Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Laurel Mall movie theater closed

So, Carmike Cinema IV is no more--and so far, this news has only been spread by word of mouth.

Ex-pat blogger HGB has compiled many memories, including some of my own, so head on over to The Steel Trap and check that out.

Maybe it's best eulogized by this poetic Yelp review:
Survives by default. 
The worst projection and sound. 
No options in town.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Four men attempt escape from prison

Four men--and possibly a fifth--tried to escape from the prison last week.
Police said the suspects attempted to pry open a steel door with a mop handle.  
They were thwarted when the wooden handle broke, police said. 
The men could be seen on surveillance video pushing on the door in an effort to open it, police said. 
The men planned to try again the next day, police said.
"Police said" doesn't sound like words anymore, but this is great.

Anyone know if Ambrosini has used this to try to convince everyone we need a new prison...or if he orchestrated this to try to convince everyone we need a new prison?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Connellsville's Aaron's building gets sexy new makeover

You know how I go on and on about Connersville literally falling apart and people in power don't do much and the people with good ideas who want to make a difference are too jaded with local politics to try? The Aaron's building proved me wrong, y'all.

I don't know how many of you remember what Aaron's used to look like, but this is what it looks like now.

HOLY SHIT. Photo by Christine Pocratksy.

It's a tad unclear as to exactly what the building is going to be used for, but its Facebook page is listed as an event venue, meeting room, and apartments/condos. Honestly, any business in downtown Connellsville could be a great thing for the economy, especially when it looks that good.

The building was saved from demolition last year when it was bought for $1 by Terry Shallenberger. And lest you think the city got a crappy deal selling a building for a dollar, it actually saved about $200,000 that would've been spent to demolish it.

Everyone wins here. Progress is progress.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Man poses as military, solidifies reputation as creep and terrible human

Very late on this one because I just plain forgot to post after my brother sent it to me, but happy belated Veterans Day, y'all!

23-year-old Jonathan Michael Campbell of Uniontown got caught posing as military veteran...and trying to use his "status" to get into a middle school. Because apparently, being disrespectful wasn't good enough for him and he had to go and make it creepy, too.

Seriously, posing as a veteran for any reason--be it attention or in an attempt to get discounts or whatever other misguided reason these fools have for doing it--is downright disrespectful and wrong no matter what, to put it quite mildly, but my biggest concern here is what his plans were and why he wanted in there. I really feel that if not for smart, vigilant school employees and the cops, we would've been hearing about a kid getting abducted instead. Fortunately, it didn't come to that.

He went to Laurel Highlands, unannounced and unscheduled--which, duh, is a red flag to anyone. Geibel grads, remember how they always told us never to open the door for anyone, even if we knew them? This is why.

He claimed to be an Army veteran who wanted to talk to the kids about Veterans Day--again, unannounced and unscheduled. When I was in school, you know what they did when they wanted someone to talk about the military or veterans? They asked a military parent. Or teachers just talked about my dad like 1,000 times at assemblies until no one cared anymore.
“His appearance, behavior, and showing up unscheduled shed doubt on his claim to be who and what he claimed to be,” Wallace said. 
Man, what factor in an impostor's appearance could possibly tip off civilians that he wasn't who he said he was?
Campbell claimed to be from the Army but was wearing an Air Force uniform, police said. 
Yeah, that'll do it. So, in addition to being disrespectful and creepy, he's also an idiot. He was then escorted off the property and the authorities were alerted, leading to him being charged with impersonating a public servant and disorderly conduct. Oh, and he was on his way to another school when they caught him. Creepy. He said he "wanted to feel important," and while I'm sure this is a factor--especially considering he's also pretended to work at hospitals--his criminal background, which includes domestic violence and the sexual assault of a 10-year-old when he was a pre-teen himself, concerns me.

Props to Guardians of Valor for drawing attention to this story and posting this information on Campbell.

While I'm glad they were able to charge him with two crimes, I do feel something stronger needs to be put in place for those impersonating the military--Obama signed the Stolen Valor Act into law last year, which makes it a crime to lie about having received military medals or decorations, but we need to punish those who pretend to be in the military at all. As Guardians of Valor put it, people tend to inherently trust those in uniform, especially the military, which also comes with an added degree of respect. If you're going to abuse the public's trust, you deserve to be held accountable.

And as always, if something seems off, trust your instincts, research what you can, and notify the proper authorities.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Commissioners to nominate new chairman

The people have spoken! At last week's commissioners meeting, some angry rabble-rousers called for Ambrosini to be removed as chairman due to his vendetta stubborn insistence on planning a $32 million prison the other two commissioners no longer support. And the rabble-rousers, fortunately, are getting what they want.

A new chairman and vice chairman will be chosen in a meeting Thursday morning.
Zapotosky would not confirm whether his intention is to remove Ambrosini as chairman.   
“The county will be taking a step in the right direction on Thursday,” he said, declining to comment further.
This just gets messier and messier.

Speaking of $32 million, if you like what you read over here, why not support my Etsy habit and throw me a couple bucks via PayPal in that there sidebar?

Monday, October 27, 2014

We return again to that pesky jail...

Ah, yes, the jail.

I haven't been following the official news too closely, but it did come up in conversation somehow the last time I was at my parents' house in the county, specifically regarding the fact that Ambrosini is now the only commissioner in favor of the project. And by happenstance, an e-mail from reader/informant Marybeth trickled in a few days later, who recently toured the current jail.

Experts would probably know better, but the existing jail doesn't seem to be so horrible that we need a new one, especially with the hassle it's become. Don't get me wrong, the jail looks pretty terrible in pictures Marybeth passed along, but I'm not sure it's the kind of damage that warrants a whole new building. The powers that be claim repairs would be too expensive...yet a new, $50 million jail is apparently super affordable.

From the e-mail:
ALL I noted was purposeful neglect!! YEP...the jail is NO FALLING APART and beyond repair..not at all. THE roof had leaked so often....that they never repaired the ceiling...cause" it will just happen again" YEP...that's whatr the asshole guards told me when i asked why the pipe was showing and the mold/rust all around "it"....uhh...when it rains, it will just leak all over again..."...
WHY not repair the roof again? Uhh.there's no money. 
SO....they proudly showed me the light fixture dripping water into the white bucket.....it has rained that morning....and I said, "well...isn't that a potentinal fire hazard or electrical issuer? Uggg....we can't stop it.
Actually, this kind of reminds me of the time my dad insisted my uncle's house was a death trap that should be condemned and I was just like, "Nothing some cleaning supplies and power tools won't fix."

Now, at this point, people questioning/disapproving of the jail is nothing new, and I'm sure our commissioners are pretty sick of it. But in the midst of it all, a plausible conspiracy theory has emerged--that the damage to the existing jail is due to intentional neglect, and I'm told everyone who spoke at the commissioners' meeting last week referenced the damage as neglect.

From that pesky meeting
Of course, if it is neglect, I guess we can assume it was done to get a new jail built...and at this point, the only supporter left standing is pretty much Ambrosini. Personally, obvious potentially intentional damage aside, I'm curious as to why he wants a new jail so bad. It certainly seems like some sort of personal agenda right now rather than a safety concern or money issue, and what I find the most personally disappointing is that a new commissioner seemed so promising.

Stay tuned, because I'm sure this isn't the end of the saga...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Men film erratic driver

This is one where you've got to watch the video to really grasp how terrible this driving is.
Two Fayette County men recording a bad driver in front of them are thankful they're not hurt after that driver caused a crash that involved their truck.
I've definitely seen some terrible, dangerous driving both in and out of the Nam, but this has got to be one of the scariest examples I've seen--the driver is weaving between lanes, often crossing over into the opposite lane and coming pretty close to causing an accident...until finally, she did, and the men filming her were involved.

The men suspect she may have been texting, given that she had her phone in her hand afterward, but there's been no official confirmation of this and an investigation is ongoing. It's a real possibility--and remember, texting and driving is incredibly dangerous, as this video proves if that's what was going on--especially considering the way the driver at times seems inattentive...and you think close calls would scare her enough to stop distracted driving. But given that the move which caused the accident in the end was cutting off another driver, I have a feeling we've got a double-whammy of not just distracted diving but reckless, careless driving, too. Look, I know people are impatient. I've had my fair share of angry beeping and shouting because I won't pull out right in front of people and risk an accident, and if you're one of those angry, impatient people, let this be a lesson to you--this is the cost of saving yourself a few seconds.

Now, some commenters have suggested that the men should've called the police. Honestly, of all the times I've seen horrible drivers in action, I never thought of doing that, and don't think I'm in the minority here. The only time it's ever crossed my mind was when it looked like a motorcyclist a few cars ahead of me was standing up on her bike, and that was only because as a kid, my parents called the cops on people pulling similar stunt driving down 119...and then circled around to delight in seeing them pulled over. But after watching this video, especially with a case this impressively bad, maybe we all should consider notifying police. Granted, making the distinction between bad and dangerous driving could get dicey, but I'm sure other motorists, as well as the police, would prefer keeping an eye on the driver rather than showing up to an accident scene later.

One final note on texting and driving, other than don't do it, you dumbasses--if you just can't bear to wait until you're stopped to send that message and you have an iPhone, Siri can do it for you. I'm sure we all know this, but in case you don't, it's very simple. Just hold in your home button until it beeps, tell Siri to text whoever it is you want to text, clearly dictate your text to Siri, ask her to read it to you when you're done and she asks if you'd like to send it, then tell her to send it.