TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 17TH, 2022

New Castle City Police have charged a man in connection with an explosion that took place last month. According to the New Castle News 49 year old Henry Gunderson suffered serious injuries in the July 27th explosion. Police said Gunderson reportedly set fire to a 55 gallon drum containing fireworks materials and it exploded and shook his home and others on Reynolds and Agnew streets. He was taken to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown for treatment. Gunderson is being charged with causing a catastrophe and four counts of criminal mischief causing property damage. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

State Police in Lawrence County are investigating a theft by deception case. PSP says the victim is a 66 year old man from Volant. An unknown suspect went  to a Huntington Bank in Columbus Ohio and withdrew 32 hundred dollars out of the victims account. No other details were released.

Governor Tom Wolf says he wants all kids to know they matter.  Earlier today Governor Wolf signed an executive order he say will protect LGBTQIA-plus youth from conversion therapy.  Wolf says the executive order was necessary.  He say rightwing extremists arcross the nation have been using their power to bully gay, lesbian and transgender kids.

PennDOT is offering an new option to allow some drivers to avoid license suspensions.  Individuals in danger of losing a license over accumulating points or excessive speed can attend the new Driver Improvement School.  Those who are assigned to the training following a departmental hearing can keep legally operating a vehicle.  Offenders who fail to attend the course or meet its requirements can receive a suspension of 60 days.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is calling out his Democratic opponent.  Dr. Oz says he wants to debate Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman.  Oz has agreed to five debates, while Fetterman hasn’t agreed to any public debates.  Oz says Pennsylvanians deserve to hear the candidates debate and a Senator who will show up. 

State officials are asking Pennsylvanians to consider working at the polls on Election Day in November.  The Department of State says poll workers can be paid for training sessions and for their work on Election Day.  The Pennsylvania Poll Worker Interest Form can be filled out on the Department of State’s website.  The Midterm Election is set for Tuesday, November 8th. 

Jurors debated for about one hour on Tuesday before convicting a Westmoreland County man on charges that he sexually assaulted a teen girl.  Prosecutors say that 39-year-old Steven Stemmler was engaged in a sexual relationship last year with a then-15-year-old female.  The situation came to light when the victim told her story to Stemmler’s girlfriend.  Sentencing will take place later this year.

An Allegheny County man is pleading guilty to receiving fraudulent COVID-19 loans.  Sixty-six-year-old Randy Frasinelli admitted to money laundering and bank fraud in U.S. District Court yesterday.  Prosecutors say Frasinelli used nearly four-million dollars in small business relief payments to purchase a half-dozen luxury and sports cars, as well as firearms, jewelry, and artwork.  He could face more than six years in prison when sentenced on December 20th.

A Little League World Series player from Utah has reportedly been placed in a medically-induced coma following a fall from a bunk bed.  The TMZ dot com reports the 12-year-old underwent emergency surgery after fracturing his skull. His uncle tells TMZ it happened Sunday in a dorm at Little League World Series housing in Williamsport. Although he remains in the ICU, his family says they hope he’ll make a full recovery.