TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 15TH, 2022

Pennsylvania State Senator and Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano says he plans to introduce legislation that would allow school employees to be armed while on campus. Mastriano, who serves on the State Education Committee, says the “recent tragedy in Uvalde” where 19 students and two teachers were killed by a gunman led to his planned legislation. The bill would allow school employees who possess a valid Pennsylvania concealed carry permit to be armed while on school property.

The drug trial of a Detroit man is underway in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. 26 year old Kenneth Terry faces four counts of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and a firearms charge. The New Castle News reports Terry is one of two defendants in the case. 20 year old Keyon Lee pled guilty on Friday to similar charges. The charges stem from a drug raid last May at a hotel in Union Township.

The state House has approved a bill which would update Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. The bill’s prime sponsor says it would provide greater access to public documents, improve public oversight of government activity and lead to greater government accountability. But opponents raised concerns that the bill falls short of the relief local governments were seeking and would hurt incarcerated individuals ability to make a Right-to-Know request.

Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey wants more done to protect students from educators who engage in sexual misconduct.  He wants further action from the Department of Education on the matter, including preventing schools from allowing a sexually abusive educator from moving from one school to another. Toomey says sixty percent of states have failed to ban the confidentiality and resignation agreements that endanger students by allowing predators to continue as educators.

Triple-A is offering Western Pennsylvania drivers tips on keeping their vehicles cool during periods of excessive heat.  The auto club says that drivers have a natural temptation to blast the air conditioning while riding in their vehicle but that can come at the expense of fuel economy – a pricey proposition with soaring gas prices.  Triple-A suggests considering running the A/C at a moderate level if driving with the windows down just isn’t an option.  They also recommend trying to park in covered or shaded areas to keep the vehicle cool when not in use. 

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is once again being recognized as one of the top children’s healthcare facilities in America.  In a new survey released by U.S. News and World Report, the facility placed 6th overall with especially high marks for neonatology, pediatric cardiology and pediatric diabetes treatment. 

The state department of Labor and Industry may soon appoint a special prosecutor to focus on cases related to unemployment fraud. Supporters say House Bill 2648 would appoint a special state prosecutor for prosecuting people who have used the COVID pandemic to commit fraud with the state’s unemployment compensation system. State officials say more than 33-thousand fraud cases are outstanding as of early June.

The police chief in Peters Township, Douglas Grimes wants police officers across Pennsylvania to be able to use radar to catch speeding motorists.  Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that does not let municipal officers use radar guns — only state police can use radar.  He says the biggest complaint he hears from citizens is about speeding.  Grimes recently spoke at a rally at the state capitol to push for a measure that would allow radar in local municipalities.  It has yet to go the full House for a vote.

Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey and a lawmaker from California have introduced a measure to keep more children out of detention facilities.  Casey says thousands of kids are imprisoned for acts that would not be crimes if they were committed by an adult. Those include  truancy, breaking curfew or running away from home. He says the legislation could change the path of young people’s lives by helping them get support when they’re going through a difficult time.