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COVID-19

Pa. sees big drop in jobless rate

HARRISBURG (AP) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate took a steep drop in August as the labor force shrank and payrolls shot up again in a continuing rebound from shutdowns and the worst economic effects of the pandemic, according to state figures released Friday. Pennsylvania’s ...

Wolf wants additional money for hazard pay

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday asked the Republican General Assembly to allocate $225 million from the state’s CARES Act reserve to extend his tapped-out hazard pay program for workers on the “front lines” of the COVID-19 pandemic — a request that exasperated state Sen. Judy ...

Penn State football season back on

Penn State football is back for the 2020 season. The Big Ten Conference confirmed Wednesday morning that its season will start on Oct. 23-24. After announcing the postponement of all sports on Aug. 11 due to the coronavirus, conference presidents and chancellors met over the weekend and voted ...

City gets $300K to assist renters

Altoona has received $305,000 in Community Development Block Grant money from the federal government to help people at risk of eviction because of COVID-19. The allocation is part of Pennsylvania’s $1.98 billion share of a total of $2 billion in CDBG funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief ...

State asks judge to retain crowd size limits

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s top lawyer asked a federal judge Wednesday to retain Gov. Tom Wolf’s limits on crowd size, at least for now, warning that allowing large groups to congregate during a legal battle over Wolf’s public health orders “will result in people’s deaths” from ...

Borough seeks OK for sidewalk

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Hollidaysburg Borough Council will ask to use more than $16,000 in CARES Act funds for a sidewalk connecting the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library area to Legion Park. Last Thursday, Borough Council approved allocating $16,116 of new CARES Act funds through the ...

Fort Roberdeau receives CARES grant

Fort Roberdeau will receive a $25,000 grant to offset lost operating revenue at the historical site in Tyrone Township, according to state Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Hollidaysburg. The funding, approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, comes from the federal CARES Act. Fort Roberdeau ...

Jobless claims decline

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to 860,000, a historically high number of people that illustrates the broad economic damage still taking place nine months after the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. The Labor Department ...

Wolf seeks to relax election rules

The General Assembly needs to liberalize several time restrictions in the election law to ensure that voters will be able to receive and return mail-in ballots that qualify to be counted in the general election, Gov. Tom Wolf said Tuesday during a webcast news conference. “No, no, no and ...

Big Ten considers fall ball after all

The University of Wisconsin chancellor said Tuesday that Big Ten football will remain on hold until there are answers to questions about COVID-19 testing and tracing, along with possible long-term heart issues related to the coronavirus. Chancellor Rebecca Blank said once the Big Ten ...

Pitt develops potential COVID-19 drug for therapy, prevention

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has developed a potential COVID-19 drug for both therapy and prevention based on a synthetic antibody with a unique set of advantages -— including high potency, the ability to control different virus variations and a small size that allows it to ...

Ruling against Wolf influential

Monday’s ruling by a federal district judge that Gov. Tom Wolf’s pandemic restrictions are unconstitutional could have national implications, according to state Rep. Lou Schmitt, R-Altoona. That is because the issue could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, which could take up the case if a ...

Blair CARES attracts applicants

HOLLIDAYSBURG —More than 150 applications have been filed for grants that Blair County is making available to small businesses and tourism and non-profit agencies with COVID-19 expenses and losses, leaders said Tuesday. In July, commissioners assigned $5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief ...

Big Ten to start season Oct. 23-24

Penn State football will resume in October. The Big Ten announced this morning that its season will start with the weekend of Oct. 23-24, based on a recommendation from the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C), who voted unanimously to resume the season. The league has ...

Judge: Wolf policies unconstitutional

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Monday it will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that pandemic restrictions that required people to stay at home, placed size limits on gatherings and ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shut down are unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge ...

Rural pharmacies plead for help

Pharmacies, especially rural independent pharmacies, have been hurting during the past several years because of pressure to reduce costs from insurance intermediaries, regulations that limit their ability to earn money with testing and immunizations and higher costs and lower income due to ...

Experts urge flu vaccines

In ever-increasing intensity, people are focusing on the effort to create a vaccine for COVID-19, but people mustn’t forget to get this year’s version of a flu shot, according to state Health Secretary Rachel Levine. “This year, it’s more important than ever,” Levine said. “This ...

ACT’s new president sees better days ahead for theater troupe

James “Jim” Watt recently became Altoona Community Theatre’s Board of Trustees president. He considers himself foremost a “cheerleader” and a “stewart of all good things in ACT.” Unlike most other community theater troupes, ACT doesn’t own a performance venue. Instead, it rents ...

ArtsAltoona aids students

In a room, a floor below a chapel, sat Alex. Alex is a sixth-grader at Altoona Area Junior High. His parents work full-time jobs. After schools closed in the spring, he said he was home alone for nine weeks. Though he said he didn’t struggle with his take-home work, his parents thought ...

Confectioner scraps holiday treats

BETHLEHEM — Peeps treats are going on hiatus for several months — another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Just Born Quality Confections said it won’t be producing the popular marshmallow sweets for Halloween, Christmas or Valentine’s Day as the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based ...