Tri County Report For November 24th, 2020

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania.  Officials say yesterday the state total saw an increase of more than 47-hundred new cases, pushing it over 314-thousand. About 28 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 98-hundred-70. Lawrence County saw an increase of 64 new cases bringing its total to 1,872. 64 fatalities have been reported in the county due to Covid-19.

State health officials say they fear I-C-U beds across P-A could be filled within a week should COVID-19 cases continue to spike.  Doctor Rachel Levine says 63 of the state’s 67 counties are considered to have a substantial spread of the virus including Lawrence and Beaver Counites. In fact, only one county, Cameron County, has a positive test rate below five-percent.

Governor Tom Wolf is issuing new targeted COVID-19 measures to help curb the spread. As part of the state’s targeted efforts, indoor events are being limited to five-hundred people and outdoor gatherings are capped at 25-hundred. Wolf says we need to commit to wearing masks and staying home wherever possible as residents are being required to work from home unless they work at restaurants, retailers, gyms, salons and barbershops.

Governor Tom Wolf is ordering bars and restaurants to cut their alcohol sales early on Thanksgiving Eve as COVID-19 cases continue to surge statewide. Under the new order, bars and restaurants must stop selling alcohol at 5 p.m. this Wednesday. Bar owners say the news is unfortunate as 2020 has already been a rough year, and they typically make good money on Thanksgiving Eve. Some bars decided to close ahead of Thanksgiving after hearing the news, but others will remain open and hope take out orders make up for the losses after alcohols sales are stopped.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price report the average price of gas in Western Pennsylvania held steady this week at 2.50 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 2.21 a gallon while the average price in Sharon is at 2.51 a gallon. With the majority of states seeing increases, the national gas price average pushed a penny more expensive. A year ago the average price in Western Pennsylvania was at 2.77 a gallon.

Residents of Monaca Heights are being asked to conserve water after a water pump failed on Sunday.  The pump feeds a water tower that provides water to residents of Monaca Heights.  The water conservation order remains in effect until at least this morning.  Residents can check the city’s website for updates at monacapa-dot-net.

A suspect is in custody and charged with the murder of a Fayette County woman in her home this past weekend.  Family members found the body of 28-year-old Meghan Masi in her home along Yauger Hollow Road in North Union Township just outside Lemont Furnace on Saturday.  Investigators have not said how she died, but they say one suspect is charged with criminal homicide.  He’s identified as Joseph Thomas.  Police say other arrests may yet be made.

The Beaver County Board of Commissioners approved the $208 million 2021 preliminary budget last week with no planned tax increase. The Beaver County Times reports The budget includes an $81.3 million general fund that consists of $9.5 million in debt payments. Commissioner Chairman Dan Camp said that the proposed budget will be available online for review and is slated to be approved on Dec. 17.

Authorities in Butler County are continuing their investigation into a recent case of theft in Clay Township. According to the Pennsylvania State Police, a Clay Township resident reported to authorities last week that nearly one thousand dollars  was missing from her checking account at an undisclosed financial institution.  Police said its not know how the money was stolen as the investigation is ongoing.