Tri County Report For January 18th, 2018

Beaver County’s Board of Commissioners say they want to “ban the box.”  The trio introduced legislation Wednesday that would remove questions about a county job applicant’s criminal history.  Officials say removing the box will allow applicants to be more fairly judged on their qualifications, not their previous mistakes.  The legislation will be voted on next week.

PennDot has announced extensive repairs for the West Washington Street bridge in New Castle. According to the New Castle News, PennDot informed the county commissioners that the bridge rehabilitation project will correct structural deficiencies that were indentified during a recent inspection. The work is expected to begin in the summer and be completed by the fall.

President Donald Trump is visiting a Coraopolis small business that says it has thrived under his administration.  Thursday, President Trump will speak at H and K Equipment at 2:30 p.m. The company’s president and CEO says 2017 was their best year yet and the prospect of 2018 is promising with the tax law changes.

A state senator says he wants Harrisburg to urge Congress to reclassify marijuana.  Democratic State Senator Anthony Williams from Philadelphia says he is introducing a resolution that would ask Congress to move marijuana out of Schedule-One substance classification.  A Schedule-One substance is described as one that has no accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse.

Pennsylvania’s first medical marijuana dispensary is ready to open.  On Wednesday, state officials cut the ribbon on Keystone Canna Remedies in Bethlehem, Lehigh County.  The dispensary will sell medical marijuana to registered program users once deliveries begin in the spring.

Pennsylvania Lottery officials say there are two big winners somewhere in Western Pennsylvania.  Lottery officials say someone who played the Cash Five at the Giant Eagle on University Boulevard in Moon matched all five numbers Monday and won 500-thousand dollars.  A Powerball ticket sold at Sheetz on Nicholson Road in Franklin Park matched four of five white balls and the red Powerball to win a 100-thousand dollar prize.  So far, neither prize has been claimed.

The Commonwealth of PA says it is trying to give back three-point-two billion dollars in unclaimed property.  Treasury Department officials said Wednesday they’ve already been able to return more than 250-million from 2017.  That figure is up 34-percent from the previous year.  The State Treasury Department’s website allows citizens to search for their property, adding one-in-ten citizens of the Commonwealth have an unclaimed share.

The State System of Higher Education says it is ready to begin its search for the next chancellor.  The State System’s Board of Governors announced Wednesday they are performing a national search to find the individual who will lead the Commonwealth’s 14-state-owned universities.  Former Chancellor Frank Brogan retired from the post days after a consultant’s report called for sweeping changes.  System officials say they hope to have the new chief executive on board by the start of the 2018-19 academic year.

Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania increased by about a penny this week to $2.78 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. In New Castle prices are averaging 2.74 a gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying 2.78 for a gallon of regular unleaded. Nationally prices are up four cents this week to an average of 2.54 a gallon. The price a year ago was at 2.61 a gallon in Western Pennsylvania.

A McKeesport man is indicted on federal child pornography charges.  Prosecutors say 31-year-old Scott Payne faces up to 90-years behind bars if convicted.  Investigators say Payne twice tried to encourage several children to take part in sexual conduct and allow him to take photos and make videos of it.  Prosecutors add that child pornography photos and videos were found on Payne’s computer.