Tri County Report For January 20th, 2017

New Castle City Police arrested a North Hill man who’s accused of raping a preteen girl. the New Castle News reports 35 year old Stephen Plum of Laurel Blvd, is facing charges of rape by forcible compulsion, two counts of aggravated indecent assault with consent, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, and indecent assault of a person younger than 16. The alleged incident took place inside a Neshannock Village apartment between April of 2010 and March of 2016.  Plum was placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 25 thousand dollars bond.

Three men were arrested and charged with theft after they tried to make off with a big order from the meat department at the Giant Eagle on Wilmington Road. According to WKBN-TV Steven Tedrow of Ellwood City and Mark Quear of New Castle ordered $560 in specialty cut steak from the butcher at the Giant Eagle on Wilmington Road. The men attempted to bypass the cash registers without paying but were stopped by the manager. The men ran out of the store and jumped into a vehicle driven by Thomas O’Neill of New Castle. They attempted another theft at the Butler Road Giant Eagle but were caught.  All three men are facing theft charges.

Classes in the Mohawk school district will resume Friday after recent water tests showed no signs of contamination. According to Superintendent Michael Leitera, tests to detect bacteria were conducted Jan. 17 and Jan. 18. All samples were safe. The schools were closed this week after drinking water tested positive for coliform bacteria, including E.coli. Classes were canceled Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

A Cranberry Township woman is facing charges for allegedly drugging her ten-year-old son.  The child’s teacher noticed the boy seemed “spaced out” in class last month and when she asked him about it, he told her his mom gave him a sleeping pill the night before.  The boy’s mother admitted to giving him a narcotic to calm him down.

Eugene DePasquale is performing an audit on the state’s unemployment fund.  The state auditor general is trying to resolve the stalemate that has closed down unemployment call centers statewide.  DePasquale says he will have the results of the audit by April.

Officials in Butler County say a man is in a burn unit following an accident in Evans City.  The victim was working at the Marburger Dairy Farm yesterday when an unclamped hot water pipe sprayed the employee.  The victim suffered severe steam burns to his back and stomach.

Pennsylvania is getting more time to comply with federal driver’s license requirements.  Governor Tom Wolf announced the extension yesterday, saying the state now has until June 5th.  The licenses do not meet “Real ID” standards and Pennsylvanians could eventually need a new ID to be able to get into federal facilities and military bases or to board a commercial plane.

Some folks in the Pittsburgh-area are in Washington for the inauguration while others are sticking around to attend local events.  An event hosted by One Pennsylvania is today at noon at Freedom Corner.  Speakers will discuss issues such as social justice and environmental problems.  Pittsburgh will also host two rallies on Saturday to coincide with the Women’s March on Washington.  A downtown march is scheduled at 11 tomorrow morning at the City-County Building.  Another march and rally ends at a Summit Against Racism at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

A convicted cop killer will be put to death in a few weeks.  Richard Poplawski murdered three Pittsburgh police officers in Stanton Heights in 2009.  He was found guilty and sentenced to death in 2011.  The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections announced yesterday that he will be put to death on March 3rd.

A trip to the Super Bowl isn’t the only thing on the line when the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the New England Patriots.  Governor Wolf and Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts placed a food bet on Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.  Governor Wolf wagered food from Primanti Brothers and Prantl’s Bakery yesterday on Twitter after Governor Baker initiated the bet with chowder and Boston cream pie cupcakes.  The winner of the game will head to Houston for Super Bowl 51 on February 5th.