TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 22ND, 2022

Police in Beaver County have arrested the suspect in a Wednesday carjacking.  Reports say that 21-year-old Nathan Kistner fled an addiction recovery house early yesterday morning and went back to his home.  Later as his mother was driving him back to the facility, investigators say Kistner got into a fight with his mother, tried to take her car keys and ended up taking another woman’s vehicle.  Charges against him include robbery and assault.

Lawrence County recorded 164 new Covid-19 cases last week and one death. Throughout the pandemic, it has reported 21,421 cases and 439 deaths. The Ellwood City Ledger reports new coronavirus cases increased 7.5% in Pennsylvania in the week ending Sunday as the state added 18,183 cases.   Mercer County has recorded 23,094 cases and 481 fatalities.

A bill which would support volunteer firefighters continues to make its way
through the legislative process. The bill would waive vehicle registration fees for first responders who drive their personal vehicles to emergencies. The prime sponsor expects the Motor License Fund would take a one-and-a-half to two million dollar hit from the bill. Pennsylvania has gone from 300,000 volunteer firefighters in the 1970’s to about 38,000 today

A lot of tolls go unpaid on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  An audit from the Pennsylvania Department of Auditor General found that uncollected tolls last year totaled roughly 155-million dollars.  Data shows that of the 200-million drivers who traveled the turnpike in 2021, between six and eight-percent didn’t pay tolls.  This is the main reason the turnpike began shifting to cashless toll collection as it has laid off hundreds of tollbooth workers in the process.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has a plan to go green.  Department leaders say all of the electricity they use will come from renewable sources by 2030.  Planners have completed 23 solar power generation projects for DNCR, with another 18 in the design stages or under construction.  The department oversees one-hundred-21 state parks and more than two-million acres of forest land.

Federal prosecutors have charged a Pittsburgh man in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.  Twenty-one-year-old Thomas Carey was arrested last week in Virginia on misdemeanor charges stemming from his alleged actions on January 6th of last year.  Investigators say he coordinated with others before entering the capitol and parading through the building and into Nancy Pelosi’s office. 

Sex crime charges against a former Allegheny County educator and youth athletics coach will go to trial.  Eric Fairman is a former math teacher at McKeesport Middle School who also coached sports in the Keystone Oaks and West Jefferson Hills School Districts.  He is facing a list of charges connected with the sexual abuse of 11 children who prosecutors say were mostly between the ages of 11- and 14-years-old when victimized.  Fairman was a sports coach for most of the boys.  Fairman waived his right yesterday to a preliminary hearing.

Legislation approved by the state House would maximize the amount of revenue generated by the Pennsylvania Lottery for programs which benefit older Pennsylvanians.  The bill would extend the expiration of the required 20 percent profit margin until June 30th, 2029. The bill’s prime sponsor says the legislature has incrementally reduced the required profit margin from 30 percent to 20 percent over the past decade to generate higher profits. Pennsylvania is the only state to designate all of its Lottery proceeds to senior citizen programs.