BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS JULY 17, 2020

HAZARD PAY AVAILABLE FOR LIFE-SUSTAINING WORKERS
Governor Tom Wolf announced grant funding yesterday to help employers provide hazard pay to their employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania.  Created through the CARES Act, this reimbursement-based grant will be administered by the DCED.  Businesses may apply for grants up to a maximum of $3 million.  Grant funds may be used for hazard pay for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime for the 10-week period from August 16, 2020, to October 24, 2020. The list of eligible occupations for hazard pay as well as application and contact information is listed here.

MONTOURSVILLE SCHOOLS LOOKING FOR UPGRADE OPTIONS
Montoursville area School District continues to consider options in upgrading elementary schools there.  According to the Sun Gazette, at the School board meeting Wednesday, an appointed architect firm presented seven options costing between 14 and 31 million dollars which range from closing some schools to building a new K-4 elementary school.  Board members are taking more time to review the presented options as well as considering making improvements as the district can afford them.

UNION COUNTY CONSTRUCTION MONDAY
PennDOT has announced a core drilling project next week along Rt 11/15 in Union County.  Watch for lane restrictions in both lanes with flagging along the roadway starting Monday the 20th from 6am til 2pm.  According to the press release, work may continue into Tuesday, weather permitting.  You can check conditions on any roads in PA by visiting www.511PA.com

JERSEY SHORE TOWN MEETING CANCELLED
The Borough of Jersey Shore, in response to recent decisions by the Pennsylvania Governor and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to restrict gatherings of over 25 people and mitigations efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, has made the difficult decision to cancel Jersey Shore Town meeting days originally rescheduled to July 20th through 25th.  The Borough Council said they look forward to the event returning in 2021.

PENNSYLVANIA UNIVERSITIES MAY BLEND IN THE FUTURE
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education will be studying the impact of blending state schools such as Mansfield and Lock Haven Universities.  The Board of Governors approved the review, and according to the Sun Gazette, said that integrating operations at selected schools could ensure students and the communities with an affordable, high quality education, as many of the state universities in the state system are facing financial hardship.  Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 20 of 2020 earlier this month which outlines a transparent review and implementation process that could take place over the next 2 years.

AIR TRAVEL TO THE CAROLINAS STARTS IN AUGUST
Williamsport Regional Airport has announced officially that their new service scheduled to take passengers directly to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina twice daily, will begin on August 18th according to a press release.   American Airlines has over 700 flights leaving Charlotte daily. The two hour flight to the Carolinas will give regional travelers a new gateway to the southern United States.  There will be a a Williamsport and Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce PM Exchange event August 13 to help usher in the new air service.  Maiden flight events will take place as well at the facility on August 18th.  CDC protocols are in place at the airport with plexiglass shielding at ticket counters and at the security area with the authorities there requiring 6 foot distancing in the terminal.

PRECAUTIONS IN PLACE AHEAD OF NEO-NAZI EVENT IN PENNSYLVANIA
Even though the commander of the National Socialist movement says there are not any events planned in the Williamsport area, city police have assisted local synagogues by placing concrete barriers nearby each of the Jewish worship centers in a preemptive move in case a march in the city does end up taking place.  According to the Sun Gazette, 45 barricades are standing by in alleyways and at intersections where they can be moved by machinery to block access points by vehicle to those houses of worship. The NSM will be holding their neo-Nazi National Conference in Ulysses PA this weekend, with a possible rally in Erie.

YARD SALES IN FLEMINGTON RESTRICTED
Flemington Borough may enact an ordinance to regulate and restrict sales in their community.  According to the Sun Gazette, if enacted the ordinance will limit the sale of 10 or more new, used or second hand items of personal property at any one residential premises at one time, including rummages and all yard or garage sales,  There will be an opportunity to participate in 2 sales during the year and the communtiy yard sale during the 1st week in may in May. Signs advertising the sales must be only put up 24 hours in advance and taken down after 24 hours, as well.  Council members said safety concerns played a role in their decision.

SPORTS
NFL
Fifteen women who previously worked for the Washington Redskins’ organization have alleged sexual harassment and verbal abuse by former scouts and others that owner Daniel Snyder knew, according to the Washington Post. The allegations are against Alex Santos, Richard Mann II, and radio announcer and senior vice president Larry Michael. All three resigned in the past week. There are no allegations against the team’s owner or former longtime general manager Bruce Allen, who was fired at the end of the 2019 season after 10 years with the franchise.

72 NFL players were known to have tested positive for the coronavirus as of July 10, while the NFL and the NFL Players Association continue to negotiate rules to get the regular season started in September.  Estimating 32 traditional 90-man training camp rosters means the 72 positives represent 2.5% of the league’s player population.  Several prominent members of the players’ union have said publicly that they won’t agree to return to play until they’re convinced everything has been done to keep them as safe as possible.

NBA
Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans left the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday morning because of an urgent family medical matter and said that he intends to rejoin the team at a later date. If his absence lasts seven days or fewer, Williamson will quarantine for four days upon his return to the NBA bubble if he has a negative test each day he’s outside the bubble. If he doesn’t have the required testing, he will quarantine for 10 days.

MLB
Major League Baseball will play crowd noises from its official video game through ballpark sound systems when the baseball season opens next week. Stadium sound engineers will have access to around 75 different effects and reactions.  San Diego Studios, a branch of Sony Interactive Entertainment, compiled the noise during games over several seasons.  The sounds were being used during summer camp games and will be tested more during exhibition games.

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