TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 31ST, 2022

Authorities in Lawrence County say they have discovered a woman’s body.  The coroner confirmed the remains were found near Cascade Boulevard in Shenango Township yesterday.  The woman has been identified as 27 year old Jackie Lynn Rouzzo of New Castle.   Anyone with information is asked to contract state police.

A Mercer County man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh for possessing a firearm and ammunition after a prior felony conviction. 24 year old Devon Smith of Greenville is accused of having a gun and ammunition in December of last year. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

One of two men accused of abusing nonverbal patients at a Beaver County care facility appeared in court yesterday to plead not guilty to federal hate crime charges.  Prosecutors say that former healthcare workers Tyler Smith and Zachary Dinell abused patients at McGuire Memorial in New Brighton by engaging in actions like punching and kicking the residents as well as spraying irritants into their eyes and mouths.  Smith, who is out on bond, was told in court yesterday that if he violates the terms of his release, he could be incarcerated until his trial. 

Triple-A says gas prices in Pennsylvania are stabilizing, but drivers should avoid letting their tanks get too close to empty.  Triple-A put out a recommendation to fill up on gas when there is a quarter of a tank left because it puts less stress on the vehicle’s fuel pump and consumes resources slower.  Triple-A also recommends carpooling whenever possible, combining trips, and reducing speeds.  On Wednesday, Triple-A reported the average cost of a gallon of regular-grade gas in Pennsylvania is at four-dollars-and-31-cents.  

A state senate committee has given approval to a measure that would enable marijuana businesses to have better access to banking and insurance services. Supporters say the industry has special needs because the medicinal marijuana business is cash-based. The bill authorizes but does not require financial institutions to provide services to state-legal cannabis businesses. 

You may have noticed an increase in a state police presence as of Wednesday. That’s because troopers are now enforcing a campaign to stop aggressive driving across the state. State police say many crashes can be prevented by drivers slowing down and getting rid of distractions while they drive. The enforcement campaign runs through April 24th.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Basketball Committee is trying to decide whether to add a shot clock to state high school games. In a meeting Wednesday, however, they decided that schools statewide would need to be surveyed first.  The committee did settle the issue that if the clocks are added, they would only be used after the 2024-25 season. They also decided that the clocks  would only run in  varsity and junior varsity games but not be used in junior high games. 

Low-income areas in Pennsylvania looking to weatherize homes will have some extra federal money to make it possible. U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that as a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pennsylvania is set to receive $186 million to help low-income families save on energy bills through the Weatherization Assistance Program. This funding will pay for retrofitting thousands of low-income homes to make them more energy-efficient while lowering utility bills.

A former Walmart worker arraigned this week is accused of stealing more than 40-thousand dollars worth of Pennsylvania Lottery tickets. The alleged thefts occurred over a period of about seven weeks beginning in January.  Steven Donnarumo of Boardman Ohio,  was terminated by the store in Union township who then turned him into police and provided supposed video evidence of the crimes.  Police say that Donnarumo has admitted to the crimes and says that he only won two-thousand dollars combined on all of the tickets he stole.

Two state lawmakers want to make sure students have several options for the milk they drink at school. The Whole Milk in Pennsylvania Schools Act has been introduced  to make sure schools can serve whole milk and two percent milk.  Dairy farmers are especially supporting the bill, which would override a federal mandate that schools can only serve one percent or skim milk.