TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JULY 19TH, 2021

An Edinburg man was killed in a motorcycle accident in Mahoning County on Friday. WFMJ-TV reports 32-year-old Brian Murphy was thrown from the Harley Davidson he was driving when it struck a pole and a rock along State Route 164 in Beaver Township, Ohio.First responders rushed to the accident scene, however, Murphy had already died.

Area boaters are being encouraged to stay extra cautious while out on the water these next couple of days.  The National Weather Service has issued a recreational boaters advisory for the Allegheny and Ohio rivers.  It will be in effect until at least Wednesday morning.  The service is warning that there could be high flows, fast currents and debris that could create dangerous conditions for recreational boaters in the area.

State police are continuing to put the pieces together today of an apparent murder-suicide that took place over the weekend in Butler County.  Investigators on the scene Saturday at the West Sunbury Cemetery say they believe that 46-year-old Charles Smith shot and killed 39-year-old Terry Bolar before taking his own life.  The bodies of both men were found in the cemetery.

The cause of a weekend fire at an abandoned house in Beaver County remains unknown this morning.  Half-a-dozen fire departments responded to the blaze at a property in Beaver Falls just after 12 a.m. Sunday.  No injuries were reported.  Officials say the same property caught fire last year.

COVID-19 cases are slightly increasing in Pennsylvania.  The state’s Department of Health reported 386 new positive cases yesterday.  Two more people also passed away due to complications of the coronavirus.

York County is also rejecting state Senator Doug Mastriano’s request to hold an election audit.  It was one of three counties that Mastriano requested to offer their election equipment to a third party for an audit of the 2020 election, similar to the GOP-led one in Arizona. Tioga County has already denied his request, making York the 2nd one to do so. York County Commissioners sent a letter to the state Senator last week, questioning the legality of his requests and saying that allowing a third-party access to their voting machines would violate state guidelines.

A Michigan man has been charged with criminal homicide in connection with a fatal shooting in Beaver Falls last week. 25 year old DeCarlos Warren is charged in the shooting death of 31 year old Dwayne Wells of Beaver Falls and aggravated assault in the shooting of three others. According to the Beaver County Times, Wells and 30 year old Monte Warren, of Michigan, died from injuries sustained outside of the Harmony Dwellings public housing complex around 9:30 p.m. on July 12. Both deaths were ruled a homicide. Three more were injured during the shooting; two were flown to area medical facilities by helicopter for surgery and the third was treated at a hospital and discharged. The investigation is ongoing.

State Police in Mercer County arrested a woman after she tried to steal over 600 dollars in merchandise from a Dollar General Store in Fairview Township. Police were called to the Dollar General in Mercer located at 1497 Perry Highway. State Police apprehended the 58 year old woman and placed her under arrest.

University of Pittsburgh faculty members will be voting soon on if they want to be represented by the United Steelworkers during contract negotiations.  The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board is conducting a secret-ballot vote by mail starting August 27th.  About three-thousand Pitt employees will be included in the vote, and all ballots must be returned by October 12th.

Farmers in Pennsylvania are encouraged to apply for a tax credit geared toward environmental improvements. The 13 million dollar tax credit is part of a PA Agriculture Department program known as REAP, or Resource Enhancement and Protection. Farmers can receive up to 250 thousand dollars over a 7year period, in exchange for employing best management practices, such as reducing nutrient or sediment runoff, improving soil, and enhancing the quality of local waterways. This is the 15th year for the program, which has awarded tax credits for more than 6,000 projects totaling over 100 million dollars. Farmers can learn more at agriculture.pa.gov.