Attorney arraigned

Attorney arraigned
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A former Pittsburgh attorney charged with practicing law without a license is free on bond after his arraignment before District Justice J.V. Lamb.
Robert C. Cheek Jr., 55, of Chatham Drive, Pittsburgh, posted $2,000 bond in an appearance before Lamb.
Matthew Mangino, Lawrence County district attorney, said Cheek, whose law license was suspended for a period of five years ending June 25 of this year, is accused of charging a Lawrence County woman $2,550 for representing her in civil and criminal matters in the county between April 2001 and March 31 of this year.
Cheek is charged with unauthorized practice of law and theft by deception.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Cheek was disbarred in July of this year.
Warrant issued
MERCER, Pa. -- State police said a warrant has been issued for a Lakewood, N.Y., man accused of using a bad check to buy some vehicles from Automotive Finance Corp. in Coolspring Township.
Police said Rodney L. Weidner, 45, wrote a check for $129,230 for the vehicles at the Adesa Auto Auction in Coolspring Township on July 26 but the check was returned for nonsufficient funds. Police said Weidner also owes the company an additional $60,000 for other vehicles he bought but didn't pay for.
The warrant charges him with issuing bad checks and theft by deception, police said.
Put on probation
MERCER, Pa. -- A Mercer County judge placed a Wampum man on two years' probation for snatching a purse from an 85-year-old woman. Kenneth Ferry, 23, of RD 1, had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft.
Judge Michael Wherry of Mercer County Common Pleas Court also sentenced Thomas Miller, 22, of Pittsburgh. Miller got five years' probation for misdemeanor retail theft for the April 6, 2002, theft of $2,844 in miscellaneous items from various stores at the Prime Outlets near Grove City.
Facing charges
POLAND -- A 20-year-old New Castle man faces charges of theft and possessing criminal tools when he is released from St. Elizabeth Health Center, township police said.
Michael Habib suffered a broken ankle and a cut on his head when he ran from police investigating the theft of a Coca-Cola vending machine from in front of Tiffany's Total Image Salon on Center Road around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday. He remained in stable condition this morning.
Police saw a red pickup truck hidden in a wooded area with the vending machine in the bed. Habib was arrested after police used a dog to track the area.
Police report Habib told them he had used alcohol and heroin, and told a medical worker he had stolen the machine after stealing the truck in Bessemer, Pa.
Arson suspected
FARRELL, Pa. -- Arson is the suspected cause of a fire that destroyed a vacant three-story house at 503 Fruit Ave. early today.
Fire Chief Joseph Santell said the call came in at 3:57 a.m. and the building was engulfed when firefighters arrived a few minutes later. Santell said the city had recently boarded up the house to secure it.