A couple is dead following a weekend motorcycle crash in Mercer County.  State police say the single-vehicle accident happened around 6:40 p.m. Saturday on New Castle Mercer Road.  Authorities report 69-year-old Elissa Kennedy was pronounced at the scene.  The motorcycle’s driver, 71-year-old Dennis Kennedy, died from his injuries while hospitalized the following day, according to officials. 

Multiple pets were killed in a house fire in New Castle on the city’s East Side early Saturday morning.  WFMJ-TV reports crews were dispatched to a occupied structure fire with possible entrapment.  When crews arrived on scene, flames and smoke were showing from the second floor of the house.  The homeowners told firefighters that there were multiple pets still inside the home.  One dog was rescued from the fire, but several of the pets died.  No damage estimate or the cause of the fire was reported.

Officials in Butler County are investigating the deaths of two people from Pulaski Township at a Park-n-Ride yesterday evening.  State Police in Butler County report emergency crews responded to the area at routes 422 and 19, near the Lawrence County line, around 5:30 p.m.  KDKA-TV cites anonymous sources who say the deceased individuals are a 31 year old man and a 29 year old woman who knew one another and were shot to death.  The investigation is ongoing.

Nearly five years after eleven people were fatally shot in the Tree of Life synagogue, the trial of their accused killer starts today.  With 12 jurors and six alternates officially seated late last week, proceedings are set to begin today in the trial of Robert Bowers.  Federal prosecutors seek convictions on each of 63 separate counts in the case in connection with the October 2018 mass shooting.  The government plans to seek the death penalty if jurors find Bowers guilty.

State legislation that would have enacted a tax-credit program for small businesses that offer retirement accounts for employees has been shot down. State Representative Valerie Gaydos offered up the legislation as an amendment to replace another proposal. That bill would have created a state-run, automatic-IRA plan for workers at firms with at least four employees. The bill, dubbed “Keystone Saves,” would apply only in cases where an employer-sponsored plan is not available.  The legislation goes next to a vote  for final passage in the House.

State lawmakers from both parties have given unanimous approval to legislation that would eliminate state-run health centers in counties that create their own health departments. State law currently prevents the closing of state centers even if they overlap with a county entity. The centers track diseases, offer shots and make home visits, among other services. 

State Police in Butler County report a fatal accident yesterday morning in Concord Township. Police said 75 year old Kathy Stewart of Gibsonia was traveling south on Onedia Valley road when she lost control and struck a ditch, causing the vehicle to become airborne. Stewart was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation into the accident is continuing.  

A West Middlesex woman was flown to a Youngstown Hospital Sunday afternoon  following a motorcycle accident in Butler County. State Police report 51 year old Carrie Penzerro was traveling on Eau Claire Road in Marion Townhip, when she lost control and struck rock culvert. Penzerro was flown to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital with major injuries for treatment.

Authorities are investigating after a Pennsylvania man was killed in a motorcycle accident Sunday in Ohio.  The crash happened at around 3 p.m. near Route 172 and U.S. 30 in Columbiana County.   Troopers say that Joseph Balistrieri of Sewickley lost control, hit a ditch and overturned.  He later died at a local hospital.  According to the report, Balistrieri was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

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