City of Erie Weekly Wrap-up Dec. 21 to 27, 2020

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper announced on Wednesday that the county was allotted more funds than anticipated through the county’s emergency grant program. The 208 selected local businesses will receive a $5,000 grant before New Year’s Day.

Erie County has been awarded over $248,000 for coastal projects from Pennsylvania’s Coastal Resources Management Program (CRM). CRM grants are awarded to projects focused on wetlands, stormwater management improvements, fisheries, public education, recreation, coastal hazards, and other areas. Organizations to receive CRM funding include The Erie Bird Observatory, the Erie County Conservation District, Gannon University for the Summer School of Excellence, Lawrence Park Township, and the Regional Science Consortium. 

The Erie Airport Authority’s Board of Directors may soon make history as it appoints a new leader. The four-member nominating committee has nominated Andrea Zdaniewski to serve as the nine-member Airport Authority Board of Directors leader. If the board follows the committee’s recommendation, Zdaniewski would become the first woman to serve as its president. While women have served on the board since 1987, none have ever served as its president. Zdaniewski serves as legal counsel for Erie Insurance Group and was a member of the 2017 Jefferson Educational Society’s Civic Leadership Academy. The board will vote on Jan. 6. 

The Martin Luther King Center has partnered with Strong Vincent Middle School, United Way, the Erie Community Foundation, and the Erie School District to offer social distanced students help from tutors with virtual learning. Between 20 and 30 students attend the Martin Luther King Center five days a week instead of learning by computer from home. This opportunity is especially helpful for working families who don’t want their kids home alone during the day and allows for students to socialize in a safe way while receiving assistance with virtual learning. 

Over 1,200 A.H.N. frontline workers have received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and have begun administering vaccines to E.M.S. workers. Staff and residents at Pleasant Ridge Manor received access to their first dose of the vaccine on Monday. The long-term care facility welcomes the vaccine with open arms as it has lost about 50 people to COVID-19. The Erie Veteran’s Administration Medical Center also started administering vaccinations on Tuesday, with permanent residents receiving dosages on Wednesday. 

State police were called to the Pennsylvania State Game Land109 shooting range at 10679 Sampson Station Road in Greene Township Tuesday afternoon after receiving reports from bystanders of a shooting victim. An investigation revealed that Robert Alan Eppley, 26 of North East, was shooting downrange before he turned and began shooting at a 28-year-old man from Erie. A 67-year-old Erie man observed the shooting and opened fire on Eppley, who was shot multiple times and died at the scene. Investigators have been unable to identify any issues between Eppley and his friend as the pair drove to the range in separate vehicles with their girlfriends, and all four were taking turns with the pistol that one of the men recently purchased. Officials say the 28-year-old man is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds at UPMC Hamot, and the 67-year-old man was taken into custody for questioning and was later released. Police did not release either man’s identity. State police and the Erie County Coroner’s Office are investigating the death and the Pennsylvania Game Commission closed the gun range until further notice. 

Erie Fire Crews were called to the 400 block of East 38th Street Saturday evening for reports of a gas leak. National Fuel and Penelec crews were also called to the scene. Crews reported that the leak came from an underground line. Traffic was shut down and a total of four houses were evacuated. 

The City of Erie Streets Dept. and Fire Departments would like to remind residents that it is officially winter and as such, comes snow. We encourage everyone to obey the odd/even parking signs so we can ensure public safety and keep the roads cleared.

And finally, we would like to wish you a very Happy New Year!

Weekly Wrap-Up written by Maija Carol

Paraphrased stories come from internal City of Erie Sources, Erie News Now, JET24 Action News, GoErie, KDKA, and NPR/WQLN.

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