TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR OCTOBER 29TH, 2020

New Castle police have arrested a suspect they say was responsible for two robberies Tuesday. According to the departments facebook page 24 year old Noah Hazy is charged with robbery, theft and receiving stolen property charges and is being held in the Lawrence County Jail. Hazy is accused of robbing the Market 24 Convenience store on E. Washington Street, and the Cascade Express on Cascade Street. No injuries were reported.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 2,228 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 200,674. Lawrence County has 879 cases an increase of 10 cases since Tuesday. Mercer County saw an increase of 16 and now has 1,052 cases and 26 deaths.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is urging counties to begin precanvassing ballots on Election Day. Boockvar says if not at 7 a.m. then at some point on Election Day because it is going to take a while, and the sooner they start the sooner they will finish. Due to the state’s ballot deadline extension, counties can put off counting the ballots until Friday after the election. But, Boockvar hopes they start sooner as two of the 67 counties have already said they won’t.

With Pennsylvania expected to be a big factor in the outcome of this year’s presidential election first daughter Ivanka Trump make an appearance in Western Pennslvania on Wednesday.  Trump spoke for about forty minutes at Betsy’s Barn in Portersville at an event moderated by President Trump’s former press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  Ivanka Trump spoke about her father’s economic record and handling of the coronavirus outbreak as well as about his promise to restore law and order.  Most polls in the state show former Vice President Joe Biden with a slight edge over President Trump in the race for the White House.

Beaver County has awarded a little more than one-point-eight million dollars in funds from the federal COVID-19 relief program to 110 companies that applied for them.  The county had received twice that amount of applications.  County commissioners decided to allocate the funds in a first round of grants, none exceeding 25-thousand dollars, to companies that had not received other types of assistance, such as the Paycheck Protection Program.

The University of Pittsburgh is seeing its largest increase in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.  Based on numbers released yesterday, the five-day moving average of positive cases per day has climbed from two-point-six to four-point-two.  The school said 17 students tested positive for the virus and 24 other students are currently isolating.  In addition, four new staff cases have also been reported.  The university is expected to give another coronavirus update this Friday.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board yesterday approved the forgiveness of an estimated $27.7 million in license fees in 2021 for retail licensees in the state, including holders of restaurant, retail dispenser, club, catering club, and hotel licenses, by a vote of 2-1. However licensees will still be required to timely file validation and renewal applications to keep licensees current and to avoid late-filing fees.

Overnight travel on the PA Turnpike between the Cranberry Township and New Castle interchanges will take more time this weekend. Traffic restrictions and a detour are needed for the turnpike’s ongoing bridge work at Freedom Road, which carries traffic over the turnpike at milepost 28 in Cranberry Township. State police and turnpike maintenance will restrict outbound traffic to a speed of 20 to 25 mph. Motorists should be prepared for slow-moving traffic and possible intermittent stoppages.

Duquesne University has canceled all activities among its fraternities and sororities over what officials say is repeated violations of the campus’ COVID-19 policy.  The action extends through the end of the semester.  Duquesne officials say certain individuals who committed the violations are restricted from all on-campus activities.