BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS JANUARY 5, 2021

MOST RECENT COVID-19 BAN LIFTED YESTERDAY
As of Monday, some COVID19 mitigation restrictions were lifted by Governor Wolf but there are still guidelines to follow.  Restaurants and bars can resume indoor dining at 50% capacity with alcohol able to be served with a meal and sales ending at 11 p.m. Gyms can reopen and high school  basketball, wrestling and swimming is able to begin.  Entertainment venues are able to operate at 50% capacity with limits determined using maximum occupancy calculator.  The PA Department of Health reminds residents should limit unnecessary travel and that face coverings are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home. You can find the full list of the state’s updated COVID-19 guidelines here.

SWEARING-IN CEREMONY IN HARRISBURG TODAY
Local Lawmakers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly will be sworn-in today in the Chamber of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, including Joe Hamm of the 84th Legislative District, Jeff C. Wheeland state representative in the 83rd Legislative District, and Sen. Gene Yaw will also take the oath as state Senator representing the 23rd Senatorial District.  However the swearing in of Sen. Jim Brewster, of Allegheny County, who defeated challenger Nicole Ziccarelli by 69 votes Nov. 3 election, is being challenged by  the GOP.  The Democrat Senate Minority Leader  called the Republicans’ refusal to swear in Brewster during Tuesday’s ceremony “unlawful” and suggested that his caucus will go to court.

COVID UPDATE
Case counts of Covid-19 are unusually low according to the PA Department of Health due to technical maintenance to the data server on Sunday, but at this time, Lycoming County reports 42 new cases, 100 new Northumberland County cases, However, Montour’s case count was reconciled after the weekend to 1,153.  Statewide, there are 8,992 cases of the coronavirus reported.  There were 122 new fatalities due to COVID-19.

LYCO COLLEGE GETS GRANT FOR MUSIC DEPARTMENT
A $5.5 million construction project is set to begin in Spring 202, after Lycoming College received a $500,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant.  According to the Sun Gazette, college administrators say construction will include a new music facility that will be at the corner of East Fourth and Basin streets with a connection  created between the two buildings. The new facility will consist of classroom space, a rehearsal hall, practice rooms, offices and a conference room.

MAN JAILED FOR VIOLATING PFA
Following repeated violations of a Protection from Abuse order, a McElhattan man has been incarcerated.  According to NorthCentral PA .com, 63 year old James Anthony Warner Jr was sentenced December 14th to 343 days in jail.  Clinton County District Attorney Dave Strouse said the man harassed the protected party three times, ignoring the PFA issued by the Court of Common Pleas.

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION SHOULD RAMP UP AFTER HOLIDAY
Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of the PA Department of Health said yesterday that vaccine distribution numbers nationally have been much lower than originally predicted, but now that the holiday are over, distribution numbers should be ramping up now that recent funding is on the way from the newly signed COVID relief bill that will help start mass vaccination clinics in the commonwealth.  Dr. Levine says the vaccination process will use local pharmacies to help with distribution as well.

LOCAL HOSPITAL VACCINATES OVER 10,000 PATIENTS
Geisinger Health system has announced they have vaccinated more than 10,000 people with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to a press release, they are innoculating community health care personnel, including EMS workers, with both the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at its facilities. As one of the first health care systems in the Commonwealth to receive the vaccine, about 40 percent of Geisinger staff have received the first dose of the vaccine. Even with it being later in the year until the vaccine becomes widely available to the public, Geisinger is working to make it easy to receive both COVID vaccine doses, including making the vaccine available at no cost to patients.

SPORTS
NBA

76ers beat the Hornets 118 to 101, Magic beat the Cavaliers 103 to 83, Knicks beat the Hawks 113 to 108, Heat beat Thunder 118 to 90, Celtics beat the Raptors 126 to 114, Mavericks beat the Rockets 113 to 100, Bucks beat the Pistons 125 to 115, Pacers beat the Pelicans 118 to 116, Warriors beat the Kings 137 to 106

NCAA Basketball
It was announced yesterday that the NCAA will host its entire postseason men’s basketball tournament in Indianapolis and surrounding areas with a bubble-like format.  All 68 teams will come to compete for the national championship and play most of the games at multiple venues.  Most of the teams will stay in hotels connected to the Indiana Convention Center, which will be used as a practice facility. Selection Sunday is still March 14, and the Final Four is set to start April 3rd at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

NCAA Women’s Basketball
No. 16 Ohio State held on for an 82-69 win over Penn State women Monday night in Big Ten action at Value City Arena.

In the NFL
Wild card weekend this Saturday with the Colts playing the Buffalo Bills, Rams playing the Seahawks and the Buccaneers at Washington, Sunday, Baltimore plays Tennessee, Chicago goes to New Orleans, and Cleveland is in Pittsburgh with an 815 kick off

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