Westmoreland Briefs, 11/06/03

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WESTMORELAND COUNTY: Police arrest man with gun

State police charged a Westmoreland County man with simple assault and disorderly conduct after they said he produced a shotgun while they were trying to mediate a dispute between him and another man.

Kraig Grant Vonallmen, 43, of Export, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after troopers responded to a confrontation on property along Old William Penn Highway in Salem, state police said. He was arraigned in Westmoreland County Night Court.

State police said they were called by Robert S. Seilhamer, 39, of Greensburg RD 3, to resolve a dispute between Seilhamer and Vonallmen. While troopers were questioning Seilhamer, they said Vonallmen began yelling and cursing at them.

Troopers said they told Vonallmen to stop yelling until they gave him a chance to provide his side of the story. But they said he continued to yell and provoked a physical altercation with Seilhamer, which they broke up.

At that point, troopers said, Vonallmen produced a .12-gauge shotgun. Troopers said they heard him cocking its pump action and saw him holding it at waist level, prompting them to retreat behind their cars.

Vonallmen was arrested after he walked into nearby woods for a short time, then came out without the shotgun, troopers said.

LAUREL MOUNTAIN: Ski area will open
Laurel Mountain Ski Area in Westmoreland County will be open this winter.

The state-owned area will be operated by HomeSpan Financial Group of Petersburg, Va., a corporation that described itself in a news release as a diversified real estate, mortgage and financial services company.

Laurel Mountain Ski Co., owned by George Mowl of Edgewood, reopened the dormant ski area in December 1999 after signing a 35-year lease with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Mowl has been looking to sell his interest in the lease because of recurring financial problems exacerbated by poor snow years.

HomeSpan will require state approval to assume Mowl's lease. The company said it is looking forward to working with the DCNR "to expand the resort into a full-scale resort with additional slopes and trails."

For more information on the ski area, call 724-238-9860 or go to www.skilaurelmountain.com.

GREENSBURG: Newspaper plans layoffs
Tribune-Review Publishing Co., parent firm of the Greensburg Tribune-Review and its Pittsburgh edition, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, last night announced it was laying off 4 percent of its work force.

The company, owned by conservative millionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, cited a sagging economy.

Earlier this year, the Tribune-Review cut its budget for "stringers" -- nonemployees who sell individual stories to the publication -- and staff members said annual raises have been on hold since early this year.

The paper is expected to announce the cuts in today's editions.

Company officials have said the firm employs 1,200 people.


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