Tri County Report For January 26th, 2017

State Senator Elder Vogel Jr. announced The New Castle Sanitation Authority was awarded an $11 million low-interest PennVest loan to provide sewage service in Shenango Township.  The project involves the installation of more than 220 thousand feet of service lines and other improvements to the current system. A sewage disposal needs survey in the township found that 69 percent of the on-lot disposal systems were malfunctioning.

A former NFL player is facing drug charges in Aliquippa.  Tommie Campbell turned himself in Tuesday and is accused of selling drugs out of his mother’s house on Irwin Street.  Police went to the home Tuesday and saw Campbell jump a fence to get away.  He dropped his backpack and officers found 180 grams of crack cocaine and three-thousand dollars inside.  Campbell played for the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars over a five-year period.  He now plays for the Calgary Stampeders.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s office says the Democrat has a “clean bill of health” less than a year after he revealed he had a treatable form of prostate cancer. His press secretary on Wednesday said the 68-year-old Wolf got the news from his doctor last week. Spokesman, J.J. Abbott, says he has no other information about the doctor’s assessment of Wolf.

Summit Township Elementary School students are going back to class today.   The building was closed for the last two days after elevated lead levels were discovered in the water source.  The district admitted Monday that students have been drinking tainted water for four months.  Bottled water and portable sinks with municipal water are being used until the problem is corrected.

The American Lung Association is giving Pennsylvania a failing grade.  The organization grades states on their tobacco control laws and policies each year and the Keystone State did not fare well this time around.   The figures were released this week and the state got Fs for prevention, cessation services and efforts to raise the smoking age.  Pennsylvania also got a D for its tobacco taxes and a C for air quality.

Officials at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino have laid out their plans for a $51.5 million hotel to the city’s Planning Commission. The plans were announced Tuesday for the seven-story, 221-room hotel. If the casino gets the proper approvals, construction will begin later this spring and take 13 to 16 months. Casino officials say the project should create 1,400 construction jobs and 128 new permanent hotel and casino jobs, and generate $10.5 million in tax revenues annually.

Two Ellwood City Area School District educators have joined two other Pennsylvania teachers in a federal lawsuit filed against the state’s largest teachers union and three school district superintendents. According to the Ellwood City Ledger, Ellwood City teachers Rob Brough and John Cress,  contend that they should not have to pay fair share fees, also called agency fees, which they believe violate the First Amendment rights of free speech and association for workers who disagree with the union’s political positions. In Pennsylvania, state law permits public sector employees to refuse union membership, but if the union requires them to contribute fair share fees — which are discounted compared to membership dues, they must do so.

A road is closed in Moon Township.  The southbound lanes of University Boulevard were closed yesterday due to a landslide.  The road is closed between Route-51 and Campus Drive.  PennDOT says the road will remain closed until further notice.

Eleven Fayette County bridges are structurally deficient. The state Department of Transportation made the announcement this week, saying the work will begin in May and will be done over the next three years.  Some of the bridges targeted for replacement include the Kooser Road and Pritts Road bridges in Springfield Township, the Narrows Road bridge in Connellsville and the Breakneck Road bridge in Bullskin Township.  More than 550 bridges are being replaced statewide.