On June 28, Kevin Bradley of Williamsport was taken into custody for two felony offenses stemming from recording phone calls—one with Mayor Derek Slaughter and another with an employee of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court—without their knowledge. Bradley then proceeded to post the videos on his YouTube channel. Both Mayor Slaughter and the employee, who identified herself in the video, said Bradley made no mention at anytime he was recording the conversation. Bradley was charged with one count of interception of communications and three counts of disclosure intercepted communications. Bradley was released on June 28 on $25,000 unsecured bail. His hearing is scheduled for July 8.
SHOTS FIRED IN WILLIAMSPORT
A Williamsport man has been charged with two felony counts after a Thursday night altercation between him and a woman that led to him allegedly firing shots off his porch. Stephen Stavish of Williamsport allegedly fired four to six shots at the alleged victim as she moved personal items out of the house and off the porch at around 10:40 p.m. on July 1. Unable to post the $75,000 bail, Stavish will remain incarcerated in the Lycoming County Prison until his preliminary hearing before District Judge Christian Frey July 13.
EDUCATIONAL FUNDING ALLOCATIONS
The Pennsylvania Department of Education posted a spreadsheet showing education funding allocations in the state budget for each school district on Wednesday. The latest approved budget includes the largest state funding increase for public schools in Pennsylvania history, with a $416 million increase and the new Level Up initiative, which will distribute an additional $100 million to the 100 lowest-wealth school districts. The budget includes a $50 million increase to special education funding and $5 million to community colleges.
UPDATED COVID-19 DASHBOARD
The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 304 new cases of COVID-19. There was 1 new case of COVID-19 in each Lycoming, Northumberland, and Union County.
CLINT OWLETT’S BILL
Clint Owlett’s bill to help ensure justice is served in cases where children are victimized has been signed into law by the governor. Currently, a victim must be age 12 or younger to enable hearsay statements in violent or sexual against children The new law increases the maximum age to 16, meaning hearsay statements may be presented from child victims aged 16 and under. Allowing the statements would remain at the judge’s discretion. This law will go into effect in 60 days.
JULY 4 INCREASED POLICE PRESENCE
There will be a heavy police presence in the valley over the July 4 weekend with law enforcement keeping a watchful eye for drunk drivers. Northumberland County Regional Police Traffic Services Project coordinator David Everly, along with many other law enforcers, all gathered together this week to offer a warning to the public that law enforcement throughout the valley and state will be looking for drunk drivers this holiday weekend. Everly said the reason the group gathers is to remind the public that making the poor decision to drink and drive could be the worst decision they ever made.
COVID-19 VACCINE CLINICS
The River Valley Regional YMCA Williamsport Branch has partnered with River Valley Health and Dental and Let’s End COVID! to hold four COVID-19 vaccine clinics throughout July. Clinics will be held at the Williamsport Branch YMCA on July 7, 14, 21, and 28. The clinics will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. in the YMCA Multi-Purpose Room. Vaccines will be given by River Valley Health and Dental. These clinics are open to the public and no appointment is necessary. Anyone may walk –in to get the vaccine. Patients must have a valid ID.
The United Churches of Lycoming County have sponsored a free concert by Re-Creation, a traveling group of musicians that runs over 300 shows per year and has performed for U.S. Presidents and foreign dignitaries. The Williamsport show will be held at the New Covenant United Church of Christ in Williamsport. Though the concert is free, donations are always appreciated. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 18.
TRAVEL OVER THE JULY 4TH HOLIDAY
Americans enjoying newfound liberty are expected to travel and gather for cookouts, fireworks, concerts and beach outings over the Fourth of July weekend in numbers not seen since pre-pandemic days. Yet lingering restrictions, worker shortages may mean longer lines of waiting. AAA forecasts that more than 47 million people will travel by car or plane this weekend in the U.S., a return to 2019 levels and 40% higher than last year. That includes 3.5 million airline passengers. While masks have been shed around the country even in indoor spaces, the Transportation Security Administration emphasizes that they are still required at airports and on planes.
ALCOHOL RELATED INCIDENTS
In 2020 there were 112 alcohol-related crashes from Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5, resulting in five fatalities, according to PennDOT data. There were 48 also drug-related crashes, resulting in five fatalities. Data from the Fish and Boat Commission shows that there were 60 boating-under-the-influence arrests in 2020, an increase from 45 in 2019. Pennsylvania is a boating destination state, and boaters drive to and from their boating location. When an impaired boat operator gets behind the wheel to drive home, a BUI becomes a DUI. This week, representatives from PennDOT, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner are reminding Pennsylvanians to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend responsibility.