TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 25TH, 2021

Two Lawrence County residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of attempted production, production, receipt, and distribution of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a child. The indictments named 61 year old David Bates on Ellwood City and 33 year old Tamara Kreitzer of new Castle. According to the indictment, between July 2020 and October 2020, Bates and Kreitzer coerced a minor so they could record images of that child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Kreitzer allegedly provided Bates with the images. A conviction could result in a maximum sentence of 70 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. The two also face charges in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

An Ellwood City man was taken to the hospital after he was struck by a deer while operating a motorcycle. State Police the accident happened on Route 288 in Wayne Township. 31 year old William Bonzo was struck by a deer while traveling on the roadway. He was taken to St.Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown.

A Massachusetts man was ordered Thursday to stand trial in Beaver County in the death of his elderly father.  Prosecutors say that Michael Miklaucic strangled his father to death back in March after the older man had lost a great deal of money as a victim of a scam.  Police say that the younger Miklaucic told them that he had killed his father to spare him the public humiliation he would have suffered when people found out he had lost money.

A bill that would prohibit COVID-19 vaccine requirements in state colleges, private universities and government facilities is heading to the governor’s desk. The Senate passed the legislation yesterday, but Governor Tom Wolf vowed to veto it. Wolf has said in the past that his biggest issue with the legislation is that it includes limiting the Health Secretary’s powers during emergencies.

U-P-M-C is looking for kids to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial.  The medical center will be launching the Kid Cove trial soon at its Children’s Hospital, and it will test the vaccine on children ages six-months to 12-years old.  Officials say 75-percent of the kids in the trial will get the actual vaccine while the rest will receive a placebo.  You can find more information by going to U-P-M-C’s official website.

COVID-19 cases are slightly increasing in Pennsylvania.  The state’s Department of Health reported over 220 new positive cases yesterday.  There are currently 394 people hospitalized with the coronavirus, and of those cases, 87 patients are being treated in the intensive care unit.  Officials say more than eleven-and-a-half-million Pennsylvanians have received at least one dose of the vaccination.

The fate of cocktails-to-go is now in the hands of the state Senate as the House passed legislation to keep it yesterday. The bill would allow taverns, restaurants, bars and hotels that are selling take-out food to also sell mixed drinks to-go, which was allowed during the pandemic to keep businesses afloat. Businesses would be allowed to sell sealed containers of up to 64-ounces of mixed drinks only until 11 p.m., and they must be placed either in the trunk of the car or any other area not occupied by the driver or passengers. The Republican caucus is expected to review the bill today.

A bill that would allow parents decide if they want their child to repeat a grade due to the pandemic is heading to the governor’s desk. The state Senate unanimously passed the legislation yesterday. It would only apply to the 2020 through 2021 school year. Lawmakers say they have been hearing concerns from parents regarding their child’s education and created learning gaps brought on by learning at home. A spokeswoman for the governor says he will review the bill when it reaches his desk, but they have some concerns about the fiscal, staffing and programmatic impacts it may have on school districts.