Tri-County Report For August 21st, 2018

A Beaver Falls man is accused of robbing a New Brighton bank Friday.  Police say Ernest Taylor was arrested early Saturday morning for the incident at Huntington Bank on the 900 block of Third Avenue.  The 50-year-old Taylor is in Beaver County Jail on 100-thousand dollars bond.

The trial of a Sharon man was scheduled to get underway yesterday in Mercer County Common Pleas court, but jury selection was delayed until today. 23 year old Kaine Fowler is accused of shooting Troy Hall in the back of the head June 19th of 2016. According to the Sharon Herald Fowler said during a recorded interview in January that he shot and killed his friend.

Police are investigating vandalism in Cranberry after vandals spray painted over the sign outside Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, crossing out the cardinal’s name.  School officials discovered the red spray paint this morning, but couldn’t say how long it’s been there.  Police believe the vandalism is in response to last week’s grand jury report, detailing child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania over two decades.  The report was critical of how Donald Wuerl handled those cases while he was the bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh between 1988 and 2006.

Pennsylvania State Police are still trying to identify the substance that made staff and inmates at four prisons sick.  The mystery substance has affected people at the Butler County, Fayette, Greene and Mercer prisons so far this month.  State prison officials say the substance may be a liquid drug that’s brushed into paper that can be smoked by inmates.

A New Brighton man is charged after allegedly ramming the car of a woman who had a protection from abuse order against him.  Albert Petties allegedly had a disagreement with the woman and he followed her car west along Route 68 in Industry, ramming her car three or four times.  The 54-year-old Petties told police his gas pedal got stuck.  Petties is in Beaver County Jail on 100-thousand-dollars bond.


Bishop David Zubik is outlining how the Pittsburgh Diocese plans to address the state grand jury report on clergy sex abuse.  In a letter sent to local Catholic parishes, the bishop says no priest or deacon currently in the ministry has a “substantiated allegation” of child sex abuse against them.  He also says any allegation brought forward is turned over to the district attorney’s office.  To prevent future incidents, Bishop Zubik says the diocese has engaged with an expert in child sexual abuse prevention, and has created a position to monitor clergy removed from the ministry amid abuse claims.

Some Butler Area School District families are filing a lawsuit alleging the district delayed telling them about increased lead levels in the water.  The lawsuit is claiming the former superintendent, former assistant superintendent and former maintenance director didn’t notify families fast enough about elevated copper and lead in Summit Elementary’s well water supply, alleging the levels were twice as high as in Flint, Michigan.  The district says Summit no longer uses well water and they continue to test it.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central gas price report Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania down by almost two cents at $3.09 a gallon. All motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are paying one to five cents less this week to fill-up. In New Castle prices are averaging 3.08 a gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying 3.03. The national gas price average is $2.84, which is three cents less than at the beginning of the month.

A man who’s awaiting a second trial for a nearly 30-year-old rape is back behind bars.  John Kunco surrendered to Westmoreland County deputies yesterday after his bond was revoked.  Prosecutors say Kunco assaulted a six-year-old girl just days after being released from prison in May.  Kunco’s conviction for assaulting a New Kensington woman in 1991 was vacated over unreliable evidence.