BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS APRIL 1, 2020

SEVEN MORE COUNTIES REQUIRED TO STAY HOME
More counties in the Commonwealth have been ordered to stay home in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine listed the 7 new counties in which Governor Wolf announced a stay at home order Tuesday, the closest to Lycoming being Cameron and Centre Counties – making 33 the total of all  who must follow the order… Lycoming County has officially announced 6 cases of COVID-19 with no deaths in the county, but there are 63 fatalties statewide due to the virus, and 756 new cases were announced yesterday.

MOTHER WHO LEFT INFANT ON PORCH ARRESTED
A young mother has been arrested after confessing to giving birth and leaving the child on a front porch of a Clinton County residence last week.  According to Penn Live, 18 year old Cassandra Rochelle Stitzer told police she only recently discovered the pregnancy but last week drove to an alley in Loganton, where she gave birth in her car.  She then wrapped the infant and tried to leave him at St. Pauls’ Evangelical Church, but it was locked due to the pandemic, so Sitzer left the baby at a nearby residence.  Those homeowners called police early Thursday morning.  Sitzer has been arraigned on endangering the welfare of a child and released on 25,000 unsecured bail. Police say Sitzer was a suspect after they found a receipt in the towel in which she wrapped the infant. The 7-lb baby boy is hospitalized and reportedly healthy.

PRESIDENT DECLARES PA A DISASTER ZONE
President Donald J. Trump has declared that a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and ordered Federal assistance to supplement Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by COVID-19.  This makes direct Federal assistance available to eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations. FEMA officials named MaryAnn Tierney as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

BLUES FESTIVAL CANCELLED, MOVED TO 2021
The Billtown Blues Association’s Board of Directors have cancelled the 31st Annual Billtown Blues Festival planned for this June at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville.  Bonnie Tallman said in terms of the health and safety of everyone involved with the festival, it was important to take a conservative approach and cancel.  But the Billtown Blues has been rescheduled with the anticipated same lineup for June 2021.  The BBA will continue to assess the time frame to reschedule the Audition concert and other special events moving forward.  Details at www.Billtownblues.org

GEISINGER DROPS ATLANTICARE HEALTH
Geisinger Medical Center announced Tuesday they will no longer will be the parent organization of AtlantiCare Health System Inc.  Geisinger also withdrew its suit filed in January in U.S. Middle District Court aimed at preventing AtlantiCare from terminating an earlier integration agreement from 2014.  According to Penn Live, both health systems will continue to collaborate on projects and initiatives, including the New Jersey campus of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.  The changes are not expected to impact care, facilities or local communities.

LAWMAKERS, UNION OFFICIALS TALK ABOUT COVID-19 IN JAILS
During a teleconference Tuesday with U.S. Rep. Fred Keller of Kreamer, and Shane Fausey, a union representative for corrections officers at Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities took calls and answered questions pertaining to the safety of staff and the community surrounding  federal prison facilities.  Rep. Keller is working to limit the transfer of inmates from federal facilities who have more rampant cases of COVID 19 into Pennsylvania facilities. Keller said Congress has a $100 million package for resources in the works for the bureau to provide necessary personal protective equipment for prison workers.  Keller called on people to contact their Congressman and Union County commissioners, to ask for an immediate stoppage of the inmate transfer.

FREE LUNCH AVAILABLE FOR EVERY CHILD
The PA Department of Education has gotten approval by the USDA to provide meals for all students in Pennsylvania and not just those enrolled in the reduced lunch program during the governor’s mandated school closures.  According to the Sun Gazette, administrators from the East Lycoming School had previously been using private donations to provide lunches for all the students in their community.  Today is the second distribution day this week, with The Beacon United Methodist church offering a supplement for preschool age siblings of East Lycoming School students.  Food distribution for all students under 18 in the community will be available  from 11-12:30.

PENNDOT STILL WORKING EMERGENCY PROJECTS
PennDOT has announced that 61 emergency and critical highway and bridge projects will be active statewide this week even while the normal highway and bridge construction program has paused.  Urgent emergency work will ensure a reliable transportation system as circumstances surrounding COVID-19 continue to unfold. The emergency work addresses specific safety need criteria, like landslide repairs, or critical bridge, tunnel and drainage repairs, as well as eliminating roadway restrictions that could impact the movement of life sustaining goods and services.

SPORTS
NFL
* Tom Brady will wear No. 12 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and wide receiver Chris Godwin will switch to No. 14, according to the team. Brady spent 20 seasons wearing No. 12 for the New England Patriots before signing with the Bucs this offseason.
*Officials from the NFL say they expect to start the season in September and plan on having a full 16-game season.

NBA
*The NBA draft is scheduled for June 25th but there are talks it will be postponed.  There’s speculation that the draft will come after the NBA season.
*The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are talking about withholding up to 25% of players’ remaining salaries in escrow should regular-season games eventually be canceled. Officials from the NBA continues to hope that there will be a resumption of  the season, but the uncertainty to fulfill the full 82-game regular season will ultimately be a financial cost shared among owners and players.
*Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who announced Monday that he is clear of COVID-19 after testing positive two weeks ago, plans to donate blood so it can be studied with the hope of finding a treatment for the coronavirus. An anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic, said at least four NBA players are talking about donating blood for the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, an experimental treatment that could help high-risk patients recover from the virus.

BOXING

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones agreed to plead guilty to his second offense of DWI yesterday, and will not face any jail time if he follows the terms of a plea agreement which includes fines, house arrest and community service in New Mexico.  Jones was arrested on four charges on Thursday in Albuquerque.

NHL
The National Hockey League has extended its’ self-quarantine period for players and staff til April 15th.

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