The Tri-County Report for September, 16th 2014

Tri-County report for September, 16th 2014

Police in Shenango Township are invetigating a fatal crash from Sunday morning.  According to the New Castle News, 37 year old Justin Staph of Butler Avenue was pronounced dead at the scene.Shenango Police, said Staph was southbound on Ellwood Road just north of Garnder Stop Road, when he failed to negotiate a curve, lost control and struck a telephone pole.  Lawrence County coroner Russell Noga said Staph died of blunt force trauma to the head on body.  Noga also said he is awaiting results of toxicology reports which are always requested following a fatal crash.

 Police are announcing more details about the assailant in the fatal shooting of a Pennsylvania state trooper.  Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens believes the shooter has formal firearms training, frequents a shooting range and may live in Pike County, Pennsylvania and he did not rule out mental instability.  Authorities are also offering a 75-thousand-dollar reward for information leading to an arrest.  Two troopers were ambushed late Friday night in the parking lot of the station barracks in Blooming Grove, east of Scranton.  One officer was killed and a second is in critical, but stable, condition.

A man who was paralyzed during a 2012 traffic stop in the East End is not guilty of two counts of aggravated assault.  A jury handed down the verdict to Leon Ford yesterday, but was deadlocked on all other charges.  Ford was charged after fleeing from police during a traffic stop.  Prosecutors say an officer had jumped into the car and claim Ford was trying to push him out when he was shot.  Ford says the car started moving on its own and he didn't know the officer was in the car until the gun was fired.  Ford also claims he was terrified because officers thought he was a wanted gang member.

Senator Mike Folmer is pushing legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana.  Folmer and his supporters rallied for the bill yesterday at the Capitol as Pennsylvania legislators returned from their summer recess.  Folmer says the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act could be sent to the floor as early as next week.

A Butler man had to be flown to a Pittsburgh Hospital following a one car accident in Connoquenessing Township.  Police said 62 year old Michael Singer was easbound on Reiber Road when he struck a deer.  Singer was lifeflighted to Allegheny General Hospital  for treatment.

 XTO Energy is resubmitting an application for a well site about a mile from Moraine State Park in Butler County.  XTO filed the paperwork with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection last week although there is no timetable for when the DEP will issue a ruling. Several environmental groups are appealing the application, saying the drilling would occur within a thousand feet of private water wells and could cause groundwater contamination.

An Aliquippa man is facing charges for stealing over 300-thousand dollars from his former employer.   Peter Kalemon admitted in federal court yesterday that he used his position as traffic manager to submit invoices from a fake company to Matthews International.  Officials say Kalemon submitted 126 fraudulent invoices from "Alltrans Logistics," and received about 359-thousand from Matthews over a three year period.

Route 318 is open to traffic in Shenango Township, Mercer County, following completion of a bridge replacement project.The road was closed while PennDOT's Mercer County Maintenance Unit replaced an 85-year-old structurally deficient bridge over a tributary to the Shenango River, located just west of the intersection with Route 718. Daytime lane restrictions may be in place this week to accommodate work on the road shoulders.

Health experts are trying to figure out why Pennsylvania has the highest incidence of thyroid cancer in the country.  Officials announced the statistics yesterday, saying the number of cases in the state also continue to grow at a faster rate than the rest of the country.  Many people want to place the blame on Three Mile Island but studies show there is no correlation between the cancer and TMI.  Doctors suggest Pennsylvanians be aware of the issue but say the most common type of thyroid cancer is 95 percent curable.

The Department of Transportation is providing funding for runway repair at Pittsburgh International Airport.  The money was received yesterday.  U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced the more than four million dollars that will also help with improvements at the Findlay airport.  The Allegheny County Airport Authority says the Pittsburgh airport had more than four-point-six million passengers through July this year.

Your odds of hitting a deer while driving are higher in Pennsylvania than almost any other state.  Pennsylvania is ranked second highest with the odds one in 71 you'll have a collision with a deer, an increase of nearly eight-percent over 2013.  West Virginia drivers have the greatest odds of a deer collision.  The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies says the odds go up and down for a number of reasons including a change in population or deer densities, new roads with higher speeds or changes in hunting seasons.