TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 10TH, 2021

A Mercer County woman received a lengthy prison sentenced after she was found guilty for causing the overdose of another woman.  Nicoletta Robinson was sentenced to 111 months to 27 years in prison. A jury found her guilty of drug delivery resulting in death; aggravated assault, along with a number of other charges.  Robinson was charged after the 32-year-old victim was found dead in a house in Coolspring Township in June of 2019. A state police investigation determined that Robinson was the one who sold the drugs to the victim.

An East Side man was arrested on charges that he received child pornography pictures over the internet. The New Castle News reports The state Office of the Attorney General has filed 22 felony counts of sexual abuse of children for possession of child pornography against  39 year old David Mengel of Franklin Avenue.  His arrest followed an investigation launched after state investigators received information April 13 that originated from a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Mengel also is charged with one felony count of criminal use of a communication facility. He was arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 100 thousand dollars bond.

The Department of Labor and Industry is launching its improved customer service initiative today for unemployment compensation. Officials say they’re aware that unemployment program enrollees have experienced frustration in trying to reach them, particularly by phone. They added that this initiative is a more comprehensive approach to significantly increase their capacity to answer questions and rapidly resolve outstanding issues.

State Police in Lawrence County arrested a Salem Ohio man following an accident early Saturday morning in Neshannock Township. According to State Police the accident took place on Interstate 376 around 3am, and police found a disabled motorist in that area. 57-year-old Paul Pulium of Salem was in the second car at the scene and exhibited signs of intoxication. State police say Pulium was placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI and refused to have blood drawn at the scene. The investigation is ongoing.

WFMJ-TV is reporting four people had to be rescued from floodwaters in New Castle Sunday after becoming stuck in water.  It happened in Mahoningtown on Lafayette Street. The driver tried to travel though the water and got stuck. The people inside the vehicle then got out and escaped onto the roof.  They called 9-1-1 for help. No injuries were reported.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Health officials say over the weekend, the state total saw an increase of nearly seven-thousand new cases, pushing it over one-million-173-thousand. About 96 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 26-thousand-543. Lawrence County has 7,370 Covid-19 cases and 207 deaths. Mercer County has 9,310 cases and 255 fatalities.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is changing its mapping system for COVID-19 vaccine providers. They will now be using the federal provider map. Officials say their goal is to make it quick and easy for people to get vaccinated and help overcome any hesitancy. They added that the federal provider map lets people search for a vaccine by brand name and shows which of the three vaccines are in stock at certain locations. Pennsylvanians can go online at vaccines-dot-org to use the federal provider map.

Pennsylvania is advancing toward herd immunity. Officials say that over 50-percent of Pennsylvanians have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and about 44-percent of Pennsylvanians over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated. Once 70-percent of Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated, the governor plans on lifting the statewide mask mandate.

Two people are recovering at the hospital after a crash took place in Beaver County.  The accident happened Friday morning on Route 65 near Virginia Avenue in Baden.  Officials say two people were transported to the hospital, but their conditions are unknown at this time.  The cause of the accident is under investigation.