TRI COUNTY REPORT MAY 24TH, 2021

Police in Youngstown, Ohio report that three people were killed and three other injured in a shooting that took place outside a bar early Sunday morning.  The incident occurred at around 2 a.m. outside of the Torch Club Bar and Grill.  Authorities say that one of the surviving victims is listed in critical condition.  Police advise that witnesses are cooperating in the investigation.  No arrests have been made.

Friends and former colleagues are remembering the life of former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Zappala Sr.  Zappala died Friday at the age of 88.  The former private practice attorney became an Allegheny County judge in the late 1970s and was elected to the State Supreme Court in 1981.  Zappala was a fixture on the court for more than 20 years, retiring as the court’s leader in 2002.

A Farrell man is in the Mercer County Jail in connection with a shooting earlier this month. According to the Sharon Herald 33 year old Omar Boatwright was charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, robbery and prohibited possession of a firearm. The shooting took place on May 16th, at around 1am. The victim drove himself to UPMC Horizon Shenango Valley for a gunshot wound. Bond for Boatwright was set at one million dollars.

Someone won more than half a billion dollars in Pennsylvania hitting a five winning numbers along with the Mega ball on Friday night. It’s not known where the ticket was sold. The jackpot was worth 515 million dollars.

The vaccination effort in Pennsylvania is hitting a huge milestone.  The state’s Department of Health announced over the weekend that more than ten-million residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Pennsylvania saw almost three-thousand new positive cases over the weekend as well and about 12-hundred people are hospitalized with the coronavirus.  Of those cases, 304 patients are being treated in the intensive care unit. Lawrence County has 7,502 Covid-10 cases and 209 deaths. Mercer County reports 9,489 cases and 256 fatalities.

Concerns about the proposal to integrate several of Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities were raised last week during a Senate hearing. The Senate Democratic Policy Committee heard testimony on the proposal that would merge six StateSystem of Higher Education universities into two. Educators expressed concerns about whether students would have access to the tools required for online learning, and the potential that majors, course offerings and residence halls would be eliminated. Students noted that in-person instruction served them better in many cases. A decision on the integration proposal is expected in July.

The U.S. Attorney Office in Pittsburgh says a Farrell woman has pleaded guilty to a charge of Distribution of Material Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. 28 year old Mary Jacobs is accused of distributing approximately 11 still images depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor to an individual on an online chat forum. The incident took place in February of 2017. Jacobs will be sentenced in September and faces five to 20 years in prison.

Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 restrictions are ending next week. Earlier this month, Governor Tom Wolf announced that all remaining restrictions except for mask wearing will be lifted on Memorial Day. Many Republican lawmakers have been pushing for the governor to lift restrictions before the holiday weekend, but Wolf is standing firm on his decision. Mask wearing will remain until at least 70-percent of Pennsylvania adults have been fully vaccinated. More than 51-percent of adults in the state are fully vaccinated.

The Pennsylvania Treasury is trying to return $4 billion in unclaimed property to Pennsylvanians. Unclaimed property can be money or tangible items that belong to current and former residents. 1 in 10 Pennsylvania residents has unclaimed property waiting for them. Unclaimed property isn’t always cash, it could also be items like jewelry, military decorations, or something unexpected.  More information is available on the Treasury’s website.