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Weird Pittsburgh

News of the weird from all over Western Pennsylvania

A court-certified forensic document examiner claims to have found a forged document in the soap opera that has entangled the Ambridge Area School District. Assistant Superintendent Megan Mealie, who administrators accused of an inappropriate romantic relationship with a teacher, resigned last October. She’s contesting her settlement with the school board in court, claiming she was forced out for speaking up against a hostile work environment created by Superintendent Cynthia Zurchin, reports the news website Beaver Countian. The district submitted to the court a typewritten complaint accusing Mealie of sexual harassment, purportedly signed by a female teacher in the district. A forensic document examiner, hired by Mealie’s attorney, says she is willing to testify about telltale signs that someone forged the teacher's signature on the report. Most tellingly, the signature contained a middle initial “J” when the teacher's middle initial is “L.”

While vying for votes, three-time candidate for public office Michael See of Beaver County was also hocking counterfeit DVDs online to fund a gambling habit. Rallying against welfare and public spending, the young Republican and real-estate firm employee twice challenged Democratic state Rep. Jaret Gibbons in the 10th House District and twice lost. Between those two elections in 2010 and 2012, he also lost a race for Beaver County controller. Voters were apparently unimpressed by his bachelor’s degree in government from the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University and MBA from an online school. Meanwhile, See, now 34, was selling Chinese-made knockoff discs on eBay to keep gambling, prosecutors told WTAE. Among the 1,700 bootleg discs police found when they raided his home were those of TV series The Wire, Homeland, Scandal, and The Big Bang Theory. He pled guilty and will pay $430,000 in restitution to the Motion Picture Association of America. 

Police arrested husband and wife Abdul and Alizabeth Sani of Hermitage on charges of making purchases on stolen credit cards. In addition to paying for household expenses, the two bought 30,000 plain T-shirts, of varying colors, which they kept in two storage units, police told The Herald of Sharon. Abdul Sani, 36, reportedly planned to ship the shirts to Africa in a scheme to pay off debts. 

A customer at a WesBanco branch in Beaver returned to find an 8-foot-long carpet python slithering atop his SUV. A town police officer grabbed the snake, placed it in a box and escorted it to the Aquatic Gardens exotic pet store. The store’s owner told the Beaver County Times that the snake, likely an escaped pet, is harmless to humans and seems to have sustained injuries from a lawnmower. 

In similar news, a deer crashed through the glass door of Conzatti’s Italian Market in Richland Township, Cambria County. The animal bloodied its face and scattered food items before alarmed employees opened a back door and allowed it to scamper off. The store’s manager told Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown that damage was limited, adding, “We lost four or five dozen cookies.”

An age-old student prank may have landed a Woodland Hills-Intermediate teacher in the hospital. A fourth-grader apparently tripped the teacher, and the fall broke her arm. The school’s superintendent told WPXI, “[W]e don’t know if it was intentional or not,” though the student was suspended. Sadly, the teacher, a 35-year veteran of her profession, was one week away from retirement.

Naomi Best allegedly set fire to the porch of her neighbor’s mobile home at Fleming’s Trailer Park, in Concord Township, after the neighbor accused her of stealing scrap metal he had collected. The trailer-park owner doused the flame with a bucket of rain water, reports the Butler Eagle.  Best, 44, faces charges of arson and reckless endangerment.

Randy Lee Cassidy lodged a complaint with Altoona police about supposedly harassing text messages he received from a one-time romantic partner, reports the Altoona Mirror. However, Cassidy, 36, wound up being charged himself when a review of the message exchange made it apparent to police that he had sex with the woman before her 18th birthday.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this piece contained the name of a non-litigant party in the first item. That name has been exchanged with a generic description.

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