A man accused of killing a Mercer County resident appeared in court yesterday to answer to charges of aggravated murder.  Investigators say that 37-year-old Brice Hilton went to Warren Ohio in November to meet-up with the suspect for the purposes of selling him a cell phone.  They say that’s where Gavin Roberts fatally shot Hilton.  Roberts pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and his bond was set at one-million dollars.

Fire destroyed a home in Scott Township yesterday morning. The New Castle News reports the fire started just after 11:30 at a home on route 19.  The family of four lost nine pets in the blaze. No one was at home at the time of the fire. A total of 40 Volunteer firefighters battled the blaze. The cause remains under investigation.

Unionized therapists at the Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County say they are prepared to go on strike this weekend.  The group says that their bosses have delayed, canceled or failed to show up for contract talks.  They are accusing their employers of unfair labor practices.

Legislation is working its way through the state House that would expand workers’ comp coverage. The proposal would cover cases where workers have been scarred or disfigured. Current law allows compensation for scars on the head, neck or face, but the new proposal would broaden coverage to include compensation for scars or disfigurement elsewhere on a person’s body.  The legislation passed this week on a party-line vote of 12-9 in the House Labor & Industry Committee. The bill is likely to add costs to the workers’ comp system but legislative staffers have not yet published a price tag.

Officials with PennDOT are urging drivers and bicycle riders to follow the rules of the road as part of National Bicycle Safety Month.  The department is reminding everyone that bikes have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles.  That means obeying all traffic laws and signals is important whether you’re being propelled by a motor or your own legs. 

The TSA reports that agents on Wednesday stopped an Irwin woman with a loaded handgun from getting through security at Pittsburgh International Airport.  The weapon was found inside the traveler’s carry-on during the screening process.  Police confiscated the gun and the woman was cited.

Lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House are pushing for companies to start four day work weeks through a new bill.  Supporters say studies show a four day, 32 hour work week reduces employee stress.  The bill would incentivize companies who shorten the work week by making them eligible for a state income tax credit.

A state senate committee has approved a bill that will exempt milk haulers from weather travel bans imposed during a declaration of disaster emergency. The bill’s sponsors say they introduced it after hearing from dairy producers and processors who have had to dispose of milk due to the weather-related commercial vehicle travel bans, rather than have it transported to market. The bill, which is now on its way to the full state Senate for consideration, also provides for a permit decal to be developed that would be issued and displayed by licensed milk haulers.

A proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would benefit workers who want to joina union has won final passage in the state House.  The bill would amend the state Constitution to guarantee workers the right to organize and collectively bargain. The bill’s prime sponsor says the goal is to ensure workers are treated with respect. But opponents raised concerns that the bill runs counter to the US Constitution. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

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