TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR OCTOBER 9TH, 2020

Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike are calling for the resignation of state Representative Aaron Bernstine over videos that showed him encouraging his five-year-old son to smoke.  The videos were posted on his Snapchat account which has been deleted.  The videos show Bernstine, a Republican, urging his son and other children to smoke a cigar and use foul language.  He says the videos were taken during a private vacation with friends and were a joke that went too far.  He represents parts of Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties.

The P-A Department of Health is adding 13-hundred-76 new COVID-19 cases across the Commonwealth.  That brings the statewide total to 167-thousand-928 confirmed or probable cases since the start of the pandemic.  There were 27 more deaths related to coronavirus complications announced yesterday, with the death toll rising to 82-hundred-99.  Lawrence County saw an increase of 25 cases yesterday bringing its total to 593 cases and 23 deaths.

The current surge of COVID-19 cases is concerning Governor Tom Wolf. Wolf says he thinks part of what’s driving the surge is the fact that colleges are back in session. Some areas where there have been big concentrations of college students have become hot spots. He also believes that since flu season is starting and the weather is getting colder, the state will see an upsurge of cases.

New Castle Police have charged a man for robbing a Sunoco on East Washington Street two separate times. According to the departments Facebook page, 25-year-old Cohen Rolle is facing charges of robbery, flight to avoid apprehension, theft, and terroristic threats. The incident took place on Wednesday night around 8pm. After his arrest Rolle admitted to robbing the Sunoco back on September 30th. Rolle is currently in the Lawrence County Jail.

A 60-year-old Ellwood City man and a mother are facing child sex charges after police say the man paid the mom to send him nude pictures of her kids. WKBN-TV reports the investigation into David Bates began in September after police were contacted by CHILDLINE in reference to possible photographs being exchanged of two girls between the ages of 11 and 13. Police say the girls’ mother took the pictures and sent them to Bates, who paid her for some of the images. They also say the father knew that the children were being photographed. Bates and the parents were arrested Thursday. The children were placed in protective custody.

President Trump’s potential visit to Western Pennsylvania next week still hasn’t been confirmed. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported Trump would like to hold an event in Pittsburgh, most likely on Monday. The president’s doctor says he has been cleared to start campaigning again after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto doesn’t seem in favor of the president coming, expressing concern he hasn’t quarantined for 14 days.

Officials at Slippery Rock University say most of their classes will continue to be offered online for the spring semester.  University officials sent an email to all students yesterday that explained eighty-percent of all classes at Slippery Rock will be conducted online next semester.  The university will continue to monitor data to see whether the instruction plan needs to be changed during the semester.

An accident in Butler Township yesterday morning left one person injured.  It happened about ten o-clock yesterday morning at the intersection of South Benbrook Road and Greenwood Drive.  Dispatchers say one person was treated at the scene for arm and neck injuries.  The accident caused a traffic backup while crews cleared the scene.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is calling for the protection of the Affordable Care Act. Wolf says that people with pre-existing conditions will not be able to get insurance and they’re not going to be guaranteed insurance if the Affordable Care Act goes away. He added that President Trump’s executive order that claims it’s their idea that pre-existing conditions be protected has no mandate. As he worries that the U.S. Supreme Court may rule the act unconstitutional, Wolf urges lawmakers to create a health value commission to hold health care providers accountable.