TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 7TH, 2020

A New Castle man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on drug and gun charges.  31 year old Samuel Cheeks is being charged  with  unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition after having previously been convicted of a felony. The Superseding Indictment also alleges that, in September of 2017, Cheeks unlawfully possessed a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine. The ATF, the Ellwood City Police Department, and the New Castle Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

Police in Sharon are looking for suspects in four separate shootings stretching back to November. According to the Sharon Herald all of the shootings are drug related. 27 year old Anthony Leonard, who was wounded, and 30 year old Terry Lee Fair Jr., are wanted in connection with a November shooting. Police are also looking for 21 year old Lawrence R. Reed, and  41 year old Effie Renae Leonard, for a November 27th shooting. Two more suspects 31 year old  Brian A. Collins, and 26 year old Tene Danielle Dean, are wanted for a January 30th shooting.

Several people are being treated for injuries suffered in a Butler County crash.  Butler Township police say two vehicles crashed, head-on, last night on Route 68.  There’s no word yet on the crash victims’ conditions.

A state official says the Legislature needs to increase dog licensing fees so that the dog law agency can stay afloat.  Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement could run out of money this summer.  He says the agency has taken action to improve its financial standing, but it still needs help.  Right now, dog licenses cost six-dollars-and-50 cents a year for dogs that are spayed or neutered and eight-dollars-and-50 cents for dogs that are not.

Engineers in Southwestern Butler County are working on a plan that will reduce the risk of flooding in their area.  Butler County’s Commissioners approved a 76-thousand-dollar plan to come up with do-able projects that will reduce the chance of flowing along the Lower Connoquenessing Creek Watershed.  The county will share the cost with nine other municipalities who are impacted by the potential rising water, with each municipality then responsible to complete three of the proposed tasks.  The project is expected to be completed in ten weeks.

Pennsylvania State Police say they are noticing a decrease in seat belt usage.  In January alone, troopers issued 105 citations for people failing to buckle up.  According to PennDOT data from 2018, there were nearly 400 people killed and about one-thousand people seriously hurt because people weren’t wearing a seatbelt.

Prosecutors say a former Catholic priest convicted of sexually assaulting a young boy was in a Pittsburgh courtroom yesterday.  Hugh Lang had been found guilty in November and was sentenced yesterday to two years behind bars.  The 89-year-old wasn’t immediately remanded to prison however because a statute of limitations motion filed last November was never addressed.  The D-A has to file a post-sentence motion in ten days for an appeal to happen within the next month.

A half-million-dollars in heroin is off the streets after a bust on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  State police say Sarena Howard was caught this week with 550 bricks of heroin in her car during a traffic stop in Mount Pleasant.  Howard was released from the Westmoreland County Prison yesterday after posting a ten-thousand-dollar bond.

Slippery Rock University is going to pass on its annual Chinese New Year celebration this year.  The event planned for February 15th is being scrapped due to the coronavirus.  Organizers say the move is out of respect for the people in China who haven’t been able to celebrate themselves.