LOCAL COVID-19 CASES UPDATED
The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Sunday reported new COVID-19 cases. Clinton County reported 33 new cases. In Centre County 110 new cases were recorded Lycoming County added 76. There were 34 in Union, 27 in Snyder and 18 in Montour County. Tioga had 25 new cases yesterday.
NURSING HOME STAFFING SHORTAGES
Pennsylvania nursing homes say they are coping with dire staffing shortages that have forced many of them to stop accepting new residents, which in turn is preventing hospitals jammed with COVID-19 patients from discharging those who require lower levels of care. Industry officials met with Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration this week to ask for help, and to press their case for a $200 million infusion from the state’s share of the federal coronavirus relief package signed by President Joe Biden in March.
IT’S ON US PA
Building on his commitment to campus safety, Governor Tom Wolf today announced 34 institutions of higher education will receive up to $30,000 in It’s On Us PA grants. Launched by Governor Wolf in 2016, It’s On Us PA is a statewide campaign that invites education leaders and all Pennsylvanians to be part of the solution to protect students from sexual violence. The list of awardees include Bucknell University in Lewisburg was awarded $30,000.
AIRPORT MEETING DESCRIBES UPGRADES TO COME
Airport infrastructure improvements topped the list of thing to do at the last Williamsport Municipal Airport Authority Board meeting. Things are happening at the airport, including Lycoming County Water and Sewer taking over the sewer system and installing updated sewer pumps in Summer of 2022. Several state-funded projects include, but are not limited to, runway rehabilitation, paving and a T-hangar door repairs.
PORCH PIRATES WILL HAVE MORE RISK AT TAKING PACKAGES
Porch pirates who swipe your deliveries may soon be facing increased penalties if it’s up to Pennsylvania lawmaker. Rep. Wendi Thomas partnered with Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub to create a bill that would stiffen penalties for theft of mail involving a package, bag or letter that would result in a summary charge for a first offense involving merchandise valued at less than $150. According to therecordonline.com, when the value of the item taken is more than $150, or a second offense, the penalty moves to a second-degree misdemeanor. A third offense would get you a third-degree felony, no matter the package value.
FULL HOSPITAL SERVING ILL PATIENTS
A local hospital is operating well above 100 percent capacity. UPMC Williamsport officials say the surge in COVID-19 patients has taxed their resources and their staff. According to reports from WNEP TV, there are upwards of 78 people currently hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 infections throughout UPMC hospitals in the north-central region. The end results are longer wait times in the emergency department, even though hospital staff have even opted to practice waiting room medicine to help those they can, quicker. And surgical postponements are at nearly 60 for those non-emergent elective surgeries.
ANOTHER HAT FOR THE GOVERNOR RING
A Republican state senator from southcentral Pennsylvania said Saturday that he will run for governor, adding to the GOP’s double-digits-deep primary field aiming to take on the presumed Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in next year’s election. Sen. Scott Martin, of Lancaster County, announced it in a video on his campaign website and Facebook page. He becomes the second Republican state senator in a field that is roughly a dozen deep and likely to grow.
MASK MANDATE THROWN OUT
A statewide mask mandate for Pennsylvania schoolchildren was thrown out by the state Supreme Court on Friday, raising the prospect that at least some students in the state may soon be allowed to attend classes without a face covering.
POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR HELP
A “violent sexual assault” was reported on E. Market Street and Mill Street in Danville on Monday night. Danville Police Chief Jonathan Swank reported they are looking for a white male, medium build and approximately 6 feet tall. He goes on to advise residents to keep walkways and entry ways well lit and be aware of your surroundings. According to the Daily Item, there was no futher information provided on the assault or victim. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Danville Police.
SEXUALLY EXPLICIT IMAGES SHARED WITH MINORS
A Northumberland County man allegedly sent sexually explicit images to a minor with other minors in his room. Timothy Eugen Cawley, ,Turbotville, was charged with multiple felonies: including, A count of child pornography. The charges were filed in the Milton office of District Judge Michael Diehl. The state police North East Computer Crimes Unit received a referral via the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program on Nov. 26 for events that occurred on Nov. 21. According to the Daily Item, Cawley was committed to Northumberland County Jail in lieu of $250,000 cash bail with a preliminary hearing at Dec. 15 with Judge Diehl.
DRIVER FOUND FROM HIGH SPEED PURSUIT
It was a high speed pursuit on Nov. 13 that took police through downtown Williamsport and ended in a crash on Oliver Street when the driver and his passenger fled the scene. Christopher R. Joshua, 22, of 10140 Hepburn St., was the motorist who allegedly waved a handgun at patrons at The Bar in Williamsport, police said. He then fled in an Accord and refused to stop for officers who were pursuing him, police said. He is free on $50,000 bail, according to Sun Gazette.
DISPUTE REIGNITED IN LYCOMING COUNTY
The refueled fight continues as the Lycoming County Controller seeks a preliminary injunction on the Lycoming County Commissioners, claiming they violated her supervision of the fiscal affairs of Lycoming County and then by the transfer of four positions to the Office of Budget and Finance. According to PennLive, she seeks a declaration from the court that statute requires her to be responsible for general ledger, payroll and accounts payable functions and to be salary board secretary. The commissioners will respond after they are served with the court filing, Commissioner Scott L. Metzger, who chairs the board, said Sunday.
WATSONTOWN FELON FACES CHARGES FOR POSSESSION OF A FIREARM IN NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A Watsontown man fired a gun into the dark of night with no reason, last Thursday, Dec. 9, faces felony gun charges. Chad Stamm fired a gun off the rear deck of a home on Whitmoyer Road. However, according to an online media outlet, Stamm, having a felony charge in his criminal history, is unable to possess or handle firearm. Stamm faces new charges, was arraigned and incarcerated at the Northumberland County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.