Tri County Report For August 24th, 2016

A 15-year-old Hickory Township boy is in solitary confinement in jail and undergoing evaluation after he allegedly intentionally set fire to his family’s home Saturday morning. According to the New Castle News, the teen, Trento James Greaves of Maitland Lane is being kept way from the adult population in the Lawrence County Jail.  Greaves is charged as an adult for allegedly intentionally setting the fire that gutted the upstairs of his family’s home. Greaves’ mother, 34 year old Rosanna Lynn Rodgers, his stepfather, 35 year old Herbert D. Rodgers, and his sister, 11, were flown to the burn unit of Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh with burns they suffered in the blaze. The adults were listed in good condition there, and the 11-year-old in fair condition, on Monday.

A Slippery Rock man was killed in a two vehicle accident yesterday afternoon in Butler County. According to State Police, a 66 year old man was operating a motorcycle on William Flynn Highway when he struck the side of a truck operated by 34 year old Michael Maddas of Pittsburgh.  The driver of the motorcycle died from his injuries.  State Police continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

The prosecutors who helped convict Jerry Sandusky of child sex abuse are now testifying in his appeal.  The witnesses were asked about grand jury leaks yesterday and one testified he does not believe the leaks came from the attorney general, but most likely from witnesses.  The defense says the leaks prejudiced the jury against Sandusky, who is serving 30-to-60 years behind bars.  The prosecutors were also questioned about the identity of victim number two.   Sandusky is claiming his previous council was ineffective.

CeaseFire Pennsylvania is endorsing Democrat Katie McGinty for U.S. Senate.  The organization, which advocates for tougher gun restrictions, said yesterday that McGinty will make gun-violence prevention “a cornerstone” of her work.  McGinty and Republican incumbent Pat Toomey are currently neck-in-neck in the polls.  Toomey voted to expand background checks on gun shows sales and online but McGinty also supports restrictions on military-style assault weapons.

Two state lawmakers are working on legislation that would freeze tuition at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities. Representatives Nick Miccarelli and Kevin Boyle say the bill would limit universities to an annual tuition increase of two percent for five years.  The men say the measure would help keep middle-class families from being “priced out” of attending college. The bill will be introduced in September.

The Butler Area School Board will be holding a special meeting the day before school starts in anticipation of accepting a contract agreement. Inside Butler County reports A tentative agreement is in place with secretarial and paraprofessional employees of the district. Those employees are expected to vote to accept the agreement before the school board ratifies the deal Aug. 31 at 5:30 p.m.The deal will be retroactively applied to July 1, which is the beginning of the current fiscal year.

Lawmakers are looking to improve the rail service from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg.  The state House Transportation Committee met yesterday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to discuss expanding service from Pittsburgh to New York through Harrisburg.  It would cost between ten and 12-million-dollars per year to operate the service.  Currently, there is one train per day from Pittsburgh to the capital, but advocates hope to push it to three times a day.

Gas prices are up in Pennsylvania.  The average price of a gallon of unleaded in the Keystone State is nine-cents higher this week than last at two-dollars and 30-cents a gallon.  The national average is two-dollars and 18-cents.

A Westmoreland County restaurant owner is heading to trial for allegedly inappropriately touching female employees.  Six victims testified against Cesare Tiano yesterday, saying they endured the unwanted behavior when they worked at Grande’s Restaurant.  One woman claims she had to kiss Tiano on the cheek to get her tip money each day and another says he smacked her buttocks, licked her ear and asked her for nude photos.  Tiano’s attorney says the issue is a cultural misunderstanding.