New Castle News


July 31, 2013

City loses latest round in McGaffic case

NEW CASTLE — Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has reversed a lower court ruling concerning the disposition of a downtown New Castle property.

In a 4-3 decision last week, the court ruled the plaintiffs have standing to recover payment for a breach of contract regarding the former Centennial Building at the corner of East Washington and Mill streets.

Senior Judge Michael J. Wherry had ruled in December 2011 that the plaintiffs — Robert W. McGaffic and George Love — had not presented sufficient evidence to “confer standing upon them.” McGaffic and Love are the prior owners of the building. The case originated in 1978 with the plaintiffs filing suit.

Wherry, therefore, dismissed their claim that the city of New Castle had breached a contract relating to a 1977 “closeout agreement” between the city and the New Castle Redevelopment Authority.

“We’re absolutely delighted,” said attorney Jonathan Solomon, who represents McGaffic.

“I think it shows that the appellate court wants to see that justice is done. The point is that the local government has taken private property and used it to their benefit.”

The building is now part of the Cascade Center at the Riverplex where Refresh Dental has its corporate headquarters.

Attorney Samuel Kamin, the city’s counsel, said he is preparing a petition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for allowance of an appeal. The Supreme Court has the discretion of whether to consider an appeal.

“We feel very confident the Supreme Court is going to take this appeal and accept the opinion of the three (Commonwealth Court) dissenters,” Kamin said.

“Commonwealth Court overruled and contravened existing Pennsylvania law in five or six areas,” he said, adding the appeal is being prepared on that basis.

In 1994, a board of viewers valued the building at $184,000 as of April 12, 1973. With accruing interest over the years, the judgment has increased to $2,373,343 as of May 29, according to Solomon.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • 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

House Ads

Where can you get the best ice cream cone this summer?

Dairy Queen
     View Results