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  • 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...
  • Gov. Wolf changes rule on alcohol sales in restaurants and bars, moving last call to 11 p.m.

    09/17/2020 9:21:37 PM PDT · by lightman · 27 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 17 September A.D. 2020 | Ron Southwick
    Gov. Tom Wolf is changing the time for last call in bars and restaurants, but it won’t be as early as he had previously indicated. The governor signed an order Thursday putting a halt to sales of alcoholic drinks in bars and restaurants at 11 p.m., beginning Monday, Sept. 21. Customers will have until midnight to finish their drinks. Wolf had previously said the cut-off would be at 10 p.m. to reduce congregating at bars and restaurants, a measure designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. As he previously said he would, Wolf is allowing restaurants and bars can...
  • Group of Pa. doctors fault Republicans for fighting Gov. Wolf’s pandemic restrictions

    09/17/2020 12:46:29 PM PDT · by lightman · 33 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 17 September A.D. 2020 | David Wenner
    Pennsylvania members of the Committee to Protect Medicare said Thursday that politically-motivated attacks on Gov. Tom Wolf’s actions to control COVID-19 are a danger to their patients and all state residents. They said they are speaking out because of this week’s opinion by a federal judge which said restrictions including the state-wide state-at-home order were unconstitutional. The lawsuit was driven by Republicans who echo views similar to President Donald Trump, who pressed Wolf and other governor’s to “reopen” their states even as COVID-19 cases were rising and public health officials feared hospitals would be overwhelmed. “As physicians, we’re concerned that...
  • Gov. Wolf administration asks restaurants to self-certify: Here’s what that means, and how to do it

    09/16/2020 4:01:56 PM PDT · by lightman · 40 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 16 September A.D. 2020 | Sean Adams
    Restaurants in Pennsylvania are being asked to self-certify with the state that they are following the COVID-19 guidelines. And those that do will be permitted to increase their capacity. The self-certification for restaurants requires them to submit online through the DCED’s website that they meet all of the state’s coronavirus prevention guidelines. The submission form will be available online starting on September 21. “Self-certifying your establishment shows your employees and customers that you care about their health and well-being, and demonstrates your commitment to helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth,” said Secretary Dennis Davin of the Department...
  • 'Let’s not detract from the high school experience’; Pa. House members urge Gov. Tom Wolf to sign high school sports bill

    09/16/2020 11:47:21 AM PDT · by lightman · 9 replies
    Penn ^ | 16 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    Monday is the deadline by which Gov. Tom Wolf must make a decision about whether to deny or grant local officials the exclusive authority to make decisions about holding school sports and activities and who can attend them. Although the governor has publicly said he would veto the measure identified as House Bill 2787, a bipartisan band of House members gathered in the Ryan Office Building next to the state Capitol on Wednesday for a news conference to urge him to change his mind. “It is truly time to give people their voice back and ensure children have their best...
  • Pa. House passes bill intended to protect freedom to practice religion during disaster emergencies

    09/15/2020 5:31:40 PM PDT · by lightman · 5 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 15 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday engaged in a debate over a bill that assures residents of the right to practice their religion during disaster declarations. The bill, which passed by a 149-53 vote, now goes to the Senate for consideration. Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Tioga County, said the idea behind the bill was sparked by Gov. Tom Wolf discouraging people from attending houses of worship in April. After Owlett introduced his bill, he said Wolf and the state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine clarified in July the restriction on gatherings of 25 people or less to control the spread...
  • Pa. high school football games attract big crowds despite COVID-19 limits: ‘I don’t know how they expect schools to stop it’

    09/15/2020 12:05:16 PM PDT · by lightman · 21 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 15 September A.D. 2020 | John Luciew
    Pa. police are learning that if you play football, they will come – even amid the coronavirus. This high school pigskin phenomena of attracting crowds far larger than coronavirus-inspired limits allow has law enforcement officials in Allegheny County scratching their heads, as KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh reports: Over the past weekend, many high school games in western Pa. appeared to exceed the limits on crowd size set down by the Allegheny County Health Department. Parents and fans said it was their right watch -- and they showed up in droves. Now, Allegheny County officials tell KDKA they are considering enforcement options...
  • Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus mandates ruled unconstitutional: What changes? What happens next?

    09/15/2020 11:53:44 AM PDT · by lightman · 18 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 15 September A.D. 2020 | Chris Mautner
    On Monday a federal judge in western Pennsylvania ruled that parts of Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home and business closure orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic were unconstitutional. The ruling was in a lawsuit filed in March by four western Pennsylvania counties and several Republican state lawmakers that claimed the governor’s orders violated the First Amendment as well as the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. What does it mean for the average Pennsylvanian? Here’s what we know so far. Why did the judge rule the shutdown orders unconstitutional? U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman IV...
  • 'A return to normalcy might be on the horizon’; Pa. House GOP leaders react to court’s reversal of Wolf’s COVID-19 response orders

    09/14/2020 1:12:06 PM PDT · by lightman · 25 replies
    Pennlive ^ | 14 September A.D. 2020 | Jan Murphy
    House Republican legislative leaders say “a return to normalcy might be on the horizon” after reviewing U.S. Western District Judge William Stickman IV’s ruling that found Gov. Tom Wolf’s restrictions imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 to be unconstitutional. In a ruling issued on Monday, the federal judge ruled Gov. Tom Wolf’s and Health Secretary Rachel Levine’s congregate gathering, stay-at-home and business shutdown orders violated the First and Fourteenth amendments. In their reaction, House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster County, and House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre County, cited an excerpt from the judge’s opinion that highlight that a response...