The numbers from the Labor Day holiday weekend traffic enforcement blitz in Pennsylvania are in and show this year was more dangerous than last year.  There were a total of 671 crashes during the reporting period this year, compared to 648 last year. There were 8 fatal crashes, killing 10 people, compared to 6 people killed in 6 crashes in 2022. Of those 671 crashes, 61 were alcohol-related, compared to 45 in 2022. However, of the fatal crashes this year, two were alcohol-related, compared to 4 last year.  DUI arrests were at 514 this year, one less than in 2022.

A Butler man is dead after an accident at a plant in Butler County.  The incident happened yesterday at the Vorteq Coil Finishers plant on McFann Road in Middlesex Township, when a 46-year-old man’s arm got caught in the machinery as he was cleaning it.  Authorities say his cause of death has been determined as traumatic asphyxiation.  His identity has not yet been released and an investigation is ongoing.  The plant specializes in steel and aluminum coil coating.

Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry say they’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of Child Labor Act cases referred for investigation. The agency said in a statement released over the weekend that it has opened 403 child labor investigations so far this year. That compares with 107 cases during the same time period last year. The increases come after Governor Josh Shapiro said he wanted to make child labor law violations a priority shortly after he took office. Anyone can file a complaint on the L and I  website using an online submission form.

A resident of Chicora, PA, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of violating federal narcotics laws.  51 year old Scott Louis Musthaf was named as the sole defendant. According to the Indictment on or about December 5, 2022, Musthaf attempted to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 5 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $5,000,000 or both. \

State Police in Mercer County report a Greenville man died following an UTV accident in West Salem Township on Tuesday.  According to police 64 year old Raymond Fry was operating the UTV on a gravel road, when he lost control of the vehicle struck an embankment then became airborne and overturned a number of times. Fry who was not wearing a seatbelt or helmet was pronounced dead at the scene.

–  Small, diverse businesses will have a better shot at landing state contracts under an executive order signed yesterday by Governor Josh Shapiro. Under the order, the state department of governmental services and PennDOT will be required to reach out to small or diverse companies. In addition, a new panel’s being created to make sure minorities are included in state processes. It will be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis and is called the Pennsylvania Advisory Council for Inclusive Procurement. 

A Sharon man was sentenced to 10 months in prison for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine.  According to U.S. Attorney Eric Olshan, 34 year old Torlando Hopson pled guilty earlier this year to conspiring to distribute crack cocaine in 2020 and 2021 in Mercer County.  The Lawrence County Drug Task Force, the Mercer County Drug Task Force, and police in Sharon, Hermitage, Farrell and New Castle assisted the investigation resulting in the conviction and sentence in this case.

A new booster shot to protect against the latest strain of the coronavirus could hit pharmacies and doctors’ offices as soon as next week. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immunization committee plans to meet  September 12th with the FDA to review safety protocols for the shots and, potentially, give approval for them.

More than 170-thousand Pennsylvania residents have enrolled in the new federal student loan program. State officials say the plan limits payments to a percentage of a borrower’s income and eventually forgives whatever balance remains after the original period of the loan. State undersecretary of education James Kvaal says the program can help students set aside about a thousand dollars a year.  Payments on many student loans are set to resume next month after being suspended during COVID.  

Newly-released figures from the Department of Revenue show funds collected in August were pretty much on target for what financial forecasters had expected. Pennsylvania collected two-point-nine-billion dollars in General Fund revenue last month. That was a little over 27-million-dollars less than anticipated. However, August revenues for 2023 show an increase of 34-and-a-half-million-dollars, a little over one-percent, over the same time last year.

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