TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 15TH, 2021

Lawrence and Mercer Counties are currently under a winter storm warning until 1pm Tuesday. The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh says TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 9 INCHES AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF A GLAZE TO AROUND ONE TENTH OF AN INCH is possible. The heaviest snow is expected later this afternoon and during the overnight hours.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is issuing road restrictions as a winter storm is expected to hit today and tomorrow. Officials are recommending people to not travel if possible, but those who do will have to deal with the Tier One vehicle restrictions going into effect today at 6 p.m. People are urged to check 511pa.com to see impacted roads.

The New Castle News is reporting a man walked into the New Castle Police station yesterday afternoon after being shot. Police have not yet revealed the name of the victim or the shooter, but Chief Bobby Salem said charges are pending.  The shooting took place around three o’clock. The injured man was taken to UPMC Jameson Hospital for treatment.

Republican leaders from several Pennsylvania counties have voted to censure Senator Pat Toomey over his vote to convict President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial.  Toomey said the former President urged that mob to march on the Capitol for the explicit purpose of preventing Congress and the vice president from formally certifying the results of the presidential election.  Republican leaders from Lawrence, Washington, York, Clarion and Centre Counties have  voted to censure Toomey.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say over the weekend, the state total saw an increase of more than ten-thousand new cases, pushing it over 894-thousand. About 236 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is surpassing 23-thousand. Lawrence County has 5,790 cases and 177 deaths. Mercer County has 7,803 Covid-19 cases and 231 fatalities.

The University of Pittsburgh is preparing to start COVID-19 vaccine clinic trials for children soon.  The university announced over the weekend that starting in March, it will begin trials for the Moderna vaccine for children between six-months to 12-years old.  Officials say they are launching the trial to help prepare for the vaccine rollout that is expected to be approved for children this coming summer.  Families who are interested in participating are being encouraged to register online on the University of Pittsburgh’s website.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has announced an order to help expedite the COVID-19 vaccine to seniors. The order was issued Friday and aimed to make sure that Pennsylvanians are vaccinated quickly and efficiently. The updated requirements for vaccine providers include having at least 80 percent of their first doses administered within seven days of receiving them and adhering to the current phase of the state’s vaccine rollout plan. Providers must also have an online and phone-based registration system for vaccine appointment scheduling.

TSA agents at Pittsburgh International on Friday stopped yet another passenger trying to get through security with a firearm in their carry-on.  Richard Santone Sr. of Westmoreland County was stopped and arrested by Allegheny County Police.  Santone, who had a 38-caliber handgun in his bag, does not have a license to carry the weapon.  It was the third gun in nine days caught during the screening process at the airport.

Governor Tom Wolf on Friday commuted the prison sentences of 13 individuals including three convicted murderers from Allegheny County.  Those individuals, Eric Eisen, Charlie Goldblum and Avis Lee, have served 26, 42 and 40 years in prison respectively.  In a statement, the governor said that these 13 individuals have served time for their crimes and now deserve a second chance.  They now have a chance to begin a life outside of prison that he hopes is fulfilling for each of them.  Before going to the governor, the applications for commutation were approved by a five-person panel led by Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.