TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 21ST, 2019

Today is primary election day. Polls will open at 7am and remain open until 8p. Voters in Lawrence County will choose Democratic and Republican nominees for Lawrence County Commissioner. In New Castle, three term Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo faces opposition. Voters in the city of New Castle will also choose nominees for New Castle City Council. There are a number of township supervisor, auditors and tax collector races. All the school districts in Lawrence County have school board races with candidates crossfiling. In Mercer County, Five candidates have cross-filed to run as both Democrats and Republicans for two seats left vacant through the resignation of two common pleas court judges. Mercer County Republicans will choose their candidates for sheriff, county commissioner, and district attorney.

An investigation is underway into a New Castle house fire.  The blaze broke out yesterday afternoon in the back of a Sciota Street house.  Firefighters say the cause appears suspicious.  A woman and child who live in the home were able to escape without injuries.

Ambridge’s Social Security office is on the move.  On June 3rd, the office will move from its existing spot on Merchant Street to its new home on the 300-block of Logan Avenue in Harmony Township.  Operations at the Merchant Street office will end on May 30th prior to the move.

A Fairchance man will now face two counts of third-degree murder charges for a fiery wreck that killed two people last September.  Tristian Lukehart was taken into custody during his Monday court hearing for the September 20th crash at the intersection of Route 51 and Smock road in Franklin township.  The 21-year-old was reportedly going 117 miles per hour in a 55 and was under the influence of marijuana when he struck another vehicle, killing Gerome and Jacklyn Garbutt.

Freedom police say a man was high on drugs when he suffocated his two-year-old stepson.  Ty Lucente was charged yesterday with criminal homicide.  Lucente is accused of passing out on the couch after taking suboxone this past weekend and rolling over on top of the boy.

Pittsburgh’s controversial gun legislation is on hold for now.  At a court hearing today the City agreed it will not enforce it until a court rules on its legality.  The legislation, which was signed by Mayor Bill Peduto in April, makes it illegal to use assault weapons within the city.  The legislation also gives courts the power to take weapons away from people deemed to be a risk.  It’s unclear when a court ruling will take place.  Gun rights advocates argue the new law goes against their Constitutional rights.

State Department of Transportation officials say Pennsylvania’s Real I-D system is now in line with federal regulations.  The official word came from the U-S Department of Homeland Security Monday.  The new Real I-Ds being issued can be used to board commercial airlines and to enter federal facilities beginning in October 2020.

Two men from Butler County are among 16 arrested in Ohio, all accused of seeking to sexually exploit children. According to Inside Butler County the arrests were made as part of an undercover sting- which was the second this year in the Youngstown area. 24 year old David Kent of Cranberry Township, and 44 year old Steven Sutton, of Prospect were among those arrested. A third man from West Middlesex was also on the list. An investigation by the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force led the arrests.

According to this week’s Triple-A Gas Price Report The average price of gasoline across Western Pennsylvania is two cents cheaper this week at $3.06 per gallon. In New Castle prices are averaging 2.95 a gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying 3.09 heading into the Memorial Day Weekend. The national prices is at 2.85 a gallon which is a penny cheaper than last week. Drivers a year ago in Western Pa were paying more on average at 3.09 a gallon.