The Tri-County Report for July 22nd 2014

Tri-County Report for July, 22nd 2014

State Police in Lawrence County have made an arrest in connection with a fatal shooting from Sunday night in Ellwood City.  22 year old Jeffery Christopher Slack Jr, of Highland Park Michigan is being charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person.  Police said following the shooting at the Walnut Ridge Apartments, Slack while fleeing the scene struck one of the shooting victims with his vehicle, 34 year old Rashund Smith of New Castle. Slack was arriagned and placed in the Lawrence County jail on 100 thousand bond.  Besides Smith, two other people were shot.  43 year old Thomas Lee Paris of New Castle died from his injuries, while 29 year old Jessica Lynn Jackson of New Castle was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. Police said the investigation is continuing with more charges pending.

A seven-year-old Mercer County boy who was nearly starved to death by his family, is out of the hospital.  The boy was released yesterday and has been placed in foster care.  Officials say he was beaten regularly and forced to eat bugs for nourishment.  Child welfare workers discovered the malnourished boy in a Greenville home last month. His mother, Mary Rader, and his grandparents Dennis and Deana Beighley are all facing charges.

Lawrence County Treasurer Richard Rapone has released numbers concerning tax collections for 2014.   To date the office has collected 19,606,314 in property taxes. 1.3 million dollars was collected between June 1st and July 9th.Treasurer Richard Rapone said the potential total tax collections for the year could be at about 23.6 million dollars.  To date the county is at 83 percent of its collections.

New York-based credit ratings agency Moody's Investors Service is slapping a lower rating on Pennsylvania's debt for the second time in two years, as state government grapples annually with built-in budget deficits. The downgrade of $11.1 billion general obligation bonds from Aa2 to Aa3 means Pennsylvania is ranked among the six worst states in Moody's ratings for the 47 states with general obligation debt.

An Export man is going to jail for using a Beaver County charter school's wireless Internet connection to try to set up a meeting with a 14-year-old girl for sex. Theodore Mamel entered a guilty plea to the charges yesterday and will serve up to two years in prison.  Officials say Mamel sent pornography to an undercover officer who was posing as a teen girl using the Internet at Lincoln Park Center for the Performing Arts, where he was a piano repairman. Mamel set up a meeting place with the officer and was arrested at the scene.

A former Avonworth School District teacher is going to jail for up to eight years for sexually assaulting a young girl.  Walter Street, an elementary school music teacher, received the sentence yesterday and will also be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.  Officials say the district superintendent found a letter on Street's school laptop that detailed his relationship with the girl in January.  The victim, who was ten-years-old when the assaults began, told police the abuse continued for several years.

A 14-year-old boy hit by a train in Homewood Borough, Beaver County, Monday night is being taken to the hospital by ambulance, according to Beaver County emergency dispatchers. The Post-Gazette reports The boy was hit by the train near Roberts Road, close to the Midvale Crossing, at about 9 p.m., according to emergency workers. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The crisis in the Ukraine dampens the mood but isn't stopping the St. Mary's Ukrainian Festival in McKees Rocks.  The four-day event starting tomorrow evening is expected to attract more than ten-thousand people and is a fundraiser for St. Mary's Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  There will also be memorial services for the victims of the crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane and those killed in the conflict in the region.

PennDot has announced some long term closures of ramps at route 208 and Interstate 376.  Starting today the on ramp of route 208 to westbound 376 and the eastbound off ramp from 376 to route 208 will be closed for the next month.  Detours have been posted. PennDot also said that single-lane closures will occur during the project on Route 208 at the bridge area.