August 1st, 2012
RIDGWAY - A 12-member jury delivered mostly guilty verdicts Wednesday in well over 100 individual charges against Daniel Aiello, 27, of St. Marys, stemming from a succession of camp burglaries committed in Elk, McKean, and Cameron counties between late 2010 and 2011.
The verdicts came following hours of deliberation, with the charges and jury's decision delivered individually, designated by county and camp. Some charges were listed twice on the verdict slip as Aiello was charged with burglarizing a number of camps on two separate occasions.
Editor's note: This is the sixth part in a series of articles based on a presentation given by area historian and photographer Ray Beimel regarding the history of the Pittsburg, Shawmut, & Northern Railroad.
According to local historian Ray Beimel, the Pittsburg, Shawmut, & Northern Railroad impacted many areas of the community, and during a recent presentation at the St. Marys Senior Center he even blamed the railroad for getting St. Marys residents into the habit of going out of town to shop.
FOX TWP. - On Wednesday evening, the Fox Township Supervisors approved forwarding an addendum to Elk County Catholic High School which increases the soccer team's fees to utilize the township's field for all of their home games. The school may choose to approve or reject the addendum.
Supervisors Dave Mattiuz and Mike Keller voted in favor of the fee increase, while Randy Gradizzi cast an opposing vote.
"I'm opposed to it. I think if we're going to change something, we need to do it at the beginning of the year when we do our budget," Gradizzi said.
Edward R. Flacinski, 88, of 103 Clarion Rd., Johnsonburg, died Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at his residence following a lengthy illness.
He was born Feb. 29, 1924 in Johnsonburg, son of the late Stanley and Catherine Brzostek Flacinski. He married Shirley Nyquist, who survives, on Oct. 1, 1949 in St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church in Ridgway. He had resided in Johnsonburg all of his life. He graduated from Johnsonburg High School in 1942.
The second day in the jury trial of Daniel Aiello, 27, of St. Marys, charged with 134 counts of felony burglary and charges related to camp burglaries that occurred across Elk, Cameron, and McKean counties between 2010 and 2011, saw testimony from investigators as well as the defendant's half-brother, who is also charged in the crimes.
Mark Paul Kimes Aiello, 20, of Kane, testified Tuesday that his half-brother Daniel Aiello burglarized over 100 camps in Elk, Cameron, and McKean counties beginning in Benezette Township in November 2010.
Many area residents own guns, and those guns have a story, whether they helped bag the biggest buck or were used by a grandfather in World War II.
St. Marys resident Anthony Wickett just scored a coup by acquiring a firearm that was used by a member of one of the most infamous gangs of the West.
Because the route of the Pittsburg, Shawmut, and Northern Railroad was "hilly and curvy," it saw its fair share of wrecks, according to local historian Ray Beimel.
While there were not a lot of "really big train wrecks in this area," there were a number of minor incidents and a wrecker known as 'the big hook' was kept in St. Marys and saw occasional use.
"A lot of times a hopper car full of coal would go down over the hill. There's a story that the Bauers tell me about how a boxcar jumped out of the train but the train didn't stop for some reason and they didn't know," Beimel said.
Helen G. Rockwell, 81, of Lawrenceville, died Sunday, July 22, 2012. She was born Feb. 19, 1931 in Pittsburgh, daughter of the late John and Anna Gribas. On March 7, 1950, she married Richard B. Rockwell, who preceded her in death on May 2, 1990.
She is survived by a daughter, Karen (Thomas) Brown of St. Marys; a son, Richard B. Rockwell Jr. of Tarentum; five grandchildren, Erika (Brian) Farester of Homer City, Jill (Victor) Kotomski of Lawrenceville, Daniel (Lisa) Brown of Tuscon, Ariz., Michelle (Mark) Mares of Cabot, and Christopher McKain, also of Cabot.
The Main Courtroom at the Elk County Courthouse was near capacity Monday, with members of the public and witnesses arriving for the first day in the jury trial of Daniel Aiello, 27, of St. Marys, charged with over 100 counts of felony burglary in a spree that spanned 13 months and three counties.
For his alleged role in the crimes, Daniel Aiello is charged with the following: felony burglary; felony and misdemeanor theft by unlawful taking of moveable property; criminal conspiracy; and criminal mischief with damage to property through reckless, negligence, or intention.
From aircraft displays and a classic car show to an array of vendors the St. Marys Municipal Airport's annual American Spirit Aviation Festival is hoping to attract a large crowd on Saturday, Aug. 25.
"We've been struggling in the past, but we are doing a lot better. Our nose is above water and we expect it to get better. This festival is part of all that. Changing the image of the airport," said Alan McPherson, airport manager. "This has been an annual event and has been getting bigger every year. This year is more about seeing if we can make this go."