News Live 365: September 1st, 2021

A bomb scare near McDonald’s outside Meadville turned out to be nothing more than a lost or abandoned suitcase. Vernon Township Police Chief Detzel reports his department as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, the Erie Bomb Squad, Vernon Central Hose, and Meadville Ambulance responded to a call about a suspicious suitcase in the restaurant parking lot just before 11AM; it was determined there was no threat later in the afternoon.

In State News, Labor and Industry Secretary Jenniffer Berrier says that since June her department has made massive headway on backlogs of Unemployment Compensation claims thanks to a new modern computer system. Backlogged UC claims have decreased from 325,000 to 190,000. Secretary Berrier attributes the backlog to the record number of pandemic related layoffs that happened at a time when L&I was staffed for low unemployment.

Crawford Gives continues to grow and to raise even more money with each passing year. Crawford Gives is an online fundraiser administered by the Crawford Heritage Foundation and this year’s third annual drive had over 120 participating nonprofit and charitable organizations which raised a combined total of $534,493 and change. The 3,243 individual gifts were enhanced by a pool of funds underwritten by Acutec, Armstrong Cable, Northwest Bank, Palmiero Toyota, and First Choice Settlements of Pennsylvania. The Academy Theatre of Meadville was the single biggest recipient of donation money and received over $38,000; South Lake Preserve, French Creek Valley Railroad Association, Wesbury, and Meadville Area Recreation Foundation all rounded out the top five.

45 year old Robin Billings of Cambridge Springs was arrested and charged with a battery of crimes including attempted kidnapping, burglary, and aggravated assault after an incident which took place in town on Sunday. Details have not been furnished by authorities, but the incident involved two adult women and three children younger than 10 years old.

After Pennsylvania saw a threefold increase of COVID-19 cases in children from July to August, Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order requiring universal mask wearing in schools starting the day after Labor Day. Masks are already required on school buses under a Federal Mandate involving public transportation.