TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 19TH, 2021

A new safety robot developed by a Lawrence County company could help aid schools in active shooter situations.  Officials with Trac Fabrication Incorporated said yesterday that their 40-thousand-dollar S3bot is designed to detect threats and is being used at Laurel Junior-Senior High School.  The S3bot uses flashing lights, sirens, cameras, and bulletproof armor to distract potential shooters and draw gunfire away from students and staff.  The S3bot also has audio capabilities first responders can use from a safe distance to collect data on situations and negotiate with suspects. 

Police say a man who punched a one-year-old baby in the face said God told him to do it.  According to reports, 19-year-old Elijah Flick-Geibel was in a wheelchair heading to the behavioral health unit at Butler Memorial Hospital yesterday when he punched the child.  Officials say Flick-Geibel got out of the wheelchair, chased a woman and her child into a room, and hit the infant, causing a minor injury.  Flick-Geibel is charged with aggravated assault and told officers he had tasks to complete to get into heaven, and God told him to hurt the boy.  

State Police in Butler County responded to an accident yesterday morning that involved a school van. Police said 77 year old Robert Fusco of New Castle who was the driver of the van, drove through the intersection of route 488 and 528 in Prospect into the path of a vehicle operated by 30 year old Deena McDonald of Portersville. Fusco along with three students in the van were not hurt. McDonald was flown to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment.

A company that invests in mining cryptocurrency plans to use natural gas to power a new data mining center in Beaver County.  The company — WT Data Mining and Science — has applied with the Darlington Township Board of Supervisors for a conditional use permit to put generators and other equipment on a natural gas site on Enon Road.  Neighbors say they’re concerned over the noise that would be generated by the facility.  WT Data officials say they plan to construct sound barriers around the center.   

More than 100 people rallied outside UPMC’s headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon, demanding higher wages and better benefits.  UPMC officials say 43 workers took part in the strike yesterday instead of working their regular shifts.  They say everyone who took part gave ten days’ notice so their participation would not disrupt patient services.  The workers also called for the right to unionize at UPMC, which employs more than 93-thousand people.

A 25-year-old woman faces charges after Allegheny County Police say she was found with a loaded gun at Pittsburgh International Airport.  Officers say TSA agents caught the loaded gun yesterday morning in a duffel bag at their checkpoint.  The woman did not have a valid concealed carry permit. 

Medical marijuana patients could soon be able to grow their own pot plants at home.  Two state senators are sponsoring a bill that would allow patients to cultivate their own plants.  Senators Dan Laughlin and Sharif Street say the bill would help with cost and accessibility of medical marijuana for patients.

Federal health officials say the number of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania jumped more than 13 percent in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control, the commonwealth also had the fourth most deaths of any state in the country. A little over 54-hundred-10 Pennsylvania residents died of an overdose from May 2020 to April of this year.  Officials say the consistent demographics of those fatally overdosing are predominantly white men between the ages of 25 and 44.