BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS THURSDAY 12/31/20

City Police Charge A Williamsport Woman

City police charged a Williamsport woman with three felonies after she allegedly stole a firearm out of her boyfriend’s car. Williamsport Police alleges that Maleeka Smith, 37, of Williamsport, stole a firearm from a parked car on Dec. 8. Smith’s boyfriend told police that they’d been fighting earlier in the day. Smith was charged with one felony count each of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, and firearms not to be carried without a license.

Altercation In Lycoming County

State police responded to a report of an altercation in Lycoming County involving two women wielding a knife and an ashtray toward their victims. Carolyn Hockenberry, 60, of Muncy, now faces misdemeanor assault charges for the incident that occurred on December 15 in Fairfield Township. A second woman, Megan Hunter, 36, of Muncy, was cited for harassment. Hockenberry was arraigned in front of District Judge Jerry Lepley on charges of simple assault, terroristic threats and harassment. She was released on $15,000 bail.

Montoursville Wal-Mart

The Montoursville WalMart was evacuated Monday afternoon due to the smell of a gas leak. UGI Utilities found two gas lines ruptured on the roof of the WalMart, according to Chad Ludwig, assistant fire chief at the Montoursville Fire Department. Ludwig said the fire department helped UGI Utilities gain access to the roof to address the problem. Then they were called back to aid with the second gas leak.

Commissioner wants Covid-19 Testing

Lycoming County Commissioner Rick Mirabito is pushing to make more COVID-19 testing available locally. At Tuesday’s commissioners’ meeting he called for passing a resolution early next year for funding the tests, encouraging people to wear masks while in public and putting in to practice social distancing. He noted a recent report revealing Williamsport with the nineteenth highest COVID-19 infection rate in the nation. He said it might be prudent to consider having county residents who travel outside the county to be tested when they return.

Covid Numbers

The state Department of Health announced another 8,984 new cases of COVID-19 statewide. There were 116 new cases in Lycoming County, 69 in Northumberland County, 62 in Montour, 34 in Union, 34 in Snyder, Clinton has 19, and 12 in Tioga.

PSP releases Information

The Pennsylvania State Police released information on Wednesday warning residents of possible scams involving the vaccine for COVID-19. According to the release, there are several kinds of scams floating around, which include emails. Robocalls, or text messages. Police remind citizens that all information regarding the vaccine will come from public health agencies, including vaccine availability.

Trouble On Park Avenue

Two Park Avenue residents allegedly woke up to a stranger speaking to their child in the living room of their home the morning of Dec. 27, according to city police. Cody Allan Jones, 30, of the city allegedly broke into a family’s home. They were alerted to Jones’ presence when they allegedly heard their child speaking to him. Jones is charged with burglary, criminal trespass and other misdemeanors. He was arraigned by Judge Gary Whiteman, who set bail for $50,000. Jones is being held in the Lycoming County Prison until his preliminary hearing before Judge Christian Frey on Jan. 5.

Governor Wolfe Statement

Governor Tom Wolf Wednesday announced that the shutdown of restaurants, bars, gyms and other facilities in Pennsylvania will be lifted on Monday. He said restaurants and bars can reopen to the previous capacity limits. Indoor dining, gyms and suspended sports and other school activities are affected by the announcement.

Williamsport Airport

The year 2020 for the Williamsport Regional Airport brought good news followed by bad news before ending on a high note this week. Airport Executive Director Richard Howell said that the airport will service flights to and from Philadelphia beginning Jan. 5. The recent approval of federal COVID-19 relief funding, which includes money for airports, returned commercial flights to the local airport, he noted. For now, flights will arrive from Philadelphia and depart once a day.

Lycoming Commissioners Approve Salary

Lycoming County Commissioners approved a salary increase for the director of administration, despite the reservations of one county official who felt the pay raise was too hefty and defied policy. The 2-1 vote did not come until after a long discussion regarding a salary for Matthew McDermott. Commissioner Rick Mirabito, who voted against the raise, argued county policy directs that employees receive annual pay increases of no more than 2.5 percent following a positive work evaluation.

33 Restaurants Shut Down

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced that 33 restaurants across the state were ordered to close last week for defying the state’s COVID-19 mitigation measures. Inspectors closed an additional 33 restaurants by order after confirming that each was open for dine-in service and refused to comply with the order while the inspector was present.

West Pharmaceutical Expanding

The West Pharmaceutical plant in Jersey Shore is expanding which will bring more job opportunities, as it plays a “critical role” in the fight against COVID-19. The local legacy manufacturer of components and systems for injectable drug delivery, plastic packaging and other components for the healthcare and consumer products markets across the globe is investing $35 million in its facilities in the borough.

Vehicle Accident In Mount Carmel

Wednesday morning, a car drove into the side of the Turkey Hill Gas Station in Mount Carmel. An individual driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee struck the building, reports the Northumberland County Fire and Emergency Department. At the time of the incident, the store was not busy and there were no injuries. The store will be closed while the damage is cleaned up and repaired.

 

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