TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 15TH, 2021

The New Castle News is reporting that a man wanted in a fatal shooting that took place in Union Township last month was arrested by authorities in Murfreesboro Tennessee, wanted in a fatal shooting there. 25 year old Markeace Perkins is being held on one million dollars bond on homicide and attempted homicide charges. Perkins is wanted by Pennsylvania state police, in connection with the shooting death of Lamar Johnson back on February 16th. Police believe Perkins and Johnson were shooting at each other when Johnson was fatally hit by gunfire outside of a house on Grandview Avenue

Beaver County police are investigating the discovery of a body found inside a home early Sunday morning as a homicide.  Crews responded to the blaze in the 1000-block of Shenango Road just before 6 a.m. yesterday and found the victim, a 26-year-old man, while fighting the fire.  Authorities have not yet publicly identified the man who was killed.

Three people were flown to Pittsburgh Hospitals following a head on crash in Butler County. According to State Police the accident took place on Staff Road near Route 528 in East Brady Township. Police said 54 year old Lean King of East Brady struck a vehicle operated by an unnamed 16 year old male driver. Both drivers refused treatment. Two passengers in the 16 year old’s vehicle were flown to Allegheny General Hospital. While another passenger in the same vehicle was flown to Children’s Hospital for treatment. The investigation is ongoing.

Three Lawrence County High School Basketball teams captured WPIAL championships over the weekend. The New Castle Boys captured the school’s record setting 14th championship, following a 61-45 win over Chartiers Valley in the Class 5A title game. It was New Castle’s seventh title in the last ten years. The Neshannock girls were a 54-44 winner of Serra Catholic to win the Class 2A girls title. And the Mohawk Lady Warriors won there second straight Class 3A championship with a 54-48 win over North Catholic.

Restaurant and bar owners who have found themselves struggling due to the pandemic now have another relief option available.  Western Pennsylvania businesses in the hospitality industry are now able to apply for grants from a newly established state fund.  Eligible businesses can apply for five-thousand to 50-thousand dollars’ worth of relief depending on the situation.  Businesses that have not previously taken advantage of the paycheck protection program will be given priority.  The Hospitality Industry Recovery Program will begin accepting applications today.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say over the weekend, the state total saw an increase of more than 78-hundred new cases, pushing it over 966-thousand. About 83 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 24-thousand-573. Lawrence County has a total of 6,263 cases and 189 deaths. Mercer County has 8,327 cases and 243 deaths.

Governor Tom Wolf is planning to get everyone who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Phase One-A an appointment by the end of this month. Wolf says our One-A population contains some of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians and it is crucial that these individuals get vaccinated as quickly as possible. To make this goal, the state signed an order on Friday that directs providers to make their best efforts to schedule the elderly and those with high-risk health conditions for appointments by March 31st.

Authorities in Mercer County have arrested a Farrell man for rape. According to the Sharon Herald, 27 year old Alijah Douglas  was charged last week with rape of an unconscious victim and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of an unconscious person. The charges stem from an incident that took place at a home on Sterling Avenue in Sharon on September 19th, of last year. Douglas was released after posting bond.

Governor Tom Wolf is looking to phase out Pennsylvania’s gasoline tax. Wolf says the state is relying on an outdated and unreliable funding method as the tax isn’t keeping pace with transportation and safety needs while fuel-efficient and electric vehicles become more common. Wolf ordered for a commission to be formed that will look for alternative ways to fund the state’s transportation network and replace the gas tax. They are expected to introduce some recommendations by August 1st.