TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 19TH, 2022

Multiple people are dead after a farmhouse fire in Mercer County. State Police say four bodies were recovered and that crews were working to locate a fifth body. No identifying information is being released at this time. The fire broke out just after midnight Friday morning.  No other details were released.

Police in Neshannock Township are pursuing charges against a Union Area School District assistant football coach accused of charging at a student and slammed them to the ground.  Forty-one-year-old David Thompson reportedly injured the victim in the Neshannock High School Football Field incident that only stopped when players and parents stepped in.  Police say the student who was attacked suffered a scratched face and a possible neck injury.  A spokesperson for the Union Area School District says that Thompson’s employment ended the next day.

State police say they will be extra diligent this week about enforcing the use of seatbelts.  The department is warning drivers ahead of time that with the Click it or Ticket enforcement, drivers stopped for a traffic violation can expect to receive two citations.  They will get one for the original infraction and another for the seatbelt violation.

Governor Tom Wolf once again is pushing for more relief for Pennsylvania residents.  The governor is pitching for two-thousand dollar COVID-19 relief checks to be sent to households making less than 80-thousand dollars annually.  He says inflation is putting a strain on households more than ever right now and families need a break.  Wolf contends direct payments are the best options to help struggling households.     

Thousands of protesters are expected in Harrisburg for today’s March for Life event.  While this is the second annual march, this is the first in Pennsylvania since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade back in June.  Organizers say today’s event will be a celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision, but also a push for Pennsylvania to pass its own laws protecting unborn life. 

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is now at a two year low. Figures released by the PA Department of Labor and Industry show that for the month of August, the state’s jobless rate stood at 4.2 percent, down a tenth of a percent from the previous month. Labor officials say unemployment in Pennsylvania is down 1.9 percent in the last year, reaching its lowest level since June 2020.

A bill introduced in the state House would update the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act. Representative Dan Williams says his Protecting the Right to Organize or PRO Act would make sure companies cheating workers and communities face real penalties and ensure mediation and arbitration are available for unions and companies negotiating a first contract. Williams says protecting worker rights creates better lives for them and their families   

State Police in Lawrence County report a motorcycle accident early yesterday morning in North Beaver Township. According to police 34 year old Mark Sallade of Bessemer lost control of his motorcycle on East Poland Road and crashed into a nearby field. Police said Sallade suffered minor injuries. Charges are pending.

After about a week on the loose, authorities in Mercer County are reporting the recovery of a missing snake.  A six-foot-long Colombian boa constrictor named Steve escaped through a broken balcony screen at his owner’s home last week.  Having spent days on the run…or on the slither…Steve has now returned home.  His owner reports the boa constrictor returned on his own.

Pennsylvania’s Task Force One is deploying to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Fiona.  Governor Tom Wolf announced two members of the state’s specialized emergency response team are helping with the relief effort.  At last check, more than a million residents of Puerto Rico were without power after the storm made landfall yesterday.  The governor says the state’s Emergency Management Assistance Compact will be on standby to offer more assistance if needed.