The two defendants in a Farrell murder case had their charges held for common pleas court. WFMJ-TV reports Formal arraignments for both 17 year old  Da’Ryan Allen and 24 year old Marcedes McKelvey are set for November 28th. The pair are accused of setting up the murder of 39-year-old J.B. Ray Brown earlier this month. Allen and McKelvey remain jailed without bond.

Members of the state House have returned to work in Harrisburg. The floor sessions set for this week are the first time the House has convened since July 7th. One of the body’s first priorities is to work out details on the state budget. Governor Shapiro signed the 45-billion-dollar plan last month but lawmakers still need to release funds for state programs through approving code bills.

A New Castle man was sentenced yesterday to 120 months in prison for drug trafficking.  U.S Attorney Eric Olshan announced 45 year old Ricardo Reeves pled guilty earlier this year to possessing with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of a mixture containing fentanyl and heroin, as well as quantities of cocaine and cocaine base, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, all on December 14, 2020.  The Lawrence County Drug Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives conducted the investigation leading to the convictions in this case.

  A recent report says Pennsylvania could save taxpayers more than 360-million dollars by changing state government fleets to electric vehicles. The study by the PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center says a transition to electric vehicles would significantly reduce fuel and maintenance costs and also improve air quality. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says there are currently more than 40-thousand electric vehicles registered in the state.

The Philadelphia-based Rite Aid pharmacy chain will reportedly close hundreds of its stores across the country soon as part of a bankruptcy plan. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the company will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and close about a quarter of its stores. The report says the company will either sell the rest or let its creditors take them over. There are nearly 22-hundred Rite Aid stores in 17 states across the country; about 20 percent of those are in Pennsylvania.

A House Democratic lawmaker is pushing legislation that would end exemptions to indoor smoking bans. Health Committee Majority Chairman Dan Frankel has held a public hearing on House Bill 1657, which would end the exemption for casinos, bars and private clubs due to the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008. His proposal would also expand the definition of smoking to add e-cigarettes. The measure would allow smoking only in personal residences, outdoor spaces and vehicles as long as they’re not used for daycare services.

– Administrators with Moon Area School District are discussing options for the future of Richard J. Hyde Elementary.  District leaders held a meeting in their high school yesterday to go over some costs and other information that is weighing into a decision on whether to permanently close the building.  Superintendent Barry Balaski spoke about some results of recent feasibility studies, saying the option to keep the school open and make the necessary upgrades will cost about ten-million dollars.  Other possibilities include moving students to Brooks Elementary, dividing the schools into two separate grade groups, and merging all the elementaries into one.  Balaski says the district would like to make a final decision before next summer. 

– Giant Eagle is teaming up with Instacart.  The grocery chain reports that customers of more than 200 of its stores will be able to receive same-day grocery deliveries through the pairing.  The service with Instacart launches today.

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