The New Castle News is reporting former Lawrence County Commissioner Brian Burick has been appointed to fill out the remaining term of former Commissioner Morgan Boyd. Burick was one of 11 candidates to fill the position for the rest of this year, and was chosen Monday by a unanimous vote of the county’s four Court of Common Pleas judges. The appointment was made after deliberations Monday, and after the judges interviewed all 11 candidates on Friday. The 54 year old Burick served eight years as commissioner from 1996 to 2004. Burick is not seeking re-election in the May primary.

A Beaver County man is facing charges after he allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend at the Rivers Casino.  State police over the weekend arrested Edward Smorey following the Friday night incident.  Smorey also allegedly threatened to kill a man who tried to intervene.  When police arrived, reports say the suspect refused to cooperate and almost hit a police officer when he sped through the casino’s parking garage.  Smorey faces several charges including terroristic threats and aggravated assault.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey testified before fellow senators about  the Norfolk Southern train derailment.  He was one of three U.S. lawmakers to speak before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee hearing last Thursday on the incident that happened in East Palestine in February.  He gave first-hand reports of residents and emergency workers in that area and challenged the Norfolk Southern Corporation and its President to fully support the region for years to come.  He also called for passage of the Railway Safety Act to prevent future, similar disasters. 

School districts across Butler County are receiving money after a nationwide class action lawsuit against Juul Labs reached a settlement.  The lawsuit wanted compensation to schools for the use of vaping products by their students.  The districts across Butler County were awarded more than 311-thousand-dollars in the settlement back in December.  As school boards have been working to formally accept their settlements, the money will now be coming in and many of the districts say they will use the money to replace vaping detectors in school bathrooms as well as adding vaping curriculum in heath classes.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price Report prices are a penny lower in Western Pennsylvania this week at $3.75 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 3.66  a gallon while motorists in Sharon are paying 3.63.  The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline increased seven cents since last week to $3.47 even though demand and the global cost of oil have fallen recently. The higher prices are mainly due to the switch to summer blend gasoline, which can add five to ten cents per gallon. Today’s national average of $3.47 is three cents more than a month ago but 79 cents less than a year ago.

Pennsylvania’s State Superior Court on Monday upheld the 2021 conviction of former Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez.  Vazquez was convicted on 15 counts including charges of statutory sexual assault, indecent assault of a minor and sexual abuse of a child.  He is currently serving a 2- to 4-year sentence in state prison.

A 16 year old driver was taken to the hospital after he crashed his vehicle into a house. State Police in Butler County report the accident took place Sunday around noon in the 800 block of Chicora Road. Police say the teen was driving east when he went off the road, hit a mailbox, and then went directly into a house. He was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Leaders from Pennsylvania-based United States Steel Corporation says they may apply for federal government funds to help them lower greenhouse gas emissions.  A portion of six-billion-dollars in funding might soon be available for so-called industrial decarbonization projects.  The Biden administration says the money could be used in industries such as steelmaking, aluminum, cement and concrete manufacturing.    

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