TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 6TH, 2019

Pennsylvania gun laws are back in the spotlight after two deadly mass shootings.  In a press conference yesterday, President Trump commented on “red flag” laws, which Pennsylvania and Ohio do not have.  Red flag laws allow a judge to issue an order removing a person’s firearms, if they are believed to pose a threat.  Red flag laws were previously introduced in Pennsylvania, but the legislation never made it past the General Assembly.

The mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso will keep President Trump from visiting Beaver County this week.  White House officials canceled the president’s trip to the Shell Oil cracker plant in Monaca yesterday, citing this past weekend’s tragedies.  There’s no word yet whether the President will reschedule his visit.

More storms and heavy rain are forecast today, with a greater threat expected in the evening hours.  Strong winds and small hail may accompany the storms today.  Rain is also in the forecast for tomorrow and Thursday.  Mercer County was under a flash flooding warning last night.

Pittsburgh has been beefing up security at large events and festivals in the aftermath of mass shootings in Pittsburgh, El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio and other cities across the country.  Mayor Bill Peduto says new measures include reviews of permits for large events to determine the best positions for police.  Mayor Peduto says he reached out to Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley to offer whatever support Dayton needs.

State Police in Butler County report a man was taken to the hospital following a motorcycle accident in Washington Township. Police said 55 year old Stephen Ferris was southbound on route 38 when he lost control of his motorcycle and fell onto the road. Ferris was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital for treatment.

A Butler County veteran is moving into a new home this week thanks to a national nonprofit organization.  Homes for Our Troops presented the specially adapted house to the Navy’s Justin Hendrickson and his family on Saturday in Harrisville.  Hendrickson lost part of his leg serving in Iraq, and the house was made to help him get around while using his prosthetic and wheelchair.

The average price of gasoline across Western Pennsylvania is three cents cheaper this week at $2.92 per gallon, according to the Triple-A  East Central’s Gas Price Report. In New Castle motorists are paying 2.86 a gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying 2.99. The national average is at 2.71 a gallon that’s two cents less than a week ago and fifteen cents less than a year ago. The average price in Western Pennsylvania last year at this time was 3.10 a gallon.

Two local gun rights groups are denouncing the latest mass shootings in Ohio and Texas but they say more gun laws are not the answer.  The founder of Open Carry Pennsylvania, Jason Dillon, wants gun-free zones eliminated so citizens can be armed and ready to respond before police arrive at crime scenes.  And the president of Firearms Owners Against Crime, Kim Stolfer, says mental health needs to be addressed more than ever.

Opening arguments are scheduled today in the trial of a Jeannette man who’s accused of causing his brother’s death.  Markus McGowan is charged with drug delivery resulting in death.  Westmoreland County prosecutors say McGowan sold Michael McGowan a bag of fentanyl in 2016, one day before he died in his Greensburg apartment.