TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 24TH, 2021

An Aliquippa man accused of killing a close friend has been found guilty in that man’s death.  A jury in Beaver County on Wednesday found Sheldon Jeter Jr guilty of first-degree homicide in the 2020 killing of Tyric Pugh.  Prosecutors had said that Jeter shot the victim six times, five times in the head.  Defense attorneys had argued that there was no motive in the case.  Sentencing has been scheduled for July 21st.

The state House is advancing a bill that would ban COVID-19 vaccine requirements in state colleges, private universities and government facilities. The legislation would also remove the state Department of Health’s ability to issue health orders during emergencies such as statewide mask mandates. Governor Tom Wolf vows to veto the bill if it reaches his desk. It now heads to the state Senate.

Lawmakers are looking to bypass the governor’s veto and let voters decide on whether or not they want I.D. requirements when they go to the polls. An election reform bill is already in the Legislature that includes changes to voter I.D., but through a constitutional amendment, lawmakers don’t need the governor’s approval to put it on the ballot. The measure would also change the voting age in the state constitution from 21 to 18. It now heads to the state House for approval, and the earliest Pennsylvanians may see this on the ballot could be May of 2023.

Health experts across the state are concerned about the newest variant of COVID-19. Doctors with Penn State Health say the Delta variant that originated in India is a more contagious and more transmissible variant. Data from the CDC suggests that it accounts for more than 20-percent of new cases in the country, and it has been declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. Penn State Health doctors urge everyone to get vaccinated from COVID and advises unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals to be as careful as they were before with this variant.

Police in Aliquippa are investigating a shooting that took place last night that injured two people. Police say someone fired at least 12 shots into a car the victims were in. The shooting took place in the 1100 Block of Main Street. Both men were taken to the hospital. No arrests have yet been made.

Three western Pennsylvanians are in federal custody for their alleged involvement in the January 6th riot at the nation’s Capitol. Yesterday, authorities arrested Samuel Christopher Fox from Mount Pleasant, Mitchell Paul Vukich from new Brighton and Nicholas J. Perretta from Baden. Their charges range from disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, violent entry, theft of government property and more. All three had their initial appearances in court yesterday.

Gibsonia is welcoming its first ever cannabis dispensary.  Ayr Wellness, a new medical marijuana dispensary, opened its doors on Monday just off of Route Eight at 112 Northtowne Square.  The eight-thousand square-foot building in Gibsonia is the company’s third location in the state with the others being in New Castle and Plymouth Meeting.

State Health officials say yesterday, the state Covid-19 total saw an increase of 174 new cases, pushing it to one-million-210-thousand-820. Eight new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 27-thousand-612.