TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 3RD, 2021

Two people were killed in a head-on crash Friday morning in Scott Township. State Police said accident occurred on Route 108 just after 6 o’clock when a vehicle operated by 38 year old Jessica Allen of Mercer was traveling westbound when the vehicle partially crossed into the eastbound lane and struck a vehicle operated by 45 year old Timothy Croup of New Castle. Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. Police said neither driver was wearing a seatbelt.

The New Castle News reports a Shenango Township man died Sunday afternoon from an apparent health problem as part of a one-vehicle accident. 61 year old Matthew Morici drove off Savannah Road in the 1500 block and went through several yards and hit a tree around 2:50 p.m. Lawrence County Deputy Coroner Anthony DeCarbo pronounced Morici dead at the scene after suffering an apparent cardiac or medical problem.

Five Pennsylvania residents have been charged with taking part in a drug trafficking ring that brought fentanyl and heroin from Philadelphia into Butler County.  State Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the charges on Friday.  According to investigators, the ring operated between January and October of last year and carried an estimated one-thousand grams of drugs between Philly and Western Pennsylvania.  The AG’s office says that the drugs involved may have played a role in multiple deaths inside Butler County.

The former tax collector for the Central Valley School District  admitted last week in U.S. District Count to stealing more than $1 million in funds dating back to 2011. 62 year old Jeanne Bowser, of Center Township, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax report after waiving indictment by grand jury. She faces up to 23 years in prison and will also have to pay a little over a million dollars in restitution and $275,000 for the taxes she didn’t pay on the stolen funds. Sentencing is set for September 28th.

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel is canceling its plans to begin a one-billion-dollar improvement project for its Mon Valley Works facilities.  The company announced Friday that it is canceling planned work to improve efficiency and reduce pollution that was proposed two years ago.  In a released statement, C-E-O David Burritt said the company is setting aside this project as it steps forward to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world.  U.S. Steel announced last month that it is putting plans together to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Health officials say over the weekend, the state total saw an increase of more than ten-thousand new cases, pushing it over one-million-156-thousand. About 96 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 26-thousand-275. Lawrence County has 7,263 cases and 205 deaths. Mercer County has 9,159 cases and 254 fatalities.

Today is the last day to register to vote in the May 18th municipal primary election. Those looking to register to vote have until midnight to register online at votespa-dot-com or they can download an application and return it to their county board of election no later than today. Those looking to change their political party affiliation also have until the end of the day to do so. If you are registered and want to vote by mail, you have until May 11th to apply.

The Beaver Health Mart will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Beaver County Y-M-C-A.  The clinic is going to be held today, and there are currently some appointment spots left for the two-thirty and two-forty-five time slots.  Beaver Health Mart employees will be administering first doses of the Moderna vaccination.  Those who plan on attending the clinic are being asked to bring any insurance cards and a photo I-D.  A second-dose clinic is scheduled to take place on June First.

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow the sale of canned cocktails at stores that aren’t run by the state. State Senator Mike Regan says customers want them, but they have a hard time finding the drinks at state liquor stores. Some business owners are worried this would hurt restaurants and bars, which have been struggling throughout the pandemic. Regan is currently drafting the bill, and he says he will take those worries from business owners into consideration.