TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 17TH, 2022

 A Wampum man pled guilty earlier this week to violating the federal narcotics and firearms laws. U.S Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced 49 year old Michael Turner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The charges stem from an investigation in Pittsburgh’s Hill district back in 2019.  Sentencing is set  for October 27th. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $10,000,000, or both.

Authorities in Beaver County say a plastic manufacturing facility is damaged after a fire yesterday afternoon.  Hanover Volunteer Fire Department Chief D.J. Miller says the blaze began after C & E Plastics closed around 3:30 p.m.  Flames were as high as 20 feet above the roof, according to Miller.  Investigators believe an electrical issue may have sparked the blaze.

Things are looking better COVID-wise in Western Pennsylvania.  The CDC yesterday announced that Lawrence, Butler, Beaver, Fayette, Allegheny Armstrong, Indiana, Washington and Westmoreland Counties have all dropped to the low level for transmission of the virus. In the last 7 says, Allegheny County has seen just 164 confirmed cases reported.

PennDOT is asking for input from state residents on a proposal to build electric vehicle charging stations.  The agency is developing a plan to construct the public chargers before submitting the outline to the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Pennsylvania citizens can offer feedback about preferred amenities like restrooms, Wi-Fi, and food and beverages.  Search penn-DOT-dot-P-A-dot-gov to participate.

Vice President Kamala Harris will be in the Steel City today to talk about infrastructure.  Harris’ visit to Pittsburgh with the Secretary of Housing And Urban Development and the EPA Administrator will be used as an opportunity for the V.P. to talk about the 15-billion dollars in funding from last year’s infrastructure bill that’s being used to replace lead pipes that bring drinking water into American homes.  Specific details of the Vice President’s trip have not been released.

An Aliquippa felon was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison for dealing drugs and firearms violations. 40 year Dana Perry was sentence to 188 months in prison followed by six years of supervised release. Perry was accused of conspiring to distribute cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, in 2017 and 2018.  He was also accused of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime on July 18, 2018. The Beaver County Drug Task Force assisted in the investigation.

State officials say the bug population is expected to be especially troublesome in Pennsylvania this year. The group says high temperatures, combined with an early rain season, will contribute to an increase in tick and mosquito activity. They warn that termites like the same conditions, so you might see increased activity from them, too. 

A state Senator wants baseline standards for school safety in Pennsylvania. State Senator Mike Regan says school administrators and school boards shouldn’t be the ones deciding how money from a program devoting 300-million dollars to school safety should be spent.  Regan says some of the requirements should include hardened school entrances. 

The statewide average for a gallon of regular gas dropped overnight.  Triple-A reports it dropped a penny to five-dollars-and-five-cents.  The national average also dropped from five-dollars-and-one-cent to five-dollars even. In Lawrence County the average price is at 5.02 a gallon while drivers in Mercer County are paying 5.03.