TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JULY 3RD, 2019

There’s no word yet of any charges in the hit-and-run death of a Lawrence County woman.  New Castle police say they have impounded the semi-truck that apparently struck 19-year-old Alissa Jones on Sunday night.  Jones died yesterday of injuries suffered when she was hit while getting out of her car in Taylor Township.

The Sharon Herald is reporting that a New Castle man will spend 27 to 54 years in prison for the January 2018 murder of a woman outside a Sharon restaurant. 53 year old Roy Lee Johnson pleaded guilty Tuesday to third-degree murder and felony weapons charges in the case in exchange for the sentence. Johnson was accused of shooting 30 year old Sierra Nicole Madison-Clark of New Castle behind Tony’s Pizza on Stambaugh Avenue on January 29th of last year. A sentencing date has not been set.

A woman is found dead at a Beaver County home Monday evening.  The body of Devon Crocker was found unresponsive at the house on Deer Lane in Rochester Monday evening.  Police say they were unable revive the woman.  There’s no word on what led to her death.

Pennsylvania is moving to replace the federally operated Healthcare.gov with its own website to sell Affordable Care Act-compliant policies in a bid to get more people into it and lower their costs. Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Tuesday after it passed the Legislature unanimously last week. The administration says it expects it can lower premiums by 5% to 10% for the 400,000 people who buy policies in the marketplace. Wolf’s insurance commissioner, Jessica Altman, said the savings can especially help the roughly 80,000 people who buy policies through Healthcare.gov, but whose incomes are too high to qualify for a federal tax subsidy.

Beaver County says it finished 2018 in the black.  According to an audit out last week, the county spent about seven-and-a-half million less than it brought in last year.  That’s a major change from just a few years earlier, when the county spent nine-million-dollars more than it brought in during 2015.  According to governmental accounting standards, it is considered healthy to have five percent of its general fund available in an unassigned fund balance.

Court officials say a woman with ties to Butler County is incompetent to stand trial for a Florida woman’s disappearance and murder.  Kimberly Kessler had been accused of killing her coworker Joleen Cummings Mother’s Day weekend last year after Cummings disappeared.  State attorneys are asking another doctor to examine Kessler.  Kessler did admit to investigators she’d been running from the F-B-I and was wanted in several states.  Cummings’ body hasn’t been found.

A man serving a life sentence for second-degree murder is being given a second chance.  Governor Tom Wolf issued a pardon to Robert Wideman who’s been serving time in Allegheny County since the late 1970s.  He was convicted as an accomplice in the death of Nicholas Morena during a robbery.  He did not pull the trigger but was sentenced to life in prison.  Several weeks ago, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons voted unanimously for Wideman to receive clemency.  Governor Wolf approved it.

State funds will help reopen a long-shuttered community pool in Beaver Falls.   The city was awarded a 50-thousand-dollar grant last week to renovate the Tigerland Wave Pool.  Supporters of the project say the grant moves them closer to replace pumps, install signs and secure the pool’s deck.  Beaver Falls officials closed the pool in 2003 because of the repair costs.

A bill allowing for expanded options for armed school security in Pennsylvania is now law.  Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill Tuesday, allowing school districts more options on who can be hired as an armed security guard.  It also expands training requirements for those guards.