TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 9TH, 2021

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor-and-Industry is going to be launching a new unemployment compensation system this summer.  The department announced yesterday that the new system is expected to launch June 8th.  Officials say the system is replacing a 40-year-old mainframe legacy system and will make filing claims in Pennsylvania faster and simpler for residents.  Some of the programs that will be using the system include Unemployment Compensation, Extended Benefits, Shard Work or Short-Time Compensation and Trade Readjustment Allowances.

New Castle City Police are investigating the shooting death that took place yesterday afternoon. According to the New Castle News, the shooting occurred around 1:30 in Neshannock Village after a man reportedly shot at another man outside, who was driving a black SUV. The SUV then crashed into a pole. The driver was hit by gunfire and was taken to a hospital, where he later died. The victim’s name has not been released.

Live! Casino is going to be holding a free table games dealer school later this month.  Officials announced recently that classes at the school at Westmoreland Mall will start on April 19th.  Students will learn how to deal in carnival games like blackjack.  After finishing the course, students will be eligible to interview for a job with Live! Casino Pittsburgh.  You can check out Live! Casino Pittsburgh’s website to apply.

State Police in Mercer County are investigating an alleged sexual assault. The only details released by police is that the victim is from Sharon and the alleged incident took place in Deleware Township. No other details were released.

A New Castle man has been sentenced for raping a girl when she was six years old. 22 year old William Simmons was sentenced to 11 and a half to 24 months in the Lawrence County Jail with 331 days served. Simmons will also be on probation for five years and undergo sexual offender treatment by a local counselor during the term of his probation. The New Castle News reports the girl, now 14, told authorities in a forensic interview last year that Simmons raped her on two separate occasions nearly seven years before at a house in Shenango Township.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported another 4,746 new coronavirus cases Thursday as the state lands in the top five spot for the most new infections across the U.S. The State’s total number of cases rose to 1,059,044. There were 42 new deaths reported bringing that total to 25,327. In Lawrence County, there are 6,818 cases and 198 deaths.  Mercer County, there are 8,669 cases and 249 deaths.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is accusing one of the state’s largest construction firms of stealing millions from its employees. Shapiro says Glenn O. Hawbaker Incorporated was not following state and federal regulations for compensation rates for its employees. He added that instead of diverting money to employee pay, health coverage and retirement, a lot of it was siphoned into the accounts of executives. The firm allegedly stole more than 20-million-dollars from its employees. Hawbaker officials say they cooperated fully when the investigation first started in 2018 and will continue to work constructively with the Attorney General’s office to reach a swift solution.

Pennsylvanians are going to decide if the legislature should have a say in disaster declarations in the May primary election. The Wolf Administration has been against this idea, saying that it would negatively impact the state. They added that the disaster declaration has helped the state receive over one-billion-dollars from the federal government for SNAP benefits to help lower-income individuals. The legislature could end disaster declarations, thus cutting off these funds. Pennsylvanians have until May 3rd to register to vote in the May 18th primary election.

Federal grants are now available to support live performing venues, museums, movie theaters and more in the state. U.S. Small Business Administration officials say these are the lifeblood of culture and community, and often the anchor for travel, tourism and neighborhood food and retail stores. More than 16-billion-dollars are available through the Shutter Venue Operators Grants.  Eligible applicants may receive grants equal to 45-percent of their gross earned revenue with a maximum of ten-million-dollars for a single grant.