TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 7TH, 2021

A bill is urging Congress to make daylight saving time permanent in Pennsylvania.  The bill was passed yesterday by the state’s House of Representatives. Representative Ryan Mackenzie is the prime sponsor of the bill.  Mackenzie said studies show that staying on D-S-T will save energy, reduce traffic crashes, reduce crime and lead to healthier lifestyles.  The representative said the legislation is modeled off a Florida law and would allow the state to make DST permanent if the U.S. Congress allows states to do so.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price the average for a gallon of gas in Western Pennsylvania is down two cents this week to 2.99 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 2.77 a gallon while in Sharon the price is at 2.73. The national average gas price increased by a penny over the last week to $2.87 which is 12 cents more than last month and 94 cents more than a year ago.

The New Castle News is reporting a man suffered minor injuries after driving his car into the Neshannock Creek downtown early Friday morning. The man was driving southeast on the Columbus Inner Belt around 3:30 a.m. before crossing the median and curb, traveling through the grass and under the fence before ending upside down in the water. He was able to get out the vehicle on his own. The man was taken to Jameson Hospital for treatment.

Pennsylvania is seeing a rise of more positive COVID-19 cases.  The state’s Department of Health reported more than 42-hundred new positive cases yesterday.  There have now been over one-million-49-thousand confirmed positive cases in the state since the beginning of the pandemic. Lawrence County has 6,759 cases and 195 deaths. Mercer County has 8,621 cases and 249 deaths.

State health officials are worried as Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 cases are rising, but tests are decreasing. Officials say they need to redouble efforts to increase the use of testing even as the state ramps up the vaccination process. They added that boosting testing can help determine the prevalence of the virus and assist counties of concern to move forward. This comes as the state is averaging 41-hundred-94 infections a day over the last week, which is a 38-percent increase from two-weeks ago.

The deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania’s May primary election is approaching. On May 18th, registered Democrats and Republicans in the state will vote for their party’s nominees for various seats in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Court and more.  Four ballot questions will also be on the primary election ballot. Pennsylvanians have until May 3rd to register to vote or change party affiliation. To register online, go to pavoterservices.pa.gov or you can register through mail or even in-person at a county voter registration office.

The University of Pittsburgh says that a single-day record for positive COVID-19 cases on-campus was set this past Friday. According to the university, 28 students tested positive. There are currently 94 students in isolation at the moment.  The campus is still under a shelter-in-place order, with exceptions only for going to class or to eat , or other essential reasons.

An Ohio trucker driver is facing charges stemming from an October 21st accident in Westmoreland County that left one man dead and two other individuals with serious injuries.  Charles Walker was charged yesterday with homicide by vehicle and five counts of reckless endangering.  Reports say that Walker plowed into stopped traffic on Interstate 70 in South Huntingdon.  He was also charged with driving at an unsafe speed and reckless driving.

OSHA is investigating following a fatal accident Tuesday at a building materials company in West Mifflin.  Reports say that a 65-year-old employee died after falling 41-feet off of a catwalk.  The company has offered condolences to the family and says that they are cooperating with investigators.