TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 24TH, 2022

No injuries were reported following a house fire in Farrell Tuesday night. According to reports the fire broke out at a home in the 800 block of Park Avenue around 9 o’clock. No one was at home at the time of the fire and no damage estimate was released.

The New Castle News reports a jury in Lawrence County found a Mahoningtown town man guilty on gun charges last night. 38 year old Robert Lee Sutton was found guilty on one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was accused of firing off multiple shots from an assault rifle outside the Double D Cafe tavern on East Washington St. in June of 2019. Sentencing guidelines call for a minimum of five or six years to a maximum of 20 in a state prison.

A couple from Mississippi is facing charges after allegedly cheating the Rivers Casino out of more than ten-thousand dollars.  State Police say 35-year-old Shaun Benward and 42-year-old Denielle Derohan worked together to cheat at roulette.  The casino says Benward would distract the dealer during a spin so Derohan could signal what number would win before a bet was placed.  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board previously put Benward on its exclusion list in 2015.    

A bill in the Pennsylvania House proposes a general ballot vote that could  prevent unpopular tax increases. But opponents say the measure would also make it harder for localities or the legislature to boost tax revenues. Representative David Rowe, a republican has introduced HB2432. He’s written the bill so that if voters reject a tax, the General Assembly could override the referendum, but only with a two-thirds vote.

Some police equipment that was outdated or set to be destroyed will be finding new life in Ukraine. Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania Capitol Police are donating used vests, body armor and helmets to go to civilians who are assisting in humanitarian work throughout the country. One official says just because the pieces are outdated doesn’t mean they’re no longer useful. Governor Wolf’s office says he’s working to get federal approval to ship the gear to Ukraine.  

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is reversing decisions from last year and says it won’t allow beer and wine licensees to sell edible products containing the marijuana extract CBD. CBD is a non intoxicating chemical compound, one of many chemicals found in cannabis. Marketers say CBD can treat a range of ailments. Wednesday’s decision to rescind approval was made at the request of the state Department of Agriculture. A board spokesperson says the department told the liquor board that the sale of such consumable products is illegal in Pennsylvania.

Area drivers are paying less at the pumps than one-week ago as prices continue to drop slowly.  According to today’s data from Triple-A, the average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in Pennsylvania is four-dollars-and-31-cents, down eight-cents from last week but still eight-cents above the national average. In Lawrence County the average price is 4.28 a gallon while in Mercer County drivers are paying 4.30.

A Munhall man could face fines after TSA agents uncovered a loaded gun at Pittsburgh International.  Authorities say the weapon was discovered in a backpack at the airport’s main security checkpoint yesterday afternoon.  The FBI is investigating the incident and police in Allegheny County have confiscated the handgun.  Police say the 49-year-old passenger is licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

A judge is upholding charges for an Elizabeth Forward teacher accused of inappropriately touching a student.  Forty-two-year-old Nicole Marie Corson appeared for a preliminary hearing yesterday and is facing charges including institutional sexual assault.  Prosecutors say Corson touched the 16-year-old male student in her classroom and on a bus after a school field trip and also sent nude images to the boy.  Defense attorneys argue no evidence supports the assault claims.