TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 25TH,

Authorities say an argument over a home improvement project led a Pittsburgh man to open fire last Saturday morning in Center Township.  Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier says that 29-old Wesley Deaderick was doing work at the home of Edward Dawkins when the two started to argue and the suspect pulled a gun.  Dawkins was fatally shot and one other person was wounded.   Deaderick surrendered to police yesterday and is facing charges that include voluntary manslaughter. 

A Farrell man was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in prison after pleading guilty to raping a 13 year old. The Sharon Herald reports 20 year old Juwan Samuels will also have to register as a sex offender for life. Samuels was charged with rape, along with a number of other charges that were dropped, after an incident on Aug 12th of last year at his home. Samuels was also ordered to have no contact with the victim or family.

Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry is suing the FBI to stop agents from looking at the information they have obtained on his seized cellphone. The phone was reportedly taken from Perry in connection in relation to the Justice Department’s probe into the January 6th Capitol riots. The seizure follows the taking of two attorneys’ phones who worked  closely with former President Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Perry’s suit was filed in court last week.

New coronavirus cases leaped in Pennsylvania in the week ending Sunday, rising 17.7% as 24,281 cases were reported. The previous week had 20,626 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.  Pennsylvania ranked 23rd among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis.   Lawrence County reported 218 cases and three deaths in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 147 cases and one death. Throughout the pandemic, it has reported 20,836 cases and 433 deaths.

In the future, Pennsylvania’s primary voting might be open to residents who are not registered to a political party. During a hearing last week, some state lawmakers voiced support for changing the current system, saying it disenfranchises over a million people.  Two bills currently awaiting action in the General Assembly would allow independent voters to choose a major party’s primary to participate in. 

UPMC is reporting a drop in income so far this year.  Through the first six months of 2022, the health care firm reported 82-million dollars in operating income, down from six-hundred-five million in the first half of 2021.  The company says increased costs, supply chain issues, and labor shortages all contributed to the lower number.  UPMC also lost more than 8-hundred-50-million through investment activities.

Officials with the Pennsylvania State Treasury are advising families to add to their PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan accounts before the end of this month. They say tuition inflation rates are usually applied to the accounts on September 1st, so deposits made by August 31st can increase in value right when the next month begins The Guaranteed Savings Plan accounts are used to save for children’s future college expenses. 

A new federal law to crack down on ghost guns is now in effect.  Federally licensed firearm dealers across the state must now conduct background checks completed by the Pennsylvania State Police on guns that are sold or distributed in partially completed frames. The firearms made in such kits are known as “ghost guns” because they’re untraceable by design and lack serial numbers and other identifying marks. 

The MegaMillions jackpot continues to grow.  With no winner in Tuesday night’s drawing, tomorrow night’s top prize is an estimated 135-million dollars.  MegaMillions tickets are sold in Pennsylvania and 44 other states.