TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 21ST, 2022

New Castle City Firemen were called to the scene of a house fire Thursday night in Mahoningtown. The New Castle News reports the fire department was called to the house on East Cherry Street just before seven o’clock. When firefighters arrived, the blaze had extended into the porch room, into the kitchen and into an upstairs wall of the two-story house. Three pet rabbits died in the fire. The fire appears to be accidental. No injuries were reported and damage was estimated at 35 thousand dollars.

Revenues at Pennsylvania casinos are continuing to trend down from record numbers recorded in the fall.  Figures just out from the state’s Gaming Control Board show gambling venues in January show revenues of just over 393-million dollars.  That’s down about 3-and-a-half percent from December’s numbers and over 9 percent less than those record numbers reported in November. 

A 22-year-old motorist is dead after his vehicle was struck by a train Saturday in Washington County.  Authorities report the man was trying to navigate through the lowered gates of a railroad crossing when his vehicle was hit the by locomotive.  The. U.S. Department of Transportation reports that approximately 100 Americans are killed in similar accidents each year.

A Hopewell Township man faces trial on charges of criminal homicide in Allegheny County. According to the Beaver County Times 22 year old Samuel Tolfa is charged with the fatal shooting of 21 year old Jordan Puskar back on January 22nd. Tolfa faces a number of other charges including fleeing and eluding police. He is currently being held at the Allegheny County Jail and is denied bail.

State police in Butler County report a two vehicle accident in Washington Township. According to police 25 year old Brittany Heller of Hilliards was traveling north on Oneida Valley road when she crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a tractor-trailor. Heller was transported to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported.

Dozens of farm animals were lost in an early Friday morning barn fire in Mercer County. The Sharon Herald reports the fire broke out at a barn on Sandy Lake Road in French Creek Township. The animals, barn and associated equipment in the barn were an estimated loss of $125,000, based on the insurance coverage. A heat lamp that was being used appears to be the cause of the fire. No firefighters were injured.

A state Senate resolution recognizes Pennsylvania farmers of today and tomorrow. Senator Elder Vogel says previously known as the Future Farmers of America, the FFA is comprised of students in grades 7 through 12 and college. (CUT 1) Vogel said there are also opportunities for FFA members to participate in leadership development events and to get hands on experience for their future careers. Last year the Pennsylvania FFA had more had more than 13,000 members in 151 chapters across the state.

Today is President’s Day. Most school children have the day off today.  Non-essential federal, state and municipal offices and buildings are closed.  Most banks are closed and there will be no regular mail delivery from the U.S. Postal Service.

The Wolf Administration continues its push for raising the state’s minimum wage. During a state budget hearing Department of Community and Economic Development Acting Secretary Neil Weaver voiced support for raising PA’s minimum wage to $12 an hour with a path to $15, saying the current $7.25 is not a livable wage. Weaver also says a higher minimum wage would provide a boost to the state’s economy, adding that other states which have increased their minimum wages have not seen the job losses that opponents have warned of.