TRI COUNTY REPORT JULY 28TH, 2022

Federal prosecutors say a Florida man submitted 25-million dollars worth of bogus Medicare claims through a Lawrence County hospital.  Daniel Hurt is accused of teaming with others to have claims for unnecessary cancer screenings submitted through the since-closed Ellwood City Medical Center between late 2018 and the fall of 2019.  Hurt is expected to plead guilty in the case.

A measure by state republican Representative Stan Saylor of York is the basis for the state setting aside millions for mental health in schools. This year marked the first time state lawmakers have given a specific line item in the budget for approving 100-million-dollars to tackle the issue. Every school district in the state will receive that as a base grant;  charter schools will get 70-thousand. 

Governor Tom Wolf is touting the ethics of his administration and asking state legislators to take action.  Governor Wolf said today that Pennsylvania is one of just a handful of states with no limits on the gifts elected officials can accept.  Wolf said his first executive action was to ban his staff from accepting gifts.  He also asked the Republican-led legislature to pass a comprehensive gift ban for all elected officials.

A provision in the state’s new budget will allow for 25-million-dollars for a new child tax credit program. The governor’s office says the Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program is modeled after a federal program that benefits parents with children in daycare.  The state child care tax credit is for 30 percent of the federally approved expense. It’s estimated that nearly 221-thousand state families will benefit from the refundable credit. 

A Struthers Ohio man faces drug and gun charges following a traffic stop Tuesday in New Castle. According to the New Castle News 35 year old Trenton Dale Mashburn is charged with carrying firearms without a license, prohibited possession of firearms, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a traffic violation. Mashburn was placed in the Lawrence County Jail on 50 thousand dollars bond.

Pennsylvania gaming officials say gambling proceeds for the state have set a new annual record. They attribute the more than five-billion-dollars in profits to new, online betting as well as people returning to casinos after the pandemic. The number has also been affected by winnings at four new mini-casinos, gaming at truck stops and fantasy sports outlets.

State officials say some 25-million-dollars in grant funds will be reimbursed to poultry farmers who’ve been hit by avian flu. More than four million birds were lost during the outbreak that hit southeastern Pennsylvania. Avian flu affected 17 commercial flocks in the state altogether.

The number of confirmed cases of monkeypox continues to climb in Allegheny County.  The Allegheny County Health Department says that eight new cases have been confirmed this week bringing the total number of cases confirmed in the county to 20.  To avoid contracting the virus, health officials advise folks to practice safe sex, avoid physical contact with those that might be infected and practice good hygiene like washing your hands with soap and water.

How would you like to win free gas for a year?  A new contest sponsored by Sheetz and the Pennsylvania lottery promotes their “Free Gas for a Year” contest. To enter, you need to buy a minimum 10-dollar Match 6 lottery ticket at a Sheetz store. The contest runs until September 30th and the grand prize winner will be selected in October.