TOP HEADLINES BERKS, LANCASTER 01/14


>>Muhlenberg School District To Not Return Until All Staff Vaccinated

(Muhlenberg Township, PA) -- Muhlenberg School District is not going to return to in-person classes until all of its staff gets the COVID-19 vaccine. The district announced yesterday it will not move to a hybrid-learning model as it waits for all teachers and staff members to receive the vaccine. There have been over 200 staff members in the district who have had to quarantine during the pandemic so far. While there is no set date for distributing the vaccines, school officials say the hope they will be able to switch to a hybrid model by the end of next month.

>>Saint Joseph Medical Center Gets New Leadership

(Bern Township, PA) -- Saint Joseph Medical Center is appointing a new leader to its staff to start the new year. The hospital announced yesterday that James Bennett has accepted the roles of vice president and chief operating officer. Bennett has over 25-years' experience in health care, and he will be working with surgical services and medical staff leaders to improve surgical processes and recruit new physicians. He has been with Penn State Health since 2014.

>>Berks County Man Charged For Sexually Abusing Boy

(Reading, PA) -- A Berks County man is being accused of sexually abusing a boy for over six years. Jackie Reifsnyder was arrested yesterday after he surrendered himself to police. Authorities say he started to sexually abuse a 10-year-old boy six years ago and continued to do so inside three different Berks County homes until his arrest. He is facing multiple charges including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault and indecent assault.

>>Lancaster Man Sentenced To Prison For 2019 Shooting

(Lancaster, PA) -- A Lancaster man is going to be spending some time behind bars for a 2019 shooting in the city. Forty-one-year-old Jason Garcia was sentenced five-and-a-half to a dozen years in prison yesterday for shooting and injuring another person on the one-hundred-block of North Duke Street. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and carrying a firearm without a license. His sentence was given under a plea agreement arranged by Assistant District Attorney Mark Fetterman.

>>BARTA To Start Contactless Payment Option

(Reading, PA) -- Fares and bus passes for Berks County transit riders are going to be made more easily available this year. The Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority announced yesterday that it will be launching a new app that will have contactless payment options available for riders. The new app called BARTA Go Mobile is expected to launch on January 25th. It will have a new payment system that will let riders use their smartphones to pay for fares and bus passes.