GEISINGER CHANGING VISITOR REQUIREMENTS
Geisinger Medical Center has changed their visitor requirements. With COVID-19 cases on the decline, hospitalized patients will now be allowed four designated visitors instead of only two. While patients are allowed to designate four visitors, only two will be allowed in the hospital room at a time. These guidelines protect the health and safety of our patients and staff. Visiting hours are between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. All patients and visitors must wear a mask when on Geisinger property, regardless of vaccination status. Visitors who do not comply with Geisinger’s policies, such as masking, will lose their visiting rights.
PENNSYLVANIA AND FUNDING SCHOOLS
A marathon trial over how Pennsylvania funds public education reached an end Thursday but it will be months before a judge rules in the case brought by a group of poorer school districts against Republican state legislative leaders. The Commonwealth Court case, filed eight years ago, brought dozens of witnesses to Harrisburg over four months as the districts, some parents and two organizations challenged the size and distribution of subsidies approved annually by the General Assembly. The plaintiffs argue the current system denies students the “thorough and efficient system of public education” mandated by the Pennsylvania Constitution, while the top-ranking Republican leaders in the state House and Senate say funding has been growing and is adequate. The plaintiffs are six districts, several parents, the state conference of the NAACP and the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools and they will have months to file briefs before oral argument on legal issues. It’s highly likely the losing side will appeal.
CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
A Maryland man was sentenced to 22 years and three months in prison for child pornography charges. As reported by Northcentralpa.com, Marc Punzalan plead guilty in federal court for alleging sexually exploiting a child. It was upwards of nine years after a South Williamsport girl took her life, that Punzalan received his sentence. And during the sentencing last week, he also received harsh words from Chief U.S. District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann, who called his conduct “sickening.” The sentence will run concurrently with a 15-year-term imposed in 2015 in Maryland for the same charge involving four other young girls.
HUNTER’S MOTORCYCLE RIDE
The Community is continuing to support the family and friends of Hunter Reynolds, the fifth grader from the Warrior Run School District who died of injuries sustained due to a car accident on Feb 27th. At 11am. A motorcycle club, who gives to children on a regular basis, has stepped up and is holding “Hunters Motorcycle Ride” on Saturday April 30th. The Penitent Souls Motorcycle Club is holding the ride to support the family of Hunter which begins at the Meadowbrook Cristian School in Milton .
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) today released its preliminary employment figures for January 2022, showing the state’s unemployment rate down one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.4 percent. January’s report marks the 21st consecutive month without an unemployment rate increase. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate rose a tenth of a percentage point to 4.0 percent in January. The commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 2.1 percentage points below its January 2021 level and the national rate was down 2.4 points over the year. Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – increased 4,000 over the month. The employment count rose 13,000, to 6,030,000, while resident unemployment declined 9,000, to 341,000. From April 2020 through January 2022, Pennsylvania has recovered approximately 79% of jobs lost due to the pandemic.
7 WAHS STUDENTS SELECTED TO PERFORM IN PMEA’S ALL-STATE ENSEMBLES
Seven Williamsport Area High School students earned their seats through competitive auditions to perform with the 2022 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association’s (PMEA) All-State Ensembles, the highest level a high school musician can achieve. Those students won the following spots: Chase Bower, Tenor 1, All-State Choir, Olivia Ciabattari (Chee ab aterri), Alto 1, All-State Choir, Lydia Hall, Soprano 1, All-State Choir, Michael Harry, Tenor 2, All-State Choir, Benjamin Manetta, Oboe, All-State Wind Ensemble, Sam Radulski, String-Bass, All-State Orchestra, and Sydney Smith, Alto 1, All-state Choir. The group of WAHS winners will join their fellow high school musicians from across the Commonwealth to play during this year’s All-State Conference and Festival from April 6-9 in the Poconos. Nationally recognized conductors at the convention direct the groups who rehearse for two days and conclude with a performance.
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today joined trail supporters and elected officials to announce the official designation of the September 11th National Memorial Trail as a Statewide Major Greenway. The September 11th National Memorial Trail is a 1,300-mile system of trails and roadways that symbolize resiliency and character while linking the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville. The trail serves as a tribute to the fallen heroes who perished as a result of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack and the many heroes who committed themselves to the response. In October 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation that federally designated the September 11th National Memorial Trail Route. Pennsylvania’s designation comes on the heels of federal legislation, H.R. 2278, passed unanimously by the House and Senate, then signed by President Joe Biden on October 13, 2021. The bill authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to designate the September 11th National Memorial Trail route.