Tri County Report For June 5th, 2017

A former Mercer man who admitted sexually assaulting and beating a woman over the course of a day was sentenced recently to a minimum of 6 years, 10 months, in prison. The New Castle News reports 25 year old Ryan Knight assaulted a woman on May 4, of last year,  at his former home on Shenango Boulevard in what she called “a day of torture.” He punched her in the head and hit her with a metal purse strap and a curtain rod, police said. could end up spending 14 years, 10 months, in prison on charges of rape and aggravated and simple assault. He pleaded guilty to the charges in March.

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier is sentenced to four to 12 months in prison, probation, fines and community service.  Spanier and two other university officials were charged in 2011 for failure to notify authorities about accusations of sexual misconduct by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.  Former Athletic Director Tim Curley and Former Vice President Gary Schultz were also sentenced today to prison time, fines and community service.

Starting today the 2.7 mile stretch of Route 208 in Springfield and Pine Townships in Mercer County is closing for continued road work. Repairs have been underway for a few weeks, including milling, paving, updating drainage, road shoulders, guide rails, signing and pavement markings. A replacement of a 10-foot bridge of Black Run with a precast reinforced concrete box culvert is also in the works. According to PennDot The project is scheduled for completion by mid-October 2017.

The Butler School District is concerned about fliers advertising a good deal on senior pictures for female students.  On Tuesday, a man gave some students fliers for senior pictures costing just 30 dollars.  Some parents complained to the district about the fliers that show girls in inappropriate dress and poses for senior pictures.

41 year old Jason Lambert, formerly of Sharpsville has been sentenced to 18 years, 9 months in prison on federal charges of producing child pornography. According to the New Castle News the FBI alleged he created images May 11 and June 1, both 2015, that were sent online June 2, 2015, to someone in Washington, D.C. FBI agents and state police searched Lambert’s home June 3, 2015. State police also charged Lambert based on the search, and he pleaded no contest in April 2016 to a charge of indecent assault. The federal charges involve two girls, ages 8 and 4.

Some state lawmakers are pushing for legislation to combat President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.  Senators Jay Costa and Wayne Fontana from Allegheny County released a statement to the President Friday, saying in part, “This decision needs to be seen for exactly what it is, an attack on humanity and future generations.”  Costa is also introducing legislation that would require the state Department of Environmental Protection to follow the Obama Clean Power Plan.

Summit Elementary in Butler County is most likely not going to be ready for the start of the next school year. Acting Superintendent Dr. William Pettigrew announced Friday that classes will begin before crews can test the new water line that will connect the school to public water.  Pettigrew says students will start class at Broad Street and then move to Summit when the tests are done. Summit closed earlier this year after tests found high levels of lead and copper in the water.

The state Senate is expected to vote on legislation today that would overhaul retirement benefits for future government and public school employees.  The bill passed a committee vote last night and would shrink the pension benefit for future hires and add a 401(k)-style savings plan.  Governor Tom Wolf says he supports the bill’s goal of paying down the pension debt and reducing investment fees and taxpayer risk.

An Aliquippa assistant football coach accused of improper recruiting is expected to speak to the WPIAL board today.  Sherman McBride’s name was brought up earlier this month by Beaver Falls administrators due to the transfer of standout Malik Shepherd.  WPIAL board members unanimously ruled Malik Shepherd ineligible to play for the Quips, saying his transfer in April was for athletic reasons.  Shepherd rushed for more than eleven-hundred yards and nine touchdowns last season as Beaver Falls won the state title.