TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 17TH, 2021

Several fire companies were called to battle a fire early yesterday morning at a historic Lawrence County building. Fire crews were called out at around 1 a.m. Thursday to a building that was once home to the Village Inn on Harlansburg Road. The building is now home to JPC Event Group, a catering company. A search of the building found no one inside. The fire was under control in about a half-hour. The state fire marshall is investigating the cause of the fire.

An Ambridge man is charged with attempted homicide for allegedly stabbing a man Saturday with a box cutter. The Beaver County Times is reporting 70 year old Tyrone Wilbert Clark is being held in the Beaver County Jail on a $300,000 bond. When police arrived at the scene they found the victim lying on a porch with a towel wrapped around his neck. The man was flown by medical helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh to receive life-saving surgery, police said. No condition update was available.

The Wolf Administration is warning of scams targeting those seeking student debt forgiveness.  State officials encourage Pennsylvanians to be skeptical of receiving any offers for debt relief.  They say to research programs being offered and verify that every email address ends in dot-gov.  Those who are worried they may have been scammed are recommended to contact their bank to close any open accounts and stop payments.  Scams can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

Health care advocates are urging state lawmakers to extend COVID-19 waivers before staffing shortages worsen.  The waivers, which eased regulations on licensing for medical professionals, have been described by advocates as a lifesaver that must stay in place as long as they’re continuing to fight the pandemic.  Advocates say the waivers have enabled more professionals to assist in the front lines of the pandemic without jumping through weeks or months of regulatory hoops or bureaucratic red tape.  Betsy Snook, CEO of Pennsylvania State Nurses Association says, “Even if there are beds available, if there are no nurses available, patients will die.” 

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel says they are looking to invest three-billion-dollars in a new state-of-the-art mini-mill.  The company announced yesterday the new facility would help achieve U.S. Steel’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.  The planned mini-mill would combine two electric arc furnaces, which are cleaner than traditional blast furnaces.  The location of the mini-mill is yet to be determined, with possible sites being considered in Alabama and Arkansas.  

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Yesterday, the state added over 57-hundred new cases to the state total, pushing it over one-million-365-thousand. About 72 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 28-thousand-768.

Nursing home industry groups are grilling lawmakers for their proposed reforms. State lawmakers are proposing regulations that increase the minimum staff required in long-term care facilities to improve direct nursing care. However, officials with the Pennsylvania Health Care Association say these requirements would exacerbate an already existing workforce crisis in nursing homes. The reforms would reportedly require facilities to hire an additional seven-thousand workers and cost them hundred-of-millions-of-dollars.

Pennsylvania’s state-run liquor system will begin rationing sales of a few dozen products on Friday in response to what it describes as supply shortages beyond its control. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board notified license holders on Thursday that two-bottles-per-day purchase limits for customers at state stores, as well as well for bars, restaurants and other license holders, will remain in place indefinitely. The PLCB said “sustained supply chain disruptions and product shortages” prompted the restrictions on certain types of alcohol. The 43 items on the list of restricted products also will not be available through store-to-store transfers starting today.