BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS FEBRUARY 25, 2021

HEALTH SYSTEM GAVE VACCINATIONS TO EMPLOYEE FAMILY MEMBERS
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has reprimanded Geisinger Health system this week for holding COVID-19 vaccination clinics and allowing employees’ eligible family members to receive an inoculation also.  According to the Sun Gazette, the Associated Press informed the Department of Health that the hospital system was holding the clinics for the families in January, and Geisinger administrators said they were within state guidelines to vaccinate Phase 1-A eligible residents.  However, federal guidelines say that people in the same class of eligibility should have equal opportunity to get the shots.  Critics say the health system gave employee family members an advantage.  The state agency says at this time Geisinger has not violated any parts of their agreement to receive future vaccine doses.  The health system has administered more than 112,000 shots so far.

REPUBLICAN CALLS TO LEGALIZE CANNABIS
The first Republican lawmaker in the state has put forth a proposal of legislation to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania.  Senator Daniel Laughlin, from Erie, outlined to the chamber how regulating cannabis would improve public safety, raise money for the state, and end disproportionate enforcement of laws in minority communities.  After voters approved a bill last year, New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation to enact a recreational marijuana marketplace in his state this week.  15 states allow adult recreational use across the country.

NEW YORK MAN ARRESTED FOR CONCEALING DRUGS AT UNION COUNTY JAIL
PA State police have arrested a New York man for bringing contraband into the Union County Jail February 20th.  According to North Central PA dot com, 20 year old Daquell Jefferies concealed a controlled substance as he was being transported to the Lewisburg jail after an arrest for speeding on I-80 West in White Deer township, the 23 year old driver, Teyvon Walker of Brooklyn was also charged with felony possession.

ONLINE ACCESS TO VACCINE FOR SENIORS
A new website for seniors 75 and older has been established to determine eligibility for the COVID vaccine and will also allow them to register and be eligible to make an appointment to receive an inoculation.  According to officials form Patient care services at UPMC, Vaccine.UPMC.com also provides educational resources about the vaccine and the rollout of the doses.  Those who don’t have internet, can call 844-876-2822, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to answer the survey questions and register over the phone.

LEADERS DO NOT LIKE THE TOLL IDEA
Lawmakers and local leaders are pushing back on the Department of Transportation’s  idea that highway tolls should be implemented on I-80 in our region to raise money for repairs of nine bridges along the interstate.  Some say that tax from gas revenue in the state is already funding road and bridge repair, and that tolling is essentially a tax that will burden motorists and business in the area.

LOCAL COVID UPDATE
Lycoming County has 35 new cases of the coronavirus as of yesterday at midnight, Northumberland County has 18, Union County has 19, Snyder has 12.  The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 2,830 additional positive cases of COVID-19, and 76 new fatalities. Statewide, there are still over 1,900 people hospitalized with COVID and of them, 239 are on ventilators

GRANT PROVIDING MOBILE VACCINE CLINIC
A 100 thousand dollar grant has been earmarked for UPMC Susquehanna from the PPL Foundation to pay for a special response vehicle that will bring COVID vaccinations to seniors in Williamsport.  According to the Sun Gazette, UPMC’s ambulance bus is a special response vehicle that usually helps with evacuations when there are power outages or severe weather, but also provides mobile clinics such as the one planned for this community.  Susquehanna Regional EMS along with UMPC hospital staff will be trained to use the vehicle.

LAST DAY FOR COVID TESTING IN NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Today is the last day for the regional COVID-19 testing site at Shikellamy State Park in the Marina Section. The weather shut down the free drive thru clinic Monday and will not add an extra day.  According to the Pennsylvania  Department of Health, the Northumberland county site will be open today from 9am to 6pm  Turnaround time for test results are two to seven business days after testing.. You do not have to show symptoms for a test.
SPORTS
HS Girls Basketball

Wellsboro beat Troy 43-35, Towanda over Athens 43-38

Collegiate Wrestling
Lock Haven University will compete in the MAC Championships Friday and Saturday, hosted by Rider University.

COLLEGE Basketball News
According Bucknell University’s website, the women’s basketball games between BU and American, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27 and Sunday, Feb. 28, have been cancelled due to a positive COVID-19 test within the Bucknell women’s basketball program’s Tier 1. Bucknell hasn’t played since January 31.

NBA
Warriors beat the Pacers 111 to 107 Hawks beat the Celtics 127 to 112,  Cavaliers beat the Rockets 112 to 96, Heat beat the Raptors 116 to 108, Bulls beat the Timberwolves 133 to 126, Pelicans beat the Pistons 128 to 118, Thunder over the Spurs 102 to 99, Hornets over the Suns 124 to 121, Jazz over Lakers 114 to 89

NHL
Flyers beat the Rangers 4 to 3, Lightning over Hurricanes 3-nothing, Stars beat the Panthers 3-nothing, Maple Leafs beat the Flames 2-1, Coyotes over Ducks 4-3, Wild beat Avalanche 6-2, Kings over Blues 2-1

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