Tri County Report For March 8th, 2018

A federal grand jury has accused a former assistant branch manager of First National Bank in Beaver Falls of stealing more than $20,000 that belonged to the bank. According to TribLive , the U.S.Attorney’s office has charged 63 year old Robin Chiappetta of Beaver Falls with one count of embezzlement. If convicted, Chiappetta could face up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine or both. The FBI conducted the investigation that led to the indictment.

Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker is confirming rumors that he will be leaving the post soon.  During a state House Appropriations Committee Hearing Wednesday, Blocker confirmed that he will be stepping down shortly.  Blocker added that he has been with the Pennsylvania State Police for more than 33 years and has enjoyed every day of his tenure.  Blocker did not let on when his last day will be.

State Police in Butler County report a two car accident in Slippery Rock township. According to police 20 year old Erica Schwoegl of Allison Park failed to stop at the intersection of Branchton Road and Harmony Road, and struck a car operated by 28 year old Mark white of Slippery Rock. Neither driver was hurt. Police said Schwoegl was cited.

According to the New Castle News, assault charges against a New Castle man have been dropped. 67 year old John Nulph of Coasgrove Road had been charged by state police with simple assault, terrorist threats, unlawful restraint, harassment and possession of a small amount of marijuana. The charges stem from an incident on January 14th. At a preliminary hear yesterday Nulph entered a guilty plea to a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia while the other charges were dropped.

Washington County is the top gas leader in the state of Pennsylvania.  According to the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office, Washington County was first among the 67 counties in the number of gas-producing wells for 2016 and ’17.  Pennsylvania is the second-largest natural gas producing state, after Texas.

President Trump’s proposed tariffs on foreign steel could soon mean more manufacturing jobs.  Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel has announced it will restart a long-idled plant in Granite City, Illinois, calling back about 500 workers.  It will take about four months to get the blast furnaces up and running.  The company shut the plant down in December 2015.

A McKees Rocks man is accused of distributing heroin to addicts being treated at his drug rehab center.  Last October, David Francis was charged with possession with intent to deliver fentanyl.  Wednesday, Francis was charged with supplying fentanyl and heroin to his clients at Next Step Foundation.  If convicted, Francis could serve up to 45 years in prison.

The Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner is defending a decision to stop giving PSP cadets a polygraph test.  Commissioner Tyree Blocker told a state House Appropriations Committee Wednesday that the polygraphs were dumped because of cost and effectiveness.  Some lawmakers expressed concern the test was nixed because not enough of the cadets could pass.

Organizers say thousands paid their respects for a state corrections officer who was killed last month.  Sergeant Mark Baserman was remembered by Governor Tom Wolf, friends, and countless other corrections officials in attendance at the memorial service in Johnstown Wednesday.  The 60-year-old former army veteran was attacked by 22-year-old Paul Kendrick after Baserman took a towel from his SCI-Somerset cell.  Kendrick was already serving a life sentence for murder.