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West Side development continues

Another large commercial development is coming to Connellsville’s West Side.

Tom Jamieson – through TEDA J. Family LP – will raze two existing buildings on North Eighth Street, fronting U.S. Route 119 north, and replace it with a 44,000-square-foot plaza — a more than $6 million investment.

At a Tuesday city council meeting, Rob Sleighter, president of Sleighter Design in North Union Township, outlined Jamieson’s plans for the site.

Jamieson already has a footprint in the city as owner of the Cash Saver supermarket and Connellsville Beer Warehouse in the plaza along Route 119.

Without naming tenants, Sleighter said the 425-foot-long site will have space for a 24,000-square-foot medical facility, 3,600-square-foot medical supply company, 3,600-square-foot restaurant, 7,700-square-foot retailer and four 2,000-square-foot tenant spaces.

It will be above the flood plain.

The existing structure houses Tom & Jerry’s Home Medical Supply, Dollar General and Valley Dairy.

It will feature 168 regular parking spaces and six handicap parking spaces, said Sleighter, who displayed two architect’s renderings depicting the way the facility will look when completed.

Sleighter was accompanied by engineer Ian Pieczynski and Jamieson project manager Darin Agostini.

Pieczynski displayed site plan drawings that indicated a storm sewer line that runs through the property will be rerouted along the outer edge of the parcel along Route 119.

He said the city will be asked to vacate two alleys to allow for development of the project.

The project is not expected to affect Somerset Trust Company, which is on adjacent property along West Crawford Avenue.

Sleighter said a meeting is planned Tuesday with PennDOT officials to discuss the project.

The developer will seek zoning variances during an Oct. 11 Zoning Hearing Board hearing.

Sleighter said demolition work likely will begin late this year or early next year, after all required permits are in place.

The project will be completed in phases, with outside edges of the facility constructed first then the middle area filled in later, he said.

Sleighter called the project a great commitment by the Jamieson family and a benefit to the city.

Agostini described the existing plaza as “tired.”

Sleighter said the city has been cooperative throughout the planning process.

“I hope you are as proud of the project as we are,” he told council.

Contacted after the meeting, Mayor Greg Lincoln said the plaza will be a great addition.

“It’s unbelievable what Tom Jamieson is about to do with that development,” he said.

Lincoln said the 119 south entrance to the business district will be a showcase with the plaza on one side of the highway and Sheetz on the other.

“People will see this amazing, new, gorgeous plaza, and Tom Jamieson will be responsible for it. He doesn’t do anything halfway; he’s full throttle on it,” he said.

Lincoln said more large-scale projects are on the way, including a planned Excela Health facility on Widewaters property across from the plaza that houses the Martin’s Foods supermarket.

He noted projects planned by Kevin Leonard, owner of Service Master Restore on Third Street.

Leonard has been obtaining property on the West Side including the former Mile Marker Café & Lounge and the former Italian Independent Social Club on West Crawford Avenue.

While Leonard has yet to reveal specific plans, has said in August the project will involve some retail, some eateries and “activities for people to do.”

He has purchased and demolished a dilapidated mansion on Third Street with a goal of creating a micro-resort.

In another planned project, the Comfort Inn ownership group led by Nate Morgan has purchased property adjacent to the hotel with plans to construct an 8,000-square-foot multipurpose building to house an event center, winery and restaurant.

“Over the next couple years, so much will be going on,” Lincoln said. “It will be nice t sit back and watch.”

Jay Masonry crew members perform concrete work Wednesday at the site of the future Connellsville Memorial Honor Roll at the intersection of U.S. Route 119 and North Pittsburgh Street. It will feature names of area residents who died while in service to the U.S. military during time of war. Owner George Jay has donated labor for his company’s work.

Memorial Honor Roll Work Continues

Patrolman Jeremy Molinaro swore the oath of office as a member of the Connellsville Police Department during a Tuesday city council meeting. From left are the new officer’s parents, Terri and Coco Molinaro, police Chief Bill Hammerle, Patrolman Molinaro and wife Ashley, and Mayor Greg Lincoln.

New Officer Takes Oath

Mt. Pleasant prepares for 35th annual Glass and Ethnic Festival

Thousands are expected to descend on Mt. Pleasant during the 35th annual Glass & Ethnic Festival this weekend.

The festival runs Friday through Sunday.

Jeff Landy, festival committee chairman, said the milestone anniversary will include a memorial to late Mayor Gerald Lucia, who died in December.

Lucia co-founded the festival with Landy.

Members of the Lucia family have been named grand marshals for the festival parade, scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday along Main Street.

Lucia’s widow, Diana, along with children Jerry Lucia and Nicole Butts and their families, will ride in the parade.

“It was an easy and a hard decision because now I know what it means,” Landy said. “He won’t be there this year. But it was an easy decision because nobody else deserves it more than his family.”

Diana Lucia remembers when Landy and her husband started the festival. She said a Nationality Days celebration was formerly held in the borough and when the change was considered, many people weren’t supportive.

Diana Lucia said Landy and her husband put a lot of effort into bringing the festival to life.

“They were gung ho. They gave it everything,” she said. “Over the years, how it grew.”

She, too, was involved from the beginning.

“I was a member of the original glass festival committee,” she said.

Over the years, she often drove her husband and Landy in the very parade.

“This is going to be different for somebody to actually be driving me,” she said.

The parade is sponsored by Meegan Ford, Trib Total Media, DeLallo’s Italian Food and Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania.

In addition to the parade, the festival will feature returning favorites such as the pageant.

Sponsored by Aunt Dee Dee’s Festival Food, Nino’s and Fantastic Sam’s, this year’s pageant will include a twist.

Typically, the pageant crowns queens and ambassadors in various age categories. Queens are contestants who have Mt. Pleasant addresses or attend Mt. Pleasant schools, while ambassadors are girls from outside Mt. Pleasant.

This year, pageant organizer Kelsey Beckas said, a 35th anniversary queen and ambassador will be crowned. Contestants wishing to be eligible to be named the Anniversary Queen or Anniversary Ambassador will need to pay an extra fee, and there are no age categories within that competition. The contestant with the highest score, from age 4 through 17, will earn the title.

Other returning favorites include the Andy Davis Band, taking the stage at 8:15 p.m. Saturday and sponsored by Somerset Trust and White Insurance Agency, and the baby contest and pet photo contest, sponsored by Our Buddy’s Place and Pet Supplies Plus.

There will be musical theater by Westmoreland Performing Arts; Pumpkin Carving by Liz, sponsored by Sandzimier Memorials, R. Brown Supply and Raygor Auto, Inc.; and McMaster the Magician, sponsored by the Mt. Pleasant Slovak Club and American Legion Post 446.

Sparky’s Play Area will include rides and games for kids, as well as a craft camp sponsored by Laurelville Retreat Center.

The pizza-eating contest pitting Mt. Pleasant Area football players against their rivals from Southmoreland will be sponsored once again by Alexander’s Pizza and Subs and will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Glass demonstrations will feature engraver Peter O’Rourke, sponsored by BKY Financial; and torch work demonstrator Dan Sullivan of Original Glass Works, sponsored by Key Bank.

Landy said new this year is rock band Molly Hatchet performing at 8 p.m. Friday. The band is sponsored by Mid Penn Bank, Huffman Auto Sales and Aunt Dee Dee’s Festival Food.

In addition, Sye Lynch of World of Outlaws and All-Stars Sprint Series will be on hand.

“He’s going to be there all three days,” Landy said. “He’s going to have a pretty good show.”

Other sponsors are Armstrong, StukUp Grafix, GO Laurel Highlands, Excela Health, Harmon House Care Center, Gallagher’s Pub, Knebel Resources, Aumer’s Sports Bar and Grille, Jeff Aumer Sausage, Galone Caruso Funeral Home, Standard Bank, Team King, Inc., Courtyard Catering, Electro Glass Products, Village Restaurant, Pittsburgh Orthodontics Group, Brady’s Restaurant, Mt. Pleasant Mine Service, NAPA of Mt. Pleasant, Brooks Funeral Home, Sand Hill Berries, Fratto, Inc., Hrycko Chiropractic, RSFJ, Inc., VFW Post 3368, Keystone Fabrication, Country Pie Shoppe, Laurel Highlands YMCA, Frock Childcare Learning Center, Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission, Mt. Pleasant teachers, Queens for a Cause, Fay-West Chiropractic, and Republic Services.

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. A shuttle service courtesy of DMJ Transportation will be available from Walmart and Lenox.

For more information, visit the festival Facebook page or

Police discuss murder details

In the wake of a fatal shooting of a Connellsville man and the suspected kidnapping of a minor, an Amber Alert led to the arrest near Chambersburg of Keith Bradshaw.

Connellsville police and state police in Chambersburg worked together to locate Bradshaw, who is standing trial in Fayette County Court for the alleged murder of William “Bill” Stewart and sex crimes involving the then-16-year-old

During the trial Wednesday, state troopers Conor Tremaine, Benjamin A. Frantz, Erich Randolph Gary Majors, Nicholas Plumley and Jeffrey Hahn, and Connellsville officers Tyler Garlick, Andrew Hominsky and Bryan Kendi offered testimony testified as prosecution witnesses.

Bradshaw, 34, of Everson, is accused of fatally shooting William Stewart early on Feb. 18, 2020, and then kidnapping the son of Stewart’s girlfriend, Heather Mickey-Dill.

Bradshaw is sexual misconduct against Mickey-Dill’s son from August 2019 through February 2020.

Hominsky testified he spoke with Mickey-Dill at the crime scene, and she said her son was missing, and Connellsville Detective Lt. Thomas Patton told him to contact state police to issue the Amber Alert.

Garlick testified he went to the police station and was instructed to contact OnStar with a request to locate a 2018 White Chevrolet Malibu through GPS because the car was being driving by a suspect in the kidnap of a minor.

Garlick said he told Chambersburg state police dispatcher Eline Garrett that Bradshaw, armed and a murder suspect, was traveling with a juvenile.

Bradshaw and the juvenile were subsequently taken into custody.

Tremain testified he heard a radio transmission involving kidnapping and an armed suspect, and was instructed to pursue the suspected vehicle.

In court Wednesday, District attorney Richard Bower played a recording from the dash camera in Tremain’s vehicle.

In testimony, Tremaine identified Bradshaw as the driver and the juvenile as the passenger.

Tremaine said the minor was placed in handcuffs because the officers were making a felony stop. Bradshaw and the minor were apprehended at 9:22 a.m. Feb. 18, 2020.

Frantz testified he was on patrol that morning between 8 and 9:30 when he was told to watch for a White Pearl Chevrolet Malibu Sedan. He said 10 to 15 state police cars and local police were dispatched for the search.

Frantz testified he instructed police to cast a net so Bradshaw couldn’t leave the area.

Bower asked the video from Tremaine’s vehicle be played again, and Frantz testified he was one car ahead of Tremaine in the pursuit. Trooper Abigail Hahn was in the first car, and they were waiting to make the stop until they were out of town.

“When you are doing a felony stop, you want to get as far away from town as possible, and we knew a residential area was coming up, so that’s when I made the command for the felony stop,” Frantz testified.

Frantz testified he ordered Bradshaw to show his hands, exit the vehicle, turn away from him, pull up his shirt and spin around before taking two steps to his right.

Bradshaw, but during the arrest, several troopers assisted because the suspect resisted, Frantz testified.

Majors, a detective, testified that he transported Bradshaw to the state police barracks in Chambersburg where he took pictures.

Majors testified Bradshaw was injured and had blood on his body.

When defense attorney Blaine Jones asked if the blood was from the arrest, Majors testified he wasn’t at the scene and was not required to inquire about the blood on Bradshaw.

Jeffrey Hahn, a criminal investigator who focus on homicides and sex crimes, testified he and another trooper obtained a search warrant and searched Bradshaw’s vehicle.

Hahn testified 11 Winchester 40-caliber bullets were found in the trunk including two inside the spare tire, two in a cupholder and one the passenger-side floor.

Asked by Jones if the bullets in the trunk were in a container and if he conducted DNA test, Hahn testified he sent the evidence to Connellsville police because the investigation in its jurisdiction.

Hominsky testified he was first on the East Fairview Avenue scene, and after clearing the house he saw Stewart by the outside rear door.

He testified he found two spent Winchester 40-caliber spent casings on the ground and one on the steps. A live round was found on the ground.

Hominsky said he spoke with Mickey-Dill, who said her son was missing.

Kendi said he was spoke with Sherry Murphy, Bradshaw’s mother.

Kendi testified he was at Murphy’s Scottdale home to wait for Bradshaw to return.

Kendi testified that while there, Bradshaw called and told him he and Marjorie Jay of Connellsville had gone to pick up Mickey-Dill’s son, and while there witnessed a homicide.

Bradshaw allegedly said he scared and then hung up.

Bradshaw said he was in Uniontown and would arrive at his mother’s home in 30 minutes, Kendi testified.

In a subsequent call, Bradshaw said he was 40 minutes away and scared, Kendi testified.

Kendi testified he asked Bradshaw to put the juvenile on the phone, which he did. Kendi testified he yelled “Keith” to see if the phone was on speaker, but said Bradshaw didn’t answer and the minor said the phone was not on speaker.

Kendi testified he asked the juvenile to cough once if he was injured or twice if he was OK, and the minor indicated he was fine by coughing twice.

Kendi testified that before the second conversation ended he told Bradshaw he would be treated fairly if he arrived soon, but the later it got, the more they would think he is hiding something.

Kendi testified that Connellsville Capt. William Huss informed him Bradshaw and the minor had been apprehended near Chambersburg.

Bradshaw’s husband, Brendon Bradshaw, testified he and Keith Bradshaw owned a Black Smith & Wesson 40-caliber handgun and the Malibu.

He testified the gun was “90%” under the front driver’s seat for protection and they went target shooting several times with the weapon.

Brendon Bradshaw testified Keith Bradshaw called him Feb. 17, 2020, and said he needed the car to go shopping, and he took the vehicle around 5 or 6 that evening.

Brought to the Connellsville station the next morning, he told officers he didn’t know where the gun was, Brendon Bradshaw testified.

Answering questions from Assistant District Attorney Melinda Dellarose, Plumey testified as an expert in gun residue and forensic science.

He testified he tested Keith Bradshaw, Jay, and the juvenile for gun residue, and all the tests were positive for residue on their hands and palms. Jay also had residue on her face and neck.

Plumey testified that residue usually wears off after six hours, and that anyone who has discharged a firearm or was in proximity could have gunshot residue on their bodies.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril performed the autopsy on Stewart.

Wecht testified Stewart died from a gunshot wound, and the shots came from 18 to 24 inches away.

Wecht testified a gunshot to Stewart’s chest caused the most damage because it hit the left lung, heart, liver and spleen, causing significant blood loss.

Testimony was scheduled to resume 9:15 a.m. Thursday before Judge Steve Leskinen.