TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JULY 27TH, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf says there are no plans for any new COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The governor says that our strategy here in Pennsylvania has been the vaccine, which has worked. Wolf added that he’s against the state mandating vaccines but is not opposed to businesses and hospitals making their own decisions to mandate it.

A one-day strike that was scheduled for today has been averted with a settlement among a dozen Pennsylvania nursing homes, including two in Beaver County.  SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania says it’s optimistic it can avoid a separate strike by nursing home workers in the eastern part of the state as well.  The two in Beaver County where workers agreed to the settlement are Beaver Valley Healthcare and Rehabilitation and Beaver Elder Care and Rehabilitation in Aliquippa.

Giant Eagle has come to terms on a new contract with its union workforce.  The supermarket chain and the union on Monday announced that both sides have approved a four-year deal that will mean wage increases, a continuation of no-cost health coverage and new protections for LGBTQ workers.  The deal covers the approximately 53-hundred members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 who staff corporate-owned Giant Eagle stores in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The TSA says the count is now at 16.  That’s the number of people stopped this year while trying to get through security at Pittsburgh International with a firearm.  Agents stopped a woman yesterday who they say had a loaded nine-millimeter handgun in her purse.  Police were called, and the traveler explained that she had forgotten that she was carrying the weapon.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Yesterday, the state added 556 new cases to the state total, pushing it to one-million-220-thousand-671. No new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which remains at 27-thousand-827.

Police in Butler Township say a man has been charged with assault and resisting arrest after he allegedly refused to give a baby back to their mother.  The incident happened Friday night in the Forest Hills complex in Butler.  According to police, the woman says the man came home drunk that afternoon, took the baby and refused to give it back.  The suspect is identified as 24-year-old Nicholas Gentry of Butler.  He’s being held on 25-thousand dollars bond.
Nineteen Pennsylvania counties are being named this week as recipients of grants and loans to fund various water projects around the Keystone State.  On Monday, state leaders revealed plans to allocate those funds from Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure Investment Authority.  Among the efforts receiving funding are drinking water projects in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Armstrong, Indiana and Mercer counties.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas price report the average price of gas in Western Pennsylvania is up a penny this week to 3.30 a gallon. In New Castle the average price is at 3.24 a gallon while motorists in Sharon are paying 3.29. The national gas price average dropped two cents to $3.15. One factor contributing to the decrease was U.S. gasoline demand remained relatively flat on the week. The price a year ago in Western Pennsylvania was at 2.44 a gallon.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Education is urging all students over the age of 12 to get vaccinated from COVID-19. The 2021 through 2022 school year is about a month away, and officials say there are effective vaccines to help stop the spread of the virus. They added that getting the vaccine should be an essential back-to-school item on this year’s list.