A Portage man was jailed Monday after he allegedly broke into a business and stole copper valued at approximately $100.

Portage Borough police charged Vernon Charles Havens, 20, of the 600 block of Main Street, with burglary.

Police said Havens kicked in the door of Harpo’s Tavern,

915 Main St., and made off with copper. He then sold it.

Havens was arraigned by on-call District Judge Rick Varner of Salix and sent to Cambria County Prison after failing to post 10 percent of $25,000 bond.

Man performed sex act on kid, police say

A Meyersdale man was arrested after he allegedly performed a sex act on a 4-year-old girl at a Johnstown home.

City police said Randy Lee Raygor, 19, of the 600 block of Oak Ridge Drive, was visiting a home on Iolite Avenue on Saturday when he allegedly performed the sex act on the girl in the bathroom.

He was charged with corruption of minors and criminal attempt to commit involuntary sexual intercourse with a child.

Raygor was arraigned by on-call District Judge John Barron of Upper Yoder Township and sent to Cambria County Prison after failing to post $75,000 bond.

Authorities: Man used child to shield himself

A report of a possible abduction led to the arrest of a man who allegedly used a child to shield himself from Johnstown police.

Police arrived Saturday at a home in the 100 block of

D Street, where neighbors said they saw a man drag a screaming child into the house.

When police were speaking with Richard Maurice Hicks, 31, he allegedly refused to cooperate.

Hicks, who was intoxicated, then used the crying child as a shield when police displayed a Taser, police said. The suspect then dropped the child and fled on foot.

He was caught and charged with endangering the welfare of children, escape, flight to avoid apprehension, resisting arrest, aggravated assault and public drunkenness.

Hicks was arraigned by on-call District Judge Leonard Grecek of Roxbury and sent to Cambria County Prison after failing to post 10 percent of $25,000 bond.

Grand jury calls for overhaul of casino laws

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s casino regulations should be strengthened and personnel and procedures at the Gaming Control Board should be overhauled, a grand jury said in a report issued Tuesday.

The grand jury spent two years investigating how licenses were awarded to casinos, but the probe has not led to any criminal charges and the jury did not recommend them.

But the panel’s 102-page report was highly critical of how agency lawyers, administrators and board members handled their duties. It made 21 recommendations, among them that the board needs more experienced employees, particularly among its lawyers, and should sharply limit the number of secret meetings it holds.

Red Cross workers in Philly area on strike

PHILADELPHIA – More than 200 employees from seven Red Cross blood collection centers in the Philadelphia area are on strike.

The strike started at 7 a.m. Tuesday at seven donor centers.

They’re located in Philadelphia and Willow Grove in Pennsylvania, and Pennsauken and Princeton in New Jersey.

The Health Professionals and Allied Employees Local represents about 30 percent of workers at the roughly 20 blood drives that happen daily in the Philadelphia metropolitan region.

Red Cross spokesman Anthony Tornetta said people can still donate blood but should check with the Red Cross for any scheduling changes.

The sticking points in the negotiations include issues related to staffing, scheduling, training and collective bargaining rights.

The union said no new talks have been scheduled.

Prisoner escapes from hospital via helipad

CHESTER – Police are searching for a man who escaped from a Pennsylvania hospital by jumping from a helicopter landing pad after freeing himself from handcuffs.

The Delaware County Daily Times reported 20-year-old Drakkar Green had been taken into custody by Chester police following a vehicle crash. Officials say he complained of head pain and was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where he was handcuffed to a hospital bed.

Investigators said Green slipped out of his cuffs and was spotted on security footage taking an elevator to the landing pad, which is located beside a road outside the building.

Authorities issued a warrant Monday for Green’s arrest on escape charges.

Police: Girl called grandma before shooting

SHALER – Police said a 7-year-old girl called her grandmother shortly before the girl, her mother and infant sister were fatally shot by the woman’s boyfriend in a quiet Pittsburgh suburb.

Investigators told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Quinn Gasparre called her grandmother Sunday night to say her mother’s live-in boyfriend, Barry Hardesty, was making threats.

A short time later police said he executed the woman and both girls before turning the gun on himself.

When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, they found Quinn Gasparre dead in a hallway. Her mother, Lynette Gasparre, and the woman’s 1-year-old daughter with Hardesty, Nina, were found dead in a bedroom. Each had been shot in the head.

Wireless carriers back 814 ‘overlay’ plan

STATE COLLEGE – Wireless phone companies are backing an alternative to a state Public Utility Commission plan that would have split the vast territory covered by the 814 area code in Pennsylvania into two area codes.

The commission held its first hearings on the issue Tuesday since putting its initial plan on hold in January. That would have created a new 582 area code in northwestern Pennsylvania and leave 814 to a swath of central Pennsylvania.

Representatives for T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and other carriers said they supported an alternative to “overlay” a new area code on the entire current 814 region.

They said an overlay would treat all customers the same way.

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