TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 11TH, 2021

Three people were arrested on drug charges following a search of two hotel rooms on Route 422 in Shenango Township on Friday. The New Castle News reports, authorities found heroin, crack cocaine and two digital scales. 42 year old Douglas McDaniel, 25 year old Destiny Houk and 20 year old Timothy Hill face a number of drug charges. All three were arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County Jail on bond. The operation was conducted by members of the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office Special Investigations Unit, New Castle City narcotics department, the Union, Shenango and Pulaski township police department.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price report the average price of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania jumped up six cents to 3.09 a gallon. In New Castle motorists are paying 3.06 a gallon while in Sharon the average price is at 3.08. AAA forecasts gas prices to climb this week in reaction to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which delivers approximately 45% of all fuel to the East Coast. The national average is at 2.96 a gallon.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey is proposing a set of bills for police reform. The two bills are a part of Casey’s Law Enforcement Education and Accountability for People with Disabilities Initiative. One of the bills would enhance calling systems to have non-criminal emergency calls be directed to mental health professionals instead of law enforcement. The other bill would improve the way police engage with people with disabilities by offering grants for nonprofits to train police officers.

Pennsylvania-based Sheetz convenience stores this week is announcing a pay bump for all of its employees.  Hourly workers throughout the company, including those at stores across the chain’s six-state reach, will receive permanent pay hikes of two-dollars per hour effective May 21st.  An additional one-dollar per hour increase will be put into effect just for the summer.  The company says it hopes the moves will incentivize people looking for work to consider a position with Sheetz.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor-and-Industry is going to be holding several online workshops to help people adjust to its new unemployment system.  Two workshops in English will be held on Wednesday at two-in-the-afternoon and on Thursday at six-in-the-evening.  A workshop in Spanish is scheduled to take place on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.  Each workshop will be showing people how to log in to the new system as well as providing payment information, status updates and appeals.  You can find the links for the virtual workshops by going to uc.pa.gov.

Pennsylvania is seeing more positive COVID-19 cases.  The state’s Department of Health announced over one-thousand new positive cases yesterday.  It is the lowest number of daily new cases reported since October.  Eleven more people also passed away due to complications of the coronavirus. Lawrence County has 7,378 Covid-19 cases and 207 deaths. Mercer County has 9.312 cases and 255 fatalities.

Residents in Center Township are voicing their frustrations over loud events held at the Starlight Drive-In.  Several residents asked the board of supervisors to create a noise ordinance against the drive-in theater at a meeting held yesterday evening.  Council members say they have been in contact with the theater’s owner, John Manson, who says he has toned down the sound to make sure the theater was in a reasonable limit and all shows end at eleven-at-night.

Child sex abuse survivors and supporters are demanding that the state Senate vote on a bill that would give them more time to sue their abusers. Child sex abuse survivors are not allowed to file civil lawsuits if they’re older than 30 under current law, but the bill advocates want passed would give them a two-year window to take legal action. It would also allow them to sue institutions that protected abusers in known instances of abuse. The bill was already passed by the House, but the Senate has yet to take action.