TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 11TH, 2021

The missing elderly man from Butler County who was rescued from a deep ravine is dead.  Officials confirmed yesterday that 74-year-old Dennis Fester passed away just hours after he was pulled out of a steep hill following a six-hour search.  The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office says Fester died from the effects of hypothermia.  He was originally reported missing this past Tuesday after he went for a walk down Sarver Road.

The New Castle High School Boys Basketball team will look for there seventh WPIAL Championship in the last ten years, following a 69-60 win over Laurel Highlands last night in the Class 5A semi-final at the New Castle High School Fieldhouse. The ‘Canes will take on Chartiers Valley Saturday night at 8 o’clock in the title game at North Allegheny High School. New Castle coach Ralph Blundo is looking to become only the fourth coach to win seven WPIAL championships. New Castle and Chartiers Valley split there regular season matchups. You can hear the game Saturday night right here on NewsRadio 1200 WKST.

The Wolf Administration wants schools and early childhood learning facilities to take advantage of free testing for lead in their water.  The one-point-seven-four million dollars for the program comes from a federal grant.  Governor Wolf said the testing will provide the benchmark they need to remove lead from water and protect kids.

The oldest operating synagogue in Beaver County is getting some help to improve its security needs.  The Beth Samuel Jewish Center in Ambridge was awarded a 12-thousand-dollar grant from the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund program yesterday.  Officials say the funding will be used to make safety and security upgrades to the synagogue, including metal detectors and new surveillance equipment.  The grant program focuses on protecting potential hate-crime targets and was established in response to the Tree of Life shootings in Pittsburgh.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor-and-Industry is looking to hire 500 customer service members soon.  Acting Security Jennifer Berrier announced yesterday that the department is going to be hiring at least 500 new customer service representatives for its unemployment compensation call center.  The department wants to hire and train the newly hired employees by the start of June.  Officials say they are in need of new staffers to handle the increasing amount of unemployment calls the department is receiving recently.

Restaurants and bars in Pennsylvania are going to be able to throw scaled-down celebrations for Saint Patrick’s Day this year.  A spokeswoman for the governor announced yesterday that Wolf is not considering implementing any new COVID-19 restrictions during the holiday.  Governor Wolf announced a statewide shutdown last year that canceled all Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations.  State officials are still encouraging residents to stay safe during the holiday, including keeping social-distancing and wearing masks.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of nearly 26-hundred new cases, pushing it over 955-thousand. About 43 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 24-thousand-439. Lawrence County is reporting 26 additional cases Wednesday, with 6,189 total cases and 188 deaths. Mercer County is reporting 14 additional cases Wednesday, with 8,297 and 242 fatalities.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says the COVID-19 vaccine supply is still not meeting the demand. Officials say providers are asking for over 420-thousand doses, and again, the state only has around 254-thousand to provide. This is creating frustrations among many Pennsylvanians. Earlier this week, a state Senator sent a letter to the Department of Health and Walmart to express concerns over a vaccination site claiming that it already had slots filled before it was open to the public. DOH officials say they had no part in that clinic as it was arranged by the federal government; however, they plan on setting up more vaccination sites so people don’t have to make long drives.