TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JULY 23RD, 2021

The Sharon Herald is reporting that firefighters from 10 departments were called out Thursday afternoon to a two-story apartment building that caught fire in Wilmington Township, saving it from burning to the ground. The blaze broke out at around 12:30. The apartment building is located on route 956. The state’s fire marshall is investigating the cause of the blaze. No injuries were reported and the American Red Cross was assisting the victims of the fire.

Officials in Mercer County this week say they are investigating the death of a man who delivered evidence earlier this year of child molestation.  In May, George Wolfe gave the district attorney video recordings that showed Wolfe and a woman molesting two girls.  Police later found him dead inside his home.  The woman in the video, identified as Barbara Wolfe, was arrested and charged this week with the assault on the girl.  She is currently being held on 150-thousand dollars bond.

House Republicans are planning to reintroduce election reform legislation. Republican lawmakers passed their original Election Reform Bill through the state House and Senate, but Governor Tom Wolf vetoed the bill over its proposed changes to voting by mail and voter ID requirements. However, Wolf reportedly said he’s not against broadening the state’s voter ID law, just not the way Republicans originally envisioned it. Their new bill would be called the Pennsylvania Voting Rights Protection Act.

Former state Senator Mike Folmer is out from prison after serving one year for child pornography charges. Folmer pleaded guilty and resigned from his position in the state legislature after images were found on his cell phone in 2019. Last year, he was sentenced to serve 364 to 728-days in prison, but Lebanon County Judge John C. Tylwalk approved his parole on June 17th.  Folmer is to remain a registered sex offender and must report his whereabouts to State Police for 15 years. He’s also on probation for eight years.

A Pennsylvania State Representative is being accused of stealing from the Commonwealth.  Margo Davidson is facing charges after she allegedly filed fraudulent overnight per diem requests as well as hindering a state prosecution.  Officials say Davidson requested overnight expenses for nights she did not spend in Harrisburg and she received reimbursements from the Commonwealth for expenses that had been paid for by her campaign.

The State Department of Health reported 561 new positive Covid-19 cases yesterday.  There are currently 319 people hospitalized with the coronavirus and of those cases, 69 patients are being treated in the intensive care unit.

In federal court yesterday, a man accused of throwing a brick through the passenger window of a Pittsburgh police cruiser pleaded guilty.  The incident occurred last May during local demonstrations protesting the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.  Sentencing for George Allen has been scheduled for November.  He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a 250-thousand dollar fine.

The Justice Department says it has decided not to open an investigation into whether Pennsylvania violated federal law by ordering nursing homes to accept residents who had been treated for COVID-19 in a hospital. Thursday’s letter comes 11 months after the agency told the governors of Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey and New York that it wanted information to determine whether orders there may have resulted in the deaths of nursing home residents. In Pennsylvania, it is far from clear that the policy led to an outbreak or death.

A Washington County couple is behind bars this morning and looking at charges related to critical injuries suffered by their infant boy.  Emergency responders called to the family’s home in September found the four-month-old unresponsive.  Doctors later determined his injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.  A police investigation resulted in the arrest this week of 43-year-old Wayne Hanbury and 25-year-old Natalee Vacca.  Officials say the child is continuing to recover but offered no specific update on his condition.