TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JANUARY 25TH, 2022

An Ohio woman was taken to the hospital following a one vehicle accident in Mercer County. State Police said 41 year old Melanie Magsamen of Parma was westbound on Interstate 80 in East Lackawannock Township when she lost control traveled into the median and overturned. Magsamen was taken to Sharon Regional Hospital for treatment.

In Butler County, police have now arrested a second suspect in connection with a shooting incident outside the Clearview Mall.  Nineteen-year-old Damien Blystone surrendered to authorities yesterday and is facing charges stemming from the parking lot incident.  Prosecutors have charged 24-year-old Carlos Gonzalez-Carril with attempted homicide.  They say he shot three people in the assault including Blystone. 

Some student loan holders deemed to be in public service will no longer have to pay state income tax on their debt. This decision impacts people who participate in two loan programs:  the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and the Pennsylvania Student Loan Relief for Nurses Program. Governor Wolf said in a statement that the state can’t afford to have what he calls “astronomical student loan debt” to keep people from choosing to serve as teachers, firefighters, or nurses. The decision potentially will save eligible loan holders thousands in state taxes.  

The cause of a train fire in Beaver County is under investigation today.  Firefighters worked quickly Monday to tackle the blaze on board a moving Norfolk Southern train car.  The train traveled an estimated six miles as the car continued to burn before coming to a stop in the borough of Baden.  Crews then used a combination of foam and water to extinguish the flames.  No injuries were reported.

Department of Corrections Acting Secretary George Little is suspending visitation at all of Pennsylvania’s Corrections Centers due to COVID-19.  On Monday, Little announced the suspension would begin for all state detention facilities on Thursday, January 27th and last through February 28th.  Officials say the measure is needed to help deal with staffing issues caused by the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.  Little said the availability of no-cost video visits would be increased during the suspension, and cable television will be provided to inmates for free.

As he prepares to deliver his final budget proposal to the General Assembly, Governor Tom Wolf is touting improvements in the state’s finances under his administration. With Pennsylvania operating with a 2 to 3 billion dollar structural deficit when he first took office, Governor Wolf says the state was running on empty when he proposed his first budget. But the governor says as he enters his final year in office the state is in a very strong financial position. (CUT3) Wolf says the state’s Rainy Day Fund, which was about 230,000 dollars when he became governor is now nearly 3 billion dollars.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is reminding anglers about the start of this year’s spring trout season.  During a virtual quarterly meeting, officials said the trout season will begin statewide this year on April 2nd. In February, the PRBC will begin stocking trout with over three-million hatchery-raised adults to be released into the state’s waterways.  Fishing licenses can be purchased through the Department’s Fish-Boat-PA mobile app, at a local agent, or online at Fish-And-Boat-dot-com.

President Biden is planning a visit this week to the Steel City.  The White House says the commander-in-chief will travel to Pittsburgh on Friday to discuss strengthening the nation’s supply chains, revitalizing American manufacturing and creating good-paying, union jobs.  Other details about the president’s visit have yet to be announced.

A Lebanon County lawmaker will attempt to have Pennsylvania postpone its primary in 2022 and wants to have every voter in the state re-register.  Rep. Russ Diamond says he’ll introduce a bill to postpone the state’s primary election from May 17 until Aug 2, with all other elections that follow to be delayed, as well.  He believes the postponement will be necessary because of redistricting delays. Diamond’s legislation also would require each voter to re-register to help, he says, “clean-up the state’s registry system.”  Proof of citizenship and residency would be required to do so.

Pennsylvania whiskey fans are being given their chance to purchase some of more than 12-hundred rare bottles of the beverage in a special sale.  Officials with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board yesterday announced the event that include bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve and other whiskeys.  Folks have until 5 p.m. this Friday to enter a special lottery through which winners will be allowed to buy the bottles.  More info can be found in the events section of www.finewineandgoodspirits.com.