Good morning. The tug of war continues over plans to cut carbon emissions from large power plants in Pennsylvania. Lawmakers passed a resolution disapproving the cuts, which have delayed their implementation. Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the resolution Monday. Now, lawmakers say they will try to override the veto, and some are raising the specter of legal action to block Wolf.
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Events turn virtual amid Covid surge

The Farm Show is in full swing but other events are on the ropes as cases of Covid-19 continue to mount across Central Pennsylvania.
  • Citing the virus, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber is shifting upcoming events to a virtual format while the West Shore Chamber of Commerce is postponing a mixer that had been scheduled for Jan. 23 at a Capital BlueCross store in Enola. A new date is pending, according to a LinkedIn post from the chamber.
  • The York County Economic Alliance does not have any plans currently to pull back but, by design, it also does not have any events with larger audiences scheduled over the next couple of months, Kevin Schreiber, the alliance's president and CEO, said via text message.
  • The Lancaster Chamber has only two virtual events on its calendar for the remainder of January, including an update on Covid-19 in the community.

What's going virtual: A legislators' forum, set for Jan. 26, and the Harrisburg Regional Economic Forecast, scheduled for Feb. 9. Both are hosted by the Harrisburg chamber and typically attract several hundred people each.
  • The forum will feature members of the state House, while the forecast is being delivered by Ryotaro Tashiro, a senior outreach economist with the Federal Reserve.
  • Chamber staff plan to set up a studio to ensure the virtual events look and feel like more than just another Zoom meeting, said Ryan Unger, president and CEO of the chamber and the Capital Region Economic Development Corp
  • "We want to keep our staff and attendees safe," Unger said in explaining the pivot.

Safe from what: A winter surge in Covid-19 cases that is disrupting daily life. 
  • The surge is due largely to the more-transmissible -- albeit milder -- variant known as omicron. New cases in Pennsylvania have been hitting record highs, according to the Department of Health dashboard.
  • The sheer number of infections, even if predominantly mild, is cutting into the workforce
  • Schools are among the organizations being hit hard. But outages also are hitting hospitals, fire departments, ambulance companies and public transportation.

What's next: Not another shutdown. 
  • In a radio interview yesterday in Pittsburgh, Gov. Tom Wolf repeated what has been his mantra since last fall.
  • "The vaccine is our strategy and people need to get the vaccine," Wolf said in the interview with KDKA-AM, according to news reports.
  • Even if the governor wanted to declare an emergency over omicron, his powers are limited by constitutional amendments approved last May by voters.
  • Modeling, meanwhile, is starting to show that infections may peak by the end of January, though hospitalization and death rates could remain elevated.

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Quick takes

WHO'S BUYING: HR Pharmaceuticals, a medical products manufacturer based in Springettsbury Township, York County. The company, known for making surgical and medical lubricants, has bought Medical Technologies of Georgia, a Georgia-based manufacturer of catheters designed for use by paraplegics and people with limited dexterity. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Medical Technologies will continue to market its products under its own name, according to Annette Weaver, a spokesperson for HR Pharmaceuticals.
  • Randy Golden, whose family founded Medical Technologies in 1997, is joining HR as a vice president, Weaver added.
  • HR makes its own branded health care products and also is a contract manufacturer

WHO'S HIRING: Wagman Construction. The York-based company has hired its first president, Jan Wagner, a former Kinsley Construction exec with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. He joins a leadership group at the family-owned Wagman that includes CEO Mike Glezer. 
  • We are excited to add Jan to our team," Glezer said in a statement. "He has the cultural fit that is very important to our family business, as well as the leadership and experience to bolster the team as we look to better serve our clients and grow opportunities for our Company and our people.” 
  • Wagner (pictured below) is a member of Rotary Club of York, the York College Civil Engineering Advisory Board and the Engineering Society of York, among other groups.

WHO'S ASKING: First Citizens Community Bank. The Mansfield-based bank is seeking regulatory permission to open its third branch in Lancaster County. The new branch would be at 3630 Rothsville Road in Ephrata Township, according to a notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. A bank spokesperson did not answer questions by press time.
  • The Rothsville Road branch was formerly operated by Lancaster-based Fulton Bank, which consolidated Ephrata-area branches last year.
  • First Citizens has existing branches in Mount Joy and the Denver area.
  • The chief subsidiary of Citizens Financial Services, the bank has assets of nearly $2 billion and 31 branches in northern, Central and southeastern Pennsylvania, as well as in Delaware.

WHAT SOLD: A 69-unit apartment complex in McSherrystown, an Adams County town southwest of York. West Park Apartments changed hands at a price of $7 million, according to a press release from real estate firm Marcus & Millichap. A firm spokesperson declined to identify the buyer or seller. Agents from Marcus & Millichap marketed the property and found the buyer.
  • Built in 1974, the West Park complex (pictured below) is at 65 North St. and comprised of 12 buildings on 5.5 acres. Units are a mix of one- and two-bedrooms.

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Compiled and written by Joel Berg

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