State Police in Mercer County have charged a registered sex offender after allegedly assaulting two teenage twin girls. 23 year old Shane Slicker is charged with a dozen charges including aggravated indecent assault of a person under 16, sexual assault, corruption of minors, and rape.  One of the alleged victims told police that she woke up on a couch at Slicker’s Hempfield Township  home to find Slicker raping her.  Slicker is in the Mercer County Jail on 75 thousand dollars bond.  He has a previous indecent assault incident from January of 2020.

A memorial for a Wilmington Township woman missing for nearly three years, whose remains were recently discovered, is continuing to grow today. Twenty-year-old Kaylene Oehling had not been heard from since January of 2020 after she left a friend’s house.  A skull and other bones found March 19th in a wooded area in Allegheny County were identified in recent days as being hers.  Oehling’s cause of death has not yet been determined.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas price report the price of gas in Western Pennsylvania is down five cents this week to 3.68 a gallon. In New Castle the average price is at 3.56 and in Sharon drivers are paying 3.54. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped three cents since last week to hit $3.43. Today’s national average is four cents more than a month ago but 80 cents less than a year ago.

A new set of lawmakers now seated on the House Appropriations Committee is getting to hear about a wide range of issues affecting public education.  Acting Education Secretary Dr. Khalid Mumin, Governor Josh Shapiro’s nominee, made his first appearance before the legislative panel last week to discuss the state budget. The hearing came in the wake of a recent Commonwealth Court ruling and stated that the state’s system of funding public education with a reliance on local property taxes is unconstitutional and unfair to poorer schools. 

The TSA reports that a pair of travelers with guns were stopped at a security checkpoint Monday at the Pittsburgh International Airport.  The first traveler, a man from Pittsburgh, was found with a loaded 40-caliber handgun and the second traveler, a man from Wexford, was found with a loaded 9-millimeter handgun.  The incidents bring the total to 4 travelers found with weapons trying to get through security at the airport this month.

One person was taken to the hospital following an accident in Butler County. According to State Police 34 year old Celeste Hamiel of Pittsburgh was northbound on Sarver Road when she pulled into the path of a vehicle operated by 48 year old Melissa Smith of Sarver. Smith was taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported.

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education says it wants 112- million-dollars in state funding to train more students to be nurses and physician assistants. PASSHE is requesting almost 574-million-dollars overall from the state, with other funds going to those who want to study computer science, engineering, social services and business. Officials say 21-million of the requested amount is an inflationary increase. The  board of governors says the 574-million would allow them to freeze basic, in-state undergraduate tuition for the fifth consecutive year. 

Discussion during a recent state budget hearing focused on the possibility of allowing Pennsylvania community colleges to offer four year degrees. Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges President and CEO Elizabeth Bolden says it might be good for PA community colleges to be able to award bachelor’s degrees. Bolden says 24 states
allow community colleges to award bachelor’s degrees, with at least 12 allowing the award of BA’s in nursing to help address worker shortages in that field.

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