TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 12TH, 2020

A man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to robbing the Uni-Mart in Ellwood City has been sentenced to 1 to 3 years imprisonment. According to the Ellwood City Ledger 30 year old Brent Adam Hill was sentenced last week in Lawrence County Court. He pleaded guilty to robbery in August in exchange for other charges being dropped.  Ellwood City police said Hill held a clerk at knifepoint on March 9 and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Schools across Pennsylvania are being pressured to close due to the rise of COVID-19 cases.  Pennsylvania State Education Association President Rich Askey says state guidelines recommend schools in critical transmission rate counties go fully remote to slow the spread of the virus and keep staff, families and students safe.  About 38 of the state’s 67 counties are experiencing a substantial level of community spread.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania.  The state added more than 47-hundred new cases to the total yesterday, pushing it over 243-thousand. About 59 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is surpassing 91-hundred. Lawrence County added 45 new cases Wednesday bringing the total to 1,388. Two more people have died from Covid-19. The county now has 46 fatalities.

Health officials are reporting Pennsylvania’s first death of the 2020 through 2021 flu season amid the pandemic. Health officials nationwide have been warning Americans about the dangers of the pandemic coinciding with the flu season, even urging people to get vaccinated for influenza. Officials say a flu shot can prevent a potentially serious dual infection.

Veterans in Beaver County remembered their fallen comrades in a solemn ceremony that marked Veterans Day yesterday.  The ceremony was held downtown at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Third Street.  Traditionally, Veterans Day is recognized in the Beaver County Veterans Day Parade but it was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yesterday, members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter 862 — which represents more than 800 veterans in Pennsylvania and Ohio — held a somber ceremony.

State Police in Lawrence County report a Neshannock Township man was charged for leaving the scene of an accident. Police said 91 year old Harold M. Hutchison was southbound on route 158 in Wilmington Township when he crashed into an Amish buggy operated by 26 year old Andy Byler of New Wilmington. Hutchinson left the scene but later admitted to the accident. No injuries were reported.

A Butler County man is in jail today after police say he allegedly broke into a home, made himself breakfast and then fell asleep.  Police say when the homeowner returned, the suspect hid.  He was later found and is now in custody in the Butler County prison.  He’s identified as Mitchell Graham and he goes before a judge next week.

A Rochester Township police officer has been charged with driving under the influence for the second time in four months.  The officer is identified as 38-year-old Richard Paul Hacker of Brighton Township.  Patterson Township police charged him with DUI after the vehicle he was driving left the roadway and turned over.  He was charged with DUI back in July for wrecking his motorcycle in a construction ditch in Chippewa.  He was off-duty at the time.

In an address to the state Wednesday evening, Governor Mike DeWine put business owners around the state on notice.  If COVID numbers continue to rise, we could see orders to close restaurants, bars and fitness centers again.  DeWine said numbers will be reviewed in one week’s time to see if that’s the direction we need to go.  He also ordered businesses to deny access to customers who aren’t wearing masks and a new inspection arm will be charged with making sure that order is complied with.