TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 6TH, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is chipping away at President Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania. Yesterday, gains from mail-in ballot counts across the state cut down a lead of hundreds-of-thousands of votes for Trump down to a less than 20-thousand. Ballots are still being counted with at least 97-percent of the polling places reporting.

While the counting of ballots continues across Pennsylvania, and President Trump sues over ballot counting and voting deadlines, activists in Beaver County call for counting every vote.  The rally yesterday in downtown Beaver was organized by the group called Beaver County United.  Supporters say they wanted to send a message to both parties in Washington.  About seven-percent of the mail-in votes in Pennsylvania still need to be counted.

It was a tough call for officials with the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League.  At issue was a decision over whether or not to continue with winter sports this year.  The league informed schools on Thursday that there would be no change to the athletic calendar.  Sports will go on.  A survey was sent out to member schools about a month ago to find out what they thought about the season, and feelings were mixed.  In the end, the decision was to continue as scheduled, with schools advised to observe COVID safety protocols.  Practices begin November 20th with the first competitions set for December 11th.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania.  The state added nearly three-thousand new cases to the total yesterday, pushing it over 220-thousand. About 47 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is surpassing 89-hundred. Lawrence County added 24 cases yesterday bringing its total to 1,132 and 40 deaths as two more county residents died yesterday due to Covid-10.

A Mercer County bar has been cited by the state health department for violating Pennsylvania’s facemask order. WFMJ-TV reports The Landmark Hotel located in Springfield Township was cited for three separate instances back in SeptemberAccording to the health department, the establishment did not require all customers to wear face masks while entering, exiting or otherwise traveling throughout the establishment. The Landmark Hotel faces fines anywhere between fifty dollars and five thousand dollars and a possible license suspension.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been as influential in driving liquor sales in Pennsylvania as Christmas.  This news comes from a report from the state Liquor Control Board that looked at sales figures over the last two years.  Allegheny County ranked first with liquor sales totaling 288-million dollars.

Police in Butler are still investigating an accident that sent one person to the hospital. They say two pedestrians were in the parking lot of the Sunoco on East Jefferson Street when a vehicle started backing up. It then hit the pair, causing one woman to suffer head and back injuries. Officials haven’t released her name or said if the driver will face any charges.

General Motors has put out the NOW HIRING sign at its Ultium Cells battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown.  The automaker began accepting applications yesterday and say they plan to hire 11-hundred workers.  Batteries manufactured at the plant will be used in GM’s upcoming line of electric vehicles.  Those interested in applying for one of the new positions can go to www.ultiumcell.com.

The founder of a three-quarter drug rehabilitation center in McKees Rocks has been sentenced to ten years in prison for selling heroin.  Prosecutors say 69-year-old David Francis founded Next Step Foundation to help treat people fighting addictions.  Along the way, they say he began selling drugs and operated a large heroin distribution ring while preparing false tax returns through a business to finance it.  They also say two patients of Next Step almost died from overdoses connected to his drug sales.