UPDATED LOCAL COVID-19 CASES
The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Saturday reported new COVID-19 cases. Clinton County reported 46 new cases for a total of 6,163, the highest number of new cases in one day since 65 were recorded on Nov. 19. In Centre County 133 new cases were recorded for a total of 23,271. Lycoming County added 112 new cases for a total of 19,942. 127 new infections in Northumberland County, the third day here with more than 100 new cases. There were also 36 new cases in Union County, 28 in Snyder and 17 in Montour. Tioga County had 16 new covid-19 cases reported yesterday.
“ACCOUNTABLE TO THE LAW AND TO THE PEOPLE”
A former Pennsylvania state lawmaker charged with falsifying and double-dipping on expense reimbursements from the state House of Representatives and her campaign pleaded guilty this week, the state attorney general’s office said. Margo Davidson pleaded guilty Thursday in Dauphin County Court to five counts, including theft, the office said. All are misdemeanors, but the guilty plea bars Davidson from holding public office in Pennsylvania again, it said. “With her actions, Davidson betrayed both her constituents and her oath of office,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement. “Today is further proof that no one is above the law and that everyone who holds office in Pennsylvania is accountable to the law and the people.” Davidson, 59, a Democrat from Delaware County, was minority chair of the busy State Government Committee when she was charged in July. She promptly resigned her seat. The attorney general’s office accused Davidson of getting reimbursed for hotel stays, parking, tolls and gas by both her campaign and by the House from 2015 to 2019, and for putting in for reimbursements for hotel stays that never actually occurred. It also accused her of asking an unnamed witness to lie to investigators. Davidson was first elected in 2010, and had been in her fifth term.
CHILD ENDANGERMENT WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Under the influence of methadone and methamphetamine, two people from Middleburg were found passed out with a toddler in the vehicle. According to an online media outlet, Wilhelm Wray and Marisa Liddington were found passed out in the front seats on Pine Street in Middleburg, as an 18-month-old child was present. They were charged with DUI and child endangerment they were taken into custody in Milton November 29 on arrest warrants after they were involved in a crash and taken to Snyder County jail on bail.
MORE CASES OF THE OMICRON VARIANT FOUND IN NEW YORK
New York announced three more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the number of state cases linked to the new variant to eight. “The omicron variant is here, and as anticipated we are seeing the beginning of community spread,” state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a news release. The number of states finding the variant is growing as well, with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Washington State announcing their first cases Saturday, a day after New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland reported their first confirmed cases. Missouri reported its first presumed case Friday. In Pennsylvania, a man in his 30s from Philadelphia became that state’s first case. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health did not immediately say whether the man was vaccinated against COVID-19 or if he had been traveling.
GRATEFUL FOR A TREE THAT LENDS A FESTIVE APPEAL
The Officers of Williamsport Bureau of Police would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to the Zimmer Century Tree Farm in Covington for donating this festive Christmas Tree to help adorn our police station for the holiday season!
TWENTY FIRST ANNUAL BUSINESS PARTNER IN EDUCATION AWARD
The Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the TwentyFirst Annual Business Partner in Education Award. The award will be presented at our Education Celebration on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Williamsport Country Club, Williamsport. The deadline for the application is Friday, January 28th , 2022. The Chamber has long recognized the importance of the business community partnering with the education community. At our Education Celebration, we will be recognizing not only the educators and students from our area schools, but we will also be recognizing one business that demonstrates how area businesses can partner with our future business leaders. This is a wonderful opportunity for businesses to highlight their local involvement in the education community. The partnering of businesses with the area school districts helps to ensure the professional development of today’s students and tomorrow’s business leaders and deserves to be recognized!
PRE-APPLICATION FUNDING REQUESTS
The County of Lycoming is accepting pre-application funding requests from municipalities, public authorities, non-profits, and businesses that are located within Lycoming County to help determine how to allocate monies from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The County was awarded $22 million in ARPA funds through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to address the impacts of COVID-19, which will be transferred to the County in two installments. The County has received the initial installment (totaling 50% of the overall award) in May 2021 and expects to receive the remaining balance around May of 2022. The Commissioners anticipate opening two grant rounds over the 2022 calendar year to allocate those funds. Currently, in an effort to determine how to best utilize these funds, the Commissioners are encouraging all eligible entities to complete and submit a preapplication located at www.lyco.org/ARPA. By completing this form you will help the County determine the level at which each eligible project category will be funded. The following types of organizations are eligible to apply: · Municipalities · Public Authorities · 501c(3) Nonprofits · Privately Owned Businesses The initial pre-application window will be from November 16th , 2021 until December 31st, 2021.
UNDERSTANDING THE REDRAWING OF PA’S BOUNDARES
In the weeks ahead, we will be looking at proposals to redraw the boundaries of Pennsylvania’s U.S. congressional districts, as well as those of the state House and Senate districts. The boundary changes are necessary to ensure fair and equal representation in state and federal government for all citizens. Congressional and state legislative districts are required by the Constitution to be nearly equal in population. Every 10 years, in conjunction with the U.S. Census, the district boundaries are adjusted based on shifts in population to meet the “one person, one vote” principle.
HIGHER PENALTIES FOR THOSE REPEAT DUI OFFENDERS LEGISLATION
Working to improve safety on our highways, the House recently adopted legislation that would increase penalties for people convicted of third or subsequent crimes of driving under the influence (DUI). Specifically, the measure would increase the penalty for a third DUI offense to a third-degree felony, or a second-degree felony if the person has three or more prior offenses. It would also require consecutive, rather than concurrent, sentences for these crimes. House Bill 773, also called “Deana’s Law,” is named after Deana Eckman, a 45-year-old Delaware County woman who was killed in a drunk-driving crash in 2019 by a man who had five prior DUI offenses.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.