Closures on Route 18 in Mercer County
Hermitage – One person is dead and two others are hospitalized after a collision in the town of Hermitage Tuesday. At about 5 p.m. according to authorities, an older man had what Mercer County Coroner John Libonati called a sudden cardiac event which precipitated a three-vehicle crash in the middle of town yesterday evening; that man was killed and two others had to be airlifted from the scene. Authorities closed all lanes of Route 18 between Longview and Hann Hill Road while they were at the scene and until they had cleared away debris and victims from the accident. There is an unrelated closure on Route 18 in West Middlesex; the road was closed between Route 718 and 318 due to downed utility lines at about 10 p.m. last night and that closure was still in effect at press time.

Found: Aubrey Walters
Oil City – Two missing persons in Venango County were found to be safe and sound by authorities. A 15-year-old girl who was declared missing on New Year’s Eve was discovered safe on Tuesday. Aubrey Walters, a missing Oil City resident, was also found safe after he contacted authorities on his own last Friday to tell them he had checked into a mental health facility in Pittsburgh.

Tree Disposal in Crawford County
Meadville – Meadville residents have two opportunities for the removal of their Christmas trees by the city’s waste management contractor, Tri-County. Tri-County will collect discarded trees this week and the week of January 15th – 19th. To have your trees collected simply place them at the curb on your usual garbage day and please be sure to remove any decorations and cut the tree into sections no larger than 4 feet; no bag is required. Natural trees may also be donated to Woodcock Creek Lake near Saegertown until February 17th. Natural trees only can be dropped off at a location in the recreation area where the Army Corps of Engineers can use them as an ideal fish habitat; call (814) 763-4422 for more information.

Department of Revenue Reports Shortfall
Harrisburg – The PA Department of Revenue reports that the state’s tax income was about 1/2 a percentage point lower than predicted for 2023. According to Secretary Pat Brown, the department’s yearly estimates were off by about $71 million in a press release issued on Tuesday. The Commonwealth has $19.8 billion in General Fund revenue for the 2023-2024 fiscal year; Pennsylvania’s fiscal years start in July.

Family Home Damaged in Fire Started by Pig
Slippery Rock – A Slippery Rock family reports a New Year’s Eve fire at their home began with an attempt to keep their pet pot-bellied pig warm. The Painter family set Albert the pig up with a heat light to keep him warm Sunday night and say they put some extra hay in his enclosure. They believe the fire began when Albert knocked some of that hay into the lamp. The family home suffered extensive damage and their pig was sent to the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center in Columbus for burn treatment.

Woman Charged for Throwing Children
Butler – Charges are moving forward against a Butler County daycare worker accused of throwing children. 29-year-old Taylor Titley caught the eye of investigators in June of 2023 when a 6-month-old boy that she had been caring for at Sheryl Buffington’s Daycare and Preschool Palace in Center Township was treated at a local hospital for a fractured arm. From their investigation, authorities say they learned that Titley allegedly threw infants about 20 times from heights of three to four feet. Titley appeared in court for a preliminary hearing yesterday where it was decided that the charges against her would be held for trial.

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