TOP HEADLINES 01/14


>>Harrisburg University Professor Who Made 3D Face Shields Dies Of COVID-19

(Harrisburg, PA) -- A Harrisburg University professor who is known for creating 3D face shields for first-line healthcare works is dead after battling COVID-19. Dr. Charles Shearrow passed away at 61-years old on Tuesday due to complications of the coronavirus. Harrisburg University said yesterday that Dr. Shearrow and his students made about 2,300 3D printed face shields for local healthcare workers during the pandemic. He worked at TE Connectivity in Harrisburg before he became a professor and served on the university's staff for over two years.

>>Air Quality Action Day Issued In Harrisburg

(Harrisburg, PA) -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is issuing a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day today. The Action Day was issued yesterday because a strong temperature inversion is going to contribute to concentrations of fine particulate matter in the Code Orange range. Several southern and southeastern counties are going to be affected including Dauphin, Cumberland, Lancaster and York. Residents are being asked to help limit air pollution by not using fireplaces or wood stoves and avoid openly burning leaves, trash and other materials.

>>Harrisburg University Sells Revenue Bonds To Build New Tower

(Harrisburg, PA) -- Harrisburg University is moving ahead on building a new eleven-story tower on campus. Harrisburg University of Science-and-Technology announced yesterday that it sold over one-hundred-million-dollars' worth of university revenue bonds. The money is going to be used on constructing a new health science and advanced manufacturing educational building at Third and Chestnut streets in the city. The new tower is expected to be completed by 2023.

>>Two Harrisburg Women Charged For Six-Week-Old's Death

(Harrisburg, PA) -- Two Harrisburg women are facing charges for allegedly being involved in a six-week-old baby's overdose death. A 33-year-old woman and her mother, a 69-year-old woman, were charged yesterday with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child for the death of a six-week-old infant that happened this past August. Authorities say the baby was in the two women's care when it was pronounced dead from acute fentanyl toxicity.

>>Harrisburg Mayor Says City Is Preparing For Weekend Protest

(Harrisburg, PA) -- Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse says the city is working with Capitol police on a plan for potential protests Sunday. Papenfuse said they are prepared for potential violence Sunday during the planned event. He went on to say that he hopes those who do attend do so peacefully.

>>State Senator Brewster Sworn In

(Harrisburg, PA) -- State Senator Jim Brewster is now officially representing part of Western PA in Harrisburg. The Democrat took the oath of office yesterday after a federal court upheld his election win, which was challenged by Republican Nicole Ziccarelli. The 72-year-old won by 34 votes.

>>Wednesday Considered Among Deadliest COVID-19 Days So Far In PA

(Harrisburg, PA) -- Wednesday is being called one of the deadliest days for COVID-19 in Pennsylvania so far. State health officials reported 349 coronavirus related deaths, bringing the statewide total to 18,429 since the start of the pandemic. It’s believed the next several days will be part of a post-Christmas and New Year’s celebration surge.

>>Judge Stops Lancaster Township’s Denial Of Liquor License Transfer To Weis Markets

(Lancaster Twp., PA) -- A court is clearing the way for a Lancaster Township Weis Markets to sell beer and wine. Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon ended the township supervisors’ attempt to block the transfer of a liquor license to the store. The judge said the township’s denial of the transfer wasn’t supported by a single fact.

>>Court Upholds High, Naked Harrisburg Man’s Indecent Assault Conviction

(Harrisburg, PA) -- A 32-year-old Harrisburg man remains convicted of indecent assault after being accused of getting high and naked during his first day at work in Swatara Township. Carl Gamby reportedly injected himself with bath salts and fentanyl in March 2019 at a bathroom at the Econo Lodge on Eisenhower Boulevard, then grabbed a female coworker and kissed her on the neck before disrobing. A state Superior Court panel is refusing to overturn the conviction, leaving him with up to 23 months behind bars and two years of probation.

>>Muhlenberg School District To Not Return Until All Staff Vaccinated

(Muhlenberg Township, PA) -- Muhlenberg School District is not going to return to in-person classes until all of its staff gets the COVID-19 vaccine. The district announced yesterday it will not move to a hybrid-learning model as it waits for all teachers and staff members to receive the vaccine. There have been over 200 staff members in the district who have had to quarantine during the pandemic so far. While there is no set date for distributing the vaccines, school officials say the hope they will be able to switch to a hybrid model by the end of next month.

>>Saint Joseph Medical Center Gets New Leadership

(Bern Township, PA) -- Saint Joseph Medical Center is appointing a new leader to its staff to start the new year. The hospital announced yesterday that James Bennett has accepted the roles of vice president and chief operating officer. Bennett has over 25-years' experience in health care, and he will be working with surgical services and medical staff leaders to improve surgical processes and recruit new physicians. He has been with Penn State Health since 2014.

>>Berks County Man Charged For Sexually Abusing Boy

(Reading, PA) -- A Berks County man is being accused of sexually abusing a boy for over six years. Jackie Reifsnyder was arrested yesterday after he surrendered himself to police. Authorities say he started to sexually abuse a 10-year-old boy six years ago and continued to do so inside three different Berks County homes until his arrest. He is facing multiple charges including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault and indecent assault.

>>Lancaster Man Sentenced To Prison For 2019 Shooting

(Lancaster, PA) -- A Lancaster man is going to be spending some time behind bars for a 2019 shooting in the city. Forty-one-year-old Jason Garcia was sentenced five-and-a-half to a dozen years in prison yesterday for shooting and injuring another person on the one-hundred-block of North Duke Street. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and carrying a firearm without a license. His sentence was given under a plea agreement arranged by Assistant District Attorney Mark Fetterman.

>>BARTA To Start Contactless Payment Option

(Reading, PA) -- Fares and bus passes for Berks County transit riders are going to be made more easily available this year. The Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority announced yesterday that it will be launching a new app that will have contactless payment options available for riders. The new app called BARTA Go Mobile is expected to launch on January 25th. It will have a new payment system that will let riders use their smartphones to pay for fares and bus passes.

>>Former Youth Basketball Coach Facing Unlawful Contact With Minor Charges

(Throop, PA) -- A former youth basketball coach is facing child sex charges for sending sexually explicit materials to a minor. Police say in November, Jamie Monahan started texting and sending lewd texts along with sexually explicit photos to a girl under 18, who he met through a youth basketball league. He allegedly continued sending messages to the victim even after she stopped all contact with him. Another witness reported that Monahan confessed to them about sending photos to the victim while he was drunk and high on cocaine. He is due back in court next week to face charges of unlawful contact with a minor and disseminating explicit sexual material to a minor.

>>Local Officials Monitoring For Possible Unrest

(Sunbury, PA) -- Local officials are monitoring social media and intelligence briefs from the FBI, who warned of possible armed protests in all 50 states over President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. Northumberland, Snyder, Union, and Montour County officials say they're on high alert and prepared should something happen. They also have inoperability plans with other law enforcement agencies should the need arise. The Luzerne County Sheriff's Department is also prepared, but officials don't think any demonstrations will turn violent if they do occur.