TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 17TH, 2020

According to the New Castle News, an Ellwood City woman faces up to 12 years in prison for a number of nonviolent offenses over the past two years. 24-year-old Taylor Renee Foley faced a number of charges including including drug dealing and possession, running from the police, impaired driving, illegal possession of a firearm, and harboring a dangerous dog. The sentence resulted from an accumulation of charges since 2018.

A New Castle man is facing child pornography charges regarding photos of him with a 16-year-old girl.  Michael Rao was charged Wednesday for the photos, which may have been taken between December 1st and March 13th at his home on the 600-block of Ray Street.  He’s currently in Lawrence County jail on 25-thousand-dollars bail.

A Beaver County woman is facing charges after a teen missing from Illinois was found at her home. 20 year old Lilandra Redman of Rochester reportedly had been in contact with the 15-year-old for several years before flying out to meet the teen August 3rd.  The two flew back to the Pittsburgh area that same day.  The boy had reportedly left his parents a note saying he left for New York City with a woman named Jessica.  Redman was arrested in McKeesport and is being held in Allegheny County Jail while awaiting extradition back to Illinois.  The child was found at a home in Beaver County.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association met Wednesday but didn’t take action on high school sports crowd limits. According to the PIAA associate executive director Melissa Mertz, the PIAA will wait for new spectator guidance from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration later this week. Wolf will release new guidance as school districts decide whether to increase their crowd sizes at sporting events, particularly football games, soon.

Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman are continuing to call for the legislature to legalize marijuana in the state. Fetterman says nearly 22-thousand people were arrested in 2019 for having a small amount of marijuana and that time and resources could be better spent elsewhere than prosecuting Pennsylvanians for something most believe shouldn’t be illegal. Wolf emphasized the benefits that legalization would have on the state’s economy amid the pandemic as it is estimated that 300-million-dollars in revenue could be made for the state each year if cannabis is legalized.

A new drug and alcohol rehab center will open in New Castle despite being rejected by city council.  D-O-N Recovery Services had the denial overturned by a Lawrence County Court Monday, setting them up to open about four to six weeks after getting a license from the Commonwealth and passing an inspection, according to the New Castle News.  The group purchased the building on South Mercer Street for 150-grand in 2018.  New Castle’s City Council had denied their request on July 9th, prompting the appeal.

Governor Tom Wolf is planning on providing more guidance on event attendance either today or tomorrow after a federal judge ruled his restrictions on gatherings unconstitutional earlier this week. Wolf says whether people like it or not, the virus likes it when people get close and he plans to address crowd sizes and make it harder for COVID-19 to spread. The governor’s administration is hoping to file an appeal against the judge’s ruling after filing for a stay yesterday.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania.  Yesterday, the state added 776 new cases to the total, pushing it close to 147-thousand. About 28 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is now surpassing 79-hundred. Lawrence County added its 22nd death Wednesday according to Health Officals. Three new cases of Covid-19 were reported bringing the county’s total to 490.

The Karns City School District is going to allow full capacity at their Friday night high school football game.  The announcement follows a ruling by a federal judge that states that certain restrictions mandated by the Wolf administration during the pandemic have been unconstitutional.  The stadium can hold up to two-thousand people, with officials saying they will still follow C-D-C guidelines regarding mask wearing and social distancing.