FIRE CAUSE LIKELY TO REMAIN UNDETERMINED
The fire at 627 Third Avenue in Williamsport on Monday left three people homeless and the cause of the fire will likely remain undetermined. Michael and Chyanne Mattern and their five-year-old daughter lost everything they owned in the blaze. Luckily, they were not home at the house they rented from Alpha Student Housing of Williamsport. The blaze broke out at 12:15 and went to three alarms in fifteen minutes. According to Assistant Fire Chief Mark Killian, the cause of the fire will likely remain undetermined because the building is unsafe for investigators to enter.
SIDEWALK WIDENING PROJECT UNDERWAY
Yesterday, contractors began removing trees from along West Fourth Street in Newberry between Route 15 and Arch Street. Heidi Lozano, Project manager with the State Department of Transportation told Newberry residents at a public meeting that the project will widen sidewalks to five feet to make them compliant with The Americans With Disabilities Act. Wolyniec Construction, Inc. is the prime contractor on this project which also includes relocating water, sewer and storm water lines, according to a news release from PennDot.
FIREFIGHTERS SPEAK OUT ABOUT PRESCRIPTION ISSUES
Speaking through a spokesman at Williamsport City Council’s finance committee Tuesday, several city firefighters say they are owed prescription reimbursements, some of which are approaching thousands of dollars. Kevin Breen, a firefighter and spokesman for the Local 736 union told the committee that one is in arrears approaching $10,000. Council chairman Liz Miele said that Breen was right to bring the matter forward and that Megan Dayhoff, human resources director is doing her job and must review the reimbursements. Breen says the matter is known among elected officials and that the mayor has been apprised about the prescription issues.
PA STATE UNIVERSITIES TACKLE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
Efforts by Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities to help combat the commonwealth’s opioid epidemic was discussed at yesterday’s Senate Appropriations Committee on the state budget, according to committee member Senator Gene Yaw. Yaw has led a series of statewide hearings on the epidemic, which claims an average of 15 Pennsylvanians each day. At the budget hearing, he sought the input of the leaders of Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Lincoln University. Penn State President Eric Barron said the school is hiring additional faculty to address the issue across several disciplines, including medical, science and social.
WILLIAMSPORT SYMPHONY RECEIVES GRANTS
The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra received a $1,500 Community grant for the 2018-2019 season in support of the Symphony’s educational youth programs. PPL Foundation provided a $5,000 grant in support of Williamsport Symphony’s educational program for the same period. The programs introduce students to orchestral music through presentations, free tickets and music training that includes the Youth Orchestra and Junior Strings programs.
CIT GLASSES ARE UNDERWAY
A Group of emergency responders in Lycoming County is learning how to better respond to a person experiencing a mental health crisis. It’s called the Crisis Intervention Team or CIT and this is the second year Lycoming County has offered this class. The Crisis Intervention Team has been implemented to divert people away from incarceration and into treatment. Law enforcement hopes those in need during a crisis can see them as a resource.
PA FOOD BANK’S SOUP AND A BOWL FUNDRAISER FRIDAY
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s 13th annual Soup and Bowl fundraiser take place this Friday at the Genetti in downtown Williamsport. There will be three seatings offering a light lunch of soup, bread dessert and beverages at 11 a.m., 1 pm and 4:30 pm. Attendees can select a handcrafted pottery bowl as a keepsake. One in nine of our neighbors struggles to put enough food on their tables and all proceeds of the fundraiser will support the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank directly and the proceeds will provide more than 20,000 meals in our community.