TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 18TH, 2020

The New Castle News is reporting,  a Kansas man has been arrested at his Neshannock Township workplace, accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to a teen’s cell phone. 41 year old  Robert Lee James faces one count of dissemination of obscene and other sexual materials to a minor, and corruption of minors. He was charged by a Lawrence County District Attorney detective. Authorities allege James was sending sexually suggestive text messages to a 17-year-old male who lives in Neshannock Township.  He was arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 50 thousand dollars bond.

A teen is in stable condition after falling from Buttermilk Falls in Beaver County.  The 17-year-old was flown to a hospital in Pittsburgh after the accident.  It’s unclear what may have led to their fall.  It is the second time in about a week someone has fallen there, according to W-P-X-I T-V.  On June 14th, a girl was rescued after falling over a cliff.

Pennsylvania health officials are confirming more cases of COVID-19 throughout the state. Officials say that yesterday saw an increase of 335 new cases, pushing the state total closer to 80-thousand. Yesterday’s report counted about 43 more deaths. Lawrence County reported one additional case and now reports 88 cases of Covid-19 and eight deaths.

Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine are urging residents to remain vigilant while COVID-19 cases continue to decline around the state.  Governor Wolf says the virus is not gone, but that residents have done an excellent job reopening businesses while practicing social distancing and wearing masks.

Mike Turzai’s retirement is short lived.  The now former Pennsylvania Speaker of the House was named general counsel for Peoples Gas Tuesday.  The Pittsburgh-area republican had served in the state house since 2000 and was named House Speaker in 2015.

Officials with Rivers Casino Pittsburgh say a table games dealer there has tested positive for COVID-19.  Officials didn’t say when the employee last worked nor where they had been working since the casino reopened June 9th.  In a letter to employees, Rivers Casino officials say they are conducting a 48-hour look back from the time the team member clocked out for any co-worker who spent more than ten minutes within six feet of the person.

The C-E-O of Butler Health System says they will be operating at a loss for the next six-to-seven months.  During a conference call yesterday, Ken DeFurio added that somewhere around January or February 2021 they hope to turn the corner and get back into the black when it comes to income.  B-H-S announced 60 layoffs this week as they’re facing a 15-million-dollar loss due to the pandemic.

Liquidation sales are underway at several J-C-Penney stores in Western P-A.  It’s reported their locations at the Beaver Valley Mall, Clearview Mall, the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills, and Monroeville Mall are among those stores closing as part of the retailer’s bankruptcy.  The storewide discounts range from 25-to-40-percent with all sales final starting on June 25th.

Butler Township is moving forward with an attempt to turn land at Pullman Business Park into a recreational area.  Township Commissioners have given their approval to put the offer in on the 18 acres at a cost of 20-grand-per acre.  It isn’t finalized yet on how the property would be used, but plans are likely to include a soccer field.  There is a possibility there could be indoor space with a tenant, though those plans aren’t finalized.