Tri County Report For February 2nd, 2017

The Wilmington Area School District is keeping its options open for the amount it will increase school taxes  next year. According to the New Castle News the district is facing a one million dollar deficit. The deficits are being paid out of a fund balance that now stands at $5.8 million, but school board members fear the balance will be exhausted in a few years. Although the state allows districts to raise taxes to a state determined “index” percentage on their own authority, they must seek state department of education permission to raise them above the index. The board is considering several cost cutting measures including closing Pulaski Elementary school.

A report of a man with a gun is being blamed for the lockdown of the Walmart in Beaver County.  Someone called police yesterday claiming the suspect was armed and on his way into the store in Baden.  Officers responded and locked down the facility, but a subsequent investigation found he was in a nearby restaurant and had a knife, not a gun.  He is not facing any charges.

Police say a Butler County woman is facing charges after overdosing with three children in her home.  EMS crews used Narcan to revive Tracy Progar after the kids saw her fall down and called police last week.  Progar claims she was on legal medication but officers say she had needle marks on her arms.

Three former Penn State administrators are heading to trial.  Former university President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley are all charged with endangering the welfare of children.  The trio is accused of mishandling the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal.  Jury selection will begin in March.

Senator Pat Toomey likes President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.  Monday night,  President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Senator Toomey says he thinks Gorsuch is a good candidate to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.  Toomey says “He understand that his job is to apply the law and U.S. Constitution as written, not to pick winners and losers based on personal or partisan policy preferences.”

A Knoch High School student is dead following an accident on Route 8 in Penn Township.  Police say 16-year-old Cameron Ashton was a passenger in a SUV that flipped several times and hit McBride Station yesterday.  Cameron was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver, also a Knoch High School student, was injured but is expected to recover.  The district will have counseling services available this week.

The Allegheny Health Network is operating with larger than expected losses for 2016.  The health network expected an operating loss of more than 29-million-dollars, but it wound up at 39-million.  The seven-hospital system had revenues of nearly three-billion-dollars.  The network expected 43-million-dollars in net losses but was only at 40-million.  Some of the differences can be equated to renovations.  Allegheny General saw about 45-million-dollars in hospital improvements.  Saint Vincent was the next-highest at about 15-million.

A Monroe County casino is getting a large fine for letting a drunk visitor gamble.  Mount Airy Casino Resort was hit with a 25-thousand-dollar fine yesterday by the state’s Gaming Control Board.  A man paid for and was served nearly 30 drinks over nine hours in October.  Three bartenders were fired for serving the man drinks.  Casinos are required to have plans to prevent drunk patrons from gambling.

Senator Bob Casey is speaking out against President Trump’s immigration ban.  President Trump recently signed an executive order that temporarily bans refugees from seven countries from entering the United States.  Senator Casey says this executive order goes against America’s values.  He then went on to say that “This reported executive action appears to be driven by politics and discrimination, not by recommendations from national security professionals.

A former Plum High School teacher is going to prison.  Michael Cinefra received a three-to-six-year sentence yesterday after pleading guilty to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student.  Cinefra will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.