TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JULY 27TH, 2020

No injuries are being reported after a truck crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  State police say the semi’s driver lost control and hit a cement barrier in Little Beaver Township yesterday.  The rig’s fuel tanks ruptured, causing a fire that destroyed the vehicle.

A man is still recovering after a crash involving a motorcycle last week in Butler Township.  State police say a vehicle driven by a 76-year-old man turned into the path of a Harley Davidson headed west on Route 422 from New Castle Road last Sunday, July 19th.  The motorcycle rider, 44-year-old Aaron Hayes, was flown to Allegheny General Hospital.  It’s believed the other driver, Richard Rottman, received a driving violation.

Video is circulating on social media of Pittsburgh police officers shoving a protester during a demonstration Sunday.  Police had said around 200 people had demonstrated for about three hours between Sidney Street in South Side to the Birmingham Bridge in Uptown, before returning to where the protest began.  The video seems to show two officers shoving a woman while on the bridge.  In a statement following the demonstration, Pittsburgh police say they are aware of the video and are reviewing all actions taken by officers using body cameras, city cameras, and other video.

COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania are continuing to rise throughout the state. Officials say yesterday and Saturday saw a combined increase of nearly two-thousand new cases, with the state total surpassing 107-thousand. About four new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll yesterday, which sits at 71-hundred-18. Lawrence County added 16 new cases over the weekend bringing its total to 288 cases and 11 deaths.

State police are connecting four people to the thefts of some jackets from a Grove City Outlets store last week.  The unidentified suspects are accused of taking 20 coats from the Columbia Store Friday evening.  The value of the taken merchandise was reportedly 18-hundred-dollars.

Township officials say Cemetery Bridge in Pulaski Township, Beaver County is about to be closed indefinitely.  They say the bridge between Grove Avenue and Blockhouse Run Road will be closed off to traffic on July 31st.  The closure is due to hazardous conditions noted in the most recent Bridge Safety Assessment Report prepared by a PennDOT consulting engineering firm.  Pulaski Township officials say they will post signs to alert motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists of the closure.

A hearing of the Senate State Government Committee examined issues from last month’s primary election and looked ahead to the November vote. The security of mail in ballots among the issues raised during the hearing. The coronavirus pandemicis expected to result in a record number this November, an option now open to all registered voters in Pennsylvania. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, said that despite some minor issues, mail in voting during the primaries was a success and county officials were pleased with the use of drop boxes for  those ballots.

A Butler man is accused of painting racist graffiti outside a Black family’s home.  Police say Philip Rienzi left the derogatory messages last week after a dispute with a resident of the East Brady Street home.  Rienzi is charged with criminal mischief and ethnic intimidation.

Search crews say they recovered the body of a missing 14-year-old girl in the Monongahela River over the weekend.  Kristina Rai was reportedly fishing with her family near West Mifflin when she got too far out and went under Saturday morning.  Her body was discovered early Saturday afternoon.