TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 7TH, 2019

Police in Neshannock Township arrested a Mahoningtown woman after she apparently overdosed while driving her car. The New Castle News reports police found 48 year old April Morella slumped over the wheel of her car last Thursday on Wilmington Road. Police administered two doses of naloxone to revive her. She’ll be charged with driving under the influence.

Governor Tom Wolf is naming the first five hospitals taking part in the Commonwealth’s new Rural Health Model.  The model is aimed at making sure rural medical and emergency centers remain financially stable.  Two of the hospitals, Barnes Kasson and Endless Mountains, are in Susquehanna County, while Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital in Lycoming County and Wayne Memorial Hospital in Wayne County are also part of the five.  State officials say almost half of all rural hospitals in Pennsylvania are at risk of closure due to financial woes.

An uncertain future looms over hundreds of General Motors workers in Lordstown.  Employees and residents held a vigil at the plant yesterday as the final Chevrolet Cruze rolled off the assembly line.  GM is idling the plant as part of a restructuring plan after more than a half-century of operations.  Union leaders are hoping to negotiate a new vehicle line this summer.

A Beaver Falls Sheetz convenience store is next to sell beer.  The location on the 36-hundred block of Fourth Avenue got its approval to open its so called beer cave in the store in the future.  The chain did not give a timeline on when it will open.

An elderly man from Pittsburgh is pleading guilty for his role in trafficking cocaine and money laundering over the last two decades.  Richard Wright entered the plea Tuesday and will be allowed to remain at home until his July sentencing because of his ill health.  The 76-year-old and his 69-year-old co-defendant, Walter Amman, were accused of purchasing large amounts of cocaine then selling it on the street.  Amman had pleaded guilty on February 14th.

A state lawmaker is trying to increase hemp production in P-A.  State Senator Judy Schwank says her measure would recognize industrial help as an allowable ingredient in foods and as a cosmetic ingredient.  The products would be regulated like all other food ingredients or commodities if approved.  Last year, hemp was removed from the federal list of controlled substances on the Federal Farm Bill.

A Sharon man was arrested after police said he was found drunk, sleeping behind the wheel of a car after leaving the scene of a crash. WKBN-TV reports police arrested Kyle Metzinger in the parking lot of the Brookfield Diner, where they said they found him asleep behind the wheel. Police said the vehicle had front-end damage and matched the description of a car involved in a crash. Metzinger faces a number of charges and faces a preliminary hearing today.

Butler County elections officials are preparing to roll out paper ballots this year.  The county will start using the ballots in November to provide a paper trail at the request of state officials.  Officials say the ballots will be scanned and counted electronically to provide rapid results.

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health is pushing back against vaccination detractors.  Wednesday, Doctor Rachael Levine says there continues to be misinformation regarding the safety of vaccines.  A study released Monday confirmed no link between autism and vaccinations.  Doctor Levine says childhood and adult vaccinations, like the measles vaccine, are safe and effective.

It’s reported Penn State University is among 20 colleges nationwide recently targeted by Chinese hackers.  The Wall Street Journal reports the group was looking for maritime research that could be used to develop technology for military use.  University officials tell the Centre Daily Times they were aware of the cyber-attacks but didn’t confirm a breach.