Tri County Report For January 23rd, 2017

New Castle City police arrested a man in connection with a shooting that took place Saturday morning.Police identified the shooter as 26-year-old Michael Cox Jr. of New Castle. WFMJ-TV reports The incident happened in the 500 block of West Washington Street around 2:30 a.m. Police say a man called 9-1-1, saying he’d been shot, and they arrived to find him shot in the head. The 34 year old man was flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. Cox is charged with criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and simple assault.

Police are investigating a possible mobile methamphetamine lab in Hopewell. Crews were called to Brodhead Road Saturday for a report of suspicious activity and took one person into custody. Pizza Masters and a store in the Brodhead Road shopping plaza closed early but no homes were evacuated. More information is expected today.

Two people are facing charges for allegedly selling heroin laced with carfentanil in Beaver County. Reginald Davis and Hakeem Stuckey were arrested last week for selling narcotics resulting in death. Both are also facing similar charges for incidents last year.  Carfentanil is a thousand times stronger than morphine and a dose the size of a grain of sand can be fatal.

Officials are confirming that high levels of lead have been found in the drinking water at a Butler County school.  The Butler District recently sent a letter to parents of children at Summit Township Elementary alerting them to the situation.  Elevated lead readings were first discovered in September but the results were allegedly not shared with Superintendent Dr. Dale Lumley, until last week.  Lumley says the district’s response was “untimely and inadequate.”  Bottled water is being used until further notice.

Work on a long-anticipated replacement of the 101-year-old Koppel bridge will begin Jan 30. According to the Ellwood City Ledger drivers using the bridge will be subject to lane restrictions to accomodate work crews clearing trees and access roads.  The estimated cost of the project is $27.58 million. PennDot officials said the new bridge is expected to be open by the end of 2018, but work at the site is expected to continue until early June 2019. The existing bridge, which carries Route 351 over the Beaver River between Koppel and North Sewickley Township, was built in 1915.

Hundreds of people won’t be punching the time clock today at General Motors’ plant in Lordstown, Ohio.  The automaker has suspended the third shift at the assembly plant, putting more than 12-hundred people out of work.  GM officials say they’re cutting back because of slow sales of the Lordstown-built Chevy Cruze.

Officials are estimating that about 25-thousand people attended the Women’s March on Pittsburgh.  A rally was held at the City County Building on Grant Street Saturday and Mayor Bill Peduto attended tweeting he was proud to march with his sisters.  The event was one of many that took place all over the country in an effort to show support for equal rights on the heels of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Pennsylvania legislators are pushing for legislation to ban so-called “conversion therapy” for teens. The controversial practice to change a person’s sexual orientation has already been banned in New Jersey and several other states. A joint news conference was held last Thursday in Philadelphia involving Brian Sims, the first openly-gay elected state legislator in state history. Sims is one of the sponsors of a bill that has already been introduced.

Several fire companies battled a fire in Sharon early Saturday moring. The blaze broke out at a structure in the 300 block of North Water Street, that was home to the former Zoo bar.  Sharon firefighters went inside the building, but were forced back because of the size of the fire and unsafe conditions. Six other fire companies helped fight the fire.  No injuries were reported.

West Penn Power customers are going to see a price increase for electric service.  A settlement was approved by Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission last week allowing a seven-percent bump.  A FirstEnergy spokesperson says the move will give the company the resources and technology needed to enhance the infrastructure and provide reliable electric service.