Tri County Report For March 13th, 2018

A pair of Beaver County parents who waterboarded their 12-year-old daughter will be allowed to have contact with her.  Attorneys say Dion and Malisa Stevens are hoping to avoid trial and enter a plea to child endangerment in order to see their child again.  Last October, the couple admitted to punishing their daughter with the interrogation technique, saying they learned it from a movie.  The parents are expected to get five-to-seven years probation.

It is special election day for thousands of voters in Western PA’s 18th Congressional District.  Republican Rick Saccone is facing Democrat Conor Lamb to replace Tim Murphy in Congress.  Murphy stepped down after allegations surfaced that the staunchly pro-life lawmaker told a mistress she should have an abortion after believing she was pregnant.  The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Conor Lamb is receiving a major endorsement from the president of the United Mine Workers of America.  Lamb is in the race for the Pennsylvania U.S. House’s 18th District.  Cecil Roberts gave a fiery speech Sunday urging a crowd to vote for the Democrat.  The rally was held at a Green County Fairgrounds exhibition barn.  President Trump rallied for Lamb’s opponent Republican Rick Saccone a day earlier in Pittsburgh.

More than a dozen Pittsburgh-area school districts have signed a joint resolution opposing a proposal at the State Capitol that would allow some students to use state money to attend private schools.  Under Senate Bill Two, students who attend schools in the bottom 15-percent of a district would be eligible for taxpayer-funded subsidies to attend a private institution.  Critics of the legislation say that money would strip resources from underfunded public schools, hurting students who can’t transfer.  Governor Tom Wolf has signaled that he will veto the bill if it makes it to his desk.

Prosecutors say a Butler woman was in court Monday, accused of trying to run over her own daughter with her car.  Investigators say Shelly Godfrey was fighting with a man on West Brady Street March 4th when she got into her car and drove off at a high rate of speed, nearly clipping a police cruiser.  Godfrey is accused of returning to the scene and gunning the car toward a group of people that included her own daughter.

A New Castle man accused of forcing an 8-year-old to drive him to Ohio while he was intoxicated recently pleaded guilty in the case in Beaver County Court. According to the Ellwood City Ledger, 24 year old Kevin Cook pleaded guilty to drunken driving and will serve two years on the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which is offered to first-time, non-violent offenders. According to police, Cook made a child get behind the wheel to drive him across state lines. Police said the child nearly wrecked the car at least twice before he was stopped near Route 51 in Darlington Township.

Parents met with South Butler School District administrators Monday night to demand the group prevent a looming teacher strike.  South Butler teachers warned parents they would strike starting Thursday.  District officials say if teachers don’t reach a deal by Thursday, the district is taking retroactive pay for the four years teachers had worked without a contract off the negotiating table.

According to Triple-A’s weekly gas price report After dropping by two cents last week, gas prices in Western Pennsylvania are down by another four cents this week to $2.79 per gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 2.75 per gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying 2.73.  At $2.53, the national gas price average has held steady for nine days.  Factors contributing to the flat price include increased gasoline production that has kept pace with higher than usual demand this winter.

Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf  wants to ban gifts to all elected state officials and to suspend pay for himself, lawmakers and their top aides when they have not fully enacted a budget by the annual deadline. The governor outlined  proposals yesterday that would also include better campaign finance disclosure and a requirement that lawmakers provide receipts when seeking reimbursement for expenses. His new proposal would freeze pay until a complete budget is passed.