The Tri-County Report for December 12th, 2013...
Brookfield Schools: Opening 2 hours late
A fire along state Route 422 in Lawrence County's Pulaski Township ended up shutting down the road for a couple of hours. The fire was reported late yesterday afternoon. Preliminary reports say a vehicle parked inside a business building caught fire. The business specializes in painting bridges and overpasses so there were concerns about the paints and chemicals stored inside the building. Emergency officials quickly closed 422 from the state line to Cherrywood Road. There were reports of one person being injured. No other information was available.
Triple A says the average price of gas in Western Pennsylvania increased a little over three cents last week. That is according to the latest Weekly Fuel Gauge Survey. The agency says prices are now averaging three-41 a gallon, only ten cents cheaper than it was at this time last year. The survey shows stations in the New Castle area charging an average of three-29 a gallon. Motorists in Sharon are paying around three-30 a gallon. The highest average was three-49 in Jeanette and Warren.
Two teenagers are back in custody after trying to escape from Summit Academy in Butler County. Butler police say the teens were at a supervised dentist appointment when they ran from the office on South Main Street. City police were called and eventually found the suspects near the intersection of Kitanning and Monroe streets. Both are facing escape charges and were returned to Summit Academy.
Heinz Field is getting upgrades but it remains to be seen who will be paying the bill. The Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved a second video scoreboard for the field yesterday. The upgrades will also include a three-thousand seat expansion and improvements to a stadium control room. The price tag is expected to be close to 40-million dollars. The Steelers and the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority are involved in a lawsuit over who should pay for what.
State police in Lawrence County say an accident involving a Portersville Christian school bus left some students with minor to moderate injuries. It happened Tuesday on Route 108 in Hickory Township. 21 year old Shannon McAnny of Gibsonia reportedly lost control of her car and struck a vehicle driven by 18 year old Jacob Oxendale of Slippery Rock. His car then collided head on with the bus. McAnny suffered moderate injuries. Four students on the bus were injured as well. Oxendale was not hurt.
The city of Sharon has fired one of its firefighters. That is because Jason Scott Clepper is accused of stealing money from the firefighters' union. Sharon City Manager Scott Andrejchak says Clepper was fired following a November 25th hearing that was required for the move. Clepper was charged in early November and recently waived the charges to court during a preliminary hearing. He is accused of stealing more than five-thousand dollars and has since repaid the money to the union.
A Wampum woman is facing charges for repeatedly calling 9-1-1 to report emergencies that never happened. State police say 51 year old Geri Tremble called 9-1-1 seven times. State troopers responded to six of those calls only to find out there was no emergency. During the last incident, Tremble allegedly told police she called 9-1-1 because she needed a ride to pick up her medication and dropped off at her friend's home.
The South Butler School district is now requiring people visiting the campus to show a driver's license or some other form of state issued identification. The change is part of a revised emergency plan that includes new computer software that scans the drivers license and informs the school whether the visitor is a registered sex offender. That software is currently being used by more than eight-thousand school districts around the country.
Lawrence County Commissioners meet next week and it looks like a vote could come on the purchase of 42 acres for the relocation of the county's 9-1-1 center. The property is located along County Line Road in Hickory Township. The county has a preliminary agreement to purchase the property for 200-thousand dollars. The 9-1-1 center is currently located inside the Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle.
Police are warning Midstate residents about a phone scam making its way around the region. Officers say the caller claims the victim’s family member has been taken hostage and will be killed if the victim doesn’t wire money into a specified account. Officials say six Midstate residents have received the calls over the last month and in some cases, the caller knows background information on the victims or the victim’s family. Police are telling anyone who receives a suspicious call to remain calm and call police.
The former CEO of Pennsylvania’s State Employee Pension Fund is under investigation. The State Employees' Retirement Board voted yesterday to authorize an independent investigation into allegations against Tony Clark. The nature of the allegations have not been disclosed.