BACKYARD BROADCASTING, LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

SENTENCED TO TWO LIFE SENTENCES      

The verdict is in and Ikeem Fogan of Williamsport will be spending the rest of his life in state prison for a conviction of criminal homicide in the August 2019 slaying of Rhonda McPeak in the Newberry Uni-Mart. According to SUN Gazette, Fogan was also found guilty of 10 other counts related to the robbery and wounding of JoBeth Wetzel, the clerk at the Uni-Mart the night of the robbery. Fogan will be paying $7,000 in restitution to McPeak’s daughter, as to cover the costs of the funeral. He is doing this in addition to serving  two minimum life sentences.

WRONGFULLY FIRED MAN TAKES BUSINESS TO COURT

A Clinton County man has taken First Quality Tissue of Lock Haven to court, alleging he was wrongly fired in September 2020 for using prescribed medical marijuana. According to a media outlet, Kevin Dennis of Renovo was hired July 2019 as a warehouse worker.  Dennis is seeking an award of liquidated and/or punitive damages in an amount believed by the court as appropriate. Furthermore, Dennis asked the court to award him damages for emotional distress and/or pain and suffering and that his claims are to receive a trial by jury. A summons has been sent to First Quality Tissue.

ANNUAL FALL FESTIVAL

On Sunday, Oct. 10 from noon to 4 p.m. there will be an annual fall festival at Little Pine State Park that focuses on the natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities in northcentral Pennsylvania. According to a report from a media outlet, displays and scheduled programs by state and county conservation agencies, local conservation organizations, and businesses related to the outdoors will be at the fall festival. There will also be live animals, crafts, demonstrations, and more.

VOTER ID REINTRODUCED IN STATE HOUSE

A comprehensive election reform measure vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Tom Wolf has been reintroduced in the state House. A key component of the bill – to expand voter ID guidelines to require all voters to present ID each time they cast a ballot – was initially cited by the governor as a main reason for his veto, but he has subsequently said he is open to expanded ID requirements. The Voting Rights Protection Act, now House Bill 1800, would expand ID requirements but also ensure ALL registered voters can comply by calling on counties and the Department of State to issue durable voter registration identification cards, similar to those already provided. Voters also would be able to use other types of identification, including their state-issued driver license or ID card.

FALSE REPORTS TO GET SOMEONE ARRESTED
Donovan Fraunfelter, Jersey Shore, faces misdemeanor charges of false reports to law enforcement and making unsworn falsification to authorities stemming from an incident on Sept. 14, according to court records filed at District Judge Jerry C. Lepley’s office. Police said Fraunfelter didn’t like a certain individual so he notified police and submitted a bogus report that the person “threatened to kill him and chased him with a machete,” officers alleged in an affidavit. According to Sun Gazette, Fraunfelter has been sent a summons to appear before the judge.

DUI TURNS DISORDERLY

A traffic stop brought DUI charges to a Jersey Shore man. The driver, identified as Samuel Henry Collins, told troopers they “would need to shoot him” if they wanted him out of the vehicle. According to the police report,  Collins attempted to start the vehicle and drive away from authorities, which prompted them to deploy a taser. Collins was issued several charges that ranged from third-degree felony criminal attempt at fleeing, second-degree misdemeanor resisting arrest, misdemeanor use or possession of drug paraphernalia, two misdemeanor DUI charges, and two summary traffic offenses. According to a media source, a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Collins on Oct. 14. Collins is being held at the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $25,000 monetary bail.

COVID TESTING NOT RECOMMENDED FOR EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in our communities, Geisinger wanted to remind citizens on the appropriate locations to go for COVID-19 testing. “A hospital emergency room is not an appropriate location, but Geisinger offers several locations for more efficient and timely COVID-19 testing,” according to a statement released by hospital spokesperson Marc Stempka. “Our emergency rooms are busy, and staff there are needed to treat patients with serious illnesses and injuries.””COVID-19 testing in the emergency room takes staff away from these patients and increases wait times. Hospital emergency rooms are for emergencies, such as life-threatening injuries and illness, including symptoms of strokes, heart attacks and broken bones,” Stempka’s statement continued.

COVID UPDATE FOR VALLEY COUNTIES

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Monday reported new COVID-19. In Clinton County seven new cases were reported, Centre County saw an increase of 20, Lycoming County 34, 22 in Northumberland County, 21 in Snyder, 18 in Union and three in Montour.

DAMAGES AND ROAD CLOSURE WHEN TRUCK LOSES LOAD

Two people were reportedly sent to the hospital when granite slabs fell onto a passenger vehicle after breaking loose from a tractor-trailer driving on Route 15 on Monday. All five lanes of Route 15 were closed following the crash that occurred about 12:40 p.m. near the intersection of Loan Road and Route 15, just south of Evangelical Community Hospital. The tractor-trailer stopped at the traffic signal, a truckload of granite fell off the left side of the trailer. Some pieces hit the ground and shattered, while one piece struck the rear passenger side of a Nissan Versa in the passing lane.

LYCOMING COUNTY COURT SENDS THREE TO STATE PRISON

Three people were sentenced to state prison recently in Lycoming County Court, according to SUN Gazette.  Christopher Warns, Watsontown, 50 to 100 months for aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children, Daniel Rankins, Williamsport, 18 to 36 months and three years probation for indecent assault of a person younger than 13 years of age and endangering the welfare of children and Samantha Kay Bankes, 26, of Bloomsburg, nine to 24 months for escape.

BURGULARY CHARGES TO WILLIAMSPORT MAN

Taahir Stowe, Williamsport,  has been jailed on charges of illegally entering Joshua King’s home at 501 Park Ave. and stealing a handgun on March 12 after a juvenile had entered through a window and unlocked the back door for him so he could get inside, city police alleged in an affidavit. Within a week, officers recovered the stolen handgun, which was located in a backpack at 615 Court St. Stowe was arraigned last week before District Judge Aaron Biichle on charges burglary, felony trespassing, theft, receiving stolen property, carrying a firearm without a license and corrupting the morals of a minor. He remains behind bars in lieu of $100,000 bail.

WALK ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA

On Sunday, Oct. 3, a “Walk in Penn’s Woods” event will be taking place across Pennsylvania. The walk begins in Union County  and it will be 8-11 a.m. at R.B. Winter State Park in Mifflinburg. It’s hosted by Seven Mountains Audubon. In Lycoming County,  the walk is from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. as part of the 40th anniversary hike on the Old Loggers Path. At 1:30 p.m., the Central Susquehanna Woodland Owners Association will sponsor a “Walk in Penn’s Woods” at the Montour Preserve on 374 Preserve Road in Danville.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING, LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 27, 2021

SHOTS FIRED IN WILLIAMSPORT

On Sunday, September 26th at approximately 2:36 pm, officers from the Williamsport Bureau of Police were dispatched to the 900 block of Park Avenue for multiple shots fired and several vehicles fleeing the area. Upon arrival to the scene, officers located several vehicles and residences struck by gunfire as well as other corroborating evidence to the shooting.  The scene was closed off to traffic and officers maintained a presence in the area until the collection of evidence was completed. Officers also located evidence related to this incident in the area of the 300 block of Brandon Place.  If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact Agent Brittany Alexander at the Williamsport Police Department.

COVID-19 LOCAL RESULTS

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Sunday reported new COVID-19 cases statewide. In Clinton County 24 new cases were reported, Centre County saw an increase of 65, Lycoming County increased by 67, 32 in Northumberland County, 13 in Union and eight each in Montour and Snyder counties.

CLINTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 100 YEARS OLD

Clinton County Historical Society celebrates 100 years of charter, by continuing to collect and preserve the history of Clinton County.  A celebratory banquet will be held on Oct. 17 at the Lock Haven Elks, 109 E. Main Street to include a special presentation by ; Thomas “Tank” Baird is at 7 p. m. According to therecordonline.com, Mr. Baird is the past president/current vice president of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology and has eleven seasons of historic and pre-historic archaeological excavation experience. He published an article “Mysterious Mound Builder Artifacts Found in Rural Clinton County.”

SHAQUILLE O’NEAL PERFORMED AT BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY

A NBA Hall of Famer was in the Valley this weekend…as a DJ.Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal performed at Bucknell University’s annual Fall Fest, but was held for the first time in two years due to the pandemic. According to campus newspaper, The Bucknellian, O’Neal performed under his stage name, ‘DJ Diesel.’ The event occurred Friday night at Sojka Pavilion.

OVER THE EDGE GOES OVER THE TOP

It was the annual “Over the Edge” fund raising event and it sent participants down 150′ from the top of the Genetti Hotel to the street on Saturday. The event is sponsored by UPMC and is a fundraising partnership between the Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation, River Valley YMCA and the YWCA of Northcentral Pa. According to Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter’s Facebook page, It was an honor to kickoff this year’s “Over the Edge” fundraiser alongside Mr. Steve Johnson to benefit three of our amazing local non-profits. Mayor Slaughter and UPMC Northcentral President Steve Johnson kicked off the historic event by rappelling and helping to raise over $16,000.

HARASSMENT BY COMMUNICATION

From July 16 to Sept. 10 of this year, a Danville woman received 47 calls and 53 text messages, many of which threatened her. According to Danville Borough Police, Jamie Alisha Adams, 31, of Bridge City, TX, was charged multiple felonies. As reported by a media outlet, onn July 20, Adams sent a text message that read, “Please drop the charges…” allegedly in reference to another case that charged Adams with similar offenses. Adams was released on $100,000 nominal bail, meaning she only had to pay a small amount, as she awaits a preliminary hearing scheduled at the end of the month.

NARCOTICS CHARGES FOR WILLIAMSPORT WOMAN

A 57-year-old Williamsport woman is facing felony charges after detectives with the Lycoming County Narcotics Enforcement Unit purchased 11 prescription pills from her. On June 10, a confidential informant placed a call to Brenda Allison Jones in the presence of Detective Robert Anderson to arrange the purchase.  Jones was charged with third-degree felony criminal use of a communication facility and felony possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. Court records show Jones posted $50,000 unsecured bail and agreed to show up in person for her preliminary hearing.A formal arraignment with Aaron Biichle is scheduled for Oct. 11 at 8:30 a.m.

ASSAULT CHARGES ON WILLIAMSPORT MAN

Williamsport police charged a man with second-degree simple assault, first-degree terroristic threats, and second-degree false imprisonment after they said he locked a woman inside a bedroom. All charges are misdemeanors filed against Joshua Tito Kendall, 36, of Williamsport, who allegedly told the woman he would “kill her” if she ever tried to leave him. Kendall posted $50,000 monetary bail on Sept. 16 through a professional bondsman located in Unityville. He is scheduled to appear before Judge Aaron Biichle on Oct. 14 at 8:45 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.

LAWSUIT GOING  TO COURT REGARDING STATE OF HEALTH MANDATES

The Montoursville Area School District mask lawsuit by parents will continue for at least another week. U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann said he would decide Friday whether to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the district from enforcing a mask policy mirroring what the state health department mandates. Parents of 15 district students are seeking an injunction.

MIFFLINBURG MAN CHARGED WITH ANIMAL CRUELTY FOR LEAVING DOGS IN HOT SUN FOR HOURS

A Mifflinburg Man was arrested recently for animal cruelty. State police say 50-year-old Daniel Moll was arrested for leaving three dogs in a parked car with the windows up for 4-5 hours. By the time they were found, one dog had succumbed to the heat. Troopers have charged Moll with felony animal cruelty and neglect charges .

A DANVILLE BUSINESSWOMAN DIED FOLLOWING EXPLOSION

A long-time Danville businesswoman had died following a welding accident Thursday afternoon. Mahoning Township Police Chief Fred Dyroff says 64-year-old Kathy Snyder died from her injuries overnight at Lehigh Valley Health Network Regional Burn Center near Allentown. As reported by the Daily Item, Dyroff says the accident occurred just before 2 p.m. Thursday at her shop when a diesel tank she was welding exploded. Snyder had operated Haupt Welding for more than 30 years, which was founded by her father in 1960.

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH

As the Commonwealth marks National Suicide Prevention Month in September, legislation to hold accountable a person who instructs, causes or solicits another person to commit suicide is now awaiting the governor’s signature.  “Shawn’s Law” is named after Shawn Shatto, a young woman who took her own life in her parent’s Newberry Township home after she received a step-by-step guide on how to die by suicide from an online chat forum. She was provided the instructions to make the poison to take her own life.  House Bill 184 calls for sentences for a person who encourages another person who is under the age of 18 or has an intellectual disability to die by suicide to be increased.

A COMPREHENSIVE ELECTION REFORM

A comprehensive election reform measure vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Tom Wolf has been reintroduced in the state House. A key component of the bill – to expand voter ID guidelines to require all voters to present ID each time they cast a ballot – was initially cited by the governor as a main reason for his veto, but he has subsequently said he is open to expanded ID requirements. The Voting Rights Protection Act, now House Bill 1800, would expand ID requirements but also ensure ALL registered voters can comply by calling on counties and the Department of State to issue durable voter registration identification cards, similar to those already provided. Voters also would be able to use other types of identification, including their state-issued driver license or ID card.

STATE PRISON TIME FOR PHILADELPHIA MAN

State prison is what is in the future for a man who was found guilty of selling heroin, fentanyl and cocaine to Williamsport residents in 2019. William Lincoln, 39, of Philadelphia, recently received a state prison sentence of 20 years and nine months to 34 years and six months for multiple drug charges, according to a media outlet. According to a media source, the jury in his March 2021 trial determined he intended to sell 87 bags of fentanyl and cocaine and 15.7 grams of meth, among many others, across three different court cases he stood trial for at once.

DEBT CEILING

With Pennsylvania’s lawmakers in Washington sharply divided, the Senate is set for a showdown that could end in an unprecedented debt default or a government shutdown. Battles over the debt ceiling and government funding have become an almost perennial tradition in Washington, particularly when the president and Congress are at odds. On Tuesday, the House voted 220-211 to keep the government funded and to raise the debt limit, allowing the United States to pay off its bondholders for a while longer. Pennsylvania’s delegation was split along party lines, with every Democrat voting to raise the limit and every Republican voting against it. The measure now moves to the Senate, where Republicans have shown little interest in helping to raise the ceiling — despite having voted to do so two years ago.

TRANSFER MONEY APPROVED FOR WILLIAMSPORT CITY

Williamsport City Council approved a transfer ordinance totaling $100,000 to cover costs associated with three tasks. The transfer of money in the 2021 general fund will be used to pay$20,000 as part of the city obligation to have its buildings meet the Americans with Disabilities Act, secondly $70,000 for foundation cost for the Muncy Bank Stadium scoreboard, and, finally, $50,000 is for a pickup truck that will not be able to be delivered until next year, as reported by the SUN Gazette.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING, LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 24, 2021

EXPLOSION SENDS DANVILLE WOMAN TO HOSPITAL

The Sunbury Daily Item reported a Danville woman went to the hospital after suffering injuries from an explosion at a welding shop yesterday afternoon in Mahoning Township.  According to Mahoning Township Police Chief Fred Dyroff, the explosion happened when Kathy Snyder was welding a diesel tank around 2pm.

KRAYNAK PLEAD GUILTY TO 12 FELONY COUNTS

Dr. Raymond Kraynak yesterday unexpectedly ended a four-year-long legal battle, by pleading guilty to 12 felony counts of illegal distribution or dispensing of prescription drugs. The plea was made 10 days into the trial in Williamsport. U.S. Judge Matthew Brann accepted the plea and Kraynak will be sentenced at a later date in federal court. As part of the plea deal, Kraynak is likely to face a maximum of 15 years in prison, a fine and probation to be determined, potential restitution to the victims and additional court fees and costs. Brann ordered a pre-sentence investigation and report before Kraynak is sentenced. According to the Daily Item, a sentencing date is not yet scheduled. Kraynak remains free on $500,000 bail until the sentencing date.

UPDATED COVID-19 LOCAL RESULTS

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday reported new COVID-19 cases statewide. In Clinton County 31 new cases were reported, Centre County saw an increase of 58, Lycoming County increased by 84, 48 cases in Northumberland County, 24 in Snyder, 14 in Union and three in Montour.

CLINTON COUNTY PRESIDENT JUDGE DENIES PARTS OF A PRE-TRIAL MOTION

Clinton County President Judge Craig Miller has denied nearly all parts of a pre-trial motion submitted by Jamie Lynn Jackson’s defense in an attempt to challenge evidence accusing her of killing her 9-year-old nephew. Jackson, 36, is accused of abusing Anson Stover and leaving him for dead in a bathtub in her home along East Bald Eagle Street in November 2020. She faces criminal homicide and six other charges by the Lock Haven City Police Department. According to a media outlet, Jackson’s trial is scheduled to begin on March 28, 2022, and may last until April 8, 2022. Jury selection will begin on March 21, 2022.

EVANGELICAL COMMUNITY HOSPITAL SALARY INCREASE

In what seems to be a step in the right direction, and after Geisinger announced a wage increase last week, the Evangelical Community Hospital announced this week approximately 700 employees will see an increase in their wages as the Hospital moves to make the minimum base pay for all positions $15 per hour. The new wages take affect October 3.  According to a media outlet, the Evangelical’s Vice President of People and Culture Rachel Smith says the increase shows commitment to being a strong employer of choice in the region, and the hospital’s desire to continually recruit high caliber individuals to be part of the healthcare environment.

STATE SENATOR GENE YAW SPEAKS UP FOR FIREFIGHTERS

The Senate this week approved a bill establishing statewide uniform requirements restricting the use of certain “Class B” firefighting foams for training purposes and testing, according to a press release. The legislation, known as the Firefighting Foam Management Act, would restrict the use of foam containing added (PFAS) beginning July 1, 2022. According to state Sen. Gene Yaw, Township, the bill’s prime sponsor, this bill will undoubtedly protect firefighters moving forward, while also safeguarding our ground and surface water from contamination.

SENTATE RESTRICTING USE OF CERTAIN “CLASS B” FOAM

The Senate this week approved a bill establishing statewide uniform requirements restricting the use of certain “Class B” firefighting foams for training purposes and testing, according to a press release. The bill would further direct the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in consultation with the State Fire Commissioner, to assist firefighting entities with evaluating and determining how to transition to the use of class B firefighting foam that does not contain a PFAS chemical. Yaw indicated the legislation would not impact the continued use of firefighting foams during emergency situations.

SECOND ALARM FIRE IN WILLIAMSPORT

T&T Nail in the River Valley Plaza at 201 Basin St. was expected to remain closed at least two to three weeks after a smoldering electrical fire was discovered inside the business about 8:40 a.m. Thursday, according to city Platoon Chief Samuel Aungst. A fire that consumed a small cabinet filled with nail polish and nail removal was smoldering when firefighters arrived, Aungst said, adding that damage was estimated at about $25,000. No one was injured, and damage was limited to the one business. Both the woman and child were taken to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, officials said.

MURDER TRIAL CONTINUES IN WILLIAMSPORT

The trial of Ikeem Fogan, a man accused of killing a Newberry woman in 2019, finished its final session of the week with testimony from forensic scientists and a member of the county sheriff’s office. Nicholas Plumley, a state police forensic scientist in Harrisburg, said his office found “gunshot residue” on Fogan’s hands or back.“Fogan may have recently handled or discharged a firearm,” Plumley told the jury. “He could have been near a discharged gun.” Fogan is accused of killing Rhonda McPeak in the Newberry Uni-Mart in August 2019 during a failed robbery. Police found and arrested him around 30 hours after the shooting occurred.

MONDAY WITNESSES PLAN FOR THE END OF THE TRIAL

The trial of Ikeem Fogan, a man accused of killing a Newberry woman in 2019, finished its final session of the week with testimony from forensic scientists and a member of the county sheriff’s office.On Monday, the jury will hear from the remainder of summoned witnesses, including DNA evidence, before both parties make their closing statements around noon. Then, the jury will deliberate through the rest of the day as long as it takes to reach a verdict.

PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE ALL-ELECTRONIC TOLLING

The Pennsylvania Turnpike’s switch to all-electronic tolling has been anything but quick or painless. In fact, an internal turnpike report was issued in July: that more than $104 million in tolls went uncollected last year. Some troubling facts, as reported in just one paragraph of a recent AP article: “Last year, license plates could not be identified in 1.8 million Pennsylvania Turnpike rides, bills were undeliverable in just over 1 million instances, and motor vehicle agencies failed to provide vehicle owner addresses more than 1.5 million times. An additional 6.7 million transactions were marked as ‘not paid.’ “

BACKYARD BROADCASTING, LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 22, 2021

SENATOR YAW SUPPORTING FIREFIGHTERS 

A bill establishing statewide uniform requirements restricting the use of “Class B” firefighting foams containing added (PFAS) for training purposes and testing … was approved today by the full Senate, according to prime sponsor Sen. Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. According to Senator Yaw, “Firefighters can face an extremely higher level of PFAS exposure compared to other emergency responders.” “This bill will undoubtedly protect firefighters moving forward, while also safeguarding our ground and surface water from contamination.” If approved, Pennsylvania would follow Colorado, Kentucky, Virginia and Washington that have enacted laws banning the use of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foams.  The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

PENNDOT TALK BACK PLAN

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced the launch of a Public Comment Period for the draft 2045 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Freight Movement Plan (FMP). The plans are available for review through October 19, 2021. According to PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We need Pennsylvanians to join this conversation to help us make these plans even more responsive to future public needs. Whether we are speaking about more efficient freight movement, modernized public transit, reduced highway congestion or increased options for bicyclists and pedestrians, these improvements are only possible with a public commitment to a sustained level of investment for years to come,” All information is available online under Tell Us What You Think at penndot.gov/planning.

GEISINGER VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

Beginning today, Geisinger’s updated visitation policy will go into effect for all hospital locations. Changes include: Admitted patients will be allowed two designated visitors through the duration of a hospital stay, meaning visitors may not switch out with other visitors. Emergency room patients will be permitted one visitor for the duration of their stay once the patient is in the treatment area. Emergency room patients who are positive for COVID-19 or who are suspected of having COVID-19 are not permitted visitors. Geisinger encourages alternate means of visiting with a loved one in the hospital, including phone calls and virtual visits through Facetime, Skype or other means.

GEISINGER VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

Beginning today, Geisinger’s updated visitation policy will go into effect for all hospital and outpatient locations. At all outpatient locations, changes include: No visitors are permitted during outpatient appointments, unless medically necessary. Outpatient appointments include certain surgeries, mental or behavioral health, primary care and others. Geisinger encourages alternate means of visiting with a loved one in the hospital, including phone calls and virtual visits through Facetime, Skype or other means.

BENNINGHOFF SUPPORTS EXTENSION OF IDA DISASTER EMERGENCY DECLARATION

House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff yesterday voted in support of House Resolution 139, which would extend the provisions of Gov. Tom Wolf’s Aug. 31 disaster emergency declaration relative to the aftereffects of Tropical Storm Ida. “When Pennsylvania voters approved two constitutional amendments in May giving the Legislature a greater say in the management of disaster emergency situations, this is the exact type of cooperative management they expected,” Benninghoff said. “Tropical Storm Ida had a serious impact on many communities across Pennsylvania. As that extensive recovery effort continues, renewing the disaster declaration is clearly necessary.” House Resolution 139 would extend the disaster emergency declaration until Oct. 27, 2021.

BENNINGHOFF VOTES FOR GREATER INFORMATION SHARING TO HELP COMBAT OPIOID EPIDEMIC

House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff yesterday voted in support of an amendment to House Bill 1774 that would allow for increased information sharing between departments of material from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program as a tool to help the Commonwealth combat the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic. This legislative fix was identified by Gov. Tom Wolf as a helpful component of the opioid disaster emergency declaration, which expired in August after being renewed 15 different times by the governor. “Cooperative government means that when a disaster declaration is extended 15 times, maybe it is time for permanent solutions, instead of a permanent emergency. That is the essence of what we are doing today: We are providing a permanent fix to help combat the opioid addiction epidemic in Pennsylvania,” Benninghoff said.

BENNINGHOFF SUPPORTS WARD RESOLUTION ON PRISONER REALLOCATION

House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff yesterday morning voted in support of a resolution offered by Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward during a meeting of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission that would put additional guidelines on how prisoner reallocation data is to be compiled and counted by, among other things, ensuring that individuals incarcerated to a minimum sentence expiring after April 1, 2030, will be counted at the prison at which they reside. The resolution further fleshes out the decision by the commission at its last meeting to adopt a prisoner reallocation proposal that changes the long-standing practice of having state inmates counted where they eat, sleep and live at the time of the census—like every other Pennsylvanian—and instead counts them where they resided prior to incarceration.

STRIPE OUT GAME 

Contest with the Hoosiers on Oct. 2 is a Stripe Out Penn State Football’s contest against Indiana on Oct. 2 will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on ABC, it was announced Monday. The game will also be available on the Penn State Sports Network (6 p.m. airtime) and GoPSUsports.com.
The Nittany Lions hold a 22-2 all-time record vs. Indiana, with Indiana winning last year’s matchup 36-35 in overtime. Penn State faces off with Villanova in Beaver Stadium on Saturday at noon ET on Big Ten Network. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 28-20 victory over Auburn.

GOVERNOR WOLF AND IT’S ON US

Continuing his commitment to combatting campus sexual assault, Governor Tom Wolf announced that $1 million in It’s On Us PA grants are available to colleges, universities, and other postsecondary schools in Pennsylvania. Since 2016, the Wolf Administration has awarded over 190 It’s On Us PA grants totaling nearly $5 million to more than 75 postsecondary institutions, including public and private two-year and four-year colleges and universities. The Pennsylvania Department of Education will accept applications for grants of up to $30,000 through October 20, 2021. Grant applications are available on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.

PROSECUTION IN MURDER TRIAL

In the prosecution’s opening statement on Tuesday in the Criminal Homicide trial of I-Keem Damont Fogan, 23, District Attorney Martin Wade told the jury the story of a “robbery executed very poorly.”  Wade walked the jury through the night of August 4, 2019, showing still images of the shooting that occurred at the Uni-Mart, 1944 W. Fourth St., that injured JoBeth Wetzel, the cashier on duty that night, and took the life of Rhonda McPeak, a customer in the store. In her opening statement, public defender Nicole Spring drew attention to the potential trauma the jurors may experience while serving at the trial,  acknowledging the shocking crime that took place the night of Aug. 4, 2019. They would, she said, have to witness surveillance footage of the two women being shot, a difficult thing to bear.The trial continues this morning in the Lycoming County Courthouse.

COVID-19 LOCAL UPDATE

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Tuesday reported new COVID-19 cases statewide. In Clinton County six new cases were reported on Tuesday, Centre County saw an increase of 40, Lycoming County increased by 49, 41 in Northumberland County, 14 in Union County, 21 in Snyder, and four in Montour.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA STOLEN

State Police at Montoursville are investigating a burglary in Fairfield Township in which medical marijuana was stolen. The residence, on O’Dell Road, was entered sometime during the day on Sept 7th.  The suspects took upwards of $60 in medical marijuana and fled the scene. If you have any information, please contact the State Police in Montoursville.

THEFT IN MIFFLINBURG

A victim is out $850 after a Union County man allegedly stole parts from an auto he was expected to repair. David Walls, 47, of Mifflinburg, is accused of stealing more than $1,000 worth of parts from the victim’s vehicle and keeping the $850 she paid for repairs, according to State Police at Milton. The vehicle was taken to Walls’ residence to make the agreed repairs, after several months the vehicle was not returned. The victim went to get her vehicle and realized several parts were missing.  Items missing included; the transmission, battery, catalytic converter, and starter, according to state police. According to northcentralpa.com, charges against Walls are being filed at the office of District Judge Jeffrey Mensch.

MONTOURSVILLE grad gets Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Eastern Division Football Co-Offensive Athlete of the week

Shippensburg University red shirt junior quarterback Brycen Mussina was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Eastern Division Football Co-Offensive Athlete of the week after equaling a career high with five touchdown passes in Saturday’s victory at Clarion. Mussina, a Montoursville graduate, was 23 of 37 for 350 yards and equaled a career high with five touchdown passes before he was relieved in the fourth quarter. As reported by SUN Gazette,  it was the first time a Shippensburg player has been named the PSAC Eastern Division Football Offensive Athlete of the Week since Mussina was recognized during his redshirt freshman season on October 22, 2018.. it is Mussina’s second career PSAC weekly award.

MURDER TRIAL IN WILLIAMSPORT

On Tuesday in the Criminal Homicide trial of I-Keem Damont Fogan, public defender Nicole Spring, in her opening statement, drew attention to the potential trauma the jurors may experience while serving at the trial,  acknowledging the shocking crime that took place the night of Aug. 4, 2019. They would, she said, have to witness surveillance footage of the two women being shot, a difficult thing to bear. According to the SUN Gazette, the trial continues this morning in the Lycoming County Courthouse.

MANDATED MINIMUM CONTRIBUTION FOR WILLIAMSPORT PUBLIC SAFETY

The Williamsport City’s mandated minimum contribution to police, fire and employees’ pension funds is $4.1 million.  According to city officials  $1 million less than the previous obligation. On their regular meeting, Williamsport’s City Council’s Finance Committee gave the minimum municipal obligation a positive recommendation.  Broken down, contributions for police are $1.8 million; fire, $1.1 million and officers and employees, $1.1 million, this according to city interim finance director, Joseph Paw Lak, who goes on to say the city must approve the obligation to pay pensions by Sept 30, as reported by SUN Gazette.

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN FUNDS FOR TREE REPLACEMENT 

The city may be able to use a portion of the $25.4 million in American Rescue Plan funds to replant trees removed when the state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reconstructed West Fourth Street in Newberry two years ago. In total, 51 trees were taken out overnight in an area less than a mile in length, leading to outrage from West End residents impacted who are asking for 40-plus trees.  Chad Eckert, city forester, said if the funds are approved for the replacements, there are a variety of tree species that might work. However, PennDOT reported it will not be able to return to the project until 2028. According to a media outlet, a second work session on the use of the American Rescue Plan funds is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 30. The meeting will be held remotely on YouTube and accessible on the city website.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING, LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 17, 2021

MONTOURSVILLE AREA  HOME HIT BY FIRE

Several volunteer fire companies, along with city fireman, battled a two alarm blaze that was engulfing a home on Jerry Lane, off of Heilman Road, North of Route 864 in Upper Fairfield Township yesterday afternoon.  The fire was reportedly called in by a neighbor.  When the fire crews arrived on the scene, 50 percent of the home was engulfed in flames.  The blaze burned out of control for at least an hour.

COVID CASES RISE IN TIOGA COUNTY

Tioga County faces a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases according to a warning from the Tioga County COVID-19 task force. For the month of September the county has recorded 277 positive cases and a 14.7% positivity rate.  These findings are based upon Department of Health data.

DOMESTIC CALL IN LOYALSOCK, POLICE FIND UNATTENDED CHILDREN

While responding to a domestic call at the catch all self-storage at Commerce Park Drive in Loyalsock, state police discovered four children ages ranging from 7 to 12 locked inside a fenced area unattended.  John William Clontz, 52, of Muncy was charged with four counts of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of children after trooper determined he left them unattended.  Clontz is being held at the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $15,000 bail.  His preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 13th.

106TH PENNSYLVANIA FARM SHOW

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that the 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show will run Saturday, January 8th through Saturday, January 15th and will be hosted at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.  The theme of the next farm show will be, we harvest more in 2022.

CHARGES FILED ON DRIVER OF MOTORCYCLE OF HIGH SPEED CHASE

Orangeville Police arrested Jason Dale Ruhmel, 41, who was operating his motorcycle at speeds over 100 miles per hour.  While on patrol, officers observed the individual pumping gas, when attempting to run the license plate, Ruhmel left the parking lot and after failing to stop the speeding motorcycle, the police terminated the chase due to a danger to the public.  Ruhmel had two active warrants and officers charged him with third degree felony fleeing or attempting to elude officers, flight to avoid apprehension, six summary traffic offenses, and careless driving.  No bail or preliminary hearing was scheduled for Ruhmel.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING, LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 21, 2021

WILLIAMSPORT CODES AND CITY POLICE PATROL DIVISION REMAIN
The Williamsport City Bureau of Codes and City Police Patrol Division are the two departments that remain in condemned City Hall. Mayor Derek Slaughter reported yesterday that he would ask for a brief extension. A target date of Monday was set two weeks ago by the codes department, and while it was missed, offices and rooms are not quite prepared for the relocation of codes and patrol. According to SUN Gazette, the codes offices will be at restored rooms at River Valley Transit, 1500 W. Third St., which is being prepared for the buildings and property codes enforcement employees this week. The police patrol division picture remains fluid and not completed, Slaughter said.

JERSEY SHORE MAN REFUSING TO LEAVE HIS CELL

Samuel Collins, committed Sunday to the Lycoming County Prison after he was declared unfit for arraignment, following a traffic stop at 1 am,  refused to come out of his cell Monday morning when District Judge Christian Frey was prepared to conduct the formal proceeding, according to court records. Frey proceeded anyway and ordered that the 41-year-old Jersey Shore man remain behind bars in lieu of $25,000 bail. According to a media source, Judge Frey said he has never heard of a situation where someone locked up refused the next day to come out of their cell to attend to the matter. Collins, of 405 Allegheny St., was taken into custody about 1 a.m. Sunday on multiple charges  after state troopers stopped his 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt at West Fourth and Laurel streets in the city.

MURDER TRIAL TO BEGIN TODAY

Yesterday, the Lycoming County Court seated a 12-person jury to hear the case against a man accused of murdering a customer in a convenience store in 2019. The jury will hear testimony today through next Monday before deciding the case of Ikeem Fogan, 23, of Williamsport, who allegedly shot and killed a customer and injured a Uni-Mart clerk in August 2019. According to SUN Gazette, in addition to those 12, four alternates were chosen to step in should they be needed. Fogan will answer to 12 charges. The trial begins today at 9 a.m. in the Lycoming County Courthouse. County Judge Marc Lovecchio will preside over the trial.

SEXUAL OFFENDER TO STATE PRISON FROM ROARING BRANCH

The Lycoming County Court recently sentenced a sexual offender to state prison for charges related to sexual abuse of children. As reported by an online media source, Michael Harris Jr., 34, of Roaring Branch, was sentenced by Lycoming County Court Judge Ryan Tira for 47-94 years in state prison, in addition to three years of probation, for a series of abusive incidents toward a minor when she was younger than 13 that continued over several years.

SEXUAL OFFENDER TO STATE PRISON FROM MUNCY VALLEY

The Lycoming County Court recently sentenced a sexual offender to state prison for charges related to sexual abuse of children. As reported by a media outlet, John Irwin, 71, of Muncy Valley, was sentenced to 80-160 years in state prison and three years of probation for being convicted of raping children. According to  a criminal complaint that Irwin initially sexually abused the two girls starting when they were six. Irwin pleaded guilty to several counts of rape of child. Allegations initially pit 103 charges related to the incidents against him.

FREE PROGRAM “ENCOURAGING  BIRDS TO  YOUR BACKYARD”

The Tiadaghton Audubon Society is hosting a free program open to the public titled “Encouraging Birds to Your Backyard.” It will be held rain or shine. Ann Vayansky is presenting the program at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday outdoors at the Nature Center at Hills Creek State Park. According to a report from SUN Gazette, it’s located seven miles northeast of Wellsboro in Charleston Township. If it rains, the program will be in the Nature Center pavilion. Hills Creek has a garden of native plants at its Nature Center. Vayansky will talk about the merits of some of the plants in this garden and the importance of people incorporating them and others into their landscaping to encourage birds and other wildlife to visit.

LYCOMING COUNTY COVID INFECTION RATE

Lycoming County’s infection rate has surpassed not only that of Pennsylvania, but of the entire country, according to county Health Improvement Coalition data. The county’s latest test positivity rate and seven-day total infections are reportedly 338 per 100,000, with 38 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Sept. 16. Lycoming remains among the 95% of counties countrywide facing high levels of COVID-19 transmission at a community level. As reported in SUN Gazette, in Lycoming County, the vaccination rate among adults 18 and over now stands at 62.2% having received their first dose, with over half of the county’s eligible population having begun their vaccine process, about 51.6%.

PENNSYLVANIA GAME COMMISSION MEMORIAL TO FLIGHT 93

Forty American flags stood tall and the sound of bagpipes rang out on State Game Lands 93 in Somerset County as the Pennsylvania Game Commission rededicated a memorial to honor the 40 heroic passengers and crew members of United Airlines Flight 93. The ceremony was held on the morning of Sept. 10, in advance of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The agency dedicated a new wooden game lands sign, two stone, engraved benches — one honoring all 40 men and women on board and one honoring U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist and Law Enforcement Officer Richard J. Guadagno — and two informational kiosks with the 40 names, the Flight 93 story, the history of the game lands and more in the memorial area of the game lands. As reported by a media outlet, a keystone was also cut into the landscape on the grassy hillside overlooking the memorial with the number 93 painted in the middle.

MEDICAL VERIFICATION REQUIRED FOR NO MASK IN EAST LYCOMING SCHOOLS

It was a special meeting for the East Lycoming School Board last night in the Hughesville High School auditorium. With members of the public and anxious parents present, the board voted 8-1 saying in order to receive a mask exemption, a form will require medical verification. As reported by SUN Gazette, the vote came as a long meeting turned even longer with approximately 3 hours of public comment on the mask mandate.

PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH UPDATED COVID-19 RESPONSES FROM MONDAY

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Monday reported new COVID-19 cases statewide. In Clinton County eight new cases, Lycoming County increased by 31, 15 in Northumberland County, eight in both Snyder and Union counties and four in Montour County.

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SENT TO ASSIST A TOWN IN TEXAS

Employees from the U.S. Penitentiary at Lewisburg are joining other federal officers in helping to expel thousands of migrants from a Texas town. In all, U.S. authorities moved to expel many of the more than 12,000 migrants camped around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas. Andy Kline, president of Local 148 representing the corrections officers at the Lewisburg prison, isn’t pleased that they are being employed to address the crisis. As reported by the Daily Item, besides putting officers health at risk, Kline said, sending prison staff out of state to assist in the migrant problem is straining the resources of federal prisons which has been dealing with a nationwide staff shortage for years.

GRANT MONEY TO HELP CRYSTAL LAKE SKI AND OUTDOOR CENTER

A grant from the Williamsport Lycoming Community Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP) for $12,000 is set to help the Crystal Lake Ski and Outdoor Center to better serve more locals and visitors. With the grant, owners expect improvements to continue over the next five years starting with the 2021-22 season. According to Nathan Bowen, Executive Director of Crystal Lake, “There are a couple of components to this project.” According to northcentralpa.com, one component, the Skis to Schools program, reaching and making a difference for children in the community and helping members of the community on how to best use the resources that Crystal Lake provides.

TRANSFER STATION CLOSING FOR MAINTENANCE

The Lycoming County Resource Management Services Transfer Station Located at 1475 West Third St. in Williamsport will be temporarily closed for maintenance Mon., Sept. 27th and is anticipated to reopen to the public and waste haulers on Mon., Oct. 4 at 8:30am. The temporary shutdown is for the installation of a new conveyor. As reported by SUN Gazette, the location at 447 Alexander Dr., Montgomery, which is open Mon.-Fri. 7:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sat. 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m, will be the replacement station, as needed by residents. Electronic recycling collection will be suspended upon Transfer Station reopening.  Collections will continue at the landfill location for residents only (no businesses, organizations, institutions, etc.).

PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT COULD LEAD TO DUI

A Watsontown man was taken into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence after hitting a 13-year-old boy as he waited for the school bus. According to Watsontown Police, the incident happened last Thursday just after 7:30 a.m. the boy was hit, sustained an injury, was taken to Evangelical Community Hospital Emergency Room.. According to a media outlet, police say the driver, an unidentified 28-year-old man, was taken into custody, and administered a DUI blood test.

SEXUAL ASSAULT IN NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY

It was a theft and sexual assault, as reported by state police, on a rural Union County road. On September 12, a woman was in a vehicle with 27-year-old Martin Esperanza of Milton, when they say he sexually assaulted her,  took her purse and cellphone,  and left her along the road. Esperanza is charged with multiple charges and is now in the Northumberland County Prison. According to an online media outlet, a hearing will be held, in front of District Judge Michael Diehl, who set bail at $75,000.

A DOMESTIC VERBAL ALTERCATION BECAME VIOLENT

Threats became violent behavior, as Watsontown Police reported they were called to Eighth Street on Friday to break up a domestic dispute, where a man assaulted and threatened to kill a woman if she called the police. As reported by SUN Gazette, police said they took 40-year-old James Beardsley of Watsontown into custody and charged him with harassment, simple assault and terroristic threats.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 16, 2021

 

NEXT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER

The Pennsylvania College of Technology has announced James R Dougherty the Third as the next Executive Director of the Community Arts Center beginning earlier this week.  He takes over the position from Chuck Still who had been with the center since January 2020.  Dougherty has most recently served as Director of Computer and Media Services.  He looks forward to working closely with local community.

JERSEY SHORE SCHOOL PARENTS VOCAL ABOUT MASKS

A crowd of people calling for the unmasking of students highlighted action at the Jersey Shore School Board Meeting this week.  The meeting included parents of school children who claimed the masks are  harmful to students.  Others told the board they felt their rights were being trampled on by the state’s mask mandate.  The School Board in Jersey Shore did vote to support an injunction filed by State Republicans and parents seeking to overturn the state wide mask mandate for schools.

WILLIAMSPORT CITY AND TAX OFFICE MOVED

The Williamsport City Treasurer and Tax Office has found a new home in Williamsport at 100 West Third Street.  The new office entrance is on Pine Street directly across from the court house fountains.  The office has 15 minute parking available along 3rd Street directly across from the M & T Bank Building.

STEP IN LYCOMING COUNTY

The Lycoming County Board of Commissioners approved funding for housing programs through STEP. Commissioner Tony Mussare voiced his concern for the reduction of funding for the, “Homes in Need” program.  The program helps seniors who fall within a certain household income.  The program was reduced from $300,000 to $225,000 this year.  Funding comes through the Marcellus Shale Activity in the State which has gone down.  

VIDEO SCOREBOARD TO BOWMAN FIELD

A video scoreboard is on its way to Bowman Field.  The $630,000 videoboard is considered a win-win for the City of Williamsport and region. It was included in a list of stadium improvements that were to be paid for as part of the state redevelopment assistance capital program grant.  The grant was approved by Governor Tom Wolf and the State Office of Budget.

MASKING OF STUDENTS HOT TOPIC LATE FOR MONTOURSVILLE AREA SCHOOL BOARD

The Montoursville Area School Board was burning the midnight oil when they finally adjourned their meeting at one minute before midnight.  The board heard from many district residences, mostly on the issue of masking the students.  The nearly five hour virtual meeting included remarks from people opposed to masks and people who called for the resignation of board members and Superintendent Christa Basson.  School Officials repeatedly made it clear they cannot simply go against the state order without facing legal action.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT PASSED AN EXEMPTION TO THE MASK ORDER

While in South Williamsport, the school board passed a motion that will allow parents to sign off on an exemption from the Department of Health’s mask-wearing order during a crowded public meeting  this week.  The motion removes the requirement of exemptions to have a doctor’s signature, a measure many parents in the South Williamsport  School District took issue with.

CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT IN FEDERAL COURT BY MONTOURSVILLE AREA PARENTS

Meanwhile, fourteen parents of students at Montoursville Area School District filed a civil rights lawsuit this week in Federal Court to over turn a state-ordered mask mandate.  The parents are challenging the school over a requirement that all students, staff and visitors wear masks on buses and in school buildings.  The main issue by the parents was that a mandate was initiated without notice to the public, or prior notice to members of the school board.

REMOTE LEARNING TODAY FOR JACKSON PRIMARY AND LYCOMING INTERMEDIATE SCHOOLS 

Two city schools to go remote today.  Jackson Primary and Lycoming Intermediate Schools will shift to remote learning today and Thursday due to, ” The continued rise of active COVID cases and the high volume of student quarantines.”  This according to an announcement on the Williamsport Area School District’s Facebook page.  In person learning will resume Monday, September 20th. All other schools in the district will operate as normal.

MUNCY SCHOOL BOARD PASSES VOTE TO ALLOW PARENTS TO CHOOSE

Meanwhile, the Muncy School Board voted 6 to 3 to allow parents to choose if their child needs to wear a mask while attended schools in the Muncy School District.  With that vote, a parent of a child under 18 years of age could sign the exemption form, while a student over 18 could sign their own form.

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT NOT TO ENFORCE MASK MANDATE

South Williamsport  Borough Police Department will not enforcement Governor Tom Wolf’s recent mandate requiring  students, staff and visitors to wear masks in school.  Steven Cappaelli, Borough Manager and Public
Safety Director, told Borough Council this week that Borough Police will respond to school emergencies and calls placed by the District, but will not enforce the state mandate.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 14, 2021

DA GARDNER DENIES PROSECUTION OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN FOR MASKS

There will be no prosecution of parents or children for refusing to wear a mask at school. According to District Attorney Ryan Gardner in a statement last Friday, explaining the office had no business with the prosecution in these cases. “The Department of Health’s Order of Aug. 31, 2021 is ambiguous with respect to enforcement,” Gardner said. “The decision whether to mask any child in school is best made between the parent and members of the school’s administration and not the Governor, law enforcement or the District Attorney’s Office.” According to a media source, however, Gardner also stated the school district’s ability to give detention, suspend students or expel them from school, is still present without his prosecution. Gardner encouraged parents and students to remain composed, and that law enforcement may become involved for applicable criminal offenses.

LYCOMING COUNTY COVID VACCINATION RATES

Lycoming County still sits in the high level of community virus transmission, and its case numbers and  a vaccination rate of 45.2%, in the past week Lycoming County has had 258.61 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, with a test positivity rate of 11.9%. Meanwhile, Union County, with a vaccination rate of 50.9 percent, has in the past week reported 282.71 new cases per 100,000 people, and has a test positivity rate of 10.1 percent. Finally, Clinton County, with a vaccination rate of 37.2%, shows in the past week 188.96 new cases per 100,000 people and a test-positivity rate of 7.03%. The state currently leads the nation with a 56% vaccination rate compared to a 53.8% vaccination rate. However, the state’s 7-day total for COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people is 207.7 to the nation’s 286.2. The state’s week-long test positivity rate for COVID-19 is 9.1% to the nation’s 9.14%.

SECOND WORK SESSION FOR WILLIAMSPORT CITY  ADMINISTRATION

The Williamsport City Administration and Williamsport City Council will hold a second work session on the American Rescue Plan funding at 7 p.m. Sept. 30. The meeting will be held at the Trade and Transit Centre II third floor in the Michael Ross meeting room, 100 W. Third St. According to Mayor Derek Slaughter, the city received $25.4 million, half of which it received in May, and the other half expected next spring. According to a media outlet, the money is specifically to be used for relief associated with losses from COVID-19 and, according to the U.S. Treasury Department rules, the rescue funds cannot be used to lower debt or reduce pension costs.

HIRING OF ACCESSIBILITY COMPLIANCE SPECIALISTS

City Council recently agreed to the hiring of two accessibility compliance specialists. Janetta Green was appointed coordinator for accessibility compliance and Mark Derry, accessibility building consultant. The city has about $20,000 reserved in the budget for their expenses, said Liz Miele, council vice president. According to SUN Gazette, once Green and Derry accomplish their work, Joseph Gerardi, city codes administrator, will be certified as accessibility coordinator. Green and Derry’s hirings are part of the commitment by the city to meet the consent decree it has agreed to in U.S. Middle District Court, to avoid a federal lawsuit.

SMALL COMMUNITY AIR SERVICE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM GRANT

A Small Community Air Service Development Program grant, in the amount of $950,000 was approved by the Williamsport Municipal Airport Authority at the last meeting. As was reported by SUN Gazette, the grants, awarded in August to small municipal airports, are utilized for funding air service and airfare issues. Airport officials are hopeful the money allocation will allow for improvements to attract another commercial provider to the area. In addition,  the Authority approved a one-year agreement with Midwest ATC, who covers the labor costs for traffic control service. The contract covers the airport’s labor costs for traffic control service. According to airport executive director Richard Howell the airport received $128,675 in CARES Act funding in August, bringing CARES funding to $1.35 million for the year and $3.4 million in overall allocations.

WOLF AND HIS MASKS MAY BE GOING TO COURT

The union that represents corrections officers in Pennsylvania prisons wants a state court to intervene over the governor’s recent mandate that they all get coronavirus vaccines or submit to weekly testing.The six-page Commonwealth Court complaint requests that the court issue a preliminary injunction to end mandatory testing unless inmates, visitors and outside vendors are also subject to the requirement. In addition to the Corrections Department, it applies to state hospitals, veterans’ homes, community health centers and homes for those with intellectual disabilities. Wolf press secretary Lyndsay Kensinger declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit but called the union’s opposition to the pandemic mitigation “extremely disappointing.”

RETIRING NUMBERS AT THE WILLIAMSPORT AREA  HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

A few pieces of history keep the Williamsport Area High School football alive in the hearts of young and old. Three retired jerseys, Larry Kelly (31), Gary Brown (28) and Natt Neenan (78) were joined by another on Friday night. Williamsport football welcomed Darrell Blackman to the field at halftime during a home game against Mifflin County. As reported by a media outlet, the 2003 Williamsport graduate — who currently holds the all-time rushing title for the Millionaires at 6,761 career yards — had his No. 2 jersey placed high among the elite four. An ovation from a packed stadium was for Blackman, who stood with the red board and his family. According to Blackman, “I’m proud of it, that’s a big accomplishment,” He continued.  “Now, forever, they’ll see that name ‘Blackman,’ that No. 2 jersey that’s sitting in the rafters.”

SCREAMING FOR HELP OVER THE TELEPHONE

Williamsport Police responded to a 911 call with a person allegedly screaming for help into the phone near the 2500 block of Federal Avenue on Sept 1. Police identified, Ciera Aaliyah Johnson, 21, of Williamsport as one of the women. Johnson allegedly punched the elderly woman in the face after she refused to take garbage outside. Johnson then began “beating” on the elderly woman. According to northcentralpa.com, Johnson was charged with multiple charges including felonies. Johnson is held at the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $50,000 monetary bail an upcoming preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 21.

DANVILLE POLICE RESPONDING TO POSSIBLE DEMONSTRATION

In a Facebook post made by the Danville Police Department yesterday, the department said it has received word of a potential demonstration in the Danville area today. “We appreciate everyone’s right to gather and air their grievances; however EVERYBODY’s rights must be protected;” the post said. According to comments made in the post, demonstration in opposition to the vaccine mandate at Geisinger is planned by employees.  According to a media source, today’s planned demonstration will likely disrupt the regular flow of traffic in Danville. The police department has offered tips for participants and community members: Parking violators will be ticketed and /or towed, do not interfere with emergency vehicles or block roadways, either impeding vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

STATE POLICE IN MILTON ARE LOOKING FOR THE SUSPECT WHO CAUSED DAMAGE TO A VALLEY RESTAURANT.

An unknown suspect caused damaged and cut power to a Valley Township business last week. According to State Police in Milton, a suspect went to the Hilltop Bar & Grill restaurant on Liberty Valley Road early the morning of Sept. 8, cut a phone wire and pulled apart a power meter base mounted to the exterior wall. Video surveillance cameras appeared to be tampered with during the incident, according to state police. There was no sign of forced entry at the building. According to SUN Gazette, anyone with information is urged to contact State Police in Milton.

CITY OF WILLIAMSPORT TREASURER AND TAX OFFICE MOVED TO 100 W THIRD ST

According to a news release from Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter, the City of Williamsport Treasurer and Tax Office has relocated to 100 W. Third Street at the corner of Pine Street and Third Street. The move stems from the water and air quality issues at City Hall, said the mayor. The new office entrance is on Pine Street directly across from the Court House Fountains. The office was previously the location of Sterns Café, The Transit Scoop, and most recently Derone’s Dynamite Dogs. The office has fifteen-minute parking available along Third Street directly across from the M&T Bank Building. According to a media source, the office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Office can be reached by phone at 570-327-7520.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Monday reported new COVID-19 cases across the state, Clinton County nine new cases, Centre County saw an increase of 20, Lycoming County has 57, 45 in Northumberland County, nine in Union and six in Montour and Snyder counties.

Live on Location

50th Anniversary of the Annual Car show and Artist Festival

Join Mark Mac broadcasting live at the 50th Anniversary of the Annual Car show and Artist Festival on Saturday, September 18th. Enjoy an exciting time with Live Music, vendors, Kid’s Zone and absolutely FREE ADMISSION!

DATE: SATURDAY, SEPT. 18 2021
BROADCAST / EVENT TIME: 10:00am – 3:00pm
LOCATION: MAIN STREET / MUNCY WILLIAMSPORT, P.A.

For more information on this event: visit SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY CORVETTE CLUB Facebook page

Last Cookout of Summer

Bring the entire family for a splendid time at our very own Backyard Broadcasting Station. Backyard Broadcasting and it’s sister stations wants to fill you up on good times and summer favorites on Tuesday, September 21 2021!
DATE: TUESDAY, SEPT. 21st
TIME: 2:00pm – TBD
LOCATION: 1685 FOUR MILE DRIVE, WILLIAMSPORT, P.A.

Jon Pardi at the Bloomsburg Fair

DATE: FRIDAY, SEPT. 23rd
TIME: 5:00pm –
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Ted will be broadcasting live at the Bloomsburg Fair on Friday, September 23rd at 5:00pm.

Tractor Pulls / Bloomsburg Fair

Jake will be hosting a live broadcast from the Bloomsburg Fair on Saturday, September 25th at 5:00pm.

DATE: SATURDAY, SEPT. 25th
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Darci Lynne / Bloomsburg Fair

Mark Mac will be hosting a live broadcast from the Bloomsburg Fair on Monday, September 27th at 5:00pm.

DATE: Monday, SEPT. 27th
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Crowder / Bloomsburg Fair

Join Keith on air live from the Bloomsburg Fair on Tuesday, September 29th at 5:00pm.
DATE: TUESDAY, SEPT. 29th
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Pat Benatar / Bloomsburg Fair

Mark Mac will be hosting a live broadcast from the Bloomsburg Fair on Wednesday, September 29th at 5:00pm.
DATE: WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 29th
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Bruce in the USA / Bloomsburg Fair

Join Shawn on air live from the Bloomsburg Fair on Thursday, September 30th at 5:00pm.
DATE: THURSDAY, SEPT. 30th
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Chicago / Bloomsburg Fair

Join Jakeon air live from the Bloomsburg Fair on Friday, October 1st at 5:00pm.
DATE: FRIDAY, OCT. 1ST
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

BLOOMSBURG FAIR

Join Ian on air live from the Bloomsburg Fair on Saturday, September 2nd at 5:00pm.
DATE: SATURDAY, OCT. 2ND
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

MUMMER’S DAY PARADE / SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT

DATE: SATURDAY OCT. 16
BROADCAST TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT
Visit this link for more information on parade event: Mummers Day Parade

COUNTRY STORE ANTIQUES

The first Country Store Antiques anniversary will be broadcasted by WILQ from 11:00am – 1:00pm on Saturday October 30th.

VETERANS DAY PARADE

DATE: SATURDAY NOV. 6TH 2021
TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: STAGEING AT LOYALSOCKS HIGH SCHOOL

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