TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 11TH, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf has announced that all state health care workers or workers in high-risk settings must be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.  The decision affects some 25-thousand workers.  Wolf also announced that state employees who are vaccinated will receive a day off from work.  The move extends to employees who are fully vaccinated.  It means some 70-thousand employees will receive an extra day off from work.

State police and Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers are asking to the public for information about who shot and killed an Aliquippa man last year. According to the New Castle News, 19 year old Curtis Flowers III of Aliquippa was shot in the head around 4pm back on November 25th.  Crime Stoppers has increased a reward to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of Flowers’ killer.  Police said Flowers was dead at the scene, and the investigation into his death has been ongoing since then. Anyone with information is asked to call State Police in Beaver County.

Police in Butler County this week are reporting the arrest of a nurse accused of stealing patients’ medication.  Karen Hemby was a nurse at the Fair Winds Manor Nursing Home when investigators say she signed out 18 doses of medication this year for patients in her care, but there was no record of those folks getting the proper dosage if they got any of the medicine at all.  Police say she told them she need the meds to treat her own toothache.

State and local lawmakers are discussing how to spend the possibly incoming funds from the recently passed Senate infrastructure bill. The U.S. Senate approved of the bill yesterday, which would direct one-trillion-dollars toward roads and bridges, public transportation, better broadband coverage and more. The U.S. House of Representatives still has to look over the bill and approve of it, but in the bill’s current form, Pennsylvania is slated to receive about 19-billion-dollars for infrastructure.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Yesterday, the state added more than two-thousand new cases to the total, pushing it over one-million-240-thousand. Eleven new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 27-thousand-914. Lawrence County has reported 7,968 cases and 220 deaths. Mercer County has 9,872 cases and 269 fatalities.

Spirit Airlines’ operations at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe are returning to normal, following operational and staffing issues that grounded many of its flights.  There were no canceled flights yesterday, only a week after Spirit canceled scores of its flights, snarling flight travel across the region, including at Pittsburgh International Airport.  Airport officials say they received an email from Spirit that said the airline is turning the corner on its operational problems.  Spirit is the only carrier serving Arnold Palmer Regional.

A former medical practice office manager is admitting this week that she stole nearly 600-thousand dollars from the doctor’s practice.  Appearing in court yesterday, Sandra Jo Doak pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and filing false tax returns.  Investigators say that Doak’s embezzlement from the Indiana County practice began in 2013 and lasted for a period of several years.  Sentencing has been scheduled for this December.

Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Health officials are requiring that all staff members get vaccinated against the coronavirus.  Tuesday’s announcement from the health care providers lays out the expectation that all of their employees are exected to be vaccinated by the end of September.  Medical and religious exemptions will be honored.