TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 5TH, 2020

There is still no sign of a man who fell into Slippery Rock Creek at McConnells Mill State Park over the weekend.  Crews were again searching for 38-year-old Jeffrey Hamby, of Meadville,  who is believed to have fallen about 100-yards into the creek from a hiking path just downstream from a covered bridge.  An eyewitness says he saw Hamby fall in, then followed him for about a half mile before the man’s body disappeared in a rapid.

Former New Castle Mayor Wayne Alexander passed away on Saturday at the age of 67. Alexander served as Mayor from 2004-2008. He was the last Republican to serve as Mayor until Chris Frye won election this past November.

State Police in Lawrence County responded to a report of two suspicious vehicles attempting to make contact with two juveniles in Wampum. Police said the vans were parked at the intersection of Clyde and main street in Wampum. Both vans were described as being while in color. Both suspects are described as white males. Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 724-598-2211.

State Health Department officials are adding 825 new COVID-19 cases to the statewide total.  Monday’s announcement increases the total number of confirmed or probable cases statewide to 50-thousand-92 since the start of the pandemic.  There also have been 24-hundred-58 deaths related to coronavirus complications statewide.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center is now over 300.  State Health Department officials announced 22 additional cases at the facility Monday.  There have been 61 deaths at the facility related to coronavirus and at least 22 employees have tested positive for the virus.

A screening officer at Pittsburgh International Airport is the first confirmed T-S-A coronavirus case at the airport.  Monday, a spokesperson said any employees or travelers who believe they were in contact with the individual are asked to contact their healthcare provider.  The worker tested positive on April 25th, according to T-S-A officials.

The coronavirus pandemic is putting the brakes on a popular event in Butler County.  Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival organizers say they’re canceling this year’s event because they were unable to reschedule at their location in Slippery Rock.  There were plans to move the festival from June to October.

More patients are being welcomed back to Butler Memorial Hospital.  Officials are restarting elective procedures after seeing a significant lull in new coronavirus cases.  The hospital has a reopening committee that is reviewing outpatient visits, surgeries and procedures with an eye on expanding services if COVID-19 cases continue to tail off.

Pittsburgh’s International Airport construction is being pushed back amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Design on the one-point-one billion dollar terminal renovation project will continue, but construction is being delayed.  Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis says it’s not a good time to borrow money and start construction.

P-A’s Auditor General wants Allegheny County Jail and all other county prisons to expand coronavirus testing among inmates.  Eugene DePasquale says the state needs to make sure it doesn’t have the same problem in the county’s prisons as it does in nursing homes, where COVID-19 spread like wildfire.  Officials have tested 48 inmates at Allegheny County Jail so far, with 28 of those tests coming back positive.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas price report the average price of gasoline across Western Pennsylvania is a penny cheaper this week at $2.07 per gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 1.75 a gallon while in Sharon the price is a 1.87. The national average is at 1.78 a gallon. That’s a penny more expensive than last week, 16 cents less than a month ago and $1.11 cheaper than at this point last year. After weeks of steady gasoline stock increases, the Energy Information Administration reports a decline of 1.3 million barrels to total regional levels at 72.5 million barrels.