Tri County Report For March 27th, 2019

Fire destroyed a barn in Mahoning Township Monday afternoon. According to the New Castle News the barn on Hillsville Road ignited just before 3:30 p.m. when a fire begun by a man attempting to burn some trash and trees spread to the building. Fire Chief Poncho Exposito said Firefighters had to deal with exploding tanks of gas and oil. No injuries were reported. Union, Pulaski and Neshannock township fire departments also responded.

People in Lawrence and Mercer counties are being given an opportunity to give their opinion on the possibility of legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania. Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is bringing his statewide marijuana listening tour to Sharon on Saturday and New Castle on Wednesday of next week. The Mercer County stop is scheduled for 11 am Saturday, in the Sharon Hall Auditorium on the Penn State Shenango Campus. The Lawrence County hearing is set for 6 pm, Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at the George Washington Intermediate School in New Castle.

A Butler County woman is dead after being struck on a Tennessee highway over the weekend.  Twenty-three-year-old Sarah Kasunic and a 38-year-old who stopped to help her were hit by an oncoming vehicle.  The Good Samaritan was pronounced dead at the scene and Kasunic died later at a hospital.  Police are continuing to investigate and no charges have been filed yet.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are being asked to raise the minimum salary for teachers.  Lawmakers were joined by teachers yesterday at the state Capitol in pushing for a new minimum salary of 45-thousand-dollars.  Teachers now make a minimum of 18-thousand-500-dollars.

Western Pennsylvania is seeing an increase in flu cases.  The CDC says the percentage of medical visits for flu-like symptoms is up to four-point-four-percent from a baseline of two-point-two-percent.  The late peak of flu season comes as the H1N1 strain shifted to H3N2.  Allegheny County currently has the most reported flu cases in the state with about six-thousand this season.

Beaver County is factoring into the one-point-two-billion-dollar purchase of a U.S. company.  IPSCO Tubulars, which operates plants where pipe products are produced in Harmony Township and Koppel, is being purchased by Tenaris, a company from Argentina, it was announced on Friday.  The purchase must be approved by U.S. antitrust regulators.

A Beaver County woman is behind bars, accused of robbing a pharmacy.  Aliquippa police say Kelly McCausland walked into the Medicine Shoppe on Broadhead Road this past weekend, handed over a threatening note and walked out with cash.  Officers caught up to her moments later at a nearby gas station.

PennDOT has announced lane restrictions starting today along Route 422. According to the Ellwood City Ledger,  Lanes will be restricted in alternating directions under the Route 168 bridges from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and then 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday to Friday, and then 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Monday while crews conduct bridge demolition and reconstruction. The $10.32 million project will improve more than four miles of Route 168 between Galilee Road in North Beaver Township and Moravia Street in Taylor Township.

Charges have been filed against several people accused of operating a cocaine ring that brought drugs into Butler County from Ohio. Inside Butler County is reporting Five people have been charged following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office and the Butler County Drug Task Force. Alleged ring leader Marshall Grimes has been under investigation for about a year. Undercover officers allegedly purchased drugs out of an apartment on South Main Street as part of the investigation.