TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 30TH, 2020

Lawrence County is under a Winter Storm Watch while Mercer County is under a Winter Storm Warning starting at 1am Tuesday through 7am Wednesday morning. Snow accumulations range from 4 to 6 inches in the region, and the morning drive tomorrow could become hazardous. PennDot and the Pennsylvania turnpike commission remind motorists to adjust speeds based on driving conditions as winter weather impacts roadways.

A semi truck rear ended a truck towing a boat on Interstate 80 Saturday evening in Mercer County. According to State Police in Mercer,  It happened just before 7 p.m. on I-80 westbound. The boat skidded across the roadway after being hit. Police said The semi truck driver was taken to Grove City Medical with unknown injuries. The other driver was not injured.

Police in Butler continue their search for a suspect who led them on a chase this weekend.  The incident began Saturday at the intersection of Morton and Mackey avenues.  The suspect’s car collided with a pickup truck traveling in the oncoming lane.  The suspect then fled the scene.  Butler police have not released any additional details of the incident¸ including what prompted the chase.

President Trump’s legal options against the election results are dwindling after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected another challenge over the weekend. In a 5-2 decision, the court shot down Congressman Mike Kelly’s attempt to invalidate mail-in ballots by arguing that its provisions violate provisions of the state constitution. However, in 2019, lawmakers enacted a law allowing wider voting by mail, which was used in the last two elections. This comes as Wisconsin’s recount of ballots solidified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and Governor Tom Wolf certified Pennsylvania’s election results last Tuesday.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say over the holiday weekend, the state total saw an increase of more than 29-thousand new cases, pushing it over 357-thousand. More than 250 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at ten-thousand-351. Lawrence County added 73 new cases just on Saturday bringing its total to 2,153 and 66 fatalities.

November is Pennsylvania’s worst month yet since the pandemic began according to health officials. Officials say in November alone, the state counted more than 143-thousand cases of COVID-19, which is greater than the last five-months combined.  The University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects Pennsylvania will reach intensive care unit bed capacity next month as the state has less than 20-percent of ICU beds left.

Doctor Rachel Levine and the Acting Secretary of Education are holding a news conference around midday today regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the Commonwealth.  An update is expected on the Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard and COVID Alert P-A.  The announcement doesn’t mention what Secretary Noe Ortega may discuss regarding schools across the state.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on a seasonal tradition that depends on support from shoppers and people working in the office and not from home.  That’s Toys for Toys, and organizers of the campaign in Beaver County say donations are down significantly this year because of the pandemic.  So far, they’ve set up only 300 drop boxes around the county for collections, which is half of the number they usually distribute.  They hope an event registry they’ve set up with Walmart, where people can buy pre-selected gifts at Walmart-dot-com, can help close the donations gap.

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has announced a reorganizing of forty parishes in Western Pennsylvania.  The diocese currently has 107 parishes across Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Lawrence and Washington counties.  In January, that number will drop to 81 parishes.  Bishop David Zubik says it’s all part on an effort to strengthen the diocese.  Zubik says the moves are being made in consultation with parishioners.