TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR OCTOBER 4TH, 2022

A Farrell man has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to drug charges. 43 year old Michael Talbert pled guilty in federal court to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.  Authorities said the Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating a cocaine and fentanyl trafficking organization that operated throughout the US, including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico in late 2019.  Talbert was part of that operation. He also faces 8 years of supervised release.

Pennsylvania State Police want to remind residents that they would never call you to ask for gift cards or payments over the phone. They announced Sunday that scammers are spoofing state police phone numbers to convince a target that they are interacting with a known, trusted source. The scammers ask for payments or gift cards and threaten arrest if they’re not forwarded. Troopers say you should never give out personal information to anyone you don’t know.  

The Department of Revenue says the state collected $4.2 billion in General Fund revenue in September, 3.3 percent more than expected. For the fiscal year which began July 1st the state has collected a total of $9.8 billion in revenue which is 2 percent above estimate. While corporation tax revenue was more than anticipated, sales tax receipts and revenue from the personal income tax, inheritance tax and realty transfer tax was down last month.

Doctors at UPMC are already reporting rising flu infection numbers.  Health experts say the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 over the last two years have meant very low seasonal flu cases.  Doctor Graham Snyder is urging those who haven’t done so to get the flu shot and the latest COVID-19 booster.  He says the immunizations can safely be administered at the same time.

Authorities are continuing to search for clues in the tragic death of a man Sunday at Acrisure Stadium.  Twenty-seven-year-old Dalton Keane of Monaca has been identified as the man who fell from an escalator following the Steelers’ weekend loss.  The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police’s Violent Crimes Unit is leading the investigation.

Treasurer Stacy Garrity says the state has transferred a little over two-billion-dollars to its Rainy Day Fund.  The action was authorized as part of the state budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23.  Garrity says with the deposit, the Rainy Day Fund is now approaching five-billion-dollars. The account serves as a safety net for state spending, helping to ease pressure to raise taxes or makes program cuts during an economic downturn.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price Report the average price of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania is down two cents this week to 3.88 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 3.89 a gallon. The average price in Sharon is at 3.94. The national average is up seven cents over the past week and is now 3.79.  

A pair of former Washington County residents has been convicted for their actions during the insurrection on January 6th of 2021.  Thirty-eight-year-old Dale Shalvey and his wife, 37-year-old Tara Stottlemyer, pleaded guilty to federal charges on Monday.  Investigators say that Shalvey assaulted a D.C. Metro police officer before entering the capitol his wife and another person.  Sentencing has been scheduled for January 20th.

A new state program is in effect to make sure school children don’t start their day hungry. Pennsylvania’s Universal Free Breakfast Program started Monday and allows every student in public, private, and charter schools to qualify for free breakfast, regardless of their family income level. The program affects nearly two million students and costs more than 21-million-dollars.