TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 25TH, 2021

A Butler city police officer is hospitalized this morning after having been stabbed multiple times in a Tuesday incident.  The officer was responding to a call regarding a man who was darting in and out of traffic early yesterday.  State police say that when the officer approached 35-year-old John Ebberts, a struggle ensued, and Ebberts stabbed the officer a number of times.  The officer then opened fire, shooting and killing Ebberts.  The policeman was last reported in critical condition.

Federal Authorities in Pittsburgh report a Beaver Falls man has pleaded guilty to drug charges. 33 year old Brandon Quinn pled guilty to a two-count Indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, and with possessing 28 grams or more of cocaine base with the intent to distribute it. Eleven other individuals have been charged targeting a drug trafficking organization. Sentencing has been set for January 5th, of next year. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years and not more than forty years in prison, a fine of not more than $5,000,000, or both.

A decision announced Tuesday regarding the counting of state prisoners may have an effect on the state’s redrawing of legislative districts.  Pittsburgh political types and others around the state are waiting to see how districts will be realigned based on population numbers.  The commission working on the project yesterday said that state prisoners will be counted in the communities from which they come and not counted in the communities in which they are incarcerated.  The move is a change from past practices.  Prisoners serving life sentences will continue to be counted in the areas where they are serving their time.

State Senate Republicans are moving forward with hearings for a “forensic investigation” of the 2020 election. Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman says the audit is intended to go much further than previous reviews mandated by state law, which have focused on whether the reported counts are accurate. He also indicated that they will use subpoena powers to request documents. Senate Democrats are opposed to the audit, including some Republicans like state Senator Gene Yaw, who says the 2020 election is over.

Officials with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection have issued a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day today for counties Western Pennsylvania.  The code means children, the elderly and residents with respiratory issues such as asthma should limit outdoor activities.  The advisory is issued in the counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, and Fayette.

Officials at Penn State say they will not require fans to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in Beaver Stadium this fall.  Penn State hopes to draw almost 100-thousand fans back for football games after the disruption of the pandemic this past year.  Penn State officials say masks will not be required in the outdoor areas of the stadium, although masks will be required in inside areas.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Yesterday, the state added nearly 28-hundred new cases to the total, pushing it over one-million-272-thousand. About 22 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 28-thousand-98.

The number of motorists caught speeding in work zones by cameras in 2021 has already surpassed the total from last year. PennDot announced the state has issued more than 220,000 violations in the first seven months of this year. Nearly $2.9 million has been collected in fines so far, which also is higher than the $1.7 million  in 2020. Drivers receive a warning for the first offense, but second and subsequent violations carry a fine. The speed camera units have been deployed to construction zones on highways throughout the state and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.