A New Brighton woman is facing over one-hundred charges following an investigation into animal abuse and neglect.  Humane officials in Beaver County say Barbara Beatty has been keeping dozens of animals in filthy and unhealthy conditions, both inside her Taylor Drive home and in a small barn.  Authorities say six animals were found dead at the property, including two horses, and 34 had to be rescued last Friday.  Dogs, rabbits, and hedgehogs were among the 16 animals living inside her home, with 18 more barnyard animals living outside, according to officials.

Sixteen Lawrence County municipalities will receive significant allocations to fund 41 upcoming road and culvert projects or buy equipment this year. The New Castle News reports at their regular meeting Tuesday approved allocations totaling $800,000 — $400,000 from the county’s pot of state liquid fuels funds and $400,000 from its vehicle registration fee fund.  The funding is for 38 road paving projects, three culvert replacements, one stormwater reclamation project and five purchases of equipment.

State Police report a one vehicle accident in Shenango Township. 19 year old Robert Eisenhuth was traveling east on Savannah Road when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a tree. Police said Eisenhuth continued to travel through a yard and impacted a second tree. Eisenhuth was treated at the scene for minor injuires. The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

A Butler County district judge has been cleared of wrongdoing in connection with a vehicle accident that left a teenage girl with serious injuries.  The 13-year-old victim stepped out into Route 228 near Mars Middle School on November 30th and was hit by a vehicle being driven by Judge Sue Haggerty.  Haggerty stopped at the scene and cooperated with law enforcement.  The girl survived the incident with her family saying that she is continuing to recover today with the aid of speech, physical and occupational therapy.

The state’s labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — has grown over the past month. New figures from the Department of Labor and Industry says the rate added nine-thousand people from the last set of numbers produced in November.  Officials say the state’s still grappling in many ways from people leaving the workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though they’re slowly returning, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the workforce remains smaller than it was before the pandemic.

Lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would speed up plans for digital driver’s licenses in Pennsylvania. The new legislation would not eliminate the need for a physical copy of a license but would provide an additional way for people to show identification.  It’s not yet clear if the digital licenses would be available through an app or accessible on mobile devices in some other way.

State officials say COVID numbers are down across the commonwealth.  The Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting just over eleven-thousand new cases over the last week. That’s abouts 15-thousand fewer than the week before. The officials note state residents have seen about three-and-a-half million infections since the COVID pandemic started nearly three years ago.

Governor Shapiro is creating the Pennsylvania Office of Transformation and Opportunity.  He signed an executive order creating the new office yesterday.  Shapiro calls it a “one-stop shop” for businesses that one to learn more about growing and expanding in the state.  Ben Kirshner is named the Chief Transformation and Opportunity Officer and will work directly with the governor.

The Environmental Protection Agency wants input on a state plan to reduce methane emissions in oil and gas developments. Officials there say Pennsylvania is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse-gas pollution in the U.S., so they’re proposing new requirements for existing oil and gas wells in addition to new sites. The public can weigh in on the proposals through February 13th. More information on how to do that is available on the EPA’s website.

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