Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office / flickr.comPITTSBURGH – A federal judge on Monday struck down Gov. Tom Wolf’s pandemic restrictions that required people to stay at home, placed size limits on gatherings and ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shut down, calling them unconstitutional.U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV sided with plaintiffs that included hair salons, drive-in movie theaters, a farmer’s market vendor, a horse trainer and several Republican officeholders who sued as individuals.Stickman, an appointee of President Donald Trump, wrote in his ruling that the Wolf administration’s pandemic policies have been overreaching, arbitrary and violated citizens’ constitutional rights.The governor’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus “were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency,” Stickman wrote. “But even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered.” Courts had consistently rejected challenges to Wolf’s power to order businesses to close during the pandemic, and many other governors, Republican and Democrat, undertook similar measures as the virus spread across the country.Wolf has lifted many of the restrictions since the lawsuit was filed in May, allowing businesses to reopen and canceling a statewide stay-at-home order. But his administration has maintained capacity restrictions and limitations on alcohol sales at bars and restaurants. The state has also imposed a gathering limit of more than 25 people for events held indoors and more than 250 people for those held outside.A spokesperson for Wolf said the administration was reviewing the decision.Pennsylvania has reported that more than 145,000 people statewide have contracted the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 7,800 people have died.
Laurel, In. — Our news gathering partners at the Franklin County Observer are reporting Laurel School principal, Lisa Baudenstil has been placed on a Kidney Transplant list after suffering from kidney reflux for more than 20-years.For many years she lived a normal, active life with one functioning kidney, but that changed last year when doctors told her the organ was no longer functioning effectively.Over the last year, she has endured screenings, blood work and classes to determine if she is a suitable organ recipient.For now, Baudenstil waits for a possible donor. Information about organ donation can be found online here.