TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 25TH, 2022

A Westminster College basketball player has been suspended from all team activities after a woman accused him of assaulting her causing her to nearly pass out and vomit back in March. WFMJ-TV reports 19 year old Sky’Ler Thomas is facing charges of Strangulation, Aggravated Assault, Making Terroristic Threats, Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Obscene Sexual Material and Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Images.  In a statement released on Friday, Westminster College states that they are aware of the charges against Thomas and that he has been suspended from all team activities until further notice and that the matter has been referred to the campus student conduct system. The college did not comment any further.

The Humane Society of Mercer County is advising residents that they are at full capacity.  In a message posted to Facebook on Sunday, administrators said that all shelters in the county are currently full and that they are unable to take in any strays found at this time.  Folks who find strays, if they are able to do so, are asked to hold on to the animal and post that it has been found on social media. 

The Senate State Government Committee heard bipartisan support for a bill which would allow independent voters to take part in primary elections in Pennsylvania. Supporters say having open primaries is a matter of fairness given the unaffiliated registered voters fund primary elections. They also say having open primaries could help the Democratic and Republican parties to engage early on with independent voters who often decide general elections. There are more than 1.1 million registered unaffiliated voters in PA.

Four people who found themselves trapped in an apartment fire near Youngstown on Sunday are alive today after being rescued by firefighters.  The blaze happened at an apartment community in Boardman yesterday afternoon with residents left with no way to escape the second floor.  First responders were able to save the group with one victim later going to a local hospital for treatment of a minor injury.  There has been no word on the cause of the fire.

Hundreds are participating in an effort to honor the memory of a fallen Westmoreland County state trooper.  Runners gathered at Saint Vincent College Saturday for the 13th annual marathon dedicated to Trooper Iwaniec [[ I-WIN-eck]].  He was killed in 2008 after being hit by a drunk driver while on his way home from his shift.  Proceeds from the event have purchased nearly three-thousand portable breath tests for law enforcement agencies across Pennsylvania.

A 10-year-project aimed at helping the site of the Flight 93 crash to recover from the events of September 11th, 2001 is now complete.  The project, began in 2012, set as its goal a plan to plant 150-thousand trees on and around the grounds of the Somerset County surface mine where the aircraft went down.  Volunteers over the weekend put the last of those trees in the ground. 

The Department of Human Services has announced that thanks to federal coronavirus relief funding, grants ranging from 25 hundred to 5 thousand dollars are available for state-certified child care centers. The money can be used for improved internet access, or to purchase computer equipment and components to help enhance the early learning process for children. The funding is officially known as the Child Care Technology Access Award. More information is available by contacting the DHS Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

The Powereball jackpot is nearing the half-billion-dollar mark.  Lottery officials say no one picked all six numbers in last night’s drawing.  That means tonight’s jackpot will be worth 421-million-dollars. The odds of matching all six numbers in the multi-state lottery are one in about 293-million.