Top Stories for Berks and Lancaster 12/30

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(Undated) - Here's the latest news: The Lebanon County Commissioner William "Bill" Ames had died from complications of COVID-19. The Reading School District will switch to live, virtual learning following winter break due to COVID-19 concerns. Lancaster and Lebanon Counties say they'll go ahead with New Year's Eve activities.

>>Lebanon Co. Commissioner Dies Of COVID-19 Complications

(Lebanon Co., PA) -- The Lebanon County Commissioner's Office is announcing the death of Commissioner William "Bill" Ames. He died on Tuesday of COVID-19 complications. The statement said Ames has served with "a desire to confront fiscal and social issues that challenge counties on a daily basis," and he "will be greatly missed." He had been in office since 2012.  

>>Reading Schools To Go Virtual For Week Because Of COVID Concerns

(Reading, PA) -- The Reading School District will switch to live virtual learning for all students during the week following winter break due to COVID-19 concerns. District officials say the transition to virtual learning will take place from January 4th-to-7th for students pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Full, in-person instructions is expected to start again on January 10th.

>>Karns Foods To Partner With Local Cattle Farmers

(Chester Co., PA) -- Grocer Karns Quality Foods is teaming up with local cattle farmers in a first-of-its-kind program. Store leaders say they'll offer locally owned, sourced and processed beef to help deal with supply chain issues. So far, 15 farmers in Cumberland and Lancaster counties have signed up to be a part of the program. The local beef is expected to hit Karns shelves in May.

>>Univest Financial Corporation Enters Lancaster Market

(Lancaster, PA) -- Insurance brokerage company Univest has expanded its business lines with the acquisition of Lancaster County-based Paul I. Sheaffer Insurance Agency. The deal that closed earlier in December includes nearly four million dollars in cash. Sheaffer is based in Intercourse and was formed in 1950. The brokerage represents more than 40 insurance companies to thousands of businesses and families in Central Pennsylvania. Paul I. Sheaffer the second, whose father founded the firm, will continue with Univest. The deal leaves Univest with more than one billion dollars in loans and half a million dollars in deposits in Central Pennsylvania. 

>> New Year's Eve Events Will Go on in Lancaster, Lebanon Counties

(Lancaster, PA) -- Many annual New Year's Eve events in the area have been canceled because of the latest COVID-19 surge, but some communities are saying they'll go ahead and host their usual festivities. Lancaster and Lebanon Counties are two of them. In Elizabethtown, there'll be a Star Raising. It'll take place at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church at the church at 7 p.m. followed by fireworks. Lebanon's Bologna Drop celebration will take place on South Eighth Street with the main bologna drop will take place at midnight. Following the event, the bologna will be donated to the Lebanon Rescue Mission.

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