Hunt for Escaped Inmate
Erie – An inmate from Mercer County Jail walked out of an Erie hospital on Saturday morning and still has not been located by authorities as of this morning. According to Mercer County authorities, the man was on medical furlough and thus not under guard; he was able to walk out of UPMC Hamot on Saturday morning. At press time, there was still no information available about the prisoner’s name, height, or weight, but an intake photograph shows he has blond hair and blue eyes, the description of the man that was offered says he has a buzz cut and a goatee and was last seen wearing an orange jumpsuit. He is not considered dangerous or high-profile by authorities, but if you encounter him you should call 911.

Over $140 in Railroad Money Granted to PA
Harrisburg – Pennsylvania is the recipient of $143 million in grant money to expand passenger rail service in the Commonwealth. The grant is part of the more than $8 billion earmarked for rail services by the Federal Government in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. According to a Friday press release by Governor Shapiro most of the money is earmarked for Western Pennsylvania.

One Week Left for PSP Mercer Toy Drive
Mercer – The Mercer County State Police’s annual toy drive has only one week left to go. A donation box has been placed in the lobby of their barracks on 826 Franklin Road in Mercer and the troopers there are asking anyone who wishes to donate to bring new unwrapped toys between today and Monday, December 18th. The toy drive benefits the Children’s Aid Society of Mercer in its annual mission to bring a joyful holiday to Mercer County’s needy children.

PA ARPA Program Hamstrung by Demand
Harrisburg – Overwhelming demand and budget negotiations have left hundreds of people unable to get help from a state program for home repair. Last year, lawmakers agreed to use $125 million in ARPA funds to create the Whole-Home Repairs Program, but now, administrators tell the media the program is backlogged due to huge demand.  Another $50 million was included for the program in the most recent state budget, but that amount won’t come to pass until lawmakers can agree on additional legislation. The program benefits renters as well as homeowners.

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