TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 16TH, 2022

State Police in Lawrence County say a woman’s injuries were self-inflicted in a shooting Sunday in a Walmart’s parking lot in Union township. According to police an investigation of surveillance video and talking with witnesses led police to that determination. Police responded to the Walmart parking lot on West State Street Sunday a little after 4 p.m. When they arrived, they found a 43-year-old Grove City woman with a gunshot wound.  The woman was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown where she was last listed in critical condition. Her current condition is unknown.

New Castle police this week have brought multiple charges against a woman who allegedly threatened to blow up an elementary school.  According to the departments Facebook page, Messaiha Brewer was angry about an incident involving a friend’s child when she went to Lockley Elementary School on Monday.  Witnesses say she threatened a security guard and said that she was going to blow up the school.  Brewer was later arrested and is being held on 100-thousand dollars bond.

Police in Sharon took a suspect into custody early Tuesday evening after reports of gunshots near the state line. According to the Sharon Herald Police responded to a report of shots fired Tuesday afternoon in the 400 and 500 blocks of South Stateline Road on Sharon’s West Hill.  A suspect was linked to two residences in the area and taken into custody. The investigation is still ongoing.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh is preparing to end mask mandates for Catholic schools and parishes by the end of this month.  Leaders on Tuesday announced that the requirement will be lifted for parishioners February 26th and for students on February 28th.  Mask usage will continue to be required on school buses.  The diocese credits the decision to remove the mandate with the increasing decline in new COVID infection reports.

The House January 6th Committee has issued another round of subpoenas Tuesday and one of them has gone to Republican State Lawmaker and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. CNN reports the move comes as the house committee digs more deeply into illegitimate electors from key swing states where former President Donald Trump lost. The committee wants to know more about his meeting with Trump in November 2020 and his involvement in planning for an alternate slate of electors to be presented. 

Two months after Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation into law creating the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, the agency held its first meeting on Tuesday. The Broadband Development Authority will manage at least 100 million-dollars in federal aid for broadband expansion. The Authority will also be able to apply for part of another 42 billion dollars in federal aid which will also be available to states for broadband development. At least 500,000 Pennsylvanians lack access to broadband and high speed internet.

Pennsylvania is set to receive 244-million-dollars this year to clean up abandoned mine land. Senator Bob Casey says in a statement that the money is being made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  The funding will be used to reclaim abandoned mine lands, address environmental pollution and hazards, and hire personnel in former mining communities. Pennsylvania is one of the largest coal-producing states in the country and contains a third of the country’s abandoned mine land, according to federal statistics. 

Beaver County leaders are considering changes to the county’s schools.  Public and private development group Beaver County Partnership has worked with Johns Hopkins University over the last year to research and develop plans to address declining school enrollment in the county.  Dan Matsook with Beaver County Partnership says the group is relying on input from community members to help make final plans for any school changes.  Three virtual town halls are scheduled for February 17th, 21st, and 23rd, and two in-person meetings are planned for February 19th at Beaver County Community College and February 26th at the county’s YMCA.

The co-leader of a drug-trafficking ring that moved illegal drugs between Indiana County and Philadelphia will spend the next five years in prison.  Federal authorities report that 27-year-old Christofer Waters was sentenced this week on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess fentanyl and heroin.  Prosecutors say that Waters confessed to the crimes committed between 2018 and 2019.