TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 9TH, 2022

An Aliquippa man was sentenced to five years in prison for drug and gun law violations. 30 year old Dujuan Hill was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. Prior to imposing sentence, U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon stated that the crimes which Hill committed are serious and are a blight upon the community.

State Route 208 is partially blocked off in the eastbound lane in Pulaski Township.The area is near Nova Cellars and Winery. WKBN-TV reports About 50 feet of the road caved in. PennDOT closed the lane and said crews will take a look at it today to see what happened and determine what they need to do to fix it.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is reviewing arguments from Republicans and Democrats over the legality of mail-in voting.  the Court yesterday listened to representatives from both sides, with Republicans calling mail-in voting unconstitutional and Democrats arguing the popular voter method should remain in place.  Republican lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to support Act 77, which allowed mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, but now say they were wrong, and Pennsylvania’s constitution says non-absentee voting must be in-person.  Governor Wolf asked the court to keep mail-in ballots in place for the May primary, saying removing them before would create confusion and lead to voter disenfranchisement.   

UPMC is going forward with plans for a six-hundred-36-bed hospital in the city’s Oakland neighborhood.  Plans for the so-called UPMC Presbyterian Hospital were first announced five years ago.  The new facility will be located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and DeSoto Street and will include retail and restaurant space.  Renderings of the proposed 17-story structure include a mostly-glass face and a rooftop terrace green space.

State police in Beaver County report a one vehicle accident in Raccoon Township. According to police 21 year old Diamond Wood of McKees Rocks was traveling south on Patterson Road when he vehicle left the roadway and struck a utility pole. Wood was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital for treatment.

At a recent budget hearing DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead reiterated her agency’s commitment to serving Pennsylvanians, and praised the agency and its partners for flexible and innovative work during the coronavirus pandemic. Questions from committee members included concerns about nursing home facilities, and suicide prevention call centers. Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year provides for increased investment in existing programs, and includes his proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour.

A federal judge is ordering a New Kensington landscaping company to pay one-hundred-50-thousand dollars in back wages and penalties.  U.S. Department of Labor officials say Shurina Brothers refused to pay employees time-and-a-half for overtime between January of 2018 and December of 2020.  The Labor department says the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by only compensating workers for straight time for hours worked over 40 and did not document the time.  The company is ordered to pay 61-thousand dollars in back wages with an equal amount in damages, and an additional 28-thousand in civil penalties. 

Administrators in the Allegheny Health Network are preparing to raise hourly wages for non-union nurses.  The healthcare company on Tuesday said that they’ll lift the minimum hourly rate of about 28-dollars per hour to 30-dollars per hour.  Experienced non-union nurses will see increases as well.  AHN is currently in talks with union leaders for wage increases for other nurses. 

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey is announcing a plan for another round of inspections for every city bridge rated in poor condition.  The mayor says the city will work with PennDOT to determine if the bridges are safe.  Bridges that are deemed unsafe will be immediately closed according to Gainey.