TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JULY 19TH, 2022

State police are looking into a reported sexual assault at a fire station in Lawrence County.  An investigation was launched this month after a woman reported the incident to authorities.  Police say she claimed to meet an individual at the Scott Township Volunteer Fire Department in May, and was assaulted once inside the building.  Department officials have not yet commented on the investigation.

State Police in Mercer County report a fatal traffic accident from yesterday morning. According to police 28 year old Matthew Bell of Petrolia was traveling on Slippery Rock Road in Liberty Township when he lost control and struck a mailbox then struck a tree. Bell was taken to the Grove City Medical Center  and later died from his injuries. A passenger, 22 year old Trenton Snow was also taken to Grove City Medical Center with serious injuries. Police said the roadway was closed for several hours.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price report the average price of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania in nine cents lower this week at 4.73 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 4.65 while in Sharon the price is at 4.70. The national average for a gallon of gas has fallen 15 cents over the last week to $4.52. Today’s national average is 46 cents less than a month ago and $1.36 more than a year ago.

A Butler County man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from his former employer.  Investigators say 36-year-old Joshua Carson used a Pine Township landscaping company’s credit cards to purchase over 30-thousand dollars in gift cards for himself.  State police say the embezzlement occurred between 2017 and 2019.  Carson is currently released on bond with a preliminary hearing scheduled for August eighth.

Work is underway in Mercer County to replace three bridges over I-79.  The work started today to replace the two bridges on Clintonville Road over I-79 North and South in Finley Township and Fox Mine Road over I-79 in Jackson Township.  The Clintonville Road bridges are expected to reopen by this October.  The Fox Mine Road bridge is due to reopen in early December. 

The state Department of Education has released a plan to address the state’s
teacher shortage. The plan consists of over 100 steps the department will be taking between now and 2025 to grow the state’s teacher workforce and increase the diversity of PA teachers. About 6,000 new teachers entered PA classrooms last year compared to 10,000 a decade ago while the rate of teachers leaving the profession is accelerating.

There are still no answers for the 2002 deaths of two boys in Butler County.  Sunday marked 20 years since 15-year-old Shawn Baur was found dead and Scott Fosnaught was found near death along Cashdollar Road in Forward Township.  Some believe they were the victims of a hit-and-run as they walked home from a party.  However, police say there were no skid marks or broken glass at the scene and Fosnaught’s blood was discovered over 180-feet from where he was found.

More than half-a-billion dollars is on the line tonight.  Western Pennsylvania lottery players are hoping their ticket holds the wining numbers for tonight’s  MegaMillions game.  The game’s jackpot now stands at an estimated 530-million dollars.  It has been more than three months since someone won the top prize in the multi-state lottery.  Winning numbers will be drawn at 11 p.m.

A grant is coming from the federal government to help elderly people who use the Find My Ride online tool for public transportation. The governor’s office says the 750-thousand dollar grant from the Federal Transit Administration will help provide non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid-eligible residents who don’t have access to a car.