TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 5TH, 2020

An arrest warrant is out for a Beaver County man who’s accused of killing his brother.  Michael Barbuto was charged with homicide yesterday.  The district attorney says Barbuto gunned down 29-year-old Vincent Barbuto last month on West Main Street in Hopewell Township.

47 year old Todd Henry of New Castle, accused of cleaning up the crime scene after the June 5 shooting death of 19-year-old Amari Wise, has an added charge to the existing counts against him. Henry now faces a charge of hindering apprehension by concealing or destroying evidence. The New Castle News reports, A criminal conspiracy to commit homicide was dropped. Henry’s son, 20 year old Conner Henry is accused of shooting Wise in the back of the head. He is awaiting a preliminary hearing set for 1 p.m Aug. 17 in the Lawrence County courts. He remains in the Lawrence County jail without bond.

State police are identifying a woman hurt in a Slippery Rock Township crash earlier this week.  They say 33-year-old Susan Brewer was headed northbound on Route 8 near Stamm Road Monday morning when she entered the southbound lane, lost control, and struck a tree.  She was taken to Grove City Hospital in an unknown condition.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are tying to pass legislation to help bars and restaurants impacted from the coronavirus pandemic.  Representative Gary Day and Ryan Mackenzie are about to introduce a bill that could allow businesses to continue collecting sales tax for items but not have to remit this amount of money to the state until restrictions are removed.  The amount of sales tax collect will be turned into a grant for the business.  Yesterday the plans were included in a memorandum to Pennsylvania House Representative members saying the state’s restaurants have spent money on policies to comply with COVID-19 guidelines.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is taking a stand against school sports during the pandemic.  Wolf said it doesn’t make a lot of sense for learning to be online and then to have in-person contact sports.  Even thought it was not a formal announcement banning sports, it raises a lot of questions for school districts in western Pennsylvania as they finalize back-to-school plans.

There are now nine new COVID-19 testing sites across the state.  The Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, announced yesterday that several Walmart locations are teaming up with Quest Diagnostics across the state to providing drive-through testing for residents.  The sites will be open from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and registration is required one day in advance.  Dr. Levine said the state wants testing to be accessible, available and adaptable and they are working to meet that challenge.

The Heinz Field Kickoff and Rib Fest is not going to happen this year.  The Labor Day weekend staple has been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The festival was set to start on September 3rd and run through September 7th.  Organizers say they are starting their planning for the 2021 event.

State Health Department officials are adding another 854 COVID-19 cases across the Commonwealth.  That brings the statewide total to 115-thousand-nine since the start of the pandemic.  Tuesday’s announcement also reported 23 deaths related to COVID-19 complications, with the death toll now at 72-hundred-32. Lawrence County added four cases bringing the total to 353 cases since the pandemic began. The county has recorded twelve deaths.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price Report gas prices in Western Pennsylvania is a penny cheaper this week at 2.42 per gallon. In New Castle the average price is at 2.31 a gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying 2.44. A year ago the average price in Western Pennsylvania was 2.86 a gallon.