foot slipped and I just went right under."

Neighbors tried to pull him out, but the floodwater was too strong and Smith was washed away.

He said his instincts and Eagle Scout training kicked in.

"It teaches you to be prepared for any sort of circumstance that comes your way," Smith said. "I knew going against the water would not work at all. So I just tucked in and hoped I could end up somewhere."

Smith estimates he was trapped in the pipe for about a minute before washing out in a small creek on the other side of the road.

He escaped with no broken bones and no major injuries, which shocked his friends and neighbors.

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