TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 20TH, 2020

Pennsylvania’s worst nursing home COVID-19 outbreak is in Beaver County.  State health officials say Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center is, by far, the hardest-hit, with 358 residents testing positive for coronavirus and 76 deaths.  The nursing home accounts for more than half of Beaver County’s 534 COVID-19 cases.  Surrounding counties have a combined 13-hundred-21 cases, with 81 deaths.

New Castle City Police arrested a Youngstown man on drug charges. 30 year old Wayne Michael Kerns who was a passenger in a car that police stopped around 1 a.m. Monday on Division Street at Mill Street after they saw it speeding west on Taylor Street into the city. According to the New Castle News, Police found crack cocaine and marijuana. Kerns is charged with possession and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 100 thousand dollars bond.

Governor Tom Wolf is vetoing three bills that would have given counties more power to reopen.  Wolf said those bills each go against his administration’s measured plan to reopen safely.  Wolf says his team’s decisions on how to reopen based on COVID-19 cases and other critical factors, like potential transmission points in the county, their geographical location, and capacity to take on contact tracing.

Organizers say around 650 vehicles drove up and received a food donation from the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank yesterday at the Big Butler Fairgrounds.  The distribution, run with help from the Alliance for Nonprofit Resources, the Friends of the Bantam Jeep Association, and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, allowed those in need to stay in their cars while volunteers loaded in boxes full of 50-pounds of food.  Anyone who remains in need of food is encouraged to contact the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

The search for an eleven-year-old boy who fell into the Ohio River will enter a third day in Beaver County.  Ambridge police say swift water conditions made it unsafe for divers yesterday, so drones and a state police helicopter scanned the water for the child.  The boy was with a group of five kids when he fell into the river near the Ambridge Sewage Treatment Plant on Monday.

State Department of Health officials say there were less than one-thousand new cases of COVID-19 in P-A for the ninth consecutive day.  Tuesday’s announcement of 610 new cases brought the overall count  to nearly 64-thousand since the start of the pandemic.  The state’s death toll rose by 119, to just past four-thousand cases.

Butler County Community College is giving its students a share of some of the funds it received as part of the federal CARES Act.  Nearly 15-hundred eligible students who were either full-or-part-time students March 11th were each given 450-dollars, after B-C-Three received over 940-thousand-dollars from the program this spring.  The school put aside around 280-grand for a second distribution phase for students who haven’t completed their FAFSA yet.  They must do so by May 31st.

Officials with the Community College of Beaver County say they’ve received more than 690-grand to help students affected by COVID-19.  The funds are coming from the Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and were awarded as part of the federal CARES Act.  The support is expected to help students struggling with food, housing, technology, health and child care, as well as course materials.

Online casino-style gaming in Pennsylvania jumped 73 percent from March to April following COVID-19 shutdowns, but overall gambling revenue has sharply declined. The Ellwood City Ledger reports Revenue from online gambling, including slot machines, table games and poker, grew from $24.9 million to $43.1 million last month. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported overall gaming revenue was down 84 percent in April of this year compared with the same month in 2019.