TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MONDAY APRIL 5TH, 2021

Pennsylvania State Police are investigating after a body was discovered Saturday in Slippery Rock.  Troopers have offered few details about the find in Lawrence County except to say that the individual was found along Houk Road.  Authorities have not said if they have identified the body.

Restaurants, gyms, theaters, malls and casinos are now able to increase capacity to 75-percent as the state loosened COVID-19 restrictions yesterday. Along with the indoor capacity boost, bar services can return with no curfew for ordering drinks and patrons in restaurants can buy alcohol without having to purchase a meal first. However, customers must still practice social distance and wear masks.

Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed five rowhouses in Beaver County.  The blaze happened yesterday morning in the 500-block of Glenwood Avenue in Ambridge.  No one was reported injured as the people inside the homes at the time of the fire were able to escape safely.

A Slippery Rock woman was taken to the hospital following a one vehicle accident in Union Township. State Police in Lawrence County report the accident took place on Interstate 376 early Friday morning. 35 year old Charlene Janke was taken to the hospital for treatment. Police said the investigation is continuing and charges are pending chemical testing results as Janke was believed to be under the influence at the time of the crash.

Police in Youngstown, Ohio are still trying to identify the shooter who killed one person and injured two others at a nightclub on the city’s South Side early Saturday morning.  Authorities say that shots were still being fired as police arrived to the scene just after 1:30 a.m., but that the individual firing was able to get away.  A 27-year-old man was killed.  Two other club goers were injured, and there has been no word given on their condition.  Police say that hundreds of people were inside the club at the time of the shooting.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of nearly 14-thousand new cases, pushing it over one-million-42-thousand. About 75 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 25-thousand-195. Lawrence County has 6,708 cases and 195 deaths. Mercer County has a total of 8,588 cases and 249 deaths.

The remaining groups in Phase One-B are now eligible to make appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Last week, health officials opened eligibility to some groups in Phase One-B, which included first responders, grocery store workers and goods and agriculture workers. This expansion in eligibility means that postal workers, manufacturing, clergy and transit workers can get vaccinated starting today.

Despite no indications that the state will implement a COVID-19 vaccine passport program, lawmakers are working to prevent that from ever happening. State Senators Kristin Phillips-Hill, Judy Ward and Michele Brooks say such a program is an extreme government intrusion. They added that the government should not ask residents to reveal personal health information. Governor Tom Wolf has not confirmed any plan for a passport program, but says he would support it if the legislature proposed one.

A project to improve a Mercer County Road is scheduled to begin today.The widening and repair project on Route 173 in Grove City is expected to cause traffic delays on the road until late-August. The project will widen the roadway from the intersection with Kocher Drive to just south of the intersection with Main Street. The $2 million project is being paid for entirely with federal funds.

Governor Tom Wolf says the state’s initiative to vaccinate teachers from COVID-19 is finished. Wolf says more than 112-thousand educators were vaccinated in the process, and that they actually reached their goal last Wednesday, about two weeks earlier than expected. The initiative was first announced a month ago with the intention to help more students and teachers get back in the classroom quicker and safer.