State Police in Mercer County have filed charges against two people accused of running a meth lab where children were present at the home.  42-year-old Shandale Ridgway and 41-year-old Timothy Fabian, alleges that authorities found chemicals like drain cleaner and other materials in a home the pair shared on Perry Highway in Springfield township.  The two were arraigned Tuesday on eight counts each, which included operating a meth lab.. Their bonds were set at $10,000 each.  Another court hearing is scheduled for next week.

A New Castle man was flown to a Youngstown Hospital after he struck a deer while operating a motorcycle yesterday afternoon.  State Police report 64 year old Mark Strohecker was northbound on route 18 in North Beaver Township when he struck the deer.  Police said Strohecker suffered serious head trauma and a shoulder injury after the impact and sliding on the pavement.  Strohecker was flown to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for treatment.

The Butler Area School District is settling a class-action lawsuit filed against the district.  The lawsuit claimed the district allowed students to drink water with lead and copper in it in the 2016 to 2017 school year at Summit Elementary School.  The district has agreed to pay the 215 plaintiffs in the suit up to 600-dollars each.  The district says the money will come from an insurance provider and not from taxpayer money. 

Legal gambling has set a new record in Pennsylvania. Officials with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board say over the past year, gamblers wagered more than five-and-a half-billion-dollars. Almost half of that came from slot machines. Gambling  generated nearly two-and-a-half-billion-dollars in tax revenue for the state.  

A state representative from Allegheny County has announced she’s resigning, which will eliminate the slim majority Democrats have held in the House. State Representative Sara Innamorato is stepping down to run for Allegheny County executive in November. To fill her position in the state House, Democratic Speaker Joanna McClinton has scheduled a special election for September 19th. That’s one week before the House is expected to return to session.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are decreasing funding for violence prevention programs just as federal money has run out. The state injected 75-million of its federal COVID relief dollars into 122 existing programs last year. Funding at that time totaled 105-million. Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal presented in March would have replaced the federal money, but the spending plan approved by both the Senate and House includes just 40-million-dollars for community antiviolence grants. The state budget remains at an impasse following controversy over a proposed school voucher program. 

State Police in Beaver County are investigating an accident from last night in Hookstown.  Few details have been released. The crash took place of US30 near Pittsburgh Grade Road.  The driver was ejected from the vehicle and suffered serious injuries.  No other details have been released.

Part of planned funds in the state budget for adult mental health could be shifted to student use.  A sum of 100-million-dollars that’s already appropriated for adult needs is being redirected for school mental health grants. The 100-million comes from federal American Rescue Plan funds. The directive is in the supplemental appropriations section of Senate-amended House Bill 611. It  was passed by both chambers but has yet to be signed due to a partisan budget dispute.

Police say a Rivers Casino bartender has admitted to taking from the till.  Managers at the casino recently called police after observing that Owen Kiggans’ drawer had been coming up short.  Kiggans was first confronted about having stolen three-hundred dollars but police say he later confessed to stealing about ten-thousand dollars since December of last year due to an admitted gambling problem.  He’s been charged with theft by unlawful taking.

— Defense attorneys are beginning the process of presenting mitigating evidence in the sentence selection hearings for convicted Tree of Life synagogue shooter Robert Bowers.  Prosecutors rested arguments yesterday following another round of emotional victim impact statements.  Defense counselors will use the remainder of the hearings to try and convince the jury that Bowers should not be put death.

Investigators are continuing their efforts to determine the cause of a Monday fire in Butler.  Flames ignited at around 3 a.m. at a Locust Street apartment building with a seven-year-old girl among the first residents to become aware of the situation.  Emma Smith alerted her mother to the fire and the two fled the building with a pet.  The property was destroyed but no one was injured.

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