New Castle News


December 21, 2012

Top 10 Stories, Number 10: Easter Sunday fire had tragic outcome

NEW CASTLE — Top 10 Stories, Number 10: Easter Sunday fire had tragic outcome

By John K. Manna

New Castle News

Shortly after 2 p.m. on April 8, North Beaver Township firefighters arrived at the scene of a house fire.

It was Easter Sunday, and unlike most fires, firefighters were unable to attempt to extinguish the blaze.

That’s because Ronald Covert, 53, of Negley, Ohio, was pointing a shotgun at them, preventing the firefighters from trying to save the house on New Road.

North Beaver fire chief Paul Henry said at the time that Covert told the chief, “Let it burn.”

There was no doubt who started the fire, Henry said this week.

“He (Covert) started it and held us at bay until it burned to the basement.”

When they realized they would not be able to get to the blaze, firefighters called state police.

According to Trooper Harry Gustafson, troopers repeatedly told Covert to drop the weapon, but he refused. Then he shot himself in the head.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by a Lawrence County deputy coroner.

After the shooting, firefighters were able to get to the house, but it was too late to save the home of Linda Shoaff. The house was destroyed.

Henry said it was the first time in his 24 years as a fireman that he had experienced such a situation.

There was no loss of human life, but two of Shoaff’s dogs perished in the fire. Shoaff lost everything in the house and was left homeless.

Gustafson said at the time that Covert was Shoaff’s ex-boyfriend, adding that she had recently had obtained a protection from abuse order against him.

Henry said the site was eventually cleaned up and a modular home was placed on the site, and that Shoaff is now living there.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • lamancusa.jpg Tanner, district attorney: No comment

    The Lawrence County District Attorney is keeping mum about a probe into finances in Shenango Township. “We don’t talk about ongoing investigations,” Lamancusa said Friday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • Shenango1.jpg Shenango Township: Supervisors fire Tanner, release DeLorenzo

    The Shenango supervisors fired township secretary/treasurer Brian Tanner and terminated auditor and consultant Deno DeLorenzo last night.

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos 4 Stories

  • gavel.jpg Shenango to take action on Tanner, DeLorenzo

    Shenango’s supervisors will act Thursday night on the employment contracts of two men being investigated for possible theft of township funds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • money.jpg Shenango computers, financial papers seized

    Investigators have seized computers and a host of financial paperwork from the Shenango Township Municipal Building.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • money.jpg Second warrant issued in Shenango Township finances probe

    The home office of Shenango Township’s secretary/treasurer is the subject of a search warrant. A warrant was approved allowing investigators from the Lawrence County district attorney’s office to search Brian Tanner’s home office at 658 Melody Lane Extension in Shenango and seize all computers and computer records.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Our Opinion: Who’s watching the money in Shenango Township?

    The Shenango Township supervisors have some explaining to do. And that’s putting it mildly.

    July 15, 2014 1 Story

House Ads

The film "Into the Storm," about a devastating tornado, opens nationally Aug. 1. What's your favorite storm movie?

The Day After Tomorrow
The Perfect Storm
     View Results