TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 2ND, 2020

It’s primary election day across western Pennsylvania.  Voters in the two major parties will nominate candidates for president, Congress and the state House and Senate, as well as attorney general, auditor general and treasurer.  Thousands of voters in the region chose to vote by mail to avoid the spread of coronavirus, but polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Governor Tom Wolf is extending the deadline for mail-in ballots to be counted in six P-A counties.  The ballot must still be postmarked no later than June 2nd or must be hand-delivered by 8 p-m to be counted.  County election offices in Allegheny County as well as five other counties across the state will have until June 9th to receive the ballots.  The extension is being offered due to the public health crisis and the civil unrest, according to Governor Wolf.

The New Castle Area School District has introduced the 2020-21 school year budget. According to the New Castle News, the district for the 17th straight year will not raise taxes. The budget, as proposed by the board, totals $54.5 million dollars. Business administrator Joe Ambrosini said that represents an increase of 3 percent from the 2019-2020 spending plan. Ambrosini estimated the district will need to take $700,000 from the fund balance next year to balance the budget, but he anticipates that number will become lower.

Pennsylvania health officials are reporting more cases of COVID-19 throughout the state. Officials say that yesterday, the state saw an increase of 356 new cases and the total surpassed 72-thousand. Yesterday’s report showed 12 new deaths related to the virus as the death toll sits at 55-hundred-67.

Health officials are worried about a spike a COVID-19 cases after the protests. Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says she respects Pennsylvanians’ right to protest, but asks for people to keep in mind the risks of spreading coronavirus in these large gatherings. She added that protesters should wear masks and practice social distance. Officials may worry, but the aftermath of protests against the governor’s stay-at-home order didn’t show an increase in cases, according to Levine.

An investigation is underway into the death of a man who was working on a roof in Butler County.  Adams Township police say four men were on the roof of a barn yesterday when they somehow fell at least 20 feet.  Investigators did not immediately identify the man who died.  The three other victims were hospitalized with serious injuries.

A man is facing disorderly conduct and other charges after reportedly accidentally shooting himself in Grove City last month.  Police say the man shot himself in the lower body after recklessly firing the gun while intoxicated at an East Main Street residence May 19th.  The man was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The director of Public Safety in Pittsburgh says nine police officers are recovering after being injured during Monday’s protests in the city.  Wendell Hissrich says each were eventually released from the hospital.  It’s reported that two protesters were taken to the hospital after being injured by bean bags.  Police also used smoke and not tear gas, according to city officials.

Police in Butler now say eight people were arrested Sunday during a protest connected to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.  It’s believed between 300-and-400 people took part in the demonstration Sunday afternoon in Diamond Park.  The protest was restricted to sidewalks because no permit was sought for the event that would have permitted shutting down the street.  Also, Diamond Park was closed at the time.  Of the eight charged, one is accused of aggravated assault of a police officer.