TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 22ND, 2021

The suspect in the sexual assault of a 14-year-old Mercer County girl is dead.  Police in Arkansas say they found William Ice leaving a McDonald’s on Saturday with a young teen girl that had been reported kidnapped out of North Carolina.  They say when they ordered him out of his car, Ice shot a police officer and took off with the girl in the car.  A chase ensued that ended with the suspect vehicle crashing into a snowbank.  The girl ran from the car, and officers found Ice with a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside.  He died later at a local hospital.  The wounded officer was last listed in stable condition.

State Police in Lawrence County named the suspect in the killing of a transgender woman last week in New Wilmington. 33 year old Juan Hernandez of Campbell Ohio was shot and killed by a New Wilmington police officer during the assault of 24 year old Chyna Carillo.  Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said Hernandez had just got out of prison for killing his wife back in 2011. Carillo was taken to the hospital where she later died from her injuries.

Two families are displaced after an apartment fire yesterday morning on  East Laurel Avenue in New Castle. WKBN-TV reports that fire broke out around 3 am. Smoke was seen coming out of the roof of the building. Officials say no one was hurt and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Authorities in Mercer County report a one vehicle accident in Delaware Township. Police said 72 year old Olie Ericksen of Mercer, was northbound on McDowell Road when he lost control of his vehicle, traveled into a ditch, struck a culvert then continued to travel and struck a tree. Police said Ericksen was not hurt but did leave the scene of the crash.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say over the weekend, the state total saw an increase of about 75-hundred new cases, pushing it over 913-thousand. About 184 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 23-thousand-597. Lawrence County reported 20 new cases bringing its total to 5,915 and 180 deaths. Mercer County has 7,924 cases and 237 fatalities.

Pennsylvania is going to remain under a disaster emergency for another 90-day period. Governor Tom Wolf signed the disaster declaration on Friday for the fourth time since the pandemic began. Wolf says we are still in the early stages of the vaccine administration. He added that the renewal of the declaration will allow the state to maintain its response against COVID-19 and support testing, contact tracing and vaccination efforts. The fourth installment of the disaster declaration is set to last until May 19th.

A grant announced Friday from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection will mean the installation of four electric vehicle charging stations coming to Moon Township.  The allocation of 250-thousand dollars will cover the cost of fast-charging plugs earmarked for the Sheetz gas station and convenience store on University Boulevard.  Similar grants were also announced last week that will see 12 other charging stations put in across the state.

Mayoral candidate Ed Gainey is getting some support from one of Pittsburgh’s largest labor unions.  S-E-I-U Healthcare Pennsylvania announced over the weekend that it is endorsing Representative Gainey for mayor.  The union endorsed incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto during the election four years ago.