A large majority of the roof of a large truck repair facility collapsed yesterday around noon. As reported by SUN Gazette, four employees were able to escape without injury from Earth Works Energy — Green Leaf Water, or commonly referred to as North East Oil and Gas, located on Upper Powys Road, just south of Trout Run in Lewis Township. Although ice and snow on the roof were considered factors to the collapse, there are no definite causes at this point, as damages are yet to be assessed. Fire services from Trout Run, Hepburn Township and Old Lycoming Township were dispatched.
SEARCH WARRANT EXECUTED BY POLICE FINDS FIREARM
A search warrant at the home of a Jersey Shore man brought him charges and jail time. As reported by SUN Gazette, Mark Baskin reported he was a witness to the shooting last Friday on Vilas Drive in Porter Township. Following leads and their investigation, police obtained a search warrant that was used to enter Baskin’s home a mere few hours following the shooting, where he himself was almost shot. Inside the home, police recovered a rifle and drug paraphernalia. Based on court records, indicating a prior drug conviction, Baskin is prohibited from possessing any firearms. He was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and drug paraphernalia, arraigned Tuesday and committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $85,000 bail.
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDING
Improving neighborhoods. The infusion of upwards of $25.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding are set to also further economic development, according to Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter. Although the city needs to wait for the official word from Williamsport City Council as to the amount of funds for the proposed land bank, Slaughter was confident the land back would blight remediation of not only the residential, but the commercial and industrial properties in the city. The allocation would provide the land bank with the amount of capital necessary to address starting to get properties that are “under water” from a tax perspective.
KEEPING THE PLAN THE SAME, FOR NOW
The health and safety plan will remain without change in the Montoursville Area School District. School directors this week discussed a section of the plan regarding contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantining. As reported by Sun Gazette, the board voted to continue its consideration of the state Department of Health contact tracing requirements and to have the administration immediately notify the public upon any changes to contact tracing and quarantining protocols. At its Feb. 1 meeting, the board tweaked the safety plan regarding quarantining and contact tracing of students who have come into contact with people who have COVID but are asymptomatic.
COVID CASES ADDED YESTERDAY
The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday reported new cases of COVID-19. Clinton County reported 13 new cases. Centre County added 70 cases and Lycoming County listed 81. There were 94 new cases in the Valley, including 35 in Northumberland County, 24 in Snyder, 23 in Union and a dozen in Montour. Tioga County added 27.
CLINTON COUNTY FIRE AND AMBULANCE PERSONNEL RECEIVE FUNDING
State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz announced Thursday that 28 volunteer fire and ambulance companies throughout the 76th District have qualified to receive approximately $380,164 from a grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Office of the State Fire Commissioner. All funding comes from the proceeds from slot machine gaming, and not General Fund tax revenue. Initiated by the PA General Assembly in 2000, this statewide grant program is open to all fire, ambulance and rescue companies across the Commonwealth. In Clinton County Avis Volunteer Fire Company, Goodwill Hose Company Ambulance Association and Hose Company No. 3, and the Volunteer Fire Company of Mill Hall are just a few of the recipients of the funding.
PENNSYLVANIA EMS RECEIVES RELIEF PACKAGE
The General Assembly moved on its promise to Pennsylvania’s emergency medical services, approving a $25 million relief package this week to help ambulance companies recoup pandemic losses. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law Thursday. The relief is similar to the $225 million package approved last month for Pennsylvania hospitals and health care providers. At the time, lawmakers said an EMS plan was in the works. In 2020, a $50 million COVID-19 relief package was announced, with $44 million allocated to fire and rescue services and $6 million for EMS. In this latest package, all the funding is bound for qualifying ambulance providers.
LEWISBURG AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT TO TALK ABOUT THEIR MASKING AT THE NEXT MEETING
Contact tracing is out at the Lewisburg School District but not for immunocompromised students by a unanimous board decision. As reported by the Daily Item, the school board voted to revisit masking and the district’s Health and Safety Plan at their Feb. 24 meeting. The next meeting of Lewisburg’s school board will be at 7 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the DiRocco Center for Instruction.
CUTTING TIES WITH THEIR FIRE COMPANY UNTIL THEY MEET STANDARDS
A Northumberland County municipality has ended ties with a nearby fire company. According to an online news media outlet, East Chillisquaque Township supervisors, in a news release, reported they have de-certified the Potts Grove Fire Company and its Quick Response Squad as their primary emergency services. The township reported the fire service did not maintain bylaws, specific state and federal requirements, citing safety of their residents as their primary concern. The Milton Fire Department will be the new provider of fire and emergency services for the township, with the measure approved by Milton Borough. The township says Potts Grove Fire Company will be given a year or longer, if required, to meet specific standards. The township says it hopes the fire company can be reinstated.
NOTICE OF EXECUTION IN PENNSYLVANIA
Department of Corrections Acting Secretary George Little signed a Notice of Execution setting March 15, 2022, for the execution of Kenneth Hairston, who was sentenced to death in Allegheny County. The law provides that when the governor does not sign a warrant of execution within the specified time period, the secretary of corrections has 30 days within which to issue a notice of execution.
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDING FOR EMS
Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Senate Bill 739, which appropriates $25 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to support Pennsylvania’s emergency management services (EMS) companies. Senate Bill 739 is a continuation of the multi-layered approach the Wolf Administration is taking to address and mitigate the current crisis in Pennsylvania, including the signing of House Bill 253, which appropriated $225 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to support the health care workers hardest hit by the pandemic’s most recent spike in hospitalizations.
FIRE AND EMS COMPANIES IN AREA DEPARTMENTS RECEIVE FUNDING
Governor Tom Wolf announced today the approval of grant awards totaling over $29 million for 2115 recipients under the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Grant Program. The Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program is administered by the Office of State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) and makes an annual grant program available for volunteer and career fire companies, emergency medical services and rescue squads.
DEPARTMENT OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL PROGRAMS DISCUSSES EFFORTS TO DECREASE OVERDOSE DEATHS IN LYCOMING AND CLINTON COUNTIES
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Jen Smith joined the West Branch Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission, substance use disorder treatment providers and prevention specialists, health care providers, and other stakeholders for a round-table discussion on local efforts to manage the addiction crisis. This virtual round-table is part of DDAP’s Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Listening Tour designed to meet with local leaders, SUD treatment providers, members of the recovery community, and other stakeholders to discuss SUD trends at the local level. This tour is in response to the increase in overdose deaths and polysubstance use throughout the commonwealth. The West Branch Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission is the single county authority and administrator of drug and alcohol services in Lycoming and Clinton counties. The commission is responsible for facilitating substance use prevention, intervention, and treatment services for Lycoming and Clinton County residents.
FIRE COMPANY RESPONDS
In a direct response to being decertified as the emergency services provider for East Chillisquaque Township, the Potts Grove Fire Company reported they are working with the township to get back into service. According to Potts Grove Fire Company Lieutenant Jason Messersmith, the fire company did feel it provided sufficient information to the township to keep its certification, however the fire service continues working with two of the township supervisors to resolve quickly resolve the issues. As reported by an online news source, the township decertified the fire company earlier due to not meeting its bylaws and certain state and federal requirements. Also, the fire service is also working to provide their own worker’s compensation, so they can resume training and return to an active and available status.