Top Stories for Berks and Lancaster March 4th


>>The Latest

(Undated) -- Here's the latest news: Reading Mayor Eddie Morán has ended mask mandates at city buildings. Governor Tom Wolf is pushing to use money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act for small business owners in the state. Agriculture experts from around the state are putting poultry farmers on alert about a possible resurgence of avian flu. 

>>Reading Mayor Ends COVID Measure at City Buildings

(Reading, PA) -- Mayor Eddie Morán has ended mask mandates at city-owned buildings. Morán said in a news release Thursday that, effective immediately, employees and visitors no longer need to cover their faces. He says anyone who wishes to continue wearing masks are welcome to do so and that he encourages everyone to choose what they are most comfortable with. In-person meetings will also resume soon. 

>>Governor Pushes for More Money for Small Business Owners at Stop in Lancaster

(Lancaster County, PA) -- Governor Tom Wolf is pushing to use money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act for small business owners in the state. He visited a store in downtown Lancaster Thursday to ask lawmakers to act immediately in allocating more than a billion and a half dollars of the rescue funds, with 225-million of that going to small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. Wolf says the money could help about eleven-thousand businesses across the state stabilize and relaunch their companies.

>>Reading Man Sentenced To 30+ Years For "Prolific" Drug Operation

(Reading, PA) -- A Reading man has been sentenced to at least 30 years in jail for organizing and directing what prosecutors called a prolific drug gang. U.S. District Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said David Cooper of Reading will spend at least 32 years behind bars. Officials believe the 47-year-old was the leader of a drug trafficking organization which supplied large quantities of fentanyl, cocaine and cocaine base to other drug dealers and drug users in Pottstown, Allentown and the surrounding areas. He ran the operation from his home in Muhlenberg Township. Cooper was arrested as he attempted to resupply his organization with 200 grams of fentanyl, which prosecutors say is more than six-thousand individual doses.

>>Susquehanna Valley Chicken Farmers On Alert Over Avian Flu Potential

(Lancaster, PA) -- Agriculture experts from around the state are putting poultry farmers on alert about a possible resurgence of avian flu. They say in the early 1980s, the region lost millions as hundreds of thousands of birds had to be killed; the flu has recently been detected again in the U.S. Gregory Martin with Penn State Ag Extension tells WGAL-TV that Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest producer of eggs, and Lancaster County has probably the largest concentration of birds. "There are more birds in Lancaster County than people," he notes. So far, Martin says the most recent strain hasn't been found in the state, but that could change, as the virus can be carried by migrating birds.

>>Face Masks No Longer Required at Wells Fargo Center For Games

(Philadelphia, PA) -- Basketball and hockey fans will no longer need face coverings at the Wells Fargo Center. The news comes as the city officially ended its indoor mask mandate Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Sixers are on a hot streak after defeating the New York Knicks at home earlier this week. The team is currently third in the Eastern Conference, as well.  On Friday, they'll host the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 6:00 p.m. tip-off. 


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