TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR OCTOBER 15TH, 2021

Ground has been broken for what will become a new landside terminal for the Pittsburgh International Airport.  At a ceremony held yesterday, airport authority CEO Christina Cassotis said the event wasn’t about breaking ground on a building or complex so much as it was about breaking ground on the region’s future.  Planners expect the effort to create about 55-hundred construction jobs with the work to be completed in 2025.

Governor Tom Wolf is celebrating a recent milestone the state reached when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations. As of yesterday 70-percent of Pennsylvania adults are fully vaccinated from COVID. Wolf says now 70-percent of Pennsylvania’s adults have accepted their responsibility to stop the spread of COVID and most importantly, keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Wolf added that this milestone is also critical to protect those not yet eligible for the vaccine. The governor also urged the unvaccinated to do their part and get the shot.

State officials are approving a new name for three combining Western Pennsylvania schools.  California, Clarion and Edinboro are joining together to form one large school in a move that leaders say is designed to bolster student success and institutional sustainability.  The new institution will be called Pennsylvania Western University.  PennWest, as it will be called for short, is scheduled to launch in July of next year.

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education will ask for $550 million in state funding for 2022-23. That’s $72.5 million more than the $477.5 million appropriation it received in both 2020-21 and 2021-22. PASSHE’s Board of Governors approved the appropriation request during its quarterly meeting at Millersville University in Lancaster on Thursday.

The delayed month-long closure of the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge will begin Nov. 1. The closure will allow workers to perform maintenance work on the well-traveled bridge, which is over 100 years old. The Beaver County Times reports that safety is an issue concerning the bridge. Officials have discussed it is time for the county to consider replacing the bridge with a new one, rather than continue to make repairs to the ancient structure.

Western Pennsylvania motorists have a new stretch of roadway to travel today.  Interstate 576, also referred to as the Southern Beltway, opens to travelers today connecting Route 22 to Interstate 79.  At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, local leaders celebrated the project and talked of the travel time it will reduce for Washington County residents to get to the Pittsburgh airport.

A new study is ranking Pennsylvanian drivers 12th best in the nation.  The study, published by QuoteWizard, took data from millions of driver insurance quotes across the county.  It then ranked each city by its rate of incidents, such as speeding tickets and car accidents.  The midstate fell behind West Virginia, which ranked number two, but placed well ahead of New York, which was placed at 21. 

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Yesterday, the state added over 52-hundred new cases, pushing the total over one-million-496-thousand.  Over 100 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at 30-thousand-336. Lawrence County has 10,319 cases and 254 deaths. Mercer County has recorded 12,985 cases and 309 fatalities.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey is looking to ensure the well-being of all children in the country with his Five Freedoms for American Children initiative. Casey says if we want a stronger nation, we got to invest in our children and try to make them have more opportunities for freedom itself.  He added that freedom itself is at risk when you don’t have the economic stability that some of these policies can bring about. His initiative calls for investment to bring the five freedoms to all children in America which include being healthy, economically secure, being able to learn, be free from hunger and being safe from harm.