Tri County Report For January 11th, 2019

The New Castle News is reporting a Wampum man accused of strangling a newborn boy to death and encasing his body in cement has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. 39 year old Christopher Kennedy is charged with criminal homicide in the death of the newborn. Police allege Kennedy had a sexual relationship with a 13 year old girl and and impregnated her at 16 and killed the newborn infant. Kennedy has been in the Lawrence County Jail since his arrest last November. He faces a number of other charges.

There’s no word yet of any arrests after a burglary attempt in Lawrence County.  State police say a man and woman tried to break into The Corner Restaurant in Harlansburg this week.  Surveillance videos show the woman try to smash the front door and the man fire three shots into the door lock before they gave up and fled in a Toyota 4Runner.

A 55-year-old man is accused of sexually assaulting two girls less than 16-years-old at a Beaver Falls home.  Kenneth Stewart is accused of assaulting one of the girls last fall and the other on her 13th birthday.  Stewart is a registered sex offender in West Virginia.

A softball coach at Karns City High School is accused of sending a female student nude photos.  State police charged 39-year-old Nathan Ridley Thursday.  The two reportedly met while Ridley was volunteering to coach the team in early 2018.

Still no pay for workers at Ellwood City Hospital. The Ellwood City Ledger reports workers do have temporary health care coverage. Mayor Tony Court confirmed Thursday that he was told no checks were coming that day. The U.S. Department of Labor and Industry is investigating a series of payroll problems at the hospital, at least nine times since August. The Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office also apparently has opened a criminal investigation into the situation.

Another lawsuit is filed against a now-closed youth home in Butler County, saying a nine-year-old was abused while in its care.  Glade Run Lutheran Services in Zelienople is accused of allowing the boy to be subjected to repeated sexual assaults from November 2013 to May 2015.  The facility was closed in 2015 after several abuse claims were brought to the attention of the Department of Human Services.

Five former members of the Betha Theta Pi fraternity at Penn State are still fighting charges in the death of a pledge nearly two years ago.  In all, 14 members entered guilty pleas on minor charges in the February 2017 death of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza.  Piazza died after falling down a flight of stairs following a night of heavy drinking.

People who want to visit the Flight 93 Memorial will have to wait until the government shutdown is over.  National Park Service rangers say the shutdown has put the monument’s maintenance staff out of work, leaving no one to clear roads of ice and snow.  Restrooms and the visitors center have been closed since the shutdown started three weeks ago.

State Police in Butler County have arrested a woman following a drug raid. 52-year-old Dawnetta Mentzer of Butler is facing charges including felony possession of a controlled substance. Police executed a search warrant in the 400 block of West Penn Street. Mentzer was found in the living room and a plastic baggie of suspected crack cocaine was allegedly found in her possession. A variety of other drug paraphernalia was found in other parts of the house. She was arraigned and placed in the Butler County prison on bond.