TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 3RD, 2021

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the state’s mail-in voting law. The justices ruled five to two Tuesday that there should be no restrictions on mail-in voting per the state constitution. Two republican justices voted against the idea. The ruling makes it very likely that expanded voting-by-mail will be in place for the November elections, including those for governor and U.S. Senate.

A Beaver County woman is facing charges after allegedly chasing a female victim and causing a car accident.  Police say Denise Dorusha rear-ended the vehicle of a woman she accused of leaving her boyfriend’s house.  The victim says she had taken her mother home in Monaca before Dorusha began following her and taking photos of her car.  Conway Borough Police say Dorusha had a seven-year-old-child with her at the time of the accident.

State election officials want to remind residents that some deadlines are in place to apply for mail-in or absentee ballots.  Registered voters have until 5 p.m. November 1st to apply for the “no excuse” mail-in ballots. The completed forms must be received at local county election offices by 8:00  p.m. on Election Day. The recently upheld Act 77 ruling established annual mail-in and absentee ballot voter lists. It also extended by 15 additional days the period for residents to register to vote before an election.

Ninth District State Representative Chris Sainato announced more than three million dollars in funding for early childhood education in Lawrence County. Sainato said the funding from the state Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning will open up new Pre-K Counts slots and help Head Start programs manage increased operating costs. He added Studies show kids who have access to these resources from an early age are much more likely to succeed in life,

Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls will go up next year. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission voted to increase tolls by five percent for E-ZPass and Toll By Plate customers.  The most-common toll for passenger vehicles will increase from a dollar-70 to a dollar-80 for E-ZPass customers and from four-dollars-and-ten-cents to four-dollars-and-40-cents for By Plate customers.  The new rates go into effect on January 8th.

The U.S. Department of Justice has closed its investigation of Pennsylvania’s Public School Employees’ Retirement System.  State officials say the year-long inquiry came after PSERS miscalculated its investment returns, which resulted in 100-thousand teachers paying more out of their checks toward their retirement. Officials say an SEC investigation, however, is on-going.

Governor Tom Wolf says he wants to reintroduce the “Pennsylvania Opportunity Program.” He says it would make the state provide funds to families who are struggling in the current state of the economy.  On Tuesday, he was in Folcroft to reintroduce the program.  If the legislation passes, eligible residents would get two-thousand-dollars from the state in direct payments. The program is limited to households making 80-thousand dollars or less.

Guidelines posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s social media endorse many gender neutral pronouns and the creation of inclusive activities.  It lists several ideas for welcoming students back to school that help them explore their identities, including their “inner and outer” selves.  Part of the website reportedly also calls the idea that there are only two genders a “faulty concept.”   

A new two-million-dollar ad campaign is attacking Republican U.S. Senate candidate Doctor Mehmet Oz.  The ads bought by the Democratic-aligned political action committee “The End Citizens United PAC” attack Oz for his alleged ties to New Jersey and special interests.  Oz’s campaign says “Democrat John Fetterman is sitting behind his computer screen from his basement bunker refusing to meet with Pennsylvanians.”