Tri County Report For May 2nd, 2018

An Ellwood City man is going to jail for his involvement with a 15 year old girl. The New Castle News reports 22 year old Joseph Haybarger was sentenced to six to 23 ½ months in the Lawrence County Jail. State Police had filed more than fifty charges against Haybarger for his alleged physical relationship with the teen that occurred in Slippery Rock Township. Haybarger’s sentence also includes two years probation and he cannot have any contact with the victim.

The state House of Representatives is advancing a bill that would stop the commonwealth from getting waivers allowing food stamp recipients to keep receiving the benefit if they don’t meet work requirements.  Federal law says able bodied adults who want to receive food stamps for more than three months at a time must work in some capacity, however states could ask for temporary waivers during times of high unemployment or limited job opportunities.  Governor Wolf opposes the bill that now advances to the Senate.

A Farrell man, operating a motorcycle was killed following an accident Monday night in Sharon. 29 year old Drew Williams Jr., was pronounced dead at the scene. The Sharon Herald reports the accident happened just after 10:30 on East State Street near Forker Boulevard in Sharon. Police said Williams’ motorcycle began to speed, and then he lost control and hit the rear of the car. The investigation into the crash is continuing.

Investigators are searching for whoever donned a clown mask and attacked a teen in Butler County with a baseball bat.  State police say the 17-year-old was lured into a wooded area near Hooker Road in Karns City after hearing a woman’s scream.  There, troopers say, the teen was struck in the knee with the bat.  State police say they don’t have any suspects.

A half-dozen online fantasy sports game operators are now offering wagers regulated and taxed by the commonwealth.  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said Tuesday regulation began over the weekend for Fanduel, Draftkings, and four lesser known companies.  Adjusted revenues are taxed at 15-percent.

Some parents are frustrated over alleged racial slurs and bullying inside Mars Area School District.  At a Tuesday evening school board meeting, a contingent urged school board members to address the issue after a boy was suspended for starting a fight with a fellow student who called him a racial slur.  The district told parents a new anti-bullying program is in the works and there also will be diversity training.

According to this week’s Triple A East Central gas price report Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania are up by nearly nine cents this week to $2.97 per gallon.  In New Castle prices are over three dollars a gallon averaging 3.02. In Sharon drivers are paying 2.97. At $2.81, the national gas price average has reached the highest price per gallon since November 2014. A year ago drivers were paying 2.70 a gallon in Western Pennsylvania.

A Grove City businessman has admitted to filing a false tax return. Daniel Sparta pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Sparta, who owns a painting business, underestimated his business income by $144,000 over a three-year period. Sparta could spend a maximum of three years in prison, pay a fine of up to $250,000 or both. Sentencing is set for September.

A 16-year-old Mercer County teen has confessed to setting a 2017 church fire. According to the Sharon Herald The fire damaged the back entrance of the Trinity United Methodist Church at 96 Charles St. The juvenile, from Clark will face one count of second degree felony arson. No injuries were reported.