An Ellwood City man was sentenced to 12 months probation for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. The New Castle News reports, Brian Douglas Sizer was sentenced Wednesday for a count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds: parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol Building.   He pled guilty to the charge during a January 5th court hearing. As part of his plea agreement, his remaining three counts were dismissed, and he is ordered to pay $500 in restitution.

New federal data shows school administrators have increased safety measures over the past several years by using metal detectors and other security tools.  New research from a branch of the Department of Education shows almost 66 percent of U.S. districts control access to school grounds during school hours. Schools across Pennsylvania have been rocked recently with so-called “swatting” incidents, where calls are made that threaten schools, which are later found to be a hoax. Calls have recently been received at schools in Lawrence, Mercer and Beaver Counties.

The parents of a woman murdered in Tennessee in 2020 say they are disappointed with the results of her killer’s trial.  Devaunte Hill was previously convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 26-year-old Butler native Caitlyn Kaufman and sentenced to 25 years in prison last week.  Investigators say Hill shot Kaufman in an apparent road rage incident while she was on her way to work at a Nashville hospital.  Caitlyn’s mother, Diane Kaufman, says the jury in the case let her daughter down.  Her father, Rick Kaufman, says it is not right that Hill gets “slapped in the hand for 25 years”.

State Police in Mercer County report a two vehicle accident in Springfield Township. According to police 82 year old Joanne Lozier of Grove City was northbound on Interstate 79 traveling at what police said was an extremely slow speed, when she was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer operated by Jatinder Singh from St. Catherine’s Ontario. Lozier was taken to the Grove City Airport then flown to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown. Singh was not hurt.

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is proposing changes that will allow drivers to show proof of registration electronically.  The idea is being circulated by Democratic House Member Tina Davis. Her proposal would allow drivers to carry either a digital or paper copy of their vehicle registration. Davis has introduced the bill for the past two cycles but it’s never gotten anywhere so far.

Officials with area food banks say they’re trying to step up their operations as more people are expected to ask for help soon. Almost 100-thousand people throughout the state have had their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits cut in March. SNAP benefits total about 181-dollars per month for the average household. The residents’ benefits were eliminated due to them being no longer being eligible after COVID.  Officials say because of that situation, many more people will rely on local food banks to feed themselves and their families.

State police are investigating after a little girl was left with serious injuries after a shooting last week in Venango County.  Reports say a group of out-of-towners were removing items from their car at a home on Route 62 in Cranberry Township when someone inadvertently put their finger on the trigger of a loaded gun and fired.  The 7-year-old victim was hit in the head.  At last report, the child was hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

A bipartisan group of senators has announced a proposal that would set aside money to replace school water fountains with lead-filtering drinking stations. The plan is for the fountains to be replaced within three years. The proposal comes after years of warnings about the dangers of lead in drinking water, especially for children.  State law does not require that schools test for lead, but if they do they must notify the Department of Education if they find any and also submit a remediation plan to the state.

Those headed to PNC Park for the Pirates’ home opener tomorrow afternoon will have some new things to enjoy.  The most notable addition will be the park’s new scoreboard which is twice as large as the previous one.  Kids of all ages can enjoy new batting cages and, of course, there is new food to try.  Guests can get a Nashville hot chicken sandwich or Mrs. T’s mini pierogies with pulled pork piled on top.

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