TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 27TH, 2020

Lawrence County officials say a worker at the county courthouse has tested positive for coronavirus.  The county commissioners met last night after being informed earlier in the day by the state Department of Heath about the employee.  They closed the courthouse except to critical staff and will furlough the remaining workers effective Monday.  The case is the second in Lawrence County amid the COVID-19 spread.

The New Castle Area Transit Authority will be offering free bus rides starting Monday. Authority General Manager David Richards said the transit authority has taken many steps to reduce the spread of germs to customers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Riders can hop on for free and fares won’t be collected until further notice. Senior citizens who always ride for free should continue showing their Senior Pass to the driver.

PennDOT and the Department of Homeland Security are extending the REAL I-D deadline by a year in the wake of the spread of coronavirus.  It was announced Thursday that residents will now have until October 1st, 2021 to have the new I-D.  State driver and photo license centers aren’t expected to reopen until at least April 3rd.

According to the New Castle News New Castle police are attempting to identify a man who robbed the 7Eleven convenient mart on the North Hill while holding a knife to an 11-year-old girl. The incident took place around 8 o’clock Wednesday night. According to a police report, the suspect’s identity was hidden by a mask and a hooded sweatshirt. Anyone with information is asked to call New Castle police. No one was hurt.

State officials say nearly 379-thousand Pennsylvanians filed for unemployment last week.  In the eleven days since worries about the spread across P-A began, there have been around 650-thousand claims filed so far.  Starting today, the Department of Labor and Industry will post updated claims numbers daily.

Butler Health System representatives say they have performed more than 700 tests for coronavirus so far.  There have been 14 people who have been admitted to the hospital with a positive diagnosis or what they suspect is COVID-19.  Four are currently in the I-C-U.  Butler Health System is continuing to ask any organization who has personal protective equipment for healthcare workers to please contact them.

A police officer in Ambridge is being diagnosed with COVID-19.  In a letter sent to borough staff Thursday, their borough manager said the police department member tested positive and was recovering at home.  The officer began to exhibit symptoms during his shift on March 20th and has been off the job since.  Their internal investigation showed that no one had close personal contact with the officer on that date.

A new finding from the U.S. Secretary of Education means Penn State will have to make major changes to its sexual harassment rules.  The Office of Civil Rights says that the university will be held accountable for not protecting students in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.  New Title IX [[ nine ]] policies will be put in place, including the revision of record-keeping practices as it relates to abuse or harassment complaints.  School officials also plan to undergo additional training on responses to sexual abuse or harassment allegations.

A judge is ruling that former state lawmaker Mike Veon must pay 19-grand in restitution connected to the Beaver Initiative for Growth.  Pennlive reports the 63-year-old from West Mayfield was initially ordered to repay 136-thousand dollars to the commonwealth, only to see that number reduced over the years.  Veon was released from prison in 2015 after serving time connected to BIG and the Bonusgate scandal at the state capital.