The Tri-County Report for July 29th 2014

Tri-County Report for July, 29th 2014

State Police in Lawrence County have charged a New Castle woman with attempted homicide in connection with a shoot-out in Ellwood City earlier this month.  29 year old Jessica Lynn Jackson is also  charged with aggravated assault, providing false information to law enforcement officers, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.  Police say that 43 year old Thomas Lee Everett Paris of Highland Park Michigan, fired the first shots at 34 year old Rashund Smith of New Castle.  Smith then fired back striking Paris, who died later.  Police said Jackson also fired several shots at Smith.  Jackson who was also shot remains in the hospital and has yet been arraigned on the charges she faces.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission is giving a unanimous okay to a four-year transportation plan.  It's a nearly five-billion-dollar plan approved yesterday that boosts regional spending by 52-percent over the old plan.  Dan Cessna with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says there will be "substantial additional transportation projects related to fixing the existing infrastructure."  The SPC handles funds for Pittsburgh as well as  Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, and seven other southwestern counties.

A pet is being blamed for a fire that damaged a Beaver County home.  Officials believe an animal in the Midland Avenue residence jumped onto the stove yesterday and accidentally turned it on, causing everything on top to catch fire. No one was in the residence when the fire broke out, but a dog and a cat were killed.

Five Pennsylvania congressmen are asking the NCAA to rescind two of the remaining sanctions against the Penn State football program.  The congressmen sent a letter Friday asking the organization to lift remaining restrictions on football scholarships, and to erase a 60-million dollar fine levied against the university.  The NCAA imposed the sanctions after a report suggested the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal was perpetuated by the school's "culture of reverence" for football.  The congressmen's letter claims the sanctions contradict the NCAA's goal of promoting education for student athletes and harms innocent students who had nothing to do with Jerry Sandusky's crimes.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane is warning Pennsylvania consumers about a rash of phone scams that have been reported across the state in recent weeks.  Kane says the calls involve someone asking the victim to make a payment.  Reasons cited by the callers include unpaid debt, a tax to cover a sweepstakes prize or to have a virus removed from a computer.  Kane is reminding people not to give out personal information over the telephone.  She also says people should never wire money in response to an unsolicited telephone call.

 Police are looking for a man wanted for an attempted bank robbery in Cranberry Township.  The man entered the ESB Bank on Rochester Road Saturday afternoon and demanded money.  When the teller refused to give him the cash, he fled.  The suspect is described as a stocky white man, about five feet, eight inches tall, with brown or red hair.  Anyone with information is asked to call police.

 A youth pastor at a Rostraver Township church is in jail for allegedly having sex with a teenage girl.  Police say Brian Smith began exchanging text messages with the victim when she joined a Journey By Grace church youth group last year.  The messages quickly became sexual and turned into a relationship, which Smith allegedly admits he knew was wrong.

Police are looking for a Fallowfield Township woman who is accused of abusing her three-year-old son.  A warrant was issued yesterday for Shyann Sanpietro, who officials say caused bruises on the child's entire body, inflicted two burn marks him and caused injuries to his leg and stomach.  The boy's grandmother took him to the hospital earlier this month after discovering the bruises.  Doctors determined the injuries were the result of abuse. 

Officials are releasing more information about the weapon found in a man's luggage at a Pittsburgh International Airport security checkpoint.  The TSA found a handgun and ammunition in a man's carry-on luggage Sunday night.  Officials say the passenger had a license to carry the gun and will not face criminal charges but will face a civil fine of up to eleven-thousand dollars for bringing a weapon to a security checkpoint.