TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2022

The trial for a man accused of strangling his newlywed wife at his mother’s Mercer County trailer last year began Monday morning.  WFMJ-TV reports jury selection began before noon in the trial for 45-year-old Eric George on charges of first-degree murder, strangulation, and aggravated assault.  He’s accused of strangling 41-year-old Serena Anne Schoeder who was found dead in the Pine Grove Mobile Home Park in Coolspring Township in June of 2021.  George is a registered sex offender.

Triple-A reports the average price of a gallon of regular fuel in Western Pennsylvania is now three-dollars-and-93-cents.  That’s down 5-cents from a week ago and down 31-cents from a month ago. In New Castle drivers are paying 3.94 a gallon while motorists in Sharon are paying 3.96.  The average price of a gallon of regular fuel in Pennsylvania now stands at three dollars-and-85-cents. The national average is at 3.64 a gallon.

A new study conducted by PennDOT shows that roundabouts significantly reduce both traffic crashes and traffic fatalities.  The department cited three years of data across 36 locations in the state for their study they say shows statistical proof that the traffic circles are more effective.  Crashes were cut down by nine-percent and injuries were reduced by 76-percent, the department says. 

A date is now set for jury selection in the trial of alleged Tree of Life shooter, Robert Bowers.  A federal judge has scheduled the proceedings for April 24th of next year.  Bowers is accused of killing eleven people at the Squirrel Hill synagogue in 2018.  The incident was the largest antisemitic attack in the nation’s history.

The latest CBS YouGov poll of nearly 12-hundred registered voters in Pennsylvanians shows 66 percent favor recreational cannabis use, an eight-percent jump from a similar survey conducted in April of last year. Legislation introduced in both the state House and Senate would also provide relief for Pennsylvanians convicted of marijuana-related offenses. The issue is also part of the race for US Senate in Pennsylvania, with Democratic nominee John Fetterman favoring the legalization of adult-use marijuana,while his GOP opponent Mehmet Oz reportedly opposes it.

A Butler man was taken to the hospital following a motorcycle accident. According to police 56 year old James Kemp lost control of his motorcycle on Chicora Road in Oakland Township. Kemp was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital for treatment.

PennDOT is looking to beef up staffing numbers ahead of the coming winter weather months.  A series of career fairs has been planned to take place over the next couple of weeks with managers hoping to fill permanent commercial driver’s license operator and maintenance positions.  More info can be found at www.employment.pa.gov.

The FBI is reporting the arrest of a Pittsburgh man caught in a child sex sting operation.  The bureau set up a profile on social media posing as an underage girl and says that, last week, 34-year-old Thomas Yocum Jr. responded and quickly turned the conversation to sex.  Reports say he initiated a meeting for this past Sunday and drove to a specified address in order to pick up the fictional girl and take her back to his home.  When Yocum texted that he had arrived, he was then surrounded by agents who arrested him on charges including attempting to coerce a minor into sex.

More than 22-thousand pounds of Healthy Choice frozen meals are now recalled due to an allergen risk.  The USDA says packages of the brand’s Korean-Style Beef Power Bowls product, shipped nationwide, contain milk but do not indicate the ingredient on the label.  The affected items include a “best by” date of April 18th, 2023.  Individuals with questions about the recall can contact the ConAgra Foods consumer care line.