TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JUNE 2ND, 2022

State Police in Mercer County have charged a man with child endangerment after police say they found two unsupervised toddlers wandering around a mobile home park. 30 year old Nathan Anderson faces two counts of child endangering. According to State police, neighbors reported seeing a two-year-old boy, and a 4-year-old girl wandering alone in the West Forrest mobile home park on West Market Street in Lackawannock Township earlier this month. Police say the children were playing in a runoff water ditch along the roadside. Bond was set at five thousand dollars.

New Castle City Police have charged an East Side man with reportedly pistol whipping a man over the incomplete sale of a motorcycle. The New Castle News reports, 29 year old Billy Earl Jackson III, is charged  with aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, recklessly endangering another person along with several other charges. The alleged incident took place last Thursday. Jackson was arraigned and released after posting bond. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Governor Tom Wolf has again urged state lawmakers to support sending two-thousand-dollar checks to some state residents.  He wants to use 500-million-dollars of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to pay households whose income is 80-thousand dollars or less to help with their expenses from COVID.  On Wednesday, Wolf told the republican leadership to act on the proposal, which has already been introduced in the general assembly. 

State health officials say the total number of new COVID cases this past week is down about 20 percent from the number reported the previous week.  There were nearly 30-thousand new cases reported between May 18th and May 24th.  The State Department of Health data from May 25th also shows hospitalizations are up about 15 percent and the number of adult COVID-19 patients in the ICU has increased by about 12 percent.

The State of Pennsylvania is investing nearly two-million dollars in a Reading baby formula plant.  Governor Tom Wolf traveled to the ByHeart facility to announce the funding yesterday.  The governor says the added manufacturing will help keep formula on the shelves for Pennsylvania moms in the future.  The company says they are currently only able to fill orders for existing customers, with a waiting list posted on their website.

Administrators with Excela Health and Butler Health System are bringing the two organizations together.  Officials yesterday announced the two have signed a letter of intent to join forces and create a new healthcare system  Additional details will come after the deal is complete.  The merger will create the third-largest health system in Western Pennsylvania. 

Some state lawmakers are hoping to help EMS agencies in Pennsylvania get more money.  State Representative  Martin Causer says one of the biggest hurdles they face is in the area of Medicaid reimbursement and he’s trying to do something about that.  He says the agencies have only seen two increases in this kind of  reimbursement in the last 20 years.  His house bill passed out of committee last week and now  goes to the full house for consideration.

A Darlington man was taken to the hospital following a two vehicle accident in Connoquenessing Township. State Police report 89 year old Jacob Streit was northbound on Whitestown Road when he failed to stop and a red light and struck a vehicle operated by 36 year old Nathan Geibel of Lyndora. Police said Streit was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Pennsylvania State Police troopers were kept busy on the roadways over the
long Memorial Day weekend.  From May 27th through the 30th state troopers investigated 775 vehicle crashes, including 3 in which 3 people were killed. Troopers also made 526 arrests for driving under the influence. Overall they issued nearly 28,000 traffic citations, including more than 9,900 for speeding and almost 1,100 for seat belt violations.

Executives with PNC bank say they are working on plans to automate more branches.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports leaders are working toward automation in 60 percent of branches over the next five years.  Executive Vice President Jim Balouris says the bank is not planning on cutting jobs, only shifting workers away from making transactions.