Tri County Report For April 20th, 2018

A detective with the New Castle Police Department died Thursday morning during training. According to the department’s facebook page Detective Brian Cuscino passed away during a physical training exercise that’s required for all members of the Special Response Team. Cuscino had been with the department since 2001. Cuscino was the department’s lead homicide investigator. He leaves behind a wife and two sons.

The New Castle News reports Durand Damian Lawson was found guilty yesterday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court on three of four charges in a case where he held a women in her car and threaten her with a gun. The jury deliberated for an hour and Lawson was found guilty on charges of a prohibited possession of a firearm, a felony and misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats and simple assault. The incident took place in May of last year on the city’s West Side. The trial started on Tuesday.

Court officials say a jury is deliberating the fate of an Aliquippa teen accused of killing two people during a drug deal.  Investigators say 18-year-old Lawrence Reddick shot 18-year-old Dane Mathesius and 16-year-old William Booher to get about 160-dollars worth of drugs and some cash back in 2016.  During the trial, the defense did not call any witnesses.  Surveillance video puts Reddick at the scene of the shooting and witnesses testified they saw Reddick pull the trigger.

A state lawmaker is pushing legislation that would keep convicted sex offenders from volunteering as firefighters.  The House bill would ask all professional and volunteer firefighters to submit to a background check or attest that they’ve never been convicted of a sexual offense.  Republican Representative Kathy Rapp introduced the measure after a fire chief in her home district was reelected despite a 2001 conviction for sexually assaulting a four-year-old child.

California University is being granted funds to help promote voter engagement for the upcoming 2018 elections.  The university is accepting applications for fellowships funded through a grant from the Campus Vote Project.  Only four universities in the state received a six-thousand-dollar grant from the Washington D.C. organization.  The fellows will earn up to 12-hundred-dollars each to help educate classmates about the candidates and issues and conduct voter registration drives.

A woman in Monessen is charged with involuntary manslaughter after giving her 16-month-old daughter a deadly dose of allergy medication.  Police say 30-year-old Ashley Gallatin told them the girl and her twin sister had been sick with colds for several days.  Toxicology reports showed the child died as a result of an inappropriately high dose of a drug found in Benadryl.  Gallatin told police she didn’t give the twins Benadryl.

A delegation comprised of Beaver County and municipal officials met with representatives from the Mount Airy Casino Resort in northeastern Pennsylvania on Wednesday about the possibility of bringing a mini-casino to Beaver County. The Beaver County Times is reporting The delegation traveled across the state Wednesday and returned Thursday evening. In a statement, officials said, the meeting with Mount Airy’s owners and management was described as “informative.” No timeline was given on when Mount Airy officials might make their decision. Wherever the mini-casino is eventually constructed, it will have to be within a 15-mile radius of New Castle. That’s because when Mount Airy submitted a successful bid for the casino license in February, it was stipulated that it would be built near New Castle.

Police say they’re investigating a series of break-ins at hotels near Interstate 79, Route 19 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Cranberry Township.  Investigators say at least nine vehicles have been broken into, with some unlocked and others having windows smashed in.  Cops think the thieves were looking for quick cash.

The PA Gaming Control Board is considering its next move after no one submitted a qualified bid for the commonwealth’s sixth mini casino license Wednesday.  The board is considering whether to expand who can win a mini-casino license to out-of-state casinos or non-casino businesses.  The licensing process has exceeded expectations in raising more than 127-million.  The five license winners have six months to find an exact spot for their proposed mini-casinos.