U.S. health officials on Monday cut isolation restrictions for asymptomatic Americans who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days, and similarly shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said the guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop. The decision also was driven by a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, propelled by the omicron variant.
ASSAULT CHARGES LAND PITTSTON MAN IN JAIL
A Pittston man allegedly kicked in the front door of a residence in Williamsport and assaulted the male resident. Williamsport Bureau of Police arrived in the 1600 block of Scott Street in the early morning hours of Dec. 4th to find a bruised and bloody male victim. According to SUN Gazette, Scott Erb was arrested and taken before District Judge Christian Frey on multiple charges, including burglary and felony trespassing. Erb was taken to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.
LOCAL COVID-19 CASES FROM YESTERDAY
The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Monday reported new COVID-19 cases. Clinton County reported 14 new cases. In Centre County 21 new cases were recorded. Lycoming County added 37 new cases. Tioga County added 5 new cases. There were 18 new infections in Northumberland County, eight in Snyder, five in Montour and four in Union County.
ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE CHARGES FROM 2019 PLED IN NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COURT
A Sunbury man pleaded guilty to felony charge of attempted homicide when he shot Derek Whitsesel four times with a .40 caliber handgun in Milton in November of 2019. The fight, according to the Daily Item, started over a winter hat and has now sent Ricky Pearson to prison for the next 12 to 36 years. Whitesel survived the attack.
NEW ACTING SECRETARY OF COMMONWEALTH
Governor Tom Wolf announced his intention to name Leigh M. Chapman to serve as Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth. Chapman will replace Acting Secretary Veronica Degraffenreid, who will be elevated to serve in the Administration as a special advisor to the governor. Chapman currently serves as executive director of Deliver My Vote, a non-partisan, non-profit organization focused on research and education about voting by mail. From 2015 to 2017, Chapman served as policy director at the Department of State, advancing key agenda items including the implementation of electronic voter registration. Chapman will serve as Acting Secretary beginning Saturday, January 8, 2022.
ALL RESTRICTIONS LIFTED FROM INTERSTATE
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) lifted all speed limit and right-lane-only commercial vehicle restrictions in place on interstates in the region at 1:00 PM. Due to the winter storm impacting the region, speed limits were reduced at 9:40 a.m. on Interstate 80 eastbound and westbound between the Clinton County line and Interstate 180. Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com.
LIQUOR ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS GRADUATE
Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), announced that 15 Liquor Enforcement Officers graduated and have been assigned to Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE) offices across the commonwealth. The men and women represent the 28th liquor control enforcement trainee graduating class. The ceremony was held at the Southwest Training Center in Greensburg. Liquor Enforcement Officer Trainee Kaitlyn M. Davenport spoke on behalf of the graduating class. Liquor Enforcement Officers are responsible for conducting investigations performed through undercover operations and open inspections of licensed or unlicensed liquor establishments. They have the power and duty to arrest for violations of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code and related offenses.
WILDLIFE FUTURES PROGRAM STUDY
Pennsylvania’s fur takers will play a critical role in a study to determine the extent to which mouse and rat poisons might be affecting the state’s bobcats, fishers and otters. Hunters and trappers are being asked to participate in the study by submitting carcasses from these species to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Those who harvest a bobcat, fisher or otter and who want to submit the carcass for the study are asked to call the Game Commission region office serving the county where the animal was taken. The study is being conducted by the Game Commission in partnership with PennVet’s Wildlife Futures Program, an organization with the mission to “increase disease surveillance, management and research to better protect wildlife across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond.”
ROADWORK TO CONTINUE INTO 2022 ON MAJOR ROADWAY
Route 220 west of Williamsport and south of Lycoming County can expect both safety and transportation improvements with the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project. This three year project is planned has three schedule sections, the current is April to November 2021. The final schedule is April to November 2022. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in District 3 in Montoursville, the necessary work is done with the plan of safer transportation by addressing confusing traffic movements and an ease for U-turns when necessary. Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. is slated as the primary contractor and the work has a price tag of $41 million.
SUNBURY POLICE LOOKING FOR 17-YEAR-OLD FOR FELONY GUN CHARGES
Police are looking for a 17-year-old Sunbury man who held up another man by gunpoint on North 4th Street on Monday as he took $40 and the victim’s cellphone. An arrest warrant has been issued for Elijah Simpson, who is charged with felony robbery and firearms not be carried without a license charges, according to the Daily Item. Police report Simpson will be facing charges as an adult. Anyone with information on Simpson is asked to call Northumberland County 911.