TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 8TH, 2019

Governor Tom Wolf is urging action in the wake of the recent mass shootings in Ohio and Texas.  Hundreds packed into the Capitol rotunda yesterday to remember the lives taken by gun violence.  During his remarks, Governor Wolf asked for swift changes, including passing “red flag” laws and universal background checks on all firearm purchases and for the federal government to close the background check loopholes.  The governor says he would call a special session if there were immediate commitments to vote on these reforms.

A Conway man is charged with aggravated assault of a woman in a dispute over his mobile phone.  Bruce Gibbs is charged with hitting a woman to try to retrieve his Lifeline Assistance phone.  Police say the woman was attacked in her home last week.  At one point, he choked her to the point where she thought she might lose consciousness.  She was treated and taken to a hospital.  Gibbs’ preliminary hearing is set for next Tuesday.

Every patrol officer within the New Castle Police Department are now equipped with body cameras.  The department initiated its body-cam program with a goal of recording responses to incidents and other contacts with the public.  The department received a total of 30 Axon body cameras.

A federal lawsuit is accusing Pennsylvania State troopers of excessive force.  The suit was filed on behalf of Danny Pollack and his wife, of Butler, over a marijuana seizure in August of 2017.  The lawsuit claims troopers were sent to the Pollack’s home to seize two marijuana plants growing in the backyard.  The couple claims they were denied to see a warrant and Danny was beaten by troopers.  He was hospitalized after the incident suffering from broken teeth, damage to his eye and was monitored for heart issues.

The FBI says it arrested local sex traffickers and child predators during a three-day period recently.  The agency says it arrested two sex traffickers, including a woman known as the Monroeville Madam.  It also rounded up seven adults who were pursuing underage minors online.  It was part of a nationwide operation called Independence Day.

The Carnegie Free Library of Beaver Falls needs a new roof and a local fundraising effort is underway to help replace it.  The cost of a new roof for the library is estimated at 200-thousand dollars.  As of this week, the library is a little more than five-thousand dollars toward its goal, thanks to a donation from B Well Nation, a local gym and fitness center.  The library also has set up a GoFundMe page and donations can be dropped off at the library.

Free meals will be offered to students in the Ambridge Area School District this year.  District officials say breakfasts and lunches will be available to all students at no charge through the Community Eligibility Provision program.  The program covers the costs of the food as a meal service option in low-income school districts.

Pennsylvania’s top state prosecutor says investigations remain underway after 1,862 calls were made to his office’s clergy abuse hotline in the 12 months since a landmark grand jury report exposed decades of child abuse within the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses. Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Tuesday that about 90 percent of those calls concerned allegations of abuse or cover-ups within the Catholic church. Pennsylvania dioceses have been evaluating claims and making payments through compensation funds established in the wake of the report.