MULTIPLE CHARGES FOR MAN WHO DAMAGED PROPERTY AND RESISTED ARREST
A McClure man damaged property inside the Snyder County Courthouse, as he resisted arrest during his arraignment. Jesse Rowles of McClure fought with police and damaged the magistrate’s courtroom as he attempted to resist arrest and detention. According to an online news outlet, Rowles was charged with obstruction of justice, terroristic threats, and assault and jailed in the Snyder County prison.
A RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT
Geisinger requested the religious discrimination lawsuit, by over 100 unvaccinated employees, who are not following Geisinger’s COVID-19 mandatory requirements for testing, to be dismissed. In a motion filed Friday, for a summary judgement in U.S. Middle District Court, the order, entered Nov. 23 by Judge Matthew W. Brann is said to have denied the over 100 employees a motion for a temporary injunction which would have prevent them from the requirement of COVID testing. According to Penn Live, in its motion for summary judgment, Geisinger argues the employees failed to establish a case for religious discrimination and they have not exhausted their administrative remedies by filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
FALSIFYING AND DOUBLE-DIPPING
A former Pennsylvania state lawmaker charged with falsifying and double-dipping on expense reimbursements from the state House of Representatives and her campaign pleaded guilty this week, the state attorney general’s office said. Margo Davidson pleaded guilty Thursday in Dauphin County Court to five counts, including theft, the office said. All are misdemeanors, but the guilty plea bars Davidson from holding public office in Pennsylvania again, it said. Davidson, 59, a Democrat from Delaware County, was minority chair of the busy State Government Committee when she was charged in July. The attorney general’s office accused Davidson of getting reimbursed for hotel stays, parking, tolls and gas by both her campaign and by the House from 2015 to 2019, and for putting in for reimbursements for hotel stays that never actually occurred. It also accused her of asking an unnamed witness to lie to investigators.
RECOGNITION BY PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR GENE YAW
One of the most respected coaches in NCAA Division III wrestling history, Lycoming College Head Coach Roger Crebs ’87 was honored with a citation presented by PA Sen. Gene Yaw ’70 on Wednesday, Dec. 1. In a small ceremony held in front of Lycoming College’s Keiper Recreation center. Adding to a slew of honors earned during his 28 years along the Lycoming matside, Crebs picked up the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Service to Wrestling award in October at an event held at the Hershey Lodge. Crebs is also a member of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Hall of Fame (2012), District 4 Wrestling Hall of Fame (2011) and the West Branch Valley Sports Hall of Fame (2018).
ATV PILOT CONNECTOR PLAN
State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), Majority Chairman, and Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-19), Minority Chairwoman, will hold a briefing of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021 at 10AM to discuss the Tiadaghton State Forest ATV Pilot Connector plan by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Due to COVID-19 restrictions, seating is reserved for the presenters. Members of the public can watch the briefing LIVE at https://environmental.pasenategop.com/. The briefing will include a presentation from DCNR, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), and a number of local and regional organizations including the Central Mountains ATV Association, Inc., Pine Creek Preservation Association, Slate Run Sportsmen’s and others.
OMICRON VARIANT DISCOVERED IN PENNSYVANIA
Health officials reported the first confirmed case of the omicron variant in Pennsylvania on Friday, a man in his 30s from Philadelphia. The health department said the variant’s arrival was “not unexpected” in Philadelphia and that residents should “seriously reconsider” plans for indoor holiday gatherings. Much remains unknown about the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, including whether it is more contagious, as some health authorities suspect, whether it can thwart vaccines and whether it makes people as sick as the original strain. People in at least five other states have tested positive for omicron, including California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota and New York. Word of Philadelphia’s omicron case came as Pennsylvania reports sharp increases in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
TRANSIT OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
A Transit Oversight Committee was created by Williamsport City Council and has been set to expand the legislative accountability of both River Valley Transit and city government. The ordinance, passed on second reading, last night received a unanimous vote. In layman’s terms, the ordinance is a series of checks and balances on River Valley Transit’s operations, a sore topic in Williamsport for some time. In fact, according to SUN Gazette, the years between 2009 and 2019 are under investigation by State Attorney General Josh Shapiro and the most recent audit failed to show much improvement. The ordinance takes effect Dec. 22 with the committee including three members of council, the mayor, the city controller, and the city’s director of finance.
COVID STRETCHING RESOURCES ONCE AGAIN
With numbers as nearly high as last December, Evangelical Community Hospital is full again with the current COVID surge, according to President and CEO Kendra Aucker. With patients who waited to get care, due to high volumes of people and long wait times at doctors and hospitals, they are now sicker than ever. Aucker reported their resources, staffing and even beds are pushed to their limits. To help the surge, Evangelical Community Hospital has created an ED surge clinic. According to an online media outlet, staffing shortages have also hurt the hospital. With the hospital reaching daily higher COVID numbers, Aucker stresses, “It’s important to get vaccinated, boosted, and do your part.”
AccuWeather’s white Christmas forecast looks ahead at the chances of a white Christmas across the contiguous U.S. AccuWeather’s team of long-range forecasters, looked to key patterns that could favor snow in time for the holidays this winter. Included in the snow prediction effort is La Nina, which is the phase in which sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean drop to lower-than-average levels for an extended period of time. Due to the La Niña storm track, however, they are two states most likely to have a higher-than-normal chance of a white Christmas, along with western Idaho and portions of Northern California and Nevada. The chances of snow on or around Christmas are lower for us, across the mid-Atlantic, as temperatures just may not be cold enough for snow to fall and remain on the ground.
SENATE BILL 565 VETOED AS PROMISED
Following Governor Tom Wolf’s veto of Senate Bill 565 yesterday, nearly a dozen law enforcement, domestic violence, minority and family advocacy organizations have expressed their support for the veto to strike down legislation that would have made it easier for concealed weapons to be carried throughout Pennsylvania by unvetted gun-holders.
BUTTER SCULPTURES WANTED
Now that Thanksgiving is over, what are you going to do with your leftover 5 pounds of butter? For a second year, the Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania Farm Show invite Pennsylvanians to Butter Up! and try their hands at crafting a do-it-yourself butter sculpture. The contest, conducted on social media, will be open for submissions through Friday, December 17, 2021 at 12:00 PM. “Every year, millions tune in to see the unveiling of a 1,000-pound sculptureOpens In A New Window to kick off our annual Pennsylvania Farm Show,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “The Butter Up! contest is a perfect opportunity to engage the public in one of the most beloved traditions of the Pennsylvania Farm Show. In September, Redding unveiled the 2022 Farm Show theme, Harvesting More.
PA FARM SHOW IN JANUARY
The 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show, Saturday, January 8 through Saturday January 15, will feature a return of fan-favorites like the 1,000-pound butter sculpture, famous Farm Show Food Court, bunny hopping and sheep shearing competitions (among hundreds of other competitive agricultural events), cooking demonstrations at the PA Preferred® Culinary Connection, and more than one million square feet of hands-on agriculture education opportunities and chances to engage with the people who power Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry.
FARRANDSVILLE ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
The Pa Department of Transportation will soon hold an Open House/Public Plans Display for the Farrandsville Road Improvement Project. This information meet will present the revised plans for future improvements to Farrandsville Road in Clinton County. The displays for the Farrandsville Road Retaining Wall with Pedestrian Facility incorporate development of the alignment based on environmental contrants constructability concepts, and engineering requirements. Right-of-way impacts will be available for review and comment. The meeting is set for Tuesday, December 14 at the Dunnstown Firehall on Route 150 from 5 pm to 7 pm.
GRANT MONEY FOR SUNBURY MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY
A $1 million state grant has been awarded to the Sunbury Municipal Authority with the help from Senator John Gordner and State Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver. The Sunbury Transfer Station will get a much needed upgrade to increase daily operation levels, according to the Daily Item. According to city officials, the upgrade will allow the facilities to accept 300,000 thereby allowing local waste collectors use of the facilities, as well.
FELONY TO MISDEMEANOR CHARGE UNDER THE FELONY DIVERSION PROGRAM
The felony charge could be dropped from her DUI case, which stemmed from an incident on March 21, when with a blood alcohol over 3 times the legal limit, a Tioga County woman who drove to pick up her husband at Geisinger Medical Center. Heather Yuhas of Wellsboro, under the court’s felony diversion program, plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. In her phone conversation/arraignment last week, she told the President Judge Thomas James she is sober now, even with her 3 DUIs in the past 5 years. According to the Daily Item, Yuhas, must pay $100 per month towards the yearlong felony diversion program and also follow the rules of the drug court program.
UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND UNDER ARREST
Under the influence of methadone and methamphetamine, two people from Middleburg were found passed out with a toddler in the vehicle. According to an online media outlet, Wilhelm Wray and Marisa Liddington were found passed out in the front seats on Pine Street in Middleburg, as an 18-month-old child was present. They were charged with DUI and child endangerment they were taken into custody in Milton November 29 on arrest warrants after they were involved in a crash and taken to Snyder County jail on bail.
MORE CASES DISCOVERED
New York announced three more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the number of state cases linked to the new variant to eight. “The omicron variant is here, and as anticipated we are seeing the beginning of community spread,” state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a news release. The number of states finding the variant is growing as well, with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Washington state announcing their first cases Saturday, a day after New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland reported their first confirmed cases. Missouri reported its first presumed case Friday. In Pennsylvania, a man in his 30s from Philadelphia became that state’s first case. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health did not immediately say whether the man was vaccinated against COVID-19 or if he had been traveling.
THANKFUL FOR CHRISTMAS TREE
The Officers of Williamsport Bureau of Police would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to the Zimmer Century Tree Farm in Covington for donating this festive Christmas Tree to help adorn our police station for the holiday season!
TWENTY FIRST ANNUAL BUSINESS PARTNER IN EDUCATION AWARD
The Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the TwentyFirst Annual Business Partner in Education Award. The award will be presented at our Education Celebration on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Williamsport Country Club, Williamsport. The deadline for the application is Friday, January 28th , 2022. The Chamber has long recognized the importance of the business community partnering with the education community. At our Education Celebration, we will be recognizing not only the educators and students from our area schools, but we will also be recognizing one business that demonstrates how area businesses can partner with our future business leaders. This is a wonderful opportunity for businesses to highlight their local involvement in the education community. The partnering of businesses with the area school districts helps to ensure the professional development of today’s students and tomorrow’s business leaders and deserves to be recognized!
APPLICATIONS REQUESTED FOR AVAILABLE FUNDING
The County of Lycoming is accepting pre-application funding requests from municipalities, public authorities, non-profits, and businesses that are located within Lycoming County to help determine how to allocate monies from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The County was awarded $22 million in ARPA funds through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to address the impacts of COVID-19, which will be transferred to the County in two installments. The County has received the initial installment (totaling 50% of the overall award) in May 2021 and expects to receive the remaining balance around May of 2022. The Commissioners anticipate opening two grant rounds over the 2022 calendar year to allocate those funds. Currently, in an effort to determine how to best utilize these funds, the Commissioners are encouraging all eligible entities to complete and submit a preapplication located at www.lyco.org/ARPA. By completing this form you will help the County determine the level at which each eligible project category will be funded. The following types of organizations are eligible to apply: · Municipalities · Public Authorities · 501c(3) Nonprofits · Privately Owned Businesses The initial pre-application window will be from November 16th , 2021 until December 31st, 2021.
UNDERSTANDING THE REDRAWING OF PA’S BOUNDARIES
In the weeks ahead, we will be looking at proposals to redraw the boundaries of Pennsylvania’s U.S. congressional districts, as well as those of the state House and Senate districts. The boundary changes are necessary to ensure fair and equal representation in state and federal government for all citizens. Congressional and state legislative districts are required by the Constitution to be nearly equal in population. Every 10 years, in conjunction with the U.S. Census, the district boundaries are adjusted based on shifts in population to meet the “one person, one vote” principle.
REPEAT OFFENDER LEGISLATION TO THE SENATE
Working to improve safety on our highways, the House recently adopted legislation that would increase penalties for people convicted of third or subsequent crimes of driving under the influence (DUI). Specifically, the measure would increase the penalty for a third DUI offense to a third-degree felony, or a second-degree felony if the person has three or more prior offenses. It would also require consecutive, rather than concurrent, sentences for these crimes. House Bill 773, also called “Deana’s Law,” is named after Deana Eckman, a 45-year-old Delaware County woman who was killed in a drunk-driving crash in 2019 by a man who had five prior DUI offenses.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.