Tri County Report For March 30th, 2018

Tri County Report March 30th, 2018

A New Castle teen who is being tried as an adult waived his right to a preliminary hearing. According to the New Castle News 16 year old Miles Roberson of Sheridan Avenue remains in the Lawrence County Jail on 100 thousand dollars bond. Roberson is accused of shooting a gun through the front of a house in the 700 block of Cumberland Avenue back on March 20. Four people including a juvenile were home at the time of the shooting. No one was hurt. Roberson faces a number of charges including attempted homicide.

A New Castle man is now facing several federal charges after investigators say they found drugs and guns during a police raid.   21 year old Michael Schmidt,  was indicted by a federal grand jury this week. Federal Prosecutors say the charges stem from Schmidt’s arrest on October 12, 2017. Officers say they seized heroin and cocaine during the arrest and found a gun and ammunition. Police also found about $35,000 in drugs and almost $10,000 in cash during a search of a home on Wallace Avenue. The DEA, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the Lawrence County Drug Task Force and the New Castle Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in the  case.

Up to a thousand jobs could be eliminated with the closure of a nuclear power plant in Shippingport.  First Energy announced the closure of three plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, including the one in Beaver County.  The company plans to deactivate in the next three years.  It’s unclear if the more than one-thousand employees will be offered other jobs within the company.

A new poll is out from Franklin and Marshall College covering a variety of political topics. The poll indicates nearly half of registered Pennsylvania voters are very interested in this year’s congressional midterm elections. In specific races, it gives Governor Tom Wolf sizable leads over the three Republican candidates for governor and indicates Senator Bob Casey has a comfortable advantage in his re-election bid against Lou Barletta. Eighty-six percent of those polled said they strongly favor strengthening the gun background check system, and more than half also endorsed banning assault-style weapons and raising the gun purchase age, according to F-and-M.

The U.S. House bid by state Senator Guy Reschenthaler is getting a boost with the endorsement of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey.  Toomey is backing Reschenthaler over Rick Saccone in the primary for the newly-drawn 14th Congressional District in Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties.  Saccone lost the special election for the 18th District a few weeks ago to Democrat Conor Lamb by fewer than 700 votes.  In endorsing the state senator, Toomey called Reschenthaler a “principled conservative” who served in Iraq and will “fight for our shared values in Washington.”

State Police in Lawrence County report a New Castle man was taken to the hospital after he was stabbed Wednesday night. Police said the incident took place at a home on Grossman Avenue in Slippery Rock Township. 22 year old Kalin Synder of Slippery Rock is being charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and tampering with evidence. Synder is accused of stabbing 22 year old Joshua Kline in the neck.Kline was first to taken to UPMC Jameson then was transported to Presbyterian Hospital if Pittsburgh. Synder is in the Lawrence County Jail on 250 thousand dollars bond.

The Pennsylvania Utility Commission is being urged to deny a request to reverse the flow of a fuel pipeline. Buckeye Partners wants to move petroleum products eastward on the Laurel line, which goes from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. The company says the switch would allow for cheaper gas for Pennsylvania customers. Administrative Law Judge Eranda Vero, however, is making the recommendation against the move to the state commission, stating that Buckeye didn’t provide any proof to back up its claim.

At least 45 years will be served in prison by a McKeesport man for a 2015 murder at a motel in New Stanton.  Twenty-year-old Christopher Smarr was sentenced yesterday after being convicted in 2016 of first and second-degree murder in the death of 31-year-old Brandon Gray.  At the time of the crime, Smarr was 17 and because of that could not be sentenced to life without parole.  He was the first sentenced in Westmoreland County under new state guidelines for how juveniles are to be punished for murder.