TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 16TH, 2021

Pennsylvania is extending its pause on the administration of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Officials originally placed the pause until at least April 20th after recommendations from the CDC and FDA while they investigate six rare cases of blood clots possibly associated with the vaccine. The pause on the use of the single-dose J-and-J vaccine will now last until April 24th or until federal agencies give the OK to proceed.

A fire broke out last night in downtown Sharon. According to the Sharon Herald firemen were called out just before 5:30 to the Emerald Tablet alternative and holistic health service on East State Street. Two people that were in the building got out safely. A number of fire companies were called to the scene. The fire started in the basement of the building. Authorities are investigating what started the fire.

The Ellwood City School Board voted last night to acquire a twelve million dollars bond money to deal with much-needed maintenance projects. According to the Ellwood City Ledger the money will extend the school’s debt to 2040, but will also create dedicated funds for facility improvements. What those improvements will be is unclear. The vote was unanimous.

A high school football coach fired over alleged locker room bullying and hazing has denied any wrongdoing.  Former Pine-Richland High School football coach Eric Kasperowicz released a statement, saying he did not allow bullying or hazing to take place during his eight years with the Rams program.  Kasperowicz also claims if he learned about any of that behavior, he addressed the issue.  Kasperowicz has won four WPIAL titles and two state championships at Pine-Richland

Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler is going to be quarantining at home in Lancaster County a little longer.  Cutler announced yesterday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.  Earlier this week, he said he would be in quarantine after he was exposed to a positive case.  He says his offices in Harrisburg and Quarryville will remain open during his time away.

Students in Beaver County have a new tool to help them combat bullying and on-campus violence.  The Beaver Area School District has implemented a free app called Safe-2-Say-Something.  Students can use the app to submit a tip, speak with a crisis hotline, or learn more about what event should be reported.

The three-month-long search for a missing Pittsburgh man is over.  The body of 25-year-old Thomas Hughes was found in the Ohio River near Monaca yesterday.  He was reported missing in January after his vehicle was found abandoned near Riverfront Park on the South Side.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of more than five-thousand new cases, pushing it over one-million-90-thousand. About 44 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 25-thousand-566. Lawrence County has 6,978 cases and 200 deaths. Mercer County has a total of 8,810 cases and 250 fatalities.

Tuition at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities is being frozen for the third-year in-a-row. State education officials say it’s been a tough year for our students and raising tuition and fees is the wrong thing to do. With this decision, in-state two-semester undergraduate tuition will remain at 77-hundred-16 dollars for the upcoming school year, and the technology fee will remain at 478 dollars.