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Friday, July 3, 2020

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Local News

Man Shot And Killed In Hanover Twp.

A man was killed in a shooting in a Washington County neighborhood, according to investigators. Police said the shooting happened around 4 p.m. Friday on Hanover Acres Drive in Hanover Township. The unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene. The details surrounding what led to the deadly shooting are still unclear. Authorities have not provided any details regarding a suspected shooter, and no arrests have been made. Hanover Township Police and Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the incident.

The Meadows Suspends In Person Horse Race Wagering

Officials from The Meadows Casino Racetrack Hotel announced that they are suspending onsite race wagering effective at 11:59PM on July 3. Vice President and General Manager of The Meadows,  Tony Frabbiele says that “It is out of an abundance of caution that we are suspending onsite race wagering and prohibiting spectators at Live Races.” Racing will continue as scheduled at 12:45 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Casinos remain open 8 AM to 4AM Sundays through Thursdays and 8 AM to 5 AM Fridays and Saturdays. Casinos will close each night to disinfect and sanitize the property.

Covered Bridge Festival Cancelled

The Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency announced Friday that the Washington County Greene County Covered Bridge Festival scheduled for September 19-20, 2020 has been cancelled. The Covid-19 emergency is the cause for the cancellation of the traditional arts and crafts festival that has 8 locations and supports over 400 vendors. Jeff Kotula, President of the WCTPA said the decision to cancel the event was to ensure public safety during the Covid-19 situation. Kotula says the event attracts 20,000 people and Department of Health limits to gatherings of no more than 250 people make the event impossible to hold. The cancellation of the Covered Bridge Festival follows several other cancellations in the county, they include the Whiskey Rebellion Festival, PONY Baseball World Series, The Washington County Agricultural Fair and West Alexander Fair.

City Residents Not Happy With Fireworks

WASHINGTON, Pa. — The City of Washington has gotten numerous complaints about residents setting off fireworks in city neighborhoods. City Council was addressed on Thursday during their first face to face regular council meeting about people setting off fireworks on a nightly basis since Memorial Day. West End Resident Fern Sibert told council that the previous night she had to call police about fireworks being set off after 3:00 AM. Mayor Scott Putnam called the behavior ridiculous and instructed affected residents to call 9-1-1 and the events will be reported to City Police. Putnam also indicated that extra police patrols will be used to address fireworks complaints over the holiday weekend. In other council business, Councilman Joe Manning was able to provide a financial update both current and projected. Manning states that financially the city should be ok until the end of the year, but because of lost revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic shut down revenues for 2021 could be down as much as 25%. Budgeted funds for overtime are currently 60% depleted. Two city employees are either currently or will be on military leave of absence due to deployment. That and the extra fireworks patrols this weekend will put a strain on those funds going forward. Manning indicated that his department will keep a very close eye on the budget for the remainder of the year.

Washington County On “Mitigation Watch List”

Coronavirus numbers are climbing in Washington County and that concerns Washington County Commission Chairperson Diana Irey-Vaughan.  Irey-Vaughan tells WJPA News that she spoke with Governor Tom Wolf’s office on Thursday and was informed that the county has been placed on a mitigation watch list because of the alarming daily increases in COVID-19 cases.  Irey-Vaughan says the Governor has noticed the uptick and there is a danger that the county could be forced to shut down again if the trend continues.  Irey-Vaughan is urging every resident to be extremely diligent when going out, especially with the July 4th holiday weekend coming up.  Irey-Vaughan is reminding everyone to “mask-up” and practice social distancing.

Washington County Adds Fifteen COVID-19 Cases

The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced Friday that there are 667 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 88,741.  There are 6,746 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 34 new deaths.  County-specific information and a statewide map are available here.     In nursing and personal care homes, there are 17,888 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,323 cases among employees, for a total of 21,211 at 706 distinct facilities in 52 counties. Out of our total deaths, 4,583 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.  A county breakdown can be found here.   Approximately 6,745 of our total cases are in health care workers.  A county breakdown can be found hereWashington County added 15 new cases for a total of 259.  The county remains steady at 6 deaths.  Across the United States, more than two-million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded and more than one-hundred and twenty-eight-thousand people have died.  Washington County is now in the “green phase” of Governor Tom Wolf’s reopening plan.  The stay at home order is lifted but groups are limited to no more than 250 people.  Gov. Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Levine remind residents that mask wearing is MANDATORY in all businesses in the green phases of reopening and residents are REQUIRED to wear a facial covering in public places.  Employees of those businesses are REQUIRED to wear a mask as well. Gov. Wolf and Secretary Levine said people do not need the N95 respirator masks or surgical masks. A simple cloth mask or even a bandanna across your nose and mouth can work to help protect people from each other. The Department of Health posted guidance on masks on its website.

Allegheny County Orders One-Week Shutdown

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – With a spike in coronavirus cases expected to grow, Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh and 1.2 million residents, imposed a one-week shutdown of bars, restaurants and casinos and all gatherings of more than 25 people. The order is to take effect after midnight Thursday. The move comes as Pennsylvania on Thursday reported its highest one-day total of confirmed coronavirus cases since May, and Allegheny County reported its highest one-day total of positive tests that officials called larger increase than expected. The county’s health director, Dr. Debra Bogen, also asked Allegheny County residents to follow a voluntary stay-at-home protocol, limiting travel outside the home to necessities.

Search For Missing Man Finally Over At McConnells Mill

LAWRENCE CO., Pa. (WPXI) — Two months after a man fell from McConnells Mill State Park into a creek, park officials announced crews found his body. Officials said the body of Jeff Hanby II was found Thursday by rescue crews — exactly two months since he slipped on a rock and fell into Slippery Rock Creek on May 2. He fell into the creek about 100 yards downstream of a covered bridge, officials said. A search for Hanby, 38, immediately began that night and continued each day over the past few months. Brandon Kraeer says he was getting ready to walk his dog when he saw Hanby fall in from about 40 yards away. He said he started running after him on the trail, trying to throw him a life vest. “I followed him all the way probably about half a mile and then all of a sudden he went into a rapid and that was the last time I personally saw him,” Kraeer said.

Kennywood, Sandcastle Delay Season Opening

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. (WPXI) — Kennywood and Sandcastle have postponed both of their scheduled reopenings following Thursday’s order from the Allegheny County Health Department. Both amusement parks were scheduled to reopen for season pass holders and “Family and Friends Day” on July 6, but because that falls within the county’s weeklong order of no gatherings with more than 25 people, officials said they will not reopen as planned. It’s unclear when Kennywood and Sandcastle will reopen for the summer. Its website still lists July 11 as the full reopening date for the general public.

World News

President Claims He Was Never Briefed On Russian Bounties

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says President Donald Trump was never briefed on intelligence that Russia had put a bounty on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan because there wasn’t corroborating evidence. But former intelligence officials say presidents are routinely informed about intelligence even when it’s not definitively confirmed. They say it strains credulity to think Trump wouldn’t have been told of something so important, whether corroborated or not. Intelligence that may be on shaky ground today may foreshadow tomorrow’s calamity, so briefers are expected to ensure presidents have the fullest possible picture to prepare for something that may soon require full attention.

Suspect Dead After Police-Involved Shooting In Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A suspect has died and a police officer who was shot in the head during a Kansas City shooting remains in critical condition. Kansas City police on Twitter said that an officer was hospitalized for emergency surgery after the Thursday evening shooting. The Missouri State Highway Patrol tweeted that the suspect fired at police, who returned fire. The Patrol tweeted that police fatally shot the suspect. The shooting is the second that injured a Kansas City officer Thursday. Three people including a police officer were shot earlier Thursday after a reported robbery at a bus stop.

Alabama Blocks Curbside Voting

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked a lower court ruling allowing curbside voting in Alabama and waiving some absentee ballot requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conservative justices granted Alabama’s request to stay a federal judge’s order that would allow local officials to offer curbside voting in the July runoff and loosen absentee ballot requirements in three of the state’s large counties. The order will remain stayed while the court decides whether to hear Alabama’s appeal. Alabama argued that it would be confusing to change absentee ballot rules in three of Alabama’s 67 counties and that curbside voting would be a major change done right before the election.

Texas Orders Face Covering Requirements Amid Outbreak In State

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered that face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state. The move announced Thursday is a dramatic ramp-up of the Republican governor’s efforts to control spiking numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Abbott had pushed Texas’ aggressive reopening of the state economy in May. He previously said the government could not order individuals to wear masks. His previous orders had undercut early efforts by local governments to enforce mask requirements. Thursday’s order requires “all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive” coronavirus cases.”

Police Arrest Trespasser On Prime Minister Trudeau’s Property

TORONTO (AP) – Canadian police say an armed man crashed his truck through a gate and breached the grounds where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives before being arrested two hours later. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say Trudeau was not present at the time of the incident in Ottawa on Thursday. The man, a member of Canada’s armed forces, is in custody and being interviewed. Police say charges are pending. Canada’s defense minister has declined to comment while the investigation is in progress.

Activist Leaves Hong Kong After New Law Enacted

HONG KONG (AP) – Prominent Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law has left the city for an undisclosed location, he revealed on his Facebook page shortly after testifying at a U.S. congressional hearing about the tough national security law China had imposed on the semi-autonomous territory. Law told reporters in a WhatsApp message that he would not reveal his whereabouts. His departure comes days after Hong Kong’s national security law took effect, targeting vaguely defined crimes of secessionist, subversive and terrorist acts, as well as any collusion with foreign forces. Hong Kong government also said that popular protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times” is a call for independence and as such could be in violation of the new law.

Stocks On The Climb In Asia

Stocks are higher in Asia after a report showed the U.S. job market is recovering from the wreckage of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring. Shanghai led regional gains on Friday, adding 1%, and shares rose across the region despite rising numbers of newly confirmed coronavirus cases in South Korea and Japan. Overnight, the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, finishing the holiday-shortened week with a gain of 4%. Worries about the virus are still weighing on investors, however. Florida reported another sharp increase in confirmed cases, helping to cut the S&P 500’s early gains by more than half. The bond market also showed continued caution.