BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 16, 2021

NEXT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER

The Pennsylvania College of Technology has announced James R Dougherty the Third as the next Executive Director of the Community Arts Center beginning earlier this week.  He takes over the position from Chuck Still who had been with the center since January 2020.  Dougherty has most recently served as Director of Computer and Media Services.  He looks forward to working closely with local community.

JERSEY SHORE SCHOOL PARENTS VOCAL ABOUT MASKS

A crowd of people calling for the unmasking of students highlighted action at the Jersey Shore School Board Meeting this week.  The meeting included parents of school children who claimed the masks are  harmful to students.  Others told the board they felt their rights were being trampled on by the state’s mask mandate.  The School Board in Jersey Shore did vote to support an injunction filed by State Republicans and parents seeking to overturn the state wide mask mandate for schools.

WILLIAMSPORT CITY AND TAX OFFICE MOVED

The Williamsport City Treasurer and Tax Office has found a new home in Williamsport at 100 West Third Street.  The new office entrance is on Pine Street directly across from the court house fountains.  The office has 15 minute parking available along 3rd Street directly across from the M & T Bank Building.

STEP IN LYCOMING COUNTY

The Lycoming County Board of Commissioners approved funding for housing programs through STEP. Commissioner Tony Mussare voiced his concern for the reduction of funding for the, “Homes in Need” program.  The program helps seniors who fall within a certain household income.  The program was reduced from $300,000 to $225,000 this year.  Funding comes through the Marcellus Shale Activity in the State which has gone down.

VIDEO SCOREBOARD TO BOWMAN FIELD

A video scoreboard is on its way to Bowman Field.  The $630,000 videoboard is considered a win-win for the City of Williamsport and region. It was included in a list of stadium improvements that were to be paid for as part of the state redevelopment assistance capital program grant.  The grant was approved by Governor Tom Wolf and the State Office of Budget.

MASKING OF STUDENTS HOT TOPIC LATE FOR MONTOURSVILLE AREA SCHOOL BOARD

The Montoursville Area School Board was burning the midnight oil when they finally adjourned their meeting at one minute before midnight.  The board heard from many district residences, mostly on the issue of masking the students.  The nearly five hour virtual meeting included remarks from people opposed to masks and people who called for the resignation of board members and Superintendent Christa Basson.  School Officials repeatedly made it clear they cannot simply go against the state order without facing legal action.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT PASSED AN EXEMPTION TO THE MASK ORDER

While in South Williamsport, the school board passed a motion that will allow parents to sign off on an exemption from the Department of Health’s mask-wearing order during a crowded public meeting  this week.  The motion removes the requirement of exemptions to have a doctor’s signature, a measure many parents in the South Williamsport  School District took issue with.

CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT IN FEDERAL COURT BY MONTOURSVILLE AREA PARENTS

Meanwhile, fourteen parents of students at Montoursville Area School District filed a civil rights lawsuit this week in Federal Court to over turn a state-ordered mask mandate.  The parents are challenging the school over a requirement that all students, staff and visitors wear masks on buses and in school buildings.  The main issue by the parents was that a mandate was initiated without notice to the public, or prior notice to members of the school board.

REMOTE LEARNING TODAY FOR JACKSON PRIMARY AND LYCOMING INTERMEDIATE SCHOOLS 

Two city schools to go remote today.  Jackson Primary and Lycoming Intermediate Schools will shift to remote learning today and Thursday due to, ” The continued rise of active COVID cases and the high volume of student quarantines.”  This according to an announcement on the Williamsport Area School District’s Facebook page.  In person learning will resume Monday, September 20th. All other schools in the district will operate as normal.

MUNCY SCHOOL BOARD PASSES VOTE TO ALLOW PARENTS TO CHOOSE

Meanwhile, the Muncy School Board voted 6 to 3 to allow parents to choose if their child needs to wear a mask while attended schools in the Muncy School District.  With that vote, a parent of a child under 18 years of age could sign the exemption form, while a student over 18 could sign their own form.

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT NOT TO ENFORCE MASK MANDATE

South Williamsport  Borough Police Department will not enforcement Governor Tom Wolf’s recent mandate requiring  students, staff and visitors to wear masks in school.  Steven Cappaelli, Borough Manager and Public
Safety Director, told Borough Council this week that Borough Police will respond to school emergencies and calls placed by the District, but will not enforce the state mandate.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 14, 2021

DA GARDNER DENIES PROSECUTION OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN FOR MASKS

There will be no prosecution of parents or children for refusing to wear a mask at school. According to District Attorney Ryan Gardner in a statement last Friday, explaining the office had no business with the prosecution in these cases. “The Department of Health’s Order of Aug. 31, 2021 is ambiguous with respect to enforcement,” Gardner said. “The decision whether to mask any child in school is best made between the parent and members of the school’s administration and not the Governor, law enforcement or the District Attorney’s Office.” According to a media source, however, Gardner also stated the school district’s ability to give detention, suspend students or expel them from school, is still present without his prosecution. Gardner encouraged parents and students to remain composed, and that law enforcement may become involved for applicable criminal offenses.

LYCOMING COUNTY COVID VACCINATION RATES

Lycoming County still sits in the high level of community virus transmission, and its case numbers and  a vaccination rate of 45.2%, in the past week Lycoming County has had 258.61 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, with a test positivity rate of 11.9%. Meanwhile, Union County, with a vaccination rate of 50.9 percent, has in the past week reported 282.71 new cases per 100,000 people, and has a test positivity rate of 10.1 percent. Finally, Clinton County, with a vaccination rate of 37.2%, shows in the past week 188.96 new cases per 100,000 people and a test-positivity rate of 7.03%. The state currently leads the nation with a 56% vaccination rate compared to a 53.8% vaccination rate. However, the state’s 7-day total for COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people is 207.7 to the nation’s 286.2. The state’s week-long test positivity rate for COVID-19 is 9.1% to the nation’s 9.14%.

SECOND WORK SESSION FOR WILLIAMSPORT CITY  ADMINISTRATION

The Williamsport City Administration and Williamsport City Council will hold a second work session on the American Rescue Plan funding at 7 p.m. Sept. 30. The meeting will be held at the Trade and Transit Centre II third floor in the Michael Ross meeting room, 100 W. Third St. According to Mayor Derek Slaughter, the city received $25.4 million, half of which it received in May, and the other half expected next spring. According to a media outlet, the money is specifically to be used for relief associated with losses from COVID-19 and, according to the U.S. Treasury Department rules, the rescue funds cannot be used to lower debt or reduce pension costs.

HIRING OF ACCESSIBILITY COMPLIANCE SPECIALISTS

City Council recently agreed to the hiring of two accessibility compliance specialists. Janetta Green was appointed coordinator for accessibility compliance and Mark Derry, accessibility building consultant. The city has about $20,000 reserved in the budget for their expenses, said Liz Miele, council vice president. According to SUN Gazette, once Green and Derry accomplish their work, Joseph Gerardi, city codes administrator, will be certified as accessibility coordinator. Green and Derry’s hirings are part of the commitment by the city to meet the consent decree it has agreed to in U.S. Middle District Court, to avoid a federal lawsuit.

SMALL COMMUNITY AIR SERVICE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM GRANT

A Small Community Air Service Development Program grant, in the amount of $950,000 was approved by the Williamsport Municipal Airport Authority at the last meeting. As was reported by SUN Gazette, the grants, awarded in August to small municipal airports, are utilized for funding air service and airfare issues. Airport officials are hopeful the money allocation will allow for improvements to attract another commercial provider to the area. In addition,  the Authority approved a one-year agreement with Midwest ATC, who covers the labor costs for traffic control service. The contract covers the airport’s labor costs for traffic control service. According to airport executive director Richard Howell the airport received $128,675 in CARES Act funding in August, bringing CARES funding to $1.35 million for the year and $3.4 million in overall allocations.

WOLF AND HIS MASKS MAY BE GOING TO COURT

The union that represents corrections officers in Pennsylvania prisons wants a state court to intervene over the governor’s recent mandate that they all get coronavirus vaccines or submit to weekly testing.The six-page Commonwealth Court complaint requests that the court issue a preliminary injunction to end mandatory testing unless inmates, visitors and outside vendors are also subject to the requirement. In addition to the Corrections Department, it applies to state hospitals, veterans’ homes, community health centers and homes for those with intellectual disabilities. Wolf press secretary Lyndsay Kensinger declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit but called the union’s opposition to the pandemic mitigation “extremely disappointing.”

RETIRING NUMBERS AT THE WILLIAMSPORT AREA  HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

A few pieces of history keep the Williamsport Area High School football alive in the hearts of young and old. Three retired jerseys, Larry Kelly (31), Gary Brown (28) and Natt Neenan (78) were joined by another on Friday night. Williamsport football welcomed Darrell Blackman to the field at halftime during a home game against Mifflin County. As reported by a media outlet, the 2003 Williamsport graduate — who currently holds the all-time rushing title for the Millionaires at 6,761 career yards — had his No. 2 jersey placed high among the elite four. An ovation from a packed stadium was for Blackman, who stood with the red board and his family. According to Blackman, “I’m proud of it, that’s a big accomplishment,” He continued.  “Now, forever, they’ll see that name ‘Blackman,’ that No. 2 jersey that’s sitting in the rafters.”

SCREAMING FOR HELP OVER THE TELEPHONE

Williamsport Police responded to a 911 call with a person allegedly screaming for help into the phone near the 2500 block of Federal Avenue on Sept 1. Police identified, Ciera Aaliyah Johnson, 21, of Williamsport as one of the women. Johnson allegedly punched the elderly woman in the face after she refused to take garbage outside. Johnson then began “beating” on the elderly woman. According to northcentralpa.com, Johnson was charged with multiple charges including felonies. Johnson is held at the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $50,000 monetary bail an upcoming preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 21.

DANVILLE POLICE RESPONDING TO POSSIBLE DEMONSTRATION

In a Facebook post made by the Danville Police Department yesterday, the department said it has received word of a potential demonstration in the Danville area today. “We appreciate everyone’s right to gather and air their grievances; however EVERYBODY’s rights must be protected;” the post said. According to comments made in the post, demonstration in opposition to the vaccine mandate at Geisinger is planned by employees.  According to a media source, today’s planned demonstration will likely disrupt the regular flow of traffic in Danville. The police department has offered tips for participants and community members: Parking violators will be ticketed and /or towed, do not interfere with emergency vehicles or block roadways, either impeding vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

STATE POLICE IN MILTON ARE LOOKING FOR THE SUSPECT WHO CAUSED DAMAGE TO A VALLEY RESTAURANT.

An unknown suspect caused damaged and cut power to a Valley Township business last week. According to State Police in Milton, a suspect went to the Hilltop Bar & Grill restaurant on Liberty Valley Road early the morning of Sept. 8, cut a phone wire and pulled apart a power meter base mounted to the exterior wall. Video surveillance cameras appeared to be tampered with during the incident, according to state police. There was no sign of forced entry at the building. According to SUN Gazette, anyone with information is urged to contact State Police in Milton.

CITY OF WILLIAMSPORT TREASURER AND TAX OFFICE MOVED TO 100 W THIRD ST

According to a news release from Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter, the City of Williamsport Treasurer and Tax Office has relocated to 100 W. Third Street at the corner of Pine Street and Third Street. The move stems from the water and air quality issues at City Hall, said the mayor. The new office entrance is on Pine Street directly across from the Court House Fountains. The office was previously the location of Sterns Café, The Transit Scoop, and most recently Derone’s Dynamite Dogs. The office has fifteen-minute parking available along Third Street directly across from the M&T Bank Building. According to a media source, the office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Office can be reached by phone at 570-327-7520.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Monday reported new COVID-19 cases across the state, Clinton County nine new cases, Centre County saw an increase of 20, Lycoming County has 57, 45 in Northumberland County, nine in Union and six in Montour and Snyder counties.

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.

Live on Location

50th Anniversary of the Annual Car show and Artist Festival

Join Mark Mac broadcasting live at the 50th Anniversary of the Annual Car show and Artist Festival on Saturday, September 18th. Enjoy an exciting time with Live Music, vendors, Kid’s Zone and absolutely FREE ADMISSION!

DATE: SATURDAY, SEPT. 18 2021
BROADCAST / EVENT TIME: 10:00am – 3:00pm
LOCATION: MAIN STREET / MUNCY WILLIAMSPORT, P.A.

For more information on this event: visit SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY CORVETTE CLUB Facebook page

Last Cookout of Summer

Bring the entire family for a splendid time at our very own Backyard Broadcasting Station. Backyard Broadcasting and it’s sister stations wants to fill you up on good times and summer favorites on Tuesday, September 21 2021!
DATE: TUESDAY, SEPT. 21st
TIME: 2:00pm – TBD
LOCATION: 1685 FOUR MILE DRIVE, WILLIAMSPORT, P.A.

Jon Pardi at the Bloomsburg Fair

DATE: FRIDAY, SEPT. 23rd
TIME: 5:00pm –
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Ted will be broadcasting live at the Bloomsburg Fair on Friday, September 23rd at 5:00pm.

Tractor Pulls / Bloomsburg Fair

Jake will be hosting a live broadcast from the Bloomsburg Fair on Saturday, September 25th at 5:00pm.

DATE: SATURDAY, SEPT. 25th
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Darci Lynne / Bloomsburg Fair

Mark Mac will be hosting a live broadcast from the Bloomsburg Fair on Monday, September 27th at 5:00pm.

DATE: Monday, SEPT. 27th
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Crowder / Bloomsburg Fair

Join Keith on air live from the Bloomsburg Fair on Tuesday, September 29th at 5:00pm.
DATE: TUESDAY, SEPT. 29th
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Pat Benatar / Bloomsburg Fair

Mark Mac will be hosting a live broadcast from the Bloomsburg Fair on Wednesday, September 29th at 5:00pm.
DATE: WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 29th
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Bruce in the USA / Bloomsburg Fair

Join Shawn on air live from the Bloomsburg Fair on Thursday, September 30th at 5:00pm.
DATE: THURSDAY, SEPT. 30th
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

Chicago / Bloomsburg Fair

Join Jakeon air live from the Bloomsburg Fair on Friday, October 1st at 5:00pm.
DATE: FRIDAY, OCT. 1ST
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

BLOOMSBURG FAIR

Join Ian on air live from the Bloomsburg Fair on Saturday, September 2nd at 5:00pm.
DATE: SATURDAY, OCT. 2ND
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: 620 WEST THIRD STREET BLOOMSBURG, PA 17815

MUMMER’S DAY PARADE / SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT

DATE: SATURDAY OCT. 16
BROADCAST TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT
Visit this link for more information on parade event: Mummers Day Parade

COUNTRY STORE ANTIQUES

The first Country Store Antiques anniversary will be broadcasted by WILQ from 11:00am – 1:00pm on Saturday October 30th.

VETERANS DAY PARADE

DATE: SATURDAY NOV. 6TH 2021
TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: STAGEING AT LOYALSOCKS HIGH SCHOOL

BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 11, 2021

MARIJUANA ARREST ON BU CAMPUS

A Bloomsburg University Police Officer said he waited unnoticed and watched a man in the backseat of his vehicle weigh what appeared to be marijuana. Hamid Kaba of Collingdale, was inside his vehicle with a dome light on when officers observed him inside a parking garage on campus. The Officer positioned himself near the passengers side of the vehicle and continued to observe Kaba as he allegedly weighed and bagged marijuana. Officers said a search of the vehicle turned up 143.5 grams of marijuana that was divided into two bags.. Kaba was charged with one count of felony possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and two counts of misdemeanor use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Kaba is being held on $75,000 monetary bail. (NCP

STATE POLICE LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON DOG ATTACK

Pennsylvania State Police at Montoursville are looking for information regarding a dog attack on Tuesday night in Lycoming County. According to state police, a tan/brown in color possible shepherd mix dog weighing approximately 50 pounds attacked a female victim on Fairfield Church Road. The attack, which is allegedly said to be unprovoked, occurred at 9 p.m. Sept. 7. The dog had a red heart on its collar. Anyone with information is asked to contact PSP Montoursville. (NCP

FREE COVID-19 CLINIC

One of the Valleys state parks will be the site of a free COVID19 vaccine clinic next SaturdayGovernor Tom Wolf announced the Shikellamy State Park will be one of five state parks hosting a vaccine clinic. The Shikellamy State Park clinic will take place next Saturday, September 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Governor Wolf says clinics will provide either the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. (KOK

ASSAULT IN BLOOMSBURG

Bloomsburg police officers said they witnessed a man kick a woman in the face after being disturbance called to the scene of a domestic at a local bar. Douglas May of Bloomsburg was arrested and taken into custody. May, who has an active DUI case against him, was charged with seconddegree misdemeanor simple assault and a summary offense of harassment. May posted $10,000 monetary bail on Sept. 5. (NCP

DOMESTIC IN DORNSIFE

A witness told Troopers from PSP Stonington that a clogged toilet allegedly angered a man to the point of choking her on Sept. 6 in Upper Mahanoy Township. Michael Branswich of Dornsife was charged with seconddegree felony strangulation, seconddegree misdemeanor simple assault, and a summary charge of harassment. Branswich allegedly choked the accuser several times and grabbed her arm with enough force to cause bruising. Branswich posted $20,000 monetary bail on Sept. 9. Branswich is scheduled to appear before Judge Toomey on Sept. 14 for a preliminary hearing. (NCP

WILLIAMSPORT CITY COUNCIL’S MEETING

Thursday nights Williamsport City Council meeting was heated at times as Williamsport continues to struggle with financial issues stemming from the former administrations 2019 and 2020 budgets. The city has yet to sign off on a project for a new scoreboard at Bowman Field because they are unwilling to use American Rescue Plan funds to foot the bill. Williamsport received a $600,000 grant with part of that money being budgeted for a new scoreboard. Thanks to this grant, the scoreboard project is set to begin on Sept. 13th, but Council stressed the importance of locating funding outside of the Rescue Plan funds. (NCP

COVID-19 DASHBOARD

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed 5,005 new cases of COVID19. There were 58 new cases in Lycoming County, 51 in Northumberland County, 30 in Union County, 12 in Snyder, and 8 in Montour. (DOH/KOK

MESSAGE FROM GOVERNOR ABOUT FLAGS

Governor Wolf released a video on Friday to all Pennsylvanians to put their flags at halfstaff in remembrance of the September 11th attacks. In order to remember those who lost their lives, all United States and Commonwealth flags on the Capitol Complex and Commonwealth facilities throughout the state will also be lowered to halfstaff. The United States Flag and the Commonwealth Flag shall remain at halfstaff until sunset. (WKOK

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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.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING, LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

MASKS ON THE FOREFRONT AT WILLIAMSPORT AREA SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

The Williamsport Area School Board Tuesday held a crowd of upwards of 60 anxious parents and community members. Moments before the school board meeting, district officials were attempting to convince community members to wear their masks, as required by the mask order issued by the State Department of Health. According to SUN Gazette, when the meeting did begin, a generous majority of the guests spoke against the requirement of masks for the students in district buildings.  Two local physicians detailed medical reasons for the mitigation effort and spoke in favor of masks.

CHILDREN HIGHER RISK FOR COVID-19 VARIANT

“Young children are at a higher risk for becoming infected now than at any other time during the pandemic,” said Dr. John Williams, chief of pediatric infectious diseases, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “Children do get sick with COVID, and they can transmit the virus to family, friends and other members of the community,” Williams said. Williams noted that UPMC Children’s Hospital, Pittsburgh, is seeing an increase in children being treated for COVID-19 at clinics and emergency rooms, some leading to hospitalizations. As reported by SUN Gazette, citing  two key reasons for the increase in infections in children — a relaxation in mitigation efforts, and the delta variant, which is more contagious and more easily spread.

 US SENATOR ROBERT CASEY STOPPED BY PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY

Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, stopped at Pennsylvania College of Technology to push his Five Freedoms for America’s Children plan for improving the lives of kids. Unfortunately, he said, there is no strategic plan to address the issue as exists for many other of the nation’s priorities such as growing the economy. “If we invest in our kids all of these other priorities are successful,” he said.The lives of children were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupting their education, creating stress levels, and pushing more kids into poverty. As reported by an online news agency, Casey, who took time to tour the college’s Dunham Learning Center, visited with pre-school children and staff before discussing his plan. He is calling for an additional investment of $7 billion for affordable child care and early learning programs, an $18 billion annual increase to cover Head Start, and a permanent expansion of the Child Dependent Care Tax Credit to help families cover child care costs.

COLLEGE NIGHT AT LYCOMING COLLEGE

The Lycoming County Counselors Association (LCCA) and Lycoming College invite local high school students to attend “College Night” an annual event for nearly 30 years Thursday, Sept. 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Keiper Recreation Center on the college’s campus.

According to a news outlet, this special night gives local students the chance to interact and network with representatives from more than 50 colleges and universities. The event is free and open to the public. Masks will be required for all in attendance. Representatives from schools in Pennsylvania and surrounding states, as well as branches of the military, will be available to discuss their programs, scholarship offerings, and internship and research opportunities.

A WILLIAMSPORT MAN FAILED TO NOTIFY STATE POLICE AS REQUIRED BY MEGAN’S LAW

A Williamsport man failed to notify authorities when he moved, as required by Megan’s Law. Gerald Edward Jordan, of Williamsport, was charged with first-degree felony failure to register with PSP and first-degree failure to verify address. According to northcentralpa.com,  2009, Jordan pled guilty to indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age and endangering the welfare of children.

DRUG BUY FROM UNWITTING INFORMANT

Police watched an unwitting informant going into a home on Washington Blvd. in Williamsport with prerecorded currency to make a purchase for crack. According to northcentralpa.com, an unwitting informant is a person who is unaware they are providing information to law enforcement. Devin Eugene Mims, 34, of Williamsport was charged with felony possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and third-degree felony criminal use of a facility after the purchaser identified him for officers, according to the report. No bail was listed for Mims, who is scheduled to appear before Judge Aaron Biichle on Sept. 16 for a preliminary hearing.

STALKING CHARGE IN CLINTON COUNTY COURT

Last week in  Clinton County Court a jury returned a guilty verdict on one count of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree. The verdict came after a one day trial on Sept. 2. As reported by therecordonline.com, Anthony Martin, of Lock Haven, was convicted of stalking a young woman who was employed at the Dollar General store located on E. Main Street. Sentencing was scheduled by Judge Michael Salisbury to be held on Nov. 1, at 8:30 a.m.

COVID-19 DASHBOARD FOR YESTERDAY

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Wednesday reported new COVID-19 cases across the state. In Clinton County seven new cases, Centre County saw an increase of 16, while Lycoming County increased by 44. 35 in Union County, 29 in Northumberland, 16 in Snyder and three in Montour, according to a media source.

SECOND DAY IN FEDERAL TRIAL

Dr. Raymond Kraynak allegedly increased his criminal prescribing practices by more than 50 percent in the 11 months between two federal warrants on the doctor’s practice, according to a federal agent with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Federal agents arrested the now-suspended Mount Carmel doctor on Dec. 21, 2017. Kraynak, 64, was charged with 12 counts of illegal distribution or dispensing, five counts of illegal distribution or dispensing resulting in death and two counts of maintaining a drug-involved premises for his offices in Mount Carmel and Shamokin. As reported by the Daily Item, the prescription practices resulted in the death of five people, authorities said. The second day of the trial starts at 9:30 a.m. in federal court.

GUILTY PLEA FOR KILLING OF THREE WOMEN

A homeless man accused of killing two women from our region has pleaded guilty. The Daily Item reports 43-year-old Harold Haulman III, was sentenced to life in prison without parole as a result. He’s responsible for the killing of 25-year-old Tianna Phillips of McClure, who went missing in 2018, and 26-year-old Erica Shultz of Bloomsburg, who went missing late last year.  Michigan investigators say Haulman also committed the 2005 murder of 21-year-old Ashley Parlier. Haulman admitted to murdering all three woman after being interviewed by former Luzerne County Detective Shawn Williams, who’s the now the school police officer for the Shikellamy School District.

BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 6, 2021

PRESCRIPTION PILLS SOLD TO POLICE C.I.

A Williamsport man allegedly sold prescription pills to a confidential informant. According to Pine Creek Township Police, Charles Woodrow James of Williamsport sold various pills to the CI on three separate occasions between May 26 and June 15.James was charged with multiple felonies and released on $30,000 unsecured bail. According to a media source, he is scheduled for a preliminary hearing with Judge Frank Mills on Nov. 2.

HORSE AND BUGGY DUI

A Montgomery man was allegedly driving a horse and buggy while intoxicated on May 30 in Watsontown, according to police, who say he also tried to bribe them to avoid charges. Police reported that he observed the black horse-drawn carriage traveling southbound at 1:46 a.m. May 30 in the 10 block of Main Street without any working front lights or rear flashing red lights commonly used on those vehicles. With alcohol on his breath, Zook was unable to pass field sobriety tests. Samuel Lapp Zook, 19, was charged with multiple misdemeanors. According to northcentralpa.com, a preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Oct. 6 in Milton office of District Judge Michael Diehl.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR PINE CREEK TOWNSHIP POLICE

Police are requesting assistance in finding, Patrick Shady, 25, of Lock Haven, who is wanted by Pine Creek Township Police to answer for felony narcotics charges. Shady, charged with two counts of felony possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and one count each of felony criminal use of a communications facility and intentional possession of a controlled substance. According to a media outlet, anyone with information regarding Shady’s whereabouts is being asked to call the Pine Creek Township Police.

RESISTING ARREST IN MONTOUR COUNTY

A traffic stop in Montour County revealed a driver with multiple traffic violations, who was wanted by police.  State police say they noticed a the vehicle August 28 around 10pm. During the course of the traffic stop, they discovered, 33-year-old Nelea Musselman of Orangeville, was wanted by police. Musselman refused to comply with orders and was subsequently removed from the vehicle and taken into custody. According to northcentralpa.com, charges of resisting arrest and the traffic violations have been filed.

LAWSUIT INVOLVING MASKING GOING TO COURT

AP is reporting…The Republican leader of the state Senate and a group of parents filed a lawsuit Friday seeking to overturn the Wolf administration’s new mask mandate for Pennsylvania schools.  The suit, filed in Commonwealth Court, asserts that Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam failed to comply with state law when she ordered masks to be worn in all Pennsylvania public and private schools, as well as child care facilities. The masking order isn’t valid because it didn’t go through the state’s regulatory review process, the lawsuit said. It also accused the Wolf administration of trying to circumvent newly approved constitutional amendments limiting a governor’s emergency powers.

PA DEPT OF HEALTH RELEASED UPDATED COVID-19 DASHBOARD

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Saturday confirmed that Clinton County saw seven new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours; Centre County went up 69; and Lycoming County increased by 59, 47 new cases in Northumberland County, 13 in Snyder, 21 in Union and 10 cases in Montour over the past 24 hours, according to a media source.

 

 

BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS, SEPTEMBER 3, 2021

COAL TOWNSHIP BOARD TO APPEAL JUDGE’S DECISION

The Coal Township Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to appeal a county judge’s decision that forces the township to pay back more than $267,000 in disputed prison permit fees to Northumberland County. As reported by the Daily Item, the township has argued that the county’s lawsuit was premature, the county lacked jurisdiction and failed to follow the statutory conditions of an appeal, according to the township. The township commissioners said the prison was not a project they even wanted in Coal Township. “It’s a burden on our emergency services,” said Commissioner Craig Fetterman Fetterman. “They could have kept it in Sunbury and that would be fine with us.”

STUDENTS FAIL TO WEAR MASKS FOR INDOOR CONCERT AT BUCKNELL

According to Bucknell University, hundreds of students unmasked at a weekend show were in violation of university policy. An on-campus concert last weekend at the Gerhard Fieldhouse, originally set as an outdoor show, attracted up to 1,000 students. Mike Ferlazzo, Bucknell’s director of media relations, said masks were provided to every student who arrived without one of their own. According to the Daily Item, Ferlazzo went on to say “Based on attendees’ behavior at this indoor event, the status of future indoor student events is being evaluated.”

FATAL CRASH YESTERDAY NEAR HUGHESVILLE

The Lycoming County Coroner’s Office was called to Rt. #118 east of Hughesville at the intersection of Clarkstown Rd. for a MVC involving an SUV and Tractor Trailer Truck hauling milk.  The deceased was Harold Lowe who was traveling east turning onto Clarkstown Rd. when he was struck from behind.  Both operators were entrapped in the wreckage of their vehicles being extricated by Fire and EMS personnel from Hughesville and Muncy Fire Departments.  An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning at 8 AM and State Police are continuing their investigation into the crash.  Additional information will be released as available.

COVID-19 DASHBOARD RESULTS FROM THURSDAY AT NOON

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Thursday confirmed that Clinton County saw 10 new cases of COVID-19  over the past 24 hours; Centre County went up 57; Lycoming County jumped by 61, Northumberland County 28, 13 new cases in Snyder County and 10 in Union County, according to a media outlet.

PEDESTRIAN STRUCK WITH VEHICLE FOLLOWING AN ARGUMENT

According to witnesses, a Chevrolet Uplander struck a woman after she had an argument with the driver. When South Williamsport Police arrived, they found a woman, who could not walk, complaining of leg pain.  According to police, Jason Moser, 40, Williamsport, allegedly struck the victim near 2688 Euclid Ave in Duboistown on Aug. 27.  Moser was charged with first-degree felony aggravated assault, first-degree misdemeanor simple assault, first-degree accidents involving death or personal injury, second-degree recklessly endangering another person, and a summary charge of harassment. Moser was held at the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $25,000 monetary bail. According to northcentralpa.com,  Moser will meet with Judge William Solomon on Sept. 8 for a preliminary hearing.

STATE POLICE HOLIDAY ENFORCEMENT DUI ROVING PATROLS AND CHECKPOINTS

State Police from the Mansfield and Montoursville barracks will conduct DUI roving patrols and checkpoints over Labor Day weekend in Lycoming and Tioga counties, both barracks announced. The checkpoints will be targeting high DUI-related crash areas, according to compiled statistical data. According to the State Police, all motorists are reminded of the “Duty of Driver in Emergency Response Areas” law which states that drivers shall move over to an open lane and/or reduce speed when they see police stopped along the roadway with their emergency lights activated, or other emergency vehicles with their lights activated. State police reminds motorists to always wear their seat belts.

50TH ANNUAL JAYCEES LABOR DAY REGATTA

The rain and higher water brought by Tropical Storm Ida will not stop this weekend’s 50th Annual Jaycees Labor Day Regatta.Upwards of  300 boaters are expected to take to the waters of the West Branch Susquehanna starting Saturday.  Dave Breisacher, president of the Delaware Valley Outboard Racing Association, a sanctioning body of the competition along with the American Power Boat Association (APA), “As long as the river doesn’t crest too high, we should have a great weekend to race.” According to SUN Gazette, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was predicting the river to crest to 10.7 feet Thursday night and that should allow the races to proceed.The opening ceremony is at 10 a.m. Saturday, with U.S. Rep. Fred Keller of the 12th District as speaker.

STATE SENATOR GENE YAW DISAPPOINTED OVER STATE PARTICIPATION

State Sen. Gene Yaw, spoke out this week against Gov. Tom Wolf’s mandate for the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. By a recent vote of 3-2, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission opened the door for the state to be part of the interstate initiative without legislative approval, according to Yaw, who serves as chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. As reported by a media outlet, the decision, he said, means the state loses control over its energy production, economic development, energy security and environmental protection. According to Yaw, “Moreover, Pennsylvania will lose thousands of skilled and good paying jobs and untold millions of dollars in its tax base for CO2 emissions reductions stated to be less than 1%.”

HIGH WATER DELAYS CAUSEWAY PROJECT

 It was a project approved in July that would create a causeway on Lycoming Creek for heavy equipment and trucks as part of the levee recertification. Now, following the remnants of Ida, and the high water levels, the project remains on hold. Williamsport  City Council authorized spending $36,941 and approved the contract for Earthwork Services of Danville to do work that can only be completed when the creek level is lower, this according to Jon Sander, city engineer, who went on to say, “It’s an important project for levee stability.” According to SUN Gazette, once the creek is at a low level, the project is expected to take three to four days to complete.

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