TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 10TH, 2021

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting a decrease in COVID-19-related hospitalizations.  Health officials say about two-thousand-560 people are hospitalized with the illness.  That’s keeping with a 14-day downward trend.  Just over four-thousand new coronavirus cases were reported yesterday.  The statewide positivity rate for the week ending November 4th was nine-point-three-percent.

WFMJ-TV is reporting one person has been confirmed dead after a car / motorcycle accident in Farrell. The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Mercer Ave. and Indiana Ave. No other details were released.

Voters in the Keystone State have reportedly taken a few steps to the right as evidenced by last week’s voting results. With mail-in ballots still pending, Republicans are poised to sweep all four of Pennsylvania’s statewide judicial elections. They also made gains in municipal races.  Additionally, there’s been increasing Republican voter registration in Pennsylvania. Last year Democrats enjoyed a 700-thousand-plus advantage. Just before last Tuesday’s election, that number reportedly had dropped by nearly 100-thousand voters.

Two new bills are expected to be introduced in both the state senate and the house that would shift significant power to the state legislature. They would limit the governor’s powers to issue executive orders and give the General Assembly authority to block any order from the governor with a majority vote. The legislation is sponsored by Republican Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler. A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the senate by State Senator Ryan P. Aument.  A spokesperson for Governor Tom Wolf’s office called the proposals “legislative overreach.”

Police in Beaver County are investigation a shooting that took place in Hopewell. 27 year old Erica Reddick is currently in the Beaver County Jail after another woman was shot during a fight. Police said Reddick and another woman were arguing over the money when Reddick left Alam’s Hardware in Hopewell, came back with a gun, started hitting the other woman, and the gun went off. There was no report on the condition of the woman. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Many parents, and their kids, say they are anxiously waiting for January when students may not have to wear masks at schools. Governor Wolf on Monday said  the statewide school mask mandate will be lifted January 17, 2022 — leaving the decision to individual districts to decide whether to require them.  Other parents worry that the end of the  mandate will put their kids at risk.   Dr. John Goldman, an infectious disease specialist with UPMC, says they have good reason to be worried. He says keeping your child masked, even if others around them choose not to, will help. But he adds, the safest thing to do is get your kids vaccinated.

Governor Tom Wolf yesterday announced more than 35-million dollars in funding for community revitalization projects across the state.  More than 70 of those projects are in the southwestern portion of Pennsylvania.  Wolf says the projects receiving funding make the state stronger as a whole and keep it the best place to live, work and play.  A list of all projects set to benefit from the announcement can be found at www.dced.pa.gov.

Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell denies allegations he physically abused his estranged wife or their children.  Both Parnell and Laurie Snell are seeking primary custody of their three children.  Snell said during a custody hearing in Butler County that Parnell physically assaulted her and one of their children, and that he had an affair for nine months of their marriage.  During cross examination, Parnell acknowledged his marriage was rocky but denied ever physically harming Snell or their kids. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins reached a settlement with a former assistant coach and his wife following claims of sexual abuse during a team road trip.  The suit claimed the former coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Clark Donatelli, assaulted Erin Skalde, the wife of former assistant coach Jarrod Skalde, back in 2018.  According to the Skaldes, the Penguins organization told them to keep the accusation quiet after they reported it in 2019.  Jerrod Skalde was terminated last year amid the pandemic-related budget cuts.