ICYMI: Top Stories from Mar. 16-20


(WTAJ) — Several notable stories came out of Blair, Somerset and Centre Counties this week, but first, in case you missed it, Governor Tom Wolf announced on Thursday the closure of non-life sustaining businesses.

Businesses and industries that will be closed include:

  • Construction, including residential and non-residential, as well as highway, street, & bridge construction
  • Stores, including clothing and sporting goods stores.
  • Industries such as mining, logging, & forestry…
  • Motor vehicle—automobile and other motor vehicle dealers must close. However, automotive repair and maintenance may still operate.
  • Day care services must remain closed.

Governor Wolf adds that the move is necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19.

He warned that enforcement actions against businesses that do not obey the order will begin at 12:01 am this Saturday.

Centre County

Penn State announced on Wednesday that all classes will remain online for the remainder of the semester and will postpone spring commencement ceremonies in hopes of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Penn State will soon announce plans for students to come and move out of their on-campus residence halls.

Somerset County

With schools closing because of the corona virus outbreak, many schools have started distributing free lunches to students in need.

Many of the 1,200 students in the windber school district rely on those school meals so the district is doing their part.

“We have the resources that we can provide that through our existing summer program. Some of our students really do rely on this food and we have backpack programs at our schools because over the weekends they have trouble getting food.”

Pickups can be made Monday through Friday from 11:15 to 12:30. A full list of locations can be found on our website.

On Monday we met up with a man who introduced a revolutionary hunting tree stand that mechanically lifts hunters up a tree, unlike a typical ladder tree stand.

Shawn Booth has fought Hodgkin lymphoma and now Lou Gehrig’s disease, but he didn’t let them take away his love for hunting.

Booth says this stand is not only more convenient, but also safer.

“Not only can we limit the risk of people falling out of tree stands with slipping on ice or not being anchored when they’re climbing ladders…From the time you step in the stand, you’re anchored and safe,” Booth stated.

Blair County

On Wednesday, a lunch stand was set up at Evergreen Manor that gave lunches out to kids who may not have another source of food while schools are being shut down.

The Nehemiah project wants to ensure that kids are fed for the next couple weeks as schools remain closed.

We’ve listed more places giving out free lunches to kids in Blair County on our website.

And Thursday, Amtran announced it is taking precautions over the coronavirus pandemic by sanitizing city buses with nano-tech cleaners. The cleaners create a barrier around germs which break them a part and kill them.

Amtran will also begin offering free bus rides for all routes starting today.

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