Tri County Report For February 9th, 2017

A 47-year-old Swissvale man is facing multiple charges in connection to six bank robberies.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced yesterday Gregory Magee allegedly robbed banks in Lawrence, Beaver Butler Allegheny, and Washington counties between January and November 2016.  In the latest one in Monroeville, Magee is accused of making off with nearly 80-thousand-dollars.  The total from all six robberies is almost 120-thousand-dollars.  The grand jury indictment was returned Tuesday.

Governor Tom Wolf wants to start charging towns without police forces to use the state police.  Governor Wolf announced Tuesday that he wants to start charging 25-dollar per person for towns that use the Pennsylvania State Police instead of having their own full-time police forces.  This would raise about 63-million dollars for the state.  Many towns in Western Pennsylvania would be forced to pay the fee if this rule were to go into effect.

Penn State is fighting back against a verdict that awarded one of its former assistant football coaches millions of dollars for his treatment after Jerry Sandusky’s arrest on child molestation charges. The university filed a brief onMonday arguing Judge Thomas Gavin acted as an advocate for plaintiff Mike McQueary during the October trial. McQueary was awarded more than $12 million for defamation, misrepresentation and violations of whistleblower protections. The school wants the verdict reversed, a new trial ordered or the damages lowered.

Hundreds of Pittsburgh residents are speaking out about the recent confirmation of the new education secretary.  About 250 students from Pittsburgh Public Schools began a march yesterday in Market Square before heading to Senator Toomey’s office in Station Square.  Toomey voted in favor of Betsy DeVos, and she was appointed the secretary of education when the vice president broke the 50-50 tie.  Toomey said he supports the right to protest peacefully.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are another step closer to banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy.  The state Senate passed the bill yesterday.  Republicans say the bill is needed because new evidence shows unborn babies can feel pain at 20 weeks.  The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

There’s a new leader of the Beaver County Democratic Party.  Stephen Dupree was elected as chairman Tuesday during a committee meeting.  Lou Gentile resigned as chair in December after taking over less than nine months earlier.  Mike Rossi was the other candidate to take over the party.  Dupree won 67-41.

Penn State is temporarily stopping all social events at sororities and fraternities after a student’s death last week.  Timothy Piazza died after he fell down the stairs at a frat house while he was drunk.  The university’s Vice President for Student Affairs said he met with fraternity leaders Tuesday night and they decided to cancel all social events while they review their conduct policies.

Pennsylvania college students are lobbying the state government for a five-year tuition freeze.  The Pennsylvania Student Power Network, which includes over 100 students from schools around the state, kicked off their new campaign last night at Millersville University.  They also want the state minimum wage to more than double for workers on campus.

Rivers Casino now has the backing of the city planning commission to build a 52-million-dollar hotel on the Ohio riverfront.  The commission gave unanimous approval last night for the proposal.  The hotel will be located near the Carnegie Science Center, and would be attached to the casino.  Construction is expected to start in the spring.