Health care makes headlines early in year | News | sharonherald.com – Sharonherald

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Year in review part 1

Herald file

Jamestown school district held a vigil to remember the life of 18-year-old high school student Darian Keyser, who died on Feb. 17.

Jan. 2 — Closing the recidivism pipeline: An $800,000 grant given to West Central Workforce Development to assist 140 students age 18-24 in Mercer and Lawrence counties to transition from the judicial system to the workforce.

Jan. 4 — ‘A great day’: Common Pleas Court of Mercer County swear in two new judges. Tedd Nesbit and Ronald Amrhein, elected the previous November, fill seats that have been vacant since January 2018.

Jan. 5 — ‘The community’s project’: Shane Nugent is named as capital campaign chairman for the Shenango Valley Animal Shelter’s fundraising efforts to build a new center.

Jan. 6 — Leaving her mark: Hermitage native Simone Esters is second-runner-up in the Miss America 2.0 competition.

Jan. 7 — McKeithan appointed to Farrell council: Former Farrell Mayor Olive McKeithan appointed to Farrell Council. McKeithan had been defeated for re-election by new Mayor Kim Doss.

Jan. 8 — Sharon on track for more demolitions: City plans to tear down seven more abandoned homes. 

Jan. 9 — Closure to cost 46 jobs: Smucker’s closes West Salem Township warehouse.

Jan. 11 — AHN-Grove City alliance is official: Allegheny Health Network’s purchase of Grove City Medical Center is finalized. The hospital system is renamed AHN-Grove City.

Jan. 12 — LTI building to become community ‘Fab Lab’: Laurel Technical Institute says it will create a section at its Sterling Avenue Center in Sharon for a business incubator, where staff will offer technical assistance and educational resources to help communities.

Jan. 13 — No extra expense, just extra confusion: Mercer County will be reimbursed for costs coming from a March 17 special election to fill the 8th District State House seat vacated by Tedd Nesbit when he was elected to Common Pleas Court of Mercer County.

Jan. 17 — Bonner wins GOP nod: Grove City attorney Tim Bonner wins Republican nod to run in the 8th District House seat special election. 

Jan. 20 — A walk in the park: Greenville to get pedestrian path to connect parts of town to Riverside Park.

Jan. 22 — Heasley to be Dems’ nominee: Democrats name Phil Heasley, a Butler businessman, as their candidate to run in the 8th District special election.

Jan. 25 — Planned Dollar General moves forward: Hermitage OKs land development plan for a new Dollar General store on North Farm Drive.

Jan. 29 — New businesses coming to Hermitage Towne Plaza: Three new businesses — Rita’s Italian Ice, Ollie’s Bargain Center and Gabes — are heading to Hermitage Towne Plaza.

Jan. 31 — Two sue over prison incidents: Two prisoners at State Correctional Institution Mercer in Findley Township file suit alleging they were subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by being placed in solitary confinement for extended periods.

Feb. 1 —Thiel gets grant for sex crime prevention: Thiel College gets a $30,000 grant as part of a state-wide campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses.

Feb. 2 — PHN Subpoenaed: Primary Health Network, based in Sharon, and its PHN Charitable Foundation are served with federal subpoenas. 

Feb. 3 — Digging underway in Farrell: Aqua Pennsylvania begins the replacement of almost 1 mile of water lines.

Feb. 5 — Wheatland-Hermitage discuss merger: Wheatland and Hermitage talk about creating a feasibility study looking into a merger of the two communities.

Feb. 6 — Van driver dies in crash: 64-year-old Peter Ellis of Mercer is killed in the Mercer Area School District van he was driving collided with a tractor-trailer in Perry Township, Lawrence County. 

Feb. 7 — 6 at large in connection with shootings: Sharon Police seek six people that they say may have been involved in four related shooting incidents since November.

Feb. 8 — A new address for a family firm: Flynn Tire & Automotive Service said it is moving to a new 150,000-square-foot warehouse in Masury. The company will close its 38,000-square-foot warehouse in East Lackawannock Township because it is too small.

Feb. 9 — Sharon Regional unveils new cath lab: Sharon Regional Medical Center opens new cardiac catherization lab at its Sharon hospital as part of a $3.5 million expansion project.

Feb. 10 — Free health clinic to open: Joshua’s Haven in Sharon readies to open a free health clinic in Sharon.

Feb. 11 — Coming soon: The last picture show: New Castle-based Golden Star Theaters announce it will close the eight-screen theater in Hermitage Towne Plaza.

Feb. 12 — Local heroes: Stey-Nevant Public Library in Farrell marks Black History Month by recognizing local community figures.

Feb. 13 — Parents upset about bathroom decision: During a Sharon City School Board meeting, parents raise concern over administration’s decision to close all but one restroom at the high school because of vandalism incidents.

Feb. 14 — Warehouse project suffers setback: Hopes for a one million-share-foot warehouse on Mercer County property along I-80 in East Lackawannock fade as Clayco Inc., a Chicago-based realty developer, let its option to buy the land expire.

Feb. 15 — Factory blast injures 5: Five people are injured in an explosion at Combine Systems’ factory in Greene Township.

Feb. 16 — Sharon moves closer to new vision plan: Sharon city officials, residents and business owners consider creating a downtown coordinator position to boost development efforts.

Feb. 19 — DFA purchases some Dean Dairy plants: Dairy Farmers of America buys a substantial part of Dean Foods which includes its milk processing plant in South Pymatuning Township.

Feb. 19 — Movie gets OK to film in Grove City: Producers of “Happiest Season,” a lesbian Christmas holiday romantic-comedy starring Kristen Stewart, win approval from Grove City officials to film scenes in the borough.

Feb. 21 — Hermitage Denny’s closes: Denny’s restaurant on East State Street in Hermitage closes with Denny’s corporate office saying the lease for the building had expired.

Feb. 22 — United Way exec to retire: Mercer County United Way Executive Director Jim Micsky announces his retirement.

Feb. 25 — Farrell reaches across state for manager: Farrell council approves hiring W. Benjamin Prescott as city manager to replace Michael Ceci.

Feb. 25 — A community farewell: The Jamestown school district community gathered to remember the life of 18-year-old high school basketball star Darian Keyser, who died Feb. 17.

Feb. 26 — Fresh water coming to municipal building: Shenango Township supervisors give details on a $440,000 project to extend water lines in the township that will provide drinking water to its municipal building and also with hopes to spark development in the community.

Feb. 27 — Greenville, Jamestown joining forces — Greenville and Jamestown school districts approve creating a joint wrestling program for the 2020-21 academic year.

Feb. 28 — Work to begin on Hermitage roundabout: PennDOT announces that construction is ready to begin on a new roundabout in Hermitage near the Shenango Valley Mall where Route 62 (the Shenango Valley Freeway) meets East State Street.

March 1 — Getting ready for a pandemic: Local agencies and medical centers prepare for the expected arrival of a coronavirus-related illnesses. Demand for face masks rises at local drug stores and other retailers. 

March 2 — Coroner’s office expanding staff, services: The Mercer County Coroner’s office expands with a new position of an administrative deputy coroner.

March 2 — Hermitage district joins in tax appeal: Hermitage city and school district officials join forces in an appeal of a property tax reassessment of Walmart’s property in the city. The reassessment cut the property’s taxable value from almost $3.5 million to less than $2 million, a decrease of 41%.

March 6 — NLMK union OKs strike — if necessary: United Steelworkers Local 1016-03, representing more than 400 production workers at NLMK Pennsylvania’s Farrell steel plant, vote to authorize union leaders to call a strike if labor negotiations with the company fail to yield a new contract.

March 7 — Virus arrives in Pa.: Local health centers are put on alert as Pennsylvania Department of Health identifies the state’s first two cases of COVID-19, in Delaware and Wayne counties. 

March 8 — 3 weeks, 3 arson probes: Sharon police is investigating three suspected arsons in the city in as many weeks.  

March 10 — NLMK sues feds over tariffs: NLMK Pennsylvania and its affiliate NLMK Indiana, file a lawsuit against the U.S. Commerce Department alleging that the agency failed to comply with its own guidelines when it refused to grant tariff exemptions the steelmaker sought to buy foreign-made steel slabs.

March 11 — Local authorities brace for outbreak: Mercer County municipalities prepare for the arrival COVID-19 by creating new guidelines in their regular operations.

March 13 — With uneases, Americans lurch into coronavirus era: Local businesses and agencies limit or halt public access to their buildings as the U.S. COVID-19-related infections grows to 1,200. 

March 14 — Pa schools ordered closed for two weeks: Local school districts begin to shut their doors as Gov. Tom Wolf orders all schools to close for two weeks due to a rapid rise of COVID-19 infections.

March 15 — Business as unusual: Local grocery stores are swamped with shoppers buying up goods, especially toilet paper, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Police investigate the robbery at Citizens Bank in downtown Grove City. 

March 16 — County takes steps in virus prevention: Sharon City School District provides and delivers emergency meals to students confined to instruction at home in response to COVID-19. The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports there are 63 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state. 

March 17 — Closing time: Local businesses and organizations respond to Gov. Wolf’s shutdown orders for all non-essential stores and indoor dining at bars and restaurants. Lines form at local restaurants for take-out orders, which are allowed.

March 18 — Bonner claims victory in special election: Grove City Attorney Tim Bonner wins race to fill the state House vacancy for the 8th District.

March 18 — County jail to free 40 to 50 inmates: Mercer County officials said they will release 40 to 50 inmates at the Mercer County Jail stemming form “special circumstances’’ from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

March 19 — Change of plans: Mercer County businesses, governments and organizations begin to adjust, cancel and postpone events and meetings due to the lockdown imposed by the state caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 21 — Keystone clients economic casualties: Keystone Blind Association in Hermitage lays off hundreds of workers who had jobs cleaning and maintaining Pennsylvania’s rest stops on highways that were closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sale of guns at local gun shops surges due to the coronavirus. 

March 23 — First COVID-19 case in Mercer County: The state Department of Health reports Mercer County’s first COVID-19 case No details are released on the case. The state extends its order closing public schools for another two weeks.

March 24 — Sharpsville student treated for COVID-19: Officials in Sharpsville Area School District report a student is being treated for COVID-19.

March 25 — Mercer County gets second COVID case: The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports a second COVID-19 case in Mercer County. The total number of those in the state infected with the virus reaches 841. 

March 26 — Nursing schools move instruction online: Students at Sharon Regional Medical Center School of Nursing and UPMC Jameson School of Nursing go to all-online instruction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 26 — ‘Right now, we’re on pause’: Local businesses like Anderson Coach & Travel in Sugar Grove Township report they are struggling as the pandemic sharply curbs operations.  

March 30 — Salvation Army steps up with emergency food distribution: With many local residents laid off or having work hours reduced because of the pandemic, the Salvation Army in Sharon increases its emergency food distribution.

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