In Columbiana County Ohio, a mandatory evacuation order has been given for folks within a one-mile radius of a Friday night train derailment. The accident involving an estimated 50 train cars happened in East Palestine, Ohio not far from the Beaver County line. Some of the freight cars involved were carrying hazardous materials. In announcing the evacuation order last night, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that a drastic temperature change had taken place in a rail car creating the potential of a catastrophic tanker failure which could cause an explosion with the potential of deadly shrapnel traveling up to a mile. The Ohio National Guard has been deployed to the area to aid local authorities.
An Ellwood City man faces a number of charges following a police investigation into his sexual interactions with a minor. 29 year old Shane Clapper was arrested by Ellwood City Police on Thursday related to his possession of child porn and knowingly soliciting sexual content from a 12-year-old girl. According to the Ellwood City Ledger Clapper faces 26 charges of soliciting sexual content from a minor and 26 charges for the possession of child porn. He remained in the Lawrence County Jail Friday on a $100,000 bond.
Authorities are investigating a Sunday morning shooting in Butler County. A neighbor called police early yesterday to report they had heard the sound of a gunshot followed by someone yelling. The 43-year-old was victim found in an area not far from West New Castle Street. Their injury is described as non life-threatening. No arrests have been made.
A Pennsylvania lawmaker has proposed more than doubling the state’s minimum wage starting next year. State Representative Roni Green of Philadelphia issued a memo to all House members on Feb. 2nd proposing legislation to raise the minimum wage to $18 an hour. Green says her bill would increase the hourly minimum wage incrementally by July 1, 2024. The bill would also increase the minimum wage for tipped employees to $8 an hour and ensure that tipped employees receive the full amount of a tip.
The New Castle News is reporting that three million dollars in grant money has been awarded to replace the East Washington Street Bridge in New Castle. Congressmen Mike Kelly said that this funding is part of a Community Project Funding grant that was part of the federal fiscal year 2023 spending package. Funding is expected to be received in mid-2023. The total cost of the project is $4.5 million. Contracts for the project through PennDOT will be awarded in 2024, with one construction season expected to complete it.
With the calendar closing in on next weekend’s Super Bowl, Pennsylvania’s acting attorney general is warning folks to be wary of ticket scams. Michael Henry says that fans hoping to head to Arizona to watch the Eagles take on the Chiefs need to watch out for con artists trying to steal their money. Among the tips he’s offered, Henry says that people should avoid ticket sellers who ask for payment in gift cards, money orders or wire transfers. Henry says a credit card should always be used to make such a purchase when possible.
Seven-hundred-forty-seven-million dollars will be up for grabs tonight. That’s the current estimated jackpot in the Powerball lottery game. No one has won the game’s top prize since back in November. The estimated jackpot tonight is the ninth largest for a lottery game in U.S. history.
State Police in Mercer County have arrested five teenagers they say were part of a burglary ring that committed 21 break-is that netted more than $31,000 in stolen goods and cash from members of Mercer County’s Amish community. 19 year old Caden Hinkson of Freedonia faces 40 criminal counts including burglary, theft, and a number of other charges. Hinkson was arrested along with two 17-year-old boys from Clarks Mill and Utica, and two 16-year-olds from Fredonia and Mercer. The investigation is ongoing.
Players, coaches, officials and fans barricaded themselves inside classrooms Friday night during what’s been described as a frightening incident involving someone with a firearm outside a high school basketball game. Police responded to Mars Area High School and detained one person who authorities have only described as someone who is not a student. No injuries were reported.