Four-and-a-half years after eleven people were fatally shot at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, jury selection begins today in the trial of the alleged killer. Prosecutors say that Robert Bowers drove to the synagogue on October 27th of 2018, entered the building and opened fire…killing and wounding members of three congregations as well as injuring multiple responding police officers as they attempted to rescue surviving victims. Twelve jurors and six alternates are to be selected for the panel.
A New Castle man pled guilty in U.S. District Court to illegally possessing drugs and firearms. 44 year old Ricardo Reeves will be sentenced on August 16th after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of a mixture containing fentanyl and heroin, as well as quantities of cocaine and cocaine base, and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The charges stem from investigation in December of 2020. The Lawrence County Drug Task Force assisted in the investigation.
Minor injuries were reported following a two vehicle accident in Wilmington Township. State Police report 56 year old Christine Nagy of New Castle failed to stop at the intersection of New Castle Mercer Road and Leesburgh Station Road and struck a vehicle operated by 40 year old Michelle Kunselman of New Wilmington. Both drivers and a passenger in the Kunselman vehicle suffered minor injuries.
A Somerset County man is due in court this week after he allegedly threatened staffers at a daycare center with a pair of scissors. Witnesses report that 37-year-old Douglas Chonko showed up to the facility last Thursday morning waving the eight-inch scissors, screaming obscenities and trying to get inside. The incident led workers to take sixteen children ages five and under into a saferoom until police arrived and declared the scene safe. Chonko was later arrested and is being held in the county jail.
A Cranberry Township man was taken to the hospital following an accident in Butler County. State Police report 44 year old Seth Blizzard was southbound on route 19 in Muddy Creek Township when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a vehicle that was parked along side of the road. Blizzard was flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital for treatment.
Daily lane restrictions are taking place on route 65 in Beaver County. PennDot said the $6.23 million improvement project for Route 65 began April 17th . Single-lane alternating traffic is scheduled to occur between Route 18 and Route 588 on a daily basis from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through April 2025. The project is likely to impact traffic patterns in New Brighton and North Sewickley and Daugherty townships throughout the duration of construction.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was down last month. The Department of Labor and Industry says the state’s jobless rate dipped two-tenths of a percentage point in March to 4.2 percent. Total nom-farm jobs were up for a third straight month to a new record high of 6 million, 108-thousand, 900. Jobs increased in 7 of the state’s 11 industry supersectors with the largest gain in leisure and hospitality. Jobs in professional and business services also set a record high.
A state lawmaker is once again proposing a tax on skill games in Pennsylvania. Senator Gene Yaw says the unregulated machines, which don’t generate tax revenue, create an unfair playing field within the state gaming industry. Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko agrees. He says the machines take millions of dollars from programs that the lottery supports. Senator Yaw also tried to get a similar measure passed in 2021.