BACKYARD BROADCASTING, LOCAL NEWS DEC 20, 2021

A KITCHEN FIRE

A kitchen fire on Sunday morning sent a Williamsport woman to UPMC Williamsport for burns.  The residents of Grier Street Manor in Williamport were evacuated, but permitted to return, as the origin of the fire only suffered water damage, according to SUN Gazette.  The woman’s name and updated medical condition have not been released.

SOLAR POWER IN LYCOMING COUNTY

An ordinance for Solar Power, both commercial and residential use, is a possibility in Lycoming County. Concerns the ordinance would address could include making sure that all solar energy sites remain compatible with the landscape, according to Mark Haas, county development services supervisor. As reported by the SUN Gazette, it was discussed at the recent Lycoming County Planning Meeting that our neighbors to the south, Montour County, have successfully passed an ordinance set to regulate the nearly 5,000 acres that are proposed there for solar energy.

 

COVID-19 LOCAL UPDATES

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Sunday reported new COVID-19 cases. Clinton County reported 18 new cases. In Centre County 124,  Lycoming County added 46 new cases. State Health officials recorded 72 new cases in Northumberland County, 29 in Montour, 21 in Union and 13 in Snyder County. Tioga County reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday.

 

ARTIFACTS STOLEN FROM PA MUSEUMS

Federal authorities say 15 historical artifacts stolen almost a half-century ago from a number of Pennsylvania museums have been returned to the institutions. The FBI art crime team and other law enforcement agencies repatriated the 18th- and 19th-century rifles and pistols as well as a Native American silver concho belt in a ceremony Friday at the Museum of the American Revolution. FBI art crime agents and detectives from the Upper Merion Township Police Department recovered the artifacts as part of an investigation into the 1971 theft and 2018 sale of a rare 1775 rifle made by Pennsylvania master gunsmith Christian Oerter, officials said.

 

TAX RELIEF FOR PSLF AND SLRN PROGRAMS

Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Pennsylvanians will not have to pay state income tax on the student loan debt relief they get from the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program and the Pennsylvania Student Loan Relief for Nurses (SLRN) Program. The decision by the Wolf Administration will save people eligible for those programs potentially thousands of dollars in state tax. According to Gov Wolf, in a statement, the point of student loan forgiveness programs for public servants is that these are people who have chosen jobs, often in lower paying fields, because they want to make a difference.   Student loan forgiveness is not considered taxable income at the federal level, and the decision announced by the governor brings Pennsylvania in line with the majority of other states.

 

GEISINGER LIMITING VISITORS FOR INPATIENT SETTINGS

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase systemwide, GMC is limiting visitors for inpatient settings. Effective, Monday, Dec. 20, one visitor is permitted per hospitalized adult patient. Other family members, friends and general visitors will not be permitted at this time. In the Geisinger  system, one in four inpatients has COVID and we are reaching or exceeding capacity in some hospitals. These guidelines protect the health and safety of our patients and staff. Having fewer visitors allows our staff to focus on treating our patients.

 

LOCK HAVEN UNIVERSITY REACCREDITATION

Over the last three years, Lock Haven University has been engaged in a reaccreditation process through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), in which the institution has been accredited by since 1949. In mid-October, a MSCHE team virtually visited LHU’s campus to discuss the university’s self-study and meet with the campus community. The MSCHE team found that Lock Haven has met each of the seven standards for reaccreditation and 15 requirements of affiliation. During the exit interview, the team commended LHU’s faculty for the exceptional work done in the area of assessment, noting that, “LHU has built a comprehensive system of student learning outcomes assessment from the ground up.” The team also extended a commendation to the faculty, staff and administration for their dedication and loyalty to the institution and willingness to work above and beyond. In his final comments, the team chair stated that, “LHU is truly a caring, student-centered community.”

FED COURT ALLOWED BIDEN’S COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATE

A federal appeals court panel on Friday allowed President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for larger private employers to move ahead, reversing a previous decision on a requirement that could affect some 84 million U.S workers. The 2-1 decision by a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati overrules a decision by a federal judge in a separate court that had paused the mandate nationwide. The mandate from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration was to take effect Jan. 4. With Friday’s ruling, it’s not clear when the requirement might be put in place, but the White House said in a statement that it will protect workers: “Especially as the U.S. faces the highly transmissible Omicron variant, it’s critical we move forward with vaccination requirements and protections for workers with the urgency needed in this moment.” Republican state attorneys general and conservative groups said they would appeal Friday’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

GUN SHOT IN LOYALSOCK TOWNSHIP

A projectile, fired from a gun, struck  a  house in Loyalsock Township.  According to State Police in Montoursville, on December 12, they were dispatched to Richard Avenue to find that an unknown person had shot her bathroom window. Sometime between Thursday, December 9 and Friday December 10, a BB struck the side of the home, breaking one window and becoming encapsulated between the panes.  This incident remains under investigation.

 

KAUPAS CAMP

For one month each summer, roughly 60 middle-school students around Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, descend on the campus of Bucknell University to attend the Kaupas Camp, a free day camp to learn sports, ecology, playing instruments and more.  These opportunities are provided in large part by philanthropists serving long-term sentences at a nearby medium-security state prison in Coal Township, where about 250 men participate in the Lifeline Association, a giving circle that contributes to local charities. Many of its members are incarcerated for life; the rest will have spent at least 10 years in prison by the end of their sentences.  Lifeline primarily contributes to charities that promote the well-being of children, for example, they raised $3,743 for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and $500 for Marley’s Mission, a local nonprofit that offers horseback-riding therapy to children overcoming trauma.

This article was provided to The Associated Press by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.

TERRORISTIC THREATS IN WATSONTOWN

A Watsontown man allegedly pulled the Victim’s hair and threatened to kill the Victim in the 600 block of Elm Street on Friday morning. David E. Phillips was taken into custody, charged with a misdemeanor count of Terroristic Threats and a summary count of Harassment, arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Michael I. Diehl and committed to the Northumberland County Jail in lieu of $50,000.00 bail.

 

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA

A nationwide effort hits home with ‘Wreath’s Across America‘, an event full of history and lessons for the young, when wreaths were placed on the graves of U.S. veterans of all wars past. In total, according to Dori Rankinen, the coordinator for Central Pennsylvania Wreaths Across America, 12 cemeteries in Lycoming and Sullivan Counties were covered Saturday. As she mentioned on In Touch,  “They say a person dies twice. First, when they take their last breath physically, and then again when there’s no one left to say their name and tell their story.”  The ceremony started at 10 a.m. in Montoursville and upwards of 300 volunteers honored the fallen with a wreath and a mention of their names. It was a successful event of remembrance and respect. Congratulation to Dori and the Central Pennsylvania Wreaths Across America for a successful event.

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