December 14, 20225:26 am

State Police in Lawrence County are looking for a missing Volant man. Police said 81 year old Jack Ponder was last contacted on December 6th.  Ponder is said to be operated a gray 2015 Ford Escape. Anyone with information on Ponder’s whereabouts are asked to contact state police at 724-598-2211.

A New Castle man was arrested last week on sexual assault charges. The New Castle News reports 40 year old Charles McDowell is charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, aggravated assault along with a number of other charges. Police were called to an East Lincoln Avenue apartment to an alleged domestic incident. McDowell was arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 150 thousand dollars bond.

PennDOT officials are offering good news on the progress of the new Fern Hollow Bridge.  Officials yesterday said they expect the span to be open by the Wednesday or Thursday before Christmas.  Ten people were injured when the Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed in January of this year.  PennDOT says that work on the new structure will continue even after it reopens.

An Allegheny County daycare owner convicted of withholding payroll tax from the IRS was sentenced.  44 year old Rebecca Boyce of Imperial will have to spend one day in jail followed by three years of probation. She will also have to pay $367,956 to the IRS in restitution.  Boyce was found guilty of withholding taxes from her employees at Cutie Patootie Daycare but not sending that money to the federal government.

Analysts say more than 100-million-dollars has been spent in the race for Pennsylvania’s governor. The funding reportedly tops a new record for campaigning to be the state’s leader. Spotlight P-A-dot com reports that Democratic Governor-elect Josh Shapiro and nine Republicans spent 100-point-two-million-dollars in both the primary and general election campaigns.  Another 12-and-a-half million was spent by third parties on services such as campaign mailings or catering for events.

No one matched all the winning numbers in last night’s Mega Millions drawing. Friday night’s jackpot is now up to 429 million dollars. The estimated cash jackpot payout is 233.6 million dollars.

Local fire officials are urging residents to come up with an emergency escape plan, especially families with small kids.  The message comes after two young children died in an overnight blaze in Sewickley on Tuesday.  Fire officials say kids should be sleeping with their doors closed, and can be taught to use blankets to seal them off, giving them a longer window to remain ok until help arrives.  Also having working smoke detectors and teaching children how to get out of a burning home, or at least get the attention of first responders, could be the difference between life and death.

A new report from the FBI shows that the number of cars being stolen is increasing. Over the past year, there was a nearly 25 percent rise in thieves stealing vehicles. The FBI says the cars are generally being stolen from homes. They also say used cars are the biggest target. Officials remind vehicle owners to lock their cars, park in a garage if you can, and to bring valuables inside.

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