Steelers, Roethlisberger agree to new deal for 2021 season

Steelers, Roethlisberger agree to new deal for 2021 season
By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger is returning for an 18th season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is taking a pay cut to do it. The team and the two-time Super Bowl winner announced they have agreed on a new contract that assures the 39-year-old will be back in 2021. Financial details were not immediately available, though the Steelers made no secret of the need for Roethlisberger to take a pay cut to ease some of the burden of his NFL-high $41.25-million salary-cap hit scheduled for 2021.


Wolf Administration Provides Additional Information on COVID-19 Vaccine for Teachers, Child Care Workers, School Staff

Harrisburg, PA – The departments of Health (DOH) and Education (PDE) joined the
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to provide additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine for Pre-K-12 teachers and other school staff following Governor Tom Wolf and the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force’s associated announcement Wednesday. “The approval of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides a great opportunity to launch this special initiative to vaccinate all teachers, child care workers and school staff without interrupting the flow of vaccine local providers have already administered to more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians,” said Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam. The Wolf Administration is collaborating with Intermediate Units (IUs) and other education partners to equitably vaccinate all school employees and contracted staff as quickly as possible.
Pre-K to 12 public and non-public school staff across Pennsylvania will be provided an
opportunity to be vaccinated, with educators and school staff working with elementary education students, students with disabilities, and English Learners being the first eligible to register. Pennsylvania expects to receive an initial allocation of 94,600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) single-dose vaccine this week. Allocations received by Pennsylvania from the federal government will be distributed to each IU based on the proportion of Pre-K to 12 public and nonpublic school employees and contracted staff in each IU’s region. Child care workers will be contacted by one of the local Retail Pharmacy Program partners — Rite Aid, Topco and Walmart — to schedule vaccinations using the additional, separate allocations of Johnson & Johnson vaccine they will receive from the federal government.
“I am grateful to Governor Wolf and the Legislative Task Force for making educators a priority for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” said Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega. “After a year of unprecedented educational shifts and tensions, we are closer to relieving some constraints and increasing access to in-person learning opportunities, services, programs, and supports that will positively impact entire communities.” It’s important to note that Philadelphia is not included in these allocations, because Philadelphia County is a separate vaccine jurisdiction.
There will be at least one vaccination site per IU region. School staff will be directed to the vaccination site in the region within which their school is located. The Pennsylvania National Guard (PANG) and AMI Expeditionary Healthcare, LLC, a health organization contracted by PEMA for planning and staffing assistance at commonwealth-established vaccine sites, will direct operations and administer doses at these sites. Vaccination sites are expected to begin operations between March 10 and 13 with daily operational hours. “We anticipate that the majority of these sites will support up to 500 doses a day, with some of the sites in IU’s with higher amounts of teachers and support staff being able to administer up to 1,000 doses a day,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “We anticipate most sites will be completed administering the first round of available vaccine in 8-10 days.” IUs will work with Pre-K to 12 school entities to identify staff who are interested in receiving the vaccine. The following individuals will be given the first opportunity to register:
• Pre-K-12 teachers of students with disabilities and English learners and related inclassroom support staff;
• Elementary teachers and related in-classroom support staff, beginning with the youngest students;
• Bus drivers/transporters, and support staff and contracted service providers who have direct contact with elementary students; and
• Other priority school staff who have regular, sustained in-person contact with students during the school day.

More information and answers to questions about the COIVD-19 Vaccine for teachers, child care workers, and school staff is available on PDE’s website.
As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its recently updated guidance, access to vaccination should not be considered a condition for reopening schools for in-person instruction. Even after teachers and staff are vaccinated, schools need to continue to implement mitigation strategies, including face coverings and physical distancing.
Statewide – The Wolf Administration has since noon, March 1:
• Announced plan to provide $303 million to support child care providers.
• Provided latest Pennsylvania State Police enforcement data.
• Provided update to Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard.
While vaccine supply from the federal government remains limited, the Department of
Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient. To keep Pennsylvanians informed about vaccination efforts:
• The Your Turn tool provides a way to register to be alerted when it’s your turn to be
• A commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination guide explains the current process for
getting one. Pennsylvanians with questions about the vaccination process can
call the Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258.
• Vaccine provider map to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.
• All of the locations that received vaccine and how much they have received can
be found on the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution webpage.
• Vaccine dashboard data can also be found on the website to find more
information on the doses administered and showcase demographic information.
• Pennsylvanians can provide feedback on the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Interim
Vaccination Plan by clicking on the Plan Feedback Form square under Popular
Vaccine Topics here.
• Frequently asked questions can be found here.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the
spread of COVID-19:
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if
soap and water are not available.
• Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
• Clean surfaces frequently.
• Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
• If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is
difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
• Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app
can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for
“covid alert pa”.
Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics
• Daily COVID-19 Report
• Press releases regarding coronavirus
• Latest information on the coronavirus
• Photos of the state’s lab in Exton (for download and use)
• Coronavirus and preparedness graphics (located at the bottom of the page)
• Community preparedness and procedures materials



The Beaver Valley Community Concert Association Cancels Two Spring Concerts

(Beaver Falls, Pa.) The Beaver Valley Community Concert Association is regretfully canceling the two spring concerts that were scheduled to happen this spring. In a statement released by BVCCA they stated because of continual COVID-19 concerns, the venue at the Beaver Falls Middle School is not available to them. BVCCA does intend to honor anyone’s ticket who has already purchased them with replacement tickets at a later date.

BVCCA said that as soon as they can plan with assurance that they will be permitted to use the venue the concert season will resume. If you have any questions you can call 724-869-8507, 724-506-0630, or 724-846-3203

PIAA Sets Rules For Spring High School Sports

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Spring sports student athletes and coaches don’t need to wear masks when outside as long as they can keep 6 feet apart according to new PIAA guidelines.
The board met Wednesday and approved the new rules for baseball, softball, track and other spring sports. Preseason practices could start statewide on Monday.

Spring sports were shut down last year because of the pandemic, meaning athletes had no season.

Other rules include:

If a baseball pitcher wears a mask, it must be a solid, dark color. Softball pitchers cannot wear optic yellow. Pitchers are encouraged to not lick fingers or blow into their hands, but that’s not a mandate.
Umpires are required to wear a face covering behind the plate.
Races of 800 meters or longer are considered moderate risk activities, so the PIAA recommends they be “run in alleys or minimally one turn staggers.”
Relay runners may wear disposable gloves
Lacrosse players are not required to wear a mask during competitions since they already wear a helmet and mouth guard.

Friday Teleforum Fun, Complete with a Congressman

Friday’s Teleforum is cued up n ready, complete with an air of legitimacy by association!  In addition to Eddy’s usual ridiculousness,  Congressman Conor Lamb will join the program for a Q & A session.  The latest news, including a recap of the second Donald Trump inauguration is up for discussion. Every Monday through Friday  Teleforum starts at 9:10 and goes til noon on am1230, am1460, and fm99.3, presented by St. Barnabas.

Aliquippa City Council Approves Motions at Wednesday’s Meeting

Story by Beaver County Radio News Correspondent Sandy Giordano 

(Aliquippa, Pa.) Aliquippa City Council approved motions at last nights council meeting via zoom. Some motions approved were to apply for funds Beaver County’s Community Block Grant applications for 2021 are due March 31, 2021. and council approved motions to apply for a $100, 000 grant for the Third Avenue playground project, and a $75,000 grant for road pavement projects, and $75,000 for storm water drains. The meeting was held last night via ZOOM.
Mayor Dwan B. Walker announced that on Friday, March 19 a food drive will be held at Mt. Carmel Church on Brodhead Road from noon to 2 p.m.

Councilman Donald Walker reported than an Easter Egg Hunt will be held in the city and they are partnering with Franklin Center on April 3., A meeting will be held today to finalize plans for the event

PA Teachers Praise Vaccination Plan

Keystone State News Connection

March 4, 2021

Andrea Sears

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The union representing more than 170,000 school employees is praising a new vaccination plan that will make returning to in-person instruction safer for school staff, students and communities.

Pennsylvania’s bipartisan COVID-19 Vaccine Joint Task Force has approved a plan designating more than 94,000 doses of the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine for school staff members.

Rich Askey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), said it will be a big boost for the entire state’s recovery from the pandemic.

“Making the vaccine available to school staff is a key step to getting more students back in the classroom, more parents back to work without worry, and our economy back on track,” Askey stated.

The plan will make the vaccine available not only to teachers but to everyone working in the school system including secretaries, maintenance staff and school bus drivers.

Askey noted the initial designation of 94,600 doses of the vaccine isn’t quite enough to do the whole job. But he pointed out the rapid expansion of vaccine supply means more shots will be coming in the next few weeks.

“So I think the governor’s goal to get all public-school and private-school employees vaccinated by the first week of April, that’s a doable plan,” Askey agreed.

With intermediate vaccination units being set up across the state, he believes school employees could start getting their shots in about a week.

Deciding to get vaccinated is an individual choice, and Askey encouraged those who are concerned about its safety to speak with their doctors. But he added an overwhelming number of PSEA members have been asking for access to the vaccines.

“Our members know the importance of safety, know the importance that a vaccination makes in making our schools safer, so I’m happy to encourage everyone to go get their shot because I sure plan on doing that,” Askey stressed.

He credited Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers on the Joint Task Force for taking swift action to support education in Pennsylvania by making schools and their staff safer.

Read Across America Week in the Hopewell Elementary Schools

(Hopewell Twp.) Hopewell Elementary School Principal Korri  Kane  said  yesterday students in Hopewell, Independence and Margaret Ross Elementary Schools are celebrating  Read Across America Week with a variety of fun activities. Some even made themselves into the CAT  in the HAT,  Dr. Seuss  story.  She said many spent time  focusing on specific genres of children’s  books each day. The students listened to, read and discussed biographies, poetry,  humor, realistic fiction and mystery selections.  In the classrooms, activities also  included  visiting readers  from the district, creating book reports, various art projects, and google slides from their  favorite  books and authors.

Report: Raising Minimum Wage Good for All Pennsylvanians

Keystone State News Connection

March 4, 2021

Andrea Sears

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A new report showed raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $15 an hour would give workers an additional $6 billion and help the economy recover from the pandemic.

Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour this year, then an additional 50 cents an hour every year through 2027.

Claire Kovach, senior research analyst at Keystone Research Center and co-author of the report, said data from the Economic Policy Institute showed the increase would put the state on a path to creating a high-wage, high-productivity economy that helps all working Pennsylvanians.

“This proposal, if enacted in Pennsylvania, will lift many low-wage workers out of poverty and off of assistance programs, and even begin to reduce the racial pay disparities,” Kovach contended.

Critics claim many low-wage workers are teenagers working for pocket change, but the report shows more than 80% are older workers, including many essential workers.

Kovach noted the proposal would have the biggest impact on those who have been most affected by the pandemic, including retail, health care and restaurant workers.

“Three industries that have been really, really slammed by COVID-19 as the economic effects rippled through the economy,” Kovach asserted. “These are people who need this boost more than ever.”

While two-thirds of the workers who would get increases are white, 40% of Black and Hispanic workers would get higher wages.

Kovach pointed out the initial increase to $12 an hour in July would raise wages for 1.4 million Pennsylvanians, and up to 1.6 million by 2027 when it reaches $15 an hour.

“These are folks earning up to 115% of the new $15 minimum wage and expect to see their pay increase as pay scales shift,” Kovach explained.

She added the benefits would be accelerated if the Biden administration plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 gets through Congress.