TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 6TH, 2021

The New Castle News is reporting a Neshannock Village man is facing more gun-related charges following his involvement in a shooting death outside of his apartment complex last month. New Castle police withdrew charges against Marcus N. Respress of  Neshannock Ave. that had been filed April 9th, and refiled them with more charges on Tuesday. Police have added three more counts, two more of prohibited possession of a firearm and one count of carrying a gun without a license. Respress was not charged in the shooting death of 22 year old Darius Ramsey as police said Respress fired in self-defense. Respress is in the Lawrence County Jail on 100 thousand dollars bond.

A woman was flown to the hospital after she was accidentally run over by her own car. KDKA-TV is reporting the incident occurred on the Eckert Bridge Road in Slippery Rock Township. Authorities said the car was not in park and started to roll. The woman tried to stop it and got pinned between a car door and a tree. Her condition is unknown.

A Westmoreland County man who headed a major drug operation in Western Pennsylvania has been sentenced this week to 15 years in prison.  Christopher Highsmith pleaded guilty to a single count of drug conspiracy last September.  Prosecutors say that Highsmith ran a drug ring that acquired and dispensed heroin and fentanyl to users and other drug dealers.

The suspect in a violent Butler City stabbing has surrendered himself to authorities.  Police say that 29-year-old Danielle Frazier turned himself in after an arrest warrant was issued earlier this week.  He is accused of stabbing another individual in the face, neck and arm.  Police report the attack was caught on video.  Frazier has been released on his own recognizance.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of nearly 26-hundred new cases, pushing it over one-million-164-thousand. About 56 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 26-thousand-390. Lawrence County has 7,304 cases and 204 deaths. Mercer County has 9,233 Covid-19 cases and 254 fatalities.

Pennsylvania’s Legislative Black Caucus and other lawmakers are proposing several bills to address systemic equity across the state. The group presented the Invest in Systemic Equity Legislative Package yesterday, which includes declaring racism as a public health crisis. One of the bills would establish the Racial Equity Task Force within the Department of Health while another would create the Joint Legislative Equity Committee that would analyze any legislation. Several other bills in the package tackle issues such as implicit bias in health care, maternal mortality and even taking a deeper look into algorithmic technology.

Governor Tom Wolf and Penn State Football Coach James Franklin are urging college students to get vaccinated from COVID-19. Wolf says now that college students are eligible to get vaccinated, it’s important to make it a priority. Coach Franklin says they want their home opener on September 11th to be the first family reunion in almost two years.

One of the biggest attractions at PNC Park will be back on the field for Pirates fans.  The team announced the Racing Pierogies will get to run along the outfield after Major League Baseball eased up on some of its COVID-19 entertainment restrictions.  The Pierogies have held their races on Roberto Clemente Bridge to start the season.  The first race back at the ballpark will be on Monday.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh confirmed that a “very brief, weak” tornado touched down Monday night 5 miles northwest of Portersvillle, in eastern Lawrence County near the Butler County line. Large tree limbs were damaged along a path 50 yards wide and two-tenths of a mile long. Weather service investigators estimated the maximum wind speed at 60 to 65 miles per hour. The tornado touchdown at 9:30.