TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR DECEMBER 11TH, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf is issuing new restrictions on indoor dining, casinos and gyms in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Wolf says they hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but the virus continues to rage in Pennsylvania. Starting tomorrow indoor dining is prohibited, indoor gatherings are capped to ten people except for places of worship, outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people and businesses are limited to 50-percent capacity. Entertainment facilities are also closed along with gyms, but outdoor facilities and classes can continue if all participants wear face masks. Businesses that break restrictions are subject to fines or 30-days in county jail and the order is set to last until January 4th at 8 a.m.

Governor Tom Wolf and health officials are ordering all youth and K through 12 school sports to pause until January 4th at 8 a.m. The announcement came only a day after the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association issued new measures for high school winter sports. The pause impacts all public schools, nonpublic schools, private schools and club, travel, recreational, intramural, and intramural sports. Extracurricular school activities may proceed virtually and professional or collegiate sports can continue, but with guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials with the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League plan to announce today how Governor Tom Wolf’s order to shut down sports will affect their schedules.  Yesterday, the governor announced all youth and school sports are shut down until the fourth of January because of the pandemic.  The order bans all games and practices as well as extracurricular activities.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of nearly 12-thousand new cases, pushing it over 457-thousand. About 248 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is surpassing 12-thousand. Pennsylvania is now the seventh state in the country to cross 12-thousand deaths since the pandemic began. Lawrence County saw an increase of 69 new cases and now has 2,931 total cases an 87 fatalities. Mercer County has 4,010 cases and 66 deaths.

Community members and local businesses in Nashville have donated to a reward fund for a Butler County woman who was killed last week.  Police say 26-year-old Caitlyn Kaufman was shot and killed as she drove along a Tennessee highway on her way to her job as an ICU nurse.  Her parents say her dream was to move to Nashville and become an ICU nurse.  The reward fund for information about Kaufman’s murder has topped 65-thousand dollars.

Pennsylvania lottery officials say a million-dollar Cash Five ticket someone bought this last year in Beaver County is about expire.  The ticket was sold at the Rite Aid in Ambridge January 21st and will expire next month if no one claims it.  If it’s not claimed by January 21st, the money will stay in the lottery fund and support programs for older Pennsylvanians.

Firefighters from Farrell were called out this morning to battle a fire. The fire broke out at an abandoned church  on Union Street just after one o’clock this morning. WKBN-TV is reporting the cause of the fire is under investigation. No injuries were reported.

Triple-A is urging motorists this holiday season to safely secure  their Christmas trees during transport to keep them from becoming dangerous projectiles. According to previous AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research, more than 200,000 crashes involved debris on U.S. roads over a four-year period, resulting in 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.Drivers can also face hefty fines and penalties as well as jail time if an unsecured tree falls off their vehicle.

Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a fatal accident that involved a Washington County detective.  The accident happened Wednesday evening in the 700-block of National Pike-Route 40 in South Strabane.  The Washington County District Attorney’s Office said yesterday an on-duty county detective struck a pedestrian with a car by accident.  The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.