TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 12TH, 2021

No injuries were reported following a fire that destroyed a home in Union Township yesterday afternoon. The New Castle News reports the blaze started on a porch of a two-story rental home on Oakland Avenue. Multiple fire companies battled the fire. The flames and heat damaged the siding on an adjacent house. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Police in Sharon are investigating a shooting that took place last night. WFMJ-TV reports the shooting took place on the 100 block of Stambaugh Avenue around midnight. Officials say two men were shot but their injuries are not believed to be life threatening. The investigation is ongoing.

Three women are being treated at the hospital after a dog attacked them in Beaver County.  The incident happened yesterday evening in the 16-hundred block of Jackson Street in Alquippa.  Police say the dog was a mixed-breed and belonged to one of the women involved in the attack.  One woman had to be life-flighted in critical condition, and the other two women were taken to area hospitals.  The dog was killed by police.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of more than 26-hundred new cases, pushing it over 958-thousand. About 51 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 24-thousand-490. Lawrence County has 6,225 cases and 189 deaths. Mercer County has a total of 8,305 cases, and 243 deaths.

Governor Tom Wolf is agreeing with critics of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Wolf says it’s clear we are receiving a lot fewer vaccines than we need as about 400-thousand people applied to receive the first-dose this week, and the state only has about 200-thousand. The governor added that the state needs to do a better job at getting it out quickly and fairly.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is lifting the moratorium on shutoffs for nonpaying customers next month. The moratorium that helped many Pennsylvanians amid the pandemic is being lifted on April 1st. However, utility providers must develop payment plans for their customers with arrangements being based on incomes, and customers can still request a shorter or longer payment arrangement.

State lawmakers are proposing a bill that would halt the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s initiative to start tolling travelers at nine bridges across the state. PennDOT’s initiative was proposed last year in November, and the funds generated from these tolls would go toward maintaining and repairing the bridges. State Senator Lisa Baker says we cannot ignore the fact that motorists are already feeling the pain of increased gas prices and the state already has a gas tax, which is dedicated to supporting transportation infrastructure.

State Representative Ryan Mackenzie is proposing a bill that would have Pennsylvania keep Daylight Saving Time year-round. That’s only if Congress allows it. Meanwhile, another lawmaker is proposing a similar bill intended to make standard time permanent in Pennsylvania. Some residents say they don’t care which time is picked, but they want all states in the region to be on the same page as it can be confusing trying to navigate different time zones.

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday.  Remember at 2 a.m. to move those clocks forward to 3 a.m.  Local fire departments also remind you that this might be a good opportunity to check the batteries in your smoke detectors.