National Roundup

Ohio
Ariel Castro’s house set to be demolished soon

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland house where three women were imprisoned and raped for about a decade will be torn down this week.
The electricity was turned off at Ariel Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue on Monday after his family and friends removed personal items from it, including photographs and musical instruments.
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports that the Cuyahoga Land Bank acquired the home last week and plans to demolish it beginning Wednesday.
A contractor is tearing down the home at no cost. Plans for what will replace the house on the site haven’t been made public.
The 53-year-old Castro was sentenced last week to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to hundreds of charges related to the kidnapping and rapes of the women.

Pennsylvania
Boy dies after best man role at parent’s wedding

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A terminally ill 2-year-old western Pennsylvania boy who served as his parents’ best man at their wedding last weekend has died, according to his mother’s Facebook page and a family friend.
Christine Swidorsky Stevenson’s Facebook post said little Logan Stevenson died in her arms at 8:18 p.m. Monday at the home she shared with the boy’s father, her new husband, Sean Stevenson. The couple live in Jeannette, about 25 miles east of Pittsburgh, and were wed at a ceremony at their home on Saturday.
The boy, who had leukemia and other complications, was dressed in a tan pinstripe suit and orange shirt for the ceremony. His mother carried him on her shoulder, before he stood and was held by his grandmother, Debbie Stevenson, to witness the 12-minute ceremony.
A family spokeswoman, Sylvia Johnson of Youngwood, confirmed Logan’s death for The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Massachusetts
Cardboard cutout policeman cuts subway crimes

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The burly officer watching over the bike racks at a Boston-area transportation hub is a real stiff.
As part of an effort to cut crime at the Alewife MBTA subway and bus station in Cambridge, transit police placed a cardboard cutout of a police officer in the bicycle cage. Hundreds of people use the racks daily.
Deputy Chief Robert Lenehan says the fake cop, along with video cameras and a new lock, has cut bike thefts by 67 percent.
It’s also a money saver. Lenehan estimates it would cost $200,000 a year to have an officer watch over the cage full-time.
The cutout is actually a picture of real MBTA Officer David Silen.
Silen says the split second thieves take to glance at the cutout is enough to discourage them.

Pennsylvania
Webcam at Andy Warhol’s grave for his birthday

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Andy Warhol Museum has launched a live video feed from the pop artist’s gravesite to honor his 85th birthday.
The project, a partnership with the EarthCam webcam network, went live Monday at midnight.
Museum director Eric Shiner said the project is titled “Figment” because of a Warhol quote in which the artist said: “I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name. Well, actually, I’d like it to say, ‘Figment.’”
The gravestone in a Pittsburgh suburb has Warhol’s original surname, Warhola, the dates of his birth and death and a cross. Warhol’s 85th birthday would have been Tuesday.
Shortly after dawn Tuesday, the live video showed a star-shaped silver balloon and two smaller black-and-white balloons swaying gently in the breeze, next to a headstone surrounded by flowers and some decorative grasses.
“We believe that this will give Warhol the pleasure of knowing that he is still plugged in and turned on over 25 years after his death,” Shiner said.
Warhol, who died in 1987, was a devout Catholic who went to church every day to pray, Shiner said. He’s buried near his parents at the St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park.

Nevada
Auction set for gold fortune of recluse teacher

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The final treasures of a quiet man who collected a fortune in gold coins are going on the auction block Tuesday.
The body of Walter Samaszko Jr. was found in his Carson City home in June 2012. After his death, a cleaning crew hired to tidy his modest, ranch style home where he had lived for four decades came upon a stunning discovery — boxes and boxes full of gold coins and bullion collected over an unassuming lifetime. It was enough to fill two wheelbarrows.
One batch, mostly bullion, was sold at auction in February for $3.5 million. Now, more than 2,600 coins are set to be auctioned in six lots Tuesday at the Carson City courthouse.
The fortune, after taxes, will go to Samaszko’s only surviving cousin, Arlene Magdanz, of San Rafael, Calif.
A substitute teacher, Magdanz has shunned media attention and not spoken publicly about her new-found riches. Officials were able to track her down using a funeral bulletin at Samaszko’s home that led to his father’s service in Chicago in the early 1960s.

Arizona
Wreck kills 3 young brothers, injures others

PHOENIX (AP) — Three young brothers being taken to school by their teenage brother who did not have a license died in a head-on collision Monday in southwest Phoenix, authorities said.
Phoenix police said a 16-year-old boy was driving six of his siblings to various schools in a minivan that didn’t have any child seats installed and apparently none of the passengers were wearing seat belts.
Witnesses told police that the minivan’s driver tried to pass a car on the shoulder of a road about 7:20 a.m., but overcorrected and veered into oncoming traffic and was broadsided by a sedan.
Three children in the minivan were ejected, according to Sgt. Trent Crump, a police spokesman.
Authorities said one of the boys was pronounced dead at the scene and the other two died later at hospitals.
The names of those killed weren’t immediately released, but police said the boys were ages 5, 8 and 11.
The 16-year-old driver was hospitalized in stable condition. Police said the teen was unlicensed and had applied for a learner’s permit.

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