Tri County Report For June 13th, 2017

Law enforcement is investigating after a body was found in Lawrence County.  The body was discovered last night near Old Pulaski Road near the Mitchell Road overpass in Neshannock Township.  The Butler City Police believe it is the body of Melissa Barto, who has been missing since last week.

Tips from the public are being credited for the arrest of a man wanted for murdering of Melissa Barto.  Ishemer Ramsey was taken into custody Saturday and charged for allegedly killing  Barto, who disappeared last week.  Police got several tips Saturday that Ramsey, who was Barto’s boyfriend, was seen cutting carpet out of his vehicle at a car wash and buying rope and a tarp at Walmart.  When police stopped him, his vehicle allegedly smelled like bleach and the front passenger seat was gone.  Police believe Ramsey shot Barto in the head during an argument.

People in Ellwood City are getting more time to pay their electric bills.  The electric bills were sent out with the incorrect due dates once again.  This is the second month in a row that this has happened.  Because of this, residents will have until June 20th to pay their bills.

Pennsylvania has a new bill aimed at fixing the state’s pension deficit.   Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill yesterday, drawing praise from Republicans for his willingness to negotiate.  Wolf claims he has been waiting for this moment since he took office and called the legislation fair to both state workers and taxpayers.  The bill will put a hybrid, 401(k) style plan into place for most new state employees starting in 2019.

Two insurance companies are being forced to pay for possible financial losses in a lawsuit against the Butler School District.  A federal judge ruled yesterday that the companies are liable for losses incurred during the suit, which was filed in connection to lead-tainted drinking water in a well at Summit Elementary School.  Lawyers for both companies originally claimed their policies did not cover lead exposure.  Three administrators resigned over allegations of a cover-up during the investigation, which is ongoing.  Summit closed at the end of January and students are using Broad Street Elementary until the school gets on the public water system.

A man from Hermitage died over the weekend in a motorcycle crash. The accident happened just after 10 o’clock Saturday night on Superior Street at East Street. 66 year old Randall Pauley was traveling west on Superior Street when he lost control and struck a guardrail. Pauley and his passenger, 48 year old Julie Layne,  of Youngstown, were taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital. The New Castle News reports Pauley died a short time later at the hospital. Layne suffered extensive injuries. Police say speed and alcohol were likely factors in the crash. The investigation is ongoing.

As expected the Ellwood City School Board unanimously voted last night to adopt its budget for the 2017-18 school year, which reflects a 0.18 mill tax increase. According to the Ellwood City Ledger, is will cost the avearge property owner an additional thirteen dollars a year in taxes. The tax increase will help finance renovations of Lincoln High School’s third-floor walkway and science wing. The district last raised taxes in 2013.

Police are investigating a fight at the Sandcastle water park.  The altercation broke out between two women at the park Sunday and although there were witnesses, no one could agree on who started it.  No one was seriously hurt and both women were removed from the park.  No charges have been filed.  Sandcastle released a statement saying in part,  that they do not condone and will not tolerate such activity.”