TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 22ND, 2021

Two New Castle residents who ran a business together were arrested Friday on charges relating to criminal acts committed during the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6th. The New Castle News reports the FBI charged Philip Vogel II and Debra J. Maimone with theft of property, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The two were identified from several posts on social media.

State Police in Butler County report a two vehicle accident in Cherry Township. According to police 42 year old Daniel Frampton of Harrisville was southbound on West Sunbury Road when he crossed the center line and struck a vehicle operated by 66 year old Beverly Campbell of Emlenton. Frampton was taken to Grove City Medical Center for treatment. Campbell was not hurt. Police said Frampton was charged with driving under the influence.

The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association is unhappy with the state’s changes to its COVID-19 vaccine rollout. This comes after the state announced it will restrict vaccine supplies to less than three-hundred providers in an effort to speed up distribution, but it will cut off supplies to smaller providers. P-P-A officials urge the state to reconsider their approach and say pharmacists are among the most universally trusted and accessible healthcare professionals, especially among rural and other at-risk communities.

An Ellwood City woman faces cruelty to animal charges. State Police in Lawrence County say the alleged incident took place in Wayne Township. The suspect is a 42 year old woman. Charges are pending according to police. No other details were released.

Lawmakers are proposing a bill that would make roads in Pennsylvania safer for bikers. State Representative David M. Maloney is sponsoring the bill named after Susan Hicks of Pittsburgh and Emily Fredericks of Philadelphia, who both died after getting struck by cars while riding their bikes to work. Maloney says the bill would allow cars to park 12-inches from a curb in order to make space for bike lanes. He added that a collision can happen anywhere, but this legislation should add some protection for bikers from oncoming traffic.

A Campbell, Ohio man has died in a fishing accident in Mercer County. WFMJ-TV reports Fire department rescue squads were called to a private pond off Millbrook Road at around 3:30 p.m. Saturday after 911 callers reported that his kayak had flipped over as he was fishing. According to Mike Parker of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the victim was 44 years old.  As of Sunday afternoon, Mercer County Coroner had not yet released the victim’s name.

The University of Pittsburgh is going through an outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases.  The university announced over the weekend that almost 40 students tested positive for the coronavirus since March 16th, and 45 students are in isolation at the Oakland campus.  Two of the positive cases were reported among staff.  Officials say the school’s Oakland, Greensburg, Bradford and Titusville campuses are at a guarded risk level while Johnstown is at an elevated risk level.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say over the weekend, the state total saw an increase of around ten-thousand new cases, pushing it over 986-thousand. About 82 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 24-thousand-788. Lawrence County has 6,368 and 193 fatalities.

Pennsylvania’s effort to get all school teachers and staff vaccinated from COVID-19 is making progress. Governor Tom Wolf says they’re almost two weeks ahead of schedule, meaning that all educators and school staff that want the vaccine will have gotten their shots by the end of this month. This also means more schools may start offering in-person classes soon. Once teachers are vaccinated, the state is planning on using Johnson and Johnson vaccine allotments to vaccinate first responders and frontline essential workers.