TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 22ND, 2020

According to the New Castle News, two New Castle men are in custody one in Canton, Ohio, and another in Butler County, accused in an aggravated burglary and assault of a woman in Canton. 27 year old Bryant Binns, and 41 year old Marc Allen Taylor  were identified as having been involved in a drug deal that turned violent on April 30. A female suspect from Canton also was involved, according to Canton police, and all three are facing charges in the incident. Binns is in the Stark County Jail on 225 thousand dollars bond and Taylor who escaped from house arrest last month in Lawrence County, also is charged by Canton police with aggravated burglary and is wanted on a warrant in Canton with a $250,000 bond.

Some western Pennsylvania counties could soon move into a restriction-free environment.  Governor Tom Wolf says he could announce which counties can enter the “green” phase today.  The governor gave no hints as to which communities would have restrictions lifted, but Mercer and Lawrence counties were among the first to move to yellow earlier this month.

Beaver County is open for business again.  The county moved into Pennsylvania’s “yellow” reopening phase overnight, lifting some coronavirus-related restrictions on travel and shopping.  Non-essential retail businesses can welcome guests, but restaurants are still restricted to only carryout service.  Beaver is the last of the western Pennsylvania counties to enter the yellow phase.

A Union Township man charged last year with 50 counts of child pornography will serve a year of house arrest. The Sharon Herald is reporting 38 year old Jason Matthew Moriarity of 1211 Matilda Ave. had pleaded guilty in November to one count of child pornography. Judge Dominick Motto sentenced Moriarity, ordering him to also serve four years of probation and requiring him to register with the state police under Megan’s Law provisions as a sexual offender for 15 year. Moriarity was arrested in June of last year. Police found more than 50 images of child pornography.

An Ambridge family is mourning the death of a ten-year-old boy who drowned in the Ohio River.  Several people turned out last night for a vigil to remember Thomas Jett, whose body was recovered from the river on Wednesday.  Ambridge police say Jett fell into the river while playing along the banks with a group of friends earlier this week.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health yesterday reported that there are 980 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 65,392. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19.There are 4,869 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 102 new deaths. In Lawrence County, there are 73 coronavirus cases and eight deaths. There have been 1,083 negative test results in Lawrence County.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Michael Driscoll is pushing for an in-person fall semester.  He sent a letter to students today indicating that things will change and suggesting some remote learning days.  Dorm rooms and bathroom facilities will no longer be shared by more than two students and food services have safety precaution measures in place.  The Indiana Regional Medical Center will also offer COVID-19 to students.

Students in the Butler Area School District will have several options on how to learn during the 2020-2021 school year.  In a plan released by the district this week, elementary students will be able to either go to school or do online education.  Secondary students have both those options, as well as a third option which is a hybrid of in-school and cyber learning.  The district’s superintendent says they recognize there still is a lot of unknown.

The state is allowing bars and restaurants that are struggling due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 to temporarily serve cocktails to go.  This follows Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signing the bill yesterday. Officials say the law applies to restaurants and hotels that have lost about 25-percent of their average monthly sales amid the pandemic.