- Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

November 9, 2013

Courthouse threat traced in 2 hours

Sharpsville woman charged

MERCER — County authorities credit modern technology for tracing a phone call that threatened county judges and indicated a bomb was in the Mercer County Courthouse.

At about 11:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28, Margie Small was arrested at her Shenango St., Sharpsville, home, according to Jeff Greenburg, county public information officer. She was held in Mercer County Jail until she was charged with terroristic threats and harassment in Judge Lorinda L. Hinch’s district court.

According to a news release: At about 9 a.m. Monday, a courthouse employee answered a call from a woman making threats against judges and who indicated that a bomb was in the building. The employee relayed the information to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, who with the county emergency management agency and commissioners agreed that the threat would be treated as credible. The courthouse was evacuated and closed while K-9 units from the sheriff’s office, New Castle Police and Beaver County Sheriff’s Office searched for explosives, which are part of Region 13’s explosive K-9 detection program.

Greenburg stayed outside with a handful of other officials while the bomb dogs searched the building, while most of the other courthouse employees went home, he said. “If they left their car keys inside, they had someone come pick them up ... or they went to one of the other county buildings,” Greenburg said.

At about 11:30 a.m., officials determined no explosives were present.

“After the building was cleared, they started allowing people to go back in around noon,” Greenburg said. The courthouse re-opened to the public at 1 p.m.

Deputies and the county’s management information systems department – which oversees all of its computer and phone networks – tracked the call to Sharpsville, Greenburg said.

Mercer County Sheriff Gary A. Hartman would not say specifically why Small called in the bomb threat.

“A bigger part of the problem is mental health issues,” Hartman said. “But that doesn’t negate the criminal aspect.”

Small’s neighbor, Maggie Myers, said she has clashed with the family in the past and Small has called many places with complaints. Small called The Herald Friday and claimed that she had seen a transit bus driver taking pictures of her grandchild and other kids on a regular basis close to her home.

During the phone call, she said she was banned from the transit unless she wrote them a letter of apology.

Small’s preliminary hearing was set for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 7.

The Blair County courthouse in Hollidaysburg received a similar threat  Friday that was determined to be a hoax.

Herald Staff Writer Melissa Klaric contributed to this report, which was published Oct. 30, 2013.

Text Only
Local News
  • live united fire merkel.jpg Local live United

    The Grove City Area United Way is kicking off a summer campaign that features locals who are examples of how to "Live United."

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • gina burger-file.jpg Police: 'Cool customer' arrested in girl's murder

    An Ohio man charged in the murder of Gina Marie Burger, 16 - whose body was found at Tri-County Industries waste transfer station in Pine Township June 25 - stuffed her body in a playpen bag and carried it past her mother before disposing of the remains in the trash, police said.

    July 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Public questions Rock band director's position

    Slippery Rock school board members on Monday heard from several people who were concerned about the marching band director's position, which has been opened up for anyone to apply.

    July 11, 2014

  • Budget includes tax hike for new teachers

    Property taxes in the Slippery Rock Area School District are going up by 3.62 mills for the 2014-15 school year to cover the cost of hiring four new teachers.

    July 11, 2014

  • Twp. running out of capacity

    Springfield Township is running out of wastewater capacity.

    July 11, 2014

  • cat with owner.jpg Mobile cat clinic curbs overpopulation

    For the sixth year in a row, Grove City Area Pet Rescue has teamed up with Animal Friends of Pittsburgh to offer a low-cost spay/neuter clinic for cats through a mobile unit set up in Plain Grove Township.

    July 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • rock fairy read bloom fair.jpg The Rock blooms under judges' eyes

    America in Bloom judges Katy Moss Warner and Barbara Vincentsen liked what they saw in the Slippery Rock area, where they spent three days evaluating a year's worth of work done by Slippery Rock in Bloom members and volunteers.

    July 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boomtown hears young voices

    Students from the Mercer Area School District were among the 20 participants at the June 17 Mercer Boomtown meeting held at the Mercer County Career Center.

    July 3, 2014

  • Rock trash talk touches on billing, BigBelly

    Slippery Rock council members are still working through a number of garbage-related issues, including a detailed revision of the solid waste ordinance and a proposal to bring solar-powered trash compactors to the borough.

    July 3, 2014

  • ali shawn miller prelim.jpg GC area child assault case heads to county court

    The Grove City-area man accused of grabbing a young boy in the bathroom of the Pine Township Walmart will have his case heard in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide