Tri County Report for March 22nd 2018

A Beaver Falls man was sentenced to six to twelve years in prison after pleading guilty  to voluntary manslaughter charges yesterday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.  46 year old Joseph Cohen was charged with criminal homicide in the March 2016 shooting death of 25-year-old Damon Marcus Higgins, who had moved to New Castle from Detroit. The New Castle News reports that the trial got underway on Monday before Judge J.Craig Cox. Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa said it was a reasonable sentence, and that for violent crimes in Pennsyvlania, the offender typically serves 80 percent of the sentence.

The race for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District is looking good for Democrat Conor Lamb.  Erin McClelland, who announced her run for the Democratic seat three weeks ago has dropped out of the race.  The Harrison resident said she was motivated to run after the new district map put out by the state Supreme Court.  In a release, McClelland called on Democrats to support Lamb, who recently filed to run, in hopes of beating Keith Rotfhus.

Republican Rick Saccone is conceding this month’s special congressional election to Democrat Conor Lamb.  The Republican had been trailing Lamb by around 750 votes in what many call an upset, compared President Donald Trump’s 20-point victory there just under 18 months ago.  Lamb replaces Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned in October after allegations surfaced the pro-life lawmaker encouraged a mistress to have an abortion when she thought she was pregnant.

New Castle City police arrested a teenager in connection with a shooting on the Lower East Side Tuesday night. According to the department’s facebook page 16 year old Miles Eugene Roberson of 503 E. Sheridan St. is in police custody, charged as an adult with criminal attempt at homicide.  Police allege Roberson fired several charges missing four people inside a home in the 700 block of Cumberland Avenue. No one was hurt. Roberson face a number of other charges and was placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 100 thousand dollars bond.

At least seven people are recovering in the hospital following a crash yesterday morning involving a charter bus on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Monroeville.  State Police say a drunk driver driving the wrong way on the turnpike collided with the bus near the Pittsburgh interchange.  The bus was transporting students from Indiana, returning home from a senior class trip to Washington, D.C.  Troopers have not said anything about how severe the injuries were for those taken to the hospital.

Lawrence County will receive about $4.2 million this year in state money to maintain and replace local roads and bridges. The Ellwood City Ledger reports The money comes from the state’s liquid fuels fund, which is distributed annually to help municipalities fund projects such as road paving and snow removal. Local officials also can use the money to preserve, maintain or upgrade local roads. Liquid fuels are collected by the state as part of Act 89, signed in 2013 by the Legislature.

Investigators say a suspicious package evacuated a Butler County building Wednesday morning.  Police say a disgruntled renter mailed his final rent check to AR Incorporated’s corporate office with the words “Final payment, obscenity. Check enclosed” written on the outside.  An Adams Township bomb squad opened the package to find objects wrapped in red duct tape, zip ties, and glitter.  Police say the sender will be charged.

A PA house member who has a Protection From Abuse order against him from another lawmaker says he is taking his name off the ballot.  In a statement, Representative Nick Miccarelli says he is not going to seek re-election after being accused by fellow Republican Rep. Tarah Toohil of threatening her with a gun when they dated a few years ago.  Miccarelli is denying those allegations.

The 2018 PIAA Championship Basketball Finals are being rescheduled after this week’s snowy Nor’easter.  In a statement, the high school basketball sports organization says they will instead play the finals next Monday through Wednesday over Thursday through Sunday at Giant Center in Hershey.  PIAA officials say the original tickets will be honored on the new dates.