TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 17TH, 2021

New Castle City police have made an arrest in connection with a Robbery from early yesterday morning. Lance Johnson Jr., was charged with robbery, theft, receiving stolen property and possession of controlled substance. According to the department’s Facebook page, Johnson allegedly robbed Market 24 on East Washington Street around 2:30 Wednesday morning. Police said he walked into the store and demanded money. Johnson was arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 25 thousand dollars bond.

A New Castle has been sentenced in federal court for violating federal narcotics and money laundering laws. 39 year old Wesely Cox was sentenced to just over 15-and-a-half years in prison and 5 years of supervised release According to information presented to the court, Cox participated in a conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of a crack cocaine. The judge ruled that Cox also participated in a conspiracy to commit money laundering. The Lawrence County Drug Task Force and the New Castle Police Department also participated in the investigation.

Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge is listed in critical condition and recovering in a D.C. hospital after suffering a stroke.  Ridge is 75.  He was at home in Maryland when he suffered the stroke yesterday morning.  He had a successful operation to remove a blood clot and is listed in critical but stable condition.  Ridge was also named Homeland Security chief when the department was created following the 9-11 attacks.

The Sharon Herald is reporting Police are looking for a New Castle man in connection with the May 2019 shooting death of Khalil Hopson in Sharon. 30 year old Seon Perry is wanted on a number of charges including homicide. Two other people involved in the crime have already pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. Hopson was taken to a Youngstown hospital where he later died.

Republican lawmakers are proposing a bill that they hope will help fill vacant jobs across the state. Business owners have reported having trouble filling in their vacant jobs since the state reopened, with some of them blaming the expanded unemployment benefits for their troubles. House Bill 508 would reward Pennsylvanians who get back to work by offering them three-hundred-dollars if they keep a job for four-weeks and an additional three-hundred-dollars if they keep the job for eight weeks. The bill is currently being reviewed by the Appropriations Committee.

The vice chairman of the American Conservative Union is running for governor. Sixty-six-year-old Charlie Gerow announced yesterday that he will join in the race for the Republican Party’s nomination next year. Several other Republicans have already announced their run for governor, including Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale and former Congressman Lou Barletta.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of 312 new cases, pushing it to one-million-209-thousand-448. About 17 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 27-thousand-531. Lawrence County has 7,657 and 214 deaths. Mercer County has recorded 9,700 cases and 261 fatalities.

Legalized sports betting is moving forward in Ohio after a last-minute legislative overhaul of the bill this week.  Senate Bill 176 passed the state Senate by a 30-to-two vote.  This comes just one day after lawmakers revamped the bill, increasing the number of licenses offered, adding new license options for bars and more.  The bill now goes onto the House and, if passed, goes to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk for signature.

For the first time in two years, fireworks are on the schedule for PNC Park tomorrow night.  The Pirates begin a weekend home series against the Cleveland Indians, and the first fireworks display since before the pandemic is also scheduled.  A vaccination clinic is also on tap for the game.