TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JANUARY 6TH, 2022

Firefighters from Mercer and Trumbull counties worked to battle a house fire in Sharon early Wednesday. WFMJ-TV reports,  Just before 3:30 a.m., the Sharon Fire Department was dispatched to a three-story home on the 300 block of Columbia Street where smoke was reported coming from the third floor. It’s believed the home is vacant. No injuries were reported.

Pittsburgh native and former U.S. Congresswoman Melissa Hart is running for governor.  Hart, who served three terms in Congress before being defeated for re-election in 2006, announced her candidacy at an appearance Wednesday in the Strip District.  The former Republican lawmaker says that, with her experience, she believes she can start on day one and get things done as governor of the commonwealth.

Youngstown State University is requiring a negative COVID test for residents before the 2022 spring move-in. The spring move-in occurs on Sunday, January 9th.  To move-in or return on Sunday, students must show a negative test result from today or later.  The University says official documentation showing the student’s name and negative result within the 72-hour window is needed.

 Two winning tickets have been sold for Wednesday night’s Powerball jackpot. One ticket was sold in California. The other was sold in Wisconsin. The winners will split the $632.6 million Jackpot, or the $450.2 million cash option.

Gov. Tom Wolf is reminding Pennsylvanians of an approaching deadline when it comes to individual health insurance coverage through the state-based exchange. Open enrollment for the Pennsylvania Individual Exchange, better known as PENNIE, began in November, with the deadline for those who have yet to sign up now less than a week and a half away,midnight on Saturday, January 15th. In the year since its creation, nearly 360 thousand Pennsylvanians have enrolled. Log onto Pennie.com to find out more.

Gas prices are down slightly this week in Western Pennsylvania. According to this week’s Triple-A East Central gas price report the price across western Pennsylvania as a whole fell by a penny to reach $3.52 a gallon.  In New Castle the average price is at 3.47 a gallon while in Sharon drivers are paying 3.52.  The average national gas price held steady over the past week at $3.28 which is eight cents less than last month but over a dollar more than last year. According to AAA, gasoline demand has remained high and gas stocks have dropped but fluctuations in the price of crude oil have kept prices at the pump in check.

Over a dozen people are dead after what’s considered one of the worst fires in Philadelphia history.  The two-unit row home in Philly’s Fairmount neighborhood went up in flames early this morning.  It’s believed 13 people died, including seven children, and two others were injured.  Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy says eight people were able to escape the flames.  There were several fire alarms in the building, but they reportedly weren’t working.  The cause is under investigation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is investigating reports of cars breaking down in the Canonsburg area due to bad gasoline.  Officials confirmed yesterday that the Department of Agriculture’s Weights and Measure Division had collected gasoline samples from a Sunoco station on West Pike Street.  Local mechanics who examined some of the affected vehicles say the gas may have been diluted with water.