TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR OCTOBER 12TH, 2022

Opening statements are expected to begin today in Lawerence County Common Pleas Court in the criminal homicide trial of 21 year old Stephen Procopio. Jury selection was completed yesterday. According to the New Castle News, Procopio formerly of Pulaski township is accused of killing three people that included a 10 year old child back in October of 2018. Procopio faces two counts each of criminal homicide and conspiracy to commit criminal homicide. An accomplice in the killings, 23 year old Anthony Lavon Cooper formerly of Detroit, pleaded guilty to two counts of homicide on Jan. 18 and was sentenced to 7 1/2 to 15 years in prison.

Pennsylvania has been ranked among the top states in the country for how it uses technology to serve residents. The Center for Digital Government says Pennsylvania earned an overall grade of A-minus in the 2022 Digital States Survey.  It evaluated states across 11 broad categories, including IT strategy and oversight, innovation and cybersecurity.  Pennsylvania also got second place for its infrastructure for computing, storage and network services to state agencies.

One person was taken to the hospital following an accident in Mercer County. According to State Police 58 year old Tonya Williams of Mercer, lost control of her vehicle on North Perry Highway in Coolspring township and struck a culvert causing the vehicle to flip over and impact a utility pole. Williams was taken to Grove City Medical Center for treatment.

Gas prices continue to rebound, with the average price of a gallon of gas increasing by a penny over the last week, to 3-92 a gallon across Pennsylvania. In New Castle the average price is at 3.95 a gallon while motorists in Sharon are paying four dollars on average. An increase in demand is one reason behind the price increase, as well as the decision this past by OPEC that it would cut production of oil it delivers to the global economy.      

Governor Tom Wolf is reminding older Pennsylvanians and Medicare beneficiaries that the of the annual open enrollment period starts this weekend. It begins Saturday, October 15th and ends Monday, December 7th. During open enrollment, new Medicare users can sign up for prescription drug coverage and health plans, and current beneficiaries can review, switch, or drop Medicare Advantage or prescription drug coverage.  Any new changes will take effect January 1st, 2023.

Around eight-thousand items that have been left at Pittsburgh International are set to go up for auction.  The Allegheny County Airport Authority is hosting the sale at their heavy equipment building on October 22nd.  Jewelry, books, and hats are among the property airport operators were unable to find owners for.  The sale also includes cars left at the property, with eleven vehicles to be auctioned off this year.

A former Florida resident has been sentenced to 11 1/2 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. 48 year old Hector Forbes was convicted of arranging for the shipment of cocaine, typically sent through the mail to addresses that included the city of New Castle.  The sentence was handed down yesterday in U.S. District County in Pittsburgh.   The New Castle Police Department, the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office assisted in the investigation.

State Police in Mercer County are investigating after a small amount of marijuana was found on a student in school early last week .  State Police responded to a call to Mercer County Career Center on Greenville Road just before 9 a.m. back on Monday October 3rd.   Charges are pending against a student after marijuana was found on the student during the school day.  The investigation is ongoing.