Tri County Report For August 1st, 2016

New Castle City Firemen were called to the scene of a house fire on Crawford Avenue Saturday afternoon.  According to the New Castle News the fire broke out around 3:30.  The fire is believed to have started  in an upstairs or attic bedroom.  No injuries were reported, however eight people were displaced.  The cause remains under investigation.

A Connoquenessing Township man is going to prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.  Tyler Fusaro-Podobensky pleaded guilty to statutory sexual assault and was sentenced earlier this month to nine-to-23 months behind bars.  Officials say the assault occurred while Fusaro-Podobensky was staying with the victim’s family in 2014.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane is not yet sure if she will testify at her criminal trial.  Kane announced Friday that she will wait to see the case being made against her before deciding.  She is being charged with leaking secret grand jury information and then lying about it.  Her trial begins next week.

Pennsylvania’s cigarette tax is going up by a dollar a pack today.  The per-pack tax is now two-dollars-60-cents, which is the 10th highest in the nation.  The increase is expected to bring in about 430-million dollars.  The new budget also puts a 40-percent tax on the wholesale price of electronic cigarettes and a 55-cents-per-ounce tax on roll-your-own tobacco.

A Mercer County police officer was involved in an accident Saturday afternoon, sending him to UPMC Farrell for treatment. Hermitage police said the officer was in his cruiser when he was hit by another car that was trying to pass two cars on Broadway Avenue near Wilson Road. The accident happened around 12:30 p.m. The driver of the other car was trapped in the wreckage for over 20 minutes, and was later taken to St. Elizabeth’s hospital. Neither of their injuries were said to be serious.

Only one ticket has the winning numbers that came up in the Saturday night Powerball drawing. Lottery officials say the winner was sold by the New Hampshire Lottery for the 487 million dollar grand prize. Until Saturday there had not been a Powerball winner since May 7th.

The teen accused of stabbing 20 Franklin Regional High School classmates and a security guard is trying to change his plea.  Alex Hribal’s attorney filed a document Friday asking to change his client’s plea from not guilty to guilty but mentally ill.  The judge will now have to decide if Hribal’s mental status matches that plea.  Hribal was 16 at the time of the attack, but is being charged as an adult with 21 counts of attempted murder.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton says she wants to “lift up the incomes of hard working people, to create an opportunity society.”  Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, made a stop in Pittsburgh Saturday on their jobs-focused bus tour.  Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban introduced the pair, and announced his endorsement for Clinton, saying, “Do you want a ‘you’re fired’ president or a ‘you’re hired’ president?” Clinton spoke about her plans for small businesses, equal pay, better educational opportunities and improving the state’s infrastructure.

One person was seriously injured after they were ejected from and pinned by a car late last week in Findley Township, Mercer County.  State Police say that just after 10pm on Thursday, a 30-year-old Mercer woman was driving on Scrubgrass Road when she swerved to miss a vehicle that was traveling in her lane, but in the opposite direction. Authorities say that the driver then lost control of her car and then hit an embankment before rolling over.  A passenger in the car, a 31-year-old Mercer man, was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from and then pinned the car. The passenger was then taken by ambulance to Grove City Hospital with unknown serious injuries.