TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JULY 6TH, 2022

Lightning is to blame for a house fire in Beaver County.  That’s according to fire officials, who said the lightning struck in Marion Township at about 9:40 a.m. yesterday.  A woman who was home at the time said she was not hurt in the incident.  Officials say there is both smoke and water damage to the home.

Pennsylvania lawmakers still have not completed work on the state budget for the new fiscal year. They left the capitol without final negotiations in place before the July 4th holiday weekend, missing an end-of-year deadline on Thursday of last week.  A spokesperson for Majority Leader Kim Ward told reporters Tuesday morning that there’s hope that a final budget can be hammered out in the remaining days this week. Senators will return to the Capitol Wednesday evening.

State police have launched an anti-aggressive driver campaign. Officials say additional traffic from out-of-state motorists is contributing to local and state flow this summer, so you need to be mindful of more traffic volume. Officers will be targeting heavy truck enforcement, pedestrian safety, red-light violations and tailgating. The aggressive driving enforcement campaign runs through August across the state.

Though state House lawmakers won’t be reconvening in Harrisburg until today, some state leaders say there were still budget negotiations being discussed over the holiday weekend. House Republican leaders reportedly are focusing on Governor Wolf’s new charter school regulations as well as money for state universities that could be held back if the schools don’t stop fetal tissue research. They also say a deal is likely for cutting the state’s ten percent tax on corporate income.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas prices report the average price of gas in Western Pennsylvania is at 4.92 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 4.89 a gallon. The average price is Sharon is at 4.88. The national average for a gallon of gasoline fell to $4.80, down eight cents over the past week but still $1.67 more than a year ago. The primary reason for the decline is lower demand at the pump as fewer people fueled up over the past few weeks.  About 80% of stations are now selling regular for under $5 a gallon.

Changes are coming for some Pennsylvania residents enrolled in Medicaid. New agreements between the state government and providers is making some health plans unavailable.  Officials say the move is happening in August, so recipients should look into new coverage that includes the doctors and hospitals they currently use.  More information is available by visiting D-H-S-dot-P-A-dot-gov.

Over 500 DUI arrests were made by Pennsylvania State Police during the July 4 holiday weekend. Four people were killed in crashes investigated by State Police and only one was wearing a seatbelt. None of the crashes involved alcohol, according to State Police, and 170 people were injured in the 649 crashes investigated. Fifty-two of the 649 crashes involved alcohol.  State Police data is from July 1st-4th.

State Police in Lawrence County report a two vehicle accident in Wilmington Township. According to police 41 yea rold Amber Walker of New Castle pulled from the intersection of route 208 and Old Mercer Road, into the path of a vehicle operated by 49 year old Tonya Hanson of Slippery Rock. Police said Hanson suffered minor injuries. No other injuries were reported.

The acting state insurance commissioner and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director are urging property owners to prepare for hurricane season by considering flood insurance. Their remarks come in a state news release about the impact of Hurricane Agnes that hit the state 50 years ago this past week. It destroyed 68-thousand homes. The officials say standard homeowners policies do not usually cover flood damage and there are only 50-thousand homes statewide that have the coverage currently.