A Richfield man who pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of unlawful contact with a minor was sentenced last week. According to Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook, 44-year-old Justin Robert Fogle was sentenced to five years of probation. Fogle also must register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law for the next 10 years and is to have no contact of any kind with the victim. Fogle was initially charged in December 2018 after police said he went to the Lewistown station and reported he had sexually assaulted two young females between March 2002 and December 2003.
Penn State University outlined its Back to State plan and gave a glimpse at how campuses will feel come this fall during a virtual town hall yesterday afternoon. Penn State President Eric Barron said 50% of classes will be offered in person or partially in person, though there is a chance classes could move back to completely remote instruction if COVID conditions worsen. University administrators emphasized school will look and feel much different than what students and staff are used to. The university is adopting a multilayered testing protocol that will start before students even set foot on campus to limit the spread. Students are expected to sign a COVID Compact that outlines behavior expectations and acknowledges the risks of going back to school. Students who violate health guidelines could risk suspension. Penn State said they plan to give access to live updates and testing information through the university app and testing results will be made public to the community. The first day of fall semester is August 24.
Hoping to have their voices heard, State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) is answering the people’s demands and has confirmed this year’s Rally to Protect Your Right to Keep and Bear Arms will take place on Tuesday, September 29 at 11AM on the front steps of the Capitol. Identifying specific legislative priorities for this year’s rally, Metcalfe referenced his vote in support of House Bill 1747, which would repeal rulings that allow the governor to suspend or limit the sale of firearms during a disaster emergency declaration. Advancing with strong bipartisan support in the House, that bill is now awaiting Senate consideration. Metcalfe is encouraging all law-abiding citizens who attend the rally next month to stay alert and practice social distancing according to CDC guidelines.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the availability of $1 million in grant funding to small businesses and farmers for energy efficiency, pollution prevention and natural resource protection projects through the Small Business Advantage grant program. New this year is the opportunity for farmers to install solar pumping systems for their agricultural operations. Eligible projects include adopting or acquiring equipment or processes that reduce energy use or pollution. Last year, 233 small businesses were awarded grants for their projects. Pennsylvania-based small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are eligible. Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis and will be accepted until April 12, 2021 or until the fiscal year funds are exhausted. All requests must be submitted through the Commonwealth’s Single Application for Assistance.