Tri County Report For February 8th, 2019

State police are investigating a deadly head-on crash in Beaver County.  Troopers say 87-year-old Thomas Riggins, of Aliquippa, was eastbound on I-376 yesterday when he made a U-turn into oncoming traffic and slammed into a car driven by 82-year-old Franklin Eshbaugh of Monaca.  Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word yet of any charges against a Beaver County teenager accused of bringing a BB gun to school.  Hopewell Area school officials placed the junior high school on lockdown yesterday when students told them a classmate had a weapon.  The BB gun was found during a search of the building.

State Police in Mercer County report two children were injured when the car they were in crashed , closing a portion of Hadley Road Thursday afternoon. According to police, the driver of the vehicle, 25-year-old Melanie Bell of Franklin, was uninjured, but the front seat passenger, a seven-year-old girl, was flown to the hospital, and the backseat passenger, a three-year-old boy was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Bell fell asleep at the wheel and lost control and struck a tree head on. She faces a number of charges.

A Beaver County man faces charges after allegedly dealing cocaine. 52 year old Rickee Dawkins of Aliquippa was indicted by a federal grand jury with violating federal narcotics laws. The eight count superseding indictment was handed down earlier this week. The investigation took place from July of 2016 to July 2017. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of one million dollars or both.

PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro is accusing UPMC of violating its 2014 consent decree with health insurer Highmark, by limiting access to UPMC doctors and hospitals by Highmark customers. In a filing with Commonwealth Court, Shapiro says there are three goals in mind-require the two systems to work together, ensure fairness for Pennsylvania taxpayers, and protect access for all patients.

Pennsylvania State Police are asking the public for help in finding a missing and endangered Slippery Rock man.  Troopers say Christopher Dublin was last seen Monday afternoon before his vehicle was found near Branchton Road and Route 308.  Anyone with information on Dublin’s whereabouts should call state police at 724-284-8100.

An Aliquippa man is facing drug charges after a raid on a house he was in.  Jerriel Goosby was found with about 100-grams of crack cocaine February 1st at a home on the 12-hundred block of McMinn Street.  The 26-year-old is free after posing 75-thousand-dollars bail.

Wet weather is being looked at as a factor in a small plane crash in Washington County.  Officials say the plane overshot the runway while landing at Washington County Airport yesterday and ended up stuck in the mud.  No injuries were reported.

While the focus of Governor Wolf’s proposed budget on education and workforce development is appropriate, the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is disappointed that the governor is not proposing an increase in operating or capital funding for community colleges which play a significant role in education and workforce development. Community colleges are seeking more funding to cover ongoing costs and for equipment.

A state lawmaker is introducing a bill he says will help volunteer firefighters who buy their own equipment.  Representative Clint Owlett from North Central P-A says those individuals could get a 500-dollar tax credit if his bill is approved.  House Bill 376 is currently in the House Finance Committee.

T-S-A officials say they’ve seen a decrease in the number of guns caught at Pennsylvania airports over the past year.  Officials say they only found 75 firearms in 2018, down from 80 in 2017.  At Harrisburg International Airport, the number remained flat at six year-over-year.  Nationally, the number was up by nearly 300 in 2018.