BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS APRIL 14, 2020

LOWER COVID-19 NUMBERS TO START THE WEEK
The Secretary of the PA Department of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, released the new COVID-19 numbers affecting Pennsylvania as of midnight Monday.  There are 1,366 new cases in the commonwealth bringing the statewide total to 24,199.  There were 17 new deaths bringing that total to 524. Twenty-eight cases have been reported in Lycoming County, but no deaths

GOVERNOR SPELLS OUT A PLAN TO MOVE ON FROM PANDEMIC
Last evening, Governor Wolf also presented a video broadcast addressing Pennsylvanians and giving an update on the progress the state has made in the battle against COVID-19 and our plan for moving forward.  He suggested we are in the first of 3 phases that first buys time for our hospitals so they don’t become overwhelmed by patients, second, the actual transition from staying home to returning to work and school and then the new normal.  Wolf says our efforts through this first stage  are helping us transition faster.  The full address can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Health‘s Facebook Page

ARMED ROBBER CHARGED IN MUNCY CREEK INCIDENT
An investigation by State police has led to the arrest of a Williamsport man who committed armed robbery March 18th at a Muncy Creek business.  According to the Sun Gazette, court records say, 28 year old Steven James Martin of  Carpenter St, allegedly took a semi-automatic weapon into Sam’s Place Lottery and Tobacco in Muncy Creek and demanded money, getting away with over $3,500.  Police say he was wearing a mask and goggles during the incident but they gathered evidence from surveillance cameras, and witness interviews. Martin was charged with robbery, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, receiving stolen property, terroristic threats, possessing instruments of crime and simple assault.

WILLIAMSPORT LIBRARY TO CANCEL FINES FOR OVERDUE MATERIALS
The James V Brown Library building in Williamsport is closed, so, they are removing restrictions on cards for community members with fines and fees for the duration of the closure.  Library staff members said Monday that loaned materials are due when the building opens back up.  If community members need to renew their card, they can use the contact form on the website.  The library has also begun a virtual book club which will be this Thursday either online or by telephone.  Go online to Jvbrown.edu for more information.

GOVERNORS JOIN TO FIND ANSWERS TOGETHER AS WE NAVIGATE THE PANDEMIC
Governor Wolf yesterday joined the leaders of nearby states in a conference call yesterday, to form a committee to help tackle how they will reopen businesses, schools, and other things that have been shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Sun Gazette, Governor Wolf talked together with Gov. Andrew Cuomo  of New York, Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Gov. John Carney  of Delaware, and Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island to discuss the steps that will be taken. Each state will nominate a representative from the health sector, an economic official, and the governors’ chiefs of staff for the working group. Pennsylvania’s  group will include Dr. Rachel Levine, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin, and Governor Wolf’s  chief of staff, Mike Brunelle.

COUNTIES WANT MAIL-IN VOTING
There is a movement among Pennsylvania county leaders to transition the June 2nd Primary election to one conducted entirely by mail, so that the coronavirus does not spread among poll workers or communities.  Rich Fitzgerald, Executive from Pennsylvania’s second most populous county, Allegheny, says he wants the governor to expand an emergency declaration to allow the county to mail ballots to every registered voter.  Officials in heavily populated suburban Philadelphia counties, Montgomery and Chester, are also backing the idea of an all-mail election, while Philadelphia is already making preparations for it.  Democrats pressed for a provision in legislation last month to require counties to send mail-in ballot applications to every voter, but it lacked support in the Republican-controlled Legislature and didn’t pass.

ALLENWOOD STAFF MEMBER TESTS POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS
The Bureau of Prisons has announced that one staff member at the Federal Correction Institute at Allenwood has tested positive for the coronavirus.  According to the Daily item, Union officials continue to be concerned about the safety of the staff as more diagnosis are reported. The Bureau of Prisons report on their website yesterday that 13 federal inmates have died from COVID-19 and 388 federal inmates and 201 staff have tested positive for the disease nationwide.The PA Department of Helathy reported one Pennsylvania inmate died due to the virus at SCI Phoenix in Montgomery County.

Sports
NBA
Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, the mother of Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, has died due to complications from the coronavirus.  Towns posted an emotional video to his Instagram page on March 25, revealing that his mother was in a medically induced coma and had been placed on a ventilator due to the virus.

NFL
Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey is signing a four-year extension, averaging $16 million per year, making him the highest-paid running back in NFL history.

WWE
Florida, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is allowing the WWE to resume live television shows from its Orlando training facility and Full Sail University in Winter Park after being deemed an essential business. The decision, outlined in an April 9 memo from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office, could open the door for other sports to resume in the state.

NASCAR
NASCAR driver Kyle Larson has been suspended without pay by Chip Ganassi Racing after saying the N-word during an iRacing tournament Sunday night.  He’s also been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR.  Larson tweeted an apology and will have to complete a sensitivity training course before he can be reinstated.

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