BACKYARD BROADCASTING, LOCAL NEWS OCTOBER 1, 2021

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At the most recent school board meeting for the East Lycoming School District, officials provided much needed answers with suggestions on the masking issue to parents while offering an update on state legislation that may address the matter. Donna Gavitt, the board’s legislative representative, prompted parents to contact state Sen. Gene Yaw, imploring him to support a senate bill that would allow parents to choose whether their kids mask up for school. According to SUN Gazette, the bill also would legally prevent what it defined as harassment or discriminatory treatment, which includes isolation or exclusion from activities or events.

LAIRDSVILLE SEWER PROJECT

At the most recent school board meeting for the East Lycoming School District, the district is moving forward with connecting its Renn Elementary School sewage system to the Lairdsville sewer project. Superintendent Michael Pawlik said the board is doing what it can to secure grant funding in hopes to prevent additional tax assessments to property owners. Pawlik went on to say, the project will require very little construction as the sewer runs right next to the parking lot of the elementary school. According to SUN Gazette, however, there is no timeline for the project and it has not gone out to bid.

MUMMERS PARADE HAS NEW FEATURES

The 75th annual Mummers Parade returns to South Williamsport this month with a bang and added festivities for the first time in its rich history.  With a schedule that start at 2 p.m. on Oct. 16, the parade this year features several acts and participants, including circus performers, multiple high school bands, a calypso band and the much-anticipated return of the Swinging, Sagging Seniors. As reported by an online news outlet, the conclusion of the parade features a smorgasbord of goodies, including food, games and live music and a fireworks display will take place later in the evening, near dusk.

CRACK SALES EARN WILLIAMSPORT MAN FELONY CHARGES

Detectives with the Lycoming County District Attorney’s Narcotics Unit have filed charges against a man after two undercover purchases for crack were completed. Quantte Hanes was charged with several felonies after two controlled buys in Aug. and Sept. Hanes was charged with two counts each of felony possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and third-degree felony criminal use of a communication facility. Hanes posted $99,000 unsecured bail on Sept. 28. As reported by a news outlet, he is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 21.

INTENTIONAL FLOOD DAMAGE DURING BREAK-IN

State Police at Milton are investigating a burglary incident in Montour County in which the suspect caused $15,000 damage when they entered a residence on Kellys Dam Road in Liberty Township and plugged the kitchen sink, causing flooding in the kitchen and basement, according to state police. As reported by a news media outlet, the incident occurred between Sept. 23 and Sept. 24.

CONTROVERSY AND CONSPIRACY IN WILLIAMSPORT

Over four years after an alleged sexual assault involving members of the Williamsport Area High School baseball team during a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a search warrant issued by the state Attorney General Josh Shapiro alleges a conspiracy involving high school Principal Brandon Pardoe and former Lycoming County Chief Detective William Weber to cover up the incident. According to the affidavit of probable cause,  “The affiant is investigating the alleged conspiracy between Weber and Pardoe to violate PA Title 18, Section 5101: Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Functions,” the affidavit of probable cause states. According to northcentralpa.com, the attorney general’s warrant, which was delivered to Williamsport Area School District Superintendent Dr. Timothy Bowers and Lycoming County District Attorney Ryan Gardner, seeks data from Weber and Pardoe’s cellphones as well as their email contents.

COVID RESULTS

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday reported new COVID-19 cases statewide. In Clinton County 25 new cases were reported yesterday,Centre County saw an increase of 33, while Lycoming County increased by 112. 42 new cases in Northumberland County, 22 in Snyder County, 17 in Union and six in Montour.

JUDGE DENIES INJUNCTION ON MASK POLICIES

Saying a mask does not pose a potential of harm to others, U.S. Middle District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann on Thursday denied an injunction regarding a requirement in the Montoursville Area School District that students wear masks. As reported by SUN Gazette, in Brann’s opinion, “No one except perhaps a bank robber likes to wear a mask — and even then with reluctance, but as a concession to professional attire. But the Constitution does not shield us from all things we dislike. Here, parents of schoolchildren in Montoursville.” The parents “asked the court to take the extraordinary step of suspending the Montoursville area schools’ mask mandate, thus permitting students to attend school without masks in direct contravention of the state Department of Health’s masking order,” Brann said. “But to receive such a drastic remedy, the plaintiffs must clear several significant legal hurdles. They failed to do so.”

 

GUILTY VERDICT ON UNION COUNTY WOMAN

A Union County jury returned a guilty verdict against Melissa Keister on Thursday, culminating a three-day trial of the New Columbia mother accused of intentionally starving a young girl placed into her guardianship and forcing her to sleep for weeks, at times with little clothing, on a hardwood floor. The jury deliberated more than 5-1/2 hours before reaching the verdict. Keister, 39, a mother of seven children, faces a standard range sentence of 3 to 12 months with a maximum of 7 years and a $15,000 fine. As reported by the Daily Item, she was prosecuted on a felony count of endangering the welfare of a child. President Judge Michael Hudock ordered a pre-sentencing report from the adult probation department. He said Keister would be sentenced by Dec. 23, his last day on the bench.

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