TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 23RD, 2022

A Grove City woman is facing charges after allegedly biting her roommate’s three year old son.  WFMJ-TV reports police were called to the 300-block of Center Street to assist Mercer Children and Youth Services with a report of a juvenile with a bite mark on their arm back on August 9th.  22-year-old, Faithlyn Elswick  admitted to police to biting the 3-year-old as a disciplinary action. Elswick is charged with simple assault and will face a judge at her preliminary hearing on September 21st.

The Lawrence County District Attorney is investigating hazing accusations related to the Mohawk High School football team.  Superintendent Michael Leitera says some players’ actions may have been illegal.  Further details on the exact nature of the incidents have not yet been released.  The team’s game against Union scheduled for this Friday has been cancelled.

A Mercer County Jail inmate has pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to distribute crack and lauder the proceeds. Authorities say 30 year old Eugene Phillips of Farrell while detained at the Mercer County Jail with pending state drug trafficking charges, conspired to distribute crack cocaine and to launder drug trafficking proceeds. Sentencing is set for December 9th.  The law provides for a sentence of at least 5 years and up to 60 years in prison and a fine of up to 5.5 million dollars.

Democrats hold slight leads in two high-profile races in Pennsylvania. A Trafalgar Group poll shows Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has a five-point lead over Republican celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz in the race to replace retiring Senator Pat Toomey in the U.S. Senate.  The same poll says Attorney General Josh Shapiro has about a four-point lead over former Army colonel and state Senator Doug Mastriano in the race for the governor’s office.  The mid-term election is set for Tuesday, November 8th. 

The Department of Labor and Industry reports that for the month of July, Pennsylvania’s
unemployment rate stood at 4.3 percent, down two tenths of a percent from the previous month. Secretary Jennifer Berrier says this marks the first time since July 2019 that the jobless rate has been at this level, and has dropped 2.1 percent since July of last year. She adds that Pennsylvania has regained 90 percent of the jobs lost during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh reports that Bishop David Zubik has undergone another surgery due to a persistent back condition.  The procedure on Monday was the bishop’s fifth to address issues with collapsing discs.  The diocese says the surgery went as planned and they are offering thanks to those who offered prayers for the bishop and the surgical team.

Gas prices continue to drop in the area. According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas price report the average price of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania is at 4.25 a gallon, down six cents from last week. In New Castle the price is at 4.23 a gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying 4.25. The national average for a gallon of gas fell a nickel this past week to $3.90. Motorists are now benefiting from gas prices that are $1.11 less than their peak in mid-June.The national average is 74 cents more than a year ago.

North Allegheny School District is making some changes to improve security during the upcoming school year.  Each building will be under a “closed campus” policy from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on school days.  Visitors to buildings must have pre-scheduled appointments and report to the office when entering a school.  Individuals will not be permitted to walk, jog, or park on school property during the restricted hours.