BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS, JULY 21, 2020

The victims of Sunday’s two-story house fire in Woodward Township have been identified by the Lycoming County Coroner.  According to the Sun Gazette, 67 year old Carolyn Barner and 8 year old Riley Welch perished in the fire that state police say possibly started in the rear of the home at 225 Woodward Street, in the area of the deck, but the cause is under investigation.  A local volunteer firefighter noticed the blaze and called 911, alerting another resident in the home who knew Barner and Welch were on the second floor.  The fire marshal said that after being alerted to the fire, Barner either fell or jumped from the second story window and did not survive.  The 8 year old was later found by fire personnel on the second floor. Foul play is not suspected.

The Williamsport Bureau of Police has not yet released a statement about the shooting that occurred last Friday night along the 1000 block of Hepburn Street.  Accoridng to the Sun Gazette, Chief Damon Hagan said that an agent is conducting an investigation at this time.  No charges have been filed in the case, but a victim was reportedly transported to UPMC Williamsport after the incident.

The First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania has worked to create a COVID-19 common application to enable a simplified process for nonprofits to apply for over 1.1 million dollars in grants.  According to the FCFP website the Degenstein Foundations and the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way have partnered together for assisting nonprofits and the people they serve with a focus on supporting the most vulnerable in communities.  Grant requests will be accepted through noon, July 29. The funding partners will have the opportunity to review all applications and grantee organizations may receive funding from multiple sources.   A link to the application and details are available here

The Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau has made the  announcement that the 2020 Covered Bridge & Arts Festival, held annually at Knoebels Amusement Resort in October, must be canceled this year. The festival committee and management at Knoebel’s deemed the festival too high a risk for the 400 vendors and about 150,000 nationwide visitors.   The Covered Bridge & Arts Festival plans to return next year on October 7–10, 2021 for it’s 39th anniversary.

The owner of an award-winning organic dairy in Pennsylvania who pleaded guilty last year to running a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors of nearly $60 million, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. According to Lancaster Farming dot com, Philip Riehl, an accountant and the majority owner of Trickling Springs Creamery, ran a long-running fraud scheme that preyed on hundreds of Amish and Mennonite investors, according to federal prosecutors.  He pleaded guilty in federal court to securities and wire fraud and conspiracy.  A judge ordered Reihl to pay restitution to his victims.

A Montgomery man is out on bail after he was recently arraigned in District Court for charges of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure along the 900 block of McNett Road in Clinton Township on July 11th.  According to the Sun Gazette, State Troopers say 23 year old Brian Hamm while target shooting, fired a rifle and broke a window of a home on Snaurytown road, recklessly endangering another person – but no one was injured.  Hamm’s bail was set at 50 thousand dollars.

A Bloomsburg Fair social media post showing a female impersonator in a dunk tank to raise money for local fire departments with mocking comments about Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary for the PA Department of Health who is transgendered, received online criticism and pushback from social equity groups.   According to the Daily Item, the post, which has now been taken down, thanked a spoofed “Dr. Levine” for helping to raise money for the coalition of fire companies, but other social groups felt it was a bad choice for a family friendly event to ridicule another person for fun.   The state Department of Health (DOH) and the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs issued statements defending Levine.

Lewisburg Borough is preparing to renew a certification through the Community Rating System (CRS) that gives its residents a flood insurance discount. The Borough is currently a Class 8 community through the CRS providing a 10% premium discount for all properties in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), and a 5% discount for all other properties. If your area is not mapped as an SFHA, you may qualify for a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy.  SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) is assisting Lewisburg with its CRS recertification process. Flood information is available in the Lewisburg Borough Office and the Public Library for Union County.

SPORTS
NBA
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association said Monday that there are zero positive coronavirus tests out of the 346 players at the league’s bubble campus in Orlando, Florida, since July 13th.  The initial batch of tests in the bubble on July 13, it said that two of 322 players tested came back positive.  NBA games are set to resume July 30 after being halted in mid-March amid the coronavirus pandemic. Each of the teams participating in the restart will play three intersquad scrimmages from July 22 to July 28.

NFL
The NFL on Monday made an offer to the NFL Players Association to play no preseason games this summer, which is what the players had been pushing for when the league had been seeking to play two games instead of the usual four. The proposal to the players includes an offer for a longer training camp acclimation period, closer to what the union proposed. The Player’s Association  has not yet said whether it will accept the proposal.

MLB
Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Thursday night before the reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals kick off the shortened 2020 season at home against the New York Yankees.  Dr. Fauci has been one of the faces of the United States’ fight against the pandemic and also a big fan of the Nationals — often wearing a face mask with team logos.

An overwhelming majority of sports fans polled by ESPN say they support the return of professional and collegiate sports even if fans will not be in attendance due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  A second wave of ESPN’s Coronavirus Lockdown Fan Study surveyed over one thousand sports fans age 18 and older and found 78% were in favor of sports resuming play despite restrictions on fan attendance, a double-digit increase from the previous poll, conducted in mid-April.  The survey found the prolonged suspension of live sporting events has left 84% of avid fans expressing a greater appreciation for them.

Bucknell softball coach Joey Lye will be leaving the university in order to continue pursuing her opportunity to compete with the Canadian Olympic softball team.  Lye joined Bucknell before the 2018 season and guided the Bison to winning records and second-place finishes in the Patriot League.  Bucknell went 27-23-1 overall and 13-5 in the conference in Lye’s debut season, and a year later the squad finished 28-24 overall and 14-3 in conference play. Lye was named Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2019.

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