Tri County Report For January 8th, 2019

The New Castle News is reporting Five people are in the Lawrence County jail, accused of holding a pregnant woman against her will, restraining her by taping her arms and legs, gagging her and beating her with a hammer and a board, then abducting her. All five individuals were charged Sunday and arraigned Monday and placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 250 thousand dollars bond. The woman was treated at St. Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh. The investigation is continuing.

One person is dead and another is hurt after a Beaver County crash over the weekend.  It happened on Pine Grove Road in Brighton Township Saturday morning.  It’s believed the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed when the vehicle went out of control and struck a tree.

It’s unlikely the historic Fallston Bridge in Beaver county will reopen to vehicle traffic.  Representatives with the Historic Fallston Bridge Commission say it would cost the county more than two million dollars to bring the span back up to code for vehicles.  The cost to make it safe for pedestrian use is under 500-grand, according to the Beaver County Times.  The commission is working on fundraising now to pay for the needed renovation work.

It’s been a year since Gov. Tom Wolf declared a disaster emergency regarding the opioid crisis. PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says it has enabled  her department and 15 other state agencies to coordinate their response. Levine says the Governor would like to go further and declare a public health emergency, adding the Governor’s office is working with state lawmakers, since such a declaration would need legislative approval.

Pittsburgh leaders have scheduled a hearing to listen to arguments involving a package of legislation to tighten gun laws in the city.  The hearing is set for the night of January 24th with a final vote coming as early as February.  The proposed ordinances include a ban of semi-automatic rifles, certain ammunition and firearm accessories within Pittsburgh city limits.

An 18-year-old student is facing charges in Penn Township for an alleged threat he made online involving the South Butler County School District.  Police say Jason Bowen posted a Snapchat video of himself firing an AK-style rifle, and added the caption, “Training for prom walk.”  According to officers, Bowen also had brass knuckles and drugs in his bedroom.  Police do not believe there are any credible threats to the district at this time, but district officials say all schools are on a modified lockdown to be safe.

According to this week’s Triple-A gas price report prices in Western Pennsylvania are almost two cents cheaper this week at $2.44 per gallon. In New Castle prices are averaging 2.20 a gallon, while drivers in Sharon are paying 2.35. The national gas price average is $2.24 and has declined for 12 weeks in a row.  The national average is three-cents cheaper on the week, 20-cents cheaper than last month and 25-cents cheaper year-over-year.

Firefighters in Mercer County had to put out a fire in a food truck on Interstate 79 yesterday morning. The blaze broke out in a Shop ‘N Save truck around two o’clock in Jackson Township. Firefighters say it took a lot of work to put out the flames. Crews had to unload about one-third of the truck’s cargo of food. There’s no word on what caused the fire.

A Butler man faces charges following a weekend crash. State Police in Butler County report 27-year-old Zachary Rock of Butler was traveling north on East Butler road when his car left the road and overturned. Officers charged Rock with driving under the influence of alcohol.