TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 26TH, 2021

State Police in Ohio have charged a New Castle woman following an accident late Saturday night in Poland, Ohio. WKBN-TV reports the crash took place at the intersection of 224 and Quarry Road. A car hit a guardrail, spun out and was then facing oncoming traffic. Moments later a truck swerved to miss the car.  The truck ended up off the road but the boat on the back came off the trailer. The boat and truck ended up on opposite sides of the street. No one was seriously hurt. Troopers have charged the driver of the car, Mellisa Michael, with OVI and failure to control.

Pennsylvania’s top health official commented on gun violence during a recent Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing. As a leading cause of premature death, Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam says gun violence has become a public health crisis in Pennsylvania. Beam says the state Health Department’s Division of Violence Prevention and the Violence Data Dashboard are helping to guide policy to reduce gun violence. More than 1,500 firearms deaths occurred in PA last year.

State Police in Lawrence County report a one vehicle crash early Sunday morning in North Beaver Township. Police said 34 year old Jordan Smith of Enon Valley was southbound on route 551 in North Beaver Township when he lost control of his vehicle, struck an embankment, rolled onto the driver side and came to rest on the hood. Smith was not hurt.

The last Catholic School in Lawrence County is closing. The New Castle News reports Holy Spirt Academy apparently will close at the end of the current school year. However, a novel partnership spearheaded by Holy Spirit Parish pastor the Rev. Joseph McCaffrey will allow the academy’s students to transfer to the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools in Hermitage, with continued financial, administrative and instructional support from Holy Spirit. The plan already has received the approval of parish and diocesan officials.

With amusement parks in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties preparing for the season, operators at Kennywood, Sandcastle Waterpark and Idlewild & SoakZone have announced an increase in worker pay rates for 2021.  The parks revealed their plans on Friday.  Employees’ hourly pay will vary from park to park and differ based on the age of the worker, but most staffers will be paid between nine- and 14 dollars-per-hour.  All three parks are continuing to look for workers ahead of park openings.

More positive COVID-19 cases are rising in Pennsylvania.  The state’s Department of Health announced more than 31-hundred new positive cases yesterday.  There are about 27-hundred people hospitalized statewide with the coronavirus, and of those cases, 544 patients are being treated in the intensive care unit. Lawrence County has 7,167 cases and 202 fatalities.

Pennsylvania is working toward herd immunity. State data shows that a little over five-million Pennsylvanians have received at least one-dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is around 46-percent of the state’s eligible population. Of that group, over three-million have been fully vaccinated. State officials say they’re looking to vaccinate 80-percent of the state’s population to reach herd immunity.

An Aliquippa man has been sentenced in federal court to 63 months’ in prison, followed by six years of supervised release on his conviction of narcotics trafficking and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.  Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Kaufman announced the sentence for 37 year old Antoine Cummings.  In September 2019, the Beaver County Drug Task Force and Aliquippa Police Department searched an apartment in which Cummings was living. Authorities found cocaine, a loaded handgun and nearly six thousand dollars in cash. Cummings had a previous felony conviction which barred him from possessing a weapon. Kaufman commended the Beaver County Drug Task Force which led the multi-agency investigation of this case.