Total voter turnout in Lawrence County was a little over 27 percent for yesterday’s primary election. For Lawrence County Commissioner former State Representative Chris Sainato and incumbent County Commissioner Loretta Spielvogel were the top vote getters on the Democratic ballot. Sainato received 4, 368 unofficial votes, trailed by incumbent Loretta Spielvogel, who received 3,146.  In the Republican race, incumbent Dan Vogler picked up 3,606 votes, and Dan Kennedy, a current supervisor in Wilmington Township, was second with 2,739 votes.  Voters in November will select three of the four candidates.

In Mercer County for County Commissioner on the Republican ballot Ann Coleman received  the most votes with 5,104, with Bill Finley Jr. coming in second at 3,572.  Democrats had an uncontested commissioners race. Incumbent commissioner Tim McGonigle reeived 6,060 votes and newcomer James McLusky 3,338.  In the race for Sheriff, Republican Tim Callahan defeated Anthony Tedesco.  There were no Democratic candidates on the ballot, but 887 Democrats cast write-in votes in the sheriff’s race.

State democrats have retained their narrow majority in the Pennsylvania House after their candidate won a special election in the Philadelphia suburbs Tuesday.  With the majority win, Democrats will continue to have control over how the chamber will handle many hot political issues this session. Heather Boyd won the seat in the Philly suburbs, beating Republican Katie Ford. The house seat became vacant in March when Democratic Mike Zabel resigned after a lobbyist accused him of sexually harassing her.

Current state Superior Court Judge Dan McCaffery has won the Democratic primary to fill a vacant judge seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  He defeated fellow judge Deborah Kunselman in Tuesday’s voting and will face Republican Carolyn Carluccio this fall. Carluccio is a judge on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. 

Some state experts say schools should create youth courts — run by students, for students — to keep more kids out of the juvenile justice system. State House Republicans heard testimony from supporters Monday as part of a GOP Policy Committee hearing on community safety in Delaware County. A college criminal justice instructor told the panel that youth courts can keep kids from being suspended or expelled for relatively minor acts that a lot of teens engage in. Some research also suggests youth courts reduce recidivism at higher rates compared to the regular juvenile justice system.

A New York-based company plans to revive Aliquippa steel production with a $218 million advanced manufacturing facility on land once occupied by J&L Steel’s tin mill. The Ellwood City Ledger reports 72 Steel, founded in 2016 by Chinese-American entrepreneurs, committed Tuesday to purchase the land owned by developer Chuck Betters to build a steel fabrication plant on 44 acres of the historic Aliquippa Works site along the Ohio River.  Once complete, the company expects to hire 300 to 400 permanent employees.

House Democrats have a package of gun control bills poised for a possible final vote when lawmakers return to the Capitol next week. That package includes House Bill 731, which would create new penalties for gun-owners who don’t safely store their long-gun firearms. Long guns include rifles, carbines, shotguns and submachine guns. Current state law mandates that a licensed firearm seller is required to provide a locking device with sales of handguns. However, that requirement doesn’t apply to long guns. 

Pittsburgh is among five American cities being identified by the White House as workforce hubs.  The Biden administration on Tuesday recognized the Steel City as a hub for innovation and suggested it as a city worthy of increased public and private investments.  The White House says that Pittsburgh is a hub for innovation across critical sectors, with strong growth in advanced manufacturing, including robotics and biomanufacturing, as well as clean energy, including batteries. 

The ten Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commissioners are expected to take a vote this morning on whether to raise license fees again next year. They last were increased at the start of the 2023 fishing season. Commission Director Executive Director Tim Schaeffer says the hikes are needed because his agency doesn’t get any money from the state’s general revenue fund. The price for a resident’s annual license would go up to 26-dollars while out-of-state fishers would pay 59-dollars. The fee for a lifetime senior’s license would also jump by ten bucks, increasing to a onetime fee of 85-dollars.

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