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  • At least 4 restaurants in central Pa. are defying Gov. Wolf’s shutdown of indoor dining this weekend

    12/11/2020 4:39:57 PM PST · by lightman · 8 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 11 December A.D. 2020 | Julia Hatmaker
    Governor Tom Wolf says to close, but at least four restaurants are saying “no.” Taste of Sicily and Babe’s Grill House in Palmyra, along with Kuppy’s Diner in Middletown and Fenicci’s of Hershey have all publicly announced their intentions to remain open for indoor dining over the weekend. The Wolf administration unveiled new coronavirus restrictions on Dec. 10. The restrictions go into effect on Dec. 12 and include the closure of indoor dining. But some restaurant owners objected to the shutdown order and the short notice. Phil Guarno, owner of Fenicci’s of Hershey, said that because Governor Wolf’s office had...
  • One day after Pa. casino execs send a letter to Wolf pushing to stay open, he shuts them down

    12/10/2020 5:26:40 PM PST · by lightman · 17 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 10 December A.D. 2020 | Jana Benscoter
    Despite a plea from Penn National Gaming to keep casinos open, Gov. Tom Wolf went ahead with his anticipated temporary shutdown announcement Thursday, saying no dice to the entertainment industry for the remainder of 2020 and into early 2021. His order requires casinos, along with theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, arcades, bowling alleys, private clubs, and all other similar entertainment operations to cease operating as of 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 12 and ending at 8 a.m. on Jan. 4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has marked movie theaters and other indoor settings as “higher-risk activities” for contracting...
  • ‘Different animal’ of COVID-19 surge drives new business restrictions in Pa.

    12/10/2020 4:30:04 PM PST · by lightman · 8 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 10 December A.D. 2020 | David Wenner
    A record-run of COVID-19 deaths and research showing substantial virus spread in places such as restaurants and gyms are behind new restrictions aimed at slowing the disease which killed nearly 1,100 in the past week in Pennsylvania. “This surge is a completely different animal than we talked about this spring,” said Dr. Chris DeFlitch, an emergency room doctor at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “The number of patients, the variety of patients, the number of patients who are at home positive, the number of patients that are in hospitals and ICU positive, is significant.” DeFlitch was among...
  • Too little or too much? Reaction varies to Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf’s new COVID-19 mitigation orders

    12/10/2020 3:58:33 PM PST · by lightman · 11 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 10 December A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    With Pennsylvania’s COVID-19-related deaths hitting their highest point in the last two days since the pandemic began and the number of new cases consistently topping 10,000 each day, Gov. Tom Wolf and state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine are imploring the state’s residents to hit a three-week pause on certain activities. Among them, they are banning indoor dining at bars and restaurants, halting school sports and activities, and prohibiting entertainment venues such as casinos, theaters and bowling alleys from being open starting this Saturday until 8 a.m. on Jan. 4. Tom Wolf has now tested negative for the coronavirus following...
  • Restaurant owners question Gov. Wolf’s 5 p.m. alcohol cutoff on biggest bar night, call it unfair

    11/23/2020 2:42:05 PM PST · by lightman · 32 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 23 Novem ber A.D. 2020 | Sue Gleiter
    Restaurant owners say they aren’t sure how a 5 p.m. booze cutoff on one of the biggest bar nights of the year will help to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Already, last call for bars and eating establishments in Pennsylvania is 11 p.m. Plus, nightclubs are not permitted to operate. “It doesn’t make sense. All you’ve’ done is targeted one industry and pushed them to the brink. People are going to go somewhere else,” said Bill Kokos, owner of the Sierra Madre Saloon in Hampden Township. As part of a press conference with Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf, Health Secretary...
  • New limits on gatherings and an advisory to stay home: Gov. Wolf announces new steps on COVID-19

    11/23/2020 12:27:55 PM PST · by lightman · 42 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 23 Novem ber A.D. 2020 | Ron Southwick
    Saying Pennsylvania is in a “precarious place” with the coronavirus, Gov. Tom Wolf is advising residents to stay home whenever possible and moving forward with other measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Wolf and Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced new measures in a news conference Monday. Under the new measures that were described as “targeted” steps, indoor events are limited to 500 people and outdoor gatherings are capped at 2,500, Levine said. In addition, schools in most Pennsylvania counties will have to file a certification form with the state if they want to continue to provide in-person...
  • Facing ‘sobering’ COVID-19 situation, Pa. advising many schools to shut down classrooms

    11/09/2020 12:56:56 PM PST · by lightman · 23 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 9 November A.D. 2020 | Daide Wenner
    Pennsylvania’s health secretary said Monday that COVID-19 is spreading at a troubling rate, but the state has no plans for a statewide shutdown of schools similar to last spring. However, the level of COVID-19 spread in many counties has the state advising local schools to shift toward remote learning or even cease classroom instruction. “We absolutely do not plan to have a general school closure as happened in spring, but we might continue to make adjustments to our recommendations to schools,” Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Remember, all the guidance and recommendations are just that. They are not orders and there...
  • Despite coronavirus surge in Pa., Levine says: ‘We have no plans to go back to red, yellow, green’

    11/06/2020 8:50:33 AM PST · by lightman · 19 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 6 November A.d. 2020 | Greg Pickel
    As Pennsylvania continues to report new daily coronavirus case counts in record numbers, the state’s Department of Health Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said there are currently no plans to return to Gov. Tom Wolf’s red-yellow-green mitigation phases. Speaking during a news conference Wednesday regarding the state’s plan to eventually roll out a COVID-19 vaccine once one is approved and available, Levine responded to a query about the phases that may or may not have been prompted by a recent barrage of social media posts that claim Wolf is planning to shut down the state again following the election, despite there...
  • Family restaurant fined $10K for violating coronavirus restrictions found not guilty [ Pennsylvania ]

    10/21/2020 10:10:37 AM PDT · by george76 · 10 replies
    Washington Examiner ^ | October 20, 2020 | Andrew Mark Miller
    Pennsylvania restaurant owners who were fined roughly $10,000 for opening their doors in defiance of coronavirus restrictions have been deemed not guilty. A judge in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, found Taste of Sicily not guilty in its fight against the Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus restrictions, according to Local 21 News Harrisburg. “The crux of the legal argument is that orders that have been issued by the Governor and The Department of Health are legally unenforceable. Judge Garvey agreed with that argument,” the restaurant’s lawyer Eric Winter said. The restaurant, co-owned by siblings Michael Mangano and Christine Wartluft, opened in May...
  • Pa. restaurant owners deflated after bill to ease restrictions fails

    10/21/2020 8:59:08 AM PDT · by lightman · 8 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 21 October A.D. 2020 | Ron Southwick
    Pennsylvania restaurant owners have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and were hoping to see restrictions relaxed on their businesses. An effort in the General Assembly failed again Tuesday, albeit just barely. The state House of Representatives fell short in a bid to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a bill that would have eased rules on restaurants. The effort needed two-thirds of the House and fell short by two votes. John Longstreet, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, said the defeat of the bill (HB 2513) was a blow for the industry. “The failure...
  • Gov. Wolf vetoes bill to loosen restaurant restrictions

    10/16/2020 3:57:53 PM PDT · by lightman · 28 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 16 October A.D. 2020 | Sue Gleiter
    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed a key bill that would loosen restrictions on restaurants and bars in the state. House Bill 2513 would set minimum capacity for restaurants and taverns at a minimum of 50% and even beyond that if the premises allow. It further would allow establishments to permit patrons to sit at bars, provided they socially distance, and would eliminate the requirement that a meal must be purchased to buy an alcoholic beverage. “This bill jeopardizes public health and safety as it permits eating establishments, including restaurants, bars, clubs and banquet halls, to operate up to 100%...
  • 80-year-old former Marine dies after confrontation with bar patron not wearing a mask

    10/06/2020 8:20:42 AM PDT · by lightman · 107 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 6 October A.D. 2020 | Janet Krajcsik
    An 80-year-old man, a retired steelworker from Pittsburgh, died after he confronted a bar patron who wouldn’t wear a mask, according to KDKA CBS 2. The District Attorney believes Rocco is the first person to die in the U.S. because of a physical altercation over wearing a mask. The death of Rocco Sapienza is being investigated as a homicide. In a report by WKBW ABC7 in Buffalo, the incident took place at Pamp’s Red Zone Bar and Grill in West Seneca, New York, on Sept. 26. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office in New York says Sapienza got into an...
  • Pa. changes coronavirus gathering limitations; what’s it mean for sports, events, and more?

    10/06/2020 8:13:14 AM PDT · by lightman · 10 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 6 October A,D. 2020 | Greg Pickel
    Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Department Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine have changed their order related to gathering limitations in the state. Originally, indoor events were restricted to just 25 people, while outdoor events could have up to 250. Now, however, the maximum capacity will be determined based on a venue’s maximum occupancy. It breaks down like this: Maximum Occupancy - Allowable Indoor Rate 0-2,000 people - 20% of Maximum Occupancy 2,001 - 10,000 people - 15% of Maximum Occupancy Over 10,000 people - 10% of Maximum Occupancy up to 3,750 people Maximum Occupancy - Allowable Outdoor Rate 0-2,000 people...
  • Williams Grove ‘Outlaw’ race draws plenty of Trump fans, but few face masks

    10/03/2020 4:58:14 PM PDT · by lightman · 20 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 3 October A.D. 2020 | John Luciew
    Fall was definitely in the air. But apparently, COVID-19 wasn’t. At least not judging by all the face-mask-free race fans jamming into the erector-set-like stands too crowded for social distancing at Saturday night’s sprint car finale at Williams Grove Speedway. An estimated 9,000-plus race fans were expected for the season’s biggest dirt track event, dubbed the ‘World of Outlaws.’ Grass parking lost surrounding the Mechanicsburg area speedway became a small town teeming with people playing cornhole, pitching picnics and rolling out tailgating from elaborate RVs. There were license plates from a plethora of states, including some on Pennsylvania’s quarantine list....
  • Packed shoulder to shoulder, few people at Trump’s HIA rally are wearing masks

    09/26/2020 8:06:13 PM PDT · by lightman · 50 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 26 September | Ivey DeJesus
    There were plenty of red MAGA hats and T-shirts on Saturday at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally at Harrisburg International Airport. But the one thing conspicuously missing from the majority of people? Face masks. Thousands stood shoulder to shoulder, packed even beyond the immediate capacity of the private hangar, and most were without masks. Among those who had masks, many had them pulled down to their chins. “I’m over it,” Jackie Logsdon of Chambersburg said about the coronavirus and wearing masks, one of the major pieces of guidances from health officials. “Nope, I’m over it. I do believe in it,...
  • Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf asks lawmakers to stop ‘irresponsible behavior’; GOP leaders say he won’t work with them

    09/24/2020 7:01:00 PM PDT · by lightman · 25 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 24 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    Gov. Tom Wolf is accusing the GOP-controlled General Assembly of acting irresponsibly in ways that will harm Pennsylvanians at a time when he is trying to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a Thursday news conference that was billed as focusing on government reform and COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the governor spent a good part of the time criticizing lawmakers for pursuing “dangerous legislation” this week. He was referring to the House’s failed attempt on Wednesday to override his veto of a bill that would have allowed local school officials to set attendance limits at sporting events and extra-curricular activities....
  • Federal Court DENIES Gov. Wolf’s Stay Request.....(checkmate!)

    09/24/2020 2:51:09 PM PDT · by caww · 61 replies
    explorevenango ^ | 10/22/2020 | Aly Delp
    A federal judge today (Tuesday) denied the Wolf administration’s request for a stay on the federal court decision that found some of Governor Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 pandemic restrictions to be unconstitutional. The administration sought a stay on the ruling while also appealing the decision, which was issued by U.S. Western District Judge William Stickman IV last week. .. the Wolf administration “did not proffer any specific evidence to differentiate between the danger allegedly posed by gatherings governed by specific numeric limitations and gatherings governed by occupancy limitations.”
  • Bill relaxing restrictions on restaurants and bars passes Pa. Senate

    09/22/2020 3:31:04 PM PDT · by lightman · 11 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 22 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    Legislation won state Senate approval on Tuesday that would relax some of the restrictions imposed on Pennsylvania’s restaurants and bars that have forced some of these establishments to close for good. House Bill 2513 would set minimum capacity for restaurants and taverns at a minimum of 50% and would allow them to go beyond that if their premises allows while complying with social distancing, masks and other safety precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state Department of Health. Further, it would remove Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration’s ban on bar services, allowing patrons to once again...
  • Federal judge denies Gov. Tom Wolf’s request for stay on pandemic restrictions ruling

    09/22/2020 1:19:52 PM PDT · by lightman · 18 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 22 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    A federal judge on Tuesday denied Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration’s request for a stay on a federal court decision that found some of the governor’s COVID-19 pandemic restrictions to be unconstitutional. The Wolf Administration sought the stay while appealing U.S. Western District Judge William Stickman IV’s order that was issued last week that ruled the governor’s closure of nonessential business, a stay-at-home order and an order to limit gathering sizes were unconstitutional. In denying the stay, Stickman said, “the public interest would be ill served if the court would grant the stay allowing the unconstitutional measures to remain in place.”...
  • 10 Pa. counties listed as areas to watch for coronavirus; statewide, positive rate drops

    09/21/2020 2:08:37 PM PDT · by lightman · 16 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 21 September A.D. 2020 | Ron Southwick
    The percentage of positive coronavirus tests dropped in Pennsylvania over the past week, but Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said 10 counties bear watching due to COVID-19 cases. The Wolf administration said 3.8% of those tested for COVID-19 in Pennsylvania were positive over the past week, down from 4.2% the previous week. Wolf’s administration said a number of counties, including some in central Pennsylvania, are being monitored because at least 5% of those tested are positive for the virus. Each week, the state updates the list of counties being tracked for higher rates of positive results. The Wolf administration identified these...