TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 8TH, 2019

New Castle police are looking for the suspect in a convenience store robbery.  Detectives say the woman held up the Last Minute Mart on Montgomery Avenue this week.  Surveillance videos show a woman standing five-feet-five-inches tall and wearing a teal-colored coat.  A male suspect was apparently driving the getaway car, described as a small blue or black two-door vehicle.

An Evans City man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on one charge of bank robbery. 32 year old Chad Vaughn is accused of robbing the NexTier bank in Zelienople in October of last year. Vaughn faces up to 20 years in prison, a 250 thousand dollar fine or both.

Court officials say a man accused of rape is admitting to taking nude photos of a woman unconscious in his bed.  Zachary Dinell, who had lived in Freedom, reportedly had sex with the woman then sent photos of her to his ex-girlfriend without the victim’s knowledge.  On the stand yesterday, the 25-year-old Dinell said he knew the woman was too drunk to coherently respond to his request to take the pictures and he regretted doing it.  Dinell said the two were very drunk, but he believed their sex was consensual June 1st.  Closing arguments are expected to begin today.

A bill introduced in the legislature seeks to use gaming revenue to provide property tax relief. Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill says her legislation would change the Gaming Code to direct all new revenue from the expansion of gaming into a property tax relief fund. While the Gaming Act was originally intended to provide property tax relief through revenue from slot machines, Phillips-Hill notes that the one billion dollars in annual revenue which was estimated was never realized.

Inside Butler county is reporting at least two people were seriously injured as a result of a crash Wednesday afternoon on Route 422 in East Butler. The accident took place just before 4p.m. Two STAT MedEvac helicopters were called to land on Route 422 to transport at least two people for medical treatment of unknown injuries. The cause of the crash is also unknown at this time.

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Executive Director Kevin O’Toole says gaming expansion approved in 2003 continues to have a positive impact on horse racing industry in PA. O’Toole says allowing sports wagering in off-track betting locations is also helping to expose younger people to horse racing in light of an aging population of bettors.

A Butler woman is pleading guilty to wrongfully disclosing health information while working at UPMC.  Linda Kalina reportedly accessed health info for more than 110 UPMC patients never treated by Tri Rivers Musculoskeletal Centers, where she worked.  The 61-year-old then released the records on two patients intending to embarrass them, according to the U-S Attorney’s office.  Kalina will be sentenced June 25th.

Ohio drivers are a step closer to paying higher gas prices.  The Ohio House voted yesterday to boost the gas tax by nearly eleven-cents a gallon as part of a transportation budget bill.  Funds raised by the tax hike would be pumped into state and local road and bridge projects.

A Cleveland man was arrested after state police say he backed into a police a cruiser at the Grove City Outlets. 19 year old Devon Shade  was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on law enforcement. Additional charges are pending. Police were called to the shopping center at about 3:40 p.m. Wednesday after a theft was reported at the Adidas store. Shade was stopped as he tried to merge onto Interstate 79.

Allegheny County’s controller could be facing charges after an altercation in a hotel hallway in Detroit this week.  Chelsa Wagner and her husband were there for a concert Tuesday night when her husband tried to get into their hotel room but didn’t have his key.  Hotel security called police, who handcuffed the man, leading to a scuffle between them and Chelsa Wagner.  Investigators say body cam footage shows Mrs. Wagner grabbing the officer, who pushed her off.  Wagner is seeking her third term as Allegheny County Controller.