BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS JULY 10, 2021

WILLIAMSPORT BALLPARK, INC.

City Council approved a lot consolidation and land development plan by Williamsport Ballpark, Inc. for a seven-field athletic complex on Rose Street.  The lot consolidation combines two parcels to create 28.4 acres at the site which was the former city trash dump on Rose Street. The 5-0 vote allows the landholding of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce to develop the facility for baseball and softball games, including 415 parking spaces.  The city zoning hearing board granted a variance so the type of landscaping will not be the deep rooted kind and the fields will be turf.  The project is taxable and will provide the city with business privilege taxes and because of its prior use as a defunct city dump, there was not much other land use for the site.

CAPITAL PROJECTS BUDGET FOR WILLIAMSPORT CITY

City Council approved a $79.5 million six-year capital projects budget without much discussion this week, but some on council were asking and commenting with Mayor Derek Slaughter about the status of departments of safety and finance and administration and public works.  During this week’s council meeting, Councilman Adam Yoder, and others on council, said they asked Slaughter if the city needed a public safety director.  Slaughter then responded, saying he was reviewing that with Bureau of Fire Chief Mark Killian and Bureau of Police Chief Justin Snyder.  Slaughter said the previous police Chief served as the public safety director and he would not be in a rush to have that role filled. As for finance director, Slaughter said, he was reviewing that and said he planned on moving forward on it in the near future.

CHAD SALSMAN PLEAD GUILTY IN MAY TO CHARGES

A Pennsylvania county prosecutor who pleaded guilty to pressuring clients for sex when he was a defense attorney was sentenced Friday to 18 months to 5 years in prison.  A judge in Bradford County imposed the sentence on former District Attorney Chad M. Salsman, who had emphatically denied the allegations before pleading guilty in May to witness intimidation, promoting prostitution and obstruction of justice.

50 BAGS OF HEROIN IN A TRAFFIC STOP

Police said a traffic stop of a suspected drug user led to the discovery of 50 bags of heroin, seven grams of methamphetamine, packing materials, and a stamper inside a hotel room in Loyalsock.  Edgar Garcia of Williamsport was charged with felony manufacture, possession, and delivery with intent to manufacture or deliver after they discovered the items.  Garcia was unable to post $50,000 monetary bail and will await a preliminary hearing with Judge Gary Whiteman from inside the Lycoming County Prison. That hearing is scheduled for July 12.

CRITICISM FOR LYCOMING COUNTY NARCOTICS ENFORCEMENT TRAFFIC STOP

A recent traffic stop by the Lycoming County Narcotics Enforcement Unit drew heavy criticism online when the mother of the individuals involved posted a social media detailing what she called a case of racial profiling.  The post, which has generated over 490 shares on Facebook, was posted by a lady who claims her and her two sons were followed and racially profiled by the officers.  DA Ryan Gardner said the traffic stop was due to tinted windows.  Officers then spotted marijuana joint in plain view inside the vehicle, which gave them probable cause to search the vehicle.

RETIREMENT AT LYCOMING COUNTY SPCA

The Lycoming County SPCA Board of Directors announced the retirement of Executive Director Victoria Stryker and hiring of Alyssa Correll.  Victoria Stryker began her career at the SPCA in 1999 as the Volunteer Coordinator. She worked in that capacity for a short time before stepping into the role as Executive Director. Correll brings five years of global nonprofit management experience to the position.

COVID-19 DASHBOARD

The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 194 new cases of COVID-19.  There were 3 new cases in Potter County, 1 in Lycoming, and 1 in Union.

KNOBELS RAISES INCENTIVES TO HIRE FOR THE SUMMER

Knoebels is hiking its starting pay rate up to $1 more as it seeks to  hire several hundred more workers at its understaffed park this summer.  The amusement resort also will give employees and new hires 16 and older a chance to win a 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer as an incentive to work at the park.  The park, which celebrated its 95th birthday on the Fourth of July, was holding a job fair on Thursday and said to may hire employees on the spot.  The park has operated about 75% of its 60 rides daily.

SUNBURY WOMAN SENTENCED IN NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COURT

A Sunbury woman convicted of lying to investigators in the Arabella Parker murder case has been handed down a maximum state prison sentence.  51-year-old Christy Willis was sentenced 17 months to 17 years in state prison for her role in the 2019 beating death of the three-year-old girl.  Willis’ son, 20-year-old Jahrid Burgess of Trevorton, is charged with homicide, and the girl’s mom, 23-year-old Samantha Delcamp of Trevorton is charged with acting as an accomplice. Both are awaiting trial for their roles.

2020-21 PENNSYLVANIA FIRE COMPANY AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES GRANT FUNDING

State Reps. Tina Pickett, Martin Causer, and Clint Owlet have released their region’s 2020-2021 Pennsylvania Fie Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant funding.  These funds can be used for construction; renovations; purchases and repairs for equipment; training; retention; recruitment; debt reduction; and this year only, supplemental funding to compensate for a lack of fundraising opportunities.

INMATE DIED ON JUNE 25

SCI Coal Township officials notified Pennsylvania State Police at Milton that an inmate under their supervision from SCI Huntington died on June 25, 2021 at 10:30 p.m. According to a news release from PSP Milton, Michael Eaton of Huntingdon died while he was a patient at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.  An autopsy was scheduled on July 2, with results pending. The investigation  is ongoing.

RIDING FOR A CAUSE

Two bicyclists on a cross country journey from New York to Oregon stopped by the Old Lycoming Township Fire Department for a brief overnight stay after a 90-mile ride on Wednesday. John Bladholm, 54 and Chris Ray, 53, are biking to raise money for several different foundations.  For 45 days, the two will cover anywhere from 70 to 100 miles a day to finish the 3,500-mile trip.  This past week, the group supported The Fire Family Foundation.  They will support other groups like; Feeding America, Sam Day Foundation, and the Green Beret Foundation.

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