TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR DECEMBER 14TH, 2021

Senate Members of the Pennsylvania legislature have approved legislation that would prohibit any mandate requiring kids to receive a COVID-19 vaccination for them to attend school. Currently, neither the state nor any school district in Pennsylvania require this, but the backers of the legislation sought to be proactive in preventing any related idea from moving forward. The legislation is expected to be vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf.

Congressmen Mike Kelly announced Monday plans to run for reelection to Congress next year. Kelly, a Republican first elected in 2010 . With the Pennsylvania legislature still in the process of drawing congressional boundaries following the 2020 census, Kelly said he isn’t certain exactly what his district will look like. Kelly’s 16th District includes Lawrence, Butler, Mercer, Crawford and Erie counties.

Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Oz is ending his long-running talk show.  The host, who is asking for the support of Republicans around the state, will end his program after a 13-season run.  Continuing to air the program could have created problems for Pennsylvania affiliates who may have been obliged to provide equal time to Oz’s political rivals.  Producers yesterday said the program’s last air date will be January 14th. 

Pennsylvania health officials are asking residents to get their flu shots because of the rising number of cases in the state.  As of December 7th, there have been just over five-thousand lab-confirmed flu cases and two flu-associated deaths statewide.  Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam says the state saw an increase of over 2-thousand cases in just one recent week.  There are flu cases in all but two of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, with both Influenza A and B strains having been identified.

Coaches, teammates and friends are among those today who are mourning the loss of a California University student-athlete.  The school yesterday announced that Branson King, who played hockey for the Cal U Vulcans, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday.  Officials say that King, who was an education major, will be remembered during a ceremony to be held at a future game and that a scholarship will be set up in his name.  King was 23-years-old.

The FDA and Coca-Cola are issuing a recall for containers of its Minute Maid juice drinks sold in Pennsylvania.  The FDA said yesterday that the product is being recalled over possible contamination from foreign objects, including metal bolts or washers.  All recalled items have sell-by dates between January 4th and January 5th, 2022 and include Minute Maid Berry Punch, Minute Maid Strawberry Lemonade, and Minute Maid Fruit Punch.  If you have any of these items, you should discard them or return them to the point of purchase for a refund.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price report the average price of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania is down a penny this week to 3.55 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 3.49 while in Sharon the average price is at 3.54. The national average is down two cents to $3.33.

Pennsylvania’s acting health secretary is resigning.  Alison Beam released a statement Monday, saying serving as the health secretary during such a critical time “has been the most humbling honor” of her career.  She’s stepping down at the end of the month.  Beam did not say why she’s resigning.  Department of Health Executive Deputy Secretary Keara Klinepeter will serve as the new acting health secretary.

The House Judiciary Committee has approved two proposed changes to the state’s constitution that deal with how long appellate judges’ terms should be and how they are re-elected. One proposal would limit judges and justices to serve a maximum of two full terms of office on each the Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme court benches. The other proposal would require judges to run for re-election just as magisterial district judges and other elective officeholders must do.  The proposed changes now must be considered by the full House of Representatives.