TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JANUARY 27TH, 2021

One person was taken to the hospital following a two vehicle accident in Neshannock Townhship Tuesday morning. According to the New Castle News 19 year old Daniel Minenok of East Euclid Avenue, collided with a garbage truck on Pulaski Road around 11:30am. Neshannock Township Fire firefighters had to extricate Minenok from the wreckage. He was taken to St.Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown for treatment. No other details were released by police.

Robert Morris University is confirming this week a donation of nearly three-million dollars by Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings.  Hastings’ gift will cover the cost of twenty full 4-year scholarships.  Those scholarships are earmarked for what Hastings and the university call underrepresented groups and those committed to empowering those underrepresented groups.  In a statement, the Netflix chief calls it critical that universities create pathways and pipelines of talent, especially for Black students and other minorities in this knowledge-based economy.

A proposed constitutional amendment is earning another victory after it was approved by the Pennsylvania State Senate.  The state Senate voted in favor of Senate Bill Two yesterday 28-to-20.  The proposed bill would limit the amount of time future disaster declarations have as well as needing the general assembly’s approval to go into effect.  Emergency declarations called for by the Governor currently last up to 90 days, while the new bill would limit it to about 21 days.  The bill must be approved by the general assembly in two sessions before it can move onto the ballot for residents to vote on.

Positive COVID-19 cases are increasing in Pennsylvania.  The state’s Department of Health announced over 46-hundred new cases yesterday.  There have now been over 812-thousand confirmed positive cases in the state since the beginning of the pandemic.  About 219 more people also passed away due to complications of the coronavirus. Lawrence County has 5,344 cases. The county reported two more people have died due to Covid-19 bringing the county’s death toll to 161.

A former controller at a Butler County electric company is admitting to being involved in a theft that stole over a million-dollars from the company.  Paul Harmon pleaded guilty to the crime yesterday after waiving indictment by grand jury.  According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Harmon was misappropriating company funds and covering his tracks since 2009.  Prosecutors say the 40-year-veteran of the company stole almost one-and-a-half-million dollars during the operation.  His sentencing will be held this May.

For the second time, the US Senate will serve as jurors in an impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Along with Pat Toomey, Sen. Bob Casey will decide the culpability of Donald Trump in connection withthe January 6th attack at the US Capitol. Appearing on MSNBC, Sen. Casey said the trial won’tinterfere with the Senate’s other business. (Cut 4) During the last impeachment trial, Sen. Casey voted to convict the former President, while Toomey voted to acquit.

Pennsylvanians, including Governor Tom Wolf, are frustrated with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and short supply. Wolf says they assumed the state was going to have an expanded supply, but that didn’t materialize as he wanted to expand vaccine eligibility last week to people over 65 and people between 16 and 64 with chronic medical conditions. Despite the current flow, the governor is confident the Biden Administration will soon speed up the vaccine rollout, which will improve the distribution rate in Pennsylvania.

Butler County Police are asking the public for help in locating two suspects who allegedly stole wheels from a local business.  The robbery happened Monday morning inside the garage of McClymonds Supply and Transit Company in Butler.  Police say two suspects are shown on surveillance video stealing over 20 aluminum tractor-trailer wheels.  Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Butler Police Department.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price report the average price of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania is up three cents this week to 2.73 a gallon. In New Castle the price is at 2.53 a gallon while drivers in Sharon are paying 2.70. The average national gas price has risen by two cents over the last week to $2.40. AAA reports that crude oil price dropped over the past week however demand for gas is now rising significantly which may result in further increases at the pump.