Frog Net News For January 11th, 2017

A judge is studying written arguments to determine if a teenager can plead guilty but mentally ill to a stabbing rampage at Franklin Regional High School.  The papers were filed yesterday with District Attorney John Peck arguing Alex Hribal had a conscious desire to harm his classmates during the 2014 attack.  Defense attorney Pat Thomassey claims Hribal was diagnosed with psychosis and schizophrenia.

Slot revenues are down in Western Pennsylvania.  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board recently released the year-end figures, which showed a two-percent drop at Lady Luck Casino at Farmington’s Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and a four-percent drop at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino.  A decrease was seen at seven state casinos although the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in North Strabane had a small jump.  Despite the drop, slot revenue at Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos reached over two-billion dollars for the sixth straight year.

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania is set to invest over 900 thousand dollars in Wampum as part of a pipeline infrastructure project. The project is expected to begin this month as more that 32 hundred feet of underground pipe will be replaced along Main Street between charles and Clyde Streets. About 55 custumers will experience a temporary serice interruption.  The project is expected to last through late spring.

A Rochester Area School District Board member is back in his seat.  Joseph H. Long returned to the board Monday after initially announcing he would resign after his arrest for soliciting sex with a woman in Center Township in November. It was announced last month he would not resign.  Long was not at last month’s board meeting.  Long hopes to enter the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program and has a hearing this month.  Long was elected in 2015 to a four-year term.

Driver license centers will be closed on Martin Luther King Junior Day.  PennDOT announced yesterday that the centers will be closed in observance of the holiday.  The closure will begin on Saturday January 14th and run through the 16th.

A Saxonburg woman is dead after falling from a moving vehicle. Alexis Arthur was flown from Route 228 in Clinton Township after the Sunday incident but later died from her injuries.  Officials say foul play is not suspected and have ruled her death accidental.

A man is facing charges after jumping into the Connoquenessing River to avoid police.  Police say Joseph Boots assaulted his girlfriend early Friday during a argument.  When officers tried to take him into custody, he ran into the river, but quickly began suffering from hypothermia and was unable to make it out on his own.  Boots’ girlfriend suffered multiple broken bones and a concussion.

Police have charged a Slippery Rock man following a traffic stop.   Police pulled Michael Scott over on Main Street yesterday and found pills, a scale, syringes and a spoon with drug residue on it.  Scott also allegedly gave police a fake name in order to avoid an outstanding arrest warrant.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is getting his first official challenger. Republican state Sen. Scott Wagner of York County is preparing an announcement today that he’ll seek the GOP nomination to contest Wolf’s re-election bid in 2018. The 62-year-old Wagner is a staunch critic of Wolf and has millions of his own dollars to spend on his campaign. He’s built two municipal waste-hauling companies, and currently owns Penn Waste, which has contracts with dozens of southcentral Pennsylvania municipalities.

83 people will be out of jobs when the Macy’s at the Beaver Valley Mall closes on March 6, according to a document filed with the state Department of Labor and Industry. Called a WARN notice, the documents are required by law to be filed by any company that anticipates mass layoffs.  The Ellwood City Ledger reports Macy’s officials previously said affected employees could be offered positions in nearby stores where possible. Macy’s has locations in Robinson and Ross townships in Allegheny County.