WASD EDUCATION FOUNDATION GRANTS $4,708 TO SUPPORT PROGRAM ENHANCEMENTS
In its latest grant round, the Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation (WASDEF) recently awarded $4,708 to support three program enhancements across the district. $2,200 was granted to district social workers Megan Hunter and Heather Way to support the purchase of Find Your Anchor suicide prevention kids. Funding will be used to buy 100 customized “little blue boxes” filled with resources and information for struggling students from the grassroots organization.
$1,500 to special education teacher Caitlin McClain at Jackson Primary School and $1,008 to Williamsport Area High School social studies teacher Matthew DeWire. So far this school year, WASDEF has directly supported 13 projects, programs and initiatives totaling $119,326.
GRANT FUNDING TOWARDS WASD
WASD Education Foundation recently facilitated the receipt of more than $37,000 in grant funding to support three programs via the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania through Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) donations: $13,538 was approved to help support this year’s return of the district’s #MillionairesRead summer reading program. $12,200 was approved to support the purchase of new projection and sound systems for the Blackbox Theatre at WAHS for Marie Fox’s Drama classes.
$12,105 was approved to support enhancements to music teachers Meghan Louder and Sam Robinson’s Hip-Hop, Rap and Rock course at WAHS. Money used to support the three grants above were from C&N, First National Bank of PA, M&T Bank and Woodlands Bank.
STATE POLICE ANNOUNCE QUARTERLY FIREARMS PURCHASE DENIAL INVESTIGATIONS
The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) announced the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) conducted 337,911 background checks during the fourth quarter, which is an 11% increase from the previous quarter. In addition, PSP released the number of firearms purchase denials, subsequent investigations, and arrests that resulted from investigations for the fourth quarter of 2021. In the fourth quarter of 2021, 5,330 people were denied. In total, 1,380 denials were referred to law enforcement agencies and 13 arrests were made with a warrant at point of purchase. In Pennsylvania, a person commits a felony of the third degree if they make a false oral or written statement on any federal or state agency form or if they willfully present false identification that is likely to deceive a firearm seller, licensed dealer, or licensed manufacturer.
EARNED INCOME TAX CREDITS
United Ways across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and United Way of Pennsylvania are calling for state legislators to join 28 other states that currently offer individual working taxpayers some tax relief in the form of an Earned Income Tax Credit. A new economic impact study commissioned by United Way of Pennsylvania and released today shows that for every one dollar in cost to the state budget, a refundable EITC will generate a return of seven dollars from additional state and local tax income, business revenue and reduced spending on public assistance. Ron Frick, President of the Lycoming County United Way said, “A refundable EITC helps the individual and the economy so passage of this legislation is a win-win-win for the Commonwealth, the economy and residents in the counties we serve.”
Arriving just hours after a Pennsylvania bridge collapse, President Joe Biden stared into the cratered muddy earth where the aging span fell early Friday, striking evidence supporting the $1 trillion infrastructure law he already had planned to tout on his trip to Pittsburgh. Standing before concrete barriers papered with yellow police tape, Biden craned his neck to look out over the gaping expanse left by the crumbled bridge, as the smell of gas from a nearby leak filled the air. The infrastructure law signed by Biden has earmarked about $1.6 billion for Pennsylvania bridge maintenance, with tens of billions more for public transit, highway maintenance and broadband internet expansion in the state.
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN FUNDS
The next Williamsport City Council meeting will detail the Grafius Run flood mitigation and other projects for the American Rescue Plan Fund money. Other talking points for the Williamsport City Council include using the funds for baseball fields, body camera for the police, street lights and traffic cameras, just to mention a few. At this point, Williamsport has upwards of $25.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds that were broken into installments. That meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7pm, where it is virtual and in person at Trade and Transit 2.
WEST BRANCH SUSQUEHANNA BUILDERS’ HOME SHOW
Section 8 programs will highlight their booth at the West Branch Susquehanna Builders’ Home Show, scheduled April 1 through the 3 at the Lycoming Mall. The Lycoming County Housing Authority will have a booth at the show to introduce landlords to the Section 8 program. According to SUN Gazette, the tenant-based program is a section 8 housing choice voucher program enacted as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. It is designed so that the assistance follows the program participant, according to information on the authority’s website. Under the program, tenants pay between 30 and 40% of their adjusted gross monthly income in rent and the Lycoming Housing Authority pays the remainder of the negotiated rent directly to the landlord under a Housing Assistance Payments Program.
COVID CASES FOR OUR AREA
The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Friday reported new COVID-19 cases. Clinton County reported 71 new cases. In Centre County 268 new cases were recorded. Lycoming County added 178. Northumberland County reported 198 new cases, Union County reported 85, Snyder reported 68 and Montour County reported 45.
MAIL-IN VOTING UNCONSTITUTIONAL
A statewide court declared that Pennsylvania’s expansive two-year-old mail-in voting law is unconstitutional, agreeing with challenges by Republicans who soured on mail-in voting after then-President Donald Trump began baselessly attacking it as rife with fraud in 2020′s campaign. The decision, by a five-judge Commonwealth Court panel of three Republicans and two Democrats, could be put on hold immediately by an appeal from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration to the state Supreme Court. Still, the decision throws the state’s voting laws into doubt as voters prepare to elect a new governor and a new U.S. senator in 2022. The three Republican judges agreed with Republican challengers, saying that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state constitution and the constitution must be changed to allow it.
STOLEN GUN USED FOR INTIMINDATION
A Milton man used a stolen gun to intimidate motorists on Route 642. William Smith of Milton stole a gun from a locked truck January 16 and while standing on Route 642, he pointed the revolver at several passing cars. According to an online media source, troopers arrested Smith without incident and transported him to Northumberland County Prison. Smith was charged with aggravated and simple assault as well a multiple other charges. His bail is set at $125,000.