Tri County Report For June 7th, 2017

The former head of the Lawrence County Regional Council of Governments will serve  six months on house arrest for stealing from the organization.  The New Castle News reports 69 year old Robert Callen of McMurray was in court Monday with his attorney with two cashier’s checks totalling nearly 47 thousand dollars to pay restitution in full to the COG. President Judge Dominick Motto accepted Callen’s guilty plea to one felony count of theft and sentenced him to house arrest in Washington County where he lives, followed by two years of probation. A criminal complaint filed in court by a district attorney’s detective alleges that Callen as the COG’s executive director made nearly 47 thousand dollars  worth of unpermitted overpayments to himself for his own salary, when he was to have been paid $18,000 a year.

A wanted fugitive is in custody after being found in Ambridge.  Police got a tip Monday night that Blaire Feathers was in the area.  Detectives had been looking for Feathers on felony escape charges since 2016 when he left the Johnstown Corrections Center in Cambria County.  Police arrested him in a home on Kerr Street along with a woman who was wanted on drug charges.

A U.S. District Judge isn’t letting a Beaver County accountant change his guilty plea in a charter school fraud case.  Koppel’s Neal Prence pleaded guilty last fall to helping Nick Trombetta avoid federal income taxes on public money that Trombetta stole from the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.  In April, Prence asked Judge Joy Flowers Conti to let him change his plea so that it wouldn’t challenge his conviction but he wouldn’t be admitting guilt.  The change would allow Prence to keep his CPA license.  Court records show Conti is denying Prence’s motion.

Slot revenue at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort’s Lady Luck Casino is up.  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board says slots revenue increased four-point-four-percent at the facility in May.  Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh however, saw a one-point-two-percent decline and Meadows Racetrack and Casino in North Strabane Township was also down one-point-four-percent.  Lady Luck was one of just three casinos in the state that had an increase last month. Valley Forge and Mount Airy are the other two.

Giant Eagle is offering more buyouts.  The company announced Monday that it is making “voluntary separation offers” to about 100 workers.  A spokesperson says the buyouts will account for less than one-percent of the company’s total 14-thousand-person Western Pennsylvania workforce.  This is Giant Eagle’s second round of buyouts in the last nine months.

The Department of Homeland Security is giving Pennsylvanians a one month extension on the deadline for Real ID compliant drivers’ licenses.  Pennsylvania ID’s do not meet federal standards and as of yesterday, those IDs were no longer going to be accepted to enter federal buildings.  Governor Wolf signed a bill last month to get the state compliant and PennDOT requested an extension.  The state is still waiting for an answer, but in the meantime, the “grace period” will last through July

Police have identified the man discovered dead Tuesday morning after they were sent to a Sharon home on a welfare check. WKBN-TV reports Investigators are calling the death of 68-year-old Larry Henderson a homicide, though they are still in the very early stages of the investigation. Henderson’s body was discovered just four blocks from where a drive-by shooting happened around 7 p.m. Monday. Police said the two incidents aren’t connected.

A Midland man faces several charges after police say they found a large cache of guns and drugs in his home.  According to investigators, Cory Cooper-Hanlon has been on their radar for two weeks after tips from neighbors.  Court records show that officers found more than a dozen guns inside the suspect’s home, along with cocaine, marijuana and prescription pills.  Cooper-Hanlon is a convicted felon, and his prohibited from possessing any firearms.