TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2021

State Police in Lawrence County have arrested two people in connection with an attempted homicide in Shenango Township on Monday. 26 year old Cassie Lutz and 55 year old Michael Caccia, are both from New Castle. Police say two people were attacked inside a home in Shenango Township. 38 year old Charles Trott was last listed in critical condition at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown. 38 year old Vincent Perrotta was taken to UPMC Jameson for treatment. The investigation is ongoing.

A Beaver Falls man was taken to a Pittsburgh Hospital following a two vehicle accident in Chippewa Township that involved a police vehicle. State Police in Beaver County report the accident happened at the intersection of Darlington Road and Adams Street. 65 year old Michael Issac was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital for treatment. The police officer suffered minor injuries.

A bill that would give parents or legal guardians of students the power to opt their child out of wearing face masks in schools is advancing.  Yesterday, the Senate Education Committee approved of the bill, which state Senator Doug Mastriano says empowers parents to make the best decision that considers the personalized needs of their unique child.  The bill would also make it so that any child who has opted out of mask wearing cannot be subject to harassment or discriminatory treatment.  The legislation will now head to the full Senate for consideration.

Nurses from across Pennsylvania rallied at the state Capitol yesterday over the ongoing staff shortage while lawmakers announced funding to help support the workforce.  The nurses pushed for passage of the Patient Safety Act, which would limit the number of patients a nurse would be assigned.  Meanwhile, inside the Capitol, lawmakers announced that about six-and-a-half-million dollars will be allocated from the American Rescue Plan to try to keep nurses on the job. 

Governor Tom Wolf is praising a new proposed bill that would support small, diverse and veteran-owned businesses. The legislation would help these businesses continue to receive support and opportunities in state contracting. This bill comes after the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities, which was established by the governor, conducted a study that found disparities in the contracting system and recommended initiatives.

State lawmakers are proposing legislation for recreational marijuana.  State Representatives Jake Wheatley and Dan Frankel say they have heard from residents across the state, and the overwhelming majority agree it’s time to pass this initiative.  Their bill would make it so anyone in the state 21 and older could purchase and consume cannabis.  Recreational marijuana would be taxed to fund grant programs for small, minority and women-owned businesses. 

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state.  Yesterday, the state added more than 54-hundred new cases, pushing the total over one-million-420-thousand.  About 75 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 29-thousand-226.

The Senate Labor and Industry Committee has approved legislation making it easier for police, fire and EMS crews to file workers compensation claims for post traumatic stress injuries. Committee Chair Camera Bartolotta says current law requires a first responder to prove there were “objective abnormal working conditions” to establish a post traumatic stress injury claim under workers compensation. But Bartolotta says the bill would establish clearer criteria for this. (CUT 2) Noting far too many first responders are lost each year to suicide, Bartolotta hopes the bill will provide them with access to the treatment they need for PTSI.

Lottery players with multi-million-dollar dreams are picking up tickets for tonight’s Powerball drawing.  With no winning tickets sold in recent weeks, the top prize for tonight’s drawing is an estimated 570-million dollars.  That jackpot is the 8th largest in the history of the 29-year-old game.  Winning numbers will be drawn just before 11 p.m.