Softball Treasurer Charged with Theft
Mercer – 54-year-old Brent Hanley of Sharpsville has been accused of stealing nearly $40,000 from the Girl’s Fastpitch Softball League in Mercer County during his time as the league’s treasurer. According to authorities, Hanley stole $38,000 from the league for more than six years during his tenure by writing checks to his personal bank account between January 2017 and November 2023. The criminal complaint goes on to allege that Hanley presented the league’s president and other officers with falsified information to hide his thefts. He’s charged with five felonies including theft by deception and previously pleaded guilty to writing bad checks in 2019.

Man Alleges Racist Discrimination at UPMC
Pittsburgh – A former employee of UPMC is suing the nonprofit, alleging racial discrimination, workplace harassment, and retaliation. 34-year-old Caleb Ferguson claims that he was fired from his job at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh after he alerted management that he felt as if he was being harassed by a co-worker who named a plush monkey after him. He alleges that within two weeks of his complaint, he was suspended, and then fired from his job.

Erie Promotes New Fire Chief
Erie – After 44 years of exemplary service to the City of Erie, Fire Chief Joe Walko is finally retired. Chief Walko worked his way up to the top of the fire department from the very bottom, starting as an EMT in 1980 and becoming the head of the department in 2020 after seven years as assistant chief. On Thursday, Assistant Fire Chief Leonard Trott officially ascended to the top sport; he has been part of the department for nearly 30 years and says he plans to continue the legacy of his predecessor. Congratulations are in order to both men.

Major Drug Ring Arrests in PA and Ohio
New Castle – According to the United States Attorney for the District of Western Pennsylvania Eric Olshan, 16 of the 17 members of a drug ring that distributed cocaine in Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania are in custody as of yesterday morning.  One man, 50-year-old Roberto Sanchez of New Castle, is still on the loose and anybody who has information on his whereabouts should call the police.  Members of the drug ring which was run out of Puerto Rico were responsible for as much as half of the cocaine sold in Lawrence County. Other members of the drug ring have been arrested in Youngstown, New Castle, and Ellwood City.

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