Republican Dave McCormick is going to challenge Democratic Senator Bob Casey in 2024.  The 58-year-old McCormick announced his candidacy in Pittsburgh on Thursday.  It will be his second run for the GOP Senate nomination, after coming up short in 2022 against Dr. Mehmet Oz, who lost to now-Senator John Fetterman.  Casey is serving his third term in the Senate.

The Laurel School District in Lawrence County is barring non-biological females from participating in female sports.  The rules passes by the school board last week apply to all teams, home and visiting, that are competing at Laurel facilities.  Superintendent Len Rich says the district believes that biological males have a competitive advantage over biological females, and, given the sport, having them directly compete could pose a risk to health and safety.  Rich says female athletes will still be allowed to compete in male sports, as they have assumed the risk when signing up.

A Farrell man has pleaded guilty to federal drug and gun crimes.  U.S. Attorney Eric Olshan announced 36 year old Maurice Brooks pled guilty to distributing fentanyl in May of 2022, and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine on June 2, 2022.  The Mercer County Drug Task Force, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives conducted the investigation leading to the conviction in this case.  Sentencing is set for January of next year.

  Doctors say COVID-19 is on the upswing in Pennsylvania.  More than 500 people infected with the coronavirus were admitted to hospitals during the last week of August.  Dr. John Goldman at UPMC said the current cases are much more mild than what was seen during the pandemic of 2020 and ’21.  Doctors are encouraging people to get vaccinated for COVID and flu.

The Pennsylvania Senate has voted overwhelmingly to move up the 2024 primary election.  The bill the Senate approved on a 45-to-2 vote Wednesday would move next year’s primary up by five weeks, from April 23rd to March 19th.  Supporters say moving up the primary would give Pennsylvania voters more of a say in choosing presidential nominees.  The bill now goes to the House.

The West Sunbury Volunteer Fire Department is giving an update on one of its members who was injured in a motorcycle crash.  The department says 31-year-old Johnathan Faith was involved in a crash on Route 138 in Clay Township Tuesday night just after he finished attending a training exercise with the department.  He is listed as in critical but stable condition and is slowly showing signs of progress.

– A group of workers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has made their claim on a million dollar Mega Millions lottery prize.  The group of 15 won their prize in the game’s July 28th drawing.  They’ve each now collected a check from the lottery for more than 48-thousand dollars.

Democrats in the Pennsylvania House and students at some state schools, including the University of Pittsburgh, are demanding that Republican lawmakers pass a college funding bill.  A measure earmarking roughly 600-million dollars for Pitt, Penn State, and others needs support from two-thirds of both the House and Senate to pass.  Democrat representatives say failure to pass the measure would mean that students would be on the hook for an additional 16-thousand dollars per year without the tuition discounts covered by the funding.  Republicans have criticized the universities that would receive the money for frequent tuition increases and a lack of transparency.

Governor Josh Shapiro has signed an executive order on Pennsylvania’s use of artificial intelligence. The order will regulate A-I and establish standards for state agencies. The governor says the executive order will help the state integrate the emerging technology into some government operations while minimize risks and maximizing benefits to innovation. He signed the order Wednesday while visiting Carnegie Mellon University, one of the state’s leading A-I research institutions.

The second annual Pumpkinfest is happening in Evans City this weekend.  The event starts up at 10:00 a.m. both tomorrow and Sunday, along East Main Street.  Planners say there will be a car cruise, a pumpkin pie eating contest, and pumpkin carving demonstrations for guests to enjoy.  Crafts and food vendors will be set up as well.  A full schedule is posted at pumpkinfest-dot-evans-city-events-dot-org.

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