November 24, 2020 – Department of Health Report

Thirty eight (38) new cases added Tuesday in Lycoming County now at 1,793 cases, no new deaths, 35 total deaths, with 18,522 negatives according to DOH report.

Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19:

3,459 Patients Hospitalized and 767 Patients in the Intensive Care Unit

6,669 Additional Positive Cases of COVID-19

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., November 24, that there were 6,669 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 321,070.

There are 3,459 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 767 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.

The trend in the 14-day moving average of number of hospitalized patients per day has increased by nearly 2,200 since the end of September.

Statewide percent positivity for the week of November 13 – November 19 stood at 11.1%.

The most accurate daily data is available on the website, with archived data also available.

The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between November 17 and November 23 is 405,883 with 49,539 positive cases. There were 38,668 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., November 23.

As of 11:59 p.m., Monday, November 23, there were 81 new deaths reported for a total of 9,951 deaths attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

There are 13,617 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 643 individuals who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure.

There are 2,723,368 individuals who have tested negative to date. Of those who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:

  • Approximately 1% are ages 0-4;
  • Nearly 3% are ages 5-12;
  • Nearly 6% are ages 13-18;
  • Nearly 13% are ages 19-24;
  • Nearly 37% are ages 25-49;
  • Approximately 21% are ages 50-64; and
  • Nearly 20% are ages 65 or older.

The department has seen significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds. An alert was sent to healthcare providers about the changing COVID-19 case demographics. Increases among 19 to 24-year-olds from April to present in November are available below:

  • NC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to nearly 17 percent of cases so far in November;
  • NE – 6 percent of cases in April to approximately 13 percent of cases so far in November;
  • SE – Nearly 5 percent of cases in April to nearly 11 percent of cases so far in November;
  • SW – Approximately 5 percent of cases in April to nearly 11 percent of cases so far in November;
  • NW – Nearly 7 percent of cases in April to approximately 11 percent of cases so far in November; and
  • SC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to nearly 9 percent of cases so far in November.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 32,536 resident cases of COVID-19, and 6,437 cases among employees, for a total of 38,973 at 1,228 distinct facilities in 64 counties. Out of our total deaths, 6,292 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.

Approximately 14,146 of our total cases are among health care workers.
 

Statewide – The Wolf Administration has since noon, Nov. 23:
 

 

The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
  • If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
  • Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.

All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts.

Department of State Certifies Presidential Election Results 

Harrisburg, PA – Following certifications of the presidential vote submitted by all 67 counties late Monday, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar today certified the results of the November 3 election in Pennsylvania for president and vice president of the United States.

Shortly thereafter, as required by federal law, Governor Tom Wolf signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for Joseph R. Biden as president and Kamala D. Harris as vice president of the United States. The certificate was submitted to the Archivist of the United States.

The Certificate of Ascertainment included the following vote totals:

        Electors for Democratic Party candidates Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris – 3,458,229

        Electors for Republican Party candidates Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence – 3,377,674

        Electors for Libertarian Party candidates Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy Spike Cohen – 79,380

“Today’s certification is a testament to the incredible efforts of our local and state election officials, who worked tirelessly to ensure Pennsylvania had a free, fair and accurate process that reflects the will of the voters,” said Gov. Wolf.

“We are tremendously grateful to all 67 counties who have been working extremely long hours to ensure that every qualified voter’s vote is counted safely and securely.  The county election officials and the poll workers are the true heroes of our democracy, enabling us to vote in record numbers, amid challenging circumstances, so that every eligible voter’s voice could be heard,” Sec. Boockvar said.

As COVID-19 Cases Reach Critical Levels, Wolf Admin Announces New Mitigation Efforts

 

Harrisburg, Pa.—With new modeling projecting 22,000 new COVID-19 cases per day in Pennsylvania in December, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced new targeted mitigation measures to help stop the spread during this critical time. These include a robust enforcement plan targeted at chronic violators along with an effort to ensure schools are safe and in compliance with COVID safety plans. The administration is also encouraging Pennsylvanians to limit unnecessary travel and stay at home.

“As our hospitals and health care system are facing greater strain, we need to redouble our efforts to keep people safe,” Gov. Wolf said. “If our health care system is compromised, it isn’t only COVID-19 patients who will suffer. If we run out of hospital beds, or if hospital staff are over-worked to the breaking point, care will suffer for every patient – including those who need emergency care for illnesses, accidents, or chronic conditions unrelated to COVID-19.”

In the past week, the number of COVID-19-attributable deaths has quadrupled, and the average daily case count is seven times higher than it was two months ago.

Dr. Levine noted last week that modeling available from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington projects that Pennsylvania will run out of intensive care beds in December.

The IHME’s modeling also projects that if mitigation efforts are not adhered to, Pennsylvania could have more than 32,000 deaths from COVID-19 by Feb. 23, 2021 – that’s in just three months. With universal mask-wearing, those deaths can be reduced by half.

“As the Secretary of Health, I have issued a series of advisories and orders intended to help stop the spread during this critical time, to protect our hospitals, our health care workers and the lives of our fellow Pennsylvanians,” Dr. Levine said. “Our collective responsibility continues to be to protect our communities, our health care workers and our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians from COVID-19. That has not changed.”

The new measures include revamped school safety attestation, targeted business and gathering restrictions, and a new enforcement plan that includes liability protection for businesses enforcing the Secretary of Health’s strengthened mask-wearing order. The administration is also advising all Pennsylvanians to limit unnecessary travel and keep gatherings held in homes to members of the same household.

Requiring Strict Safety Measures in Our Schools

Summary: The Wolf Administration is requiring Pre-K to 12 public schools in counties that have been in the substantial transmission level for at least two consecutive weeks to commit to safety measures to ensure the safety and well-being of students and educators. If they choose not to, they must move to fully remote learning without all extra-curricular activities. As of Friday, Nov. 20, there are 59 counties in the substantial transmission level for at least two consecutive weeks.

Requirements for Pre-K to 12 public schools in substantial counties for at least two consecutive weeks:

  • Schools are mandated to comply with updated protocols if a COVID-19 case is identified in the school building.
  • By 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, chief school administrators and the governing body president/chair must sign an attestation form stating they have either transitioned to fully remote learning or are complying with the orders if they are conducting any in-person instruction while in the “substantial” range of transmission.
  • Those schools that do not sign or comply with an attestation are required to provide only fully remote learning and suspend all extracurricular activities as long as the county remains in the substantial transmission level.

“All of us have a responsibility to slow the spread of this virus so our children can stay or return to the classroom,” Gov. Wolf said.

Keeping Businesses, Customers and Employees Safe

Summary: The administration is revising and reissuing its orders to protect businesses, customers, and employees. This order will consolidate previous orders and includes reiterating cleaning and social distancing requirements, mandatory telework requirements unless impossible, and other safety measures.

  • Telework is mandatory unless impossible; safety measures required for businesses including cleaning, social distancing and masking.
  • Online sales and curbside pickup for all shopping are encouraged.

Furthermore, to help with enforcement of existing masking orders in businesses, the administration is introducing liability protection for all businesses that maintain in person operations and are open to the public. Businesses will receive immunity from civil liability only as related to the Secretary’s masking order given that individuals and entities are engaged in essential emergency services activities and disaster services activities when enforcing the order.

Strengthening Gathering Limitations

Summary: As Pennsylvania sees an increase in cases, the commonwealth is strengthening gathering restrictions. All large events and gatherings are now reduced until further notice. In addition, the retail food services industry, including bars, restaurants, and private catered events must end alcohol sales for on-site consumption at 5 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2020 only.

  • All indoor and outdoor events/ gatherings categories size limits will be reduced
  • New limits are as follows:

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for indoor events:

 Maximum Occupancy  
Allowable Indoor Rate  
0-2,000 people
10% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people
5% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 people
No events over 500 people

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for outdoor events:

Maximum Occupancy  
Allowable Outdoor Rate  
0-2,000 people
15% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people
10% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 people
5% of Maximum Occupancy up to 2,500 people
  • Household gatherings are also advised against when attendees include non-household members as noted through the Secretary of Health’s Stay at Home Advisory.
  • To specifically address large crowds, on Nov. 25, 2020 only, all sales or dispensing of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption at businesses in the retail food services industry, including bars, restaurants, and private catered events must end at 5 p.m. Indoor dining may continue, takeout is encouraged.

Empowering local government

  • The governor and Secretary of Health’s orders were issued pursuant to the authority granted to them under the law, and as such they have the force and effect of law. This authority extends to all local enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania. Local law enforcement received guidance on enforcement of the various COVID-19 orders in place from the Pennsylvania State Police through the PA Chiefs of Police Association.
  • Given the importance of local engagement, the Department of Health has provided recommendations for local municipal leaders, as well as county-wide leadership. While statewide mitigation steps are necessary, local leaders can implement their own orders, ordinances, or directives in order to protect health and safety as long as they are stricter than those mandated by the state. Additionally, counties and municipalities are authorized to enforce state law, including orders from the Secretary of Health or Governor.
  • Local leaders at all levels of government should exercise their authority and influence to support public health efforts that will protect residents and local economies. When local leaders engage, their constituents understand that they are supported in adopting and sustaining preventive behaviors.
  • The Department of Health has established thresholds representing low, moderate, or substantial community transmission of COVID-19, and corresponding actions that can be taken by county and municipal leaders. A county’s threshold may change week-by-week as incidence and percent positivity rates rise and fall. Leaders should implement more public health actions rather than fewer if their county is between thresholds. To determine level of community transmission, counties should use the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard. The Department of Health and the Department of Education use the same metrics to recommend instructional models for school leaders.
  • Recommendations for each level of community transmission include increased communication, collaborative planning, stricter directives, and working with school leaders.

Ramping Up Enforcement

Summary: Orders already in place and those announced today are all enforceable, and law enforcement and state agencies will be stepping up enforcement efforts, issuing citations and fines, and possibly regulatory actions for repeat offenders.

Given that this is a critical time for mitigation efforts and orders to be followed, the Wolf Administration is stepping up enforcement on the following orders:

  • Out of State Travel
  • Mask-wearing
  • Business Safety, including telework, occupancy, cleaning, social distancing
  • Restaurant Mitigation, including occupancy, masking, social distancing, self-certification
  • Gathering Limits
  • School Attestation and Mitigation
  • Orders are enforceable as a disease control measure under the Disease Prevention and Control Law. Citations may be written under the Administrative Code of 1929 71 P. S. § 1409 and/or the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955 35 P.S. § 521.20(a). The decision whether to issue a warning or a citation is made on a case-by-case basis and determined by the unique circumstances of each encounter.
  • Persons who fail to comply with an order may be fined between $25 and $300 dollars.
  • Enforcement agencies include the Pennsylvania State Police, local law enforcement, personnel from the departments of Agriculture and State, and PA Liquor Control Board stores who interact with visitors.

Because a component of enforcement is investigating complaints, the Department of Health, with assistance from other agencies, is bolstering its ability to receive and respond to complaints from customers and employees. The department will continue to investigate complaints provided via its webform and plans to use additional staff from other state agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction to process complaints.

Following a complaint about a business, the Department of Health will send a warning letter informing the business of the potential consequences, including fines and closure if the business is not compliant with the mitigation orders. If a business continues to receive complaints, it risks referral to the Pennsylvania State Police or regulatory agencies, further fines and possible closure.

“As Pennsylvanians, we have a responsibility to one another, to do what we can to protect each other and preserve the life we all love in this commonwealth,” Gov. Wolf said. “For those who refuse to do their part to protect their neighbors and communities and refuse to accept that their actions have consequences that cause pain and suffering for others, we will be stepping up enforcement of all of the public health orders Dr. Levine and I have put in place.

“We are in a very dangerous situation, and we need to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 right now because if we give in to the virus, we will lose many more Pennsylvanians. And that is unacceptable.”

Governor Wolf’s Mitigation, Enforcement, and Immunity Order

Governor Wolf’s Retail Food Services Mitigation Order

Governor Wolf’s Stay at Home Advisory

Governor Wolf’s Public School Attestation Order

 

Secretary of Health’s Mitigation and Enforcement Order

Secretary of Health’s Retail Food Services Mitigation Order

Secretary of Health’s Stay at Home Advisory

Secretary of Health’s Public School Attestation Order

Secretary of Health’s Elective Procedures Order

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XXIV

PHOTOS: PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro (top left), criminal defense attorney George Lepley (bottom left),
WAHS Head Principal Brandon Pardoe (middle), WASD Superintendent Dr. Timothy Bowers (top right),
WASD solicitor Fred Holland (bottom right),

The following is the result of a now more than 26-month long investigation
into the Williamsport Area High School Baseball Team trip
to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the spring of 2018.

This story is graphic and contains details related to multiple indecent sexual assaults.

The author and editor of this story have made the editorial decision to not publish the names of the individuals under the age of 18 at the time of the incident who have been clearly identified as committing these acts in this case since they have not been formally charged with a crime.

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball

IF NOTHING HAPPENED IN MYRTLE BEACH

WHY WON’T THE WASD TELL US THE STORY?

PART XXIV –

“The unmasking of the non-punishments stay true to the Millionaire Way”

By Todd Bartley, TalkWilliamsport.com

News@TalkWilliamsport.com

Talkwilliamsport.com received an update on Friday from the Williamsport Area School District as part of its ongoing efforts through the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law.

The update was the removal of previously redacted information from one of the most critical aspects of this case to date; the so called punishments of those involved.

What if the punishments were the same for ALLEGED PERPATRATOR#1 whom Lycoming County District Attorney Ryan Gardner described as engaging in “criminal sexual misconduct” prior to referring the case to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and VIDEOGRAPHER #1?

Or as WASD solicitor Fred Holland put it when first contacted for this story in 2018 characterized the behavior of ALLEGED PERPATRATOR#1 as “indecent and inappropriate.”

What if the person most responsible for handing out these punishments at the school level (WAHS head principal Brandon Pardoe) was the same person who ran the investigation for the WASD?

What if the connective tissue was so obvious Pardoe had multiple conflicts of interest in the case from the beginning; but those conflicts were ignored to ensure the continuity of the secret “everyone knew in Myrtle Beach”?

 

From PART XIX – “The Millionaire Way” unredacted information is now underlined

PARDOE INFORMS STUDENTS OF PUNISHMENTS – KEEPS JOHN DOE#1 IN THE DARK

WAHS Head Principal Brandon Pardoe in an e-mail on June 1, 2018 informs Superintendent Bowers of his intentions for punishments until the investigations were concluded.

Date: June 1, 2018 4:53 AM

From: Brandon Pardoe

To: Timothy Bowers

Subject: Baseball

“No Bowman Field! First round of State playoffs will be held at Central Columbia HS on Monday, June 4 at 6 PM.

Unbelievable!

Also, a meeting has been arranged with the (redacted-1) family for June 5, 2018 at 2 PM and their attorney.

Fred will be attending.

(editor’s note: redacted-1 is ALLEGED PERPATRATOR#1)

I plan to contact family today to inform them that their son is suspended from practice and play until the investigation is complete.

I am also going to follow up with the student, (redacted-2) (student who took video) today and parent to inform them that he will be in the same status. 

(editor’s note: redacted-2 is IDEOGRAPHER #1, he will be in the same status as ALLEGED PERPATRATOR#1)

I had a conversation with the mother of (redacted-3) yesterday

(editor’s note: redacted-3 is mother of ALLEGED PERPATRATOR#1)

She was very defensive and freely utilized the idea that a meeting with their son will not occur unless they and George Lepley are present.

I know that Fred has spoken to George regarding the matter.

In addition, Agent Weber contacted me yesterday to let me know that he as well has spoken to George Lepley about the incident.

It is my understanding that both of these conversations went well.”

Brandon Pardoe, Ed.D

Head Principal 

Williamsport Area High School

2990 West Fourth Street

Williamsport, PA 17701

Phone: (redacted by author)

 

These revelations from the redactions being removed again raise serious questions in the timeline being put forward by Dr. Pardoe and the WASD.

In an e-mail dated June 1, 2018, Dr. Pardoe says, “I had a conversation with the mother of (redacted-1) editor’s note: ALLEGED PERPATRATOR#1 – yesterday (May 31, 2018). 

“She was very defensive and freely utilized the idea that a meeting with their son will not occur unless they and George Lepley are present.”

Why was the mother of ALLEGED PERPATRATOR#1 “very defensive and freely utilized the idea that a meeting with their son will not occur unless they and George Lepley are present; when Lepley already authored a letter dated May 31, 2018 threatening the WASD with legal action if any substantive or punitive punishment issued to her son?”

Is it plausible the Lepley Letter of may 31, 2018 was hand delivered in the June 5, 2018 meeting and not before?

What moral compass did Dr. Pardoe employ when punishing a pair of students whose behavior was so divergent; both had to suffer the same fate?

How does “criminal sexual misconduct” or even “indecent and inappropriate behavior” amount to the same punishment as video recording such acts?

Unless, the moral compass was, “VIDEOGRAPHER #1 what were you thinking archiving this?”

“VIDEOGRAPHER #1 how could you put the Millionaire Way in jeopardy?”

“VIDEOGRAPHER #1 without that video the case would be “he said verses he said.”

“VIDEOGRAPHER #1 you created a real problem.”

Why were ALLEGED PERPETRATOR #1 and VIDEOGRAPHER #1 given the same punishment when ALLEGED PERPETRATOR #1 was facing possible criminal charges?

Was it another baseball courtesy?

Why was there never a final report on the Myrtle Beach incidents issued to the WASD school board?

 

Now with a Right to Know Law appeal pending, the entire Lycoming County Common Pleas bench may have to recuse itself and a visiting Judge may have to come into hear the matter; due to any number of potential conflicts if interests or enmeshment issues.

Is a change of venue to Commonwealth Court necessary?

Only time will tell.

 

One last thing, why is it Dr. Pardoe keeps trying to protect and keep hidden his WASD owned cell phone records?

Since he ran the investigation for the WASD with the permission of solicitor Fred Holland; Dr. Pardoe would most certainly have the video of the Myrtle Beach incidents on that phone, right?

That is indeed the case according to fact witnesses who have been given anonymity for fear of retribution have shared with talkwilliamsport.com for this story.

With a moral compass like that possessed by Dr. Pardoe, is it any wonder he allowed his wife Rae Ann Pardoe to tell the world about the “room assignments” e-mail that he, WAHS athletic director Sean McCann, former WAHS administrator Randy Zangara, current and former members of the WAHS baseball coaching staff and others still cannot find.

At least that is what WASD Right to Know Officer Wanda Erb provided attestations to in several sworn affidavits to the Office of Open Records.

The same Wanda Erb, who alongside Jeff Rowe, Attorney for WASD in RTKL mediation gave contradictory responses when asked by Terry Mutchler, Attorney for this author what if any punishments were handed out?

How did Erb or Rowe not know when they most certainly had reviewed the e-mail threads as noted above but yet those threads were not provided to Talkwilliamsport.com until earlier this year. Even though they had been requested more than a year ago and mediated for.

Jeff Rowe was elected in November 2019 as a Magisterial District Judge for the Lewisburg area in Union County.

After all this time, more than two and a half years after the Myrtle Beach trip the WASD still cannot, or will not tell us what happened.

Or could it be as recently renewed and enriched with a pay raise WASD Superintendent Dr. Timothy Bowers put it in his June 1, 2018 at 6:42 AM e-mail to Brandon Pardoe:

Subject: Baseball

“Ok thanks for the follow-up”

Sent from my iPhone

Is the example set by Dr. Pardoe in his official capacity as WAHS head principal of how not to handle “criminal sexual misconduct” in the Birthplace Of Little League Baseball the reason the Mount Carmel School District shut down its football season due to hazing allegations?

The same Mount Carmel football program that has more wins than any other in the state of Pennsylvania.

The same Mount Carmel football program that ranks 6th nationally in wins.

The same Mount Carmel football program that has won five PIAA State Titles, the most recent in 2002.

The Mount Carmel football program whose fans treat it like a religion.

Just like the Williamsport Area School District faithful treat their baseball program.

 

At least in the Mount Carmel football program case those involved have acknowledged the victims; the FAMILY OF JOHN DOE#1 is still waiting for that from Detective Weber, Dr. Pardoe and the Williamsport Area School District.

 

The last time a story like this was published within 72 hours a car was firebombed at 4 a.m. in the driveway of this author; is it time to check the moral compass again in the WASD?

After a story like this, one can only wonder the conversations Dr. Pardoe with folks; like he said, “It is my understanding that…these conversations went well.”

 

PART XXV of A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball is forthcoming.

 

LINKS TO 23-PART SERIES PUBLISHED BY FOX SPORTS WILLIAMSPORT

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XXIII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XXII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XXI

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XX

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XIX

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XVIII

BREAKING NEWS: PA AG Press Office confirms receipt of Criminal Sexual Misconduct referral from DA Gardner

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XVII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XVI

EXCLUSIVE: AG Shapiro press office on referral: “If and when we receive it, it will be promptly reviewed”

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XVII

BREAKING NEWS: PA AG Press Office confirms receipt of Criminal Sexual Misconduct referral from DA Gardner

UPDATE: Charges filed in Greater Latrobe Junior High hazing case cited in “A Baseball Story”

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XVI

EXCLUSIVE: AG Shapiro press office on referral: “If and when we receive it, it will be promptly reviewed”

BREAKING NEWS: District Attorney Gardner refers Myrtle Beach case to PA Attorney General – PART XV

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XIV

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XIII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XI

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART X

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART IX

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VIII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VI

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART V

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART IV

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART III

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART II

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART I

Fans often ask me, what if?

Millionaire Baseball Mayhem in Myrtle Beach

 

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XXIII

PHOTOS: PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro (top left),
WAHS Head Principal Brandon Pardoe (bottom left),
SWASD 4th Grade teacher Rae Ann Pardoe, wife of WAHS Head Principal Brandon Pardoe (middle),
former WASD Right to Know Law Counsel and current Union County Magistrate Judge Jeff Rowe (top right),
WASD RTK Officer Wanda Erb (bottom right),

The following is the result of a now more than 26-month long investigation
into the Williamsport Area High School Baseball Team trip
to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the spring of 2018.

This story is graphic and contains details related to multiple indecent sexual assaults.

The author and editor of this story have made the editorial decision to not publish the names of the individuals under the age of 18 at the time of the incident who have been clearly identified as committing these acts in this case since they have not been formally charged with a crime.

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball

IF NOTHING HAPPENED IN MYRTLE BEACH

WHY WON’T THE WASD TELL US THE STORY?

PART XXIII –

“They had the room assignments all this time and lied about it.”

By Todd Bartley, TalkWilliamsport.com

News@TalkWilliamsport.com

TalkWilliamsport.com using the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law obtained the ever elusive room assignments after nearly two years of digging for it.

The obtained e-mails in question leave no doubt the Williamsport Area School District has been in possession of these documents since their employees received them.

The same employees who the WASD told the public had no conflicts of interest in running an investigation into the Myrtle Beach incidents.

The same employees who received the very room assignments e-mail Wanda Erb WASD Right to Know Law officer claimed in multiple sworn affidavits to the Office of Open Records the “WASD had no record of it”.

The same employees who were on the trip in Myrtle Beach.

The same employees who never came forward to correct the record when “A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball” – PART I was published outlining the fact the WASD could not produce a room assignment list.

The same employees who have claimed for two plus years this author is “making it worse.”

The same employees who took part in weaponizing the WASD tax office which they oversee; by having an arrest warrant issued for this author in attempt to silence him.

The same employees who the WASD school board failed to hold accountable for this colossal failure.

The same WASD school board which failed to act when asked to launch an independent third party investigation to acquire full transparency into the handling of the Myrtle Beach incidents.

By failing to act, the question arises, how many WASD school board members knew of the existence of the room assignment e-mails when they failed to second the motion for an independent third party investigation in the Myrtle Beach incidents?

Is the reason there was no second is the knowledge by the WASD school board of the existence of the room assignment e-mails; thus opening up questions about the handling of the Myrtle Beach incidents?

This series has well chronicled the investigation underway by recently re-elected Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro into the Myrtle Beach incidents.

 

RAE ANN PARDOE, WIFE OF BRANDON PARDOE SOLVES THE ROOM LIST MYSTERY

OH THE IRONY!

According to the RTKL response provided to Talkwilliamsport.com on Monday, November, 9, 2020 by Dr. Mark Stamm, Superintendent of Schools for the South Williamsport Area School District, Rae Ann Pardoe received the “room assignments” e-mail on March 18, 2018.

The documents were obtained through the RTKL due to the fact Rae Ann Pardoe was using her @swasd.org e-mail account.

The e-mails obtained are heavily redacted, with the exclusion of her e-mail and that of former head baseball coach Ryan Miller, who was not the sender.

The sender was Shelly Gehr.

Shelly Gehr is the sister of current South Williamsport Area School District board member Cathy Springman Bachman.

When contacted for this story to discuss the e-mail she authored and sent, Shelly Gehr promptly hung up the phone.

How is a baseball parent able to handle student information and codify it in an e-mail without violating FERPA or other privacy laws?

Are these privacy laws only applied by the WASD when being used to obscure public records?

 

WANDA ERB WHEN ASKED FOR A ROOM LIST “NO RECORD EXISTS” – FROM PART I

 

NO ROOM LIST AND NO CHAPERONES

As part of the Appeal from RTKL Denial of Williamsport Area School District undertaken by Fox Sports Williamsport filed with the OOR on August 8, 2019, the WASD under the penalty of perjury offered the following answers from Wanda Erb, in an affidavit on October 8, 2019:

I, Wanda Erb, hereby declare, pursuant to 18 Pa. CS 4904, that the following statements are true and correct based upon my personal knowledge information and belief:

1. I serve as the Open Records Officer for the Williamsport Area School District (“Agency”) and am responsible for responding to Right-to-Know requests field with the Agency.

2. In my capacity as the Open Records Officer, I am familiar with the records of the Agency.

6. Regarding Requestor’s fourth request, all of the chaperones on the trip were district employees, coaches, or volunteer coaches. No other adult chaperones accompanied the baseball team to Myrtle Beach.

WASD again admits in writing no other adult chaperones accompanied the baseball team to Myrtle Beach other than 6 or 7 adults who were district employees, coaches, or volunteer coaches, plus two administrators with players on the team.

WASD RTK Officer, Wanda Erb asserts under the penalty of perjury, “No other adult chaperones accompanied the baseball team to Myrtle Beach.”

So with no adult chaperones and only the WASD district employees, coaches, or volunteer coaches, plus two administrators why was there no room assignment list outlining where each student athlete and coach was staying at the Atlantica Resort?

If there was no room assignment list, how did the WASD safeguard and monitor every floor a student was on?

A room assignment list was one of the first items Fox Sports Williamsport requested in the Right-to-Know Law process.

From the June 17, 2019 RTKL Request

2). The hotel room assignments as outlined by the WASD Baseball Coaching Staff for the baseball team trip to Myrtle Beach during the 2017-2018 school year.

WASD Responded in the July 18, 2019 RTKL denial

  1. Hotel room assignments – Denied because no record exists.

The WASD Baseball team trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina did not have a hotel room assignment list at the Atlantica Resort with no adult chaperones and only the district employees, coaches, or volunteer coaches.

Fox Sports Williamsport has independently confirmed the two administrators did not stay on property at the Atlantica Resort.

Fox Sports Williamsport appealed the WASD July 18, 2019 RTKL denial

As filed by Terry Mutchler on behalf of Fox Sports Williamsport :

Requester’s position: The District must provide a statement made under penalty of perjury, detailing its good faith effort to ascertain this record. See 65 P.S. § 67.901 (requiring the AORO to undertake a “good faith effort”); see also Hous. Auth. of the City of Pittsburgh v. Van Osciol, 40 A.3d 209, 216 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2012) (unsworn statements are not competent evidence).

Again, Wanda Erb in the October 8, 2019 affidavit offered the following response:

4. Regarding Requestor’s second request, I conducted a thorough examination of files in the possession, custody and control of the Agency for records responsive to the request. As these types of records would be in the possession of the athletic director or head coach, I spoke with WASD Athletic Director Sean McCann and former head baseball coach Ryan Miller. At the time the request was made (6-17-19 original RTK request), neither Mr. McCann nor Mr. Miller had any record identifying which players were assigned to which hotel room. Accordingly, I have made the determination that the records requested are not within the Agency’s possession, custody or control. 

5. Regarding Requestor’s third request, I conducted a thorough examination of files in the possession, custody and control of the Agency for records responsive to the request. As these types of records would be in the possession of the athletic director or head coach, I spoke with WASD Athletic Director Sean McCann and former head baseball coach Ryan Miller. At the time the request was made (6-17-19 original RTK request), neither Mr. McCann nor Mr. Miller had any record that was responsive to the request. I have also contacted members, or former members, of the WASD Baseball Boosters Club, and outside organization not within the control of the Agency. As a result of those efforts, I obtained a bus invoice and a hotel invoice which were provided to Requestor’s counsel although they were not paid for by the Agency.

Fox Sports Williamsport confirmed there were 10 rooms at the Atlantica Resort, 9 -2 bedroom suites and a single 1 bedroom suite assigned to Ryan Miller and the WASD baseball team.

There were no more than 2 rooms per floor assigned to Ryan Miller and the WASD baseball team.  Rooms were scattered all over the sprawling Atlantica Resort tower.

 

DID WANDA ERB COMMIT MALFEASANCE OR IS SHE JUST INCOMPETENT?

How Wanda Erb ever conducted a search for the room assignments with the facts in evidence is to believe the earth is flat.

A basic search with the following keywords, “room assignments” would have produced the e-mails on the @WASD.org server.

Or was she a co-conspirator in the cover-up too?

When Erb was asked in RTKL mediation side-by-side with now Magistrate Judge Jeff Rowe, to produce a room assignment list, both failed to do so.

Erb and Rowe when asked if ALLEGED PERPATRATOR #1 was ever punished, they each had diametrically opposite answers which caused the Office of Open Records attorney to audibly gasp.

The “room assignments” email was sent to WAHS head principal Brandon Pardoe and WAHS athletic director Sean McCann.

The “room assignments” email was also sent to the WAHS baseball coaching staff including former WASD administrator Randy Zangara and employees of Little League International, Nick Caringi and Jamie Joy.

 

THE BLAME GAME BEGAN WITH THE FIRST RTKL REQUEST

WAHS athletic director Sean McCann authored an e-mail to former WAHS Ryan Miller and copied Erb, Superintendent Dr. Timothy Bowers and head principal Brandon Pardoe requesting the room list from Miller on Thursday, July 11, 2019, 2018 at 2:02 p.m.

“Good Afternoon. I have been asked by our Business Administrator and Right to Know Officer, Wanda Erb to contact you regarding a recent right to know request received by the district.”

McCann goes onto say, “Also, Ryan 

  1. Do you have a copy or any records of the rooming lists, from the 2018 trip for the lodging?
  2. Do you have a copy of the travel list, who went on the trip for players and coaches in writing?

Thank you for your willingness to comply with this request.

–Sean”

This is laughable since McCann already received the very room assignment list and e-mail he was then asking Miller to produce.

Was McCann unable to produce it because he already deleted it?

When reading the e-mail, why did Brandon Pardoe not chime in with the fact he received it as well?

It took the wife of WAHS head principal Brandon Pardoe, Rae Ann Pardoe a 4th Grade teacher in the SWASD and mandated reporter to produce the “room assignments” e-mail nearly two years after it was first requested of her husband.

She was in Myrtle Beach on the trip too.

As a footnote, Fred Holland who characterized the Myrtle Beach incidents as “indecent and inappropriate behavior on the part of a WAHS baseball player” serves as the solicitor for both the Williamsport Area School District and South Williamsport Area School Districts.

According to the Murphy, Butterfield & Holland, P.C. website: “Attorney Jeffrey A. Rowe is Of Counsel to our firm. His practice includes real estate, business formation, and estate planning and administration. He also serves as a Magisterial District Judge in Union County.”

TalkWilliamsport.com was able to reach an assistant to Magisterial District Judge Rowe at his office in Union County, that individual referred this author back to the offices of Murphy, Butterfield & Holland, P.C. and has yet to hear back at this writing.

According to the Board Agenda posted, tonight at the meeting of the Williamsport Area School District School Board beginning at 6 p.m. in the WAHS auditorium winter coaching contracts will be approved.

From the Board Agenda:

B. The following winter sport coaches at the respective schools for the 2020-2021 cont’d:

Wrestling
Varsity Assistant: Drew E. Dickey (5) $3,600

Drew Dickey was also a recipient of the room assignment list and e-mail.

Drew Dickey in his role as a teacher and a coach is a mandated reporter.

 

PART XXIV of A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball is forthcoming.

OP-ED: Jennifer Lake Wokebegone – PART VI is forthcoming

“Getting Slaughtered – The story of the most non-transparent Mayor in Williamsport history” is forthcoming.

 

LINKS TO SERIES ARTICLES

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XXII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XXI

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XX

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XIX

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XVIII

BREAKING NEWS: PA AG Press Office confirms receipt of Criminal Sexual Misconduct referral from DA Gardner

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XVII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XVI

EXCLUSIVE: AG Shapiro press office on referral: “If and when we receive it, it will be promptly reviewed”

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XVII

BREAKING NEWS: PA AG Press Office confirms receipt of Criminal Sexual Misconduct referral from DA Gardner

UPDATE: Charges filed in Greater Latrobe Junior High hazing case cited in “A Baseball Story”

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XVI

EXCLUSIVE: AG Shapiro press office on referral: “If and when we receive it, it will be promptly reviewed”

BREAKING NEWS: District Attorney Gardner refers Myrtle Beach case to PA Attorney General – PART XV

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XIV

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XIII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XI

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART X

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART IX

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VIII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VI

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART V

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART IV

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART III

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART II

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART I

Fans often ask me, what if?

Millionaire Baseball Mayhem in Myrtle Beach

Profiles in Service: Department of Human Services Secretary Recognizes ChildLine Caseworkers for Commitment During COVID-19 Pandemic 

Secretary of Human Services Teresa Miller answers questions from the press.Governor Tom Wolf announced that people with intellectual disabilities and autism and the providers of support services for these vulnerable Pennsylvanians will receive $260 million in CARES Act funding to help continue to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Wolf was joined by Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller, who outlined to details of funding allocations. JUNE 15, 2020 – HARRISBURG, PA

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today recognized and thanked DHS employees who staff Pennsylvania’s hotline for reporting suspected cases of child abuse and neglect for their exceptional contributions and continued sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 74-person ChildLine team has been working remotely since March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“When a ChildLine caseworker answers the phone, they know that the person on the other end is likely to report suspected child abuse or general concern about a child’s welfare. This is grueling and emotionally taxing work in the very best of times,” Secretary Miller said. “ChildLine workers also understand that when they answer a phone, it may be the first step in a process that saves a child’s life. Since March, those phones have been ringing in their own homes, around their own families. But they always pick up. On behalf of all Pennsylvanians, I want ChildLine’s caseworkers to know we recognize and appreciate the sacrifices they’ve made to protect children.”

Throughout the pandemic, state agencies have followed guidance for businesses issued by the Governor and Secretary of Health, including the recommendation for employees to telework, if possible. Approximately one-third of commonwealth employees are either teleworking full-time or splitting their time between telework and working onsite based on their job duties, enabling critical services to continue for millions of Pennsylvanians.

DHS recognizes the exceptional work of all ChildLine caseworkers and supervisors and in addition would like to highlight the contributions of these particular individuals who work to support ChildLine operations:

  • Sarah Treven, a human services program specialist, has trained 18 new ChildLine staff members virtually since March. Before the pandemic, all training was done in person. Ms. Treven converted all of her training lessons into a remote learning experience and has continued to adapt to ensure that all new caseworkers are quickly and fully trained to begin the important work of receiving and processing reports of child abuse.
  • Elysa Springer, the director of the Systems and Data Management Unit within the Office of Children, Youth and Families, has been leading the IT initiatives for the entire child welfare system. Her management of the functionality of the Child Welfare Information System (CWIS) and resolution of technology challenges empowered ChildLine to operate remotely and keep children and youth safe.
  • Heather Cleland, administrative assistant for ChildLine, coordinated ChildLine’s transition to remote operations. Ms. Cleland ordered necessary equipment, coordinated interviews, onboarded new hires and generally did the work of maintaining operations while ensuring the health and safety of ChildLine’s staff.

ChildLine is available 24/7 to anyone concerned for the safety or well-being of a child. To report a concern, call 1-800-932-0313.

“We all share the responsibility of protecting children in our communities from abuse and neglect. If you are concerned about a child, please call ChildLine right away,” Secretary Miller said. “I want Pennsylvanians to know that ChildLine caseworkers and supervisors are constantly monitoring calls and referring all reports to county agencies for investigation. Their commitment to this extremely difficult job was admirable before the pandemic, but the added burden of taking calls about child abuse from their homes for the past seven months deserves its own acknowledgment.”

“The adaptability and resiliency of commonwealth employees during this pandemic has been truly remarkable,” said Secretary of Administration Michael Newsome, whose office oversees human resources for state agencies. “They recognize the impact of their work on the lives of Pennsylvanians and how critical it is for that work to continue as we collectively battle COVID-19.”

Anyone can make a report to ChildLine by calling 1-800-932-0313. Permissive (non-mandated) reporters can make anonymous reports to ChildLine. Mandated reporters should report online at www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov.

DHS encourages all Pennsylvanians to learn more about the signs of potential abuse or neglect and make a report to ChildLine if they begin to suspect abuse or neglect. Reporters do not have to prove abuse and neglect, and reporting to ChildLine allows trained child welfare and law enforcement professionals to properly investigate cases of suspected abuse.

Signs of potential abuse or neglect can include:

  • Numerous and/or unexplained injuries or bruises;
  • Chronic, pronounced anxiety and expressed feelings of inadequacy;
  • Flinching or an avoidance to being touched;
  • Poor impulse control;
  • Demonstrating abusive behavior or talk;
  • Cruelty to animals or others; and,
  • Fear of parent or caregiver, among others.

Pennsylvanians can learn more about the signs of potential abuse at www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov.

DHS also encourages parents and families who are struggling to cope during this time of crisis to reach out for help. Anyone struggling with mental health and in need of referrals to helpful programs can call Pennsylvania’s new Support & Referral Helpline, which is operated 24/7 by skilled caseworkers who can provide emotional support during this difficult period. The number to call is 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600. Another helpful resource is the 2-1-1 hotline operated by the United Way, which can connect people and families to local resources that can help during the public health crisis.

November 10, 2020 – Department of Health Report

Ten (10) new cases added Tuesday in Lycoming County remains at 1,127 cases, no new deaths, 32 total deaths, with 16,948 negatives according to DOH report.

Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19:

Highest Daily Increase of 4,361 Additional Positives Brings Statewide Total to 238,657

Pennsylvanians Urged to Download COVID Alert PA App

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., November 10, that there were 4,361 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 238,657. This is the highest daily increase of cases.

The most accurate daily data is available on the website, with archived data also available.

The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between November 3 and November 9 is 329,919 with 18,670 positive cases. There were 41,926 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., November 9.

As of 11:59 p.m., Monday November 9, there were 62 new deaths reported for a total of 9,086 deaths attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

There are 6,165 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 645 individuals who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure.

There are 2,470,785 individuals who have tested negative to date. Of those who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:

  • Approximately 1% are ages 0-4;
  • Approximately 2% are ages 5-12;
  • Approximately 5% are ages 13-18;
  • Nearly 14% are ages 19-24;
  • Approximately 36% are ages 25-49;
  • Approximately 21% are ages 50-64; and
  • Approximately 20% are ages 65 or older.

There are 1,827 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 393 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.

The department has seen significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds. An alert was sent to healthcare providers about the changing COVID-19 case demographics. Increases among 19 to 24-year-olds from April to present in November are available below:

  • NC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to nearly 22 percent of cases so far in November;
  • NE – 6 percent of cases in April to nearly 14 percent of cases so far in November;
  • SE – Nearly 5 percent of cases in April to 11 percent of cases so far in November;
  • SW – Approximately 5 percent of cases in April to approximately 11 percent of cases so far in November;
  • NW – Nearly 7 percent of cases in April to approximately 11 percent of cases so far in November; and
  • SC – Approximately 7 percent of cases in April to approximately 9 percent of cases so far in November.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 27,924resident cases of COVID-19, and 5,902 cases among employees, for a total of 33,826 at 1,118 distinct facilities in 63 counties. Out of our total deaths, 5,922 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.

Approximately 13,036 of our total cases are among health care workers.

Statewide – The Wolf Administration has since noon, Nov. 9:

The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
  • If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
  • Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.

Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics

All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts.

Congressman Fred Keller participates in Veterans Appreciation Drive-Thru event

Congressman Keller (left) thanks a local 96-year-old World War II veteran for his service.

Selinsgrove, PA — Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) today participated in a Veterans Appreciation Drive-Thru event at the Susquehanna Valley Mall in Selinsgrove where he thanked local veterans for their service. Keller was joined by State Senator John Gordner, State Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver and State Representative David Rowe, along with other members of the community.

Notably, Congressman Keller had the opportunity to speak with a 96-year-old World War II veteran and hear his story of service.

On the event, Congressman Fred Keller made the following statement:

“What makes the United States so special is our long history of Americans standing up to defend our freedoms, values, and way of life. For these heroes, service does not end. Long after their military careers, our veterans continue to serve our communities. Today’s event serves as a reminder of how appreciative we are for our veterans and everything they do.”

DMVA Launches PA VETConnect, a Statewide Outreach Initiative that Better Serves Veterans in Need of Assistance 

Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) launched PA VETConnect, a statewide outreach initiative designed to better serve the commonwealth’s nearly 800,000 veterans. PA VETConnect identifies and cultivates new community partnerships to simultaneously broaden referral capabilities and connect veterans to the best possible resources, regardless of the township, county or region where they reside.

“Pennsylvania provides a variety of programs and benefits for veterans, but there are still areas that we do not have formal programs due to lack of funding,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “PA VETConnect is our solution because it allows us to address these gaps through creative inter-agency coordination and community partnerships. We owe it to our veterans to provide them with the help they need and have earned through their military service.”

“With the governor’s leadership, the DMVA staff has made PA VETConnect a priority project so that we can reach deeper into communities, establish a wider network of advocates, and provide the best possible programs and services to our veterans,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “We realize that there is no way a program of this magnitude can be successful without the cooperation of our community partners. We are a more helpful agency to veterans because of these relationships.”

Two innovative features of PA VETConnect make the program unique in Pennsylvania, which has the fourth largest veteran population in the nation, when it comes to veteran advocacy.

The key to PA VETConnect is an Information and Referral (I&R) database that provides those who serve veterans – such as county directors of veterans affairs and veteran service organizations – with the names, contact information and an overview of thousands of organizations throughout the commonwealth that have the resources to assist veterans’ specific needs.

The DMVA has also committed a staff of Regional Program Outreach Coordinators (RPOC) to work with veteran advocates throughout Pennsylvania to build relationships and develop a network that connects Pennsylvania’s military heroes to the resources they need to live a healthy, quality life. The RPOCs are DMVAs field-level individuals who live and work throughout the state. They not only discover new resources to assist veterans within their communities and across the commonwealth but serve as a liaison between veteran advocates and DMVA.

“Thanks to this vast compilation of organizations, veterans will no longer be limited to the resources – or lack of resources – in their immediate area. By identifying thousands of organizations throughout the state, veterans can now be connected to where they will be best served, and that includes across county lines,” Gov. Wolf added.

PA VETConnect is part of the Governor’s Customer Service Transformation initiative that improves the overall experience of Pennsylvanians dealing with state government. PA VETConnect helps veterans and families with an array of issues, including homelessness, mental health, suicide, employment, financial challenges, legal, family crisis, and much more.

To learn more about PA VETConnect, visit www.dmva.pa.gov/VETConnect. Veterans who are in need of assistance and want to connect with a service through PA VETConnect can send an email request to RA-MVVET-CONNECT@pa.gov.

State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement November 6-8: 287 Compliance Checks; 18 Notices of Violation

 
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 287 licensed liquor establishments from Friday, November 6 through Sunday, November 8 to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements that include social distancing, masking, and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code.
Liquor Control Enforcement Officers issued 18 notices of violation and 34 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. As mandated by the liquor code, a notice of violation precedes the issuance of an administrative citation, which is civil in nature, and is intended to provide licensed liquor establishments notification of the nature of violation(s) discovered. The investigation remains open during this period, pending review by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE). Because the investigation is ongoing, names of establishments issued a notice of violation will not be released at this time. Each BLCE district office posts a monthly public information release that includes details on citations issued by that office.
Compliance checks are unannounced and can occur anywhere in the commonwealth, although the focus is on areas experiencing higher coronavirus transmission rates. Among other requirements, all businesses and employees in the restaurant and retail food service industry authorized to conduct in-person activities are mandated to:
  • Require all customers to wear masks while entering, exiting or otherwise traveling throughout the restaurant or retail food service business (face masks may be removed while seated). Further, employees are required to wear masks at all times.
  • Provide at least six feet between parties at tables or physical barriers between customers where booths are arranged back to back.
  • Ensure maximum occupancy limits for indoor and outdoor areas are posted and enforced.
Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement | November 6-8, 2020
​TOTAL LICENSEE CHECKS
WARNINGS RELATED TO COVID-19 MITIGATION EFFORTS
NOTICES OF VIOLATION RELATED TO COVID-19 MITIGATION EFFORTS
1-Philadelphia
​105
3
2
2-Wilkes-Barre
14
3
2
3-Harrisburg
21
5
2
4-Pittsburgh
78
3
5
5-Altoona
19
3
2
6-Williamsport
11
3
3
7-Punxsutawney
4
2
1
8-Erie
11
7
1
9-Allentown
24
5
0
TOTALS
287
34
18
Violators may face administrative citation by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. Continued violations put an establishment’s liquor license at risk, either through the citation process or upon application for renewal. More information is available on the enforcement page of the state police COVID-19 portal.
Complaints regarding licensees not complying with COVID-19 mitigation mandates may be directed to the BLCE at 1-800-932-0602 or reported through the BLCE’s online complaint form.