TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 27TH, 2021

Pennsylvania will be losing a vote in Congress.  The Census Bureau announced on Monday that population growth in the Keystone State from 2010 to 2020 was not sufficient to keep the state’s current total of 18 members in the House of Representatives.  It means there will be only 17 members of the congressional delegation after next year’s election.  Full census data is expected later this year.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is going to be holding a limited-release lottery series that will give some vendors a chance to purchase over 200 bottles of 28 rare whiskeys.  Those who are interested in joining the lottery are being asked to register on Fine Wine and Good Spirits’ official website.  The deadline to register is set for this Friday at 5:00 p.m.

Aerial spraying to battle gypsy moth outbreaks in Pennsylvania is going to be underway soon.  The state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced yesterday that the Bureau of Forestry will be overseeing the spraying of almost 150 sites totaling more than 203-thousand acres.  The spraying will be done by helicopters and planes.

Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan on Monday announced that he is running for the U.S. Senate.  In revealing his campaign, the 10-term Democrat said in part that Ohioans are working harder than ever, doing everything right, and are still falling behind.  Workers need a game plan to level the playing field and bring jobs home to Ohio.  Ryan hopes to replace retiring Republican Senator Rob Portman.

A former worker at Guy Fieri’s restaurant at the Live! Casino Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County says that he was a victim of racial discrimination.  Nate Ridley took part in a protest on Monday near the casino and told why he recently filed a lawsuit regarding his treatment as a line cook.  Ridley, who is Black, says that while he was working at the restaurant, he learned that he was being paid two-dollars less per hour than a white coworker who had decades less experience.  He also says that a manager at the establishment used a racial slur against him.  Neither the casino,nor the Fieri restaurants, have offered public comment on the suit.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price report gas prices increased by three cents to bring the average to 3.05 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 2.92 a gallon and in Sharon the price is at 2.99. The jump in demand combined with the small increase in supply pushed the national gas price average two cents more expensive on the week to $2.88. This is the largest one-week national increase in the last five weeks. A year ago the average price was at 2.08 a gallon while the commonwealth was under a state wide stay at home order and shutdowns of businesses.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of more than 18-hundred new cases, pushing it over one-million-136-thousand. No new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is shy of breaking 26-thousand. In Lawrence County, there are 7,187 cases and 202 deaths. Mercer County has 9,067 cases and 253 deaths.

The state is working to get homebound residents vaccinated from COVID-19. Governor Tom Wolf says these are people who have been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic as they were more isolated than everyone else. He added that the state is committed to finding every way they can to reach Pennsylvanians who cannot leave their homes and give them equitable access to the vaccine. The Department of Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, housing associations, nursing care organizations and community partners will be working to get these individuals vaccinated.

Doctors are reportedly seeing a rise in younger people being admitted into hospitals for COVID-19. Penn State Health’s Dr. Peter Dillon says the spike they’re seeing is in the 18 to 49-year-old category range. He added that few of them get placed in the ICU, but many from this age group have been experiencing more severe symptoms of the virus. Health officials say this is part of a nationwide trend that may be linked to a lack of vaccinations in younger people, COVID variants and participation in higher risk activities. Officials urge everyone, even younger populations, to get vaccinated.