BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS, SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

A MASKING LOOPHOLE FOUND

An apparent loophole in Pennsylvania’s mask mandate for schools is making it easier for some students to go to class without having to cover their faces. The state health secretary’s order requiring masks includes an exemption for students who claim it would cause or worsen a medical condition. But there’s no obligation in the masking order for a student to produce a doctor’s note or other supporting medical documentation. Spot checks by The Associated Press of school districts yesterday revealed at least a dozen around the state using exemption forms which don’t require a medical professional’s signature.

PA DEPT OF HEALTH RELEASED UPDATED COVID-19 DASHBOARD

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday reported new COVID-19 cases in Clinton County nine new cases were reported on Thursday, Centre County saw an increase of 114, while Lycoming County increased by 42, 31 cases in Northumberland County and 28 in Union County. There were 13 new cases in Snyder County and four in Montour County, according to a media source.

TEXTING COST A JERSEY SHORE MAN MULTIPLE FELONIES

It was a text communication between a 52-year-old man and 14-year-old girl led to the arrest, according to police, yesterday. According to police, Dwayne Allen Koons, of Jersey Shore messaged the juvenile through multiple avenues and made sexually explicit suggestions. Koons, who is being held at the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $35,000 monetary bail, was charged with multiple felonies is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 14 with Judge Christian Frey.

MASKING DEBATE HITS JERSEY SHORE

Upwards of 30 parents and concerned citizens from met at the Jersey Shore Area School District Services Center parking lot to expressing concerns related to the state mandate requiring schoolchildren to wear masks in classrooms. A petition to unmask the schoolchildren was available for parents and concerned community members to sign.  According to the SUN Gazette, the rally came at door of the upcoming school board meeting 7 p.m. Monday in which the board will discuss the topic of masks in schools. In an open letter posted on the Jersey Shore Area School District website, Dr. Brian Ulmer, Superintendent of the Jersey Shore Area School District announced the masking order and stated that the order is set to remain in effect but will be evaluated on Oct. 1.

LOYALSOCK TOWNHIP SCHOOL BOARD SAYS MASK OR GO VIRTUAL

Mask up or meetings will be going virtual was the message from Loyalsock Township School Board President Carolyn Strickland as she faced an audience of parents and community members Wednesday night, many without masks.  According to a media outlet,  Superintendent Gerald S. McLaughlin said the district will comply with the order from the state Department of Health related to students, staff and visitors wearing masks in district buildings. He went on to say districts are not required to update health and safety plans approved earlier in the summer to reflect the secretary’s order, but must comply and enforce the order, McLaughlin explained.

STAKEHOLDERS WILL BE DISCUSSED NEXT WILLIAMSPORT AREA SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

Who will be able to address the school board is at issue as the Williamsport Area School Board is set to review the policy governing it. Board member Adam Welteroth expressed all stakeholders in the district should be allowed to speak during the public comment section of board meetings. Defining who is a stakeholder was questioned by another board member. Welteroth made a motion that was passed to bring the policy to the first October board meeting for a review of the revision of adding stakeholders.  According to Sun Gazette, the school board also opened up the  agreement with the Old Lycoming Township Volunteer Fire Company to provide ambulance service for all home football games at a rate of $60 per hour for the current football season. They voted and it was approved. This is a $5 increase over last year. Prior to that, the rate had not changed since 2011. The next board meeting will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 21.

LOYALSOCK TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT TO RECEIVE GRANT MONEY

The Loyalsock Township School District has received a total of $1,363,292 from various grants over the past 18 months as part of COVID relief according to a presentation by Superintendent Gerald McLaughlin made to the school board at a recent meeting. The district is also set to receive $1,934,711 as part of the American Rescue Plan. Budgeted through the current school year, the second round of funding, $956,494, was used to maintain the existing staff, the Schick and Middle School summer program, after-school programs, custodial equipment and HVAC software system upgrade. As reported by a media outlet, funds from the American Rescue Plan, which is budgeted for 2022-23 and 2023-24 must include at least a minimum of 20 percent or $386,942, to address learning loss. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 6. The location for the meeting will be posted on the district website.

BLOOMSBURG MAN IMPATIENT FOR FAIR

A Bloomsburg man was not waiting another week to get into the Bloomsburg Fair. According to police, surveillance video from August 26th showed a man breaking into a ticket booth and remained there for upwards of two hours.  According to northcentralpa.com, Justin Charles Bozarth, 33, of Bloomsburg was charged with one count of third-degree felony criminal trespassing and a summary charge of criminal mischief. Bozarth is being held at the Columbia County Prison in lieu of $50,000 monetary bail awaiting his Sept. 15 preliminary hearing.

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