Tri County Report For February 8th, 2017

In a 3-0 vote at yesterday’s Lawrence County Commissioners meeting the board authorized the Lawrence County Redevelopment Authority and Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation to enter into an agreement with Shenango Township to bid on the former Youth Development Center. The Ellwood City Ledger reports that several of the buildings will have to be demolished including the former school which is not up to code.  Commissioner Steve Craigs said the county would seek grants for property demolition. The state is now seeking about $300,000 for the property. Deadline for bids is March 22.

Governor Tom Wolf is calling for millions of dollars in cuts and savings in his budget proposal.  Wolf unveiled the plan yesterday, stressing there will be no major tax increases.  The governor says this budget contains the largest cuts and consolidations of government bureaucracy in the state’s history.  Wolf says now it’s time for the debate about the issues and the numbers to begin.

State Senator Elder Vogel Jr., sees some good in the  in Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal on Tuesday,  also found plenty to criticize. Volgel said “It is encouraging to hear a budget address that does not include calls for massive … broad-based tax increases.  Vogel went on to say he was disappointed that Wolf did not mention pension reform, and questioned the governor’s request for a 6.5 percent severance tax on natural gas drillers.

An Ambridge woman is facing charges after passing out on top of her four-month-old.  Rikki Ours’ boyfriend found her unconscious on top of the baby on an air mattress in the kitchen of her Beaver Road apartment last week.  Ours was revived with Narcan and the baby is fine.  Police say Ours overdosed on heroin.

The Butler Area School District is dealing with a class-action lawsuit.  The suit was filed yesterday and accuses the district of putting the students at Summit Elementary School at serious risk by concealing tests that found dangerous levels of lead in the school’s water.  The lawsuit claims Superintendent Dale Lumley made no move to correct the issue and allowed students to drink the tainted water for four months.  District Attorney Richard Goldinger has asked police to open a criminal investigation into the incident.

A gas leak is being blamed for an evacuation at Butler Senior High School.  Crews were called in after a gas odor was detected yesterday morning.  The leak ended up being outside the building but students were moved to Butler Intermediate High School.

Police are investigating the early morning robbery of a Hermitage convenience store. The Robbery took place at the Circle K on North Buhl Farm Drive  just after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. According to police, a man who concealed his face ordered the cashier to hand over money from the register. The suspect got away with an undetermined amount of money.  No one was hurt and the investigation is conitnuing.

A Westmoreland County transgender woman is behind bars after allegedly threatening to shoot a judge.  Tammy Felbaum allegedly said she had an Uzi and a rocket launcher in her purse as she entered the courthouse for a hearing Monday and told guards she wanted to shoot a judge.  Felbaum previously served prison time for the botched castration and overdose death of her sixth husband.

Philadelphia and other cities in the state that have declared themselves to be sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants are facing a fight from the Pennsylvania legislature. The state senate approved a bill Tuesday that would withhold state money from those municipalities and others that don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials. Fiscal analysis from the senate shows that could mean a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars for Philadelphia. The bill now goes to the House.