TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 13TH, 2019

The New Castle News is reporting a New Wilmington Borough man who drove a school bus for the New Castle Area School District and for the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center is accused of having sexual relations with a vo-tech student. The Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office is charging 31 year old James Garver with one count of institutional sexual assault in the schools. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. The alleged incident took place back in October of last year.

Pennsylvania lawmakers will soon open debate on a bill that’s named for a young New Castle murder victim.  Representative Aaron Bernstine unveiled Markie’s Law yesterday.  The proposal would prevent the parole board from releasing inmates from their minimum sentence if they were convicted of a violent offense while behind bars.  The bill is named for eight-year-old Markie Mason, who Lawrence County prosecutors say was killed by a man who had just been paroled.

An Ellwood City woman has been sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for violating her parole. 33 year old Kacie Zito was charged with perjury in connection to a drug trial that she testified at. Prior to imposing sentence, U.S.Ditrict  Judge Arthur Schwab stated that, in his nearly 20 years as a Judge, he had never seen anyone lie so blatantly as Zito. She also faces three years of supervised release.

The state House Democratic Policy Committee is looking into ways to bring down the costs of prescription drugs in P-A.  A hearing was held Wednesday to address a proposal that could put a 100-monthly cap on insulin costs.  Several other proposed bills would create a pricing task force and more transparency in drug prices.

The F-B-I is joining the investigation into a threat that closed Pine-Richland High School and its middle school yesterday.  In a letter to families, the superintendent said a cyber threat against the two buildings was discovered and police began to investigate.  Today, classes are expected to be back in session with a heightened level of security.  Northern Regional Police are going to be on-site and will continue their investigation.  Anyone with information on the threat is asked to contact Pine-Richland’s Safety Tip Line.

Investigators are still working to determine what caused a Freeport house fire this week.  The blaze happened on the 100-block of Washington Street Monday night with a woman sustaining minor injuries.  Fire officials estimate the damage to the property at between 20-to-25-thousand dollars and add the property isn’t habitable now.  The Red Cross is helping the property’s residents.

No one is hurt after a fire badly damaged a Freeport home overnight.  Officials say no one was home when the blaze was reported on Second Street off Freeport Road just before midnight.  Firefighters from ten different companies responded to help.  The fire marshal is working to determine the cause.

An employee at a T-Mobile store in Hopewell Township is accused of stealing a woman’s credit card information and selling it to someone else.  Marc Cureton of Aliquippa is facing charges after whomever he sold the card to spent around one-thousand-dollars with it July 9th, according to police.  The 21-year-old’s preliminary hearing is set for October 7th.

A former West Allegheny School District teacher is accusing her former employer of defaming her and hurting her job search prospects.  Denise Cartisser was a kindergarten teacher who was allowed a semester-long sabbatical to take a doctoral program for teacher leadership online with Walden University.  Cartisser got an unsatisfactory grade which she contested and joined a class action lawsuit against the university, which accused it of giving poor grades so students would have to take the courses again.  The teacher reimbursed the district for the class, then was suspended without pay for allegedly misusing a sabbatical.  A statement of the charges against her were reportedly posted on the school’s website, describing her as immoral and negligent.  Those charges remained online and atop internet searches until the district removed them six months later.