TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 19TH, 2021

State Police in Lawrence County report an investigation is underway after one man was killed by police when they were responding to a 911 call. The incident took place at a home on South New Castle Street in New Wilmington just after 11am. Police found a man assaulting a 24-year-old transgender woman with a “blunt instrument” in the home’s backyard.  Police told the suspect to stop assaulting the woman and he refused.  New Wilmington police then fired at the suspect, where he died on scene. The victim was taken to St. Elizabeth’s in Youngstown where she died of her injuries. Police did not release the names of the suspect or the victim in the case.

The State Fire Marshall is investigating a fatal fire from yesterday morning in Mercer County.  According to the Sharon Herald a woman called 9-1-1 at 1 a.m. Thursday to report that her house “blew up”.  The woman also said that she and a male at the home were burned at the two-story home on the 2500 block of Mercer Butler Pike in Liberty Township. 73 year old Robert Vetter was pronounced dead at the scene. Vetter’s wife suffered burn injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

One person was taken to the hospital following an accident in Perry Township. State Police in Lawrence County report 31 year old Anthony Blizman of Zelienople was traveling east on route 488 when he lost control of his vehicle and first struck a large boulder and smashed into a tree. Blizman was taken to Heritage Valley Hospital in Beaver County for treatment.

The P-I-A-A is going to be enforcing face mask requirements during the Pennsylvania state championship tournament this year. The association announced yesterday that all athletes, coaches and officials will be required to wear masks this year for the state tournament. Teams will also be required to submit COVID-19 screenings before entering the tournament. Only players with a medical exemption will not have to wear a face covering.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of more than 33-hundred new cases, pushing it close to 906-thousand. About 94 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 23-thousand-413. Lawrence County now has 5,869 Covid-19 cases and 178 deaths. Mercer County has 7,880 cases and 237 fatalities.

A Butler man is being accused of producing child pornography.  Thomas Romspert was charged yesterday with charges of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  If he is sentenced, Romspert will serve up to 30 years in federal prison.

Thousands of residents in Western Pennsylvania are concerned after the health department accidentally gave out tens of thousands of doses of the coronavirus vaccine.  More than six-thousand-300 people called into the U-P-M-C Tele town hall meeting asking COVID-19 questions.  U-P-M-C officials said there are disparities when it comes to the vaccine, and some communities have a distrust of the process.  Thousands of residents are frustrated with the vaccination process after state health officials accidentally gave out 200-thousand second doses of the Moderna vaccine to non-eligible people in the first round of vaccination.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are launching a new program to help Black youth hockey players. The team announced yesterday that it is creating the Willie O’Ree Academy as a nine-week training program to bring together Black youth hockey players. It will begin this coming June and will be open for all youths aged ten-to-18.

Local prospective nurses were just given a little bit more time to submit their applications for the fall.  The Community College of Allegheny County this week has extended the application period for those wanting to enter the nursing program later this year.  The previous deadline had been March 1st, but that has now been pushed out to April 1st.  The college advises that applicants who do meet the original deadline will be given priority consideration.  More information can be found at www.ccac.edu.