New Castle City Police have charged a Pittsburgh man for reportedly having had repeated sexual intercourse with an 11-year-old girl over the course of a few years. 44 year old John Edward Lord Jr., was charged in connection with the reported incidents. The New Castle News reports the alleged incident took place at Lord’s home on Park Avenue while the girl’s mother was not there. Lord faces 40 felony charges, including rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and sexual assault. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of nearly six-thousand new cases, pushing it over 783-thousand. About 401 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is nearing 20-thousand. In Lawrence County, 38 new cases were reported for a total of 5,166. Deaths rose by three, totaling 153.  In Mercer County, 31 new cases were reported for a total of 7,090. Deaths rose by seven, totaling 203.

The New Castle News is reporting that after nearly a year of remote learning the New Castle Area School District is about ready to get back to in-class room instruction. Students in kindergarten through grade 5 will return to school for half days on Jan. 28.  Junior high students, grades 6 through 8, would return to school Feb. 8, and would go all day, divided into two alternating groups, to ensure social distancing at lunchtime. Students in grades 9 through 12 would return to school Feb. 18 in two separate groups, with group A attending on Mondays and Tuesdays and group B attending Thursdays and Fridays. The school will be cleaned on Wednesday’s.

State health officials are asking the public to remain patient as millions of people went online to schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Officials say they do not have enough vaccine for everyone that wants it right now but will have more in the future. They added that the state asked the federal government for the maximum allotment of COVID vaccines available, and the state is receiving a steady flow of about 140-thousand doses per week. This comes as eligibility to receive the vaccine was expanded to individuals older than 65 and younger adults with chronic medical conditions.

Child care workers in Pennsylvania are going to be rewarded by the state for their services during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Governor Tom Wolf announced yesterday that employees of licensed child care companies will be eligible for a one-time grant worth 600-dollars.  The money is being provided by a federal government program and could give out grants to more than 33-thousand child care workers in the state.  Officials of Wolf’s administration say that all applications must be submitted to local early learning resource centers and will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

A Fayette County man is being accused of beating his child to death.  Blake William Elko was charged Tuesday with homicide and child abuse counts for the death of his four-month-old son.  Prosecutors say the incident happened last month when the infant was taken to hospital for multiple severe injuries including traumatic brain injury, significant bruising on his face and arms and rib fractures.  The infant was taken off life support and passed away a few days later.  According to court records, Elko told authorities that the baby fell face-first on the floor, but doctors determined that couldn’t have happened due to the extent of the injuries and Elko was arrested.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office on Wednesday announced the conviction of a former McKeesport resident on drug trafficking and firearms charges.  Jared Ogrosky was arrested in connection with a shooting at the Monroeville Mall in 2019.  During a search of his home in relation to that shooting, detectives found nine bricks of heroin and a loaded Glock.  Ogrosky has been sentenced to just over five years in prison on the drug trafficking and weapons charges.

State grants are being made available for recreation and conservation projects across Pennsylvania. The grants are being offered by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. They’re designed to assist local communities with park acquisition and improvements to trails and river accesst hat are increasingly in demand, according to DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. She says theCOVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of parks, forests and trails to the mental andphysical health of its users. Local governments and recreation and conservation districts are invited to apply at, between now and April 14th.

Someone has finally won the Powerball jackpot. Wednesday night’s drawing was worth an estimated $730M. A single winning ticket was sold in Maryland.