WILLIAMSPORT CODES AND CITY POLICE PATROL DIVISION REMAIN
The Williamsport City Bureau of Codes and City Police Patrol Division are the two departments that remain in condemned City Hall. Mayor Derek Slaughter reported yesterday that he would ask for a brief extension. A target date of Monday was set two weeks ago by the codes department, and while it was missed, offices and rooms are not quite prepared for the relocation of codes and patrol. According to SUN Gazette, the codes offices will be at restored rooms at River Valley Transit, 1500 W. Third St., which is being prepared for the buildings and property codes enforcement employees this week. The police patrol division picture remains fluid and not completed, Slaughter said.
JERSEY SHORE MAN REFUSING TO LEAVE HIS CELL
Samuel Collins, committed Sunday to the Lycoming County Prison after he was declared unfit for arraignment, following a traffic stop at 1 am, refused to come out of his cell Monday morning when District Judge Christian Frey was prepared to conduct the formal proceeding, according to court records. Frey proceeded anyway and ordered that the 41-year-old Jersey Shore man remain behind bars in lieu of $25,000 bail. According to a media source, Judge Frey said he has never heard of a situation where someone locked up refused the next day to come out of their cell to attend to the matter. Collins, of 405 Allegheny St., was taken into custody about 1 a.m. Sunday on multiple charges after state troopers stopped his 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt at West Fourth and Laurel streets in the city.
MURDER TRIAL TO BEGIN TODAY
Yesterday, the Lycoming County Court seated a 12-person jury to hear the case against a man accused of murdering a customer in a convenience store in 2019. The jury will hear testimony today through next Monday before deciding the case of Ikeem Fogan, 23, of Williamsport, who allegedly shot and killed a customer and injured a Uni-Mart clerk in August 2019. According to SUN Gazette, in addition to those 12, four alternates were chosen to step in should they be needed. Fogan will answer to 12 charges. The trial begins today at 9 a.m. in the Lycoming County Courthouse. County Judge Marc Lovecchio will preside over the trial.
SEXUAL OFFENDER TO STATE PRISON FROM ROARING BRANCH
The Lycoming County Court recently sentenced a sexual offender to state prison for charges related to sexual abuse of children. As reported by an online media source, Michael Harris Jr., 34, of Roaring Branch, was sentenced by Lycoming County Court Judge Ryan Tira for 47-94 years in state prison, in addition to three years of probation, for a series of abusive incidents toward a minor when she was younger than 13 that continued over several years.
SEXUAL OFFENDER TO STATE PRISON FROM MUNCY VALLEY
The Lycoming County Court recently sentenced a sexual offender to state prison for charges related to sexual abuse of children. As reported by a media outlet, John Irwin, 71, of Muncy Valley, was sentenced to 80-160 years in state prison and three years of probation for being convicted of raping children. According to a criminal complaint that Irwin initially sexually abused the two girls starting when they were six. Irwin pleaded guilty to several counts of rape of child. Allegations initially pit 103 charges related to the incidents against him.
FREE PROGRAM “ENCOURAGING BIRDS TO YOUR BACKYARD”
The Tiadaghton Audubon Society is hosting a free program open to the public titled “Encouraging Birds to Your Backyard.” It will be held rain or shine. Ann Vayansky is presenting the program at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday outdoors at the Nature Center at Hills Creek State Park. According to a report from SUN Gazette, it’s located seven miles northeast of Wellsboro in Charleston Township. If it rains, the program will be in the Nature Center pavilion. Hills Creek has a garden of native plants at its Nature Center. Vayansky will talk about the merits of some of the plants in this garden and the importance of people incorporating them and others into their landscaping to encourage birds and other wildlife to visit.
LYCOMING COUNTY COVID INFECTION RATE
Lycoming County’s infection rate has surpassed not only that of Pennsylvania, but of the entire country, according to county Health Improvement Coalition data. The county’s latest test positivity rate and seven-day total infections are reportedly 338 per 100,000, with 38 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Sept. 16. Lycoming remains among the 95% of counties countrywide facing high levels of COVID-19 transmission at a community level. As reported in SUN Gazette, in Lycoming County, the vaccination rate among adults 18 and over now stands at 62.2% having received their first dose, with over half of the county’s eligible population having begun their vaccine process, about 51.6%.
PENNSYLVANIA GAME COMMISSION MEMORIAL TO FLIGHT 93
Forty American flags stood tall and the sound of bagpipes rang out on State Game Lands 93 in Somerset County as the Pennsylvania Game Commission rededicated a memorial to honor the 40 heroic passengers and crew members of United Airlines Flight 93. The ceremony was held on the morning of Sept. 10, in advance of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The agency dedicated a new wooden game lands sign, two stone, engraved benches — one honoring all 40 men and women on board and one honoring U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist and Law Enforcement Officer Richard J. Guadagno — and two informational kiosks with the 40 names, the Flight 93 story, the history of the game lands and more in the memorial area of the game lands. As reported by a media outlet, a keystone was also cut into the landscape on the grassy hillside overlooking the memorial with the number 93 painted in the middle.
MEDICAL VERIFICATION REQUIRED FOR NO MASK IN EAST LYCOMING SCHOOLS
It was a special meeting for the East Lycoming School Board last night in the Hughesville High School auditorium. With members of the public and anxious parents present, the board voted 8-1 saying in order to receive a mask exemption, a form will require medical verification. As reported by SUN Gazette, the vote came as a long meeting turned even longer with approximately 3 hours of public comment on the mask mandate.
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH UPDATED COVID-19 RESPONSES FROM MONDAY
The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Monday reported new COVID-19 cases statewide. In Clinton County eight new cases, Lycoming County increased by 31, 15 in Northumberland County, eight in both Snyder and Union counties and four in Montour County.
FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SENT TO ASSIST A TOWN IN TEXAS
Employees from the U.S. Penitentiary at Lewisburg are joining other federal officers in helping to expel thousands of migrants from a Texas town. In all, U.S. authorities moved to expel many of the more than 12,000 migrants camped around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas. Andy Kline, president of Local 148 representing the corrections officers at the Lewisburg prison, isn’t pleased that they are being employed to address the crisis. As reported by the Daily Item, besides putting officers health at risk, Kline said, sending prison staff out of state to assist in the migrant problem is straining the resources of federal prisons which has been dealing with a nationwide staff shortage for years.
GRANT MONEY TO HELP 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.
TRANSFER STATION CLOSING FOR MAINTENANCE
The Lycoming County Resource Management Services Transfer Station Located at 1475 West Third St. in Williamsport will be temporarily closed for maintenance Mon., Sept. 27th and is anticipated to reopen to the public and waste haulers on Mon., Oct. 4 at 8:30am. The temporary shutdown is for the installation of a new conveyor. As reported by SUN Gazette, the location at 447 Alexander Dr., Montgomery, which is open Mon.-Fri. 7:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sat. 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m, will be the replacement station, as needed by residents. Electronic recycling collection will be suspended upon Transfer Station reopening. Collections will continue at the landfill location for residents only (no businesses, organizations, institutions, etc.).
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT COULD LEAD TO DUI
A Watsontown man was taken into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence after hitting a 13-year-old boy as he waited for the school bus. According to Watsontown Police, the incident happened last Thursday just after 7:30 a.m. the boy was hit, sustained an injury, was taken to Evangelical Community Hospital Emergency Room.. According to a media outlet, police say the driver, an unidentified 28-year-old man, was taken into custody, and administered a DUI blood test.
SEXUAL ASSAULT IN NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
It was a theft and sexual assault, as reported by state police, on a rural Union County road. On September 12, a woman was in a vehicle with 27-year-old Martin Esperanza of Milton, when they say he sexually assaulted her, took her purse and cellphone, and left her along the road. Esperanza is charged with multiple charges and is now in the Northumberland County Prison. According to an online media outlet, a hearing will be held, in front of District Judge Michael Diehl, who set bail at $75,000.
A DOMESTIC VERBAL ALTERCATION BECAME VIOLENT
Threats became violent behavior, as Watsontown Police reported they were called to Eighth Street on Friday to break up a domestic dispute, where a man assaulted and threatened to kill a woman if she called the police. As reported by SUN Gazette, police said they took 40-year-old James Beardsley of Watsontown into custody and charged him with harassment, simple assault and terroristic threats.