TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 2ND, 2021

A tractor-trailer crash temporarily shut down a portion of Interstate 376 in Lawrence and Mercer Counties yesterday morning. State Police in Lawrence County report the accident took place in Pulaski Township when a tractor-trailer lost control then stopped in the middle of the roadway and was struck by a second tractor-trailer. The second truck overturned and went down an embankment. No injuries were reported.

No one was taken to the hospital following a one vehicle accident in Little Beaver Township on Sunday. State Police in Lawrence County report 18 year old Austin Shultz of Rochester was traveling north on Russell when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a tree head on. Shultz and a 17  year old passenger where not hurt.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is stepping down.  Boockvar announced Monday that she is resigning after the Department of State failed to advertise a proposed amendment to the state Constitution.  According to reports, the amendment would have opened a two-year window for survivors of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits when they have passed the statue of limitations to sue.  Wolf said as a result of the error, the process to amend the constitution must start from the beginning.  The state Legislature passed the amendment as House Bill 963 in November of 2019.

A traffic stop for heavily-tinted windows in Butler County last month has led to the driver facing federal drug charges.  During that stop, officers say they smelled marijuana coming from Deshaun Jones’ vehicles and spotted heroin packing materials on the floor.  Police say a subsequent search of the vehicle turned up cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, nearly a thousand dollars in cash, a digital scale and a stolen handgun.  Prosecutors say that some of the found drugs are connected to drugs overdoses and deaths in the area.  Jones is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow.

Federal and local authorities are investigating a bomb threat that was called in to emergency dispatchers late Monday afternoon.  Officials say that a man called 9-1-1 just after 5 p.m. and said that a bomb would go off 18-minutes later at the William S. Moorhead Federal Building downtown Pittsburgh.  The building and the federal courthouse were evacuated.  No bomb went off and none was found.  The ATF, IRS, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers all have offices in that building.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is providing an update on the coronavirus cases and deaths in the state.  On Monday, health officials reported nearly three-thousand new coronavirus cases, bringing the state’s overall total to over 846-thousand cases.  In addition to the cases, 26 more people have died from COVID-19.  The number of deaths of Pennsylvania residents related to the coronavirus is now 21-thousand-687. Lawrence County has 5,490 cases and 167 deaths. Mercer County has 7,498 and 223 fatalities.

Folks hoping to get their COVID-19 vaccine can now refer to a map for help.  The state Department of Health posted the locations of enrolled coronavirus vaccine providers throughout the state.  People who are eligible can click on a location on the map for contact information and to make an appointment.

Western Pennsylvania residents this month will have access to a series of free virtual events from the Heinz History Center in recognition of Black History Month.  A series of films, discussions and lectures will cover topics including the Black family and the Civil Rights movement.  Admission for these virtual events are free, but pre-registration is recommended.  Details can be found at www.heinzhistorycenter.org.