BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS MARCH 16, 2020

THE LATEST STATE VIRUS CASE TOTALS
The state total of COVID-129 cases as of Sunday at noon was 63 according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  According to WTAJ, all the patients diagnosed are either at home in isolation or being treated at a hospital. Officials have tested or are in the process of testing 446 patients. Of those tests, 205 have been negative, while samples for 183 patients are in route or in the lab for testing.

OFFICIALS ASKE TO MOVE REAL ID DEADLINE
The Department of transportation secretary sent a letter last week to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security asking them to consider extending the October 1, 2020 REAL ID enforcement deadline.  Out of an abundance of caution and to help control the number of customers in its facilities, PennDOT suspended the issuance of REAL ID driver licenses and photo ID cards at all PennDOT Driver License Centers at some southeastern counties of the commonwealth until no sooner than March 28. Including Montgomery Lancaster and Lehigh.

BAG LUNCHES AVAILABLE FOR WAHS STUDENTS
There will be free bagged lunches for students at several facilities within the Williamsport Area School District everyday schools are out of session.  The lunches are available 11:30 to 12:30 in a grab and go format and the student using the program must be present to receive a bagged meal on a first come first served basis. Schools participaiting include Curtin Intermediate School Lycoming Valley Intermediate School Stevens Primary School Williamsport Area Middle School.  No access to the buildings will be available

HOSPITAL TO IMPLEMENT TESTS LOCALLY
UPMC has developed a test for the virus that causes COVID-19 — UPMC will use this test to diagnose select, symptomatic cases. The health system plans to rapidly increase capacity at its central laboratory and, if there is a need, could test hundreds of patients per week in the near future. According to a press release, medical authorities UPMC on Tuesday will begin directing patients who have a physician referral approved by UPMC’s infection prevention team and an appointment, to have their specimen collected for testing at a Pittsburgh area site.  UPMC says there are plans to open testing centers in Harrisburg, Erie, Williamsport, and Altoona on an undetermined date.  UPMC’s laboratory developed test was created following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. If you suspect you’ve been exposed to the virus call your primary care physician or UPMC recommends using their UPMC Anywhere Care online tool to get advice.

HOURS CHANGING FOR SOME GROCERY STORES
Local grocery stores are limiting their operations as a result of the threat of the coronavirus in our area.  In announcement on their website, Wegmans grocery stores including the Williasmpsort store are temporarily reducing their hours to allow more time for employees to clean and re-stock shelves, according to a media release on the Wegmans website. All Pennsylvania locations will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. , with the exception of Erie, which will remain open until midniught. Giant food stores will also reduce hours at their stores, including the 24 hour locations in Williamsport, Bloomsburg and Danville locations, operaing from 6 to 12 a.m. indefinitely.

BUCKNELL STUDENT BEING TESTED FOR COVID-19
A student from Bucknell is in isolation after they were taken to the hospital this weekend to be tested for a possible case of the coronavirus.  The Sun Gazette reports that the Lewisburg student self-isolated before the testing period and Bucknell’s Emergency Response Team continues to monitor the situation.  The patient was taken to Evangelical Community hospital to be tested on Sunday.

MAN ARRESTED AFTER REFUSING TO LEAVE DELIVERY CAR
A man got into a newspaper delivery driver’s car in Williamsport and refused to leave the vehicle, forcing the driver to go to the state police with the suspect in the car.  According to Montoursville state police, Kyle Buttorff got into the delivery person’s Buick LeSabre and became combative when police talked to him at the barracks.  Police then allegedly found cocaine and drug paraphernalia on Buttorff and he was arrested for drug possession, resisting arrestand  disorderly conduct.  He was remanded to Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $35,000 bail

STATE WORKERS STAY HOME, PUBLIC EATERIES TO CLOSE DINE-IN Governor tom Wolf made two announcements that will affect state residents in some counties, as well as state workers in the capitol and those who work together with state agencies.  State workers in Dauphin County and the Capitol Complex are to start telework from home starting today. Also, in all instances where employees report to work, they are to be released four hours before their normal quitting times. In the PA counties of  Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery, Governor Wolf ordered all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in facilities today for two weeks.  The governor says businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so, but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited.

Sports
In the NFL
Players approved a new labor agreement last week with results announced this past Sunday featuring a 17-game regular season, increased salaries, plus bigger rosters & pensions through the 2030 season. 500 Union members did not participate.

MLB
An unidentified minor leaguer for the New York Yankees has tested positive for the coronavirus,  being the first known player affiliated with Major League Baseball to contract COVID-19.  The player has spent his time in the minor-league complex and not in the New York Yankees main stadium and facilities.

Men’s Basketball
There’s disappointment for Penn State Basketball’s Lamar Stevens, 7 points from breaking the school’s career scoring record, who had his college career cut short after the announcement of the NCAA Tournament cancellation. Lamar returned to PSU for his senior year leading them to the tournament bid.

Local Sports
The Lycoming County Bowling Association has announced that their Hall of Fame banquet scheduled for next Saturday, March 21 is now postponed to a make-up date in June with that date TBD.

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