TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JANUARY 22ND, 2021

New Castle City Police arrested a Mahoningtown man after he tried to rob the Speedway store in downtown New Castle. The New Castle News reports that 34 year old James Grim III is charged with criminal attempt at robbery, terroristic threats, possession of drug paraphernalia, harassment and disorderly conduct. A store clerk hit a panic button after Grim threatened her with a gun. Grim was arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 25 thousand dollars bond.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is alerting consumers that certain Pennsylvanians may experience delays in receiving their federal stimulus checks. Shapiro said If you’re eligible for a stimulus check and haven’t received one, you can call the IRS or visit their website to file a complaint. Tax preparation companies use temporary bank accounts when they assist with filing tax returns. The IRS used that information to issue stimulus checks, and therefore, some of the checks have been held up. Pennsylvanians should see those checks by February 1st.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of more than 56-hundred new cases, pushing it over 788-thousand. Pennsylvania is now the seventh state to surpass 20-thousand deaths related to the virus since the pandemic began as 260 new deaths were reported yesterday. Lawrence County is reporting 5,193 cases and 156 deaths.  Mercer County is reporting a total of 7,131 cases and 206 fatalities.

Pennsylvania State Representative Ed Gainey is proposing a bill in support of automatic voter registration in the state.  Officials announced yesterday that Gainey proposed a bill that would automatically register certain people to vote.  The proposed legislation would affect those who use services in Human Services, Transportation, and Military and Veteran Affairs departments.  There are currently nineteen states in the country that have automatic voter registration.

An Allegheny County man this week filed suit against home developer Ryan Homes claiming that the company is in violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  John Shaler says that when he was considering purchasing a new home early last year, he went to the developer’s Middlesex Crossing project.  He says he found Ryan Homes’ sales office was located in the garage of a model and could only be accessed by going up a set of stairs.  Shaler uses a wheelchair.  He says that he found similar situations in at least ten other developments owned by the developer’s parent company.

PPG Paints Arena is finishing up with new safety improvements to welcome back Penguins fans after the COVID-19 pandemic.  The arena announced yesterday that it has completed most of its new safety installments throughout the building.  Some of the improvements include drone disinfecting technology in the arena’s lower bowl, autonomous floor scrubbers, touchless faucets and flush valves and more than 200 sanitizer stations. The new improvements that were based on recommendations from the CDC and World Health Organization.

An East Liverpool Ohio man suffered a minor injury following a one vehicle accident in Hanover Township. State Police in Beaver County report 26 year old William Hostetter was northbound on route 168 when he lost control of his vehicle, first struck a guard rail then a utility pole. Hostetter who suffered a minor injury was not taken to the hospital.

A new task force is coming to Fayette County to help with the distribution process of COVID-19 vaccines.  The county announced yesterday that emergency management officials are teaming up with area hospitals and pharmacies to create new plans to better connect residents with places that offer the vaccinations.  Officials say Fayette County is currently low on vaccines, but the task force will help notify residents when more vaccines begin to arrive.