Arrest in case of ricin letters sent to White House, Texas

Arrest in case of ricin letters sent to White House, Texas
WASHINGTON (AP) — A woman suspected of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin, which was addressed to the White House, has been arrested at the New York-Canada border. She is also suspected of sending similar poisoned envelopes to law enforcement agencies in Texas. Law enforcement officials tell the AP the woman was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and is expected to face federal charges. Officials say the letter addressed to the White House was intercepted at a government facility that screens mail addressed to the White House and President Donald Trump.

More Biden, Trump visits this week in fight for Pennsylvania

More Biden, Trump visits this week in fight for Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump will make his fourth and fifth appearances in September in Pennsylvania, flying into and out of rallies at two different airports this week. Tuesday’s event is at Pittsburgh International Airport and Saturday’s event is at Harrisburg International Airport. Trump’s visits underscores the importance of Pennsylvania to the Nov. 3 presidential election, as Trump seeks a second term against Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Biden has made four visits to Pennsylvania this month, including an address Sunday in Philadelphia, where he slammed Trump and leading Senate Republicans for trying to install a replacement on the Supreme Court for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

As Democrats balk, Trump to make high court pick by Saturday

As Democrats balk, Trump to make high court pick by Saturday
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he expects to announce his pick for the Supreme Court on Friday or Saturday, after funeral services for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and just days before the first presidential debate. Trump told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that he had a list of five finalists, “probably four,” and that he is pushing for a confirmation vote before Election Day. Democrats have howled in protest, pointing to the hypocrisy of Republicans for rushing through a pick so close to the election after refusing to do so for President Barack Obama in 2016. Trump confirmed that among the top contenders are Indiana’s Amy Coney Barrett and Florida’s Barbara Lagoa, both appellate court judges he appointed.

Phipps Conservatory Invites Couples to Cook Along During a Virtual Date Night

Pittsburgh, PA – Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens invites couples to a very special virtual date night of cooking along with Café Phipps’ own Chef Amy Reed. Friday, Sept. 25 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., each couple will get the opportunity to connect and create a delicious meal together as Phipps’ highly-skilled Chef Amy demonstrates all of the techniques and tricks participants need to whip up a four-course gourmet meal from the comfort of their own home. This dinner includes an easy to make appetizer, a fresh seasonal salad, a delicious seafood entree and a smooth chocolate fondue for dessert.

Participants can upgrade their packages to receive extra goodies from Phipps! The packages include:

Date Night – Class Only | $50 per couple
Receive a detailed shopping list, an exclusive recipe created by Chef Amy Reed and a Zoom meeting link to learn tips and tricks and cook along with our chef.

Date Night – Grocery Pick Up and Class | $100 per couple
Sit back and relax as we do the shopping for you! Phipps staff will source the freshest local ingredients for your meal, including a delicious drink mixture to add to any alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage. Come to Phipps for a contact-less pickup of your groceries brought to you in a Phipps tote bag. Plus, receive Phipps wine glasses.

Date Night – Full Package | $150 per couple
Our full package includes the groceries you will need for class, drink mix, tote bag and wine glasses, plus a little love from Phipps. The full package will include a locally-made growing candle, three sustainable dishcloths and bees wrap for your food storage needs (a Phipps gift shop favorite).
For more information on Virtual Date Night or to register for this event, visit

Pa. State Rep. Rob Matzie introduces bill to trace COVID-19 through wastewater

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – A bill introduced today by state Rep. Rob Matzie would establish a more effective way to trace and detect COVID-19 before it spreads by creating a system of testing for the virus in wastewater.

Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said his H.B. 2883 would establish the Targeted Outbreak Detection Act, creating a wastewater-testing program that is both cost-effective and more efficient than traditional methods of tracking the virus.

“While temperature checks and crowd-size limits are helpful in slowing the spread of COVID-19, these techniques are not practical in the long term,” Matzie said. “Testing for the virus in wastewater would allow health authorities to know if the virus is present before people feel ill and inadvertently spread it, providing a critical way to contain clusters before major outbreaks occur.”

Matzie said implementing COVID-19 wastewater tracing would be feasible and relatively simple because testing resources are already in place.

“Most wastewater treatment systems are already required to perform routine testing of water samples,” Matzie said. “Sending a portion of those samples, on request, to a designated laboratory to test for the presence of COVID-19 would establish a critical early warning system that would arm health authorities with the data they need to better protect our communities.”

Matzie said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is building a National Wastewater Surveillance System to collect data from local wastewater utilities and that, while some forward-thinking facilities are already conducting some testing, the CDC does not have authority to mandate participation.

He added that testing wastewater for the presence of opioids has been a tool utilized by public health agencies in recent years.

The New Brighton Historical Society Recently Purchased the Irish-Townsend House

(New Brighton, Pa.)  The New Brighton Historical Society has recently purchased the Irish-Townsend House—a building that has been in the New Brighton community for over 150 years—and is reaching out to its community for support in preserving this important piece of Beaver County history. The first phase of the restoration process is expensive, but it is an incredible opportunity to bring back this building as a focal point in the town.

The New Brighton Historical Society launched a GoFundMe Charity campaign with a goal of $75,000 to support the restoration.  

You can learn more here:


GoFundMe: Irish – Townsend House Restoration Phase 1

Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 9.05.55 AM.png

In Pennsylvania, 33.1% of Families Are Headed by a Single Parent

According to a recent Pew Research Center report, children in the United States are more likely to live in a single-parent household than children in at least 129 other countries, including China, India, and all of Europe. Maintaining a household as a single parent presents a number of challenges, the largest of which for many single-parent families are financial.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018 Consumer Expenditure Survey, single parents with minor children devote a larger share of their spending on necessary costs of living, like food and housing, than married parents do. COVID-19 has only intensified the challenges faced by single parents. Those who have lost their jobs might struggle to cover living expenses, while those still employed must cope with a lack of child care options and schools being closed.

In spite of the strain experienced by many single parents, the percentage of single-parent households has tripled from less than 10 percent of families with children in 1950 to about 30 percent in 2019. The 22.7 percent of households with children that were headed by a single mother last year represents the lowest percentage of single-mother households since 2003. On the other hand, single-father households reached an all-time high of 7.4 percent in 2019. In 1950, single-father households accounted for only 1.1 percent of households with kids.



The proportion of single-parent families also varies widely by race and ethnicity. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, about one in four white families, and one in three Hispanic families, are headed by a single parent. Meanwhile, nearly 60 percent of black families are headed by a single parent, although this represents the lowest value since 1982. The percentage of white and Hispanic single-parent families has increased by 5.5 and 4.1 percentage points, respectively, over the same time period.



Geographically, Southern states tend to have the highest percentage of single-parent households, with Louisiana leading the nation at just over 40 percent. Mississippi, South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, and Georgia all report percentages of at least 35 percent. Only 19 percent of family households in Utah are headed by a single parent. Hawaii and Idaho have the second and third lowest rates of single parenting, both at about 26 percent.



To determine which states have the most single parents, researchers at Smartest Dollar analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey. For each state, researchers calculated the percentage of families with children under 18 living in households headed by a single parent. The analysis also includes the percentage of households with single moms, single dads, and the total number of households headed by a single parent in each location.

Consistent with state-level trends, researchers found that a number of cities in the South report a high percentage of single-parent households. Several cities in the Midwest also appear atop the rankings, including Cleveland with the national high of 73.3 percent of single-parent households.

The analysis found that in Pennsylvania, 33.1% of families are headed by a single parent, which is above the national average of 32.1%. Here is a summary of the data for Pennsylvania:

  • Percentage of families with a single parent: 33.1%
  • Total families with a single parent: 415,373
  • Percentage of families with a single mom: 24.0%
  • Percentage of families with a single dad: 9.1%

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

  • Percentage of families with a single parent: 32.1%
  • Total families with a single parent: 10,519,285
  • Percentage of families with a single mom: 23.7%
  • Percentage of families with a single dad: 8.4%

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Smartest Dollar’s website:

Man in Critical Condition after Being Shot at a Mc Kees Rocks Car Wash Sunday Afternoon

(McKees Rocks, Pa.) A man is in critical condition after police were called to a McKees Rocks car wash in the 1100 block of Chartiers Ave. Sunday afternoon.  When First Responders arrived, they found the victim with multiple gun shot wounds to his upper body. Allegheny County Homicide Detectives are investing. The man is in critical condition at a local hospital and Allegheny County Police are asking anyone with information to call the Police Tip Line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS. Anyone who provides information may remain anonymous.

Gov. Wolf Orders Flags to Half-Staff to Honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Gov. Wolf Orders Flags to Half-Staff to Honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Harrisburg, Pa. – In honor of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all United States and Commonwealth flags on the Capitol Complex and Commonwealth facilities throughout the state lowered to half-staff at sunrise on Saturday, September 19, 2020.

“Justice Ginsburg was a truly remarkable figure in American history, as both a tireless defender of the Constitution, and as a pioneer for gender equality,” said Gov. Wolf. “Justice Ginsburg’s historic opinions from the bench broke down barriers for women and protected the vulnerable. Her contributions to our country cannot be overstated.”

The United States Flag shall be lowered to half-staff and remain lowered until interment by orders from the White House. The Commonwealth flag has flown at half-staff since Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in honor of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and should continue to fly at half-staff until further notice.

All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute.

Shots fired inside Lehigh Valley Mall, no injuries

Shots fired inside Lehigh Valley Mall, no injuries reported
WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. (AP) — Police say shots were fired inside Lehigh Valley Mall but no victims have been found. Whitehall Township Police responded to the Saturday afternoon shooting shortly before 5 p.m. Hours later, authorities said they were still searching the mall. Whitehall Township Police Chief Michael Marks say no arrest have been made. An Allentown man said he heard four of five gunshots before people started to race toward the exits. Video posted on social media show several officers walking through the mall with guns drawn.