ANOTHER PURSUIT IN THE CITY
A high-speed police pursuit ended with a crash on Grampian Boulevard, according to Williamsport Bureau of Police. It was Wednesday around 5:15 pm, when the only known occupant, fled the scene of the crash. According to the SUN Gazette, unknown driver committed multiple traffic violations, including high speeds and stop signs. Williamsport Police towed the vehicle to their impound lot and will obtain a search warrant for a proper search through the interior of the vehicle.
FEDERAL TIME FOR FIREARMS OFFENSE
A firearms offense brought a Williamsport man five years in a federal prison. Joshair Jones, 19, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann. According to U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, Jones possessed the firearm, with obliterated serial numbers, between Aug. 1 and Aug. 16, 2020. At sentencing, the United States in a presentation involving a shooting from July 31, 2020 in Williamsport was able to produce evidence of Jones’s involvement. The investigation was conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police, the Williamsport Bureau of Police, the Lycoming County Narcotics Enforcement Unit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
MASK ORDER INSPECTED BY STATE SUPREME COURT
A lawyer for Pennsylvania’s acting health secretary on Wednesday defended the validity of the secretary’s order requiring masks inside K-12 schools to fight COVID-19, asking state Supreme Court justices to focus on a single regulation. The regulation, adopted in 2000, gives the Health Department authority to direct a “modified quarantine of contacts of a person” with a communicable disease or infection and any other control measures for the surveillance of disease needed to protect people from it. The justices have ordered that Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam’s directive, which took effect in early September and also applies to child care facilities, will remain in place while they consider a legal challenge from the state Senate’s highest ranking leader and others. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who installed Beam as acting health secretary, announced last month he intends to return authority over masking decisions to local school districts in January, but will continue to require masks in child care centers and early learning programs.
SPEEDING AUTO CRASHING IN STREAM IN CLINTON COUNTY
A Sunbury man crashed his Shelby Charger in a small stream, after police say he had been traveling at speeds in excess of 70 miles an hour, while under the influence of alcohol. Juan Reyes was southbound on Route 220 near the I-80 ramps on December 3. Reyes continued south on S. Heckmans Gap Road at a high rate of speed, traveling through a parking lot and into the woods at about 70 miles an hour and overturning into a small stream. He was transported to Geisinger Medical Center and treated for minor injuries. Police reported multiple charges were filed with the local District Justice.
BACK TO NORMAL
Classes are returning to normal in the Milton Area School District today, according to Milton Area Superintendent Dr. Cathy Keegan and Milton Borough Police Chief Curt Zettlemoyer in a joint statement yesterday. With the threat from Tuesday identified, it has been determined there is no immediate threat to the students and staff, according to the Daily Item. In other school news, the Shikellamy School District sent out a “One Call” alert Tuesday, but a follow up investigation revealed no threat and classes were held Wednesday, as normal.
LOCAL COVID-19 CASES
The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Wednesday reported new COVID-19 cases. Clinton County reported 30 new cases. In Centre County 125 new cases. Lycoming County added 96 new cases. Tioga County had 21 new cases yesterday. State Health officials recorded 117 new cases in Northumberland County, 38 in Union, 33 in Snyder and seven in Montour.
CONGRESSIONAL MAPS INCLUDE DEBATE AND PUBLIC COMMENT
A Republican-controlled state House committee planned to vote on a proposed map of Pennsylvania’s new congressional districts that its chair introduced into legislation Wednesday, as a rival map was being prepared in the Senate where lawmakers promise an open process with debate and public comment. House State Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove, R-York, said Wednesday the map he introduced into legislation was among 19 submitted to his committee. Democrats, however, immediately criticized the process, saying the map was sprung on them and is being sent to a vote before the public can comment on it. And they swiftly criticized the map as heavily favoring Republicans.
COVID-19 WEARING RESOURCES THIN
One of Pennsylvania’s largest health systems has run out of beds because of the latest COVID-19 surge, with doctors and nurses practicing “waiting room medicine” on patients who are forced to endure 10- to 20-hour delays in the emergency department, officials said Wednesday. Geisinger is running at 110% capacity across its nine hospitals in central and northeastern Pennsylvania — overrun with largely unvaccinated COVID-19 patients who represent a quarter to well over half of all admissions, said Dr. Jaewon Ryu, Geisinger’s president and chief executive officer. He said he expects the situation to deteriorate further in coming weeks, citing sharply rising numbers of cases and the increasing percentage of tests coming back positive. Geisinger isn’t the only Pennsylvania health system under strain. Statewide, an average of 3,900 people per day have been hospitalized with COVID-19 over the past two weeks, up 50% in a month, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. About 13% of the state’s adult ICU beds and 10% of its medical-surgical beds are available, the health department said.
CARDS TO VETS FROM KIDS
It was upwards of 210 students from the White Deer Elementary School who worked diligently towards getting Christmas cards and letters sent to veterans in two hospitals. According to the daily item, It was last week, when elementary students from k-5 in Milton area elementary school also prepared cards for vets at Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center in Luzerne County and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.