BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS MARCH 9, 2021

FORMER OFFICER RELEASED ON BAIL
A former City police officer who recently had charges added to his case over misusing police department computer systems to run searches that were unauthorized, was released on 10 thousand dollars bail.  According to the Sun Gazette, Eric Derr faces criminal use of a computer charges as well as unsworn falsification, tampering with records and obstruction of administering the law.  An in-person preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 18th. Derr will face Union County District Judge Jeffrey Rowe.

TRAIN ACCIDENT LAWSUIT FILED IN NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A negligence lawsuit has been filed by a former railroad employee who was seriously injured when he was struck by a train at the yards in Newberry.  According to the Sun Gazette, 24 year old Wayne Brewer of Lock Haven was in a crew of employees who were switching freight cars in February 2020 when conditions that were allegedly not in compliance with maintenance standards caused Brewer to slip and fall. The suit against Lycoming Valley Railroad of Williamsport and North Shore Railroad also cites that the engineer did not follow standard safety practices of communication during the incident and Brewer was dragged by the train, ultimately losing his right arm and leg from amputation.  The case has been filed in Northumberland in U.S. Middle District Court.

SEVEN WI-FI ZONES FOR THOSE WITHOUT INTERNET
Over the next few months, Comcast has announced it will equip locations in Lycoming and Clinton counties with wifi-connected “Lift Zones” so that distance learning and educational opportunities will be more readily available in the city and region for those families without internet. YMCAs in East Lycoming, Lock Haven, Muncy, and Jersey Shore will be some of these locations, along with the Vineyard Community Center  in Muncy and the Williamsport and Loyalsock Child Care Centers.  The initiative will provide free connectivity for the community centers for the next three years.

CASINO PLANNED FOR CENTRE COUNTY
Hundreds of jobs could be coming to Centre County with College Township officials announcing the use of the former Macy’s Department store at the Nittany Mall for a proposed casino.  According to the Sun Gazette, the location was identified by a local impact report as a location for a category 4 casino, a requirement for the Pennsylvania Gaming Board.  In addition, Bally’s Corporation reported they signed an agreement with a local investor to develop the 120 million dollar mini-casino property.  Local leaders say the project could breathe new life into the Nittany Mall that has struggled in recent years, losing many anchor stores like JcPenney, Sears and BonTon.

MAN DIES IN GARAGE FIRE
A fire in Northumberland County took the life of a Coal Township man Monday morning.  According to the county coroner, 41 year old Shawn Guschel died from carbon monoxide poisoning  inside the garage that caught fire and was reported to be in the 1600 block of West Lynn Street.  The garage sustained heavy damage at the rear of the structure and police were called to the scene about 7:15 am yesterday. Police have not released any other details about the fire or the fatality.

LOCAL COVID UPDATE
Lycoming County still reporting lower COVID-19 numbers with 17 new cases, Northumberland has 5, Union County has 13 and Snyder has 9.  According to the PA Department of Health, as of midnight yesterday there were 1,658 additional positive cases and 32 new deaths .  The Department of Health also reported that statewide, there are now over 1,500 people in the hospital with COVID and only 170 are on ventilators.

BUSINESSES ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR COVID RELIEF
Businesses in Lycoming County are being urged to apply for the newly available  COVID relief grant for eligible hospitality industry businesses, as funds are expected to be quickly depleted .  According to a press release by SEDA-COG, the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) grant applications are available starting March 15th.  Lycoming county has contracted with SEDA- COG to manage their $1.3 million grant program on their behalf.  Businesses can apply at csgiving dot org through June 15, 2021 or until the funds are exhausted.  Grants can range from $5,000 to $50,000 for pandemic relief.

FUNDRAISER POISED TO RAISE THE REGION
Raise the Region – a 30 hour fundraising campaign with the First Community Partnership of Pennsylvania – begins tomorrow evening and over 270 local non-profit organizations are registered and ready to go.  The purpose of the online fundraiser is to increase individual funding to nonprofits through a concentrated, stretching gift campaign.  Blaise Alexander family dealerships will provide 150 thousand dollars in stretch funds for incentives to inspire giving.  All donations through the online portal at raise the region dot org are tax deductible.

SPORTS
District 4 Triple A Semifinals
Loyalsock defeated Mount Carmel 72-60, Central Columbia over Troy 60-53

District 4 and 6….5A Semifinals 

Central Mountain beat Holidaysburg 68-60, Shikellamy defeated Bellefonte 39- 37

Girls Varsity Basketball
Wilkes-Barre beat Williamsport 42-37, Central Columbia over Lewisburg 47-36 and Shamokin beat Athens 32-25

HS Varsity Basketball Today
Boys:  District 2-4 Class 6A Sub Regional
Wilkes-Barre comes to Williamsport @7
D4 Class AAAA Semi Finals
Montoursville at Mifflinburg at 7 PM
Girls: District 4 Class AAA
Warrior run at Bloomsburg, and Loyalsock at Towanda  both games at 7 PM

NBA No scores
NBA Tonight

Wizards and Grizzlies play in Memphis @8, and the Spurs and Mavericks are in Dallas @8:30
NHL
Wild beat Golden Knights 2-nothing, Oilers over the Senators 3-2, Coyotes beat Avalanche 3-2, Sharks beat Blues 3-2, Canucks over the Canadiens 2-1, Ducks beat the Kings 6-5
NHL Tonight
Rangers and Penguins tonight in Pittsburgh @6, Flyers and Sabres play in Philly , and the Islanders play the Bruins in Brooklyn – both those games at 7 pm

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