TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 9TH, 2020

There is a reported surge in COVID-19 cases connected to Slippery Rock University.  S-R-U officials say they have 31 confirmed cases over the past seven days.  There has been a total of 42 coronavirus cases linked to the university since August 20th.

There is a new solicitor in Lawrence County.  Attorney Jason Medure was appointed to the position Tuesday and approved by a two-to-one vote by the Lawrence County Commissioners.  Medure takes on the role after Thomas Leslie resigned from the position effective yesterday.

The head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry says eligible unemployed workers should be getting an extra 300-dollars a week starting next week.  The Federal Lost Wages Assistance Program will begin in P-A starting September 14th, according to L-and-I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak.  Only people who are unemployed due to the pandemic can apply for the payments.  Those funds will be retroactive to August 1st, with a lump sum paid for the weeks through August 29th.

The fire marshal is investigating the cause of a deadly blaze that took the lives of two 17-year-olds.  State police said two teenagers died following a fire inside of a home in Beaver County.  The fire reportedly broke out on August 25th.  While there was no initial confirmation of injuries related to the fire, on September 6th state police put out a news release saying two teens from Ohio both died in the fire.

A longtime New Castle School Board member is resigning his seat.  Steve Fornataro submitted his resignation letter to the school district’s superintendent recently after moving out of New Castle.  Fornataro has served the school district on the board for the past seven-and-a-half years.  Fornataro’s resignation is expected to be accepted during a special meeting Thursday.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania.  Officials say yesterday saw an increase of 496 new cases to the total, pushing it over 140-thousand. About eleven new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is just under 78-hundred. Lawrence County saw no new cases yesterday keeping its total to 474 cases and 21 deaths.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is allowing restaurants to boost their indoor capacity. Wolf says they must continue to protect public health and safety as fall approaches, but they must also support the retail food services industry that has struggled throughout the pandemic. Under the governor’s order, restaurants that have been operating at 25-percent capacity can operate at 50-percent capacity starting on September 21st. Also, all alcohol sales at restaurants and bars must cut off by 10 p.m.

No one is hurt after a fire in Butler this week.  It broke out Monday afternoon on the 400-block of Mercer Street and was reportedly under control in ten minutes.  The fire did lead to a power line knocked down onto the road.  There’s no word on what may have sparked the blaze.

Vice President Mike Pence is set to take part in a Workers for Trump rally in Freedom, Beaver County today.  The visit to a natural gas well will come after a stop in Murrysville at Cornerstone Ministries for a roundtable sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List.  Pence had visited Greensburg over the summer.