TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 12TH, 2021

Authorities are investigating a fatal accident in Lawrence County.  The accident occurred yesterday evening near the intersection of Houston and Scott Wallace roads in Little Beaver Township.  Police say the accident involved a train, and the county coroner had to be called to the scene.

State police in Lawrence County are investigating the theft of a handgun with engravings on it.  The incident took place just after 9 o’clock yesterday morning in Hickory Township. According to a police , the victim told police he left the gun on top of his vehicle and drove away. He says a man then picked up the gun at the intersection of Route 388 and 108 and took off. The victim described the man as having long hair and driving a black pickup truck.  The police report states the gun is a black Glock 23C. It is engraved with a marine logo, the word “infidel” and a bible verse.  Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police.

WFMJ-TV is reporting a Mercer County investment banker has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of theft of government property. indictment alleges that 39 year old Martin Kobsik obtained a $150,000 COVID-19 Disaster Assistance Loan from the Small Business Administration to maintain his business, but used the money for personal expenses, a vacation, and home improvements.  Kobsik could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. The FBI and Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment.

Jury selection is underway in the federal civil rights trial of a former New Castle Police officer accused of using excessive force back in 2018.  Ronald Williams was seen on cell phone video repeatedly slamming Perry Lawry’s head to the floor while the man was lying on the ground face down, shortly before he was handcuffed.  Williams’ attorney argues that Lawry was drunk and violent, and shook off the effects of a taser before he tried to grab a knife from a kitchen counter.

Governor Tom Wolf is easing indoor and outdoor capacity limits. Starting on May 17th, maximum capacity for indoor events will be increased to 50-percent. Maximum capacity for outdoor events will be increased to 75-percent. The governor emphasized that masks should still be worn for all events.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is issuing a fuel waiver for multiple states, including Pennsylvania. This order was in response to the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, which has caused a fuel shortage in many states. EPA officials say this is to ensure that areas impacted by the shutdown will still have access to fuel while it’s in short supply. The waiver is set to last until May 18th.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of more than 23-hundred new cases, pushing it over one-million-177-thousand. About 57 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 26-thousand-607.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is urging Congress to curb the sale of ghost guns. Shapiro was in Washington D.C. yesterday to make his plea to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, saying that these kits can become fully-functioning firearms in minutes and are being used to kill people. He added that ghost guns are untraceable firearms as they lack serial numbers. This comes after the U.S. Justice Department announced last Friday that they’re working to close a loophole that allows the sale of these ghost guns.

Robert Morris University is encouraging anyone at least 16-years old to get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Clinics are being held throughout this week at the U-P-M-C Events Center on R-M-U’s campus in Moon Township.  Officials say those who receive a vaccine at one of the clinics will get a free t-shirt, a certificate for a free bucket of balls at R-M-U Island Sports Center and a chance to win season tickets for basketball and football.  You can find the schedule for the clinics by visiting www.rmu.edu/vaccine.