TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 8TH, 2021

An Ellwood City man was taken to the hospital following a motorcycle accident Sunday night in Wayne Township. According to State Police 65 year old Keith Shaffer was eastbound on Wampum Road when he traveled off the roadway, struck a sign then struck a guardrail. Shaffer was ejected from the motorcycle. He was Lifeflighted to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital for treatment.

The New Castle Area School passed a preliminary budget for the  2021-2022 school year budget without a tax increase for property owners. The New Castle News is reporting District Superintendent Debbie DeBlasio and business manager Joseph Ambrosini explained that the COVID-19-related allocations to the school district also have prevented the district from borrowing from, or dipping into its fund balance to offset expenses for the coming year. The budget is expected to be approved at the districts June 30th board meeting.

Changes that were made to Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana laws due to the COVID-19 pandemic could become permanent changes. The state’s House of Representatives voted yesterday to allow patients to receive a three-month marijuana supply instead of a one-month supply. The House also voted to allow dispensaries to provide curbside pickup. The bill will now move to the state Senate.

State Police in Mercer County report a man faces a number of charges after allegedly using racial slurs and firing a gunshot after finding a man fishing and camping on his property. 61-year-old Dean Marburger faces charges including aggravated assault, reckless endangering, making terroristic threats, harassment, and ethnic intimidation. No injuries were reported. Marburger is in the Mercer County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Agents at Pittsburgh International Airport on Sunday stopped a traveler from going through security with a loaded handgun in his carry-on.  The incident marks the 12th time this year that a traveler has tried to get through security with a firearm.  Allegheny County police said the 50-year-old man said he had forgotten that he had the gun in his bag.  They also advise that the man did not have a valid concealed carry permit.  Police confiscated the weapon and say that the man will be charged.

The state’s Department of Health reported almost 300 new Covid-19 positive cases yesterday.  There are over 760 people hospitalized with the coronavirus, and of those cases, 180 patients are being treated in the intensive care unit. Lawrence County has 7,617 cases and 211 deaths. Mercer County has recorded 9,644 cases and 261 fatalities.

State Police in Mercer County report a one vehicle accident yesterday afternoon in Jackson Township. According to police 32 year old Donna McGinnis of Corapolis was southbound on Interstate 79 when she lost control on the wet roadway and rolled over several times. McGinnis was transported to Grove City Medical Center for treatment.

State lawmakers are advancing a bill to reform education in the state. The Excellence in Education for All Act aims to increase transparency measures for charter schools, improve the quality of charter schools and increase funding for Education Improvement and Opportunity Scholarship tax credits. However, members of the Pennsylvania State Education Association say some of the money for this act will come from public schools, which are in need of resources now more than ever. The legislation passed a Senate committee and will head to the full Senate.

Pittsburgh International has raised the cost for short-term parking at the airport, but added a new economy lot for people who need extended parking.  The new short term rates went into effect yesterday and will mean a four-dollar charge for the first two hours and a maximum of 26-dollars per day.  The previous rate was two-dollars for the first hour and a maximum of 16-dollars per day.  The new extended parking lot has a flat rate of seven-dollars per day and is aimed at economy travelers.  More details about airport parking fees and options can be found at www.flypittsburgh.com.

Figures reported this week from the month of April show a record number of Southwestern Pennsylvania families applying for food assistance.  The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank serves eleven counties and says that 477 applications for SNAP aid were submitted that month.  A spokesperson for the food banks says that many families haven’t been aware until recently that they qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  The food bank says that the rest of the state saw a slight decrease in aid requests.