Tri County Report For May 31st, 2018

The Republican candidate for governor in PA is resigning his state senate seat, effective Monday, June 4th. In a statement, Scott Wagner’s office said he will devote his time to an all-out effort to defeat Governor Tom Wolf.  Wagner says he needs a campaign centered around talking to as many people as possible across the commonwealth.  Wagner says his last day in the senate is Monday June 4th.

Organizers say a 20-million-dollar cancer center is going to be built near the Beaver Valley Mall in Center Township, Beaver County.  Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the new Allegheny Health Network facility.  Construction is expected to be completed within about a year.

A retired Pittsburgh firefighter has been found guilty for causing a deadly hit-and-run crash in 2015.  A judge found 65-year-old David Anderson guilty on all counts after he struck Gregory Simpson with his pickup truck while the victim was trying to get into his parked car.  Prosecutors say the former firefighter was drunk the night he hit Simpson, and couldn’t even remember the crash.  Anderson will remain free on bond until he is sentenced in August.
According to this week’s Triple-A East Central gas price report gas prices in Western Pennsylvania have gone up five cents over the week to $3.15 per gallon. In New Castle prices are averaging 3.16 a gallon, while in Sharon drivers are paying more at 3.19 a gallon. Prices a year ago in Pennsylvania averaged 2.63. Over the long holiday weekend, the national gas price average has held steady for five days at $2.97, signaling that prices may be stabilizing as we head into June. This development comes as crude oil prices start to fall following some of the highest prices in three-years.

PA’s Department of Health is reporting 256 people died from the flu this season, the highest since they started keeping track a decade ago.  Officials say that’s up about one-hundred from the previous year.  Reported cases of the flu were up as well, with close to 50-thousand more than 2016-2017.   Health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says they’re working now to ready their flu awareness and flu shot campaign for the fall.

The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is set to roll for another five years as the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is renewing its licensing.  The seven-member board voted unanimously yesterday to keep the Northampton County Sands licensed based on public testimony, including opinions on how it affects its community.  Since it first opened in 2009, the Sands in Bethlehem, which employs more than 24-hundred people, has reportedly generated around four-billion dollars in gross revenue.  That also means the Commonwealth wins big on Tax Day, as Pennsylvania has received more than one-point-six billion in gaming tax revenue.

Pennsylvania Turnpike officials say the Findlay Connector will begin cashless tolling starting Sunday.  Representatives say there will be no coin baskets and cash will no longer be accepted.  For users who don’t have E-Z Pass, a toll bill will be mailed to the registered vehicle’s owner using their address on file with PennDOT.

10th District State Rep. Aaron Bernstine was certified yesterday as the winner of both Republican and Democratic nominations to represent State House District 10 in Harrisburg. The district includes portions of Beaver, Butler, and Lawrence counties. Bernstine, elected as a Republican in 2016, was nominated for a second term by his party during the May 15th primary, earning 97% of the vote. He secured the Democratic nomination as well by winning a write-in campaign, earning 55% of the vote against Beaver Falls resident Joseph McGurk.

State police in Greene County say they issued more than 200 traffic tickets over the Memorial Day holiday.  Troopers add that more than half of them were for speeding.  Between Saturday and Sunday alone, state police in the area averaged issuing one ticket every 17 minutes.