Butler County News

Long term lane restrictions planned next month for a resurfacing project on Interstate 79 in Butler County

Indiana, PA – Long term lane restrictions are planned for I-79 North beginning this week and continuing through early May from north of Exit 78 (SR 228-Cranberry) and south of Exit 87 (Zelienople).  Once that work finishes, long-term lane restrictions will be in place on I-79 South in the same area.

The restrictions will be in place for a resurfacing project on I-79 in Cranberry and Jackson Townships, Butler County.

Nighttime paving operations will follow this work.  Restrictions will be in place nightly between 6:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M., except Friday northbound restrictions begin at 9:00 P.M., and Sunday southbound restrictions begin at 9:00 P.M.

Work on I-79 includes milling, patching, and paving from Exit 76 (Cranberry) and Exit 88 (Little Creek Road) in Cranberry and Jackson Townships.

This $16.7 million Interstate resurfacing project is being constructed by Lindy Paving, Inc., and is expected to be completed by the end of October. 


Motorists should expect congestion and delays in heavy traffic volume periods.  Remember to slow down and use caution in work zones.  Fines are doubled for violations in work zones.  Drive responsibly for your safety and the safety of the workers.


Butler County School District Defendant in Federal Suit Over Lead Levels in Water

A Butler County school district where high levels of lead in an elementary school's water went unresolved for months faces a federal lawsuit.

The school, Summit Elementary, was closed for two days in January after Butler School District Superintendent Dale Lumley said he learned the problem hadn't been rectified since it was detected in August.

The school is closed indefinitely for unrelated problems with E. coli in the wells from which the school's water is drawn.   Students began classes Monday in another previously closed  school.

According to a notice on the district's web site Lumley resigned Sunday.  So far he has had no comment on his decision

Attorneys for Jennifer Tait and her daughter, Jillian, who attended Summit Elementary, are hoping a federal judge in Pittsburgh will grant class-action status in their case, which would let other students exposed to lead in the water join the lawsuit.




Butler Superintendent Resigns Following Grade School Water Issues

A water crisis at a district elementary school is what drove a Butler County school superintendent to resign Sunday night.  The following statement appears on the Butler Area School District website home page:

The Board of School Directors has accepted Dr. Dale Lumley’s resignation with intent to retire, effective immediately.  Dr. William Pettigrew will serve as Acting Superintendent, pending the Board’s appointment of a new Superintendent.

The resignation was effective immediately. 

Summit Elementary School was forced to close and students relocated to a previously closed school building.  Students began classes Monday at Broad Street Elementary School in Butler.

Summit was closed for two days about two weeks ago after high levels of lead were found in its water. Further testing last week found E. coli bacteria in the well that supplies the school, prompting it to be closed indefinitely.

Superintendent Dale Lumley acknowledged high lead levels found in water tests in August hadn't been rectified.    Dr. William Pettigrew will serve as Acting Superintendent, pending the Board’s appointment of a new Superintendent.


The Butler County District attorney is trying to determine if anybody is criminally liable for the water problems.


Butler County Woman Dies "Exiting" Moving Car

Multiple media sources report state police are investigating the death of a woman who either jumped or fell out of a moving car in Butler County.  The Allegheny County medical examiner says 53-year-old Alexis Arthur died of head trauma. She died early Tuesday in a Pittsburgh hospital, where she was flown after she was injured shortly before 7 p.m. in neighboring Butler County.

That's where state police say Arthur exited the moving car on Route 228 in Clinton Township. Troopers haven't said whether Arthur or someone else was driving, let alone how or why she exited the vehicle.


Troopers from the Butler barracks say in a news release they are continuing to investigate the incident.


Police: Man fatally shot wife for urging him to kill himself

According to online court records, the Butler State Police arrested a Butler County man who  told them he fatally shot his wife after first trying to kill himself and then hearing her taunting him and encouraging him to shoot himself.

Court records confirm Thirty-year-old Joshua Crawford was jailed early Monday following a pre-dawn arraignment before Magisterial District Judge Lewis Stoughtan in Butler County on charges of criminal homicide and aggravated assault.  He is lodged in the Butler County Prison without bail. 

According to media sources, police say Crawford and 30-year-old Sarah Crawford were arguing at their Donegal Township home Sunday night when he decided to take his own life.  Additionally, the sources say police report  Joshua Crawford told them the gun wouldn't fire and his wife continued to call him names and urge him to shoot himself, so he turned the gun on her and fired.  State police investigators found her on a couch and dead of a gunshot wound to the chest.


Online court records don't list an attorney for Crawford, but he has been advised of his right to apply for assignment of counsel, he has requested a public defender and has been provided an application for appointment of a public defender. A finger print order has been issued.   The online court records  indicate Crawford scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Judge Stoughton on Tuesday December 20th at 1:30 pm at Chicora Borough Hall.   (Docket Number: MJ-50302-CR-0000451-2016)  A Butler State Police news release was not immediately available.  


School bus crash sends 5 students, driver to hospital

(AP) — Authorities say five elementary school students and their school bus driver were taken to a hospital with possible minor injuries after a crash involving a pickup truck in western Pennsylvania.

State police in Butler County say the Summit Elementary school bus was carrying 20 students in Summit Township when it drifted into the other lane just before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and collided with the pickup, which was pulling a trailer.


Police said the bus went through a guardrail, tearing off its front axle, and came to rest upright on the grass shoulder. Police said the bus driver and five students were taken to Butler Memorial Hospital with possible minor injuries.


Fenelton Man Charged w/Simple Assault of Wife

A Butler County man is charged with simple assault following a Saturday afternoon incident in which he allegedly struck his wife across the face with a large stack of mail.  Police say the incident happened at a residence along Dusty Lane in Fenelton, Clearfield Township, in Butler County.  The 30 year woman, according to the state troopers was in an argument with her 29 year old husband when she said her husband struck her across the face with the stack of mail.  The stack of mail hit her lip causing her to have a small cut across her bottom lip.  The woman also related her husband left the residence and she went to the Armstrong County Memorial Hospital approximately two hours after the incident.  The incident is now under investigation by the Butler State Police.  


Zelie PD Probes Apparent Public Suicide

A 35 year old Portersville woman is dead, apparently the victim of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head Tuesday.  Authorities report Elizabeth Adams died after apparently shooting herself along a Main Street sidewalk in Zelienople.  While an active investigation is in progress, authorities say the incident appears to be a suicide. 


The county coroner is yet to pronounce any finding on the cause of death, not is the motive for the shooting known.  Police are talking to witnesses.  There were no other people injured during the incident.  


UPDATE: School district IDs Pittsburgh boy, 14, who drowned at Butler County quarry

 (AP) — Pittsburgh public school officials have identified a 14-year-old boy who drowned at a western Pennsylvania quarry over the weekend.

The district said the South Brook middle school community is mourning the loss of Destin Badeau, described as "a very good student and positive leader among his peers."

Police in Butler County say the teenager's relatives were having a picnic Saturday evening in Clay Township about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh when he went swimming and never resurfaced.

Fire officials say family members found him and tried to give him CPR until emergency responders arrived, but he was pronounced dead at a hospital.


He had just finished 7th grade at the school, where staff members called him "a wonderful, sweet boy" whose "smile would light up a room."


Teen dies in apparent drowning in western Pennsylvania pond

(AP) — Emergency officials say a teenager apparently drowned in a Butler County pond over the weekend.

The Butler Eagle reports that the 14-year-old youth from the Pittsburgh area was reportedly with a family at a picnic in Butler County's Clay Township.

Chief Reid Campbell of the West Sunbury Volunteer Fire Department said he was reported missing shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday.

Fire crews from West Sunbury and Unionville were dispatched along with the county dive team, but by the time they arrived family members had found the victim and pulled him from the water.


Campbell said family members were doing CPR, and an ambulance crew took over lifesaving efforts, but the youth was pronounced dead in a hospital emergency room. His name wasn't immediately released. An autopsy was planned.

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