TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 15TH, 2022

A former Mercer County municipal worker has pled guilty to federal charges.  Seventy-three-year-old Linda Baun was the secretary and treasurer for Jackson Township.  Authorities say that over an 8-year period beginning in 2011, she stole 150-thousand dollars from the community through unauthorized ATM withdrawals and the unauthorized use of the township’s credit card to make personal purchases.  She pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of mail fraud and will be sentenced in January.

Democrat Josh Shapiro continues to maintain a big lead over Republican Doug Mastriano in a new poll about the state governor’s race.  A CBS YouGov survey of nearly 12-hundred registered Pennsylvania voters found Shapiro with 55 percent support compared to Mastriano’s 44 percent.  Shapiro had a big lead among female voters while Mastriano had a one point lead among men.

Ninth District State Representative Chris Sainato announced yesterday Lawrence County businesses will have access to new loan funding thanks to $1.1 million awarded to the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation. Sainato said the funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development will allow the local economic development partner to create or recapitalize revolving loans for small businesses. The funding is part of a package of $246 million in American Rescue Plan funding awarded statewide under both the Revolving Loan Fund and the Direct Venture Investment programs.

Allegheny County police don’t expect to file charges against a man whose handgun was found in a duffel bag at Pittsburgh International Airport yesterday morning. Police say Transportation Security Administration officers found the gun in the bag at the main security checkpoint around 3:30.  They say the man had a concealed carry permit and left the gun in his bag.

Senate candidates John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz have agreed to the date for a debate.  The Democratic lieutenant governor and the Republican doctor will square off on October 25th just days before voters decide which of them will replace Pat Toomey in the Senate.  The campaigns of the candidates are continuing to hash out the specifics of the event.

The number of student victims making allegations of sexual abuse against a youth athletics coach is now up to eight.  Eric Fairman is a former math teacher at McKeesport Middle School who also coached sports in the Keystone Oaks and West Jefferson Hills School Districts.  With a new victim coming forward this week, Fairman is facing more accusations.  Charges against him include indecent assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor.

Legislation approved by the state House deals with nursing home residents and Medicaid eligibility. Representative Timothy Bonner says typically very few people people entering nursing homes are aware of laws that protect them from having to spend all of their assets before they become eligible for Medicaid. As a result Bonner says his bill would require nursing homes provide a standard notice to new residents that they have the option of having legal representation when applying for Medicaid
benefits. Bonner says the average cost for nursing home care in Pennsylvania is $130,000 a year.

A CBS YouGov poll of nearly 12-hundred registered voters has revealed Democrat John Fetterman leads Republican Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate race.  Results Wednesday show 52 percent of respondents supporting Fetterman, compared to Oz’s 47 percent.  Of those who said they’ll support Fetterman, 24 percent say said they responded in favor of him mainly because they oppose Oz

The husband of Vice-President Kamala Harris will be visiting Pennsylvania Thursday.  Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff will join U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and state officials for visits to Reading, Allentown and Philadelphia today.  They’ll be appearing as part of the federal government’s Success Back to School bus tour, which showcases how schools are helping students to recover after the pandemic, using funds from the American Rescue Plan.