Tri County Report For January 12th, 2017

State Police in Butler County have charged a Slippery Rock man after he allegedly threatend his grandmother.  According to police 24 year old Jeffrey Ford was charged with simple assault and terroristic threats. Police responded to a domestic dispute at a home on Orchard Park Lane Tuesday morning when Ford was allegedly waving a loaded handgun at his 67 year old grandmother. Ford was arrested without incident.

The Laurel Area School Board has approved a preliminary budget that includes a deficit of 1.5 million dollars.  The New Castle News reports the early spending plan calls for revenues of 17.5 million and expenditures of 19 million.  Superintendent Len Rich said there will be a series of meetings before the budget is introduced in May to find ways to reduce the deficit and take as little as possible from the general  fund balance.

Over one-thousand Pennsylvania beer distributors are going to be selling new products next week.  Starting Wednesday, six-packs, four-packs and 32-ounce bottles will be available to customers rather than just cases.  Officials say the change will offer customers more convenience and more choices.

A Hempfield Area High School teacher is on paid leave after being accused of sexually harassing a student.  The district released a statement Tuesday saying there was an internal investigation into “allegations of inappropriate communication” between the teacher and student.  The case was referred to State Police but District Attorney John Peck has since decided not to file charges saying, “We determined there was no criminal conduct, and that investigation was closed as far as the District Attorney’s Office is concerned.”

A former Clinton Township secretary, accused of stealing from the municipality, may be facing additional charges. Authorities in Butler County said Margaret Nelson was fired last year after an audit found she wrote herself 40 checks worth more than 130-thousand dollars. Officials now say she may have taken even more than originally thought.  She is free on bail and has a hearing next week.

The race for Pennsylvania governor is already getting underway.  Senator Scott Wagner announced his candidacy yesterday and is the first Republican to enter the race.  Wagner called Governor Tom Wolf a “failed governor” and said he will do everything in his power to jump-start the economy.  He claims his years as a businessman will help him run government more efficiently.

The Ambridge Area School Board is getting ready to discuss issues surrounding the recent teacher strike.  The board held its first meeting since the work stoppage ended January 5th, but the board will address the extended school year and the union contract at next week’s meeting.  Students will be going to school well into June following the weeks-long strike.  The new calendar will be voted on January 18th.  Teachers have been working on expired contracts since June 2015.

Pittsburgh is gearing up for a weekend packed full of events celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Junior.  There’s an afternoon mass at St. Paul Cathedral Sunday followed by several programs on Monday.  The Wilkinsburg train station is hosting a prayer vigil while East Liberty Celebrates MLK is in its eighth year.  King would have turned 88 on Sunday, and Monday is Martin Luther King Junior Day.

State police filed charges against a Sandy Lake woman for stealing money last week from a donation box inside a local drug store. The Sharon Herald reports 49 year old Julie Sue Daly used the money she stole from a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society donation box to buy her prescriptions, then left the Medicine Shoppe, on S. Main St., with the remaining amount. Police charged Daly with theft and receiving stolen property.