BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

JURY SELECTION FOR MURDER TRIAL

Jury selection is to begin this morning for a man accused in the 2019 slaying of a woman patronizing a Newberry convenience market. According to a media outlet, Ikeem Fogan, 23, of Williamsport faces trial for allegedly shooting and killing Rhonda McPeak and wounding JoBeth Wetzel during a botched burglary of the Uni-Mart in the 1900 block of West Fourth Street. Fogan faces 12 charges. Once a jury is seated, the trial is expected to last about a week. Fogan is being held without bail in the Lycoming County Prison.

POLICE TO RECEIVE RAISES IN MUNCY

Muncy Borough Council approved a new contract between the borough and the police department that would see an increase in wages of $2 an hour, among other agenda items this week. According to a media source, Borough council approved the 2022-2024 police contract 6-1. The starting hourly wage of a full time uniformed officer will be $23.02, increasing up to $24.50 in 2024. Officer wages increase up to $27.16 in 2024 for officers who have spent more than four years with the department. Part time officers start at a $20.50 probationary status in 2022, increasing up to $24.50 for more than four years of service with the department. Borough council also announced trick-or-treat will occur Saturday, Oct. 30, from 6-8 p.m. Muncy Borough Council will next meet Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Muncy Area Vol. Fire Department.

PASSENGER TRAIN LINES

New passenger train lines and expanded service across the state, could inspire billions of dollars in economic benefits for the Commonwealth. “We could make a huge difference for the mobility in this region,” Amtrak President Stephen. The service could add lines tying Scranton, Allentown and Reading into the busy corridor that already carries travelers along the East Coast. As reported by an online media source, Amtrak officials have also proposed an additional daily east-west route that would cover Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and many cities and towns between, as well as an added line to Cleveland.

CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS RIVAL 

Three Pennsylvanians in Congress are spearheading a new House effort to revive the Civilian Conservation Corps, the 1930s program that sent unemployed young men to remote worksites to develop and conserve natural resources. The three are among the first sponsors of the so-called Revive the CCC Act, which would create a modern equivalent. They join a similar effort in the Senate, led by Sen. Bob Casey, since July. According to SUN Gazette, the revived program would place workers at job sites across the country, with health benefits and a $15-per-hour wage reimbursed by the federal government.

DOMESTIC ASSAULT LANDS WOMAN IN JAIL

After grabbing his shirt and allegedly twisting it around his neck, causing his inability to breath, Brittney Goehrig was behind bars, city police alleged in court papers. Geohrig and her estranged husband, the victim, John, met at 2418 Newberry St. about 7 a.m. on Aug. 28, police said, adding that the estranged husband was there to get his share of the couple’s income tax money, police said.  According to SUN Gazette, arraigned two days later on charges of simple assault and harassment, Goehrig, 35, of 2412 Grand St., remains jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail.

DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE AND TERRORISTIC THREATS IN WILLIAMSPORT

A domestic disturbance on Market Street Sept. 15, brought Williamsport police to the door of Joshua Kendall. According to an affidavit, Kendall, 37, struck his girlfriend, locking her in a bedroom, telling her, he would kill her if she ever left him. According to an online media source, following his arraignment before Judge William Solomon, Kendall was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.

 DRUG ARREST LEADS TO POSSIBLE SUSPECT IN ARMED ROBBERY

A man was pacing outside a gas station on Montour Street when Danville Borough police officers approached him matching the description of a suspect wanted for armed robbery the day before. Ezekiel Rodarte, 46, of White Deer was charged with multiple narcotics charges. Authorities said Rodarte had approximately 68.2 grams of methamphetamine and approximately 4.6 grams of marijuana. According to a media outlet, Rodarte is held at the Montour County Prison in lieu of $50,000 monetary bail with a preliminary hearing in front of Judge Marvin Shrawder  Sept. 23.

GEISINGER OFFERS RAISES TO MINIMUM WAGE 

Geisinger is strengthening its commitment to its employees as it builds on its robust benefits packages and career development offerings by raising its minimum pay rate to $15 per hour for current and future employees, effective Sept. 26. In addition to its competitive pay, Geisinger regularly invests in its employees by offering comprehensive employee benefits.

COVID-19 NUMBERS IN VALLEY

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Sunday reported new COVID-19 cases across the Commonwealth.  In Clinton County 28 new cases were reported on Sunday, Centre County saw an increase of 67 on Sunday,  Lycoming County increased by 98, 51 in Northumberland County, 18 in Snyder and seven each in Montour and Union counties.

MINIMUM MUNICIPAL OBLIGATIONS IN OLD LYCOMING TOWNSHIP

The Old Lycoming Township supervisors approved the minimum municipal obligation for nonuniformed employees at $147,955, while the same obligation for uniformed employees is $43,975. Also, the supervisors appointed Kelsey Green, the county’s hazard reduction planner, as the authorized manager for FEMA hazard mitigation in the township. According to SUN Gazette, the supervisors said they are waiting to announce a night for the townships trick-or-treat until other municipalities announce their own dates.

A GRANT FOR CRYSTAL LAKE SKI AND OUTDOOR CENTER

A grant from the Williamsport Lycoming Community Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP) for $12,000 is set to help the Crystal Lake Ski and Outdoor Center to better serve more locals and visitors. With the grant, owners expect improvements to continue over the next five years starting with the 2021-22 season. According to Nathan Bowen, Executive Director of Crystal Lake, “There are a couple of components to this project.” According to northcentralpa.com, one component, the Skis to Schools program, reaching and making a difference for children in the community and helping members of the community on how to best use the resources that Crystal Lake provides.

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