TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 23RD, 2020

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting another 11-hundred-56 new coronavirus cases across the commonwealth.  The total number now sits at more than 35-thousand-600 since the start of the pandemic.  They also announced 58 new deaths related to COVID-19 among positive or probable cases.  P-A’s death toll now sits at 16-hundred-22. There are 61 cases and six deaths in Lawrence County, Mercer County has 58 cases with one death, and Beaver county has 317 cases and 47 deaths.

Governor Tom Wolf is laying out his coronavirus reopening plan.  As of now, residents in northcentral and northwestern P-A will be the first to be released from the stay-at-home order.  Those areas will also see retail stores reopen.  Other regions and counties will need to average less than 50-new positive COVID-19 cases per 100-thousand residents for 14 days to move out from the restrictions.  Last night, Wolf pushed up his initial plan to allow construction work to resume from May 8th to May 1st.

A state grant totaling nearly 133 thousand dollars will help the New Castle Area School District with the resources they need to benefit from internet-based and other remote learning programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 9th District State Representative Chris Sainato said the Continuity of Education and Equity Grant awarded by the state Department of Education will help eliminate obstacles faced by students whose families may be unable to afford laptops and other equipment for the remainder of the school year.

Elections officials in Beaver County say they are unable to automatically send every registered voter a mail-in ballot.  They have already received six-thousand mail-in ballots, according to the Beaver County Times, with that number expected to rise over the next several weeks.  There are more than 110-thousand registered voters in Beaver County.  It’s believed mailing every registered voter a ballot could cost the county between 70-and-80-grand.

Police in Grove City are investigating a car break-in spree.  They say at least three vehicles were entered on Tuesday.  In one of the incidents, the crook entered a garage on Tidball Avenue and took cash from a car inside.  Anyone who may have witnessed some suspicious activity is asked to contact police.

Governor Tom Wolf is encouraging registered voters to use a mail-in ballot to vote in the June primary.  Wolf announced an awareness campaign to show registered voters how to apply for a mail-in ballot.  In-person voting at polling places is expected to be available.

With less than six weeks until the primary in Pennsylvania, Butler County is looking for a new elections director.  Shari Brewer resigned from the post late last week and didn’t give any reason as to why.  Two elections bureau employees are splitting the role on an interim basis while county officials begin the process to formally fill the vacancy.  Brewer served in the roll since 2010.

Eat’N Park is now offering some grocery items to go along with their takeout menu.  Officials with the restaurant chain say they’re offering milk, cottage cheese, bread, ketchup, toilet paper, and some other items as a convenience to their customers.  Their chief marketing officer tells W-P-X-I T-V that everyone is trying to limit grocery store trips, so they’re hoping the offerings carry people over to their next grocery run.

The cousin of convicted cop killer Rahmael Holt is using the COVID-19 pandemic in a bid to get out of jail.  Lisa Harrington’s attorneys asked a Westmoreland County judge for pre-sentencing release this week, citing the coronavirus’ potential impact on her health.  Harrington is awaiting sentencing for helping Holt hide evidence after he killed New Kensington officer Brian Shaw in 2017.