Tri County Report For January 20th, 2020

New Castle police say an explosive device placed under a car detonated early Friday morning. According to the department’s facebook page the incident occurred around 1 a.m. in the 300 block of Wallace Avenue. Extensive damage was done to the car and several nearby houses. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives and the Pennsylvania State Police are aiding in the investigation.

A teen is dead after a Friday morning crash in Wampum.  It happened along Route 18 where troopers say 18-year-old Savannah Smith pulled onto the highway from Route 288 and drove into the path of a tractor-trailer.  Smith was pronounced dead at the scene while the driver of the big rig, 41-year-old Chad Tirko, was taken to U-P-M-C Jameson in New Castle for treatment.

Authorities say a  New Castle man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to drug charges.  43-year-old Zaamar Stevenson pleaded guilty to charges of violating federal narcotics laws. Stevenson’s plea stems from an incident on November 9, 2015, where he attempted to sell crack and heroin to a female in his car. Officers saw the female and she admitted that she bought it from Stevenson. Stevenson can face up to 40 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.His sentencing is scheduled for May 27th.

Fire broke out at a house in Farrell early Saturday morning. WKBN-TV reports Crews were called to a home on Sharon New Castle Road shortly before 2 a.m. A police officer was driving by and saw smoke coming from the house. The owner lives next door and said the house is currently vacant as it’s being remodeled. He said the fire started with the furnace and burned through the kitchen floor. No injuries were reported.

A man is in custody after trying to elude police in Butler last week.  Police tried to pull a vehicle over for a code violation around midday Thursday, and the driver refused to stop, leading police on a chase through neighborhoods near Butler Memorial Hospital.  Eventually, Marc Pippens of Ambridge escaped on foot near the 500-block of Third Street and was taken into custody shortly afterward.  The 30-year-old Pippens is facing felony fleeing and drug charges.

The search continues for a Kittanning man accused in a Butler Township burglary.  Shawn Graham allegedly demanded money from a clerk at the Dollar General at Butler Commons last month, then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.  Anyone with information on the 41-year-old’s whereabouts is asked to contact Butler Township police.

Lottery players in Pennsylvania can now purchase Powerball and Mega Millions tickets online through Pennsylvania Lottery’s iLottery platform at palottery.com. Players who purchase Powerball and Mega Millions tickets online can choose their own numbers or select the quick-pick option to receive randomly selected numbers. They also have the option to purchase multiple tickets and buy tickets up to 26 drawings – 13 weeks – in advance. To play online, players must be 18 or older, sign up for an iLottery account and deposit funds to make a purchase. Account holders are required to submit proof of age and identity. After purchasing a ticket, players will be able to view transaction history, which includes past and current drawings and plays.

A student at the University of Pittsburgh is dead after being struck by a Port Authority bus Saturday.  Around midday, police say Barbara Como was struck by the bus near the intersection of De Soto Street, Fifth Avenue, and Oakland Avenue near the hospital.  The senior from Chester Springs was studying anthropology.  University police are working with city and Port Authority investigators to determine what led to the accident.

Organizers say hundreds of people rallied in Downtown Pittsburgh Sunday for the city’s fourth Women’s March.  The woman gathered at Market Square around midday, joining Mayor Bill Peduto, state Representatives Dan Frankel and Jay Costa, state Senator Pam Iovino, and Congressman Mike Doyle.  The group’s rally maintained its anti-President Trump focus from years past, though the crowd was a fraction of how large it had been.