TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 29TH, 2022

A legislative proposal to prevent transgender women from competing against born-female athletes is being considered by the Pennsylvania House Education Committee. The measure was introduced almost a year ago by republican Representative Barbara Gleim of Cumberland. It has remained in committee since then, but is scheduled for a vote Tuesday. If it is passed, House Bill 972 would move on to the full House floor for consideration.

A judge in Allegheny County is issuing a permanent protection order against a Pittsburgh police officer accused of raping a female co-worker.  The victim in the case asked for the order claiming the officer raped her after they saw each other socially while off-duty last summer.  The judge says she found evidence of sexual violence and that the victim is still in danger of harm.  No criminal charges have been filed.

Ninth District State Representative Chris Sainato is reminding residents who incurred funeral expenses because of a COVID-19-related death that they may be eligible for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Sainato, said FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program is designed to help those who have borne the greatest burden because of the pandemic.  To be eligible for reimbursement, the funeral expenses must have been incurred after January 20, 2020, for a COVID-19-related death occurring in the United States.

State health officials are reporting only 279 new COVID cases from over the weekend.  The number of hospitalizations is also down, with 489 patients receiving care.

Some Pennsylvania drivers could see 100-dollar stimulus checks when gas prices rise over four-dollars under a proposed federal law.  Democratic congressman Mike Thompson of California and John Larson of Connecticut are working on getting the Gas Rebate Act of 2022 to a vote in the House of Representatives.  The act would give 100-dollar checks to drivers anytime gas prices rise above four-dollars per-gallon in any month for the rest of the year.  Only individuals making less than 75-thousand-dollars or couples making less than 150-thousand-dollars per year would be eligible for the rebates. 

Truck drivers who have been part of the Peoples’ Convoy have made a stop in Pennsylvania on their way back to California.  Co-organizer Mike Landis on Sunday had called on truckers to join him on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol for a Medical Freedom rally Monday.  The detour to Harrisburg caused traffic issues for morning commuters.

Pennsylvania State Police say at least three people have died in a 50-vehicle, chain-reaction crash.  It happened along southbound Interstate 81 Monday when sudden, blinding snow caused cars, trucks and semis to crash northeast of Harrisburg.  The Schuylkill County coroner said Monday afternoon that the death toll could rise after more vehicles are searched.  About 20 people were taken to hospitals.

State Troopers will soon begin cracking down on aggressive driving. The crackdown is all part of the state’s aggressive driving campaign, which will run through April 24. The campaign will focus on speeding, distracted driving, and work zone awareness. Preliminary State Police numbers from 2021 show the number of deaths in aggressive driving crashes went up as much as 40% from 2020.

The attorney for a 26-year-old man accused of recording a 10-year-old girl in the restroom at her Allegheny County school says the defendant is struggling with mental issues.  Brian Mintmier was arrested earlier this month following the alleged incident at Ramsey Elementary School.  A preliminary hearing scheduled for yesterday was delayed at the request of prosecutors.

Even though Problem Gambling Awareness Month is coming to an end, officials want to spread the word that help is available all year. The 18th annual observance of what those in the field refer to as P-GAM, brings together officials with the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Lottery and the state Gaming Control Board, whose website, responsibleplay.pa.gov, contains information on how to spot problem gambling and resources available. There’s also a toll-free helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER.

The Powerball jackpot continues to swell.  Lottery officials say no one picked all six numbers in last night’s drawing.  That means the jackpot for the next drawing on Wednesday will be worth at least 206-million-dollars.