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MC approves half-capacity events

Sentinel file photo Mifflin County Huskies take the field prior to a game. Mifflin County School District’s Board of directors approved a 50 percent capacity for all extracurricular events, including athletics by a 5-4 vote on Thursday night. The change will not take effect for tonight’s home opener for the Huskies.

LEWISTOWN — After a highly contentious meeting, Mifflin County School District’s Board of Directors altered its policy to allow 50 percent capacity for spectators at all indoor and outdoor extra curricular events for the 2020-21 school year.

The change was approved in a 5-4 vote during Thursday’s meeting. It was not clear when the change would take effect.

According to Mifflin County Athletic Director Tish Maclay, the vote does not change the limits for tonight’s football game, where Mifflin County is scheduled to host it’s home opener for football, when it takes on Bishop McDevitt at 7 p.m. at Mitchell Field. The game will still allow two spectators per senior.

The vote was altered from an earlier motion that would have allowed full spectator attendance.

Allowing 50 percent spectator attendance will go against the previous recommendations laid out by Gov. Tom Wolf that limited gatherings to 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors.

Mifflin County School District Superintendent James Estep gave the board information to consider when it came to making a decision on the capacity limit.

He questioned whether it would be in the student athlete’s best interest to expand capacity, or if the change was for the community’s enjoyment. He also expressed concern about social distancing and enforcing mask wearing.

“I don’t see how we can be expected to enforce the distancing and face covering protocols that we are still expected to enforce that were not part of the ruling. Are we saying that we are willing to risk the health and safety of students, game workers, coaches and other school employees, just so the adults get to watch the games in person,” said Estep.

The board recently invested nearly $20,000 to have all Mifflin County sporting events live streamed for the community to watch.

Several school board members shared the idea of allowing spectators to choose whether to attend the events if they did not feel safe.

Board members Michelle Terry, Noah Wise, Kristen Sharp, Fred Nickel and John Knepp voted in favor of the amended motion, while Beth Laughlin, Julie Maidens, Mary Lou Sigler and E. Terry Styers voted against the motion.

In other business the board:

¯Approved Teresa Pully as a bus driver for Fisher Bros;

¯Approved the resignation of Mandy Zook as a van driver;

¯Approved Gregory O’Donnell as a part-time food service van/ truck driver at Mifflin County Junior High School;

¯Approved Jonathan Force as a social studies teacher at MCJHS;

¯Approved Kevin Reigle as the head coach for ninth grade boys basketball;

¯Approved Ali Herto as event staff;

¯Approved for Travis Mattern to mentor Jonathan Force for MCJHS Full Induction;

¯Approved Jeffrey Condron as a driver at Fisher Bros;

¯Approved Randall Miller a driver at ER Rhodes and Son;

¯Approved the resignation of Elizabeth Gingrich;

¯Approved the transfer of Amy Remy from LES to MCO;

¯Approved Vickie Kauffman as a part-time cafe server/dishwasher at IVEC;

¯Approved resignation Patricia Christoff as part-time cashier/dishroom at MCMS;

¯Approved resignation of Tracy Bastress, Kaleena Beers, Jennifer Cupillari, Daniel Foster Jr., Gail Fultz-Brown, Tyler Lefevre, Timothy Pearce Jr., Laurie Romig, James Stains, Jacob Wagner, Daisy Yetter, as substitute custodians;

¯Approved Justin Rodkey, Bethany Bitner, Patricia Christoff, Cameron Swartz and Nathan Beaver as substitute custodians;

¯Approved Brenda Ishler as a mentor for Jeffery Kolleno;

¯Approved Clayton Hetrick, Jonas Aultz, Daniel Kockenderfer and Ali Herto as event staff;

¯Approved MCSD Resocialization of Sports policy;

¯Approved assignment of the Transportaion Contract between MCSD and J&D’s to J & D’s Inc and Krise Transportation Inc;

¯Approved 27 month contract extension with Ricoh on five copiers in the school district at a cost of $1,207 per month, effective Sept. 1. This is a 30 percent savings over the 27 months..

¯Approved to addition of unified bocce ball as a winter sport.

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