BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS MAY 21, 2020

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH UPDATE
The Pennsylvania department of health reported technical issues with their statewide reporting system Wednesday, but has updated numbers as of midnight yesterday, citing 746 new COVID-19 cases for a statewide total of 64,412.  143 new deaths were reported in the Commonwealth for a statewide total of 4,767.  There were three new cases of coronavirus reported in Lycoming County for a county total of 152.

NO NEED TO FEAR PROSECUTION TO OPERATE IN THE YELLOW
Small businesses and owners are now immune from criminal investigation or prosecution involving reopening during the yellow phase in Lycoming County, according to a press release from the District Attorney, Ryan C. Gardner. According to the Sun Gazette, narcotic activity and violent crime is on the rise and resources need to be diverted away from enforcing Governor Wolf’s reopening restrictions.  Citing that businesses should be mindful of health guidelines,  Gardner reminds the businesses that the governor can still impose civil penalties, such as revoking licenses, and enforcing mandated insurance policies.

ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL TO TAKE ON DUAL ROLE
The principal at Cochran Primary School, Kirk Felix, will assume the duties of principal at Jackson Primary School for the upcoming school year. With the addition of a $6 thousand dollar stipend for the dual role, Dr. Timothy S. Bowers, superintendent at Williamsport Area School District, made the announcement at the district board meeting held via ZOOM Tuesday.  Among other business, a $488,663 contract with BLAST  was approved to provide special education services to school-age children. The next board meeting will be at 6 p.m. June 23

GRANGE FAIR CANCELLED
The Centre County Grange Fair Committee announced with sadness yesterday that the146th iteration of the Centre County Grange Fair and encampment is canceled due health protocols brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the festival’s president. According to the Centre Daily Times the other Pinacle events in Centre county; The Central PA 4th Fest, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, People’s Choice Festival and Philipsburg Heritage Days were all cancelled as of April.

Two bills have passed in the House that can help Pennsylvania restaurants in counties in the designated yellow phase reopen safely allowing the use of creative seating arrangements and fulfil state guidelines for social distancing.  According to a press release by Rep. Garth Everett, the house bills which will go for a vote in the coming days, amend the rules of using outdoor spaces to up to 50% capacity as well as establishments without determined outdoor seating, to be allowed to use designated parking areas for dining.  The temporary seating would be roped-off with a single entry point.

A Jordan Township man has been charged with taking his neighbors cows in January,  killing one of them and wounding another.  State police say Gary Colatosti of South Woods road was found to have evidence of the death of one of the cows that had escaped a previous day from the Kitzmiller farm on Keller Hollow Road, on his property.  There were also police reports of arguing and fighting around the property during these same days.  According to the Sun Gazette, Colatosti was charged with animal cruelty, criminal mischiuef and tampering with evidence charges in district court and was released on $35k bail.

According to the Lycoming County coroner, there was another death of a resident who had tested positive for COVID-19 at ManorCare-Jersey Shore, bringing the total deaths there to 15 out of the 16 in the county.  According to the Sun Gazette, administrators for HCR ManorCare said there are just 53 residents who have now tested positive for the virus and 25 negative.  The 14 staff members who have tested positive are under quarantine at home

The statewide board of directors of the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education, voted to cancel Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week 2020 this summer. Each July and August for the past 31 years, thousands of high school students and volunteers from across the state gathered on the campuses of Lycoming College and the Pennsylvania College of Technology to explore business and the American free enterprise system.  According to a news release, Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week will return to Williamsport in 2021.

 

Sports
NASCAR
Denny Hamlin won NASCAR’s first Wednesday race since 1984 when rain stopped the event with 20 laps remaining at Darlington Raceway after Kyle Busch caused Chase Elliott to crash eight laps earlier to bring out the caution.

NFL
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith was granted conditional reinstatement yesterday by the NFL from an indefinite suspension for violation of the league’s personal conduct and substance abuse policies.The move will allow Smith to take part in meetings with Cowboys coaches and teammates in the virtual offseason program beginning Tuesday.

An unnamed NFL player is suing United Airlines, alleging that he was sexually harassed, assaulted and violated by a female passenger on a February flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, and that the airline failed to properly respond to complaints.  The civil suit, filed Monday in an LA Court, seeks unspecified statutory and punitive damages from the airline.

NBA

NBA teams are expecting guidelines to come out around June 1st that will allow franchises to start recalling players who’ve left their markets,  as a first step toward a formal ramp-up for resuming the season. Teams are also awaiting the word that they are allowed to expand individual workouts already underway to include more team personnel.

NHL
The NHL and the players association are discussing a 24-team conference-based playoff format for a potential restart of the 19-20 season this summer.  There will likely be no fans at the games.  The NHLPA executive committee will meet today to discuss the format and return to play issues.

A new Bourbon will be released next week that is backed by Eli and Peyton Manning, Tennis legend, Andy Roddick, sportscaster, Jim Nance, and 40 other investors.  Sweetens Cove Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey  – a 13 year cask-aged product, will debut Tuesday at the retail price of $200 for Tennessee residents, online only on May 26th starting at 9am. The first 20 bottles will be reserved for charity fundraising.

The Penn State community is among the Division I football and basketball student-athletes who can participate in on-campus voluntary athletics activities beginning June 1.  The Division I Council gave the go-ahead in a virtual meeting Wednesday, as long as all local, state and federal regulations are followed.

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