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    • Guardian
      On Wednesday, Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education stated that the board unanimously agreed to continue working on plans to combine some higher education schools.  The two possible mergers Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield and/or California, Clarion, and Edinboro.  A merger between the set of schools would result in them operating under a single accredited entity and a single leadership team.
      The board provided a press release that stated the next step of the process would be presenting a plan to the board by April 2021.  That would mean a merger could go into effect and have the new integrated university accepting students as early as fall of 2022.  Further details will likely not be available until a full plan is presented; however, this merger does not mean the individual universities would be closing their campuses.

    • Guardian
      Commonwealth Health has sold off Berwick Hospital to Fayette Holdings, in a move that is expected to change ownership of the hospital by the end of the year.  Berwick Hospital was owned by Commonwealth Health, who owns numerous local hospital (e.g. Wilkes Barre General) and stated that the hospital will be completely independent from Commonwealth Health once the new ownership takes place.
      Information is limited about the sale at this time, but from reports like The Times Leader, it sounds like the employee union is working well with the sale and there is no mention of any positions being lost.

    • Guardian
      The Benton Volunteer Fire Company will be hosting a breakfast fundraiser this upcoming Sunday, but it will be slightly different then normal thanks to the current pandemic.  In order to help keep people protected, the breakfast will be served on platters (instead of buffet style line) and volunteers will be around to help ensure you can enjoy all the cakes you can eat.  Drinks will also be served in individual containers instead of the normal dispensers and seating will be spaced to allow more social distancing.
      According to the fire company's Facebook event, the breakfast will cost $9 per adult and $4 per child (under 12).  We hope a good turnout for them as volunteer companies continue to struggle with lack of funding during this outbreak.

    • Guardian
      Starting Friday (the 9th), indoor events and facilities will be allowed to host gatherings at 15% max capacity.  For example the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Twp will be allowed to open with a max capacity of 1,500 instead of the normal 10,000 people.  Local news sources, such as the Citizen's Voice have reported mixed views by local business owners as 15% is a very small income compared to costs of opening these large buildings and many local events have already been cancelled until next year.
      We hope this is able to aid our local businesses, but we would like to remind everyone that supporting our local businesses is still needed and 15% will not allow these already struggling organizations to thrive.

    • Guardian
      Governor Wolf has signed a new executive order that protects homeowners and renters from eviction or foreclosure until the 31st of August.  “I am taking this action to help families know they will have a roof over their heads and a place to live while all of us fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Wolf. “It takes one more burden off of people who are struggling and ensures that families can remain in their homes so they can protect their health and wellbeing.”
      Property owners that have accepted funds though the PHFA program that was created with the Cares Act have already signed an agreement to not foreclosure or evictions as part of the agreement that provided $175 million dollars in funding.  For more information on this program click here.
      The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Housing Finance Agency, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have also each extended eviction and foreclosure protections for housing under their authority to August 31st.
      These new protections do not protect renters and property owners from eviction if illegal activity or property damage was involved.  All renters and home owners struggling with paying their rent or mortgage should contact their landlord or mortgage provider immediately to discuss options.  Renters and homeowners are still required to make payments if they can.
       
      References
      Gov. Wolf Announces Protections from Foreclosures and Evictions Through Aug. 31. (2020, July 10). Retrieved July 11, 2020, from https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-protections-from-foreclosures-and-evictions-through-aug-31/

    • Guardian
      As the COVID-19 shutdowns cripple our local Fire/Rescue services ability to present fundraisers, the Bloomsburg Fair Association is working with local fire companies and created a weekend carnival happening Friday July 17th to Saturday July 18th.  
      This event will help support numerous local fire companies with their finances and offer a great family experience at the same time!  Below is a list of companies and their offerings for the carnival.
      Benton Volunteer Fire Company: French Fries Berwick: Eagle Hose Company: Roast Beef & Cheddar Sandwiches Berwick: Rangers Hose Company: Loaded Potato Bloomsburg Fire Department: Hot & Sweet Sausage, Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Hot Dogs and Cheesesteaks Danville: Goodwill Hose Company: Chicken BBQ (Sat.) Lime Ridge Fire Company: Walking Taco Main Twp Fire Company: Sweet Corn Millville Community Fire Company: Carmel Corn, Peanuts, Cotton Candy, Donuts, Soda and Rip-Offs Mifflin Twp Forest Rangers & Fire Company: Big 6 Wheel and Soda Pitch (Tentative) Wilburton #1 Fire Company: Potato Pancakes There will also be a CORNHOLE tournament July 18th starting at 1:30 at the FIREMAN’S RELIEF CARNIVAL.  Presented by 673 Cornhole.

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