A New Castle man is facing rape charges, accused of sexually assaulting a woman three times at his residence. The New Castle News reports 30 year old Lawrence Jones is facing three counts of rape and one count each of simple assault and harassment. A warrant has  been issued for his arrest.  The alleged incident took place back on May 15th.  Jones is also wanted on a warrant for simple assault and harassment charges in connection with an incident that occurred in September last year.

An employee at a Dollar General in Wayne Township faces theft charges. State Police report the 34 year old woman from Ellwood City reportedly was removing funds over several days. Police said the woman stole over 18 hundred dollars from the business.  She’s being charged with burglary and theft. The investigation is continuing.

The TSA is advising travelers to allow themselves extra time as they head to Pittsburgh International and airports around the country this weekend.  The summer travel season begins Friday with the start of Memorial Day Weekend and more than two-point-six-million travelers are expected to go through security checkpoints that day alone.  The TSA also suggests that travelers make sure they are carrying an acceptable ID when heading to the airport, that they consider signing up for TSA PreCheck and that they respect security, airport and airline personnel in addition to their fellow travelers. 

A now-former staffer at a Cranberry Township dentist office stands accused of stealing more than 20-thousand dollars from the workplace.  Authorities report that Kimberly Cook would encourage patients to pay in cash while she, herself, pocketed the money.  Cook previously was accused of pulling a similar scam when she worked as a server at the Hines Ward Table 86 restaurant.  The dentist office victimized in the latest thefts says they were unaware of Cook’s past because she applied for work with them under a different name.  Cook is facing charges of felony theft.

The Moon Area school board is taking action against a member over an alleged ethics violation.  The board voted unanimously to censure Mark Scappe [[ SCAP-EE ]] during their meeting yesterday.  A Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission report says Scappe and Blackhawk Schools Superintendent Robert Postupac [[ POST-UH-PACK ]] have admitted to conspiring with one another to secure jobs for their children.  Officials say the case is being looked at for consideration of possible criminal charges. 

Domestic violence victim advocates say as more cases increase every year so are the needs for victims.  Monday, groups addressed the increasing domestic violence problem plaguing the U.S. and Pennsylvania during a hearing in Harrisburg.  Statewide, roughly 90-thousand domestic violence survivors are served each year.  Advocates are vying for increased annual funding for housing, legal counsel, childcare, transportation, and more.    

Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano is expected to announce his run for the U.S. Senate in 2024 this week.  Mastriano unsuccessfully ran for governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the Republican nominee.  The State Senator told the media Monday that his decision will be based on where he believes he can be most effective, in Harrisburg or in D.C.  Mastriano is expected to make his announcement this Thursday.     

Gas prices are four cents lower in Western Pennsylvania this week at $3.69 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. In New Castle drivers are paying 3.56 a gallon while the average price in Sharon is 3.53.  As the busy Memorial Day travel weekend approaches, gas prices are relatively stable, increasing a penny over the past week to $3.54 for a gallon of regular unleaded. A decline in demand and the low cost of oil are the main factors. Today’s national average is 13 cents less than a month ago and $1.05 less than a year ago.

The principal of a Butler County primary school is facing charges that they failed to disclose allegations of sexual abuse.  State police say a young girl reported sexual abuse to Knox Primary School Principal Gregory Mandalas and that he failed to notify authorities as required.  The school district has placed Mandalas on indefinite administrative leave as he faces a charges of failing to report suspected child abuse.

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