Tri County Report For April 12th, 2017

A house in Lawrence County is destroyed because of a fire.  The fire broke out at a home on the Magee Street in Union Township yesterday morning.  The man who was in the home managed to make it out before it collapsed.  The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Ellwood City Area Schools may get new cafeteria workers.  The school district is considering a proposal to bring in new cafeteria workers from an outside source.  On Monday, over 50 Ellwood City Area School District cafeteria workers and other people who are against bringing in the new workers gathered at the school board meeting to speak out against the proposal.

The Lawrence County Commissioners yesterday approved the 2017 West Nile virus program.  The Ellwood City Ledger reports  the commissioners approved this year’s West Nile Virus surveillance program, with two contracts for  Dennis and Pamela Stich  for a maximum expenditure of $31,350, plus the federally mandated travel reimbursement of 53.5 cents per mile. County Commissioner Dan Vogler said the program, is funded by a grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Between 2002 and 2006, there were five reported human West Nile virus cases in Lawrence County, but none since.

Costs to the Butler School District in connection to the recent water crisis are climbing.  The director of Business Services said yesterday the total is just under 200-thousand dollars so far.  Another 100-thousand has been included in next year’s budget to cover legal costs connected to high lead levels at Summit Elementary School.

A man is being accused of pointing a rifle at state troopers.  The Pennsylvania State Police say two troopers went to a home in Butler County that had its burglary alarm going off.  When they arrived a man pointed a loaded AR-15 at them.  The man is now facing aggravated assault and other charges.

Governor Tom Wolf is encouraging Pennsylvanians to sign up to vote.  The deadline to register to vote in the May primary election is April 17th.  For more information on how to register, visit Votes-P-A-dot-com.

A bill that would provide money to support the United Mine Workers’ pension and health-care plan has a “good shot” at being approved by Congress before the end of the month.  Senator Bob Casey told a group of union members in Ruff Creek yesterday that he thinks U.S. lawmakers will push the Miners Protect Act through in the coming days.  The bill was approved by the Senate Finance Committee last year, but never made it to the floor for a vote despite promises from Senate leadership.  Nearly 23-thousand retired miners who worked at now-bankrupt companies will see their health benefits expire on April 28th if the legislation is not passed before then.

Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack’s office is commenting on reports that he is being investigated by the State Inspector General’s Office.  Stack’s chief of staff said yesterday, “We are in receipt of a letter from the Inspector General regarding staffing issues.”  LancasterOnline claims Stack and his wife, Tonya, are accused of verbally abusing state employees.  Stack is scheduled to make a statement at 3:30 this afternoon.

Gas prices continue to increase.  According to Triple-A’s East Central’s weekly fuel gauge survery the price for a gallon of regular in Western Pennsylvania  is now at 2.63, that’s a nickel higher than last week. The national average reached 2.39 a gallon and that’s up six cents since last week, and marks the highest prices so far this year. Recently a spokesmen with the Oil Information Administration said prices could average around 2.80 a gallon this summer.