TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR DECEMBER 9TH, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling Tuesday on 16th District Congressman Mike Kelly’s request to have the state’s election certification reversed.  In issuing its decision without comment, the court turned away Kelly’s request.  The Congressman and a group of other Trump loyalists had argued the results of Pennsylvania’s vote should not be certified because it allowed voters to cast their ballots by mail without demonstrating why they could not vote in person.  Kelly argued that was unconstitutional.  President-elect Joe Biden won the state and its 20 electoral votes.

The Lawrence County Commissioners have unveiled the counties 2021 budget. According to the New Castle News, the 78 million dollar budget carries no property tax increases while trimming its labor force by more than six percent without any employees losing their job. The reduction of the county’s labor force by 6.17 percent was done by eliminating positions through early retirement, attrition and other jobs that were budgeted but not filled. The commissioners plan to adopt it at their regular meeting on Dec. 29.

State Police in Butler County report a two vehicle accident in Center Township. Police said 37 year old Colt Rankin of Butler was northbound on Route 308 when he crossed the center line and struck a vehicle operated by 47 year old Mllan Karnes also of Butler. Both drivers suffered injuries. No other details were released.

Ninth District State Representative Chris Sainato has announced 305 thousand dollars in tax credits that will be used for revitalization projects in Lawrence County. Sainato said the credits will be used to spur investment in projects to clear blight and rehabilitate distressed areas of Lawrence County.  The money comes from the  Neighborhood Assistance Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting more COVID-19 cases and COVID-related deaths across the state.  Officials announced yesterday over ten-thousand positive cases were confirmed since Monday.  The health department also added almost 170 more deaths due to complications of COVID-19. In Lawrence County 69 cases were reported yesterday bringing the county’s total to 2,272 cases. Two more county residents have died from Covid-19 bringing the death total to 81.  Mercer County has 3,800 cases and 61 fatalities.

A spokesperson for Governor Tom Wolf is denying that new COVID-19 restrictions for P-A will be announced today.  Erie News Now had reported yesterday new mitigation efforts for high schools, colleges, and indoor eating would be announced this afternoon.  Allegheny County’s Executive Rich Fitzgerald reportedly spoke to the media Tuesday to alert them to the new restrictions as well.  It’s believed the restrictions that are circulating were copied and pasted from Philadelphia’s current restrictions.

Economic projects in Beaver County are going to receive about 900-thousand-dollars in tax credits.  The funding was given yesterday to Aliquippa, Center Township and Beaver Falls.  It is going to be used to fight blight and develop business districts.  Officials say the money will also be used to give food and provide rent and job training to residents.

The annual butter sculpture at the Pennsylvania Farm Show is being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Department of Agriculture announced the cancellation yesterday.  The butter sculpture was scheduled to be a part of the 2021 virtual show, but officials say they decided to cancel because of the rise of COVID-19 cases.  It is expected to come back in 2022.

Close to 500-thousand Pennsylvanians will abruptly lose Pandemic Compensation if Congress doesn’t pass another relief bill.  One of the biggest issues toward the end of 2020 is for those who already exhausted their 26 weeks of state unemployment insurance.  They got an extension of benefits funded through the federal CARES Act, but that comes to an end on December 31st.  As of right now, Congress is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor Secretary Jennifer Barrier to extend federal unemployment programs.  Those people will lose their support unless Congress moves forward with an extension of benefits.

Somebody in Beaver County is getting a lot of money for the holiday season.  The Pennsylvania Lottery announced yesterday a three-million-dollar ticket was sold in Aliquippa.  The ticket was sold out of Caivano’s Discount Tobacco Outlet in Hopewell Center.  The store will be getting ten-thousand-dollars for selling the ticket.  The winner is being asked to sign the back of the ticket and contact the state lottery.