Allegheny Technologies to shutter steel plant, cites tariffs

Allegheny Technologies to shutter steel plant, cites tariffs
MIDLAND, Pa. (AP) — Allegheny Technologies Inc. has announced plans to shut down a western Pennsylvania plant at the end of June, citing steel tariffs imposed on imports by the Trump administration. The company said Tuesday that about 70 employees, most represented by the United Steelworkers union, would lose their jobs at the Midland plant in Beaver County. Officials said Allegheny Technologies has been seeking a tariff exclusion since March 2018, but one request was rejected and a second received no response. The Midland plant imports steel slabs from Indonesia and turns them into stainless steel sheets used in a variety of products.

All of Pennsylvania now under orders to stay home

All of Pennsylvania now under orders to stay home
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM Associated Press
Gov. Tom Wolf has placed all of Pennsylvania under an order to stay at home, dramatically expanding the geographic footprint of the quarantine as state officials combat the coronavirus pandemic. Wolf added 34 counties to his stay-home edict. That means residents of all 67 of Pennsylvania’s counties must now stay home as much as possible to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Coronavirus infections are continuing to rise dramatically in the state. There have been nearly 1,000 new confirmed cases reported Wednesday. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania State Police will no longer respond in person to some types of calls.

Census Day arrives with US almost paralyzed by coronavirus

Census Day arrives with US almost paralyzed by coronavirus
By MIKE SCHNEIDER Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Census Day arrives Wednesday with a nation almost paralyzed by the spread of the novel coronavirus. April 1 is the date used to reference where a person lives for the once-a-decade count. The virus’s spread has forced the U.S. Census Bureau to suspend field operations for a month, from mid-March to mid-April. That’s when the hiring process would be ramping up for tens of thousands of temporary census takers. It also has delayed the start of counts for the homeless and people living in group quarters and has pushed back the deadline for wrapping up the head count to mid-August.

Breaking News!! Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, 962 New Positives Bring Statewide Total to 5,805

Harrisburg, PA- The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., April 1, that there are 962 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 5,805 in 60 counties. The department also reported 11 new deaths among positive cases, bringing the statewide total to 74. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.

In Beaver County there are a reported 54 cases of the COVID-19 and 2 Deaths.

“The continued rise in cases combined with our increasing deaths from COVID-19 reflects the seriousness of this situation,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We need everyone to listen to the orders in place and to stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We know that these prolonged mitigation effects have been difficult for everyone, but it is essential that everyone follows these orders and does not go out unless they absolutely must.”

There are 42,427 patients who have tested negative to date. Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:

  • Nearly 1% are aged 0-4;
  • Nearly 1% are aged 5-12;
  • 1% are aged 13-18;
  • Nearly 9% are aged 19-24;
  • 40% are aged 25-49;
  • Nearly 29% are aged 50-64; and
  • 19% are aged 65 or older.

Most of the patients hospitalized are aged 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. There have been no pediatric deaths to date. More data is available here.

All non-life-sustaining businesses are ordered to be closed and schools are closed statewide indefinitely. Currently 33 counties are under stay-at-home orders.

Below is a chart that breaks down the cases by county:

County Case Counts to Date

County Number of Cases Deaths 
Adams 12
Allegheny 356 2
Armstrong 5
Beaver 54 2
Bedford 3
Berks 151
Blair 4
Bradford 8
Bucks 312 6
Butler 64 2
Cambria 3
Cameron 1
Carbon 23 1
Centre 27
Chester 183 1
Clarion 4
Clearfield 4
Columbia 8
Crawford 5
Cumberland 38 1
Dauphin 59 1
Delaware 390 7
Erie 15
Fayette 14 1
Franklin 21
Greene 9
Huntingdon 1
Indiana 6
Juniata 2
Lackawanna 85 3
Lancaster 157 3
Lawrence 13 2
Lebanon 36
Lehigh 374 5
Luzerne 282 4
Lycoming 7
Mckean 1
Mercer 8
Mifflin 1
Monroe 278 8
Montgomery 649 8
Montour 13
Northampton 312 5
Northumberland 6
Perry 1
Philadelphia 1478 10
Pike 57 1
Potter 2
Schuylkill 47
Snyder 3 1
Somerset 3
Susquehanna 2
Tioga 2
Union 2
Venango 3
Warren 1
Washington 35
Wayne 14
Westmoreland 72
York 79

Department of Banking and Securities Warns of COVID-19-Related Investment Schemes

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) is warning investors of an anticipated surge in fraudulent investment schemes.

“As is so often the case during times of emergency, scammers will be looking to profit from the misfortune of others by targeting investors and capitalizing on concerns related to the securities market,” said Acting Secretary Richard Vague. “The narrative of the investment scheme may change, but the underlying scam remains the same.”

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which the department is a member, anticipates fraudulent investment schemes will rise as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

In particular, NASAA and the department warn investors to be on the lookout for investments specifically tied to the threat of COVID-19, such as:

  • Falsely purporting to raise capital for companies manufacturing surgical masks and gowns; producing ventilators and medical equipment; or manufacturing vaccines or other miracle cures.
  • Taking advantage of concerns with securities market volatility to promote “safe” investments with “guaranteed returns” including investments tied to gold and other commodities; oil and gas; and real estate.
  • Touting “get rick quick” schemes with quickly earned returns to be used for rent, utilities, and other expenses.
  • Targeting retirees and senior citizens, falsely claiming they can quickly and safely recoup any losses to their retirement portfolios.

Retail investors must remain vigilant and protect themselves from schemes such as these tied to COVID-19 and recent economic developments:

  • Investigate Before You Invest. Before spending any time and money on a financial service, product, or company, investigate before you invest. Investors can visit the DoBS website for tools and resources for researching financial professionals, investments, and companies.
  • Avoid Phishing ScamsScam emails are made to sound and look real. Never open an attachment or link from an unsolicited email and never share financial or sensitive information without independently verifying the request.
  • Too Good to Be True. The old adage is accurate: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask questions about the investment and evaluate the risks. Any legitimate investment involves and degree of risk, and anyone unwilling to provide clear and detailed information about an investment is a red flag.
  • Beware of Economic Relief Schemes. With news that the federal government will be sending checks to the public as part of an economic stimulus effort, scammers will no doubt increase efforts to steal your money. Do NOT give your personal information to anyone purporting to be from the government in relation to receiving a stimulus check. Likewise, anyone asking you to prepay taxes or fees on the money, or pay any type of charge, in order to receive the money is likely trying to defraud you

For more detailed information related to schemes to watch and tips for protecting yourself, the department has developed a guide for investors.

Visit the commonwealth’s Responding to COVID-19 guide for the latest guidance and resources for Pennsylvanians or the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s dedicated coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

Learn more about COVID-19 information and guidance for financial Institutions and consumers from DoBS.

Anyone can contact DoBS at 1-800-PA-BANKS or 1-800-722-2657 to ask questions or file complaints about financial transactions, companies, or products.

tocks skid worldwide as coronavirus infections keep soaring

Stocks skid worldwide as coronavirus infections keep soaring
By STAN CHOE AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are sinking again on Wall Street as more signs piled up of the economic and physical pain being caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The S&P 500 dropped roughly 3% in Wednesday morning trading after President Donald Trump warned the country to brace for “one of the roughest two or three weeks we’ve ever had in our country.” The selling was widespread, and all 11 sectors that make up the S&P 500 were down. Long-term Treasury yields sank as investors moved into safer investments. Stocks worldwide fell following a weak reading on Japanese business sentiment and after big British banks cut their dividends to preserve cash.

Wimbledon canceled for 1st time since WWII because of virus

Wimbledon canceled for 1st time since WWII because of virus
By HOWARD FENDRICH AP Tennis Writer
Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus pandemic. The All England Club announced after an emergency meeting that the oldest Grand Slam tournament in tennis would not be held in 2020. Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12. It now joins the growing list of sports events scrapped in 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak. That includes the Tokyo Olympics, the NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments and the European soccer championship. The last time Wimbledon was called off was 1945.

Virus case Deaths in NYC top 1,000 as city prepares for worse

Virus cases in NYC top 1,000 as city prepares for worse
NEW YORK (AP) — Deaths from the coronavirus topped 1,000 in New York City as officials warned that the worst of the virus’ toll is yet to come. The city’s Health Department reported late Tuesday that nearly 1,100 people have died of the virus in the city. There are more than 1,500 deaths across New York state. Data released by the city shows that the virus is having a disproportionate effect in certain neighborhoods, mainly in Brooklyn and Queens. The city’s ambulance system is under increasing stress from the pandemic. Nearly a quarter of the city’s emergency medical service workers have been out sick.

State Police Refines Response Guidelines for Certain Non-Emergency Incidents

Harrisburg, PA – Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, announced today a temporary change to the way troopers respond to select non-emergency incidents. With the goal of limiting in-person contact and mitigating the spread of COVID-19, the department has identified certain types of calls that may be resolved with limited or no on-scene response. The change went into effect April 1, 2020 and will remain until further notice.
“To enhance social distancing and keep our personnel and the public safe and healthy, we will begin collecting information via telephone for incidents that do not require an in-person response from a trooper,” said Colonel Evanchick. “This change affects only a limited number of call types, and the public can be confident that the PSP has the personnel, equipment, and plans in place to respond to emergencies and other critical incidents.”
Call types eligible for a modified response include lost and found items, littering, identity theft, and general requests to speak to a trooper. While limiting in-person contact and collecting as much information via telephone is the goal, the actual response will be based on the totality of the circumstances of each unique situation in consultation with a supervisor on duty. State police response protocol to emergencies and crimes in progress remains unchanged.
The department asks the public to be mindful of social distancing if they need to visit their local PSP station. Signs have been posted at each entrance instructing visitors not to enter the facility if they are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Instead, they are instructed to contact the station by phone to speak to a trooper who may come outside to resolve the situation one-on-one if needed.
“Our facilities remain open as a public resource 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Colonel Evanchick. “Essential personnel remain ready to assist as needed during this unprecedented public health crisis, and we appreciate the public’s continued support.”

U.S. businesses cut 27,000 jobs in March, before virus hit

U.S. businesses cut 27,000 jobs in March, before virus hit
By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies shed 27,000 jobs in March, according to a private survey, a figure that mostly reflected the economy as it stood before the full impact of the viral outbreak. Payroll processor ADP said small businesses took the biggest hit, losing 90,000 jobs, while medium-sized and large companies still added workers. Economists forecast that much larger job losses, probably in the millions, will be reported in the coming months.