Tri County Report For December 1st, 2016

Police are investigating a deadly accident in Butler County.  The four-vehicle wreck happened yesterday morning on Route 8 in Middlesex Township.  A tractor trailer collided with Kristofer Schmitt’s vehicle, killing him.  The truck went through a guardrail and fell about 75 yards down a hill.  Two other cars were also involved and two other people were taken to the hospital.

Eight people are facing charges following a child predator Internet sting.  The Allegheny County arrests were announced yesterday as part of Operation e-Traffic.  Officials say undercover agents pretended to be children and arranged sexual encounters with adults.  Attorney General Bruce Beemer warned parents that, “These arrests should serve as a reminder that child predators are increasingly turning to the internet to seek out children in our communities.”

Police in Mercer County report that a driver suffered a fatal heart attack in connection with a fiery crash Sunday on route 318 in Shenango Township near the Ohio border.  According to the Sharon Herald 62 year old John Howe of Hubbard Ohio, was pronounced dead by the Mercer County Coroner’s office. Police  said Howe died before his westbound truck left the road at about 7:25 p.m., crashed into a tree in a resident’s yard and caught fire. No other injuries were reported.

Former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary is getting another five-million-dollars in connection to his whistleblower case against the school.  A judge ruled in favor of McQueary yesterday, saying the school retaliated against him after he told investigators he saw Jerry Sandusky sexually abuse a boy in a team shower.  The money adds to a previous seven-million-dollar verdict for defamation and misrepresentation last month.

The Thanksgiving numbers are in and traffic accidents were down on Pennsylvania roads this year.  Officials announced yesterday that there were 931 crashes over the five-day holiday weekend, which is about eight-percent fewer than last year.  Six people died in the accidents and two were alcohol-related.  Officers also made 610 DUI arrests.

A Cleveland man has been charged following a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  According to State Police 33 year old Kenneth Tate was charged  with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and DUI after a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Little Beaver Township. Police said Tate was pulled over for speeding and the trooper reported smelling marijuana in the vehicle and a search turned up a sandwich bag containing a small amount of marijuana.

There’s no change to the latest release of the area’s unemployment rate.  The state Department of Labor and Industry announced yesterday the region stayed at six-percent in October, but the rate did increase one-tenth of a percent from October 2015.  Butler County was the lowest rate among the seven-county MSA at five and a half percent.  Fayette County was the highest in the area as well as the state at more than eight-percent.

The Woodland Hills High School principal is on administrative leave after allegedly threatening a student.  Superintendent Alan Johnson made the announcement yesterday, noting the investigation is still underway.  The victim reportedly has a recording of Principal Kevin Murray threatening him in April.  It’s illegal to record someone without his or her knowledge in Pennsylvania, but the 14-year-old student claims he had to tape the incident because he was afraid no one would believe him.