December 12, 20225:28 am

A New Castle man was arrested on drug charges last week. Michael Brooks was charged with two counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver and other drug and paraphernalia violations.  Police conducted a search of a home on First Street and found fentanyl, over 32 hundred dollars in cash and a handgun. Brooks was arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County Jail.  A preliminary hearing is set for December 20th.

The man who was found guilty of killing a 10-year-old New Castle girl was given two consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole on Friday. WFMJ-TV reports 21 year old Steven Procopio was sentenced on three counts of criminal homicide for the deaths of three people including Lawrence Cannon, Nichole Pumphrey and 10-year-old Amariah Emery in October of 2018.  Procopio had previously pled not guilty for the death of Emery. According to audio from an interview with a detective, Procopio admitted to being at the home when Emery was killed, but denied that he killed her.

Congressman Mike Kelly is issuing renewed calls for the release of a Butler native from a Russian prison. In a press release, Kelly said he was pleased to see the release of Brittany Griner from Russian custody. However, he also expressed disappointment that the Biden administration has not been able to secure Marc Fogel’s release. Fogel was arrested after having possession of a small amount of medical marijuana while teaching in Russia. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison, and that has included hard labor.

A 10-year-old boy is being credited with saving the lives of his family members.  Levi Baker had just stepped out of the shower Saturday afternoon when he immediately noticed smoke starting to fill the family’s North Sewickley Township home.  Baker alerted his loved ones who were all able to escape without injury.  The home was destroyed and the cause of the fire has not been determined.

Trustees at Slippery Rock University in Butler County have narrowed the list of candidates to be the institution’s next president to two.  Current president William Behre announced his retirement earlier this year.  Provost Karen Riley of Regis University in Denver and Provost Chance Glenn Sr. of the University of Houston-Victoria in Texas remain in consideration for the job.

Governor Wolf says his administration has spent the past several weeks recognizing and thanking some 1,100 state employees who serve or have served in the military. With his time in office soon ending the governor says he’s proud to have worked with so many men and women who have served both our country and the commonwealth. Since the Pennsylvania State Employee Military Service Campaign began in 2019 more than 17,000 state employees have been honored.

Governor Tom Wolf and the First Lady are getting to know their constituents up close and personal.  Sunday, the Governor’s Residence hosted an open house for the public.  The event was part of the Harrisburg Associations Annual Candlelight House Tour.  Holiday tours of the Governor’s Residence will be offered again between December 19th and the 23rd. 

Administrators at Indiana University of Pennsylvania are cutting tuition for out-of-state undergrad students beginning next fall.  The Council of Trustees approved a plan to go to flat rate fees last week, meaning full-time enrollees could see a reduction of nearly 20 percent.  The move is similar to one put in-place for in-state students this year, moving away from per-credit pricing.  Those who are earning fewer than 12 credits in a semester will still be on the per-credit tuition plan.

The American Red Cross is asking families to consider donating blood this season. Red Cross is seeking donors as they face several holiday-related disruptions around Christmas, offering a few incentives for those willing to give blood this season.  The Red Cross is offering donors a $10 Amazon gift card if they donate before Dec. 15. Those who donate between Dec. 16 and Jan. 2 will be eligible for a long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last.  Visit for more information.

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