Tri County Report For August 22nd 2016

A Lawrence County 15-year-old boy is being charged as an adult in connection to a house fire.  Trenton James Greaves is charged with five counts of attempted homicide for allegedly setting his home on fire early Saturday morning in Hickory.  Two adults and their eleven-year-old daughter were taken to a hospital with serious burns.  Another woman and her three-year-old daughter were not injured.  There’s a preliminary hearing Wednesday. The teen is currently in the Lawrence County Jail on 250 thousand dollars bond.

Two people are dead following an accident in Ambridge.  Police say a man and a woman were hit by a passenger train yesterday near the sewage treatment plant on Ohio River Boulevard.  The train was carrying 215 people from Washington, DC to Chicago but none were injured.  Witnesses say the victims tried to beat the train across the tracks.

Two people are recovering after being exposed to a toxic plant in New Sewickley.  The men were working on their fence line near Brush Creek earlier this month when they came in contact with hogwart, which can cause sensitivity to sun, blisters, a burning sensation and even blindness.  Hogwart is listed on the Pennsylvania Noxious Weed Control List.

Three teenagers are facing charges for allegedly breaking into an Aliquippa home and raping a woman.  Malakai Helencamp, Michael Guin and Clarence Larue are accused of forcing entry into a McMinn Street residence earlier this month and holding a man and woman at gunpoint.  The teens allegedly demanded money and drugs and two of them are accused of sexually assaulting the woman while the third rummaged through the house.  The trio got away with cash, electronics, jewelry and the victims’ car.  Larue was stopped by police in the stolen vehicle and taken into custody the next day.  Helencamp and Guin turned themselves in.

There is an increase in unsolved bomb threats in public schools in Pennsylvania over the last three years.  The Department of Education recently analyzed data from all 500 of the state’s public school districts and found 132 unsolved bomb threats last year, as opposed to 88 the year before.  Despite that bump, officials say there was a general decrease in terroristic threats, which include bomb threats that have been solved and other threats to commit violence.

Two men convicted of murdering a counselor at a Mercer County juvenile facility when they were just teenagers may now have a chance of being freed from prison someday. Anthony Machicote and Jeremy Melvin, both 29-years-old, appeared before a Mercer County judge on Friday, where they were re-sentenced to thirty years to life in prison for the 2003 suffocation death of of a counselor at George Junior Republic. They had originally been sentenced to life without parole for the crime. However, the two were seventeen years old at the time of the murder, and the U.S. Supreme Court has since ruled that it is unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Three people, including one from Butler, were killed when their boat overturned on the Allegheny River in Clarion County around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Inside Butler County reports 48 year old Joe Wrbas of Butler, along with two other me were trapped underneath the boat for six hours before they died.  A fourth person survived the crash.  The cause remains under investigation.

The Caterpillar plant in Washington County is facing layoffs.  Officials announced last week that the company “intends to pursue strategic alternatives, including a possible divestiture, for its room and pillar products” and plans “to take actions to reduce the workforce in Houston, where the room and pillar products are manufactured.”  Total reductions of up to 155 positions are expected, with some occurring immediately.

Another person is facing charges in connection to the death of a Penn State professor.  Ronald Bettig, an associate professor of media studies, was pushed off a cliff at a quarry and fell 80 feet to his death earlier this month.  George Ishler Jr. was previously charged for the death and Danelle Geier was arraigned Saturday.  Police say the pair wanted Bettig dead because they thought they were in his will.