TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 30TH, 2021

The New Castle News is reporting three people were arrested Friday on drug charges following raids at two home. The Lawrence County District Attorney’s office along with Union Township Police seized over nine thousand dollars in cash, 96 suspected ecstasy pills and three boxes containing 58 total rounds of 40-caliber ammunition at a home on Dewey Avenue. Police also searched a home on Butz Street and seized herion, cocaine and marijuana. 39 year old Adrianne Lombardo, 34 year old Darryl Lamount Jones, alone with 38 year old Brett Baldelli were charged with one count of possession with intent to deliver controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were lodged in the Lawrence County jail.

A Sharon man was killed in an accident yesterday afternoon in Hartford Ohio. WFMJ-TV reports 55 year old Richard Montgomery Jr. was eastbound on Route 305 when his vehicle left the roadway struck a group of trees and overturned onto its roof. Montgomery was thrown from the vehicle while it overturned. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash remains under investigation.

Federal prosecutors on Monday announced that the former treasurer of a Beaver County youth soccer organization used league members’ money to cover personal expenses.  According to the filing, Jenessa Tolejko had access to an estimated 180-thousand dollars of the group’s money.  She is accused of using some of that money to pay for cruises and personal Amazon purchases as well as to cover some of her own household expenses.  Tolejko has been charged with wire fraud.

The state is updating its nursing home visitation guidelines to match the federal government’s recommendations. Officials say because so many nursing homes have been vaccinated, indoor visits at nursing homes can resume and visitors don’t have to be vaccinated. Residents can learn more about visitation guidelines at cms.gov.

Some students in the Hopewell Area School district are returning to the classroom for full-time in-person learning starting this week.  Yesterday marked the start of full-time learning for grades K through 6. The superintended said students will have plastic partitions between desks.  The change is helping students get back in the classroom for full-time learning while the vaccine is being distributed in different phases.

Western Pennsylvania residents and others around the state who find themselves struggling to pay rent and utility bills can apply for assistance under a new state program.  Pennsylvania officials this week are encouraging those in need to apply for help under the new Emergency Rental Assistance Program.  Nearly 850-million dollars has been distributed around the state to help folks avoid eviction or utility shutoffs.  More details can be found at www.compass.state.pa.us.

The borough of Zelienople is approving a new alcohol ban ordinance.  Officials passed the ordinance last night a month after it was first proposed.  Under the new ordinance, alcohol will be prohibited at parks and parking lots.  Officials say it will go into effect immediately, however, it will not be in effect at the Open Air Market festival that will take place later this summer.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Yesterday, the state updated the total case count after technical problems caused delays over the weekend and added more than ten-thousand new cases. The state total is now at one-million-15-thousand-268. About 62 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is surpassing 25-thousand. In Lawrence County, there are 6,563 cases and deaths remain at 194. Mercer County, has 8,504 cases and one more death totals 248.

Pennsylvania is getting nearly five-billion-dollars from the federal government to help schools reopen amid the pandemic.  Around 90-percent of the funds will go to school districts and charter schools, and they must use at least 20-percent of their cut to meet academic needs of underrepresented students, address learning losses and more. The rest of the federal funds will be used by the Department of Education to also address learning losses and assist career and technical schools.