TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 14TH, 2022

A Volant man has been arrested on sexual assault charges. State Police in Mercer County report 45 year old Thomas Critchlow has been charged with Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse, Aggravated Indecent assault along with several other charges. The victim is a 15 year old female who told police that Critchlow allegedly assaulted her over a period of several years. The investigation is ongoing.

Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman reminded residents that the deadline to apply for mail-in or absentee ballots is less than a month away, on May 10 at 5 p.m.  So far, 664,000 voters have applied for mail-in ballots and 54,000 voters have applied for absentee ballots ahead of the May 17 election. Election offices in all counties must receive all completed mail ballots, either mail-in or absentee by 8 p.m. on May 17. Any ballot collected after that time will not be counted.

The Republican-led state senate passes a measure to get rid of ballot drop boxes.  The 29 to 20 vote along party lines came on Wednesday.  The bill would mandate that mail-in ballots that are not returned in the mail must be hand-delivered to an employee at the county board of elections office. Republicans say the idea is that drop boxes can’t be secured properly, while Democrats believe it’ll simply make it harder for people to vote. 

A now-removed YouTube video posted by suspected Brooklyn subway shooter Frank James shows he stopped in Moon Township in Beaver County.  The 25-minute-long post begins with a shot of the Moon Township sign in front of the municipal building.  James goes on to describe beliefs about the apocalypse and refers to himself as the “prophet of doom”.  The video is dated March 22nd.

A bill whose goal is to protect a specific group of crime victims has been passed by the state Senate.  Senator Lisa Baker says the bill would update the Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Address Confidentiality Act. (CUT 1) Baker says a requirement that requests to take part in the program be made in writing has made the program difficult to access and slowed down the process. The bill now goes to the House

A measure that would supersede federal law on serving a higher fat percentage of milk in state public schools has won nearly unanimous approval in the state house. The bill to allow whole milk in Pennsylvania schools was approved 196-2 Wednesday. The measure which was introduced as a way to help state dairy farmers means that any milk above one percent could soon be served with school meals. An identical whole-milk bill is expected to passage in the state senate.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says they are looking at more efficient ways to remove deer carcasses from the state’s roadways.  Officials say there currently aren’t enough Game Commission and PennDOT workers available to help clean up roadkill quickly.  Commissioners have given preliminary approval on a plan to hire contractors to handle removal duties from roads and private properties.  The cost of the plan or when it may go into effect was not released.    

Even though a notice of execution has been signed for a man convicted of killing a police officer, the execution may not happen.  Department of Corrections Acting Secretary George Little signed a Notice of Execution for Robert Anthony Flor in March for the 2005 shooting death of Officer Brian Gregg.  But Governor Tom Wolf hasn’t signed off on the procedure.  When the governor doesn’t sign the warrant, the secretary of corrections has 30 days to issue the notice. 

Federal officials are extending a mask mandate for all modes of public transportation and at transportation hubs for an additional 15-day period. Travelers flying in and out of Pittsburgh International Airport will need to continue wearing face coverings.  The mandate had been scheduled to expire April 18th but is being extended through May 3rd as the CDC examines the impact of the latest COVID variant. 

Governor Tom Wolf has joined Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and other leaders to highlight new workplace protections efforts.  The leaders gave details about a new OSHA program that will protect workers from heat illness and injuries. It advocates OSHA doing workplace inspections before workers suffer injuries or fatalities from heat-related illnesses.