First Energy reports a number of power outages still remain following Saturday’s high winds across the area. Lawrence County still has about 13 hundred outages scattered across the county. In Mercer County about four thousand residents remain without power. First Energy says they hope to get residents back on-line as soon as possible.
Managers of the Shell cracker plant in Beaver County gave local residents a heads up on Saturday that they could expect to see an elevated level of flaring for a period of time. The company says the elevated flaring is part of the protocol they need to follow as they conduct maintenance and repairs on one of their unit systems. In the statement, Shell apologized for any noise or visual disruption that might be experienced by folks in the area.
Authorities say one person is in custody following an incident at Pittsburgh International yesterday. Allegheny County police say they stopped a stolen vehicle that passed through the Airport Public Arrivals area around 3 p.m. A passenger was found with drugs and arrested but the driver took off from the scene, according to officials. State police pursued the vehicle, but, they have not said whether the driver was ultimately stopped.
Despite Governor Josh Shapiro’s Executive Order to improve the permitting process, state lawmakers are pursuing permitting reform legislation if their own. The prime sponsor of a bill introduced in the state Senate says it would require agencies which issue permits to increase transparency throughout the process. Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary Rich Negrin says permitting reform is a priority for him. Negrin wants to make the DEP’s permitting process simpler, quicker, more user-friendly and predictable.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala is criticizing the operators of Kennywood. The DA announced Friday he would pursue legal action to keep the park closed at the start of this season if they fail to act on a list of security measures complied by his office. He claims Kennywood officials have not been cooperative and he had to file a search warrant in order to go in to look at safety enhancements made since a shooting there wounded three people last September. Park managers did not respond to Zappala’s statements directly, but, did say they are committed to ensuring the safety of visitors and staff.
Twelve people were injured over the weekend when a floor collapsed as they were partying in an apartment not far from the campus of I.U.P. State police report the severity of injuries ranged from minor to serious in the incident in White Township. It has not been reported how many, if any, of the victims were university students.
A Crescent Township teen was killed in a one vehicle accident in Allegheny County. According to state police, 18 year old Luke Cooper was northbound on Interstate 79 when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a guard rail. Police said Cooper was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger, 18 year old Zachary Jozwiak was taken to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate ticked up in February. The state Department of Labor and Industry reports Pennsylvania’s jobless rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point in February to 4.4 percent. Total nonfarm jobs were up 5,600 last month to a new record high of 6 million, 94-thousand, 400. Jobs increased in six of the 11 industry super sectors with the largest gain in leisure and hospitality. The state has now recovered 100 percent of the 1.1 million jobs lost during the first two months of the coronavirus pandemic.