TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR OCTOBER 21ST, 2021

Two people were flown to the hospital following an accident in Slippery Rock Township. State Police said a vehicle carrying the 2 passengers was pulling out of the Benjamin Franklin Tap Room going West towards New Castle when they were struck by a semi truck with no trailer.  The accident occurred around 7:30. A man and a woman in the vehicle were flown to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown with non-life threatening injuries. State Police continue to investigate.

A Beaver County mother faced third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges after her daughter died from ingesting heroin.  Court documents show prosecutors upgraded the charges against Melissa Miller from child endangerment and aggravated assault.  Investigators say Miller’s ten-month-old daughter ingested the heroin last month and later died in the hospital. 

A Girard Ohio woman has been indicted by a grand jury in connection with the death of a former corrections officer at the Lawrence County Jail. WKBN-TV reports Alexandria Morales was indicted on a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide and OVI in the Aug. 27th  death of Amanda Markowitz. She also faces two counts of OVI charges. Police say Morales and Markowitz had been drinking at a home in Liberty when Morales got in her car and tried to leave. Witnesses told police that Markowitz was standing behind the car when Morales put the vehicle in reverse and backed over the victim.

Pennsylvania’s health leaders are preparing to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine for kids once it gets approval. The decision from the FDA and CDC could come within the next two weeks. State health officials say once the authorization comes, they’ll be ready. They added that they’re optimistic for the rollout of vaccinations for kids age five to eleven as they have already experienced a high level of demand for the age group.

The Commonwealth Court is now overlooking the lawsuits against the state’s Acting Secretary of Health for her mask mandate in schools.The lawsuits were filed by parents upset with the mandate, Republican state lawmakers and schools. Lawyers for the group argued that the secretary failed to go through a public and transparent process and accused the official of violating the Disease Control and Prevention Act. The judges are expected to make a decision in the coming weeks.

A bill strengthening the enforcement of the state preemption over local firearms regulations has been approved by the Senate Local Government Committee. The bill seeks to ensure that municipalities do not impose firearms ordinances which are more
restrictive than those passed by the General Assembly. And it would allow a person negatively impacted by an overly restrictive local firearms ordinance to sue a municipality. But opponents call the bill a give-away to the NRA and they say it makes it harder for communities to address their own local needs.

Federal officials this week have announced the indictment of a Detroit man on charges that he robbed a Washington County jewelry store and conspired to rob other jewelry stores in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Prosecutors say Willie Harvey robbed a Kay Jewelers in Washington in November of 2019 and planned similar crimes for other stores in the days that followed.  If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 40 years in prison. 

According to AAA, the number of accidents involving deer start to increase this month, before peaking in November and December. They encourage all drivers to be vigilant on the road, especially in animal-prone areas .Last year, there were more than 4,300 deer related crashes statewide. AAA also adds that the average deer-related claim in the region is about $3,500.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Yesterday, the state added nearly 36-hundred new cases, pushing the total over one-million-520-thousand.  About 134 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 30-thousand-721.