TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 5TH, 2020

Investigators say a 68-year-old Aliquippa man solicited sexually explicit photos from a teenaged girl.  James Alston faces child pornography charges after reportedly offering the 13-year-old seventh grader candy, clothing, and money for inappropriate images in October of last year.  Police say the man was a family friend who had lived near the girl’s grandparents and had attended church with the family.  Alston is in Beaver County Jail on 300-thousand-dollars bail.

Police say a teen that ran away from school in Grove City has been found safe.  Dylan Cottrell was last seen at George Junior Republic Sunday evening.  There’s no word on what led to the 16-year-old’s disappearance.

First responders say one person is seriously hurt after a crash in Portersville.  It happened yesterday morning on West Portersville Road about a mile from Route 19, with a vehicle striking a utility pole.  The victim was flown to the hospital from the scene in an unknown condition.  There’s no word on what led to the crash.

The Sharon Herald is reporting a Hermitage man appeared in court Wednesday on charges stemming from 35 images of child pornography police said they found on his personal computer. 59 year old Thomas Burgett faces 35 counts of child pornography possession, three counts of disseminating photos or film of child sex acts and criminal use of a communication facility. A preliminary hearing is set for March 19th.

Penn State University says, due to the coronavirus, all planned spring break study abroad trips have been canceled.  Officials say they are doing this to follow recommendations from health organizations and university researchers, who warn the disease could spread without necessary precautions.  Students studying abroad in countries suffering outbreaks are also being required to return to the U.S.  There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania.

Two western Pennsylvania counties are being added to the list of areas where an invasive pest is taking hold.  State agriculture officials say Beaver and Allegheny counties are now part of the spotted lanternfly quarantine zone.  The bugs are known to attack and infest grapevines, fruit trees and hardwoods.

State Police in Mercer County have accused a Perry Township man with requesting and receiving explicit images of a 17-year-old girl. 29 year old Damon  Danjou, is charged with sexual abuse of children, unlawful contact with a minor, disseminating obscene and other sexual materials and performances and corruption of minors. According to police Danjou communicated with a 17-year-old girl through Facebook Messenger and by cell phone messaging. Danjou was arrigned and placed in the Mercer County Jail on five thousand dollars bond.

Jurors will resume deliberations in the evidence-tampering trial of cop-killer Rahmael Holt’s cousin.  Lisa Harrington testified in her own defense yesterday before the jury got the case.  Westmoreland County prosecutors say Harrington disposed of the gun Holt used to kill New Kensington Officer Brian Shaw in 2017.  Her attorneys say witnesses’ stories didn’t add up.

Drivers in Pennsylvania can now be ticketed by speed cameras in work zones across roadways in the state. PennDot and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission  announced that enforcement of the statewide Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program begins today. This comes after a 60-day pre-enforcement period, which was used to warn drivers of the upcoming program. In 2018 there were more than 1,800 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania.

Cranberry Township’s Board of Supervisors are moving forward with a plan to renovate the Rotary Amphitheater.  This July, work is set to begin to add an expanded canopy, and upgrade lights and sound to the structure.  The work is the first of three phases and will eventually add a plaza and terraced seating.