The Tri-County Report for July 23rd 2014

Tri-county Report for July, 23rd 2014

Police continue to investigate a fatal shooting in Ellwood City.  Officials believe an argument between Rashune Smith and Jessica Jackson led to gunfire in the Walnut Ridge public housing complex Sunday night.  Thomas Lee Everett Paris, Smith and Jackson were all shot during the incident.  Paris fled the scene and was later found dead at The Ranch tavern along Route 65 in Wayne Township.  Smith and Jackson were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

One woman is dead after her car veered over an embankment in North Beaver Township on Tuesday.Officials say the woman was driving on Mohawk School Road when she went over the hill and dropped nearly 80 feet. Police say the woman was dead when they arrived. The New Castle News Reports Volunteer firefighters from Mahoning, Neshannock and Union townships were summoned. They assisted in retrieving the body..

A teenage boy is recovering after being hit by a train in Big Beaver.  The 14-year-old was hit at the Norfolk Southern crossing on Midvale Road Monday night.  His friends went for help and he was flown to the hospital with two broken legs and a head injury.  Police are investigating the circumstances that led up to the accident.

Joe Paterno's son, Jay, is suing Penn State University.  Paterno and former assistant coach Bill Kenney filed the million-dollar lawsuit in federal court Monday.  The suit alleges the school reacted with rashness, without basis and with no attempt to preserve the coaches' reputations when it prematurely released them in 2012 during the Jerry Sandusky scandal.  Paterno and Kenney claim their dismissals have made it more difficult to get jobs.

PennDOT is looking for employees.  Officials recently announced they are trying to supplement their winter workforce and will be hiring temporary equipment operators, mechanics, welders, clerks, typists, stock clerks and custodial workers.  The positions will be available from September through April and applicants must apply online by August 8th.  More information is available at:

Gas prices are down about four cents in Western Pennsylvania in the past week.  According to Triple-A's weekly fuel gauge survey, prices are now averaging about 3.76 a gallon.  The national average has fallen for 25 straight days due to an abundant refinery production.. In New Castle prices are at an average of 3.69 a gallon, in Sharon the average sits at 3.74.  The price a year ago was at 3.67 a gallon.

Pennsylvania's first 70 mph speed limit is now in place on a 97-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in central and eastern Pennsylvania. The speed limit on Interstate 76 from the Blue Mountain exit 201 through Morgantown exit 298 went up yesterday from the standard 65 mph.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is releasing the results of an audit of the Department of Environmental Protection's handling of the Marcellus Shale gas industry.  The audit began in 2013 and found that the DEP is under-funded, understaffed and inconsistent in development.  DePasquale said yesterday that the DEP employees work hard, but claims there aren't enough inspectors.  As a result, DePasquale says the DEP has poorly-kept records, no policy for timely well inspections, and no procedure for tracking complaints.  The DEP says it has already implemented 22 of the 29 report recommendations.

 The Pennsylvania State Police force has two new helicopters. The choppers arrived yesterday and are the first of six to be added to the force.  Officials say the helicopters will help with law enforcement patrol and operations and will feature technology that will enable crews to pinpoint exact ground locations from the air and communicate with first responders on the ground.

Officials are reminding people about some new rules that will be in effect at PNC Park this weekend.  Tailgating at the Jason Aldean concert Saturday will be limited to five hours before the concert starts.  People will not be permitted in the lots after the concert starts and Pittsburgh and mounted Allegheny County police officers will be on hand to patrol the area.  Area lots will open at 2 p.m. and a parking lot "code of conduct," which prohibits the sale of food and alcohol, glass containers, tents and oversized vehicles, will be enforced.

The Lawrence County Comissioners will hold their weekly public meeting next Tuesday, July 29th at the New Wilmington Borough Building on High Street at noon.  The public is invited to attend.  Throughout 2014 the Commissioners plan to conduct one public meeting every month at each of the County's ten borough buildings.