A state appellate court says it won’t force the Pennsylvania Department of State to release private voter information to state Senate Republicans. The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee’s inquiry was motivated by reaction to former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud. The committee was attempting to investigate the 2020 election. But Spotlight pa dot org reports the court, in its ruling late last week, also left the door open for the GOP to continue seeking voters’ partial Social Security numbers and other information. 

One person was taken to the hospital following an accident in Beaver County from last month. State Police in Beaver County report 32 year old Kayla Trputec of Monaca turned into the path of a vehicle operated by 29 year old Brandon Chiappetta of Beaver Falls. Police said Chiappetta was taken to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported.

A Cranberry Township woman is facing charges after she shot her boyfriend to death this past weekend.  Amanda Hughes called 9-1-1 on Saturday to report that she had just shot Anthony Smith inside the couple’s home.  Hughes told police that Smith had been punching her in the head and face when she pulled the gun from her purse and shot him.  She is now in custody at the Butler County Prison.

Managers of the Shell cracker plant in Beaver County are explaining what they called an elevated flare at the Monaca facility.  The flaring, which started at around 3:30 yesterday afternoon, was the result of the plant’s response to equipment malfunctions.  Shell Polymers Monaca says that it’s proof that their systems are working as designed. 

State officials have launched a lottery that promises to give winners the chance to purchase rare bottle of whiskey.  More than 800 bottles, some of vary rare varieties, are included as part of the event run by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.  Three separate drawings will be held…one for bottles from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, one for each of ten bottles of Michter’s Straight Bourbon Limited Release 20 Year Old, and the last for over 300 bottles of Blanton Straight From The Barrel Bourbon.  Lottery registration ends at 5 p.m. this Friday.  More info can be found at www.finewineandgoodspirits.com.

PennDOT is working to gauge the thoughts of Pennsylvania drivers on traffic safety.  A new online survey put together by the state asks folks to give their opinions on things like distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding and seat belt usage.  PennDOT says they hope to use the information to gain a better understanding about attitudes towards highway safety.  The survey will be available through February 28th at www.penndot.pa.gov/travelinpa.

Three juveniles are charged in connection to weapons incident outside a Mars Area High School basketball game.  The scene unfolded on February 3rd.  Adams Township police tell the “Butler Eagle” they got word that someone had a gun inside, prompting a lockdown for players, coaches and fans.  The weapon was recovered, and no one was hurt.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price Report the average price of gas in Western Pennsylvania is 3.72 a gallon. In New Castle drivers are paying 3.70 a gallon while the average price in Mercer County is at 3.80 gallon. The national average is at 3.41.

A coalition of nearly 80 groups is calling on the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to strengthen its sexual harassment policies.  They want lawmakers to protect anyone who experiences harassment from a House member while they are engaging in official duties or while in a House-owned or House-leased facility.  Currently, sexual harassment complaints are limited to House employees.  The group also wants the House to consider the policy when it votes on internal operating rules as soon as possible after lawmakers reconvene.

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