TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR DECEMBER 16TH, 2021

A Grove City man has been arrested in connection with an alleged sexual assault. WFMJ-TV reports police investigated an incident that occurred last week regarding a sexual encounter at Memorial Park on W. Main St. between an 18-year-old male and 12-year-old female. Police arrested Austen Supler on a warrant charging him with Rape and Statutory Sexual Assault. Supler was held in the Mercer County jail until his arraignment. Charges are pending at this time.

Governor Tom Wolf has asked the federal government to step in and help with staffing issues due to the lack of health care workers during this most recent COVID surge.  The Wolf administration has requested Federal Emergency Management Agency “strike teams” for hospitals and nursing homes also because of persistent staff shortages. Hospitals across the state reporting exceedingly long emergency-room wait times, while staffing shortages in nursing homes are forcing some to not accept new residents. Officials say that the nursing home situation is in turn preventing jam-packed hospitals from discharging those who require lower levels of care.

State transportation officials say supply chain issues are delaying some area projects, though they won’t specify which projects are affected.  Officials with PennDOT District Eleven — which covers, Beaver and Lawrence Counties say steel is one critical material that is in short supply because of the supply chain problems caused by the pandemic.  They say they’re looking to next year, when funds from the federal infrastructure bill are available, and identifying which projects can move forward. 

A Greenville man has died from injuries he suffered in an auto accident from  November 5th. The Sharon Herald reports 48 year old Michael Davies died at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown back on December 7th. Davies was involved in an accident in Sharon that took place at the intersection of route 62 and Spencer Avenue. Two other people were treated for injuries at St. Elizabeth’s following the crash. Police did not release the names of the other two people involved or there conditions.

As COVID cases surge in Pennsylvania, the acting physician general is pushing more people to get vaccinated.  Dr. Denise Johnson says every new vaccination is critical. She’s especially pushing residents to consider getting the shots before holiday celebrations and says  everyone who is eligible needs to be vaccinated. Dr. Johnson admits the constant pandemic talk is exhausting, but with state hospitals being overrun, she says it’s not the time to relax or let your guard down.

Emergency responders in Butler County rescued a woman whose car fell into a creek as she backed out of a shopping center parking lot yesterday.  Crews found the woman’s car in Sullivan Run near the Medicine Shoppe.  The woman was stuck inside her car when first responders arrived and had to be extricated from her car.  The waterway was about six inches deep.  Her condition is not yet available. 

UPMC cut the ribbon on its new outpatient center in Hermitage Wednesday afternoon. The new center brings several medical facilities together under one roof.  UPMC Interim President Dr. Elizabeth Piccione said the expanded services in a smaller footprint will make it easier for patients and doctors. The offices are also expected to be open for extended hours to accommodate people’s busy work schedules.

 Changes are coming to LIVE! Casino Pittsburgh at the Westmoreland Mall.  Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board on Wednesday approved the casino’s plans to open a new poker room and to add additional gaming tables.  The venue hopes to open the poker room early next week.  Other changes coming to the casino include a reconfigured high-limit room, a new events center and a new area designed for sports fans. 

The Pennsylvania House has given final approval to a bill to ban private funding of elections.  The 113-90 vote was along party lines, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats opposed.  A spokesperson for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has said he opposes the bill in its current form. The measure was rooted in Republicans’ frustration over how 35-million-dollars of private money that flowed into the state to support elections last year reached only 24 of 67 counties. The bill now goes to the Senate.