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Black bears make appearances in Washington County, Monessen

A young male black bear in search of mating territory wandered across southern Washington County, where he found living conditions unwelcoming Sunday.

State Game Commission Warden Adam Traynor said it was likely the same bear that was seen by many people and that he probably traveled to the Washington area after his mother kicked him out of the family in Fayette County.

“Washington County was not too hospitable,” Traynor said Monday.

Meanwhile, Monessen police said a black bear was seen Saturday in several areas of the Westmoreland County city. The Game Commission advised people to ignore the animal and it would return to the woods.

“As long as people leave them alone they will clear out,” Traynor said, adding that Washington County is too populated to make a good bear den.

“Don’t leave food out,” he said.

Linda Reese of South Strabane Township said she was sitting on her back deck working a crossword puzzle when she noticed something black moving in the foliage.

“I knew it was a black bear,” said Reese, who lives on Crest Avenue.

She said she went indoors, grabbed her camera and took photos of the bear before it headed toward Driscoll Park off Locust Avenue.

Reese said she, too, called the Game Commission and was told the bears “were on the move.”

“It’s spring. The young males are getting booted,” she said.

Traynor said people were following the bear around in Washington County.

“The bear population is healthy,” he said.


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Macri headed to trial on lesser charges

A former PIAA wrestling champion who was shot by police after allegedly pointing an AR-15 at officers waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday, and had some charges against him dropped.

Aggravated assault charges against Logan Bradley Macri, 20, of 427 W. McMurray Road, North Strabane, that were graded as first-degree felonies have been reduced to second-degree felonies.

Three other charges related to an altercation between Macri and his mother – simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment –were dropped in district court in North Strabane Township.

Macri’s mother had contacted police in the early morning hours of April 14, and police initially reported that Macri struck her with a handgun and a sword.

However, Casey White, Macri’s attorney, says she is supporting her son through this case.

“Honestly, she was trying to trying to stop the situation from occurring. She was trying to help Logan,” White said. “She was not injured. She had a couple scratches, but other than that, she’s not a victim in this, and she is behind Logan 100%.”

Police were dispatched to Macri’s residence about 2:30 a.m. There were three officers, two from North Strabane and one from Canonsburg.

Though Macri initially complied with orders from police, all three fired their weapons at Macri after he allegedly picked up an AR-15 from the ground and pointed it toward officers.

Macri was struck in the right hand, twice in the right buttocks and once in the right foot.

When Macri appeared in court Monday, he still had a cast on his right hand.

White reiterated that the AR-15 was not loaded.

“There was no ammunition anywhere near. It was in a locked safe, nowhere near where he could get it,” White said.

White said it was “confusion” that led to the events of April 14, and that Macri is undergoing treatment to make sure he does not put himself in similar situations.

“He was going through some personal issues. At no point in time was there any malicious intent or ill will toward law enforcement,” White said.

He went on to describe Macri as “soft spoken,” and someone who is tough to pull words out of.

“He’s upset that he placed himself and placed everybody in this situation. He’s a good kid, a hard-working kid, that never had any problems with law enforcement,” White said.

Macri and White were afforded the opportunity to review dash camera footage of the incident from a police car. The Canonsburg officer was also wearing a body camera, but White said that has not yet been available to the defense.

White suggested that if Macri did point the gun at police, it was not intentional.

“If he did point it, I’m not saying he did point it, but if he did, it was by happenstance. He wasn’t trying to harm or shoot anyone else,” White said.

In March 2018, Macri won the PIAA Class AAA 120-pound title at Giant Center in Hershey for Canon-McMillan High School. He was a four-time state qualifier and WPIAL champion with a career record of 152-30.

Macri had committed to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, but was given his release when the head coach left.

He is currently free on $100,000 bond, and is under electronic monitoring at his home.

Macri will be arraigned at Washington County Courthouse at 1:30 p.m. July 25.


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Harry Funk/Observer-Reporter

KeKena Graybill shows off her gnome.


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Harry Funk/Observer-Reporter

The 203-square-foot Countryside model offered by 84 Lumber


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Bond revoked for man previously accused of threatening judge

There were two judges in a courtroom Monday afternoon in Washington County Court, one presiding at a bond revocation hearing and the other named as a victim.

After hearing testimony, Senior Judge Gerald R. Solomon sent to jail the man who stands accused of threatening Judge Valarie Costanzo.

James Carlo Quisenberry, 47, of McMurray, was charged in March with four misdemeanors: two counts of harassment by communication, making terroristic threats, and stalking Costanzo.

As a condition of his $5,000 unsecured bond, he was to stay out of trouble and signed documents to that effect.

But the day before his preliminary hearing, a confrontation involving Quisenberry and a teenager occurred at a Peters Township sandwich shop.

Deputy Attorney General Evan A. Lowry II called as a witness Susan Lutz, owner of the 505 Valley Brook Road Subway eatery.

During a busy lunchtime on May 29, she described how she was behind the counter when she said a man she identified as Quisenberry “kind of flew across the restaurant,” lifting up a younger man and throwing him against a rack of chip bags and then into a table.

“They started fighting together,” Lutz testified, mentioning that type of commotion had never occurred in the 18 years since the store opened. Quisenberry left the shop and phoned her the next day to apologize, she said.

That victim, who was described in a police report as being between 17 and 19, was not in court Monday, nor was he identified during the hearing.

Peters Township Police Officer Conor P. Wolfarth on June 3 filed a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct against Quisenberry, who testified in court Monday that he acted in self-defense.

He said he was checking his cellphone “about the Pirates’ most recent debacle” when he and the teenager exchanged words and the teenager spat at him and threatened to kill him.

“I was in traumatic shock,” Quisenberry testified under direct examination by his attorney Alexander H. Lindsay of Butler. “That’s when I left.”

Lowry questioned him about the confrontation and why he did not notify the probation officer who handles pretrial services.

“I didn’t think self-defense would be criminal behavior,” Quisenberry replied.

Lowry called Quisenberry “a danger to the public and Ms. Costanzo” in asking that bond be revoked.

Lindsay noted that the teenager did not testify on Monday, and that Lutz testified the older and younger men were punching each other.

The defense attorney argued that the prosecution had chosen “the most draconian option” in requesting that Quisenberry be sent to jail, awaiting trial for months when, in the event of a conviction, he would likely receive a probationary sentence.

“If the court wants to modify this bond, I would understand,” Lindsay told Solomon. “I’m asking, I’m begging you, please do not put this man in jail.”

Solomon did not heed Lindsay, ruling that “in a matter of weeks, the defendant found himself again on the wrong side of the law” and ordered sheriff’s deputies to escort Quisenberry to the county jail to await trial.

At the time Cecil Township police charged Quisenberry in March, he was described as Costanzo’s ex-boyfriend.

Police said they were able to link Quisenberry’s phone number to numerous threatening calls made to Costanzo, a Cecil resident, between August and January.

In early September, Costanzo reported to Cecil Township police a voicemail she received in which the caller threatened to cut out her tongue and kill her. She told police she recognized the voice to be Quisenberry’s, according to the criminal complaint. Police said four other witnesses who heard the voicemail also recognized his voice.

Costanzo filed a protection-from-abuse petition against Quisenberry in November 2017, which was later dismissed. He filed a PFA against her in July 2018, which was later dismissed and expunged.