Tri County Report For September 20th, 2017

Governor Tom Wolf says he can only fight off a credit downgrade until the end of the month.  Lawmakers have been arguing over a budget plan to plug the state’s deficit and Wolf claims time is almost up.  He also said yesterday that he is optimistic both sides are on board to get the deal done by October 1st.

Additional charges are being added for a man accused of sexually assaulting a boy inside a Walmart bathroom.  The first alleged incident happened in Beaver County back in July, but authorities say Adam Tatusko is being accused of another crime.  Police say it happened in Chippewa Ponderosa, when Tatusko used a fake police badge to try to get a young teenaged boy into a bathroom stall in April.  The second incident happened three months before his arrest.  Investigators are concerned it could have happened other times.

State Police report a New Brighton woman was hurt Tuesday morning when she was struck by a vehicle along Route 18 in Big Beaver Borough. 30 year old Jolleen Hupp was attempting to cross the highway near the intersection with Penndale Road in Big Beaver just before noon when she was struck by a car driven by 72-year-old Ernest Bailey of Wampum. Hupp was flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. No other details were released.

This week’s Triple-A East Central’s Gas gauge survey says  prices in Western Pennsylvania fell by two cents this week to an average of $2.872 per gallon this week. The survey said that Gulf Coast refineries are recovering from two major storms.  Prices in New Castle are averaging 2.77 a gallon. In Sharon drivers are paying 2.87 for a gallon of regular.  At $2.62, today’s national gas price average is the cheapest in 14 days and five cents less than last week.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro is releasing more information about an investigation into eight drug makers and distributors.  The probe was announced in June and Shapiro said yesterday that 41 attorneys general are now on board.  The states are looking into what role drug companies may have played in creating and sustaining the opioid epidemic.  Shapiro says investigators are currently looking into the companies’ business practices.

A man is facing charges for allegedly assaulting a woman and leaving his toddler home alone in Butler Township.  The victim called police early Monday to report Ewari Ellis punched and choked her at the Old Plank Estates apartment complex.  She told officers she jumped out the window to escape but her 15-month-old was still inside.  When detectives arrived, Ellis was gone, the stove was on and the baby was alone.  Ellis was arrested a short time late.

A Renfrew man is facing charges in connection to an alleged assault.  The victim called 911 last week and dispatchers say she was confused.  A crew was sent to the scene and found the woman suffering from multiple injuries.  She told officers she had fallen but doctors say the injuries were not consistent with a fall.  The victim later told detectives Lewis Lauschus was responsible for the injuries.  He is also accused of raping her after she was injured.

A women’s health group is being accused of misusing state funds.  Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says Real Alternatives collected grant money and used some to grow its business outside of the state.  DePasquale said yesterday that it’s wrong to have Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars going to help someone else’s business expand their market nationally. DePasquale wants Real Alternatives to pay back the funds.