A criminal referral related to the Norfolk Southern train derailment on the Ohio/Pennsylvania border is under review. This type of referral, which typically recommends investigations or prosecutions, was forwarded last month by Pennsylvania’s environmental regulators to the state attorney general’s office. A spokesperson for A-G Michelle Henry confirms her office is investigating.

A Hermitage woman was sentenced to 4 and half to 10 years in the prison for causing injuries to her 3 month old son. The Sharon Herald reports 30 year old Alysaa Jean Tilley plead guilty to aggravated assault, causing serious bodily injury to a minor under 13, after police said she violently shook or hit the infant on July 15.  The next day, the baby began having seizures again and was taken to Akron. The caseworker said the boy nearly died while at the hospital.

NTSB Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy paid her first visit yesterday to East Palestine Ohio and to Beaver County.  The Ohio community near that state’s border with Pennsylvania was the site of last month’s train derailment.  She says the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation continues but that her team is lacking what could be some key evidence.  Homendy says that, very early on, the NTSB had asked for full recordings of the incident but they’ve been told that much of that has been overwritten. 

State police have charged a Cranberry Township businessman accused of cheating customers.  Kevin Smith is the owner of the Oilology repair shop on Route 228.  Investigators report that Smith charged folks for repairs that his shop never made and also that he rented out customer vehicles, in some cases, to other customers as they waited on their own repairs. 

A former teacher has let state lawmakers know about the dire circumstances of some former state educators.  Retired art teacher Thomas Curry says the average monthly pension benefit of 847-dollars hasn’t changed since 2002.  Lawmakers from a joint session of the House and Senate Democratic policy committees met last week to talk about possible increases in the state education budget.  Advocates say the committees need to approve at least a cost-of-living increase for public retirees and tie future adjustments to the consumer price index.

Teachers in the Hopewell Area School District are pushing board members to offer a labor contract that both sides support.  Around two-hundred people, including many educators and parents, attended last night’s board meeting.  Union president Jeffrey Homziak says teachers want a five-year deal with a salary increase that is more than the two percent that has been offered so far.  Hopewell teachers have been working without a labor contract since July of last year.

This week marks the 44-year-anniversary of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident. Federal nuclear experts say it was the most serious accident ever of a U.S. commercial nuclear power plant.  A combination of equipment failure and operator error led to a partial meltdown of one of the plant’s reactors, which resulted in the release of a small amount of radioactive material. Officials say the exposure had no detectable health effects on approximately two-million people in the nearby area. The plant is about 12 miles southeast of Harrisburg in the Susquehanna River.

Federal prosecutors report a man who set fire to a police car during a 2020 George Floyd protest has pleaded guilty to charges in the case.  Investigators say that Devin Montgomery was captured on video setting fire to the unmarked Pittsburgh police vehicle.  He pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of conspiracy and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Among the questions during budget hearings for the Department of State, how personal information is stored and protected.  The department’s budget request of $35.2-million is up nearly 6% from the current fiscal year. Questions about personal and election related information were raised. Lawmakers heard that safeguards include additional firewalls in computer infrastructure, pus encryption of data, when shared between state and federal agencies.

A Green County man has been sentenced to three-thousand years in prison.  Jurors late last year convicted Matthew Perry of more than 13-thousand counts of sex crimes against a child and nearly 22-hundred counts of raping a child under the age of 13.  At trial, prosecutors laid out their case that Perry had raped a young girl at least once each day for a period of six years.  The victim testified at trial.  Perry, who was sentenced this week, will be eligible for parole in the year 3523.

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