Tri County Report For January 31st, 2017

Pennsylvania lawmakers are reacting to President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban.  Senator Bob Casey outlined his concerns yesterday in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security writing, “Nothing about this executive order reflects respect, tolerance or diversity of opinion.”  Senator Pat Toomey says he supports the decision to increase vetting but called Trump’s plan flawed, too broad and poorly explained.  Representative Scott Perry also called for the administration to clarify its policies.

The driver of a pickup truck suffered a head injury in an accident on Wilmington Road around 3 p.m. The New Castle News reports  two  pickup trucks collided near the intersection of McGary Road in Neshannock Township. The injured driver was transported by an ambulance to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. Neshannock police and fire were called to the scene of the crash.  No other details were available.

President Donald Trump is naming his pick for the Supreme Court tonight and a Pittsburgh federal judge is on the short list.  Thomas Hardiman, who’s considered a moderate pick, has served on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals since 2007.  Hardiman’s confirmation for federal judge was approved by 95 out of 100 senators, including Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer.

The Butler School District is offering free blood tests to students and staff this week.  The move is in response to high levels of lead found in the Summit Elementary School building.  The testing can be done at any Butler Health System facility.  Parents can also have their children tested at the school today and Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Updates on the water situation are being posted at BASDk12.org.

The Ellwood City Ledger reports A 19-year-old man was killed Monday morning in an accident along Route 65. Police in North Sewickley Township said 19 year old Isaiah Hunter of Fallston was killed in the accident about  about a quarter-mile north of Wise’s Grove Road in the township. Police said Hunter was traveling north on Route 65 when he failed to negotiate a bend in the road. Hunter’s vehicle crossed the center line and collided head-on with a southbound vehicle driven by Kristin Custer of Ellwood City. Hunter was pronounced dead at the scene. Custer was taken to Heritage Valley Beaver for treatment.

Governor Wolf is giving some details about his plan to consolidate four state public health agencies.  The plan would combine the departments of Human Services, Health, Aging and Drug and Alcohol Programs to make the Department of Health and Human Services.  Wolf’s office said yesterday that getting the agencies into one department will improve efficiency, eliminate red tape and keep benefits programs intact.  The administration claims any layoffs would be minimal.

Parole officers discovered a meth lab inside a Sharon home Monday, less than 24 hours after the men found there were arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. WKBN-TV reports 32 year old Kenneth Klemen, 33 year old  Wayne Evett,  and 33 year old  Joshua Euard,  were arrested Sunday night. Their charges were a violation of their parole. On Monday parole officers found the meth lab and contacted Sharon Police, who immediately called Pennsylvania State Police and the Attorney General’s Drug Task Force. PSP was on the scene Monday night, decontaminating the home. The attorney general will be filing charges.

A Westmoreland County man is facing charges for allegedly inappropriately touching three young girls at a sleepover.  The nine and ten-year-olds told police James Bowman the Second touched them, watched them change their clothes, played inappropriate movies and touched himself in front of them during the October birthday party.  He’s also accused of making the victims promise not to tell anyone.

Enrollment at Slippery Rock University is up slightly for the spring semester. According to the school, SRU opened the spring 2017 semester with 8,300 students…which is an increase of about one-and-a-half percent. In a press statement SRU President Cheryl Norton said in a statement that the administration is proud that the university is one of a few institutions to start the spring semester with an enrollment gain. She attributes the high enrollment numbers to a high-quality education at an affordable price.