BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS JUNE 29, 2020

An alarming spike in COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County is causing the county health department there to halt on-site consumption of alcohol in bars and restaurants starting at 5pm Tuesday.  Bars and restaurants can remain open but won’t be allowed to serve alcohol other than takeout options.  According to officials at Pittsburgh’s county health department, the majority of new cases in Allegheny County are in people within the age bracket of 19-49 with an average age of 27 – many of whom spend more time in a social bar scene.

A fatal accident involving 3 vehicles occurred Friday on Route 45 in Danville.  According to the Standard-Journal,  62 year old Donald L. Stephens of Danville, was traveling west on Route 45 near Hobbes Road in West Chillisquaque Township after noon Friday. When Police say, 25 year old Robert S. Delbo of  Lewisburg, was in the eastbound lane and swerved around the vehicle in front of him hitting Stephens’s 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis head on. Stephens was pronounced dead at the scene by the Northumberland County Coroner.  Delbo was taken by ambulance to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville with unknown injuries. Those in the 3rd car were not injured.  Route 45 was closed in both directions for several hours.

A petition begun by an anonymous person on the website Change.org is calling for the firing of two Williamsport Police officers citing alleged misconduct, has gained over 1200 signatures or 4.5 percent of the city’s population in two weeks.  According to North Central PA dot com, court documents show that Officers Joshua Bell and Clinton Gardner’s actions while on-duty have been legally questioned at least four times.  Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter said the petition has not been submitted and that it’s necessary for the accuser to bring forth evidence of the acts before he can investigate the issue.  There is no legal obligation for the city to respond to the petition.

It has been announced that the 75th Annual Mummers’ Parade in South Williamsport will be held on October 17th at 2pm. According to a social media post, organizers of the parade are asking for participation from volunteers and are planning a small carnival afterward at the Southside Park with circus acts, some concessions, and a few children’s rides with fireworks afterwards for the community. In the event of heavy rain, the rain date will be October 18, at the same time.  Those who want to enter the parade can fill out an entry form.

Twelve more counties moved from the yellow to green phase of COVID-19 reopening: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Susquehanna.  However, health department officials in Allegheny county are experiencing a spike in COVID 19 cases and have reinstated some mitigation efforts by halting all on-site consumption of alcohol in bars and restaurants starting at 5pm Tuesday.  They remain in the green phase under caution.  Lebanon county who saw higher case numbers after attempting an early opening and the final remaining yellow county, will go green on July 3.

A group of people gathered in Montoursville to march and protest systemic racism in our society.  According to the Sun Gazette, the social justice group began  at the Rite-Aid in Montoursville and headed down Broad Street to the corner of Loyalsock Avenue.  In addition, Williamsport Area School  Board has responded to the community focus on repairing racial inequalities,   by passing a resolution last week to support the development of an anti-racist school climate.  Superintendent, Dr. Timothy Bowers said the board is working on professional development in relation to this issue and is included as a topeic for goals in the 2020-21 school year.

The City Zoning Hearing Board has recently approved a no kill cat shelter operated by the Lycoming County Animal Protection society to open at 610 Washington Blvd.  According to the Sun Gazette, city zoning officer, Gary Knarr said that the three to nothing vote in favor of the shelter was recently made by Marylou Baldys, Janett McDermott and Michele Frey. The project must still be approved by city council before beginning operations but further zoning approval is no longer necessary.

The Pennsylvania Department of health has issued the green phase guidelines for Pre-k to 12 sports as well as collegiate and professional sports in the state for players coaches and spectators.  In all sports, in addition to following CDC guidelines, athletes will be screened, there will be sanitizing of shared equipment and no sharing of water coolers or fountains.  Coaches and other adults will wear face coverings.  In pro sports in PA, gatherings and practices are limited to 250 people and no spectators will be allowed.  In collegiate sports spectators will be allowed while practicing social distancing.  The full health and safety guide for sports is available HERE.

SPORTS
NASCAR
Kevin Harvick won the first of two NASCAR Cup races in front of no fans this weekend at Pocono and then started 20th on Sunday when Denny Hamlin’s crew pulled off a masterful final pit stop putting Harvick in second at Sunday’s Pocono 350.  Rain and lightning forced several delays early but there were no accidents or delays –  Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Aric Almirola completed the top 5.

NFL
The NFL fined the New England Patriots $1.1 million and took away a third-round pick in the 2021 draft among punishments for their television crew’s filming the field and sideline during a Dec. 8 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.  In addition, the Patriots’ television production crews will not be allowed to shoot any games during the 2020 season.

Former NFL MVP and previous Carolina Panther Cam Newton has  reached an agreement with the New England Patriots to join the team after quarterback Tom Brady left to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  According to patriots sources, Newton was a low-risk, high reward player factoring in recovering from his recent foot surgery and a modest contract.

MLB
The reigning World Series Champs, theWashington Nationals are set to host the New York Yankees on Opening Day at Nationals Park in washington DC.  The 60 game season should start July 23rd or 34th and go through September 27th

NBA
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association, said the players’ union and the league are collaborating to allow players to wear jerseys with personalized social justice, social cause or charity messages on their backs instead of last names during the upcoming restart of the NBA season.  The personalized statements on jerseys are part of a long list of social justice messages the players plan to make through the remainder of the season, which restarts July 30 in Orlando, Florida.

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