Severe Storm Strikes Crawford County
Meadville – The effects of a sudden and severe storm on Saturday night are still being felt across the region today as both public and private work crews continue laboring around the clock to restore services and reopen closed roadways. Crawford County was especially hard hit; yesterday, nearly half of the residents there were without power, including nearly the entire population of Meadville, Conneaut Lake, and Linesville – Penelec alone reported more than 14,000 outages after the storm. At press time about 13% of the County is still without power, but the hope is to have power restored countywide by Tuesday. There are still three major road closures at press time; Route 6 between Airport Road and Erie Street in Linesville is closed for downed trees in power lines; Route 322 is closed for the same near the Pennsylvania-Ohio border in Mercer County, and also between Meadville and Cochanton. There are several less impactful closures across the region, check 511pa.com before traveling.
Arson Suspect Charged
Titusville – A Titusville woman has been charged for setting multiple structure fires within the city limits last summer. Monique Smith has been charged with multiple counts of arson for fires that were set in various locations throughout Titusville on July 17th of 2022. She has a history of arrests for petty crimes like shoplifting, prowling, and trespassing and most recently has been charged in a robbery for which she was already being held in Crawford County Jail. She will remain in Crawford County Jail with no chance for bail to await trial for multiple felonies related to both crimes. A woman fitting Smith’s profile was seen carrying gas cans near the scene of one of the fires, and she was observed walking around the area the fires were set multiple times; she also had an affiliation with the owner or occupant of each location where the fires were started.
Chocolate Factory Explosion
West Reading – Seven people were killed in an explosion at a chocolate factory in West Reading on Friday. The search for missing persons after an explosion at RM Palmer Company ended on Sunday night with the recovery of two deceased employees from the rubble of the factory and authorities are now investigating the cause. At least 11 others were injured in the explosion which was reported to have happened at about 5 PM on Friday afternoon, only one survivor was discovered amongst the wreckage.