TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 2ND, 2022

A Lawrence County man convicted of strangling an infant was found dead in his cell. The New Castle News reports 42 year old Christopher Kennedy of Wampum was found unresponsive in his cell Jan. 28th at SCI Rockview. He was given immediate life-saving care and then taken to a local hospital where he died. Kennedy was serving an 18 to 36-year sentence for murder. He was convicted of strangling a newborn child delievered by a teenage girl he sexuall assaulted. The girl was 15 years old when she gave birth in October 2017. Investigators say Kennedy sealed the baby in a plastic bag with concrete inside and put the body in a safe.

Lawrence and Mercer Counties sit under a winter storm watch today.  The Pittsburgh office of the National Weather Service is calling for rain to move into the area later today, turning to freezing rain and then eventually snow with precipitation falling through Friday morning.  Several inches of snow are possible.

Police in Slippery Rock Township are seeking more information on a weekend shooting at an apartment complex.  The shootings occurred Friday night at The Grove Apartments on Harmony Road.  Nobody was hurt.  When they arrived, police say they encountered an individual who told them he had a gun and planned to shoot at troopers.  He was arrested and did not have a gun after all.  No charges have yet been filed.

The NTSB this week has released its report on a Mercer County plane crash that resulted in the deaths of two men last year.  Officials say the crash of the single-engine plane on November 24th was due to engine problems.  The pilot reportedly had made a landing at Clarion County Airport saying that he was suffering an oil leak.  He picked up six quarts of oil and took off again only to crash three miles shy of the Grove City Airport soon after.

A Lawrence County woman who took part in last year’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol now knows her punishment.  Jeanette Sizer of Ellwood City was sentenced this week to one year of probation and a 2-thousand dollar fine.  Sizer pleaded guilty in November to a count of parading or demonstrating in a Capitol building.  Investigators say she entered the Capitol with other insurrectionists that day, recorded a video on her phone and exited minutes later.

Humane Society staffers in Beaver County have rescued 16 dogs from a home that has since been condemned.  The Beaver County Humane Society seized the dogs from the home Friday afternoon after the owner was hospitalized and refused to surrender the dogs.  Workers said the dogs were kept in what they called deplorable conditions in locked rooms without access to food or water.  All of the dogs were alive and being treated for various conditions, ranging from dental and skin problems to issues requiring surgery.  Eventually, they’ll be put up for adoption.

Newly released records show that eight years ago, the state of Pennsylvania ordered more frequent inspections of the Fern Hollow Bridge.  State officials said in 2014, inspections of the bridge were recommended every year instead of every 24 months.  In 2018, major concerns were found due to rusting and a detached X-shaped bracing.  Engineers replaced the bracing with steel cables, but other repairs deemed not imminent hazards were pushed off and never done.  Inspections starting in 1999 show the bridge was rated in fair condition until 2009 and was downgraded to poor in 2011.

The Wolf Administration has released a list of a businesses and organizations who have a lien against them because they haven’t paid unemployment compensation. The Department of Labor and Industry says they will be removed from the list when they either pay off their lien in full, enter bankruptcy proceedings or enter into a payment plan agreement. The full list can be found on the Department’s website. 

A new task force is set to get to work soon to help babies that are born dependent on illegal or prescription drugs.  Last week, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed House Bill 253 that will, among other things, provide financial help for programs to support children born with addiction. Sponsor Representative Clint Owlett says the task force will consist of lawmakers, addiction professionals and people from the Department of Human Services. It is expected to begin its work this month.