TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 19TH, 2021

A hearing for a New Castle man on homicide and robbery charges scheduled for yesterday was delayed until next month. According to the New Castle News 38 year old Jordan Peretti is charged in the February 6th shooting death of 39 year old Jason Miles who was found dead in an alley behind Marshall Avenue, shot several times in the face. Peretti is also wanted in connection with an armed robbery at CVS on East Washington Street the day before. The hearing was scheduled for April 6th, at 1pm.

A 19-year-old Butler man is facing charges for killing an unborn child. Police say Damien Large assaulted a 33-year-old pregnant woman back on Christmas Day last year. According to a criminal complaint, Large choked the woman, who was his girlfriend at the time, until she blacked out. He then proceeded to punch the woman in the stomach. Police say that assault led to the death of the unborn child according to police. Large is now facing a number of charges, including criminal homicide. KDKA reports  He’s in the Butler County Prison on $50,000 bond.

For the ninth time this year, a traveler was stopped while trying to get through security at Pittsburgh International with a handgun in their carry-on.  The latest incident happened just after 5:30 yesterday morning and involved a female traveler and a loaded three-eighty-caliber firearm.  The woman told TSA agents and Allegheny County police that she had no idea the gun was in her bag.  The weapon was confiscated and the traveler allowed to continue on her way, though she faces the potential of a fine ranging from three-thousand to 10-thousand dollars.

Two homes caught fire in Freedonia Wednesday afternoon. WFMJ-TV reports when crews arrived one house was totally involved while the second house also began to catch fire. All those inside the home made it out safely. A cause remains under investigation.  The home that initially started the fire was completely destroyed.Most of the damage to the second home that caught fire was contained to the rear of the home.

The state income tax deadline in Pennsylvania is going to be delayed this year.  The state’s Department of Revenue announced yesterday that the deadline to file state income taxes is being moved to May 17th.  The decision was made following the IRS’ decision to extend the federal tax deadline to the same date.  Officials say the extension will help Pennsylvanians who have been financially impacted because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

New positive COVID-19 cases are increasing in Pennsylvania.  The state’s Department of Health reported more than 31-hundred new positive cases yesterday.  There have now been over 976-thousand confirmed positive cases in the state since the beginning of the pandemic.  About 15-hundred people are currently hospitalized statewide with the coronavirus, and of those cases, 284 patients are being treated in the intensive care unit. Lawrence County is reporting 6,335 total cases and 191 deaths. Mercer County is reporting 8,382 total cases and 244 fatalities.

State officials are looking to expand delivery services for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients.  Officials say they have had meetings to see where retailers are in getting involved with the program because the Department of Human Services has shown interest in making these services permanent. Many companies have expressed difficulties in meeting some IT and online requirements, but officials are working to address those issues. SNAP recipients can use the program and their benefits will cover the cost of groceries, but they must pay for the delivery fees.

The University of Pittsburgh is preparing to fully reopen in-person operations for five of its campuses this fall.  Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced yesterday that the university is currently working on plans to return to normal operations this fall. The university has been operating on a limited in-person basis since the pandemic’s shutdown last year.