December 7, 20225:27 am

A Greenville man has been convicted of gun and drug trafficking crimes in federal court in Pittsburgh.  37-year-old Joshua Peters was convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession of a firearm and ammunition after a prior felony conviction.  The trial evidence showed that Peters was distributing cocaine and fentanyl from a house in Greenville.  A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro on Tuesday announced a few top staff appointments.  Executive Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Selber will be appointed Shapiro’s General Counsel.  Selber has spent the past six years serving under Shapiro in the Attorney General’s office.  Shapiro also announced the appointment of Uri Monson as state budget director and Larry Hailsham Jr. as executive deputy chief of staff.  Both Monson and Hailsham are from Pittsburgh and have previously worked for Shapiro.

The New Castle News is reporting a Wampum man has been arrested on child pornography charges. 51 year old Stanley David Burden is accused of having images of a 10-year-old girl and another child in his cell phone. Charges against him were filed Friday by the State Office of the Attorney General.  Burden faces a number of charges. He was arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 100 thousand dollars bond.

A Detroit man, accused of trafficking drugs in Beaver County has pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. 27 year old Darryl Junior Ballard pled guilty to two counts of distribution of a controlled substance that included heroin. The charges stem from the alleged sale of drugs in New Brighton in May of 2020. Ballard faces five to forty years in prison, a fine of five million dollars or both.  Sentencing is in April of 2023.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price Report the average price of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania is down six cents this week to 3.93 a gallon.  In New Castle drivers are paying 3.83 a gallon while the average price in Sharon is 3.92.  The nationwide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.38 This is 16 cents lower than last week, 41 cents lower than one month ago, and three cents more than a year ago.

Out-going Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf have presided over their last Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the state Capitol. The switch was thrown for the 20-foot-tall tree from Lehighton Monday night. The tree is decorated with more than 900 lights and more than 700 handmade ornaments.

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is pushing for new rules that would require testing for lead in every child in the state.  Senator Lisa Baker says she plans to introduce legislation that would require that all kids under two have their blood tested for levels of the metal.  A newly-signed law requires the tests for pregnant women or kids found to be at risk of exposure to lead.  The new measure would make the lab work universal.

A new analysis says the number of liability claims filed in Pennsylvania is the sixth highest in the country. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform conducted the study. Their analysis says in 2020, the commonwealth spent nearly 17-billion-dollars to settle liability claims, including about a billion-and-a-half for medical claims and over six billion for auto liability.

Butler Area School District leaders are approving a policy allowing administrators to provide supplies of Naloxone at schools.  Members approved the proposal by a vote of eight to one earlier this week.  The rules allow district supervisors to have the overdose reversal drug on hand, but it can only be administered by licensed health care workers or school resources officers who have completed state-approved training.

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