TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 20TH, 2021

A New Galilee man was found guilty yesterday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court on leaving the scene of a fatal accident in June of 2019. 48 year old Robert Hodge was found guilty on three counts including accidents involving death or personal injury, along with hit and run. 19 year old Alissa Jones of West Pittsburgh was struck and killed by the tractor trailer Hodge was driving in front of her home. According to the New Castle News a sentencing date has not been set.

State Police in Mercer County have charged a Washington, PA woman of trying to entice a 13-year-old Mercer County boy into performing a sex act online. 31 year old Patricia Marie Thompson is free on $10,000 bond as she awaits an October hearing in Mercer County Common Pleas Court on charges of attempting to permit a child to perform a sex act on a computer, attempted child pornography and child endangering. The alleged victim is a 13 year old from Findley Township. The alleged incident took place in September and October of last year.

A Freedonia man was taken to the hospital after his vehicle was struck by a train in Mercer County. 79 year old Charles Burgoon was northbound of Folk Road when he failed to yield to an oncoming train. Police said the train struck the right rear portion of the vehicle. Burgoon was taken to Grove City Medical Center for treatment.

Organizers of the annual Never Forget Walk will be in Shanksville tomorrow as the group continues its trek to New York City.  This year’s event began three weeks ago in Washington D.C. and will pass through Somerset County on Saturday as part of a tribute to honor those that died on 9-11.  The event is a project of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation that supports first responders, veterans and their families.

A state lawmaker is looking to expand school choice opportunities for families across the state. State Representative Andrew Lewis’ Excellent Education for All Act would create a state fund that would provide families with Keystone Hope Scholarships for homeschooling or private school tuition. Lewis says this bill will be a game changer for families across the state and ensure for the first time in our history that every child regardless of their zip code or unique personal learning needs will be guaranteed access to an excellent education.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is calling for more Pennsylvanians to donate blood. Blood banks have been dealing with a dramatic drop in donations since the start of the pandemic, and officials emphasized that safety measures are in place to keep donors safe at facilities. Officials say donating blood is a safe environment, probably safer than going to the store as measures are in place like masking and social distancing. Blood banks are hoping to get more younger donors as a large chunk of donations come from people over the age of 60.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Yesterday, the state added nearly 35-hundred new cases to the total, pushing it over one-million-259-thousand. This is the state’s largest jump in daily new cases in months. About 22 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 28-thousand-40. Lawrence County has 8,126 cases and 226 deaths. Mercer County has recorded 10,020 cases and 269 fatalities.

Butler County officials say there’s still 11-million-dollars remaining for helping anyone whose income was affected by the pandemic and needs help paying rent.  They say they’ve only used about one-and-a-half-million so far.  But the money won’t last forever as it’s due to expire the end of October.  Anyone who’s interested is urged to call 2-1-1 to learn more.

The former football coach at Pine-Richland High School has sued the school and its leadership over his dismissal earlier this year.  It’s the second suit Eric Kasperowicz [[ kass-purr-ROE-vitch ]] has filed against the district as he also filed suit in Allegheny County court.  Kasperowicz is suing the district for defamation after it did not renew his contract over allegations of bullying and hazing.  Kasperowicz denies the charges and says he never knew about the hazing.

President Biden’s announcement for nursing staff to be vaccinated has some healthcare executives concerned.  The CEO of Quality Life Services in Butler says they’ve had to calm a lot of fears among staffers.  The White House has threatened to cut off federal funding for any nursing homes that don’t comply.  Steve Tack says they cannot survive without those funds.  He’s concerned because many of the unvaccinated staffers are hesitant to be vaccinated.