TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 9TH, 2022

Several fire companies were called out to battle a house fire yesterday afternoon in Neshannock Township. The New Castle News reports the blaze started about 1:00PM at a home on Pulaski Road. Firemen from Neshannock were assisted by Mahoning and Hickory Township firefighters. The investigation into the fire continues.

State Police in Lawrence County are investigating a theft by deception incident. The victim is a 21 year old female from Edinburgh. Police said the victim authorized remote access to her cell phone via an app to false customer support personnel, when then gain access to her financial institution details. Police said the victim was scammed out of nearly 200 dollars. Police remind residents to keep personal accounts secure.

Penn State officials say the Nittany Lion Shrine on campus was vandalized overnight Saturday into Sunday.  The vandals reportedly broke an ear off of the statue and splashed red paint on the shrine.  University officials say that the shrine will not be available for commencement photos and that police are investigating the incident.  

A new Netflix series highlights a piece of local history from Three Mile Island near Harrisburg in the late 70s.  The series called “Meltdown: Three Mile Island” features the story of whistleblower Richard Parks, the former chief engineer of the nuclear power plant in Middletown.  The docuseries covers the events leading up to the power plant meltdown, the controversies surrounding it, and the effects the accident had on the area.

State Police in Mercer County are investigating a case of indecent exposure. The incident took place in the parking lot of Walmart. The vehicle fled the scene. No other details were released.

Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate chamber, Senator Bob Casey reiterated the need to support Ukraine, and took aim at more than 200 Republicans in the Senate and House who voted against the March appropriation of $13.6-billion in emergency aid. The Senator called for unanimous support for the Biden Administration’s request for $33-billion more and says while they may have to revisit the matter, any effort pales in comparison to the one made by the people of Ukraine.

A Black Live Matter demonstrator is now acquitted after facing refiled criminal charges.  Jay Yoder was one of nearly a dozen individuals charged for failure to disperse and other crimes related to a June 2020 protest.  Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala initially decided not to pursue the case, citing a lack of evidence, but refiled charges in January of last year.  Yoder is also part of a federal class-action lawsuit against police and city officials, accusing them of escalating the 2020 protest to violence.

There continues to be a child care worker shortage in Pennsylvania. A recent survey of nearly a thousand child care providers across the state found they have almost 7,000 vacant positions due in large part to low wages. With this resulting in child care center classrooms and even entire centers being closed, officials say more must be done to make the industry more competitive with other sectors where workers are finding higher wages.

Applications for mail-in ballots for the May 17th primary election must be received by 5 pm Tuesday with going to votePA.gov the best option for applying at this point. Voters are encouraged to read and follow all instructions about how to fill out and seal their mail ballot. Mail ballots must be received at county election offices by 8 pm on primary day. Postmarks by that time do not count.

A former Pittsburgh pharmacist is spending a year in prison for his involvement in a drug fraud scheme. Federal prosecutors say Timothy Forester ordered opiate medications for his pharmacy locations and then took the packages and used the drugs himself.  Forester is also accused of billing generic medications as name brands and overcharging companies and customers.  He is also ordered to pay a ten-thousand-dollar fine and almost six-hundred-50-thousand in restitution.