Tri-County Report For October 27th, 2017

State Police in Lawrence County report that a Beaver Falls man involved in an accident in North Beaver Township Wednesday afternoon, committed suicide before the crash. According to police, 34 year old Rock Anthony Rainaldi died of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Investigators said they found a handgun in Rainaldi’s vehicle.  The accident took place at the intersection of routes 18 and 168. The driver of the tractor trailor that Rainaldi crashed into, 52 year old Mark Mulligan of South Carolina was not hurt.

State Police in Mercer County have arrested three men in the shooting of a 19-year-old from Fredonia, who was killed during what police call a drug deal gone bad. Zackary Cutshall was found at 1 a.m. Thursday in the parking lot of a Fairview Township business with a gunshot wound to the neck. Police say Cutshall and two other men — Jacob Barger and Dominic Heasley — drove Seth Hamilton to a secluded area off State Route 19. They planned an ambush using BB guns and brass knuckles, telling police later that he owed Cushall money. Hamilton however had a real gun and started to fire, stricking Cutshall in the neck. Barger and Heasley face charges of murder and robbery. Hamilton faces murder and drug possession charges.

A funding plan for the state budget is on the governor’s desk after being passed by the House and Senate.  The bill would expand casino-style gambling to truck stops, airports and ten new mini-casino sites.  License fees and taxes on casino revenue is expected to bring in about 200-million dollars a year.  Governor Wolf can now sign the budget into law, veto part of it or allow it to become law without his signature.

Police are investigating a “hit list” threatening several New Brighton High School students on social media.  The Instagram post was made under New Brighton Clowns’ Instagram page and had about ten students’ names.  There was an extra police presence at the high school yesterday and bags were checked as students entered the building.  The post has since been deleted.

Butler County’s president judge is being relieved of his administrative responsibilities. The state Supreme Court made the announcement yesterday, saying Judge Thomas Doerr will remain president judge but Judge Marilyn Horan will be the administrative judge.  A lawsuit was filed against Doerr a few weeks ago alleging sexual misconduct and workplace discrimination.

The Butler YMCA is reassuring members about their commitment to guest safety.  A 13-year-old boy brought a loaded handgun into the facility earlier this week and showed a friend, who reported it.  The YMCA released a statement saying the safety of its members, staff and guests is one of its highest priorities.  Administrators say the building’s surveillance system was recently updated to provide a broader view of the public areas.

Governor Wolf is responding to President Trump’s emergency declaration regarding the country’s opioid crisis.  Trump declared the crisis a public health emergency yesterday.  Wolf applauded the move but says he still has serious concerns that Trump’s attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act will make Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis worse.

State police in Butler County are investigation and alleged sexual assault involving a 13 year old boy from Sarver several years ago.  Police said the suspect is a 20 year old man from Hooversville. The alleged incidents took place between August of 2011 and June of 2012. No other details were released.

Republican representatives will get together on the 11th of next month to pick a nominee for the special election to replace former U.S. Representative Tim Murphy.  The party will pick 215 representatives from Allegheny, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties to attend the Canonsburg meeting.  The picks will be made public and candidates will be asked to contact them before the meeting.  The candidate they pick will face a candidate selected by the Democrats in a special election on March 13th.  Murphy resigned on Saturday due to a scandal involving his mistress.