Tri County Report For April 6th, 2017

A Butler man is behind bars for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenager.  Police were called to Paul Claypoole’s Center Avenue home Monday after a witness allegedly saw him attacking the 15-year-old boy through a window.  The witness yelled to stop the assault, but says Claypoole just turned off the lights.  When officers took him in for questioning, he reportedly became agitated and requested a lawyer.

Fire destroyed an Amish business in Mercer County yesterday. Shortly after 7 o’clock last night fire crews were called out to the J&R Sawmill on the 300 block of Greenfield Road. Fire departments from Mercer and Lawrence County were called out to help, but the business burned to the ground in just a short time. No one was injured in the blaze.

Authorities in Sharon say A Crawford County,  man is under arrest, accused of doing drugs, drinking and repeatedly raping a girl as young as 9-years-old. Bond was set at $50,000 for 22 year old Jordan Parks, of Hartstown during his arraignment on six counts of rape of a child, one count of rape by forcible compulsion, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and aggravated indecent assault of a child. WFMJ-TV reports The allegations date back to 2010, when police say the alleged victim was only 9-years-old and Parks was sixteen. Mercer County Children and Youth Services and Sharon police worked together on the investigation.

A bill that would allow tablet gambling at eight Pennsylvania airports is on its way to the Senate.  The state House approved the measure Tuesday.  The legislation would include Arnold Palmer Regional and Pittsburgh International and would allow the gambling in boarding areas only.

Butler and Allegheny counties have the lowest unemployment rates in the area.  Figures from the state Department of Labor and Industry this week show the rate was four-point-nine-percent in both counties in February.  Fayette County had the highest regional rate at seven-point-three-percent.

Pennsylvania State Police are sharing some figures about drugs in the state.  The numbers were released this week and show that troopers seized more than 13-million dollars-worth of illegal drugs in the first quarter of 2017.  Troopers confiscated more than 29 pounds of heroin, 22 pounds of methamphetamines and 539 pounds of processed marijuana.  More than 68 million-dollars-worth of illegal drugs were seized last year.

The Butler Area School District may have to find a new way to pay lawsuits involving lead-tainted water at Summit Elementary School.  The insurance companies for the district argue that they are not liable in the case because former Superintendent Dale Lumley allegedly concealed information for months about the dangerous levels of lead in the school’s water supply.  The companies also contend that their policies with the district did not cover lead exposure.

The investigation is continuing into allegations of “possible misconduct” during a recent Ringgold High School baseball team trip.  A statement from Athletic Director Laura Grimm yesterday said the accusations prompted an investigation which eventually found evidence of misconduct.  Grimm explained, “The school district is in the process of imposing the appropriate discipline to the individuals involved in these regrettable matters.”  Varsity Coach Jim Coulter “resigned voluntarily” on March 30th.

Gas prices have increased by a few cents in the past week.  According to Triple-A’s weekly fuel gauge survey the average price for a gallon regular is 2.58 a gallon. That’s up two cents in the past week. A year ago drivers were paying just 2.18 a gallon. Nationally prices are at 2.25 a gallon.