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Lawrence County News

News from Lawrence County.

Ellwood City Man Awaits Preliminary Hearing Over Domesic Dispute

The New Castle State Police report a 44 year old Ellwood City man jailed on $10,000 bond and

charged with resisting arrest in connection with a Wednesday domestic dispute at 329 Village

Drive, Wayne Township, Lawrence County.  

 

Police Minnie Jo Lutz, 65, of Ellwood City, (mother of the accused Orville Richard Duncan III),

contact the state police reporting had struck here and caused damage to the residence.  When the

troopers arrived, Duncan became combative and resisted arrest.  He was charged with resisting

arrest, harassment, criminal mischief, and public drunkenness.  A state trooper sustained damage

to the uniform during the struggle.  Duncan was arraigned before district magistrate Jerry

Cartwright and is now lodged at the Lawrence County Jail awaiting a May 17th Preliminary

Hearing.  Duncan has requested a public defender.  

 

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Bucket Truck Tips, Lineman Perishes

From Ellwood city come a report from  the Pennsylvania State police  saying an electrical worker is dead after his bucket truck tipped over as he was working on a utility pole.

Police identify the man as 54-year-old James D. George, of New Castle.

Police say the Penn Power lineman was working Sunday in Wayne Township in Lawrence County. Police report  he was in the raised bucket of a utility truck parked on an inclined road.  The truck became unstable, moving backward before tipping onto its side.

 

FirstEnergy, the parent company of Penn Power, says they are cooperating with police and conducting their own internal investigation.

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PSP New Castle Probes Car Theft

The New Castle State Police are investigating the theft of a motor vehicle reported to have taken place sometime last Thursday or Friday.  The troopers say the theft allegedly occurred at 300 Lakewood Gardens in Hickory Township, Lawrence County.  Reported stolen was a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix valued at about $1200 from Carletta Neely of New Castle.  The investigation is continuing.  Anyone with information is asked to Contact the New Castle State Police at 724-598-2211.

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1 Dead, 2 Adults, 1 Child Hurt in Washington Township Rollover

A 33 year old New Castle man is reported dead the result of a fatal one car crash early Sunday afternoon in Lawrence County.  The New Castle state police report Charity Jackson, 37 of New Castle, driving a 1996 Toyota Camry carrying two adult passengers and five year old boy was traveling west on State Route 208 at about 1 pm, when the car went off the roadway, crashed into an embankment and subsequently went airborne.  The police say the car landed on its roof in a yard off the north berm.  Both Jackson and backseat passenger Austin Elmore, 36, of New Castle were partially thrown from the car.  Police say the five year old boy, in the back seat and 33 year old Cleophas, also of New Castle, the front seat passenger were entrapped in the car and had to be extricated by firefighters. 

Police say Charity Jackson was wearing her seatbelt improperly and sustained severe injuries.  Elmore was not wearing his seatbelt and sustained moderate injuries.  The five year old boy was properly secured in a booster seat and sustained only minor injuries.  Cleophas Jackson was not wearing a seat belt and sustained severe injuries.  Coroner Russell Noga pronounced Cleophas Jackson dead at the scene.  The other passengers were treated at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio.  Elmore was flown by medical helicopter and Charity Jackson transported to the ER by Noga Ambulance Service. 

 

Fire Departments from New Wilmington, Volant,  and Springfield Township in Mercer County responded to the scene as well as Noga Ambulance Service.  Stat Medevac Medical Helicopter and the Lawrence County Coroner's office.  Troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police New Castle station are still actively investigating the incident.  

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New Castle PSP Probes Fatal Police Involved Shooting

A police involved fatal shooting is under investigation in Lawrence County.  A 91 year old man is dead, the result of an incident in Union Township Wednesday night.

 

The New Castle state police report shortly after 6:35 pm, the Union Township Police Department responded to 9 Spring Street in Union Township, the residence of Frank W. Wratney.  Police say they had received a phone call by way of 911 from a known female who reported her uncle, Frank Wratny, , had shot at her.  The Union Township officers called for backup from the New Castle City Police Department.  The City's Special Response Team responded and shortly after 8 pm Wratny confronted the New Castle Police Officers with a firearm from the front door of his residence.  Wratny sustained a gunshot wound and died at the scene.  The New Castle state troopers say they are actively investigating the shooting as per protocol.  

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New Castle PSP Finds 99% Megan's Law Compliance

We told you that report so we could tell you this report as well.  The Pennsylvania State Police, Criminal Investigation Unit, New Castle Station, conducted routine Megan's Law Compliance Checks in Lawrence County throughout the month of February to validate and confirm those listed on the Megan's Law Registry were actually living where they indicated.  The checks were sporadic and unannounced.

 

Police say there are a total of 105 individuals living in Lawrence County who are registered with the Pennsylvania State Police Megans Law Unit.  A total of 104 individuals were found to be in compliance.  Subsequent criminal charges against the lone individual who was not compliant are pending.  

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DEP Finds Spatial/Temporal Correlation between Hilcorp Hydraulic Fracturing and April 2016 Seismic Events in Lawrence County

Meadville, PA – Seismic events that occurred in western Lawrence County on April 25, 2016, were likely correlated to natural gas hydraulic fracturing by Hilcorp Energy Company, according to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“Induced seismicity is a relatively new and complex technical issue,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “This report reflects our commitment to understand what occurred, through extensive review with scientific and industry partners, and to formulate procedures to reduce seismic risk going forward.”
A series of low-magnitude earthquakes that began at 4:17 a.m. in North Beaver, Union, and Mahoning Townships showed a “marked temporal/spatial relationship” to hydraulic fracturing activities at Hilcorp’s North Beaver NC Development well pad. 
The Pennsylvania Seismic Network registered four earthquakes. (OhioSeis recorded three earthquakes, and Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismic Network recorded five.) The final magnitude of the earthquakes ranged from 1.8 to 2.3 on the Richter Scale, putting them in the category of microseismic events, which are likely to go unnoticed by humans and only recorded by sensitive seismic monitors.
The Hilcorp pad, which includes four wells drilled into the Utica Shale Formation, lies within a five-mile radius of the reported epicenters. Hydraulic fracturing activities began at the pad on March 30.
Hilcorp was using a technique known as “zipper fracturing,” or hydraulic fracturing operations that are carried out concurrently at two horizontal wellbores that are parallel and adjacent to each other. When DEP contacted Hilcorp on April 25, the company voluntarily stopped activities and later reported they would discontinue hydraulic fracturing and stimulation operations at the well pad indefinitely. 
Recommendations in the DEP report include discontinuation of the practice of zipper fracturing during any future completions when there is less than a ¼ mile between lateral portions of adjacent wellbores. This applies to Hilcorp’s Utica gas wells in North Beaver, Union, and Mahoning Townships. Zipper fracturing is allowed when there is more than ¼ mile distance between lateral portions.
In addition, it is recommended that Hilcorp maintain operation of its own seismic network within these townships. The seismic network will allow for the accurate detection of local, low-magnitude events.
A seismic event reporting schedule and operator response plan is also included in DEP’s recommendations: 
•    For seismic events of 1.0 or greater magnitude occurring within 6 miles of the wellbore path, the company should notify DEP within 10 minutes via email and within one hour by telephone.
•    For any succession of three seismic events of 1.5 to 1.9 magnitude that occurs within a three-consecutive-day period and within a 3-mile radius of the wellbore path, Hilcorp should notify the DEP within 10 minutes via email and within one hour by telephone. Actions taken for this magnitude range of seismic events include suspension of stimulation operations, submittal of seismic data to DEP for review and a plan detailing modifications to stimulation operations.
•    Finally, for any seismic event of 2.0 or greater magnitude that occurs within a 3-mile distance of a wellbore path, Hilcorp should notify the DEP within 10 minutes via email and within one hour by telephone.  Actions taken include cessation of stimulation operations, flowing back of the well, submittal of seismic data to DEP for review and a plan detailing any potential modification to stimulation operations.
On November 16, 2016, DEP approved a seismic monitoring plan submitted by Hilcorp implementing the recommendations set forth in the DEP report.
DEP has also recommended that these terms apply to any new permits requested by Hilcorp and that other operators follow similar plans within the referenced townships.
See the DEP website for the report, a webinar discussion, and more information on the seismic events. 

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Review of 2016 Lawrence County Earthquake

LAWRENCE COUNTY EARTHQUAKE

http://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Regional/NorthwestRegion/Community-Information/Pages/Lawrence-County-Earthquake.aspx

A series of low-magnitude earthquakes that began on April 25 at 4:17 am in North Beaver, Union, and Mahoning Townships showed a marked temporal/spatial relationship to hydraulic fracturing activities at Hilcorp’s North Beaver NC Development well pad. 

The Pennsylvania Seismic Network registered four earthquakes. (OhioSeis recorded three earthquakes, and Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismic Network recorded five.) The final magnitude of the earthquakes ranged from 1.8 to 2.3 on the Richter Scale, putting them in the category of microseismic events, which are likely to go unnoticed by humans and only recorded by sensitive seismic monitors.

The Hilcorp pad, which includes four wells drilled into the Utica Shale Formation, lies within a five-mile radius of the reported epicenters. Hydraulic fracturing activities began at the pad on March 30. 

Hilcorp was using a technique known as “zipper fracturing,” or hydraulic fracturing operations that are carried out concurrently at two horizontal wellbores that are parallel and adjacent to each other. When DEP contacted Hilcorp on April 25, the company voluntarily stopped activities and later reported they would discontinue hydraulic fracturing and stimulation operations at the well pad indefinitely. 

Recommendations in the DEP report include discontinuation of the practice of zipper fracturing during any future completions when there is less than a ¼ mile between lateral portions of adjacent wellbores. This applies to Hilcorp’s Utica gas wells in North Beaver, Union, and Mahoning Townships. Zipper fracturing is allowed when there is more than ¼ mile distance between lateral portions.

In addition, it is recommended that Hilcorp maintain operation of its own seismic network within these townships. The seismic network will allow for the accurate detection of local, low-magnitude events.

A seismic event reporting schedule and operator response plan is also included in DEP’s recommendations:

  • For seismic events of 1.0 or greater magnitude occurring within 6 miles of the wellbore path, the company should notify DEP within 10 minutes via email and within one hour by telephone.
  • For any succession of three seismic events of 1.5 to 1.9 magnitude that occurs within a three-consecutive-day period and within a 3-mile radius of the wellbore path, Hilcorp should notify the DEP within 10 minutes via email and within one hour by telephone. Actions taken for this magnitude range of seismic events include suspension of stimulation operations, submittal of seismic data to DEP for review and a plan detailing modifications to stimulation operations.
  • Finally, for any seismic event of 2.0 or greater magnitude that occurs within a 3-mile distance of a wellbore path, Hilcorp should notify the DEP within 10 minutes via email and within one hour by telephone.  Actions taken include cessation of stimulation operations, flowing back of the well, submittal of seismic data to DEP for review and a plan detailing any potential modification to stimulation operations.

On November 16, 2016, DEP approved a seismic monitoring plan submitted by Hilcorp implementing the recommendations set forth in the DEP report.

 

DEP has also recommended that these terms apply to any new permits requested by Hilcorp and that other operators follow similar plans within the referenced townships.

Read more...

DEP Finds Spatial/Temporal Correlation between Hilcorp Hydraulic Fracturing and April 2016 Seismic Events in Lawrence County

 

Meadville, PA – Seismic events that occurred in western Lawrence County on April 25, 2016, were likely correlated to natural gas hydraulic fracturing by Hilcorp Energy Company, according to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“Induced seismicity is a relatively new and complex technical issue,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “This report reflects our commitment to understand what occurred, through extensive review with scientific and industry partners, and to formulate procedures to reduce seismic risk going forward.”

A series of low-magnitude earthquakes that began at 4:17 a.m. in North Beaver, Union, and Mahoning Townships showed a “marked temporal/spatial relationship” to hydraulic fracturing activities at Hilcorp’s North Beaver NC Development well pad. 

The Pennsylvania Seismic Network registered four earthquakes. (OhioSeis recorded three earthquakes, and Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismic Network recorded five.) The final magnitude of the earthquakes ranged from 1.8 to 2.3 on the Richter Scale, putting them in the category of microseismic events, which are likely to go unnoticed by humans and only recorded by sensitive seismic monitors.

The Hilcorp pad, which includes four wells drilled into the Utica Shale Formation, lies within a five-mile radius of the reported epicenters. Hydraulic fracturing activities began at the pad on March 30.

Hilcorp was using a technique known as “zipper fracturing,” or hydraulic fracturing operations that are carried out concurrently at two horizontal wellbores that are parallel and adjacent to each other. When DEP contacted Hilcorp on April 25, the company voluntarily stopped activities and later reported they would discontinue hydraulic fracturing and stimulation operations at the well pad indefinitely. 

Recommendations in the DEP report include discontinuation of the practice of zipper fracturing during any future completions when there is less than a ¼ mile between lateral portions of adjacent wellbores. This applies to Hilcorp’s Utica gas wells in North Beaver, Union, and Mahoning Townships. Zipper fracturing is allowed when there is more than ¼ mile distance between lateral portions.

In addition, it is recommended that Hilcorp maintain operation of its own seismic network within these townships. The seismic network will allow for the accurate detection of local, low-magnitude events.

A seismic event reporting schedule and operator response plan is also included in DEP’s recommendations: 

•    For seismic events of 1.0 or greater magnitude occurring within 6 miles of the wellbore path, the company should notify DEP within 10 minutes via email and within one hour by telephone.
•    For any succession of three seismic events of 1.5 to 1.9 magnitude that occurs within a three-consecutive-day period and within a 3-mile radius of the wellbore path, Hilcorp should notify the DEP within 10 minutes via email and within one hour by telephone. Actions taken for this magnitude range of seismic events include suspension of stimulation operations, submittal of seismic data to DEP for review and a plan detailing modifications to stimulation operations.
•    Finally, for any seismic event of 2.0 or greater magnitude that occurs within a 3-mile distance of a wellbore path, Hilcorp should notify the DEP within 10 minutes via email and within one hour by telephone.  Actions taken include cessation of stimulation operations, flowing back of the well, submittal of seismic data to DEP for review and a plan detailing any potential modification to stimulation operations.

On November 16, 2016, DEP approved a seismic monitoring plan submitted by Hilcorp implementing the recommendations set forth in the DEP report.

DEP has also recommended that these terms apply to any new permits requested by Hilcorp and that other operators follow similar plans within the referenced townships.

See the DEP website for the report, a webinar discussion, and more information on the seismic events

Read more...

Boy, 15 Faces Arson Charges in Mahoning Twp

A 15 year old Edinburg boy is to be charged with Arson and related offense.  The New Castle state police say at shortly before 7:30  a.m. Friday morning, the Troop D Fire Marshal Unit responded to investigate a fire of vacant mobile home along Gary Lane, at the Twilight Mobile Home Park, in Mahoning Township, Lawrence County.  As the investigation progressed, the fire was determined to be incendiary in nature and investigators proceeded to recover evidence at the scene which is linked to the teenage boy.  The suspect boy, who lived in close proximity to scene of the fire and was also a junior fire fighter for the Mahoning Volunteer Fire Department, confessed to setting the fire.  A juvenile petition will be filed in Lawrence County.  The investigation is continuing.  

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