TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 16TH, 2020

Police in Neshannock Township report a Reynoldsburg man is in the Lawrence County Jail, accused of attacking an employee of a Neshannock Township bowling alley. A 64-year-old man told police he was doing landscaping outside Colonial Lanes on Tuesday when he saw a barefoot man get into the front seat of his truck. When the man walked up to his truck the suspect, Forty-seven-year-old Shawn Heverly, knocked him unconscious and ran away. Heverly was later arrested and charged with assault and attempted robbery. Bond was set at 10 thousand dollars.

A protest is planned for Monday outside the State Capitol demanding Pennsylvania’s coronavirus-linked lock down come to an end.  Organizers of the event April 20th say thousands of citizens will peacefully protest continuing those restrictions beyond May 1st.  The group says it isn’t sustainable to continue the lockdown due to what it calls irreversible economic and societal consequences.

Department of Health officials say over 26-thousand-400 people have tested positive for coronavirus since the start of the epidemic.  They announced eleven-hundred-45 new cases statewide, bringing the statewide total to nearly 26-thousand-500.  Doctor Rachel Levine says over one-hundred-eleven thousand COVID-19 tests have come back negative.

There’s a surge in coronavirus deaths in some parts of western Pennsylvania. Lawerence County now has 51 cases of Covid-19 and five deaths.  Beaver County officials confirmed ten new deaths yesterday, raising the county’s death toll to 24.  Three more confirmed cases brought the number to 47 in Mercer County. No deaths in Mercer County have been attributed to COVID-19.

It is believed Governor Tom Wolf will veto a bill intending to open up businesses across P-A to meet the C-D-C standards the federal government is following.  Senate Bill 613 passed both the chambers of the state Legislature this week along party lines.  Wolf’s spokesperson says that irresponsibly going against the recommendations of the Secretary of Health will only extend the length of the economic hardships brought on by the pandemic.

New safety measures are being put in place for businesses that are still open during Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order.  State health officials issued an order yesterday that requires life-sustaining businesses to supply masks to employees and maintain social distances of six feet.  Those businesses must also require all customers to wear masks and deny entry to those who don’t.  The order will take effect on Sunday.

An employee at a Giant Eagle grocery store in Rochester is a confirmed positive COVID-19 test for Beaver County.  The worker was last in the West Madison Street store April 6th.  Giant Eagle officials say the store has been cleaned and sanitized before being ready again for customers.  The chain is now limiting the number of customers in the store at one time.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is facing some significant challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic.  A spokesperson says the 14 state-owned universities could see a revenue shortfall upward of 100-million dollars, thanks in part to refunds paid out for room, board, and some other fees.  Prior to the pandemic, they were asking for a two-percent increase in financial support from the commonwealth.

The Butler County Alliance For Children Child Advocacy Center is putting the call out for new, unopened board games.  Officials say they want the games to donate to families as part of their Play Safe Stay Safe effort.  The hope is these games will help with bonding and improve family time, and in the process decrease stress that can boil over to anger.  Anyone interested in donating can visit the alliance’s Amazon wish list or can drop the games off at the Center on East Jefferson Street.