Tri County Report For October 18th, 2017

Two people are in the Lawrence County Jail following a drug raid on the city’s North Hill area on Friday. 21 year old Michael Schmidt and 18 year old Andrea Hughley both face a number of charges as New Castle City Police and the District’s Attorney’s special investigative unit confiscated more that 35 thousand dollars worth of drugs and a loaded handgun. According to the New Castle News police found marijuana, cocaine, along with heroin laced with fentanyl. Bond for Schmidt was set at 100 thousand dollars and 50 thousand for Hughley.

A former high school football player from Aliquippa is going to prison.  Ronald Foster was sentenced to 34-to-70 years in prison yesterday by a Beaver County judge for killing two teens and robbing another during a drug deal.  Foster told the families of the two murdered teens he wished he could trade his life for theirs.  His mother said she regretted moving him from Rochester to Aliquippa so he could get more exposure for football.

Grove City Police have charged a Butler County man after he allegedly tried to solicit a 16-year-old girl for prostitution. 23-year-old Joshua Lamping of Boyers, is being charged with ith unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and patronizing prostitutes. WFMJ-TV reports Lamping traded text messages with a girl he “friended” on Facebook, where she offered him sex in exchange for money. When he met the girl another adult male was with the girl when the companied demanded money in exchange for sex. Lamping refused. Bond was set at 10 thousand dollars. The criminal complaint did not indicate if charges would be pursued against the teen or her male companion.

A new budget proposal is through the House.  Representatives passed the plan last night by a vote of 102 to 88.  The proposal would borrow one and a half billion dollars against Pennsylvania’s share of the 1998 tobacco settlement and extend the state sales tax to online purchases.  Senate GOP leaders and Governor Tom Wolf have only said they will look at the bill.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro is suing the U.S. Department of Education and Secretary Betsy Devos.  Shapiro and 17 other state Attorneys General claim the department violated federal laws by refusing to enforce the Gainful Employment Rule.  The rule requires schools to provide information about graduation rates, employment prospects and average graduate earnings.

According to Triple-A’s East Central weekly fuel gauge report Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania fell by four cents this week to an average of $2.73 per gallon. In New Castle prices are at the areas average at 2.73 a gallon, in Sharon drivers are paying 2.72. As the national gas price average drops just two cents on the week to $2.47, many states east of the Mississippi are paying as much as eight cents less at the start of this week.

A woman is facing charges for allegedly stealing a dog out of a Butler yard.  Police say Calicia Ledoux took the 11-month-old Siberian husky from a North Chestnut Street yard Friday.  Police identified Ledoux through surveillance footage and found the dog in her apartment.  She told police the animal was abused but detectives say it was actually well cared for.

A judge is expected to rule on Jerry Sandusky’s appeal today.  Judge John Foradora said Monday that he’ll issue an opinion this afternoon.  The former Penn State football coach is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence after being convicted of sexually abusing several boys.  Sandusky claims he didn’t get adequate representation during his trial.

Classes are cancelled in the Ringgold School District until further notice.  Last-minute negotiations broke down and a strike is underway as of this morning.  The teachers have been without a contract since summer and have not been able to agree with the district on salary and health insurance.  Updates will be available on the district’s website and Facebook page.