TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 1ST, 2022

A former Choir Director of the Wilmington Area School District faces trial after an alleged affair with a student.  WFMJ-TV reports 26 year old Olivia Ortiz of Hermitage , appeared before a district magistrate on Tuesday.  She faces charges of  sexual contact with a student, unlawful contact with a minor, and criminal use of a communication facility were all held for trial in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, and her $150,000 bond was continued. School officials learned from Ortz’s husband that his wife was having a romantic relationship with the 17-year-old female student.  The investigation is ongoing.

In Beaver County, three corrections officers are accused of smuggling contraband to inmates.  Authorities report their investigation shows that inmate family members made deposits to a Cash App account connected to the accused officers.  Investigators say the accused sold drugs and other prohibited items to prisoners.  The three surrendered to authorities yesterday.

US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued an order which put on hold a federal appeals court ruling which allowed undated ballots to be counted. Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, who was trailing Dr. Mehmet Oz by less than a thousand votes before the recount began, argues the ballots should be counted despite missing a date on the outside envelopes. A Commonwealth Court hearing Tuesday focused on whether the undated ballots should be counted. McCormick is seeking a hand recount in precincts in a dozen counties, citing what he called “several abnormalities.

The state is on track to end the current fiscal years with a record 9.1 billion dollar surplus, along with more than 2 billion in unspent federal coronavirus relief funds. As a result, Sen. Vincent Hughes, Democratic Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says there are no more excuses, and the state has the money for such things as education, health care, and repairs to the aging housing stock. The Senate reconvenes on June 6th.

Security officials at Pittsburgh International Airport say that two people caught with handguns over the weekend have been charged.  A Ligonier man was traveling with a loaded weapon in his carry-on last Friday when TSA agents discovered the gun.  On Sunday, an airport worker whose job it is to clean airplane cabins was caught having a loaded firearm in his backpack.  Both individuals have been charged with carrying a firearm without a license.

Demonstrators are calling for gun reform.  Organizations including Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and March For Our Lives gathered for a rally outside U.S. Senator Pat Toomey’s office in Pittsburgh yesterday.  Parkland, Florida school shooting survivor, David Hogg, was in attendance, calling for measures to protect children in schools.  A statement from Senator Toomey’s office says he is open to working on further legislation to keep guns away from known criminals and those who suffer from dangerous mental illnesses.

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is proposing legislation aimed at increasing safety in roadway work zones.  Senator Elder Vogel is working with executives at road work contractor, W.D. Wright, on Senate Bill 614.  The new regulations would impose fines of up to 12-hundred dollars and result in license suspensions for drivers who violate speed limits or ignore signals from flaggers.  The law would also require police agencies to investigate infractions reported by flaggers.

Members of the U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee have caused a company that supplies medical records systems to re-think its rollout of a new program. The V-A’s new electronic health record (EHR) system reportedly has been causing disruptions and patient safety issues so veterans’ medical centers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere might not be using it for a while. Some committee members have expressed “great concern” about the current state of the VA’s EHR system and have recommended that the V-A address the flaws before moving forward.

Kids in Mercer County are raising money to help military veterans.  They participated in a martial arts show Monday to help raise awareness of the problems veterans with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD face.  The young students of John’s Young Brothers Tae Kwon Do [[ Tie Quan Doe ]] class performed at the National Guard Armory in Hermitage, raising over 34-hundred dollars for the Mission 22, Til Valhalla Project.