All across this great nation there are local, independent online news publishers, like us, who are working 24/7 these days to bring their readers and neighbors the latest COVID-19 news and information.

Many of those publishers are fellow members of LION Publishers, the nation’s only journalism association dedicated to supporting local independent online news publishers. There are approximately 300 members spanning the U.S. and Canada.

Inspired by a roundup that fellow LION Publisher Magnolia Reporter has been publishing, What’s Up Newp hopes to join them in highlighting some of the news stories happening across the country by our fellow LION members. Most likely you won’t see these stories or reporting anywhere else.

Here are some highlights from April 17th. Be sure to click on their links to read more.

In Pennsylvania, State College reports Central PA 4th Fest, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, People’s Choice Festival, and Philipsburg Heritage Days are all canceled for the first time in their respective histories.

In Wisconsin, Wausau Pilot & Review reports interest in a rally at the Wisconsin state Capitol calling for a reopening of the state has exploded after Gov. Tony Evers extended a stay-at-home order until May 26.

In Vermont, VT Digger brings the news that the Vermont State Colleges could shutter three campuses and cut 500 employees under a radical restructuring proposal its leadership plans to bring to trustees in an effort to manage the pandemic’s financial fallout. 

In Canada, SooToday reports shares an uplifting story on how a couple has printed more than 1,000 plastic ‘ear protectors’ for front-line health workers.

The Texas Tribute reports today that Gov. Abbott has announced initial steps to begin the process of reopening the Texas economy, including loosening surgery restrictions at medical facilities, allowing all retail stores to provide product pickups and reopening state parks.

Texas Tribute also reports that public and private school classrooms will remain closed for the remainder of this school year to avoid quickening the spread of COVID-19.

The Long Beach Post reports that a local hospital is one of 24 sites across the country testing a anti-viral drug called remdesivir, which has shown promise as a treatment for COVID-19.

This Is Reno reports how the LOVE sculpture from Burning Man has found a new temporary home at Renown.

VT Digger also reports about twin brothers Cleon and Leon Boyd, who were well-known around Wilmington. The two died just six days apart this month from complications of coronavirus.

In Ohio, Richland Source reports how Mark Hess, of Hess Industries at 108 Sawyer Parkway, and his team have created a new way for doors to open without passing the germs from one’s hands on to the door handle’s surface.