TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 13TH, 2022

State Senator Jake Corman is dropping out of the race for governor.  Corman made the announcement yesterday.  Corman also announced his endorsement of Lou Barletta for the Republican nomination.  He said it was time for him to step aside and support someone who can win the office in the fall.

Two California men are facing charges that they frauded victims locally and across the country out of millions of dollars.  Federal indictments against the suspects were unsealed yesterday with charges of wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering.  Investigators say they used pop-up internet ads to lure victims into their trap where they posed as a tech company helping people to protect money in supposedly compromised accounts.  One Western Pennsylvania victim reportedly was taken for more than one-point-two-million dollars. 

Pennsylvania is out with the latest COVID-19 information.  As of yesterday the commonwealth has recorded nearly two-million-850-thousand cases.  There have also been over 44-thousand-800 COVID-related deaths since the outbreak began.   The White House today marked one-million deaths nationwide.

Flags are flying at half-staff on all public buildings and on all public grounds in Western Pennsylvania and around the commonwealth by order of Governor Tom Wolf.  Wolf issued the order yesterday in accordance with orders from President Biden in remembrance of the more than one-million American lives lost to COVID.  Flags are to remain at half-staff until sunset on Monday.

Two people suffered minor injuries following an accident in Wayne Township. Pennsylvania State Police report 44 year old Shannin Landis of Wampum was traveling on Wampum Road when she was having a medical episode and traveled into oncoming traffic and struck a vehicle operated by 64 year old William Eaton of Wampum. Neither driver was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Governor Tom Wolf says given the state’s strong financial position there’s enough funding to make the $1.9 billion investment in education he’s advocated for in his budget without an increase in taxes. Wolf says he’s proudest of the record 1.8 billion dollars his administration has already put into education and would like to do that one more time.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is asking boat owners to prepare their vessels ahead of Memorial Day weekend.  Officials say unpowered boats should have launch permits and powerboats need to be registered.  It’s also recommended that boaters take a safety course either online or in-person. 

The Commonwealth is one of the states that has the most book-banning activity in the country. According to a report released last month by PEN America,  Pennsylvania was second only to Texas in book bans in schools. The vast majority of the book banning happened in the Central York School District, where students drew national attention for a successful push reversing the restrictions on books about race, sexuality and social justice.

Allegheny County’s WIC program director is offering some guidelines as mothers of newborns deal with a nationwide shortage of baby formula.  Lisa Matt says a list of substitutes are available on the agency’s website.  Matt says homemade mixes, thinning formula, and switching to cow’s milk early are not viable nutrition options for babies.  President Biden announced plans to address the shortage yesterday, including increasing imports and urging states to expand WIC benefits to cover more products.