BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS AUGUST 1, 2021

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN AND THE PLAN TO USE $25.4 MILLION FOR THE CITY

Mayor Derek Slaughter and City Council held the first of what promised to be several work sessions on the best use of the American Rescue Plan’s $25.4 million granted to Williamsport. In a 90-minute work session, Mayor Slaughter and Council ageed the big ticket items were on the radar such as the ongoing costly levee recertification process, and the controlling of flooding situations, including the maintenance and operation of pump stations along the levee system.  Included in the discussion were topic ranging  from establishing a Land Bank to secure unwanted properties, turning them over to be demolished or rehabilitated by private developers and put on the tax rolls, to planting trees along West Fourth Street ripped out during reconstruction of the street.  The funds are to be allocated by 2024 and spent in 2026, according to U.S. Treasury guidelines.

NEW DIRECTOR OF SHELTERS FOR ARW

American Rescue Workers (ARW) announced the recent appointment of William Coleman into the position of director of shelters. Coleman, employed with American Rescue Workers since 2019, has been instrumental in helping hundreds of individuals and families reach self-sufficiency after experiencing a homeless crisis, and through his new position, will be able to serve community members on a larger scale.  Coleman holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pennsylvania State University and a carpentry diploma from Indiana County Technology Center.

LOYALSOCK SCHOOL DISTRICT IN COURT

The Loyalsock School District has been accused of failing to guard against a predatory sexually abusing students, including a middle school girls basketball player.  The suit is related to criminal charges filed against  a former Loyalsock middle school girls basketball coach Kelli Vassallo, who pleaded guilty to sexual assault back in  2018 The plaintiff is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $50,000 for negligence and emotional stress.

MENTAL CONDITION QUESTION INCORRECTLY ANSWERED, CHARGES FILED

A Milton man was charged for allegedly lying on his application for a firearm at a sporting goods store in Northumberland County.  Dylan Bridge, 22, allegedly checked no to a question on the background check form which asks if the applicant had ever been adjudicated as a mental defective, or had even been committed to a mental institution. He was denied the purchase after his information was run through the Pennsylvania Instant Check System.  A third-degree felony charge of materially written false statement in an attempt to purchase a firearm and a misdemeanor of false swearing.

COVID-19 DASHBOARD
The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 1,110 new cases of COVID-19. There were 9 new cases in Northumberland County, 8 in Centre, 8 in Lycoming, 5 in Union and 2 in Snyder.

VEHICLE ACCIDENT ON ROUTE 15 IN MONROE TOWNSHIP

Four people were taken to the hospital following a two-vehicle collision on Route 15 in Monroe Township Friday aftenoon.  Emergency personnel were dispatched to the crash on Route 15, the found two vehicles, a car and pickup truck, had crashed through the guardrail and came to rest in the ditch.  The crash caused a lane restriction on Route 15 Southbound which led to traffic congestion and delays before 5 p.m.

GEORGE I. ALDEN TRUST AWARDS LYCOMING COLLEGE GRANT MONEY

Lycoming College has been making massive investments into their campus development, which is progressively stretching into the very neighborhoods which makeup the City of Williamsport.  The George I. Alden trust has awarded Lycoming College a grant of $125,000 to support renovation of Lycoming’s genetics teaching lab in the Heim Science Building.  The recent addition of majors in astrophysics, neuroscience, and biochemistry, are accounting for the college’s most significant growth in enrollment. The renovations will ultimately support and further the education and success of STEM students.  This is the fifth grant awarded to Lycoming by the Alden Trust.

NEW CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN WILLIAMSPORT

A new male community corrections center is opening on Edwin Street in Williamsport, with a well-supported leader at its helm. Transitional Living Centers’ facility will have the capacity to work with 24 men transitioning from state correctional institutions back into the community with the help of a Facility Director, Case Manager, and Resident Advisors.  The facility will be led by Cleveland Way, who  began his service to Williamsport residents in 2000 with PA Treatment & Healing counseling service, concluding his fourteen-year service as Regional Director.  The facility is projected to open October 1.

BODY FOUND 35 YEARS AGO REMAINS AN OPEN CASE

It was 35 years ago that the badly decomposed body of a naked man was found by two fishermen in the Susquehanna River in the Port Trevorton area. The remains have never been identified, but to state police, it is still an open case.  There is speculation the man, who is buried in the county-owned cemetery, was in the country illegally and that is why no clues to his identity have cropped up over the years. The man has been in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons Systems database since 2010.

ASSAULT LEADS TO POSSIBLE BRAIN HEMORRHAGE

Williamsport Police said a woman was treated at UPMC Williamsport for a possible brain hemorrhage after a man allegedly sucker-punched her from behind. David Strothers of Williamsport allegedly jumped on the victim after the initial assault and continued to punch and swing at her. A second assault occurred when a family member heard the victim’s cries for help and attempted to intervene.  Strothers was charged with two counts each of second-degree misdemeanor simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. No bail was listed for Strothers.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING WEDNESDAY SHOOTING IN SNYDER COUNTY

State police at Selinsgrove continue to investigate the Wednesday afternoon shooting of a 17-year-old Mount Pleasant Mills resident by another teen.  The severely injured youth is reportedly being treated at Hershey Medical Center after being shot in the head on Wednesday.  Police confirmed that a 17-year-old male was shot by another 17-year-old male at an unspecified location in Snyder County. The police report said the teen is in “serious” condition, but relatives report his condition is much worse.

POTTER COUNTY FAIR

The week long 85th Potter County Fair will begin today with animal contests throughout the day and a 4 p.m. opening ceremony followed by the Kiddie Parade.  Carnival rides will be open each day of the festival, as well as food vendors, live entertainment, and the crowning of a new Potter County Fair Queen on Thursday at 8  p.m. For more information, visit the Potter County Fair Facebook page.

GEISINGER PROVIDES ON DEMAND HEALTHCARE

On-demand virtual visits are now available for conditions usually seen at Geisinger’s Convenient Care urgent centers such as cold and flu symptoms, allergies, rashes, headaches, insect bites or sinus infections.  This allows patients to receive non-emergency care without having to leave home.  During these telehealth visits, providers can assess symptoms virtually and provide care, referrals, and/or prescriptions without having to see you in the clinic.  On-demand visits are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

DRUG CHARGES FOR PHILADELPHIA WOMAN

On July 26, Williamsport police officers assisted State Parole officers at a home located on High Street within the city.  Parole officers took authorities to back porch and showed them a sandwich bag with approximately 21 grams of cocaine and packaging materials. Katina Robinson of Philadelphia was arrested and is being charged with four counts each of felony substance.  Records show Robinson is being held a the Lycoming County Prison as she awaits a preliminary hearing scheduled for August 5.

SHOOTING IS NOW FATAL IN SNYDER COUNTY

The 17-year-old Mount Pleasant Mills male teen who was shot on Wednesday, allegedly by another teen, has died. Friends and relatives posted on Facebook Saturday afternoon the news that the youth had passed away, three days after he was shot in the head. Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch said that details of the investigation will not likely be released to the public since it involves a minor.

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