TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 10TH, 2021

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Yesterday, the state counted over 25-hundred new cases from the weekend, pushing the total close to one-million-238-thousand. Five new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 27-thousand-903.

A Campbell Ohio man is scheduled to go on trial today in Mercer County Common Pleas Court, charged with killing a Sharon woman in July of last year. 21 year old Antwan Jones is charged in connection with the shooting death of 36-year-old Clarice Somerville of Sharon. WFMJ-TV reports that Somerville was found wounded on a sidewalk on the 300 block Quimby Street at around 3 p.m. She was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, where she died. Jones is being charged with first-degree murder, third degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault, and recklessly endangering another person.

State Police in Lawrence County report a one vehicle accident early this morning in Scott Township. The accident took place on Harlansburg Road. The driver, and 18 year old male from New Castle, traveled off the roadway, struck and embankment and overturned. Police said the driver was found to be operating under the influence of alcohol and charges are pending.

The state is planning to launch a free online job training program.  Department of Labor and Industry officials say about 435-thousand Pennsylvanians are currently unemployed, and businesses are struggling to fill positions. They added that with the shifting economy, they’re interested in providing a mechanism so that job seekers in Pennsylvania can connect to the skills that they need. SkillUp PA was first tested in Lancaster County, and officials say it had positive results. The program is set to launch on August 14th.

Longtime Pittsburgh Penguins play-by-play announcer Mike Lange is stepping away from his position behind the microphone.  Lange and the club announced the move yesterday.  As the radio voice of the Penguins, Lange has been calling Pittsburgh hockey games for 46 years.  The 73-year-old will continue to provide occasional commentary during Penguins radio broadcasts.

The deadline is fast-approaching for a special pandemic-related enrollment period for health insurance coverage through Pennsylvania’s state-based exchange. August 15th is the last day PA residents can sign up for health insurance coverage through Pennie during this special enrollment period which began in the spring. State Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman says people without health insurance can go to P-e-n-n-i-e dot-com to learn about the plans and financial assistance available to them. More than 50,000 state residents have accessed health insurance coverage during the special enrollment period.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central gas price report the average price of gas in Western Pennsylvania is up three cents this week to 3.33 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 3.30 a gallon. In Sharon the average price is at 3.32. The national average is $3.19, the most expensive gas price average of the year. Gas is $1.02 more than a year ago, a nickel more than a month ago and two cents more than a week ago.

Hospital systems in the state are reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases among kids. Officials say there have been some children hospitalized with the virus over the past week, and cases among kids have gone up weekly for about five weeks in a row. This comes as schools prepare to welcome students again for in-person learning.

One person was hurt in a motorcycle accident on route 8 in Butler County yesterday afternoon. Police said the accident happened around 5pm. A medical helicopter was called to the scene. No other details were released.