TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 3RD, 2021

The victim of a Tuesday morning shooting in Perry Township remains in critical condition this morning.  State police responding to an emergency call just before 1:30 a.m. found an 18-year-old male victim with multiple gunshot wounds inside an SUV.  Nyasanu Greene told officers that he had been shot by people in another vehicle.  No arrests have been made.

Two Lawrence County boys’ baseball teams captured WPIAL championships yesterday. Shenango defeated top-seed Seton LaSalle 2-1. For the second seeded Wildcats it was their first ever WPIAL baseball title. The New Castle Red Hurricane also won their first ever WPIAL baseball titles with a 5-0 win over Montour. Senior Rocco Bernadina, a Kent State recruit pitched a one-hitter in the win. Both teams move on to the PIAA state playoffs. Two local girls’ teams lost in the WPIAL softball finals yesterday but will move on to the state playoffs. Both Union and Ellwood City are scheduled to play Monday.

State grants totaling $136,250 from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will fund critical renovations for several Lawrence County historic sites.  Ninth District State Representative Chris Sainato said the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts will receive 100 thousand dollars for a mechanical systems project. Human Servies will use over 31 thousand dollars that will allow the behavioral center to make needed structural improvements to the historic houses it purchased and converted for use as office space for therapy patients. And the Lawrence County Historical Society will get five thousand dollars.  The grants are part of a package of $2.3 million awarded under the Keystone Historic Preservation grant program.

Pennsylvania continued its rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, as the state reported Tuesday that tax collections through May were almost $3 billion ahead of expectations. Collections for the state’s main operating account were $36.6 billion through May, the 11th month of the fiscal year, the Department of Revenue said. That is $2.9 billion, or 8.5%, above estimate, with another month to go until the 2020-21 fiscal year ends June 30

A pair of Beaver County homicide cold cases have now been closed.  State police this week say they’ve secured confessions from a convicted serial killer in the 1977 murders of William and Nancy Adams as well as the 1978 murder of John Shelkons.  Edward Surratt is already serving multiple life sentences for killings in Florida and South Carolina.  Pennsylvania authorities have agreed not to prosecute the Beaver County murders.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala is continuing to receive criticism after directing his office to stop entertaining plea offers from an attorney who has been critical of his office.  Black attorney Milton Raiford recently called out Zappala’s office as being systematically racist.  In response, according a recently uncovered email, the D.A. told members of his office not to enter into plea offers for Raiford’s clients.  Allegheny County Judge David Cashman has now said that he will reject all plea offers involving Zappata’s office until the D.A.’s policy against Raiford is pulled.

Officials with Penn State University announced Tuesday that Beaver Stadium and their other athletic venues will be at full capacity for fans again for the school year.  That means the return of tailgating before football games with 107-thousand fans in the stands.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price Report the average price of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania remain at 3.17 a gallon. In New Castle the average price is at 3.16 while drivers in Sharon are paying 3.09. Even though the average national gas price only increased by a penny over the past week to $3.04, demand has jumped to the highest since before the pandemic. AAA expects decreasing gas supply and increasing crude oil prices to result in the most expensive gas prices in years.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported less than half of what the state reported over the Memorial Day weekend in COVID cases.  Wednesday, there were 580 new cases reported, which brought the statewide total to 1,203,443.  Lawrence County has a total of 7,593 cases and 211 deaths. Mercer County has 9,618 cases and 258 fatalities.