BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS MARCH 19, 2020

PA ANNOUNCES FIRST COVID-19 RELATED DEATH
Pennsylvania officials have confirmed the first coronavirus-related death in the state. According to t a statement by the Wolf administration Wednesday night, the adult from Northampton County was being treated at a state hospital.  Officials did not provide any other details. According to the PA department of health, there are 133 cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, including some patients in the Susquehanna Valley. All of them are either in isolation at home or being treated at a hospital. Wolf said the virus can be transmitted person-to-person through simple contact, and it lives on surfaces for lengthy periods of time.  Earlier this week, he urged nonessential businesses to close for at least 14 days.

COMMISSIONERS ANNOUNCE THEY WILL KEEP COURTHOUSE OPEN
The Lycoming County Commissioners held a press conference yesterday to inform the public that the county offices are not shutting down as they work to slow the spread of the coronavirus and about changes moving forward utilizing county services.  Lycoming County Commissioner Scott Metzger announced that the county buildings will remain open.  He noted that many items can be paid online or sent through the mail.  Find out more at LYCO.ORG

RECYCLING BOXES TO BE REMOVED
The Lycoming County Director of Administration announced that the county will remove recycling drop-off boxes in the County beginning by this afternoon. Municipalities are asked to use orange cones to block off those areas and individuals found past those areas are considered to be trespassing and littering.  Authorities said they hope to bring the drop-off boxes back by on April 1. Until then, county residents are asked to hold their recycling until the service resumes.

TELE-TOWNHALL EVENT TONIGHT AT 5
Congressman Keller will hold a Tele-Townhall Event in conjunction with UPMC about COVID-19.  The head of Infectious Disease at UPMC Williamsport will be available to provide an update on local readiness for dealing with the virus.  According to  an overview of the federal response to aid our healthcare system, workers, students and those in need of nutrition assistance, and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. To join go to https://keller.house.gov/live at least an hour before the  scheduled time of 5pm today.

LYCOMING COUNTY NON-EMERGENCY COURT SUSPENDED UNTIL APRIL
At a press conference held by the  Lycoming County Commissioners yesterday, President Judge Nancy Butts announced the rearranging of court cases and the announcement that of  emergency cases will be heard, but with a request for those people who will be required to come to the courthouse. According to the Sun Gazette, the State Supreme Court declared “a statewide judicial emergency,” and has ordered all courts in the commonwealth be closed to the public through April 3.  While all hearings and court proceeding are temporarily suspended, the court offices will be open to handle telephone calls, online payments and review mail.

STEP FACILITIES CLOSING
The Lycoming Clinton County’s Commission for Community Action  or STEP Inc. has announced it will close it’s facilities to the public starting today. The STEP offices on Lincoln Street in Williamsport, and Walnut Street in Lock Haven, as well as all Headstart buildings and Centers for healthy aging will be affected. WIC customers with questions should call step for updates 570-326-0587.  HeadStart classrooms will be closed for 10 school days, all STEP centers for healthy aging will be closed but Meals on Wheels will operate using non-volunteer personnel STEP Transportation will provide trips for groceries, medical appointments as well as for work.  However, the early learning resource center for Region 7 will not perform any face-to-face business.  Ccaregivers should call the ELRC with questions.

PENNDOT REOPENS SOME REST STOPS
PennDOT has announced they will be reopening select rest areas across Pennsylvania for truck parking. PennDOT rest areas were closed at midnight Tuesday in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19. To address safety concerns raised, PennDOT has identified 13 of its 30 rest areas in critical locations that will be available for truck parking starting today. Each location will have five portable facilities (one of which is ADA-accessible) that will be cleaned once a day. Electronic message signs will be used near the applicable centers to notify drivers near the opened areas. To prevent further spread of COVID-19, PennDOT does not plan to open any of the indoor facilities due to staff availability to keep facilities clean and properly sanitized. The locations that will be reopened for truck parking along i-80 in Centre and Montour Counties east and westbound and 81 north and southbound in Luzerne and Cumberland counties

SMALL BUSINESS WEBINAR THIS MORNING
The PA Chamber’s Educational Foundation will offer a Free Public Service Webinar today 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for all PA businesses on the Coronavirus.  According to the Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, it will focus on the employer response to it and how you can prepare your business should it be affected.  For details go to pa chamber dot org.

Sports

NCAA

An official who worked the Northeast Conference men’s basketball championship game between Robert Morris and St. Francis (Pa.) on March 10 has tested positive for the coronavirus.  The NEC said in a statement this week that it has notified both universities as well as tournament staffers for the game, which took place at the UPMC Events Center on the campus of Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pennsylvania.

The SEC has canceled all spring football games and pro days, along with all other regular-season conference and nonconference competitions for the rest of the 2019-20 athletic year, including all remaining SEC championships because of the coronavirus pandemic. The American Athletic Conference, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 have made similar announcements over the past several days.

NBA

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in an ESPN interview last night that as the league attempts to navigate the pandemic, one option for bringing back the sport would be some kind of charity competition in which, if everyone was declared safe to play, millions of NBA fans stuck at home would then have something to watch.

NHL

The Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings said Wednesday that no player in either organization has showed signs of having the coronavirus. Their announcements came after an unnamed Ottawa Senators players tested positive for the virus. The Ducks and Kings were Ottawa’s last two opponents before the NHL season was suspended, hosting the Senators on March 10 and March 11, respectively. Anaheim’s players are under quarantine at their respective homes.

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