Police in Neshannock Township are investigating a bomb threat made to Nehannock High School on Wednesday. According to police the Lawrence County 911 center received a phone call shortly before 9:00 Wednesday night from a male claiming to have placed a bomb in the school. As a safety precaution all schools were searched with assistance from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department’s bomb K9 and three bomb K9s from Pittsburgh. Police say nothing was found in any of the schools, but all Neshannock schools switched to remote learning for Thursday. Police said criminal charges could be coming in the near future.
A former care worker at a Beaver County medical facility has been ordered to prison after admitting to abusing residents. Investigators say that Zachary Dinell and Tyler Smith recorded themselves physically assaulting residents and rubbing hand sanitizer in their eyes during their time at McGuire Memorial. Thirteen residents were identified as victims. Dinell, who had pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy and violation of the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act, was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in federal prison. Charges against Smith remain pending.
Westminster College is getting American Rescue Plan Act funding to expand its nursing program. The $250,000 approved by the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners will be used for the creation of a nursing simulation lab and to support the RN to BSN completion program. According to a news release by the commissioners, some of the funding will also help develop Westminster’s new pre-physical therapy program.
Members of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania are lobbying officials in Harrisburg this week, promoting interests of their 67 counties. Much of a county’s funding comes from the state and pays for the costs of some social services, prisons, courts and elections, among other needs. Members say they wanted to start early this year to get a jump-start with Governor Shapiro’s new administration.
State police are investigating word a case involving former Baden Borough Police Chief David Christner. Christner retired from office in December amid reports that he appeared in sex videos that appeared to have been filmed while he was on the job. The new investigation is said to involve a search for the person who stole Chief Christner’s cell phone and shared its contents including the videos.
Local leaders in three Beaver County communities are discussing their efforts in forming a regional police force. Decision makers from Conway, Freedom, and Baden came together to hash out details and answer resident questions at the Conway Municipal Building yesterday. Conway Council Vice President Scott Levenson has been selected to head up the Beaver Valley Regional Police Department Commission, a panel consisting of two representatives from each municipality. They have put together a list of 50 items to address before the department launches sometime between April and June.
Two Pennsylvania lawmakers want to make some changes to the state’s Medical Marijuana Program. Senators James Brewster and Mike Regan are proposing the legislation. They want to get rid of the list of qualifying conditions and leave that decision up to the patient’s doctor. There would also be no need to renew a medical marijuana card under the proposal.
If a Pennsylvania state representative gets his way, smoking bans will be extended to casinos in the Keystone State. Representative Dan Frankel is preparing a bill that would alter Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act to include casinos. Those venues are currently exempt from smoking bans but Frankel says that second-hand smoke is a real health hazard and that casino workers should not have to choose between their employment and their health. Frankel says he hopes to introduce his bill this year.
Federal authorities are giving an update on their investigation into the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse. The Pittsburgh bridge collapsed into a ravine almost exactly one year ago. The National Transportation Safety Board announced it had engineers examine fractures on the bridge. It also interviewed employees at the city of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. No conclusion was given.