TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 12TH, 2022

Drivers in Pennsylvania are paying 21-cents less at the pump than one month ago when gas prices hit a record average high in the commonwealth. According to the latest date from Triple-A, the average price in Lawrence County is 4.24 a gallon while drivers in Mercer County are paying 4.26. Pennsylvanians continue to pay more per gallon than the national average, which sits at four-dollars-and-eleven-cents.  Last year at this time, the price of gas in the Keystone State averaged two-dollars-and-97-cents for a gallon of regular-grade.

The Mercer County Humane Society is privately investigating an alleged incident of mutilation against animals committed by minors in Sharon. WFMJ-TV is reporting  a circulating Facebook post claims that school-aged children were posting videos to social media showing a mother cat and her kittens. The Humane Society needs help uncovering the claims and is even offering a reward. Officials say the investigation is in the early stages.

No arrests have yet been made following a Sunday morning shooting in Aliquippa.  State police report the incident appears to have involved people in multiple vehicles shooting at each other. One person died another was listed in stable condition. The victim has been identified as Isaiah Alston of Aliquippa.  Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact state police in Beaver County.

The House Children and Youth Committee met to hear an update about an organization that helps prevent child abuse and neglect. The Children’s Trust Fund came into being through an act of the General Assembly in 1988. Committee Chair Sheryl Delozier says prevention of abuse and neglect is key The fund is designed to assist community-oriented program providers to that effect. Bruce Clash chairs the fund’s board; he discusses the emphasis on research-based protective factors. Apart from donations, the fund takes in about $1-million a year, mostly through a ten-dollar surchargeon marriage and divorce documents.

Two suspects are each facing hundreds of charges in connection with an animal cruelty and neglect case out of Gibsonia.  A Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh officer recently discovered more than three dozen horses and other animals reportedly being terribly neglected on a Deer Creek Road farm.  According to the officer, the animals were dehydrated and malnourished with many suffering from infections and standing in two feet of manure.  Preliminary court hearings are set to being next month.

The Pennsylvania Health Department says more than 233,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered during the month of March, while new coronvirus cases in the commonwealth averaged 767 per day. That’s a significant drop from February when new case averaged nearly 3,200 per day. The Health Department also reports the number of state residents hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 was down 67.3 percent from March 1st through the 31st. 984 deaths in PA was attributed to coronavirus during the month.

Students at the Katz Graduate School of Business at Pitt are offering free tax help ahead of the filing deadline.  The students are inviting individuals who make less than 57-thousand dollars per year to schedule an appointment before Friday.  Individuals can get in touch with representatives from the program by calling 211 and scheduling a time to drop off tax materials in-person.  Virtual help is also available by visiting get-your-refund-dot-org.

A Westmoreland County man serving time for raping a young girl has had his appeal rejected.  Dylan Chiaramonte was convicted in September of 2020 after prosecutors made their case that he had forced his victim to engage in sexual activities for a 5-year period beginning when she was just 4-years-old.  In Chiaramonte’s appeal, he argued that prosecutors were improperly allowed to present evidence while his attorney was denied the right to present other evidence.  The appeals court yesterday turned back those arguments.

A republican state senator from Erie says he’ll soon introduce a bill that would allow medical marijuana patients in Pennsylvania to purchase edible medicines. Those are food products that contain pot. Dan Laughlin says some patients see better time-release results  in edible form. Currently, marijuana patients in Pennsylvania can purchase cannabis in the form of pills, oils, topicals, dry leaves, and liquids.