A portion of Interstate 376 was closed yesterday due to a vehicle fire. State Police report it happened just before noon about a half a mile from the Mitchell Road exit in the eastbound lane. A 54 year old Sharpsville man was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Firefighters from New Wilmington and Neshannock Townships put out the fire.

Pennsylvania’s House Speaker is calling for a full audit of the 2020 election process. In a letter to Governor Tom Wolf, House Speaker Bryan Cutler says the audit is needed because actions by the state Supreme Court and the Department of State have created confusion and may be unconstitutional. Cutler wrote “the uncertainty surrounding these interventions has cast a cloud on the election process,” adding “that invites our people to question the results regardless of which candidate or party may prevail.”

Seven employees in the operating room at Heritage Valley Beaver hospital have tested positive for COVID-19.  Hospital officials say the outbreak began through community exposure for four of the employees, though they also say the employees had not been active in the operating room when they tested positive.  Officials said yesterday that patients who had come into contact with the affected employees have been contacted.  Also this week, officials with the Beaver County Courthouse confirmed nine employees have tested positive.

The Butler Area School District has decided to pause its athletics programs for the week.  District schools are currently between seasons and there will be no scheduled offseason workouts this week.  Students continue their remote instruction because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania.  The state added more than 43-hundred new cases to the total yesterday, pushing it over 238-thousand. About 62 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is nearing 91-hundred. Lawrence County now has 1,343 Covid-19 cases. The death toll now stands at 44 as two more county residents died yesterday.

First responders in Rochester in Beaver County rescued a person who fell down a hole at a construction site yesterday.  The rescuers used a rope and a stretcher to life the person out of the hole.  The incident occurred at a building on Water Street.  It’s not immediately known how the person fell down the hole.

State Police in Lawrence County report a New Castle woman was taken to the hospital after hitting a deer. According to police 58 year old Gabriele Houston struck the deer on Interstate 376 in Pulaski Township. Houston then traveled off the roadway and struck a ditch. She was taken to St.Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown for treatment.

The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office is reporting an incredible surge in the number of people applying for licenses to carry concealed firearms.  Demand for permits was high in the weeks leading up to the recent election, so officials suspended a requirement for license seekers to make an appointment.  Since the election, the number of requests has gone through the roof.  In recent days, nearly 300 applicants have shown up each day, sometimes waiting in lines of up to three hours.

According to the Triple-A East Central Gas Price report prices dropped by two cents to $2.48 per gallon across western Pennsylvania as a whole over the past week. In new Castle the average is at 2.17 a gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying 2.40 a gallon. The average national gas price decreased by a penny this week to $2.11 which is seven cents less than last month and 51 cents cheaper than this date last year. Demand for gas continues to drop while gasoline stocks increase.

Joe Torsella is conceding the state treasurer’s race.  The Democratic incumbent lost his re-election bid against Stacy Garrity in what many see as an upset.  In a statement, Torsella added that public service is a privilege and not an entitlement.