A Sharon man has pleaded guilty   to conspiring to distribute crack cocaine. According to Acting U.S. Attorney Tony Rivetti, 34 year old Torlando Hopson pled guilty before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.  Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing to occur on August 31st.  The law provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to one million dollars.  Law Enforcement agencies in both Mercer and Lawrence County assisted in the investigation.

A criminal homicide trial has been delayed in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. The New Castle News reports that a jury was already selected when the trial of Tyler McMillan was postponed another month. Defense Attorney John Bongivengo filed several motions in court that have to be ruled on before the trial can get underway. McMillan is charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of 25 year old Andre Robinson back in March of 2020. No new trial date has yet been set.

Governor Shapiro is giving more details on his plan to expand the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for seniors and Pennsylvanians with disabilities. The Governor wants the maximum rebate for seniors would be raised to a thousand dollars each year and the income cap for renters and homeowners would be increased to 45-thousand-dollars annually. The governor also wants to tie the income cap to the cost of living. The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 and older, widows and widowers aged 50 and older and people with disabilities who are at least 18.

Ambridge borough leaders are recognizing the emergency responders and community members who helped save a family from a burning home late last month.  Shelley Stanley got to meet some of the people who came to her rescue at last night’s council meeting.  Stanley spoke with WPXI-TV, saying she suffered burns, a broken wrist, and other injuries when she fell from a ladder trying to escape the April 30th blaze.  Two teens who caught a one-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl that Stanley was forced to drop from an upstairs window were also honored by the council, but, they were not at the meeting.

Control in the Pennsylvania State House is back up for grabs next week. A special election will take place in House District 163 that could change the direction of the lower body once again. Democrat Candidate Heather Boyd faces Republican Candidate Katie Ford for the open seat. Former Democratic Representative Mike Zabel resigned from it in March after he was accused of sexual harassment. The last time the area sent Republicans to the state capitol was in 2016. Since then, the district has voted for Democrats up and down the ballot.

Federal nuclear regulators say the project to decommission Unit 2 at the Three Mile Island site is now moving into a new phase. The work entails crews beginning to remove core debris from the reactor, which went through a partial meltdown in 1979. Officials say this phase will take about six years, then it will take another eight years to completely dismantle the structure. Unit 2 had been in a monitoring phase for almost three decades. 

Government attorneys this week have prevailed in a motion that they be allowed to schedule their own psychiatric evaluation of alleged Tree of Life shooter Robert Bowers.  Bowers is accused of killing eleven people in an attack on the Squirrel Hill synagogue in October of 2018 and jury selection in the case is now in its third week.  Attorneys for the defendant say that he suffers from schizophrenia and epilepsy. 

A report released last week by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office shows more older residents are moving out of Pennsylvania. The report used data from the IRS to show that over 14-thousand more people left Pennsylvania than moved to the state in 2020-21. Officials say the largest disparity came from people who are nearing retirement-age. There were nine-thousand more people over the age of 55 who moved out of Pennsylvania than people of the same age who moved into the state. The majority of those former residents moved to Florida and North Carolina.

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