TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 22ND, 2022

A poll of likely Pennsylvanian Republican voters shows a majority are still undecided on who to vote for in the Republican primary race for Governor. The poll, conducted by The Trafalgar Group, interviewed 1,070 likely Pennsylvania Republican voters with 29 percent either undecided or likely not to vote. Congressman Lou Barletta led the list of candidates with 24.1 percent followed by State Senator Doug Mastriano at 19.9 percent. Two other candidates, Senate President Pro Tem Jake Corman, was third with 5.1 percent. Former U.S. Attorney William McSwain placed fourth with 4.4 percent State Attorney General Josh Shapiro is currently the only Democrat running for Governor in 2022.

Pennsylvania drivers are paying more at the pump this week as gas prices continue to increase across the country.  According to data from Triple-A, the average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in Pennsylvania is three-dollars-and-73-cents, which is five-cents higher than this time last week and 20-cents higher than the national average. In Lawrence County the average price is at 3.65 a gallon while drivers in Mercer County are paying 3.71.

State Police in Lawrence County report a one vehicle accident in North Beaver Township. According to police 26 year old Joessa Ferrucci of Wampum was traveling east on Mount Jackson Road when she lost control of her vehicle and struck a tree and a utility pole. Ferrucci, who was charged with driving under the influence suffered minor injuries in the crash.

PennDot is hosting a job fair in Mercer County tomorrow. It will take place at the Mercer County Maintenance Facility on Maple Street tomorrow from noon to 5 p.m. PennDOT is hoping to fill a variety of positions including highway maintenance workers, civil engineers, construction inspectors, transportation technicians and CDL operators and mechanics. Applicants should bring a copy of their resume with them.

Governor Wolf is announcing plans to improve train service between Pittsburgh and the state’s capital.  Wolf visited Pittsburgh Friday to announce the project.  PennDOT and Norfolk Southern will be working together to add passenger trains to the route.  Funding for the transportation initiative will come from the federal bipartisan infrastructure law approved last November.

It’s pothole season and Pennsylvania drivers may be getting the worst of it.  A January 2022 report from a national transportation research company shows 40-percent of roads and highways across the U.S. are in poor or mediocre condition.  Pennsylvania is ranked number eight on the list from the nonprofit TRIP, with more than 15 complaints from drivers for every thousand kilometers of road.  Most of that is due to the state of bridges, as the American Road and Transportation Builders Association says PA has the second-worst bridge conditions in the U.S.     

State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding is warning of a highly contagious influenza found among poultry populations in three states.  Earlier this month, the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health and Plant Inspection Service confirmed the strain of avian flu in a turkey flock at an Indiana farm.  It’s since been discovered in chickens in two different Kentucky locations and among a mixed group of birds in a backyard flock in Virginia.  Now, Pennsylvania officials are encouraging farmers across the state to be more aware of any potential symptoms among their birds.  

Local and state authorities are warning area residents of a new “boss scam” making the rounds.  According to investigators, scammers are sending texts and emails to random potential victims, posing as their boss.  The messages appear to be legitimate, as scammers are doing their research, finding out where people work before they send those emails and texts.  Investigators say to look closely for signs of a scam, for example if you’re asked to use a company credit card or personal funds for large purchases that are out of the ordinary.

Penn State THON is celebrating the biggest fundraiser in the event’s 50-year history.  This weekend’s 46-hour dance marathon to fight childhood cancer raised more than 13-point-seven million dollars.  That breaks the record that was previously set back in 2014.  The organization ensures that no family dealing with childhood cancer ever pays for a medical bill at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital in Hershey.  

COVID numbers are expected to be updated today following a delay due to the Presidents’ Day holiday.  Officials have been encouraged by the declining number of newly-reported cases each day in Western Pennsylvania and around the state.  More than 76-percent of Keystone State residents over the age of 18 are considered fully-vaccinated against the virus.