TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2022

The New Castle News is reporting two people were arrested on drug and gun charges early yesterday morning.  21 year old Mankel Hirth and 19 year old Asiaa Johnson were arrested at their Westview Terrace apartment after police found suspected crack cocaine, marijuana, fentanyl and over 36 hundred dollars in cash.  Hirth and Johnson both face a number of charges.  The couple was arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County Jail on bond.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association is standing by its claim that Republican Doug Mastriano’s plan for school funding would hurt public education.  The state leader who’s running for governor has said he wants state funding dollars to go directly to students and their families, and for property tax dollars that typically go to schools to be eliminated.  He has not detailed how that money would be replaced.  The education union claims half of all school jobs would be wiped out under his plan and more than 12-billion-dollars in funding would be lost. 

Officials with Pittsburgh International Airport are offering updates on the large-scale renovations currently underway.  The one-point-five-billion-dollar project is funded through parking fees, concessions, and contributions from carriers, using no tax dollars.  The new layout will split the airport into three floors, with departures at the top, arrivals in the middle, and commercial operations underneath.  Project supervisors say construction is on schedule, expected to be completed in 2025.

State police are reporting the arrest this week of a Butler County man accused of stabbing his dog.  According to reports, the dog bit 42-year-old Christopher Chuhra Tuesday morning and Chuhra responded by stabbing the dog 3 times with a large kitchen knife.  The suspect was taken into custody and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.  At last report, the dog was in stable condition after undergoing emergency surgery.

Officials at Kennywood amusement park are enhancing security protocols in an effort to keep guests safe.  The moves announced yesterday follow a shooting at the park last week that left three people injured.  Those changes include a doubling of the number of local police officers providing security at the park, enhancements to the park’s perimeter including the installation of additional flood lights and security cameras and an update to Kennywood’s chaperone policy.  Park guests 17-years-of-age and under must be accompanied by an adult carrying ID proving that they are at least 21-years-of-age.  Kennywood will reopen for the resumption of its Phantom Fall Fest tomorrow night.

The House Gaming Oversight Committee recently received an update on video gaming in Pennsylvania. Authorized as part of gambling expansion legislation signed into law in October 2017, video gaming has had a significant impact on the state with almost $80 million in revenue generated. The number of approved establishments with video gaming terminals has increased from 28 at the end of the first fiscal year to 50 at the end of the second to 66 as of June 30th of this year.

Governor Tom Wolf says he wants Pennsylvania to be more like some of its Northeastern neighbors.  Governor Wolf posted a graphic to social media today of several states that provide paid family leave for employees.  The graphic includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware and New Jersey.  The Democrat is asking Pennsylvanias to tell their legislators it’s time to make jobs more fair.

Political watchdogs say Sen. Doug Mastriano is leading the pack on advancing bills in the legislature before the body breaks for midterm elections.  The lawmakers have approved bills to mandate a moment of silence in schools every September 11th, improve data-sharing about overdoses and increase public access to financial records from Penn State, Pitt and other state-related universities.  Spotlight PA reports Mastriano has introduced nearly 90 bills since taking office; three have become law.