The Tri-County Report for December 13th, 2013...
An Ambridge bar is temporarily closed after code violations were discovered. Officials say the Colonial Grill had its health and occupancy permits revoked Wednesday by the Liquor Control Board and Ambridge Code Enforcement. Once the violations are corrected, the bar will be able to reopen. The facility was the scene of a weekend shooting that injured two people but officials say the incident is not related to the closure.
An unusual donation to the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign in the Shenango Valley. Somebody donated a three carrot diamond ring reportedly worth more than four-thousand dollars. The organization says the ring was donated by an anonymous couple and officials are worried that second-hand jewelers interested in buying the ring will only offer the scrap value. The donation comes as Red Kettle donations in Western Pennsylvania struggle due to the late start to the holiday season.
Supervisors in Cranberry have given approval to a preliminary budget for 2014...and it does not include a tax increase. Township manager Jerry Andree says current revenues add up to around 40-million dollars and that amount of money should cover all projected expenses for next year. Property taxes in the township are currently set at 13 mills. While property taxes are expected to remain steady, officials have already warned residents and businesses that they could see another increase in sewer rates next year.
South Beaver Township supervisors say their budget for 2014 will see a big spike in spending when it comes to road maintenance. That is because some roads are seeing heavy traffic by oil and gas trucks making their way to and from drilling sites. The line item for roads will increase from 35-thousand dollars in 2013 to nearly 85-thousand dollars. Meanwhile road maintenance will increase from 138-thousand dollars to 179-thousand. The township says it will receive additional revenue from Act 13 impact fees to help offset the increased costs.
Five new child abuse bills are on their way to Governor Corbett. The bills, which were approved by the Senate yesterday, were penned in response to the Jerry Sandusky and Catholic clergy scandals. Supporters say the bills will ensure that all suspected child abuse cases are properly investigated and suspected abusers are adequately punished. There are close to 20 bills in the package.
A quick correction on a story we reported on yesterday. We told you about the firing of former firefighter Jason Clepper. He lost his job and is currently accused of stealing more than five-thousand dollars from a local firefighters union. We reported that he was a member of the fire department in Hermitage. That is not the case. He was a firefighter in Sharon.
A former state driver's license examiner in Uniontown is facing charges for taking money in exchange for licenses. Marvin Mills was arraigned yesterday after accusations he took money from Bhutanese drivers and gave them licenses without actually making them take the test. PennDOT retested 339 drivers Mills had passed and says two-thirds of them failed the retest. Police believe this is an isolated scenario and do not suspect any other licensing centers were involved.
Ellwood City Council meets Monday night and could take a final vote on its budget for 2014. The preliminary budget was passed last week and includes a property tax increase of just over one-mill. The Ledger is reporting that nearly 40-percent of the proposed one-point-seven million dollar spending plan would be used to fund the police department. Councilwoman Marilyn Mancini says more needs to be done to control police overtime expenses.
A park and ride lot in Jackson, Butler County is being disrupted by expansion work but transit officials have found an alternate location. The Route 528 lot has about 40 spaces now but will close for the project work in February. Commuters can use the North Boundary Park in Cranberry starting Monday.
Officials are investigating the death of a horse in Butler County. Police say the horse was shot on Carbon Center Road in Clearfield Township over the weekend. The horse’s owners live near state game lands and think the horse may have been accidentally shot by a hunter. Police are reviewing trail cameras to try to gain more information.
Some Pittsburgh motorists are angry after getting tickets in the Fort Pitt Tunnel. Dozens of vehicles were trying to get into the city yesterday but were corralled into a maintenance area of the tunnel by a PennDOT truck. State police soon arrived to ticket the drivers because a supervisor claims the light to the tunnel never turned green. Some of the drivers say they plan to fight the tickets in court.
The Tri-County Report for December 13th, 2013
The Tri-County Report for December 13th, 2013...