Tri County Report For November 20th, 2018


A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh has indicted a New Castle man on weapons and drug charges. 31 year old Samuel A. Cheeks is accused of possessing a firearm and ammunition after having previously been convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. The incident took place in 2017. The indictment also alleges that, on September 27, 2017, Cheeks unlawfully possessed a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine. The ATF the Ellwood City Police Department, and the New Castle Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro says there is more to come with the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the commonwealth.  Josh Shapiro told the Pennsylvania Press Club Monday he likened the investigation to being in the third inning of a nine inning game.  Shapiro says his office is investigating the 14-hundred calls that came into the sexual abuse hotline that was established after the grand jury investigation.

Police are looking for two or three men connected to a Saturday evening armed robbery at a Beaver pharmacy.  It happened at the Rite Aid on Third Street with one of the men displaying a handgun while demanding money and drugs from the pharmacist.  The pair were able to get away with an undisclosed amount of money and prescription meds.  The men were caught on surveillance video.  Anyone with information is asked to call Beaver police.

A suspected burglar is in custody after being shot by the resident of a home he tried to break into.  Police say 26-year-old Dustin Miller was spotted vandalizing a vehicle and several entrances to the Butler County home in an attempt to burglarize it. After a failed attempt to deter the man, the victim fired upon him with a shotgun.  Miller was taken to the hospital but later released with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.  He is charged with burglary, motor vehicle theft and criminal mischief among others.

The Pennsylvania National Guard will roll into Monessen to help remove blighted properties.  City officials say the guard has agreed to bring engineers to the city in April to raze collapsed or dilapidated buildings.  The demolitions are part of the National Guard’s efforts to eliminate buildings that could become drug havens.

Operation Safe Holiday is underway across Pennsylvania.  The DUI crack down campaign includes Click It or Ticket seatbelt enforcement now through December 2nd.  Officials are expecting the heaviest of traffic on the roads today into tomorrow.

State officials say last week’s winter storm is not showing any effect on this year’s bear hunting season.  The Game Commission announced yesterday that last Saturday, the first day of the four-day season, saw the harvest of more than one-thousand-240 black bears.  That number nearly doubles last year’s first day.  The most bears, 75, were caught in Clinton County, and the largest, a male estimated at around 704 pounds, was harvested in Clearfield County.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health is warning residents of a significant increase in Hepatitis A cases statewide.  Doctor Rachael Levine says there have been 91 reported cases so far this year, up from the typical 40-to-60 cases the commonwealth hears about.  Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that can range in severity from a mild infection to a severe disease lasting several months.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price Report, gas prices in Western Pennsylvania are nearly eight cents cheaper than last week at 2.86 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying an average of 2.77 a gallon while in Sharon the prices are ten cents higher at 2.87. The national gas price is at 2.67 a gallon, that’s seven cents less than a week ago and is the biggest weekly drop in prices in 2018. Nearly 54 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday.