Authorities in Ellwood City say one person is dead, and another in critical condition, following a Monday evening shooting.  Police were called to a property in the two-hundred block of First Street around 5:15 p.m.  Officials report a gunman was taken into custody.  Mayor Anthony Court says the incident is Ellwood City’s first homicide in roughly eight years.

Fire officials continue to investigate a fatal house fire yesterday morning in Grove City. The blaze broke out around 8:30 at a home on Enterprise Road in Pine Township.  37 year old Justin Foust and 1 year old Kendric McBride died in the fire. Six people, including two children, had been staying at the house, and when the fire started, the adults and one child got out safely only to realize a one-year-old boy was still inside. Foust went back into the home in an attempt to rescue the boy.

The state health department says norovirus is likely behind a string illnesses at a Beaver County elementary school.  Investigators began looking into the situation after roughly 50 students got sick at Hopewell Area Elementary in December.  Inspectors found evidence of rodents in an exterior wall and conducted air and water tests, which came back without any negative results.  Superintendent Jeff Beltz says the district is following through on additional testing recommendations from health officials.

Firefighters from three counties battled flames at two mobile homes and a recreational vehicle in Pulaski Township Sunday morning.  According to the New Castle News All three units in the Hyland Mobile Home Park off Route 208 were within 10 feet of each other.  No injuries were reported. The occupant of the RV was not at home at the time of the fire. The cause remains under investigation.

A new budget allocation process at Penn State has determined many colleges and units will see their funding shrink. A news release from the university shows cuts in some areas for final budget projections for 2024 and 2025 . Budget planners say the cuts won’t exceed four percent a year for the first two years, though.  University officials say there are not any plans for large-scale lay-offs and that most of the nearly 29-million-dollars set aside for research support will be funded through facilities and administrative costs.  

A recent study says Pennsylvania hospitals are facing 30 percent staffing shortages. The report by the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania says three out of ten positions remained vacant at the end of last year. The jobs included registered nurses, medical assistants, respiratory therapists, and nurse practitioners. The study says the vacancies have been caused by workers leaving the healthcare industry and not having any replacements lined up to take those positions. 

A judge is granting a motion from defense attorneys in the Tree of Life shooting case to add an additional step in the hearing’s sentencing phase.  The ruling means prosecutors will be required to present an argument on why Robert Bowers may be eligible to receive the death penalty before victim impact statements are provided in court.  Bowers’ legal team says the jury could be swayed to allow capital punishment if that decision comes after victim testimony.  Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to begin on April 24th.

Officials with the Pennsylvania Game Commission say they won’t change the opening day of the statewide firearms deer season. Supporters had wanted the date changed from the Saturday after Thanksgiving to Monday. The game commission board voted unanimously to keep the Saturday opener in place during its quarterly meeting over the weekend. The motion, which was preliminary, will still need final approval. That’s expected to come at the board’s April 15th meeting.

Pennsylvania’s newest U.S. senator has been appointed to the Agriculture Committee. Senator John Fetterman, who was elected in November after four years as lieutenant governor, will now help shape the 2023 Farm Bill. In a statement released by his office, the Democrat says he’s excited to keep fighting for the state’s farmers and their families. Agriculture is the biggest economic driver in Pennsylvania.

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