Tri County Report For March 15th, 2019

The search is underway for the suspect in a kidnapping and stabbing in Lawrence County.  Neshannock Township police say a 20-year-old man was walking along Kenneth Avenue yesterday when he was dragged into a car and stabbed several times before he escaped.  The suspect is a Hispanic man driving a maroon vehicle.

State Police in Lawrence County continue to investigate a crash in Hickory Township from Wednesday afternoon. Police suspect the driver of a car that turned into the path of a pickup at the intersection of routes 168 and 388 was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. The driver of the car was flown to a Youngstown Hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported. Police said charges are pending following lab results.

A Beaver Falls woman was indicted by a federal grand jury for misusing housing assistance payments. According to the Ellwood City Ledger, 56 year old Janile Fielding, was indicted on charges of theft of government funds and providing false documentation to the government. Officials alleged Fielding between June 2013 to May 2017, “converted for her own use” housing assistance payments from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Those dollars are required to be used only on mortgage payments. Fielding could face up to 25 years in prison, a fine of up to $1 million or both.

An Aliquippa police officer is recovering after being hurt trying to perform a traffic stop.  Police say a cruiser was chasing a car that ran a red light early yesterday when it was hit by another vehicle at Kennedy Boulevard and Grand Avenue.  Officer John Lutton suffered bruises and sprains while sitting in the passenger seat.

Pennsylvania U.S. Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey were among the 59 senators who voted to reject the President’s emergency declaration which he wanted to use to secure funding for a wall on the US/Mexican border. Toomey said he supports building the wall, just not this way. Sen. Casey earlier denounced the president for what he called an egregious use of a national emergency.

A Washington County jury is preparing to decide whether a killer goes to death row.  The penalty phase of Brandon Wolowski’s trial begins this morning after he was convicted yesterday of first-degree murder.  Wolowski was convicted of gunning down Matthew Mathias during a 2013 robbery in Washington.

The VA’s Washington County outpatient center is moving.  Officials say they are going to occupy the second floor of the Crossroads Center on the first block of West Beau Street, which is about two blocks from its current home in Washington.  The move will double the facility’s operating space and is expected to be completed quickly.  The new site is anticipated to see patients starting April 1st.

The St. Bernard School and Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh are being hit with a new lawsuit over child sex assault claims.  The plaintiff, a student at the school from pre-school through eighth grade, says he was molested and sexually assaulted by a math teacher at least five times.  The abuse allegedly happened in a classroom and began when the student was being tutored.  According to the lawsuit, the victim tried to repress the memories but said they were too painful to forget.  School officials or the diocese hasn’t responded to the lawsuit.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor has announced he’ll bring his ‘Recreational Marijuana Listening Tour’ to Butler County next week. Inside Butler County reports John Fetterman will be at Slippery Rock University on Thursday, March 21 in the McKay Education Building auditorium from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Fetterman made a commitment this year to visit all 67 counties in the state to listen to residents’ thoughts on whether the state should legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.