Tri County Report For March 21st, 2017

A woman is dead following a house fire in Mercer County.  The fire broke out yesterday morning at a home on Buckwalter Road in Shenango Township.  70 year old Nancy Waughman reportedly used an oxygen tank and neighbors say they heard explosions coming from the home. Waughman’s body was found in what was believed to be the kitchen area of the home.

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier is heading to trial.  The trial, set to begin today, is related to the child sex-abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.  Prosecutors say Spanier and two other university officials were told about Sandusky’s abuse back in 2001 but did not tell police about it.  Sandusky was sentenced to three to six decades behind bars after being convicted five years ago.

Things are getting back to normal following a water main break in Butler.  The incident occurred yesterday near Locust and Elm streets.  More than two feet of water flooded the streets in some areas.  About 15 homes experienced water service interruptions but all have been restored.

The Sharon Herald is reporting a sex offender who was living in Hermitage has been sent to state prison for a second sex offense. 34 year old Tyler Rodgers was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 7 years on a charge of solicitation. Rodgers was convicted of statutory sexual assault and sexual abuse of children in 2007. State police charged Rodgers about a year ago following a nearly two-year investigation prompted by suspicions about his computer use by an agent of Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. Police disovered a video of Rodgers talking with a 15 year old Canadian girl while she was in her underwear. Rodgers must register as a sex offender for 25 years.

Governor Tom Wolf is now proposing a new plan to restructure county assistance offices across Pennsylvania in an effort to manage the state budget deficit.  According to the governor, his idea will shift some back-office functions as he pushes to consolidate the departments of Aging, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs and Human Services into one agency.  The plan would also cost 70 people their jobs, as the state saves seven-million dollars.  Pennsylvania lawmakers are grappling with a 630-million-dollar budget shortfall.

A clothes dryer is being blamed for a townhouse fire in Adams Township. Fire officials in Butler County say The flames erupted in the laundry room of the East Vanderbilt Drive residence early yesterday.  The unit had working smoke alarms that alerted everyone and no injuries were reported.  Firefighters say the home sustained about 12-thousand-dollars worth of damage, but is livable.

The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a racist video.  The video was posted to Twitter and featured at least one West Hempfield Middle School student.  The video shows a group of middle-school-aged boys dancing to a rap song.  They referred the target of the video as “the whitest black man I know.”  The video also features a boy dressed up as what appears to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan.  Now the State Police are looking into allegations of racial intimidation stemming from the video.

New Castle City Firemen were called out to a house fire Saturday morning in Mahoningtown.  The New Castle News report firemen were called to a home S.Cedar Street just after 11 o’clock. According to fire officials the blaze was electrical in nature.  No injuries were reported and damage was listed at 15 thousand dollars.

State Police in Butler County continue to investigate a fatal crash in Worth Township Sunday night.  According to police 32 year old Scott O’Donnel was killed after he was thrown out of his vehicle.  The accident took place on West Liberty Road around 7pm.  The cause of death was blunt force trauma. No other injuries were reported.