SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT WILL GO BACK TO CLASSROOM
Southside students will return to the classroom full time after the school board made the decision to return to classes next week with a 5-4 vote. South Williamsport superintendent Dr. Mark Stamm recommended the move after noting the challenges students and staff face using the hybrid model and being in school just 2 days a week. Dr. Stamm said a recent survey of 1000 people favored in person school full-time by 77%. The return of elementary students on October 13th and secondary students on October 14th to the school is not a set plan for the remainder of the year and school officials said that the infections rates of COVID-19 could increase which might change the model of instruction again.
AUDIT SAYS WOLF’S SHUTDOWN WAIVER PROCEDURE IS TO BLAME
An audit of Governor Wolf’s business shutdown waiver program that let PA businesses operate during the pandemic this year has revealed that the waivers were granted inconsistently and with little transparency. According to the office of Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, after the Wolf administration ordered buinsesses to close, the decision to grant or deny a waiver often depended on which staffer was making the decision and that some decisions were changed after the fact and the audit is seeking and explanation for those circumstances. DePasquale said that improvements to the program will have to be made if it is needed again.
There’s another battle brewing over accepting signatures during Pennsylvania’s upcoming election with the commonwealth’s top election official filing a suit just after midnight asking the state’s highest court to support her recently stated guidance over the election laws. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, who is a Democrat recently told state election officials that a mail-in ballot counts event if a signature doesn’t necessarily match the one on the registration. In federal court, President Trump’s campaign asked a judge to declare that Boockvar’s plan unconstitutional and block counties from following guidance.
PennDOT announced yesterday that all driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, October 10, through Monday, October 12, in observance of Columbus Day. There are still a variety of driver and vehicle products and services available online including forms, publications and driver training manual at www.dmv.pa.gov. There are no additional fees for using online services.
Governor Wolf continues to lift coronavirus-related restrictions yesterday, by introducing a sliding scale to determine the limits on crowd restrictions for both indoor and outdoor events in Pennsylvania. Wolf said the shift is a gradual adjustment as we learn to do things safely. The temporary changes say that an indoor venue that holds up to 2,000 people, will be 20% of the maximum capacity, for capacities up to 10,000 — that percentage is lowered to 15%, and for sites that can hold over 10 thousand, the limit is 10%, with no event having more than 3,750 people attend. The percentage of capacity for venues of the same size for outdoor events -the breakdown is 25% for sites with 2,000 person limit, 20% for the facilities that hold up to 10 thousand and for over 10 thousand – 15% with a cap at 7,500. The administration said the changes may not be permanent and events will be monitored for future virus outbreaks which could ramp the restrictions up again.
As South Williamsport Area School Board decides to go back to the classroom five days a week, the Williamsport Area School Board is mulling over a similar change. According to the Sun Gazette, at their meeting last night, the WASD school board said they will conduct a survey to get feedback from district families about formulating the plan between now and their next meeting on October 20th . They will take a look at the data and make a decision which could bring students back to the classroom full-time.
Lycoming County reports 7 new cases of the coronavirus as of October 5th for a total of 751 cases to date, and 5 Lycoming County residents hospitalized, but non on a ventilator. In Pennsylvania there are 672 additional cases reported for a statewide total now of 164,207. According to the PA Department of Health, there were 11 new fatalities in the state, bringing the total fatalities to 8,227 – out of that total in PA, 5,485 were residents from nursing or personal care facilities.
There was a 2.9 magnitude earthquake recorded in Westmoreland County yesterday morning just after midnight. According to PennLive, the U.S. Geological Survey said the measurements of the quake were taken in Bolivar, about an hour east of Pittsburgh. NO damage was reported. The last earthquake in Pennsylvania was last April when a 2.1 magnitude tremor was reported in Wyomissing, Berks County.
NBA Finals Game 4 – Lakers defeated Heat 102 to 96. LA leading the series now 3-1, Game 5 between Miami and LA is Friday night at 9 PM.
In the National League Division Series Game 1 – Braves beat the Marlins 9-5 and the Dodgers beat the Padres 5-1, American League Division Series Game 2, Astros over the A’s 5-2 in Game 2 with Houston leading, and the Rays beat the Yankees 7-5, their series tied up one and one.
HS Boys Soccer
Sullivan County defeated Montgomery 7-1
HS Girls Soccer
Mifflinburg over Williamsport 3-nothing
HS Girls Tennis
Montgomery over Muncy 5-0h, Bucktail beat Saint John Neumann in two matches, 5-0h and 5-0h.