TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JULY 25TH, 2022

Firefighters from several departments were called out Friday morning to battle a structure fire in Wilmington Township. WFMJ-TV reports the fire broke out at the end of Shady Grove Lane just after 7:30 a.m. When the first firefighter arrived, flames had spread throughout the building. That’s when other fire departments were called to assist. There’s no word yet on if anyone was injured, or the cause of the fire.

The state General Assembly has approved a measure that would put five proposed amendments to the state constitution on the ballot for voters to decide.  Among the ideas, the republican-sponsored measure would provide for proof of valid IDs for in-person and mail voting, require nominees for governor to select a candidate for lieutenant governor, and specify that the state constitution does not grant the right to taxpayer-funded abortion. The measures must be approved again in the 2023-24 legislative session to go before the voters.

Officials with the Allegheny County Health Department over the weekend reported two more confirmed cases of monkeypox among county residents.  That brings the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 12.  At least 55 cases have been confirmed statewide and roughly 29-hundred cases in the U.S.

No injuries are reported after emergency crews were called to Ultium Cells yesterday in Lordstown, Ohio.  Company officials say the response was predicated by concerns about possible airborne-chemical exposure.  Subsequent testing determined that the exposure risk remained at safe levels.  That said, two company workers reportedly were taken to a local hospital as a precaution.  In its website, Ultium Cells describes itself as a manufacturer of battery cells for use in electric passenger vehicles.

The Mega Millions jackpot is continuing to grow after no winning ticket was sold in Friday’s drawing.  The grand prize is now up to seven-hundred-90-million dollars.  Only three prizes have been worth more in U.S. lotto history.  The next drawing is scheduled for tomorrow night.

The Department of Labor and Industry reports unemployment in Pennsylvania in June stands at 4.5 percent, down one tenth of a percent from the May figure, and 2.1 percent lower than June 2021. In addition, Labor and Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier says this marks the first time Pennsylvania’s jobless rate has been at 4.5 percent since September 2019. Pennsylvania’s nonfarm job count increased by 21-thousand to 5.9-million in June. Jobs increased in seven of the 11 industry supersectors, with the
largest gains in education and health services.

The Pennsylvania State Treasury launched their redesigned PA 529 College and Career Savings Program website for accounts that help residents save for future tuition costs.  The program, which can be found on the web at p-a 529 dot com, has been revised in several ways over the past year. Officials say fees have been cut and the minimum deposit requirement has been eliminated.   The Treasury also recently ran a promotion that deposited 100-dollars into qualifying Guaranteed Savings Plan accounts.

Severe weather is being blamed for a deadly incident Sunday afternoon in Venango County.  A passing storm took out a large tree and pushed it onto a pair of trailers at the Idlewild Trailer Park killing one person.  No other injuries were reported.

Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, who is a breast cancer survivor, is working with the PA Breast Cancer Coalition to raise awareness for early detection. The group will release a series of videos that provide information about breast cancer and also encourage people to get screened. Coalition President Pat Halpin-Murphy says more than 60 percent of patients delayed their screenings during COVID. She adds that with early diagnosis, the disease is “very, very treatable.”

The Butler-Freeport Community Trail is marking it’s 30th anniversary this year.  The 21-mile stretch was one of the first “Rails To Trails” projects completed in the country.  The area is maintained by a group of volunteers, and is owned by Buffalo Township.  The first section of the trail opened in 1992, one of four-hundred rail line to nature path conversions across the United States.