The Aliquippa Police Department is cracking down on drug dealers. According to Beaver County Radio News Correspondent Sandy Giordano, Police Chief Don Couch says that five guns were confiscated from a drug dealer on Grove Street in Plan 11 last week…and another was identified selling drugs on Plan 11 and arrested. Chief Couch says that a lot of the dealers aren’t even city residents.
Governor Tom Wolf is calling attention to the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania. The governor was in Moon Township yesterday, talking about the crisis. At the Gateway Rehab Center in Moon, Governor Wolf said he and legislative leaders have agreed to a special session to address the growing problem of Pennsylvanians addicted to prescription drugs and illegal opioids. Wolf said the growing number of deaths – that cut across race and economics – demands action. No date has been set for this special legislative sesion, but Wolf expects it this fall.
Beaver County Financial Administrator Ricardo Luckow says the county is still on track to overspend its budget, unless more cuts are made. This morning on Ask the Commissioners with Mike Romigh on WBVP and WMBA, county commissioner Tony Amadio says he still can’t understand why there is still a budget shortfall. Amadio says they key to resolving the budget issue is they’ve got to be willing to compromise. Asked if he will vote to raise taxes next year, Amadio, who’s been a commissioner for eight years, says he would do so only if it is absolutely necessary. Republican commissioner Dan Camp agreed, saying he will do everything possible to avoid a tax increase. Commissioners chairwoman Sandie Egley did not show up for the monthly program.
Police have released the identity of a woman who died after apparently shooting herself Tuesday on a sidewalk on Main Street in Zelienople. Police say 35-year-old Elizabeth Adams of Portersville was shot in the head around noon Tuesday in front of Mathew Jewelers. Authorities are calling it a suicide. No other injuries were reported. Police continue to investigate.
Governor Tom Wolf will be in Moon Township today to talk about new funding to fight opioid abuse. As we’ve been reporting all week, Beaver County officials are warning people about a bad batch of heroin circulating in the area. The drugs are being blamed for 26 overdoses over the last week. One person in Beaver Falls and one in New Sewickley Township did not survive. A third death in Monaca is also under investigation, but hasn’t yet been linked to the drugs. Meantime, lawmakers are traveling the state to learn more about the epidemic. Both Republican and Democratic members of the State House are traveling the state holding hearings to learn more. The policy committee’s hearings will continue through September.
Aliquippa Mayor Dwan Walker met with Governor Tom Wolf last Saturday and asked him to help the Aliquippa School District. The district is one of 10 in the state that is distressed. At last night’s Aliquippa Council meeting, the mayor reported on his trip to the Democratic National Convention. He was the only delegate from Beaver County. According to Beaver County Radio News Correspondent Sandy Giordano, who was at the meeting last night, Mayor Walker said that local, county, state and federal officials need to help the city. He says they have 72.7 unoccupied acres, and they need to curb the flooding that continues when it rains. He said they can’t afford tax abatements of 5 or 10 years, and they shouldn’t be standing alone. He urged everyone to let their voices be heard to help the city.
Another drug overdose death is being investigated for a connection to a bad batch of heroin. As we first reported yesterday on Beaver County Radio News, a total of 26 overdoses were reported in the county by Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier in the past week, including two fatalities, one in Beaver Falls and one in New Sewickley Township. This latest death would be the third. It occurred yesterday in Monaca.
A Georgia man accused of carrying a stolen gun and ammunition into a Center Township movie theater last month is now facing a federal charge. U-S Attorney David J. Hickton said in a statement Tuesday that 21-year-old William Gossett of Covington, Georgia, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of violating federal firearms laws. Gossett was arrested July 23rd at the Cinemark Theater.
A Rochester man has been sentenced to a minimum of 22 years in prison in the shooting death of 28-year-old Richard Hogue back in November of 2013. 28-year-old Leon Platt was convicted on April 14th of third-degree murder in the death of Hogue, at an apartment in the Walnut Ridge public housing complex. On Tuesday, Platt was sentenced to 22 to 52 years in prison for the death of Hogue and two unrelated incidents. Platt maintains his innocence.
A volunteer firefighter is accused of setting multiple fires in Beaver County. Aaron Liggett of Center Township is facing a total of 24 felony charges. Liggett has allegedly admitted to setting at least three fires between March and April of 2016. However, he is also a suspect in several more blazes.