TRI C0UNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 24TH, 2020

P-A high school fall sports are officially underway today.  On Friday afternoon, the P-I-Double-A’s board of directors voted 25-to-five to begin the fall sports season today.  The decision also gave local school districts the ability to decide whether or not they want to participate.  As of now, spectators will not be allowed at any athletic events, though P-I-Double-A officials say they are lobbying to allow parents to attend.

An Evans city man died following a motorcycle accident Friday afternoon in Butler County. According to police 72 year old Arthur Amsler was traveling on route 68 in Oakland Township failed to negotiate a curve and struck a guard rail and was thrown from the motorcycle. Amsler who was not wearing a helmet was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital where he later died.

The state’s jobless rate inched up half a percentage point to 13-point-7 percent last month. Total non-farm jobs were up 97,900 to 5-point-5 million. The state has now recovered 48 percent of the jobs it lost in March and April. Despite the increased demand because of the coronavirus pandemic, L& ISecretary Jerry Oleksiak says the Department of Labor and Industry continues to work hard to process all of the unemployment compensation claims it receives. The department has paid out more than 24-point-7 billion dollars in unemployment compensation benefits since March 15th.

The P-A Department of Health says there have been over 129-thousand confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.  That includes 619 new coronavirus cases announced Sunday.  The state is reporting that 80-percent of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered, basing that stat on the number of people whose case wasn’t reported as fatal after more than 30 days since their first positive test. Another person in Lawrence County has died from Covid-19 bringing the death toll in the county to 17. Lawrence County added three cases over the weekend bringing the county’s total to 441.

State Department of Health officials are adding 86 more COVID-19 cases to Allegheny County’s total.  Sunday’s announcement was on top of 61 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases announced the day before, leading to a weekend total of 147 new cases for the county.  There were two deaths related to COVID-19 complications reported Saturday and none on Sunday.

A food distribution is set for tomorrow at the Big Beaver Fairgrounds in Prospect.  Organizers say they will be able to provide food for up to 550 vehicles, and those in need are asked to make a reservation at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s website.  Each vehicle will receive at least 50 pounds of food.

Officials with Slippery Rock University are confirming their first COVID-19 cases on campus.  In a post on the university’s website Friday, a student tested positive and is being isolated.  They may either quarantine at a location the university designates or can stay at their off-campus residence.

Beaver County’s D-A wants to remove a Harmony Township commissioner from office over a 20-year-old felony conviction.  Commissioner President Bradley Payne was convicted in 1999 of theft by unlawful taking, which is a third-degree felony.  Payne says while he knew and never hid that he had a record, he didn’t think it was a felony.  Payne is in the middle of his sixth year as a Harmony Township commissioner and says he plans to seek a pardon from Governor Tom Wolf.

State Police in Butler County report a two vehicle accident on Interstate 79 that sent one person to the hospital. According to police 38 year old Jerad Dean of Fombell was southbound on Interstate 79 when he side swiped a vehicle operated by 65 year old Wayne Lieb of Pittsburgh. Dean initially fled the scene of the accident. Lieb was taken to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment.