Police in New Castle say a woman was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when she drove her vehicle, with her child inside, into the Shenango River. Charity Jackson and her eleven-year-old son survived and Jackson is now facing charges including DUI, reckless driving and child endangerment in connection with the May 4th accident. Police Chief Robert Salem says it is unclear if the woman intentionally drove into the river or if her actions were directed by her lack of sobriety. No serious injuries were reported.
Closing arguments are set for today in the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting trial. It comes after witness testimony wrapped up this week. The trial is to determine if Robert Bowers should receive the death penalty for the 2018 mass shooting that left eleven people dead. Prosecutors have called law enforcement officers to testify, including one who testified that Bowers said, “All Jews had to die.” This is just the second federal death penalty case prosecuted under the Biden administration.
TSA officers at Pittsburgh International Airport have stopped two guns from getting through security checkpoints in just four days. On Wednesday morning, a man from West Leechburg had a loaded 9mm handgun. Last week, a man from Atlanta had a revolver and ammunition in a fanny pack. A TSA spokesperson says 19 guns have been confiscated at the airport so far this year.
Lawmakers in Washington are formally supporting Western Pennsylvania teacher, Marc Fogel. A resolution passed this week says Russian officials have imposed a “politicized, excessive sentence” on the Oakmont citizen following his arrest and imprisonment for possession of 17 grams of medical marijuana nearly two years ago. . A number of Pennsylvania legislators, including Senator Bob Casey and U.S. Representative Chris Deluzio, have requested that the State Department make that designation for Fogel and call on the Russian government to release him immediately.
Lawmakers in the state House have approved an expansion of a tax credit program to help offset childcare costs. It passed with 39 Republicans joining their Democratic counterparts in support. Last year, Pennsylvania enacted a similar program with a maximum credit of 315-dollars for a family with one child. This year’s bill would expand that to a maximum of 900 dollars in the first year and increase it gradually to 25-hundred within four years. The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.
State officials are looking to sell the Pittsburgh property that once held the Western Penitentiary. The shuttered facility is located on a 21-acre property in the city’s Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood. The Michael Baker International consulting company is preparing a land-use study for the site. The firm says an ideal investor would agree to preserve the main prison building and two surrounding guard towers.
The Pennsylvania Lottery reports a person who recently purchased a scratch-off ticket in Westmoreland County has won a prize that will pay them cash for the rest of their life. The game was the 10-dollar Game of Life scratch off and the winning ticket was purchased at a Giant Eagle store in Leechburg. The winning player has their choice of collecting 1-thousand dollars a week for life or a cash option of just over a million dollars.
Officials with Acrisure Stadium are urging Taylor Swift fans without tickets to stay away this weekend. Stadium operators say the facility will be at maximum capacity and additional people in the area who are not attending the shows will create added traffic and complicate transportation along the North Shore. Property supervisors add that only ticket-holders will be permitted in stadium parking areas. Pittsburgh tourism experts expect Swift’s Friday and Saturday concerts to break attendance records.