TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JANUARY 17TH, 2020

State police are cautioning people to be wary of a social security scam that has cheated two County residents out of thousands of dollars. Police report a 71-year-old North Beaver Township woman was taken for $4,900 after getting a phone call from someone pretending to be from the Social Security Administration. The caller told the woman her social security number was compromised and to avoid a legal issue she needed to purchase 49 hundred dollars worth of gift cards, which she did. Police said a 40-year-old Wayne Township man fell victim to a similar scam losing around one thousand dollars. Anyone with information is urged to contact State Police.

Traffic was backed up for several miles yesterday on Interstate 80 in Mercer County after a semi rolled over. WKBN-TV reports the accident took place in Shenango Township around 4:30 p.m. At one point, emergency crews were dealing with accidents in both the eastbound and westbound lanes. Traffic was backed up for about four miles.

Gamblers placed almost $1.5 billion in wagers and generated $30 million in revenue for the state in the first full year of legalized sports gambling. According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board In December alone, gamblers wagered more than $342 million on sports bets. Sports wagering provided almost $21 million in state tax in the first six months of this fiscal year.

Travelers are concerned about the growing number of gun confiscations at the Pittsburgh International Airport. The Transportation Security Administration says it saw a five-percent spike in gun confiscations last year.  Thirty-five guns were confiscated in 2019 compared to 34 gun confiscations in 2018 and 32 in 2017. Anyone trying to carry a firearm through TSA security may face charges or a fine.

Former police officer Michael Rosfeld is suing the University of Pittsburgh over his 2018 firing.  In a suit filed Thursday, Rosfeld claims the university let him go without cause.  Rosfeld believes he was let go in retaliation for an incident at the Garage Door Saloon where the son of the university’s chancellor was arrested.  Rosfeld was found not guilty for the shooting of Antwon Rose following a traffic stop in East Pittsburgh.

A man from Prospect is facing several charges following a standoff last week.  Gerry Foster is facing felony aggravated assault and other charges after holding state police at bay outside his 100-block of Schantz Road home while they tried to serve a mental health warrant last Friday.  The 61-year-old eventually surrendered to police, who found a rifle and ammo inside his home.  Foster was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Investigators are identifying the man they believe is behind a Butler Township Dollar General robbery last month.  Charges were filed against Shawn Graham in the December 18th incident at the Butler Commons store, where he allegedly insinuated he had a gun as he demanded money from a clerk.  Police are asking for help tracking down the 41-year-old, whose last known address was in Kittanning.

Part of Route 51 in Moon Township will reopen next week after a landslide earlier this month.  PennDOT officials closed both sides of the road between Flaugherty Run and Purdy Road after the January 2nd slide.  Crews are still taking down rock and, granted everything stays to plan, the road will reopen at some point next week.

Pennsylvania is one of 13 states suing to stop cuts into the food stamp program.  Attorney General Josh Shapiro says if the cuts go through, about 80-thousand Pennsylvanians will be impacted.  Shapiro says the cuts directly undermine the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  As of now, the change is set to go into effect April 1st.