BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS FEBRUARY 3, 2021

DELAYED VACCINATIONS RESTARTED AFTER SNOW
After the weather delayed some vaccination clinics in our area yesterday, the week continues with more vaccination locations open and taking appointments.  According to the Sun Gazette, as of Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reports more than 200,000 Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that number is expected to increase to 1 million within two to three weeks. Over 800 thousand Pennsylvanians are waiting to receive a second dose of the vaccine.  A link to the Vaccine Provider map to display additional locations in Lycoming County is available online here.

POLICE SEEKING PRESCRIPTION THIEF
Prescription medication was stolen from outside a Loyalsock Township home last Thursday.  According to Montoursville State Police, the resident said an unknown suspect was on Valley Heights Drive and stole a sealed package the victim said contained Oxycodone from the front porch before noon.  The suspect left the property in an unknown direction.  If you have information about the suspect or the incident, please call state police at Montoursville (570) 368-5700.

NEW SUICIDE HOTLINE EXCHANGE COMING IN 2022
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has been given $340 thousand dollars in a Vibrant Emotional Health Grant for the launch of a suicide prevention Lifeline’s 988 phone number expected to be available in July of 2022.  The new system will replace the 1-800-273-TALK direct line which provides  easy access to crisis intervention services  for those coping with thoughts of suicide for themselves or loved ones and gives support during crisis moments.  The funding is in  partnership with Thomas Jefferson University will support 13 state crisis call centers in preparation for the new number, 988.

PENNSYLVANIA BUDGET REVEALED YESTERDAY
Governor Tom Wolf revealed his budget plan virtually yesterday a day later than scheduled after weather slowed down business in Harrisburg this week.  A statement was released that said 67% of Pennsylvania taxpayers would see tax cuts or have their taxes stay the same under his plan and that he wants to raise taxes on wealthy residents and the natural gas industry to help pay for new investments into education and coronavirus relief. Wolf also proposed increasing Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour, with a pathway to $15. He will formally announce his budget plan today. The 2021-2022 budget year begins on July 1.

NEW EQUIPMENT FOR WILLIAMSPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT
Williamsport Bureau of Fire has proposed that they will need new equipment and that will cost more than $2 million.  According to the Sun Gazette, City Fire Chief Mark Killian said the need to replace a ladder truck for 1.5 million dollars and a 600 thousand dollar engine was reviewed by the City Council’s finance committee and they will considering a multi-year lease for $245,000 a year until 2031.  Killian said fire engines need to be replaced every six to seven years and the ladder truck every 10 to 12 years and with low bids from the previous administration, they struggled to maintain the fleet.  Current equipment, Engine 2-1 and 3-1 are reserve engines which are 21 and 22 years old respectively.

LOCAL COVID UPDATE
Lycoming County has  44 new cases  of the coronavirus as of yesterday, Northumberland county has 29, Clinton has 10 new today.  According to the Sun Gazette, there were 4,410 additional positive cases of COVID-19, there were 125 new fatalities as well.  Statewide hospitalizations are now down to over 3,200. Of those patients over 600 are in the ICU and over 300 are on ventilators.  Lycoming has 30 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, 5 in the ICU, 4 on ventilators.

PENNDOT LIFTS RESTRICTIONS
We still may see icy conditions with lower temperatures, but according to PennDOT, the temporary restrictions on certain vehicles from traveling on Interstate 80 in north central Pennsylvania has been lifted.  Certain areas of Pennsylvania’s interstates were on tier 1 through 4 restrictions through the storm this week – requiring limited commercial vehicle traffic and speed limits up to 45 miles per hour.  Details on weather restrictions across the state are available at 511PA dot com.  Speed limits are restored to their posted numbers.

UNIVERSITY MERGE PLANS ON THE WAY
A set of virtual meetings which included 200 business and community leaders were held recently to discuss the plan to move forward with integration of three Pennsylvania State schools.  According to the Sun Gazette, Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield Universities are poised to merge in the future and a plan should be in place so that all stakeholders can vote on it in July.  The group seeks to create a plan that expands affordable learning opportunities for students while maintaining university identity, traditions and community connections. More than 1,000 faculty and staff are collaboratively building an integration plan focusing on academics, enrollment, finance and more.

SPORTS
NBA

Raptors over Magic 123 to 108, Nets beat the Clippers 124 to 120, Pacers beat the Grizzlies 134 to 116, Trailblazers beat the Wizards 132 to 121, Jazz beat Pistons 117 to 105, Celtics defeated the Warriors 111 to 107.
NBA Tonight
76ers play the Hornets tonight @7 in Charlotte and the Knicks are in Chicago at 8 PM

NHL
Stars beat the Blue Jackets 6-3, Canadiens beat Canucks 5-3, Hurricanes beat the Blackhawks 4-3, Blues beat Coyotes 4-3, Jets beat the Flames 3-2, Avalanche beat Wild 2-1, Oilers over the Senators 4-2, Ducks beat the Kings 3-1, Devils and Penguins, and Sabres and Islanders were postponed

Super Bowl LV (55)
Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 PM on CBS at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay Florida, Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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