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Bloomsburg Crash

Some folks are waking up sore after a three car crash early last evening at the intersection of West Main and Railroad Streets in Bloomsburg. Bloomsburg Police officer Nicholas Szkodny said a Dodge Stratus driven by 65 – year old Jay Leighow of Bloomsburg was traveling on Main Street. That's when a Jeep Liberty pulled out of Railroad... and was hit. The Jeep driven by 23 – year old Amanda Cioffi of Cogans Station ended up on it's side... striking a second SUV driven by Stephen Albert. Cioffi was slightly injured and was treated at the scene. Leighow was not injured... but Cioffi was cut on the arm and treated at the scene.

 

PSP Stats

Pennsylvania State Police have released traffic accident totals for this year's Memorial Day weekend. State police investigated a total of 718 accidents, which resulted in 13 fatalities and 247 injuries. This compares to five fatalities and 277 injuries during last year's Memorial Day travel period. Sixty-two of the accidents troopers investigated this year were alcohol-related, including two which resulted in fatalities. In addition, troopers made 451 DUI arrests, cited over 12-hundred individuals for not wearing seat belts and issued citations to another 306 motorists for not securing children in safety seats. The official Memorial Day travel period lasted from 6 pm Friday through midnight Monday.

 

Bloomsburg Fire Department

If your the chief of a fire department... the rating you get from the nationally – recognized Insurance Service Organization... is a big deal.... especially for folks who pay insurance premiums on their homes. Bloomsburg Fire Chief Bob Rupp says the local department has gone from a five to a four on a scale of ten. Word of the new rating was announced Tuesday afternoon at the Town Council's Public Safety Committee meeting.

 

Nuke Hearing

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission... and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will take comments on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a new nuclear power plant in Salem Township... just north of Berwick. The hearing will take place Thursday, June 4th at Monty's on the upper campus of Bloomsburg University. PPL submitted the application in October of 2008 for the construction of a new reactor adjacent to the current Susquehanna Steam Electric Station. The first hearing is scheduled for June 4th at 3 O'clock... with the second beginning at 7:30.

 

State Budget
Governor Tom Wolf says he still plans on signing a new state budget on time next month. Democrat Governor Wolf and the Republican-dominated legislature remain far apart on several key issues as the stretch run of the budget process approaches. With that June 30th deadline looming, the governor says he is developing a backup plan in the event there's no deal by the start of the new fiscal year. Wolf and the legislature are faced with closing a budget gap of between one and two billion dollars. The governor says there has been progress made in recent talks, but he did not offer specifics...

 

Amtrak Funding

A group of Senators from Northeast Corridor states.... including PA's Bob Casey... says if Congress would get behind better investment in the nation's rail system... there would be fewer fatal derailments... such as occurred in Philadelphia earlier this month. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut says the in – action of congress has left Amtrak with a $21 – billion backlog. Meantime... PA Senator Casey says safety and economic issues are at stake...

 

Early Childhood Education
A report issued Tuesday by Governor Wolf, law enforcement, and corrections officials finds an investment in early childhood education equals fewer offenders later on. Between the ages of 1 and 5 children go through their most rapid period of brain development. They form their conscience during that age... learn how to control impulsive behavior.... get along with others and to respect authority... which can lead to better decisions down the road. Governor Wolf says he hopes to track progress throughout children's education so Pennsylvania won't have to wait 15 years before it knows if the pre-k programs are working.

 

Paving Work

PennDOT crews began paving a section of Stamm Road in Anthony Township... in Montour County. There is a detour in place using Preserve Road.... McCormick Road and Ridge Road. In all cases... school buses will be able to go through the area without a problem.

 

Drought Watch
A drought watch remains in effect for portions of Pennsylvania. The watch was first issued in March for 27 counties, mostly in northern and northeastern parts of the state. Despite the snowy winter in much of Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection reports consistent below - normal groundwater levels prompted officials this week to continue the watch, which calls for a voluntary five-percent reduction in non-essential water use.

 

Drug Arrest

A West Hazleton man is cooling his heels in the Luzerne County lockup. 23 – year old Christopher Irizary was stopped for a suspected traffic violation. Authorities finding 75 bags of heroin... as well as prescription drugs. He was already wanted by police before he was stopped.

 

Gas Prices

The price of a gallon of self – serve, unleaded regular is holding steady across northeast Pennsylvania... as well as Columbia and Montour County. The latest Triple – A Fuel Gauge report show's the average price of gasoline is holding around the $2.79 mark. More at some places... less at other stations. A week ago... we were paying an average of $2.79... and $2.70 a gallon a month ago.

 



 

 

Bloomsburg Accident

One slight injury was reported Tuesday night during a three vehicle crash at the corner of West Main and Railroad Streets in Bloomsburg. Police tell us a Chrysler product driven by 65 year old Jay Leihow of Bloomsburg was westbound on Main Street.... when a Jeep Liberty... northbound on Railroad... pulled in front of the Leihow cars. The two vehicles collided... sending the Jeep over on the driver's side.... with the Jeep sliding into an Lincoln Navigator... which was stopped eating to cross Main Street. When the dust settled... the Chrysler was sideways in the street.... after skidding nearly 40 feet. The Jeep's driver... from Trout Run... north of Williamsport... was slightly injured and treated at the scene. Her two passengers were unhurt. All cars had to be towed from the scene. The 23 – year old driver of the Jeep will be ticketed.

 

Beaver Run / Montour County

Montour County authorities say two people were hurt over the Memorial Day holiday. The pair falling down a cliff at Beaver Run in Mayberry Township late Monday afternoon. Our media partner... Newswatch 16 is reporting that the victims were taken to the hospital... with what is described as severe injuries.

 

Mifflinville Memorial

Thousands of people lined the streets of Mifflinville Monday to take in the Village's 127th annual Memorial Day Parade. As they have in year's past.... the Catawissa Military Band was one of the highlights of the parade... which included tractors... classic cars and first responders and their equipment. One person taking part was Jim Hauck, Jr. of the Bloomsburg area who spent 20 years in the U-S Air Force... saying having a celebration in Mifflinville is well worth the effort. The Mifflinville Memorial day ended at the local cemetery... where Columbia County Commissioner David Kovach delivered the main speech. The service ending with a 21 gun salute and the playing of taps..

 

PPL / Unit 2

Unit 2 at PPL Corporation's Susquehanna nuclear plant in Salem Township... north of Berwick... resumed generating electricity for the Northeast power grid Monday after completing its scheduled refueling and maintenance outage. Susquehanna's maintenance crews replaced approximately 40 percent of the unit's uranium fuel, and performed maintenance and ongoing upgrades. The Susquehanna plant's two generating units have planned refueling and maintenance outages every 24 months.

 

XGR Size

It will be a long time before we get an opportunity to vote on a measure downsizing the state's House and Senate. Speaking with WHLM News... State Representative Lynda Culver of Sunbury says downsizing is not the right thing to do. Ms. Culver added that if the districts get bigger through downsizing.... she won't be able to talk one – on – one with her constituents.

 

Invasive Pest
Another invasive species has caught the attention of agriculture officials, but, a region in Pennsylvania is the first to report this particular pest. It's called the Spotted Lanternfly... it was officially discovered last fall in Berks County and it's a threat to agriculture - especially the grape, fruit tree and hardwood industries. The bug is native to China, India, Japan and its presence in Pennsylvania marks the first known infestation in the U-S. The state Department of Agriculture received nearly $1.4 million to hire crews for survey, installation of tree bands, and assist in eradication efforts in the six Berks County townships infested with the Spotted Lanternfly...

 

Salem Twp Fatal

A Catawissa biker is dead following a weekend crash near Shickshinny... in Luzerne County. State Police tell our media partner Newswatch 16... that 28 – year old Barry Wittig of Catawissa died when the driver of a car crossed the roadway... colliding with the bike. Wittig was pronounced dead at the scene.... the driver of the car taken to the hospital for treatment.

 

Business Tax Break
Legislation is being introduced that would give tax breaks to businesses in Pennsylvania that create new jobs meeting certain criteria. The "Made in Pennsylvania Manufacturing Tax Credit Act" would pay back up to five percent of payroll expenses to PA-based manufacturers creating new jobs, with conditions. To qualify, the jobs would have to be full-time, with health benefits, pay a wage equal to the average in the county where the jobs are based, and maintained for at least five years. Qualifying businesses would need to increase payroll by at least one million dollars over a four-quarter period.

 



 

The Mifflinville Memorial Day Fair continues today at the carnival grounds on East First Street. Come for the food and live entertainment. The 127th Memorial Day Parade starts at 8:45AM today at the German School, followed immediately by the memorial service at the cemetery.

 

The annual Sweet Valley Volunteer Fire Company Memorial Day Fair wraps up today. There's free parking and live entertainment. Today's events start at 10AM with the parade at 1:30, followed by the Fireman's Olympics at 3:30. Please no pets or alcoholic beverages. The fairground is at 5383 Main Road in Sweet Valley.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Phils play the Mets this afternoon in a game that starts at 1:10 PM. The pregame on the WHLM stations gets under way at 12:35.

 

 



 

Sweet Valley Church of Christ will hold a special Veterans Memorial Service this morning at 9:30AM. All area veterans as well as those currently serving and their families are invited to attend. The church is at 5439 Main Road in Sweet Valley.

 

The Mifflinville Memorial Day Fair runs through Monday at the carnival grounds on East First Street. There's food and live music every night. This afternoon there's a tractor show from 10-4. On Monday the 127th Memorial Day Parade starts at 8:45AM at the German School, followed immediately by the memorial service at the cemetery.

 

The annual Sweet Valley Volunteer Fire Company Memorial Day Fair continues today through Monday. There will be free parking and live entertainment every night. Monday's events start at 10AM with the parade at 1:30, followed by the Fireman's Olympics at 3:30. Please no pets or alcoholic beverages. The fairground is at 5383 Main Road in Sweet Valley.

 

Come to St John Lutheran Church this afternoon for an organ recital by members of the Susquehanna Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The recital starts at 4PM at the church on Old Berwick Road in Espy.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Phils are playing the Washington Nationals this weekend. Today's game starts at 1:35. The pregame on the WHLM stations gets under way at 1 o'clock sharp.

 



 

Memorial Day Weekend is getting Summer under way with the return of the Bloomsburg Farmer's market. Starting today, come to Market Square from 7AM - 1PM every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for fresh and locally-grown fruits, vegetables, flowers,eggs, meat and more. The market will run through October. For more information call 570-784-7123 extension 117.

 

The Mifflinville Memorial Day Fair runs today through Monday May 23-25 at the carnival grounds on East First Street. There's food and live music every night. Today come to the cruise-in from 10AM - 4PM. Sunday afternoon there's a tractor show from 10-4. On Monday the 127th Memorial Day Parade starts at 8:45AM at the German School, followed immediately by the memorial service at the cemetery.

 

The annual Sweet Valley Volunteer Fire Company Memorial Day Fair continues today through Monday. There will be free parking and live entertainment every night. Monday's events start at 10AM with the parade at 1:30, followed by the Fireman's Olympics at 3:30. Please no pets or alcoholic beverages. The fairground is at 5383 Main Road in Sweet Valley.

 

Today is the last day of the annual Southside Fire Company carnival. Come enjoy great food, games, rides, and live music. Come to the chicken BBQ today starting at 4 PM. The carnival grounds are at Avenue D and Third Street in Riverside.

 

Town Hill UMC is holding an ice cream social this evening from 4:30-6:30 PM. There will be soups, sandwiches, pies, cakes, and homemade ice cream. Take-out is available. The church is at 417 Town Hill Road in Shickshinny.

 

The Columbia Valley Moose Lodge will hold another 21-and-over singles dance tonight from 7-11 PM. Doors open at 6:30 PM. Couples are also welcome. Cover charge is just $8 and includes snacks, door prizes, and drinks. The Moose Lodge is located behind Sheetz on Route 11 between Berwick and Bloomsburg. For more information call 570-441-3534.

 

Sweet Valley Church of Christ will hold a special Veterans Memorial Service on Sunday at 9:30AM. All area veterans as well as those currently serving and their families are invited to attend. The church is at 5439 Main Road in Sweet Valley.

 

Come to St John Lutheran Church on Sunday afternoon for an organ recital by members of the Susquehanna Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The recital starts at 4PM at the church on Old Berwick Road in Espy.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Phils are playing the Washington Nationals this weekend. Today's game starts at 4:05. The pregame on the WHLM stations gets under way at 3:30.

 



 

Mt. Pleasant Twp Fire

A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a garage and it's contents... then spread to the adjoining home early Thursday evening in Mt. Pleasant Township. The Press – Enterprise identifying the home belonging to John and Shirley Turner. The first alarm was sounded around 6:15... initially for a garage fire at 22 Shirley Bird Drive... just off Ellis Turner Road. Lightstreet Fire Chief Darren Shaffer says the blaze could be spotted from miles away. Despite mutual aid from across the county... only the frame of the home and the chimney were standing. No cause has been determined... but a state police fire marshal from Hazleton will be called in to figure out how Thursday night's Mt. Pleasant Township blaze started.

 

Holiday Weekend

The Memorial Day holiday travel period is now underway, and experts predict it will be the busiest one in years. Triple-A Mid Atlantic is projecting travel this Memorial Day holiday period to be up 4-point-6 percent over last year, reaching a ten-year high. A major factor is lower gas prices, the lowest in at least five years.

 

Grilling Safety

Here we are... the Memorial Day weekend is upon us... and if you're planning to grill, a few tips can go a long way to help you do it safely. Before you do anything, visually inspect your grill, and if you're using propane or natural gas check fuel line hoses for holes, cracks and leaks, and make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing. Also make sure all surfaces are clean... and use a thin wire brush to gently clean the holes or ports of each burner. Your nose is your first line of defense when using propane or natural gas... if you detect an odor shut off the gas supply immediately.

 

Bridge Replacement

Three area bridges are ending their life cycle.... and will soon be replaced through a unique private – public partnership with PennDOT. Dan Galvin of Plenary Walsh Keystone Partnership telling WHLM News bridges that span State Routes 254.. 487 and 4031 will soon be replaced. What is unique about the bridge projects is that Plenary Walsh will finance the projects.. design... replace and maintain the bridges for 25 – years. PennDOT, in turn, will maintain ownership of the spans.

 

Lou Barletta

A Pennsylvania congressman is pushing for cost savings in the offices and building leased by the Federal Government. Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Lou Barletta of Hazleton is the sponsor of legislation that would reform the way federal real estate is managed. Barletta says half of all the leases held by the General Services Administration are set to expire in the next 5 years and that's an opportunity to streamline the process. The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee approved the bill unanimously and sent it on to the full House. Barletta says the federal government currently spends more than $5 billion on these commercial leases...
 

Foster Kids

Pennsylvania needs to do more to find families for children in the child welfare system. That finding contained in a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. About fourteen thousand kids are in state foster care. Michael Race says foster kids who live with families do better in school, are less likely to drink or take drugs, are more optimistic... adding the state recognizes the difference a family can make, but finding them is tough. The Casey report shows... about one in seven minors in foster care nationwide doesn't live with relatives or a foster family

 

Home Invasion

Two men are on the run after a violent home invasion early Wednesday morning in Snyder County. Selinsgrove Police said two men forced their way into a home on West Chestnut Street. According to authorities, two of the seven people in the home fought off the attackers. No one inside the home was hurt.

 

Suspect Arrested

A suspected Wilkes – Barre drug dealer was taken into custody after fleeing from the Luzerne County Courthouse this week. That... after he learned he had an active warrant for his arrest. 27 – year old Amos Coker was later busted at a home on Northampton Street... tracked to the location by a court – ordered monitoring device. Coker was out of jail on $100,000 bond.

 

H.J. Heinz

Ahead of its merger with the Kraft Food Group... H.J. Heinz Company is reassuring state and local officials it is committed to staying in Pittsburgh. This week... Heinz official hosted state and Pittsburgh – area political leaders... telling them not to worry about the company vacating the Western PA. It marks the second meeting between Heinz and elected officials since its merger was announced.

 

 

 

WHLM Sports

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Thursday, in a District 4 Class A quarterfinal... Canton downed Benton 4 to 2.

 

HS Softball

In girls softball, in a District 4 Class A quarterfinal... Benton defeated Galeton 3 to 2. District 4 Class AA quarterfinals... it was Columbia Montour Vo – Tech over Montoursville 2 to nothing... and Central Columbia blanked Wyalusing 10 to nothing.

 

HS Track & Field 

Bloomsburg High School sophomore Jahvel (ja-vell) Hemphill will try to repeat as 100 meter champion at the state track & field championships which begin Friday morning at Shippensburg University. Two other area athletes will try to repeat as medal winners: Luke Rarig of Southern

Columbia in the hurdles and Lindsey Carl of Central Columbia in the high jump.

 

MLB

In major league baseball Thursday... the Colorado rocked Philadelphia 7 to 3. Friday night the Phils open a weekend series against the Nationals in Washington. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 6:30 with the pre – game show.

 

Other MLB Games

In other action Thursday...the New York Mets blanked the St. Louis Cardinals 5 to nothing.

 

NBA

In the NBA Western Conference final series.. the Golden State Warriors squeezed by the Houston Rockets 99 to 98. Golden State now leads the series 2 games to nothing.

 

NHL

In the NHL Western Conference final series... the Anaheim Ducks skated by the Chicago Black Hawks 2 to 1. Anaheim now leads the series 2 games to 1.

 



 

 

** Breaking News **

Mt. Pleasant Twp Fire

A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a garage and it's contents... then spread to the adjoining home early Thursday evening in Mt. Pleasant Township. The first alarm was sounded around 6:15... initially for a garage fire at 22 Shirley Bird Drive... just off Ellis Turner Road. Lightstreet Fire Chief Darren Shaffer says the blaze could be spotted from miles away. Despite mutual aid from across the county... only the frame of the home and the chimney were standing. No cause has been determined... but a state police fire marshal from Hazleton will be called in to figure out how Thursday night's Mt. Pleasant Township blaze started.

 

                     --oo--                   --oo--

 

Chris Young

Columbia County Commissioner Chris Young showing Tuesday he didn't need an endorsement from an established political party to win in Tuesday's primary... and by a big margin. Instead... he got the endorsement of the voters. The Columbia County Republican Party.... refused to give their endorsement to Mr. Young earlier this year... and decided to back a candidate with little or no political experience... but that didn't matter. Republican Young... and incumbent Rich Ridgeway will square off against Democrats David Kovach and Tim Burke for the three commissioner positions open.

 

Pension Reform

A major pension reform plan passed by the state Senate is now before the House. House members will consider a plan that includes higher pension costs for current state employees and teachers, as well as a change to a 401(k)-style defined contributions system for future hires. It's author, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman says pension costs drive all other state spending so this issue needs to be tops on the priority list. Governor Tom Wolf has his own reform plan, with Senator Corman saying he knows there are tough negotiations ahead.

 

Marcellus Health Registry
Governor Tom Wolf wants to establish a registry to monitor health effects from Marcellus Shale drilling. A similar registry was set up three years ago with two million-dollars butgeted - but those funds were ultimately eliminated. Governor Wolf wants to set aside $100,000, but health advocates say that's not enough to get accurate information. The health registry is set to be run by 2 state agencies, the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection.

 

Blood Donors

The American Red Cross is launching a program called 100 days of summer... a hundred days of hope... as they try to get all of us to participate in blood drives across the region. Colin Riccobon working out of the American Red Cross Ashley office says despite other outside influences... the organization still needs folks to show up at Blood Drives across the region. There are a series of blood drives being held across the area Call the organization's 800 number or go straight to their web site for the day and locations of a drive near you.

 

Medical Marijuana
Governor Tom Wolf hosted a round table discussion on medical marijuana that supporters used to further their cause. Opponents to a Senate bill that would allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis to their patients with certain debilitating illnesses were conspicuously absent from the discussion that included many parents of sick children calling for the change. Those opposed have instead called for more research before legalization...but advocates say it will be a tool that can provide relief for families that need it.

 

Lifeguards

Visitors to state parks this holiday weekend will notice that those with beaches have no lifeguards. However one state lawmaker seeks to change that. The lifeguards were eliminated from all but two state park beaches in 2008 as a cost saving move. Senator Rob Teplitz is sponsoring legislation to restore them. He says they not only provide safety and lifesaving services, but certified lifeguards can also administer first aid and similar types of assistance. The bill is currently before the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
 

Saving Employers Money

A workers' health and safety program through the PA Department of Labor and Industry has saved employers in the commonwealth millions. When Pennsylvania businesses form certified workplace safety committees through Labor and Industry's Bureau of Workers Compensation... they become eligible for a 5 percent discount on their workers compensation insurance. Since the mid-nineties... 10-thousand committees have formed. In April of this year alone... they saved 2 million dollars. The labor department also offers free trainings in more than 130 topics to keep workplaces the safest they can be.

 

Williamsport Fire

Four people are homeless... after a grease fire swept through a home in the 16 – hundred block of Memorial Avenue in Williamsport Wednesday morning. Authorities say the home belongs to Pastor Joseph Walker and his family... and is right across the street from the Freedom House Church... where he officiates. The fire was tough to extinguish... necessitating a second alarm. Everyone getting out of the building safely.

 

Lotto Tax

If you win big in the Pennsylvania Lottery... we're talking about over 600 dollars... you may be taxed on your winnings by the state. It's one of the hidden money makers in Governor Wolf's proposed budget for the 2015 – 16 fiscal year. If the budget is approved... with the Wolf proposal... it would be the first time since the inception of the lottery back in 1971. Mr. Wolf says taxing state lottery winnings could add up to 15 million dollars for the state treasury next year.

 



 

Primary Returns

The primary election for 2015 in Columbia County is over. The polls opened Tuesday morning at 7 O'clock.... and closed at 8 PM. In some hotly contested races... with 42 out of 42 locations reporting...

 

** Republican Party **

COUNTY COMMISSIONER

(VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN ) 2

                                                Votes    Percentage

CHRIS E. YOUNG. . . . . . . . .       2,929    44.74

CRYSTAL A. DEITERICH. . . . . . . 1,209    18.47

RICH RIDGWAY . . . . . . . . .        2,342    35.78

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . .              66         1.01

 

MEMBER OF COUNCIL TOWN OF BLOOMSBURG

(VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN ) 3

                                           Votes    Percentage

CHUCK WAGNER . . . . . . . . . 200      37.95

JOE MARTARANO . . . . . . . . . 202      38.33

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . .        125      23.72

 

 

** Democratic Party **

COUNTY COMMISSIONER

(VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN ) 2

                                              Votes    Percentage

DAVID M. KOVACH . . . . . . . .   2,379   56.07

TIM BURKE . . . . . . . . . .           1,298   30.59

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . .            566      13.34

 

MEMBER OF COUNCIL TOWN OF BLOOMSBURG

(VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN ) 3

                                                Votes  Percentage

ERIC BOWER . . . . . . . . . .         276     25.92

FRED T. TRUMP . . . . . . . . .        227      21.31

JIM HUBER . . . . . . . . . .            260      24.41

DIANE LEVAN. . . . . . . . . .         250      23.47

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . .            52         4.88

 

** Mt Pleasant Home Rule Question **

                           Votes    Percentage

YES . . . . . . .        89         21.45

NO. . . . . . . .        326       78.55

 

State Voting Results

Voters statewide have selected the three Republicans and Three Democrats who will face off in November for an unprecedented three open seats on the State Supreme Court. On the Republican side, GOP voters selected Superior Court Judge Judy Olsen, Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey and Adams County Judge Mike George as their nominees for the fall. They will face Democrats David Wecht and Christine Donohue - currently judges on the Superior Court...and Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty. All but one of those 6 - Christine Donohue - had won their party's endorsement for the primary election. Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Correale Stevens - who is just one year away from the mandatory retirement age of 70 - finished in last place out of the 6 GOP candidates. The general election will be held on November 3rd.
 

Park Work Day

It's that time of the year that Town Park in Bloomsburg gets spiffed – up by volunteers. Chuck Wagner of the Town Park Improvement Association says Kidsburg will be closed for a couple of hours while mulch is replaced and touch up work preformed. Most of the work deals with replacing mulch and touching up equipment which is used hard by the kids. In addition.... up to 2,000 flowers will be planted throughout the park. Want to volunteer your time... just show up Saturday morning at 8 O'clock with your tools and be prepared to work.

 

Abu – Jamal Suit

Attorneys for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal have sued Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania this week, the complaint seeks an injunction from the court ordering Geisinger and prison officials to permit Abu-Jamal to receive visits from his attorneys and from immediate family while he is at GMC. Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer. He has been serving his sentence at the State Correctional Institution in Schuylkill County.

 

Russell Redding

The person who is the new Secretary of Agriculture in the Wolf administration steps into the roll for the second time. Russell Redding was ag secretary in the Rendell administration.... taking a break when Tom Corbett was governor. Redding was the Dean of Agriculture at a school of higher education... where he saw fresh faces ready to enter the world of farming. Secretary Redding speaking with WHLM News prior to being the keynote speaker at the recent Columbia County ag banquet

 

Property Taxes

When the state legislature meets again in June, one lawmaker will be ready with new legislation to lower property taxes by 50 percent. The state House passed a measure before the assembly's recess that cuts property taxes by raising the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent... and the personal income tax from three point oh seven to three point seven percent. But Democratic Senator Vincent Hughes calls the bill irresponsible. His legislation is modeled after Governor Tom Wolf's proposal... which differs in a few key ways... like driving more money into struggling urban school districts.

 

PennDOT's Seat Belt Campaign

As we approach the holiday weekend and the start of summer travel, PennDOT is embarking on a new seat belt safety campaign. PennDOT is joining the Pennsylvania State Police and more than 500 law enforcement organizations in 15 other states and the Canadian Province of Ontario for the effort, known "Border to Border." It will involve increased seat belt enforcement at state borders across the eastern US, focusing on roadways with a higher than average number of accidents where motorists have been unbelted. The campaign runs through June 7th.

 

Turkey Season

Hunting times for spring gobbler season are now longer. Travis Lau with the Pennsylvania Game Commission says spring gobbler season has some differences in requirements from other seasons. He cites the spring turkey season is for shotguns... and you don't have to use florescent orange. Lau adds hunters can stalk the bird all day from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset from now until May 30th.

 

Evangelical Hospital

There is a new leader at Lewisberg's Evangelical Community Hospital. Kendra Aucker has been named the hospital's new president and CEO. The announcement was made during a news conference on Tuesday. She has been with the hospital the past 25 – years... and has served as executive vice – president and chief operating officer the past five years. Ms. Aucker begins her new duties in July.

 

Lycoming Fatal

An 18 – year old teen from Sweet Valley is dead after his pick up truck slammed into an embankment Monday night in Lycoming County. Authorities identified the driver as Anthony Gennusa. The accident took place on Route 118... near Lairdsville... in Franklin Township.

 

Hazleton Body

Still no progress in identifying a man who's body was found last week.. in Hazleton... behind a wall near Manhattan Court and Hemlock Street. Luzerne County coroner Bill Lisman says the body is severely decomposed and was wearing winter clothing. Now... investigators are trying to determine if the body is that of a man who went missing during the winter months.

 

 

WHLM Sports

PHL Phillies

In Denver Tuesday night.... the Colorado Rockies just got by the Philadelphia Phillies 6 to 5... in a hotly contested game. Game three of the four game series is tonight at Coors Field. The first pitch is 8:40. The pre – game show on the WHLM Stations is 8:05.

 

Other games

In other games last night... the Minnesota Twins defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 8 to 5... the Washington National's downed the New York Yankees 8 to 6... and it was the St. Louis Cardinals over the New York Mets 10 to 2.

 

HS Baseball

District 4 AA first round playoffs in High School baseball...Southern Columbia defeated Mt. Carmel 11 to 4... and Line Mountain got by Central Columbia 5 to 3.

 

HS Softball

District 4 AA first round playoffs in High School softball... South Williamsport blanked Southern 5 to nothing.

 

NBA

In the NBA Western Conference finals... the Golden State Warriors blasted by the Houston Rockets110 to 106. The Warriors lead the series one game to none. Wednesday night in the Eastern Conference Finals... Cleveland takes on Atlanta.

 

NHL

NHL action Tuesday night... the Chicago Blackhawks got by the Anaheim Ducks3 to 2. The series is now tied at one game apiece. On Wednesday night... the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning meet.

 

Deflategate

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Tuesday that he will not appeal the punishment handed down to him by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over the controversy known as Deflategate.

 



 

Primary Returns

The primary election for 2015 in Columbia County is over. The polls opened Tuesday morning at 7 O'clock.... and closed at 8 PM. In some hotly contested races... with 42 out of 42 locations reporting...

 

** Republican Party **

COUNTY COMMISSIONER

(VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN ) 2

                                                Votes    Percentage

CHRIS E. YOUNG. . . . . . . . .       2,929    44.74

CRYSTAL A. DEITERICH. . . . . . . 1,209    18.47

RICH RIDGWAY . . . . . . . . .        2,342    35.78

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . .              66         1.01

 

MEMBER OF COUNCIL TOWN OF BLOOMSBURG

(VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN ) 3

                                           Votes    Percentage

CHUCK WAGNER . . . . . . . . . 200      37.95

JOE MARTARANO . . . . . . . . . 202      38.33

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . .        125      23.72

 

 

** Democratic Party **

COUNTY COMMISSIONER

(VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN ) 2

                                              Votes    Percentage

DAVID M. KOVACH . . . . . . . .   2,379   56.07

TIM BURKE . . . . . . . . . .           1,298   30.59

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . .            566      13.34

 

MEMBER OF COUNCIL TOWN OF BLOOMSBURG

(VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN ) 3

                                                Votes  Percentage

ERIC BOWER . . . . . . . . . .         276     25.92

FRED T. TRUMP . . . . . . . . .        227      21.31

JIM HUBER . . . . . . . . . .            260      24.41

DIANE LEVAN. . . . . . . . . .         250      23.47

WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . .            52         4.88

 

** Mt Pleasant Home Rule Question **

                           Votes    Percentage

YES . . . . . . .        89         21.45

NO. . . . . . . .        326       78.55

 

 



 

 

Fatal I-80 Accident

State police are continuing their investigation into a fatal wreck on Interstate 80 near Mifflinville. It occurred shortly after 5 O'clock Monday afternoon when an SUV wentn out of control... crossed the median and slammed into recreational vehicle pulling a trailer. It happened in the eastbound lane of the superhighway. Reports from the scene indicate one person died in the SUV and six other people injured. The accident backed up traffic in both directions for miles.

 

Geisinger CEO

A new era in Geisinger Medical Center and Health System has been launched. Earlier this month... Dr. David Feinberg signed on as the Health Systems CEO... replacing Dr. Glenn Steele.... and he's already made an impact with his money back guarantee for treatment. During a recent meet and greet with the media... Dr. Feinberg says it all comes down to one issue... and that's communication. Dr. Feinberg comes to Geisinger after leading the UCLA Medical Center near Los Angeles for a number of years.

 

Teens Killed

Grief counselors are expected to be at Central Mountain High School in near – by Clinton County this morning... after two students died in a one car crash over the weekend. Carly Miller and Jordan King died in the crash as they were returning from a spring dance at the Lock Haven University. State police are still investigating the accident.

 

Statewide Elections
Off-year statewide judicial elections usually don't get much attention, and that's true again this year despite some historic significance in the races for state supreme court. Not since the 1700s have there been three open seats on the state Supreme Court at one time - but even with that historic backdrop, voter turnouts Tuesday are expected to be their usual lows. That makes it almost impossible to gauge where the candidates stand, especially given the expected lack of voter knowledge on the names they'll see on Tuesday's ballot. Information on the 12 candidates seeking 6 nominations is available on the PA Bar Association's website. Three Republicans and three democrats will be selected to be on the ballot in November.

 

Pension Crisis

Governor Wolf has appointed the state's top fiscal watchdog to lead a task force that will try to find legislative solutions to the state's $8 billion in underfunded municipal pension liability. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale's office has already released a report on municipal pensions with recommendations for reform, but this effort will bring more voices to the table. The task force will meet with municipal leaders, lawmakers and other interested parties to hopefully arrive at a fix that will save some pension funds from the brink of bankruptcy. DePasquale says they will have to balance the urgency of the situation with a thorough review.

 

Linda Culver

Governor Wolf has been in office for just about four months. He was faced with a plate full of problems since day one... including formulating a budget for the coming fiscal year... negotiating contracts with five different unions representing an estimated 70,000 employees.... as well as presenting nominees to the state senate for confirmation. But thorough it all.. State Representative Linda Culver... a Republican from Northumberland County... feels the governor is personable... coming to her office to meet and talk with her about the state's problems. But, will we have a state budget by the time June 30th rolls around.

Ms. Culver says we're going to have to wait and see.

 

Motorcycle Safety Month

Governor Wolf has declared May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. In making the declaration, Governor Wolf says he wants to stress the importance that the motoring public be aware of motorcycles on the streets and highways and recognize the importance of staying alert and practicing safe driving techniques. Crashes involving motorcycles dropped from 3,427 in 2013 to 3,284 in 2014, but resulting fatalities rose from 181 to 186 during that period.

 

House Gaming Committee

A recent hearing before the House Gaming Oversight Committee focused on issues facing the state's casino industry. Lawmakers heard from casino owners who earlier this year signed a letter expressing opposition to a number of proposals, including a total smoking ban and allowing video gaming terminals in bars and restaurants. They would like the state to approve tax credits as an incentive to make improvements, and some want to see internet gambling legalized.
 

Wilkes – Barre Robbery

Wilkes – Barre police continue to investigate the gunpoint robbery of a man on North Washington Street early Sunday morning. The victim telling police he was approached... with the robber demanding his belongings. The bandit getting away with cash, jewelry and a cell phone.

 

Hazleton Robbery

The start of the weekend... a robbery goes down in Hazleton. This one, police say, taking place at the Dollar General on East Diamond Avenue early Friday evening. There is surveillance video of a man strolling into the store. He pointed a weapon at the clerk... and took cash from the register. If you have information about the crime... give Hazleton Police a call.

 

Susquehanna River

A state representative and advocates for the health of the Susquehanna River are calling on the Department of Environmental Protection to take immediate steps to begin a clean-up following the discovery of a cancerous fish. A Harrisburg TV station is reporting State Rep. Sue Helm.. a Republican from Dauphin want the DEP to declare the Susquehanna an impaired river. The move would open the doors for federal assistance and aid, and it would set a timeline for state government to clean up the river

 

PSU Cyberattack

Penn State University was the victim of a cyberattack in which hackers stole user names and passwords issued by the College of Engineering. That prompted the school to begin notifying 18,000 people whose Social Security numbers or other personal information were stored on the targeted computers. Penn State says an investigators found that only a small number of the stolen College of Engineering accounts were used by the attackers to access the network.

 



 

Today is your last chance to catch the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble presentation of the Broadway smash hit "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" at the Alvina Krause Theater in downtown Bloomsburg. A hilarious send-up of Anton Chekhov's themes of loss and longing, the play is intended for mature audiences of at least High School age. For more information visit the BTE under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Phils are at home this weekend to play the Diamondbacks of Arizona. First pitch this afternoon is scheduled for 1:35. Coverage on the WHLM stations gets under way with the pregame at 1 o'clock sharp.

 


 

 

** A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 615 PM EDT FOR SOUTHERN MONTOUR...COLUMBIA...NORTH CENTRAL SCHUYLKILL AND EAST CENTRAL NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTIES...

 

 

 

The Montour County Relay for Life continus today until 3PM at the Danville Middle school. Stop by and cheer on the runners, and enjoy food and events for the whole family, all while supporting the fight against cancer.

 

The annual spring United Way Trash To Treasure Sale is happening in the Kehr Union ballroom on Bloomsburg University's main campus. Find computers, electronics, furniture and more. Doors open at 9AM. The Early Bird Sale starts at 8AM. The sale runs until Noon. 

 

The 5th annual Bloomsburg Jorge's Walk to Defeat ALS will be held this morning at the Bloomsburg Town Park. Registration opens at 9AM. The walk starts at 10:30. For more information check out BloomsburgWalkToDefeatALS.org

 

This is your last day to submit your work to the Moose Exchange's next community art exhibit. "What Are You Reading?" will include works based on novels, short stories, poems, and even nonfiction that you have recently read. Submissions can be dropped off at the Antler Gallery on Main Street in Bloomsburg. The show opens Monday May 18 and runs through Friday June 26. A reception will be held Thursday June 4 at 6PM in conjunction with the Gallery at the Greenly's Center's "Mark On The Wall" exhibit.

 

The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble presents the Broadway smash hit "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" at the Alvina Krause Theater in downtown Bloomsburg. A hilarious send-up of Anton Chekhov's themes of loss and longing, the play is intended for mature audiences of at least High School age. The show runs through Sunday. For more information visit the BTE under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Phils are at home this weekend to play the Diamondbacks of Arizona. First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7:05. Coverage on the WHLM stations gets under way with the pregame at 6:30.

 

 



 

Berwick Football

Berwick Area School District head football coach George Curry has denied influencing two student athletes to transfer from Nanticoke Area to Berwick. The Wilkes – Barre Citizen Voice is reporting in Friday's edition that Curry refuted allegations that recruiting influenced the transfer. Berwick superintendent Wayne Brookhart has shut down the nationally – known football program for two weeks while an investigation is underway.

 

Mass Transit

A Harrisburg-based transit advocacy group is hoping this week's Amtrak tragedy in Philadelphia will lead to improvements in rail travel and safety. Brad Jones, Chairman of the Modern Transit Partnership, says the accident has raised two major points-rail travel, especially in this part of the country is increasingly popular, and the infrastructure which supports it is in need of major upgrades. As this tragedy continues to unfold Jones says his group is hopeful that attention will soon turn to the need for greater investments in the equipment and technology needed to make travel by rail much safer and more reliable.

 

Trash to Treasure

It's a day a lot of folks have been waiting for.... the United Way of Columbia County's semi – annual Trash to treasure sale on tap Saturday. The organizations Adrienne Mael says the big attraction are the number of laptop computers on the tables... ready to be sold. The sale begins Saturday morning at the Kerr Union on the Bloomsburg University campus starting at 9 O'clock. Early bird tickets are available by stopping by the United Way office on Penn Street... near the hospital.

 

Recognition

A Geisinger Medical Center nurse who rescued a 7 – year old girl from drowning in the Susquehanna River at the Shikellamy State Park Marina in August of 2013... was recognized Thursday for her actions. It all began when Lydia Ross of Sunbury was jogging along the water when she heard the girl calling for help. Ms. Ross pulling the girl from the water. And she was also thankful to an unknown man who pulled her out of the Susquehanna. State Representative Linda Culver of Northumberland County was also on hand with a proclamation from the State House.

 

Job Fair

Prospective job applicants made their way to the Danville Elks for Thursday's PA Career Link Job Fair. The WHLM Stations were there... as well as dozens of other prospective employees. Carol Theros of the staffing company Randstad...was looking for prospective employees for a wood working company who were were willing to work hard... have a good attitude... and be dependable. Even though the job fair was a one day event.... you can call or visit PA Career Link to see the area's latest job openings.

 

Nominee Approval

Governor Tom Wolf's nominee to head the Department of Banking and Securities has won unanimous committee approval. Robin Weissmann has a solid track record of government service, serving previously as a debt manager for the city of Philadelphia was well as Pennsylvania State Treasurer from 2007 to 2009. Weissmann told the Committee that the state enjoys a healthy relationship with the financial entities her department regulates, and one challenge we face involves changes to the traditional methods of borrowing, lending, investing and payments.

 

Safe Hunting
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is reporting another record low year for hunting-related shooting incidents. Travis Lau with the Pennsylvania Game Commission says they have been keeping track of hunting-related shooting incidents since 1915. This past year saw a record low number at 29. Officials say the Hunter Trapper Education Course has helped bring down accidents by 80 percent since 1959.

 

Hazleton Body

There is an investigation underway in Hazleton to determine how a person died... the decomposing body found under some brush between two homes this week. Specifically... the remains were found between the homes at 90 and 92 Wyoming Street. The Luzerne County Coroner says he may never be able to determine cause of death... but they aren't calling it a homicide. It's believed the remains have been there since February.

 

Hemp Growth

Bills in both the state House and Senate would legalize the growing of industrial hemp for research purposes. WHLM's Rachel McDevitt says the legislation is getting support...but also a few warnings.Experts with the state Department of Agriculture strongly support the measure... but recommend establishing a licensing system for growers.... creating penalties for law violations... and starting an advisory board to review any issues related to the industry. Representatives of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences say farmers will need to figure out the logistics of the cash crop.... including development costs... harvesting challenges... and pest control.
 

Inmates / Shamokin

The Shamokin Cemetery is getting a once over from an unlikely source. Eleven inmates from the Federal Correctional Institute in Schuylkill County are now involved in spiffing up the estimated 16 – thousand graves. They're spent part of this week mowing the lawn... and performing some trim work as part of a program between Shamokin and the correctional Institute. Correction officials say the prisoners are low – level offenders who will also spruce up Independence Street in downtown Shamokin.

 

Soccer HOF

Could we have a soccer Hall of Fame in Pennsylvania. That's a possibility thanks to some businessmen in Marshalls Creek... in the Pocono's. Specifically... they would like to bring it to the former Mountain Manor resort. The project would include a 5,000 seat stadium... with 20 outdoor soccer field... and maybe a couple of hotels. The estimated cost is $15 – million.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Track & Field

Bloomsburg University senior Kate Dodds will represent the Huskies at the 2015 NCAA Division II Women's Track and Field National Championships. Dodds earning entry in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

 

Girls HS Softball

In girls high school softball from Thursday... Hazleton blanked Berwick 9 to nothing... Southern Columbia downed Shamokin 7 to 5... Central Columbia defeated Montoursville 3 to nothing... and it was Columbia Montour Vo – Tech over Sullivan County 15 to nothing.

 

MLB

In Major League Baseball... the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 4 to 2 at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday. The Phil's now open a weekend series Friday night when they welcome the Arizona Diamondbacks. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05. You can catch all the action beginning with the pre – game show at 6:30 on the WHLM Stations.

 

Other Action

In other action Thursday... the Chicago Cubs defeated the New York Mets 6 to 5... and it was the Tampa Bay Rays over the New York Yankees 6 to 1.

 

NBA

In the NBA.... LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Chicago Bulls 94 – 73... and the Houston Rockets getting by the Los Angeles Clippers 119 to 107.

 



 

Drug Charges

Berwick man has been arrested on drug charges. Berwick Police tell us.... 44 – year old Aric Bernard of the 7474 Columbia Boulevard is facing a host of drug charges... after someone allegedly FedExed a package to him containing an estimated 86 grams of crystal meth. However it was sent to the Berwick Area Joint Sewer Authority office on Freas Avenue instead of to his camper he calls home. At one time... the Authority rented out a building where the camper is located. Authority workers call Berwick Police who in turn took him into custody. Bernard is facing a long list of charges and is awaiting a preliminary hearing on the 26th.

 

Kidsburg Security

Kidsburg in Bloomsburg's Town Park at the end of Market Street has a new layer of security. The park has been the target of vandals since it was built. Steve Savage of Northeast Automated Technologies has donated a camera system designed to overlook the Kidsburg complex. And Savage says you won't see any blurry pictures of the bad guys... thanks to the use of infra red technology. It's all recorded on a hard drive... the video of which can be used in the prosecution of those persons caught in the act.

 

Cook Out

It was a time to get out and meet your neighbors. The Berwick Area Community Watch... holding a cook – out this week behind City Hall. Borough Manager Debra Force says the get – together was a great time to meet old friends... and make new ones. Members of the Berwick Area Community Watch act as an extra set of eyes for the police department.

 

Cleveland Twp Fire

A state police fire marshal is expected to be on the scene of a Wednesday house fire in Cleveland Township in southern Columbia County. Flames broke out inside the multi – story home on Jackson Road at mid morning. Our media partner Newswatch 16 reports most of the interior was extensively damaged. No one was home when the blaze broke out.

 

Property Taxes
The House has given final approval to a bill to sharply reduce local property taxes. The legislation cuts property taxes between 40 and 60 percent, in exchange for a sales tax increase from 6 to 7 percent in most parts of the state, along with a hike in the personal income tax from 3-point zero 7 to 3-point-7 percent. Governor Tom Wolf, who favors a similar plan, says he's pleased with the bi-partisan vote on the bill, calling it a first step toward significant property tax relief.

 

Pension Plans
Governor Tom Wolf is expressing a number of concerns over the Senate-passed bill reforming the two major public pension systems. Like Senate Democrats who voted no, Wolf says he doesn't think the proper way to address the state�s pension debt is by cutting benefits for current and future workers. The Governor has put forth a plan of his own which does not curb retirement benefits, but borrows money to help offer immediate relief for the state and school districts facing sharply rising pension payments.

 

Animal Resource Center

Looking for a pet to keep you and your family company... be sure to check out the Animal Resource Center. The Center's Linda Bird appearing on a recent edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz says they have a bunch of furry friends up for adoption. Check out all the animals up for adoption by going to their website.

 

Hunting Accidents
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is reporting another record low year for hunting-related shooting incidents. Since the Game Commission started recording hunting incidents in 1915...there have only been two years with that number under 30. Last year only had 29 hunting related shooting incidents. Just one year can claim no hunting-related fatalities.... 2014 saw one fatal incident. Officials say the Hunter Trapper Education Course has helped bring down accidents by 80 percent since 1959.

 

Inmates / Shamokin

The Shamokin Cemetery is getting a once over from an unlikely source. Eleven inmates from the Federal Correctional Institute in Schuylkill County are now involved in spiffing up the estimated 16 – thousand graves. They're spent part of this week mowing the lawn... and performing some trim work as part of a program between Shamokin and the correctional Institute. Correction officials say the prisoners are low – level offenders who will also spruce up Independence Street in downtown Shamokin.

 

Medical Marijuana

The state senate has passed the latest version of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana bill. The bill would make it legal in the state for marijuana to be used to treat certain illnesses when prescribed by a doctor. The vote was 40 – to – 7 It now heads to the house for their consideration.

 

Texting Bill

A Pennsylvania representative has introduced legislation to enhance penalties for drivers who cause severe injuries or death while texting behind the wheel. House Bill 853 would allow additional sentences of up to five years when drivers are convicted of vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter, or aggravated assault by vehicle. State Rep. Jaret Gibbons (D-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence) said his proposal would bring distracted driving penalties in line with those for driving drunk.

 

 



 

 

Berwick Bulldogs

A stand down for the Berwick Bulldogs high school football team. District Superintendent Wayne Brookhart on Tuesday afternoon suspended all football operations for two weeks... due to an on – going investigations into allegations that a player transferred to the Berwick program. Already the district has padlocked the weight training room at Crispin Field... and all off – season workouts are canceled.

 

Geisinger CEO

Spending Tuesday afternoon... making rounds with new Geisinger CEO Dr. David Feinberg... as he visited with Barbara Davis of Espy in GMC's Advance Center of Medicine. Dr. Feinberg wanted to know the good of the hospital... and the bad. He got both. Dr. Feinberg later talked about GMC's mission of keeping people healthy and providing the best quality of medical care in rural Pennsylvania. Dr. Feinberg arrived in Danville six weeks ago.. following a stint as chief of the UCLA hospital System near Los Angles

 

Lou Barletta

11th District Congressman Lou Barletta of Hazleton... who represents Columbia and Montour Counties in Washington... has undergone a heart procedure. A spokesman for his office says Mr. Barletta underwent successful cardiac characterization at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. He's now back home... expecting to return to Washington next Monday.

 

Stuart Tank

The committee trying to secure a Berwick – built tank for display continue to negotiate with a seller of one of the machines. Bring Stuie Home committee member Tom McLaughlin says there is still a lot of detail work to do before the tank heads to Berwick. McLaughlin says the seller... in England... has not wavered from his $120,000 American dollars asking price... and right now... the committee is short a couple of thousand dollars to consummate the deal.

 

Amtrak Derailment

It's a mess in Northeast Philadelphia Wednesday morning... after an Amtrak passenger train jumped the tracks late Tuesday night. The derailment killed five people... scores of others are hurting. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to be on scene in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia to try and figure out why Amtrak's Northeast Regional from Washington to New York left the tracks. CBS Radio News will have more on the story throughout the day at the top of the hour.

 

Pension Debt

Another proposal has been introduced aimed at dealing with the public pension debt in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania's two main pension funds-the State Employees Retirement System and the Public School Employees Retirement System, have a combined debt of $53 - billion. Representative John McGinnis' bill would increase the contributions by the state and school districts, and using a method called level dollar funding, pay off the debt over 20 years. McGinnis say that's how long it will take for the funds to be depleted if no action is taken.

 

Work Zone Safety
A bi-partisan group of lawmaker has unveiled new legislation designed to increase safety in highway work zones by using a controversial tactic. In 2013, there were 18,000 accidents and 16 deaths in highway and roadway work zones in Pennsylvania. A group of state lawmakers unveiled legislation they say is aimed at protecting workers and first responders in construction zones. The proposed solution: automated cameras. Technology-based automated enforcement has been controversial - from red light cameras to speed enforcement systems similar to this proposal... but the lawmakers backing the proposed 5-year pilot program say it is needed to save lives...

 

Medical Marijuana

The state senate has passed the latest version of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana bill. The bill would make it legal in the state for marijuana to be used to treat certain illnesses when prescribed by a doctor. The vote was 40 – to – 7. The proposal heads to the house for their consideration.

 

Confirmation

Acting Secretary of State Pedro Cortes has taken harsh criticism for his last stint in office for the lack of investigation into a horrifying Philadelphia abortion clinic. But WHLM's Rachel McDevitt says the self-described "man of faith" is ready to prove he's still worthy of the office. McDevitt says acting Secretary Pedro Cortes defended his integrity to lawmakers in the Senate State Government Committee for about an hour before they unanimously approved his nomination and asked that it be referred to the full Senate. Cortes holds that if he had known anything about Kermit Gosnell and his botched abortions... he would have called prosecutors. He also says the department has learned valuable lessons from the mess and has new safeguards in place to keep similar cases from unfolding the same way.
 

WHLM Sports

Girls HS Softball

In girls high school softball Tuesday... Berwick defeated Wyoming Valley West 2 to 1... Bloomsburg downed Bucktail 11 to 2... it was Central Columbia over Loyalsock 15 – 13... Muncy downed Millville 16 to 2... and Milton defeated Southern Columbia 12 to 5.

 

PHL Phillies

In major league baseball Tuesday night, in the second game of their four game home series against Pittsburgh.... The Pirates got by the Philadelphia Phillies 7 to 2. The third game of the series begins Wednesday night at 7:05. Coverage on the WHLM Stations starts with the pregame show at 6:30.

 

Other Games

In other games Tuesday night... the Chicago Cubs defeated the New York Mets 6 to 1... and it was the Tampa Bay Rays over the New York Yankees 4 to 2.

 

NBA

In the NBA playoffs... The Cleveland Cavaliers just got by the Chicago Bulls 106 to 101. Cleveland now has a three to two edge in that series.... and the Rockets of Houston downed the Los Angeles Clippers 124 to 103. LA still leads the series 3 games to 2.

 

NHL

In the NHL Playoffs... the Tampa Bay Lightening skated by the Montreal Canadiens 4 to 1. Tampa Bay clinches the series with Tuesday night's victory.

 

 

 



 

Berwick Bulldogs

A stand down for the Berwick Bulldogs high school football team. District Superintendent Wayne Brookhart on Tuesday afternoon suspended all football operations for two weeks... due to an on – going investigations into allegations that a player transferred to the Berwick program. Already the district has padlocked the weight training room at Crispin Field... and all off – season workouts are canceled.

 

Geisinger CEO

Spending Tuesday afternoon... making rounds with new Geisinger CEO Dr. David Feinberg... as he visited with Barbara Davis of Espy in GMC's Advance Center of Medicine. Dr. Feinberg wanted to know the good of the hospital... and the bad. He got both. Dr. Feinberg later talked about GMC's mission of keeping people healthy and providing the best quality of medical care in rural Pennsylvania. Dr. Feinberg arrived in Danville six weeks ago.. following a stint as chief of the UCLA hospital System near Los Angles

 

Stuart Tank

The committee trying to secure a Berwick – built tank for display continue to negotiate with a seller of one of the machines. Bring Stuie Home committee member Tom McLaughlin says there is still a lot of detail work to do before the tank heads to Berwick. McLaughlin says the seller... in England... has not wavered from his $120,000 American dollars asking price... and right now... the committee is short a couple of thousand dollars to consummate the deal.

 

PennDOT Money

PennDOT spent a lot of money over the winter keeping the roads passable when we got hit with storm after storm. That was the same case for PennDOT's Montoursville office which covers Columbia and Montour counties. The agency's David Thompson says District 3 used a record 84,000 tons of salt... spending $25 – million dollars for winter service. Last year $20 – million dollars was spent on clearing roads... with an estimated 81,000 tons of salt used. As the agency regroups from the harsh winter... crews are out on the roads making sure the potholes left behind are repaired.

 

Williamsport Shooting

A fatal shooting in Williamsport late Monday night. Police say a 21 – year old man was found in the 400 blocks of Anthony Street... suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

 

Pension Reform
The Senate Finance Committee voted along party lines to approve a major overhaul of the two large public pension systems. The measure would phase out the traditional pension plan for future public school and state employees, replacing it with a 401(k)-style defined contributions plan. Committee Democrats complained that they had less than three days to read the 410-page bill, with one member unsuccessfully attempting to table the measure. It passed the committee and now heads to the full Senate.

 

Cigarette Tax Proposal

Public health advocates are hoping that state lawmakers will add smoking to the list of issues to be dealt with this legislative session. Members of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network recently held a day of lobbying, meeting with House and Senate members to call for an increase of up to one dollar and 60 cents in the state's cigarette tax. Advocates are looking to cut the smoking rate especially among young people, but also point to a recent poll of registered voters, which shows an overwhelming majority favor a cigarette tax hike to help trim the state's budget deficit.

 

National Police Week

If you know a police officer... either patrolling the streets of the Susquehanna Valley... or the nation... it's getting tougher to carry out the duty. Over the weekend in Mississippi... two Hattisburg officers were gunned down during a routine traffic stop. Bloomsburg Police Chief Roger Van Loan says he and his officers are seeing a change of attitude... getting a lot of “pushback” from people they interact with.

With this being National Police Week... officers remain vigilant while on patrol... and thinking about the officers who lost their lives... and the families they left behind.

 

High School Graduates
The latest report from the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University shows Pennsylvania is a leader in bringing up high school graduation rates. Education advocates are pushing for a 90 percent national graduation rate by 2020. New data shows Pennsylvania is getting close with 86 percent... 5 points more than the national average. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Reading all gained between 6 and 12 percentage points just between 2011 and 2013. The Keystone state also made headway closing the gap between graduation rates for minority and low-income students.

 

Stroke Awareness

An estimated 800,000 people are affected nationwide by a stroke each year... another 7-and-a-half million people still feel the residual effects. That word from Geisinger's Health South's Nancy Presswood on this... National Stroke Awareness Month. Appearing on a recent edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz... Ms Presswood says Health South will hold a program on Wednesday dealing with young people and strokes. Dr. Edward Kenton... the chief of neurology... will be the speaker. The program gets underway Wednesday at 4:30 at the Health South Rehab complex on the GMC campus.

 

Gypsy Moth

State environmental officials are ready to engage in their annual battle with the gypsy moth. During the spring, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be conducting aerial spraying in state forest land in six northeastern PA Counties... including Columbia... Carbon... Luzerne... Northumberland... Pike and Schuylkill. The area totals close to 27,000 acres. The insect damaged over 214,000 acres in the state last year.

 

Jim Thorpe Boy

A missing 12 – year old Jim Thorpe youngster was found safe and sound early Monday evening... after he was missing for 12 – hours. Mason Pachulski telling authorities he left his home early Monday morning... then hid while a massive manhunt was underway. That search involved more than a hundred people... including a state police helicopter... concentrating their efforts in a wooded area near his Center Street home.

 

Penn State

Penn State University set a new record for applications this year. President Eric Barron telling trustees that applications for this fall have exceeded last year's record of 126,000. Barron also says that funded faculty research and online classes are growing by double-digit percentages.

 

 



 

General Assembly Size

The size of the State House and Senate could be reduced if a proposal making it's way through the General Assembly is okayed. The house passed the reduction bill last week... with state representative David Millard voting “for” the measure.... but he says the proposal has a long way to go before final approval. Under the proposal... the house would go from 203 members to 151.... while the senate would be reduced to 37 members from it's current 50.

 

Gas Prices
The price of gasoline continues its upward swing but analysts say the price should level off for summer.
Since bottoming out at around 2 dollars a gallon at the beginning of the year, gas prices now average two dollars and 82 cents in Pennsylvania, but that's still a dollar cheaper than at this time last year. Triple-A Mid Atlantic reports the price will level off just in time for the summer driving season, and predicts the price will stay below the three dollar a gallon mark at least through the end of the year.

 

Blackfly Spraying

Pennsylvanians may notice some helicopters hovering over their waterways this summer... including here in Columbia County. Each summer the Department of Environmental Protection sprays a naturally-occurring bacterium on more than 16-hundred miles of PA rivers and streams.... to lower the population of black flies.... also known as gnats. Officials say black flies are a nuisance that keeps recreators from completely enjoying Pennsylvania's outdoors... and without this service.... taking that hike or visiting that park.... might look less appealing.
 

Pension Reform

Reforming the public pension system in Pennsylvania is a major priority for Legislative Republicans in the final months of the budget process. The plan would make major changes to the State Employees Retirement System and the Public School Employees Retirement System, mainly affecting future hires. The biggest change would be a transition from the traditional pension plan to a 401 (k) - style defined contributions plan. Despite their majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans are not expecting easy passage.

 

Absentee Ballot

Time is running out for you to apply for an absentee ballot if you want to vote in next Tuesday's primary... not only here in Columbia and Montour Counties, but across the state. That word coming from Columbia County Chief Registrar Matt Repasky. The time to make an application for the absentee ballot is by the close of business Tuesday... and it must be returned to the voter registration office by late Friday afternoon. The application can be picked up in the Courthouse Annex at the corner of West Main and Centre Streets in Bloomsburg.

 

Lawsuit Legislation

Legislation aimed at stopping a certain type of lawsuit is currently before the state Senate. The bill seeks to prevent what is known as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP, which is seen as a way to intimidate or silence individuals or civic groups when they speak out on controversial issues. If it becomes law, victims of these types of legal actions would have the ability to recover attorney fees, costs and damages. The bill has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now heads to the full Senate.
 

I - 80 Road Work

Work continues on the Interstate 80 bridges over the Susquehanna River between the Lime Ridge and Mifflinville interchanges. A PennDOT spokesperson says paving and installing bridge deck epoxy overlays will continue through Thursday. It could be tough getting through the area since the westbound left lane will be closed... and then the right lane. The same will happen in the eastbound lane... and in both instances traffic will be slow – going.

 

Lycoming Fatal

A Unityville man is dead after his motorcycle collided with a minivan near the Columbia – Lycoming County line late Saturday night. State police say 19 – year old Albert Burkhart was northbound on Route 42 when he struck the van. Troopers say Burkhart died at the scene.... and was not wearing a helmet. The driver of the minivan was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville with moderate injuries.

 

Back Mountain Fire

A fire investigator will be called in to determine what sparked a blaze last night near Dallas... in Luzerne County. At least one person in the house was taken to the hospital for treatment. Firefighters say they believe the blaze started at the rear of the home.

 

Toddler Dies

The Lehigh County Coroner says a 1 – year old boy tossed from an Allentown bridge by his mother last weekend has died. Coroner Scott Grim says Zymeir Perry died over the weekend at a Lehigh Valley Hospital. If you recall... he was allegedly tossed into the Lehigh River by his 19 – year old mother who also jumped into the water and remains hospitalized.

 

WHLM Sports

Track & Field 

Four area athletes had first place finishes in the Heartland Conference Coaches Track & Field Invitational Saturday at Shikellamy High School. Southern Columbia senior Luke Rarig won both hurdle races... Bloomsburg sophomore Jahvell Hemphill finished first in the 100 meter dash; Danville's Mackenzie Jones won the girls 32 hundred meter run... and Lindsey Carl of Central Columbia finished first in the girls high jump. The District 4 AA championships will be held next Saturday at Athens High School.

 

PHL Phillies

In major league baseball Sunday, the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the New York Mets 7 - 4. Monday night the Phils open a four game home series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The first pitch will be at 7:05. Pre – game coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 6:30.

 

Other Games

In other games Sunday, the Pirates downed the Saint Louis Cardinals 4 to 3... and the New York Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 6 to 2.

 

NBA

In the NBA playoffs Sunday... The Cleveland Cavaliers got by the Chicago Bulls 86 to 84. The teams are tied now at 2 games apiece. The Los Angeles Clippers routed the Houston Rocks 128 to 95. The Clippers lead the series 3 games to 1.

 

 



 

It's Graduation weekend at Bloomsburg University! Be alert for increased traffic and pedestrians in downtown Bloomsburg and around the BU campus.

 

The Benton British Car Club will meet this afternoon at Strevig's Family Restaurant on Route 487 in Benton. Anyone who owns a British-made vehicle is invited to attend. The meeting starts at 3PM.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Philadelphia Baseball

The Phillies are back at home this weekend. The play the Mets this afternoon in at game that starts at 1:35. The pregame show starts at 1 o'clock on the WHLM stations.

 


 

It's Graduation weekend at Bloomsburg University! Be alert for increased traffic and pedestrians in downtown Bloomsburg and around the BU campus.

 

The Bloomsburg Police Department will hold their first annul 5K run/walk today at the Bloomsburg Town Park. Check-in opens at 8AM, the run starts at 10AM. Entry fee is $20 each. For more information call 784-4155.

 

The Greater Columbia County Relay for Life team will hold a yard and bake sale today at Bloomsburg Southern Baptist Church, Welliver Drive in Bloomsburg.  Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The sale runs from 8AM - 2PM.

 

The third annual Celebrate Berwick festival is going on today from 9AM - 5PM. Check out vendors, games, rides and more set up along Route 11 from Briar Creek to downtown Front Street. For a full schedule of events visit CelebrateBerwick.com

 

Join the Montour Motorcycle Riders in support of the Animal Resource Center during the Ian's Wish benefit run. Registration is open from 10:30 - 11:30 AM this morning at the Jerseytown Tavern on Route 44. Cost is just $10 per person, and includes lunch at the Fort Rickett's VFW post in Benton. Donations of blankets, green cleaners, paper towels, and other pet products will be collected as well. For more information, call 570-441-4520.

 

The Benton British Car Club will meet this Sunday afternoon at Strevig's Family Restaurant on Route 487 in Benton. Anyone who owns a British-made vehicle is invited to attend. The meeting starts at 3PM.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Philadelphia Baseball

The Phillies are back at home this weekend. The play the Mets tonight in at game that starts at 7:05. The pregame show starts at 6:30 on the WHLM stations.

 



 

Millville Fire

A state police fire marshal is expected to be in Greenwood Township Friday... north of Millville... to determine the exact cause of a fire which extensively damaged a long – time bar. Flames broke out Thursday morning at the Village Inn along Route 42. Millville Fire Chief Rob Bower said,,.when he rolled in... he saw smoke pouring from the eaves at both ends of the building. Chief Bower says he believes the blaze began where an electrical panel is located. Co – owners Brett Holdren and Tasha Seely don't know if they'll rebuild the one story building north of Millville.

 

Simulated DUI

The fire trucks were there.... and so were the police cars and ambulances... and for good measure... Geisinger Medical Center's Life Flight. It was all part of a simulated DUI crash in a parking lot at the Berwick High School... presented by Students Against Drunk Driving... and is an object lesson so says adviser Heather Henry. The demonstration was held two days prior to the school's Junior / Senior prom.

 

Road Treatment
A new road treatment is aimed at reducing the number of accidents along Pennsylvania roadways. PennDOT demonstrated the substance known as High Friction Surface treatment for local, state and federal highways officials along a stretch of roadway in Central Pennsylvania with sharp curves and a history of accidents. The aim is increase friction even when a vehicle is speeding, thus reducing the chances of an accident caused by a slick road surface. PennDOT also already added this treatment to 63 locations across the state.

 

PennDOT Spending

A relentless winter exhausted snow removal budgets across Pennsylvania and pushed the state Department of Transportation to its limit as it fought to keep highways safe and passable, according to a first-of-its-kind survey released this week. PennDOT spent $272 - million to keep traffic flowing on the state's 40,000 miles of roadway, according to the agency's Erin Waters-Trasatt. That's 34 percent more than the $203 - million it budgeted for winter maintenance based on a five-year average of previous expenditures.

 

Water Week

We're celebrating National Drinking Water Week... and United Water... the company who supplies drinking water to the Bloomsburg area is involved. The utilities Bob Manbeck says you'll save money by fixing leaks.... and by taking steps to conserve. Mr. Manbeck says most of the leaks around the home or apartment is in the area of the toilet.

 

Freeland Water

Big changes at the Freeland Municipal Water and Sewer Authority... after they were faced with serious issues over the winter. Not only will a 100 – year old water reservoir be renovated... but so will the outside of the building which houses the authority. Also... two new wells will be dug to increase capacity to the systems 2,400 subscribers. If you recall... Freeland lost most of it's water service during the harshest days of winter due to frozen pipes and age of the infrastructure.

 

Telemedicine
Physician advocates are calling for more access to telemedicine, but a recent poll shows PA residents might not be ready for treatment delivered through Skype. According to a survey from Susquehanna Polling.... 94 % said it's important to see their doctor in person. The Pennsylvania Medical Society is hoping to change those perceptions through exposure to telemedicine. On their list of requirements is face-to-face video conferences.... doctors with a medical license for the state where their patient lives.... and insurance companies covering telemedicine the same way as traditional care.

 

Senator Pat Browne

The future of a power state lawmaker remains uncertain following an accident last weekend. Senator Pat Browne of Lehigh County was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. While doctors say he is expected to make a full recovery, Republican leaders say they're not sure when he'll be able to return to work. Brown chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, and plays a key role in the budget process. Meanwhile his accident is being investigated as a possible DUI, which could have an effect on his leadership role in the Senate.

Shenandoah Valley

Teachers in the Shenandoah Valley School District may be hitting the picket line... going on strike as the end of the school year draws to an end. If it happens... district teachers may start their job action as early as next week. Teachers say they've been working without a contract since the start of the 2011 school year.

 

Rick Santorum

Remember former PA Senator Rick Santorum... serving from 1994 until he was defeated in 2007 by Bob Casey. There's word he may try a second run for the Republican nomination for President. He's expected to make his formal announcement on May 27th.

 

WHLM Sports

Track & Field

Our area's best high school track & field athletes will be at Shikellamy High School in Sunbury on Saturday for the Heartland Conference Meet. The competition begins at 10:30 AM.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Thursday... Bloomsburg downed Shamokin 7 – 1...

 

HS Softball

In girls softball Thursday... Central Columbia defeated Hughesville 15 to 3... and it was Southern Columbia over South Williamsport 7 to 4.

 

PHL Phils

In the major leagues... the Philadelphia Phillies open a three game weekend home series against the Mets Friday night starting at 7:05. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 6:30.

 

Other Games

In games played Thursday night.. The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds 7 to 2... and the New York Yankees just got by the Baltimore Orioles 4 to 3.

 

NHL

In the NHL Playoffs Thursday night... Tampa Bay defeated Montreal 3 to 1 to clinch that series... and the Chicago Blackhawks blanked Minnesota 4 to nothing... taking that series four games to none.

 



 

Millville Fire

A fire investigator is expected to be bought in to figure out what started a fire at the Village Inn... north of Millville... Thursday morning. Firemen were dispatched to the 29 – hundred block of Route 42 north when the owner smelled smoke and saw flames coming from a crawl space above the first floor. Fire companies from across the mid section of Columbia County responded... including a half dozen tankers since there is no hydrant service in the area. No one was injured in Thursday morning's blaze that extensively damaged the Village Inn... north of Millville... on Route 42. Fire police have closed the section of Route 42 north of Millville.

 

Geisinger – Woodbine

Notice a lot of pre – construction at the Geisinger – Woodbine Lane Outpatient Clinic. The wraps were taken off Wednesday for a 135.000 thousand square foot addition to the building... just off Route 11. The $54 – million project will double the size of the former TRW plant... with a parking garage to accommodate 325 cars. Newly - hired CEO Dr. David Feinberg says it all comes down to convenience for patients. The new addition to Geisinger – Woodbine is expected to be completed in two years.

 

Food Trucks / Town Park

For the past couple of months... Bloomsburg Town Council has been soliciting suggestions for Town Park at the end of Market Street... and it appears food truck aren’t on the list. Town Park Association President Chuck Wagner telling council recently that folks like the idea of vendors renting canoes, kayaks and bikes.... but not so much for food trucks. Meantime... Town Council has recently taken the wraps off a Food Truck Pilot Program... allowed to sell their products in three municipal parking lots. Two permits have been issued... and a third is waiting for an applicant.

 

Drug & Alcohol

The re-nomination of Gary Tennis to head the state department of drug & alcohol program is a step closer to the full Senate. Gary Tennis is one of two holdovers from the Corbett cabinet nominated to continue their jobs under Governor Tom Wolf. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel is the other. The Tennis nomination cleared the Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee as it continues its path toward the full Senate. Tennis was named Secretary under Governor Tom Corbett when the Drug & Alcohol department was first established in 2012 - as a result of legislative action from 2010...

 

Municipal Pensions

The municipal pension crisis was the focus of a state House hearing this week in Harrisburg. The House State Government Committee heard testimony, mainly from mayors of small and mid-size cities in Pennsylvania, about the sustainability of the current pension system. The committee is considering a reform plan which would gradually transform the current system from a traditional pension plan to a defined contribution plan. Those who testified, including the Mayors of Lancaster, York and Easton, are all calling for passage.
 

Pet & Toy Parade

The opening of the area carnival season Wednesday night.... as the 49th annual Kiwanis Pet and Toy parade march south on Market Street in Bloomsburg. Leading the procession... the Bloomsburg High School band. They were followed by kids and adults walking their pets... pulling their wagons... as well as out of area fire departments sending some equipment. The event kicked off this years Bloomsburg Fire Department carnival... which runs through Saturday night.

 

Property Taxes

A ranking House Republican said Wednesday that party leaders were ready to put to a vote a hotly debated property-tax-relief proposal, shifting the spotlight to an issue certain to become a key point in this year's budget talks. Majority Leader Dave Reed of Indiana County said he intended to call the GOP - sponsored plan for a floor vote next week, despite not knowing whether it had the support to pass the chamber - or even enough to win a majority among his own party. The GOP plan, championed by Rep. Stan Saylor of York County, calls for hiking the sales and personal-income tax and using that money to reduce property taxes, shifting the school-funding burden off homeowners.
 

Tax Hike

Wilkes – Barre property owners could see higher tax bills in the future. Even if Governor Wolf's budget was approved without change... any extra money earmarked for the district by the state would erase due to lost tax revenue... as well as employee salary increases... and pension costs. The board must okay the district's budget by the end of June... and now there's a consideration of raising taxes 2-point-seven percent.

 

Hazleton Airport

The Hazleton City Council has accepted a 1-point-three million dollars Aviation Grant Tuesday night. The money will be used to fund a Runway Safety Area at the Hazleton Airport. Under the agreement.... $70,000 must be paid for with funds from airport revenues. The project will be undertaken by the only bidder... Hazleton Site Contractors.

 

Oil Trains

U.S. Senator Bob Casey is joining forces with PEMA to push for legislation aimed at reducing the number of so-called oil trains moving through the country. During a news conference this week, Mr. Casey discussed the dangers of trains that carry flammable materials. If they derail, they can explode. Casey cited rail studies showing trains carried more than 11.5 - billion gallons of crude oil through the U.S. In 2013.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Football

Six home games highlight the newly released 2015 Bloomsburg University football schedule. All home games will start at 2 o'clock with the exception of the regular season finale which will kick off at noon. The Huskies open the season September 5th at home against Stonehill.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Wednesday... Mt Carmel blanked Bloomsburg 7 to nothing... and Hughesville downed Central Columbia 5 to nothing...

 

HS Softball

In girls softball.. Berwick defeated Crestwood 10 to 2.

 

PHL Phillies

In major league action Wednesday night... the Atlanta Braves wrapped up their three game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. The final... Atlanta 7 and the Phil's 5. The Phil's are off Thursday. They open a three game weekend home series against the New York Mets Friday night.

 

Other Action

In other games Wednesday... The Cincinnati Reds blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates 3 to nothing... The New York Mets downed the Baltimore Orioles 5 to 1... and it was the Toronto Bluejays over the New York Yankees 5 to 1.

 

NBA

In the NBA Playoffs...the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Chicago Bulls 106 to 91... and the Houston Rockets got by the Los Angeles Clippers 115 to 109.

 



 

 

Geisinger – Woodbine

Notice a lot of pre – construction at the Geisinger – Woodbine Lane Outpatient Clinic. The wraps were taken off Wednesday for a $250.000 thousand square foot addition to the building... just off Route 11. The $54 – million project will double the size of the former T-R-W plant... with a parking garage to accommodate 325 cars. Newly - hired CEO Dr. David Feinberg says it all comes down to convenience for patients. The new addition to Geisinger – Woodbine is expected to be completed in two years.

 

Food Trucks / Town Park

For the past couple of months... Bloomsburg Town Council has been soliciting suggestions for Town Park at the end of Market Street... and it appears food truck aren’t on the list. Town Park Association President Chuck Wagner telling council recently that folks like the idea of vendors renting canoes, kayaks and bikes.... but not so much for food trucks. Meantime... Town Council has recently taken the wraps off a Food Truck Pilot Program... allowed to sell their products in three municipal parking lots. Two permits have been issued... and a third is waiting for an applicant.

 

BU Graduation

It's expected to be a busy weekend on the campus of Bloomsburg University... as spring commencement is held. That word coming from the school's Bonnie Martin. The ceremonies will be held Saturday on BU’s Academic Quadrangle starting at 8:30... then again at Noon.... followed by ceremonies at 3:30. Degrees for 113 graduate students and seven doctoral students will be conferred during a ceremony on Friday evening Haas Center for the Arts.

 

Northumberland Jail

The Northumberland County Commissioners have voted to purchase land in order to build a new prison. Their former prison in Sunbury was destroyed by fire early this year. The site is where the former Celotex plant produced it's product for years. Commissioner Vinny Clausi says $4 – million from the state would help pay for the 19 – acre parcel of land. Since the fire back in January... other jails in the area have taken up the slack.. such as the Snyder County Jail in Selinsgrove.

 

Selinsgrove Church

The congregation of the Christ United Methodist Church near Selinsgrove are trying to figure out what to do... now that their church was extensively damaged late Monday night. A state police fire marshal says the blaze was electrical in nature... starting in the church's break room.... spreading to the entire building. Not only did the congregation hold church services there on Sunday... but the building also housed a pre – school. Now... church members are deciding weather to building a replacement facility on a near – by parcel of land they own...

 

Legislature Reduction
The state House approved a pair of amendments to the state Constitution on reducing the size of the Legislature. After more than two hours of sometimes raucous debate, the House voted to reduce its membership from 203 to 151, and to cut the Senate from 50 to 37. Supporters point to cost savings and a more manageable Legislature, while opponents say reductions would make it more difficult for lawmakers to respond to individual constituents. Both measures must pass the House and the Senate in consecutive sessions, then be put to the voters.

 

Pet & Toy Parade

It's something all of look forward to in the spring.... the annual Kiwanis Pet & Toy Parade... marching through the center of Bloomsburg. The 49th annual parade will be held Wednesday night... starting at 6 O'clock. Organizer Marianne Kreisher says the parade has taken on a new life... with a shorter route... as well as participation from boy and girl scout troops and fire departments from around the area. The parade forms at 5:30 behind the Columbia County Courthouse... and makes it's way to the carnival grounds.... in back of the Bloomsburg Fire Department on Market Street.

 

Phone Use
Safety advocates are reminding parents to put their phones away while in the car. A new survey from the National Safety Council shows 95 percent of parents who use cell phones in the car do not change their behavior when driving with their teenage children... but 94 percent of those same parents report being their child's primary driving teacher. Representatives with the PA Teen Safe Driving Coalition say parents need to teach their kids about distracted driving the same way they teach them to wear seatbelts.

 

Sentence

A surprising sentence for the first of five people to targeted in the Wilkes – Barre City Federal Credit Union scandal. Jeffery Serafin of Wyoming pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. His sentence... only a single day in jail... but the Judge ordered Serafin to pay $11,000 in restitution. Four others are in line to plead and be countenanced.

 

General Service Secretary

The Senate State Government Committee has voted unanimously to confirm Curt Topper as Governor Wolf's nominee to head the Department of General Services. Curt Topper is no stranger to DGS. From 2003 to 2008, Topper served as Deputy Secretary for Procurement. He also served in the private sector, working for the accounting firm KPMG, and most recently as Assistant Vice President at Georgetown University. During his brief time as Acting DGS Secretary, Topper has led Governor Wolf's cost saving initiative, known by the acronym GOTIME.

 

Stabbing Suspect

A Wilkes – Barre man wanted in connection with a double stabbing Sunday morning has been captured in Clinton County. Authorities say 29 – year old William MacBlain is accused of stabbing Howard Jakaboski as well as gal pal Nicole Schneider. The incident happening in a Sheridan Street apartment early Sunday morning. Both were taken to the hospital for treatment. MacBlain was captured by State Troopers on Interstate 80... while responding to a report of a crash.

 

Failing Teachers

The House Education Committee has voted to end teacher layoffs that are based strictly on seniority. House Bill 805 would require school districts to use teacher performance first when making furlough decisions. The performance ratings would be based on the teacher evaluation system adopted in 2012. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

 



 

 

NEPA Gas Prices

The average price of a gallon of gas continues to climb. The latest Triple – A Fuel Gauge report show's were paying an average of $2.74 a gallon for self – serve unleaded regular in Columbia and Montour Counties. That's up four cents a gallon from a week ago. A month ago we were paying an average of $2.50 a gallon.

 

David Millard / Property Taxes

The wheels of state government continue to slowly churn in Harrisburg... with the Republican – controlled General Assembly not a bit happy with Governor Wolf's proposed budget riddled with tax increases. State Representative David Millard... a Republican from Berwick... says one issue which may burst through the haze is property tax reform. Also... Mr. Millard said it appears that pension reform may become a top priority for the Wolf administration.

 

Budget Surpluses
Despite positive revenue collections this fiscal year, the state's Independent Fiscal Office is holding to its prediction of red ink in the next year. IFO Director Matthew Knittel says the state is looking at a $1.6 – billion deficit for the fiscal year which begins July first, even though there's currently a surplus. The Revenue Department says the state is half a billion-dollars in the black, mainly due to higher than expected collections of the corporate net income tax, as well as a other one-time revenue sources. Knittel says as the current fiscal year winds down, don't expect that to continue.

 

Celebrate Berwick

The Columbia – Montour Chamber of Commerce... as well as the Borough of Berwick is preparing for Saturday's Celebrate Berwick event. It takes place along West Front Street... from the Briar Creek line east... to Front and Market Streets. The Chamber's Donna Sharrow says Berwick is a very important part of Columbia County. Celebrate Berwick not only has displays in the business district along West Front Street.... but there is a kids area in the Berwick Offray parking lot.... as well as a car show in the K-Mart Plaza.

 

Celebrity Artist Series

A much anticipated announcement has been made dealing with the guests expected to appear on the Bloomsburg University campus during the 2015 – 2016 Celebrity Artist Series. Appearing on the Monday edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz with Joe... the university's Randall Presswood unveiling the first act of the season. Ms. Popovic has been working on her own the past twenty years... and as a solo performer since 2000... and is always a crowd favorite.

 

Church Fire

Fire crews in Snyder County... near Selinsgrove... spent the night battling a fire at a church. They were called to the Christ United Methodist Church late Monday night. The building is used as a pre – school facility. A post on their social media page said the school would be closed today.

 

ObamaCare
The Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Insurance want consumers to be aware of a certain mandate under the Affordable Care Act. Insurers offering coverage through the ACA marketplaces are required to cover services to quit smoking at no cost to policy holders...but a study by the American Lung Association says not all insurance companies are complying. Representatives for the Insurance Department say if those consumers are being asked to pay.... and they can't work it out with their insurer... they can call the hotline at 877-881-6388.

 

Eliminating Racism
A team in central Pennsylvania has been working to eliminate racism in policing through education. Over the past three months...the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg...together with its Community Responders Network.... the Dauphin County Chiefs of Police Association and the US Justice Department.... have trained 300 police officers from 30 municipalities in four main areas: reducing racial profiling and building trust, understanding civil rights laws, responding to hate crimes, and delivering culturally competent services.

 

Stabbing Suspect

A Wilkes – Barre man wanted in connection with a double stabbing Sunday morning has been captured in Clinton County. Authorities say 29 – year old William MacBlain is accused of stabbing Howard Jakaboski as well as gal pal Nicole Schneider. The incident happening in a Sheridan Street apartment early Sunday morning. Both were taken to the hospital for treatment. MacBlain was captured by State Troopers on Interstate 80... while responding to a report of a crash.

 

First Responders

Recruiting and retaining volunteer first responders is a major challenge for Pennsylvania's recently appointed Fire Commissioner. According to Tim Solobay, the numbers tell a troubling story. The number of volunteer firefighters and paramedics in Pennsylvania has gone from a high of 300,000 30 years ago to less than 1/6th that amount today. Solobay says he is in favor of a number of incentive programs to attract and retain volunteers, such as local tax credits, tuition assistance, and the waiving of fees on drivers licenses.

 

PennDOT Potholes

You'll be seeing a lot of yellow truck on highways over the next few weeks. PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards announcing that crews are aggressively tackling the growing numbers of potholes showing up on state – maintained roads. The reason... rough winter weather... and the thawing and freezing cycles that are developing the big holes... which we hit with our cars. Ms. Richards says an estimated 3,600 pot hole complaints have been phoned in... with crews fixing 3,500 of the trouble spots since March First.

 

Failing Teachers

The House Education Committee has voted to end teacher layoffs that are based strictly on seniority. House Bill 805 would require school districts to use teacher performance first when making furlough decisions. The performance ratings would be based on the teacher evaluation system adopted in 2012. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

 

Pat Browne

A state senator who represents the Lehigh Valley in Harrisburg remains hospitalized after crashing out on his motorcycle over the weekend. State Senator Pat Browne suffered multiple injuries in a motorcycle crash near Allentown. Senate leaders says Browne is expected to be hospitalized until at least the weekend. State Police say they are investigating the crash as a possible case of driving under the influence. Browne's license was suspended twice previously after drunk driving crashes in 1995 and 1999.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Softball

The season has come to an end for the Bloomsburg University women's softball team. The Huskies were not among the 8 teams chosen for the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional. Bloomsburg's record stands at 26 and 16.

 

Central / Bloomsburg BB

In what is believed to be the first ever Bloomsburg- Central Columbia baseball game played under the lights, Central Columbia's Devon Sanders pitched a no hitter to lead the Bluejays to an 8-0 win over the Panthers Monday night. The game was played at Don Engle Memorial Field at Central

 

Other HS Baseball

In other high school baseball action Monday... Berwick defeated Tunkhannock 9 to 5... Danville downed Shamokin 11 to 1... and Millville swept a double – headers from Columbia – Montour Vo – Tech... 8 to 1... and 18 to 2.

 

PHL Phillies

In major league baseball... The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Atlanta Braves Monday night 5 to 2. The series resumes Tuesday night at 7:10. Coverage on the WHLM stations begins with the pregame show at 6:35.

 

Other MLB Action

In other action... The Toronto Bluejays defeated the New York Yankees 3 to 1...

 

NBA

In the NBA, in opening games of Conference semifinal series... The Chicago Bulls downed the Cleveland Cavaliers 99 to 92... and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Houston Rockets 117 to 101.

 



 

 

Water Plant

If you travel north on Millville Road... we always try and get a sneak peek of the construction of United Water's new filtration plant. Construction is progressing.... but the Utility’s Bob Manbeck says our harsh, winter weather has slowed things up a bit. Mr. Manbeck says the current construction pace will allow the plant to go on line in May of 2016.

 

I-80 Bridges

If you plan to use Interstate 80 near Mifflinville this week... there will be lane restrictions in effect for both the east and westbound lanes. The change will allow paving of the road... then installing bridge deck epoxy overlays. Starting Monday... a daylight signing pattern will be used to close the westbound left lane... and then switching to the westbound right lane between mile marker 242 and 241. The same procedure will be used in the right lanes later this week.

 

Non – Violent Criminals

Legislation has been re-introduced which would help non-violent criminal offenders who ave served their time re-enter the work force. The bill would make it easier for those who committed non-violent offenses to expunge their records, and would prohibit potential employers from asking about past criminal conduct. It would also shield employers from civil liability if an ex-offender they hire commits another crime. The bill passed the Senate unanimously in the last session but stalled in the House.

 

Elks / Vets

It was a big weekend in the lives of some of the nation's veterans who live at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Wilkes – Barre. About a dozen vets went fishing in rural Orangeville courtesy of Elks Lodge 436 of Bloomsburg and the Orangeville Sportsman Club. The vets caught a number of big trout stocked in the pond... and being good fishermen... they tossed them back into the water... all part of a catch and release program.

 

Inclusion Summit

A state lawmaker joined business and non-profit leaders in Scranton earlier this week for an Inclusion Initiative Summit. State Senator John Blake of Lackawanna County says the work done at the inclusion summit helped to engage organizations on the ground to signal that Scranton and Pennsylvania are welcoming communities that can provide opportunity for immigrants. He says a report from the Independent Fiscal Office shows any population growth in Pennsylvania over the next ten years will be entirely because of immigration.
 

State Pensions

Republicans in the state Senate are expected next week to unveil a plan to deal with the public pension deficit. No one is saying exactly what's in the plan, but GOP leaders have said they're opposed to borrowing to close the pension deficit. Even so, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne isn't completely closing the door on borrowing, saying it's worth a look if other compromises are included. Republicans have said a pension deal must be completed before agreeing on a state budget.

 

Sunbury Stabbing

A stabbing in front of a Sunbury bar early Sunday morning sent two men to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville... and another man to jail. Police says the incident happened on North Third Street when Tyrone Lee got kicked out of the bar... and proceeded to allegedly stab the pair. Lee is now facing attempted homicide charges. Benjamin Herrold and James Herb were rushed to Geisinger after being stabbed.

 

Sex Assault Arrest

A homeless man... who once lived in Danville... is in the Snyder County jail after he was charged with sexually assaulting a mentally handicapped woman with a mental capacity of a 13 – year old. 36 – year old Jamie Griffin not only allegedly sexually assaulted the victim... but also alleged bit the woman. He was arraigned Sunday at a Magistrate's office... and sent to jail.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Softball

The Bloomsburg University women's softball team will find out this morning if their season's record of 26 and 16 will be good enough to earn the Huskies a bid to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Bloomsburg split four games over the weekend at the PSAC tournament in Quakertown beating Seton Hill and East Stroudsburg and losing to Gannon and California.

 

Central / Bloomsburg Baseball

Central Columbia and Bloomsburg renew their high school baseball rivalry Monday night under the lights at Don Engle Memorial Field at Central. Tonight's game starts at 6:30.

 

PHL Phillies

In the majors Sunday, the Philadelphia Phillies salvaged the last game of their weekend series in Miami, beating the Marlins 6-2. The Phils open a three game series Monday night in Atlanta against the Braves with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 6:35.

 

Other Games

In other games Sunday, the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 1-0... the St. Louis Cardinals downed the Pittsburgh Pirates 3 to 2... and the New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 8 to 5.

 

NBA

Two NBA Conference Semifinal series started Sunday. In the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards beat the Atlanta Hawks 104 to 98... and in the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies 101 to 86.

 

 



 

It's the opening weekend of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble presentation of the Broadway smash hit "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" at the Alvina Krause Theater in downtown Bloomsburg. A hilarious send-up of Anton Chekhov's themes of loss and longing, the play is intended for mature audiences of at least High School age. The show runs through May 17. For more information visit the BTE under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 

Hobbie Volunteer Fire Company is holding a country breakfast buffet this morning from 8AM-Noon. Tickets can be bought at the door - $8 for adults, $4 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. The fire hall is at 655 East County Road in Wapwallopen.

 

Come to the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds this afternoon for the first annual Bloomsburg Bites Back run/walk against Lyme disease. Registration is free and opens at 1PM, the race starts at 2PM. Run/walkers should wear a lime or green-colored shirt if possible. All donations gathered will go towards Lyme disease research. For more information call 570-784-8392.

 

The Ladies Expo at Ponduce Farms in Elysburg is going on today from 1-4 PM. Come for an afternoon of socializing, shopping, and relaxing, featuring area businesswomen, a massage therapist, handcrafted items, seminars, demonstrations, refreshments and more. Admission is free. Get entered for a door prize when you donate a heath or beauty product for the Women's Center. For more information call 570-799-5888.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Phils are in the middle of a road trip this weekend, playing the Marlins in Florida. Today's game starts at 1:10. You can hear coverage on the WHLM stations starting with the pregame at 12:35.



 

It's time for Danville's annual Spring Fling. The festival gets under way starting with the River Town Marathon and half-marathon at 7AM. From 9AM - 5PM come to downtown Danville for crafters, vendors, delicious food and more from local businesses and nonprofits.

 

The third annual Montour Township Fire Company car & truck show is happening today from 8AM - 2PM at the Bloomsburg Christian Church on Deussen Drive, off  Route 11 West of Bloomsburg. Registration is $15 for each car or truck. There will be 50/50s, raffles, food by Steph's Subs and ice cream from the Lightstreet Fire Company.

 

The United Way of Columbia County golf classic is going on today at the Links at Hemlock Creek in Buckhorn. Entry per person for the 4-man scramble is $60 and includes cart, greens fees, lunch and the free beer cart! Shotgun start is at 9AM. For more information call the United Way at 784-3134.

 

The annual Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis 5K walk is happening today at the Bloomsburg Town Park. Gather your pledges and walk as an individual or as a team. The walk starts at 10AM. Proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. For more information call 717-671-4000.

 

Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble's Summer Camp Open House is this afternoon at the Mitrani Production Center in downtown Bloomsburg. Stop by from 1-3 PM and meet the actors and teachers, learn more about the theater camp's programs, and enter to win a free BTE summer camp package. For more information, visit the BTE under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 

The Columbia County Historical and Genealogical Society will present "A Miner's Tale," performed by Robert Thomas Hughes, tonight at Ridge Street UMC in Almedia. The one-man show explores the lives of child workers in Pennsylvania's coal mines in the early 1900's. The show is free, and starts at 7:45.

 

It's the opening weekend of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble presentation of the Broadway smash hit "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" at the Alvina Krause Theater in downtown Bloomsburg. A hilarious send-up of Anton Chekhov's themes of loss and longing, the play is intended for mature audiences of at least High School age. The show runs through May 17. For more information visit the BTE under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 

Hobbie Volunteer Fire Company is holding a country breakfast buffet on Sunday from 8AM-Noon. Tickets can be bought at the door - $8 for adults, $4 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. The fire hall is at 655 East County Road in Wapwallopen.

 

Come to the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds Sunday afternoon for the first annual Bloomsburg Bites Back run/walk against Lyme disease. Registration is free and opens at 1PM, the race starts at 2PM. Run/walkers should wear a lime or green-colored shirt if possible. All donations gathered will go towards Lyme disease research. For more information call 570-784-8392.

 

The Ladies Expo at Ponduce Farms in Elysburg is going on this Sunday from 1-4 PM. Come for an afternoon of socializing, shopping, and relaxing, featuring area businesswomen, a massage therapist, handcrafted items, seminars, demonstrations, refreshments and more. Admission is free. Get entered for a door prize when you donate a heath or beauty product for the Women's Center. For more information call 570-799-5888.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Phils are in the middle of a road trip this weekend, playing the Marlins in Florida. Today's game starts at 4:10. You can hear coverage on the WHLM stations starting with the pregame at 3:35.



 

Millville Fire

Firemen from across Columbia County responded to a reported electrical in a building at 4 West Main Street in Millville shortly after 4:30 Friday morning. First due firemen found smoke coming from the attic of the building. Units from Millville, Benton, Hemlock Township, Orangeville... the ladder truck from Bloomsburg and the Rescue Intervention Team from Espy.... responded to that reported structure fire at 4 West Main Street in Millville.

 

Danville Space

There is a new group in Danville and it deals with industrial development. The Danville Borough Industrial Development Task Force meets next Tuesday. It's the job of the task force to find space that could be developed... and it all started with a tour last fall... so says Danville Administrator Dan Knorr. The initial meeting of the task force takes place Tuesday at 10 O'clock... at the Danville Municipal building on Mill Street.

 

Governor Wolf

The first 100 days of Governor Wolf's reign hasn't been easy... especially when a Democratic governor is trying to get a proposed $33 – billion dollar budget adopted through a majority Republican General Assembly.

But despite the odds... Governor Wolf telling me after his appearance on the Thursday edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz.... there are some talented people working under the capitol dome. One of the things the governor does is simply walk down the floor where legislator's offices are locate and simply drops in to shoot the breeze. That's one method of breaking the ice and getting a budget adopted by this time next month.

 

Dave Millard / PSP

An estimated 300 PA state police officers and support staff are settling in... and setting up shop in Baltimore Friday morning... following riots that took over the city earlier in the week. State Representative David Millard... a Republican from Berwick... says it's all part of one state helping another in times of need. The riots began when a 24 – year old man died in police custody.

 

PEMA Certification

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency has just earned its national accreditation... which officials say is helpful as they get calls for help in other states. The accreditation means PEMA has met or exceeded national standards in 16 areas from planning and resource management... to communications and corrective action. It mean they're ready for the next emergency... be it flooding in PA or rioting in nearby Baltimore. PEMA is now sending one of their certified emergency management assistance administrators to help that city coordinate resources during its State of Emergency.

 

Minimum Wage

Two separate pieces of legislation being introduced this week would raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. A five - bill package, sponsored by Senator Christine Tartaglione would, among other things, raise the wage to $8.67 an hour by July first and $10.10 by January first, and prohibit employers from deducting bank fees from employee tips when a customer pays with a credit card. Senator Daylin Leach will introduce a separate measure tomorrow to raise the wage to $15 – an - hour and do away with the so-called "tipped minimum."
 

Severance Tax
Governor Tom Wolf doesn't seem likely to back off his wish for a five percent severance tax on natural gas drillers. Governor Wolf says Pennsylvanians are the ones already paying severance taxes from other states... without passing that back in our natural gas exports. Wolf says he wants to see the industry work for Pennsylvania... and he believes the way to create a lasting partnership between the state and industry... is to have that severance tax fund education... so residents can see the benefits in their own communities.

 

Wilkes – Barre Fire

A fire in Wilkes – Barre at a vacant building is under investigation. The former Roth American Building on North Pennsylvania Avenue caught fire early Thursday morning. The flames were contained to the roof of the vacant building being converted into office space.

 

Williamsport Shooting Suspect

A Philadelphia area man will be brought back to Williamsport to face charges stemming from a shooting. Michael Spencer was picked up in the City of Brotherly Love on Wednesday. He faces attempted murder charges for pulling a gun and squeezing off shots outside a Williamsport bar earlier this month. Five people were hit by stray bullets. Authorities say Spencer got into an argument with some people outside the bar.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Softball

After losing to Gannon 2-0 in the opening round of the PSAC playoffs in Quakertown Thursday, the Bloomsburg University softball team stayed alive with a 10-3 win over East Stroudsburg. Friday, the Huskies play Seton Hill at 1:30.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Thursday... Millville swept a double header from St. John Neumann. The first game 8 to 1... and the second 11 to 1.

 

HS Softball

In girls softball... Bloomsburg defeated Sullivan County 25 to 3.... and it was Southern Columbia over Montoursville 9 to 6.

 

PHL Phillies

In the majors, the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the Saint Louis Cardinals last night 9-3. Friday night the Phils open a three game weekend series in Miami against the Marlins. Game time is 7:10. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 6:35. In other action Thursday night... the Washington Nationals downed the New York Mets 8 to 2.

 

NBA

In the NBA playoffs, the Chicago Bulls routed the Milwaukee Bucks 120-66 to win that series four game to two. In other action... The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the San Antonio Spurs 102 to 96. With the victory... the Clippers clinch the series.

 

NFL Draft

The NFL Draft began last night in Chicago. With the first overall pick, the Tampa Bay Bucs chose Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.

 

 



 

Bloomsburg Flood Wall

Work has begun on that $30 – million flood wall on Bloomsburg's west side... designed to save jobs at the Autoneum plant on West 5th Street. The wall will be higher than the high water mark of the 2011 flood... keeping Autoneum and the former Windsor Food plant high and dry during times of flooding. Bill Seigel of Lewisburg – based SEDA-COG says Autoneum workers will soon have a new way to gain entry to the plant along North Shore railroad tracks. Flood wall construction is expected to take a little more than a year and a half... with a completion date targeted by the end of 2016.

 

PSP / Baltimore

The Pennsylvania State Police is sending 300 troopers and other personnel to help authorities in Baltimore as they try to maintain peace and prevent a repeat of looting and arson that erupted earlier this week. The agency Wednesday that Maryland had accepted its offer of resources. The deployment is expected to begin late Thursday. Maryland will reimburse Pennsylvania's costs.

 

Medical Marijuana

State lawmakers have even more to consider when it comes to medical marijuana after a public hearing in Pittsburgh this week. Advocates for medical marijuana legalization from the ACLU said they are hoping for specific clauses in the law that protect patients from discrimination and high costs. However... law enforcement representatives from Colorado... where medical marijuana was legalized before recreational.... warned that they've seen a lot of problems... including more traffic fatalities...and accidental cannabis poisonings in children.

 

Education Funding Commission
The work of the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission is winding down. The Commission spent the last year holding a series of public hearings on how to come up with a fairer and more equitable method of funding public education in Pennsylvania. The latest hearing took place this week at the University of Pittsburgh. Those with differing views on this issue agree on one thing-the current formula isn't working. Whatever the final recommendations, Governor Tom Wolf says he hopes it can be part of next year's budget.

 

Camp Victory

It's one of the first vintage car show's of the season. It takes place Sunday at Camp Victory off Route 254 near Millville.... so says Randy Lawton of the Bloomsburg – based Dream Machine Motor Club. Registration for the event gets underway at 9 O'clock Sunday Morning.

 

Air Quality Awareness

Pennsylvania is joining in the national observance of Air Quality Awareness Week. During this week, the Department of Environmental Protection is calling on Pennsylvanians to renew their commitment to protecting air quality and public health. Experts say transportation has a major effect on the air, so individuals can take such steps as carpooling, choosing a car with lower emissions, and making sure tires are properly inflated. You can go on line to dep.state.pa.us to find additional suggestions.
 

Ricketts Glen

The 245 acre Lake Jean at Ricketts Glen State Park will be closed this summer.

The body of water is being drained to replace a control tower at the top of a dam.

That tower controls the water flow to lake.

The water should drain out in two week's or so.

 

Berwick Dumpster Day

Spring has arrived... so the Borough of Berwick is sponsoring it's 8th annual Dumpster Day on May 16th. A huge dumpster will be at Test Track Park off Eaton Street. Most everything is taken that day... but there is a charge for tires and freon – based appliances. You must be a Berwick resident to take part in the May 16th event.

 

Williamsport Shooting Suspect

A Philadelphia area man will be brought back to Williamsport to face charges stemming from a shooting. Michael Spencer was picked up in the City of Brotherly Love on Wednesday. He faces attempted murder charges for pulling a gun and squeezing off shots outside a Williamsport bar earlier this month. Five people were hit by stray bullets. Authorities say Spencer got into an argument with some people outside the bar.

 

PSP Academy

A memorial service is on tap Friday for the 96 members of the Pennsylvania State Police who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The annual service will be held at the State Police academy in Hershey. That service to begin at 11 O'clock. On Saturday... the public to tour the Academy... and it's museum starting at 1 PM.

 

Sign Snatchers

Wilkes – Barre police are looking for two men who ran through lawns... snatching political signs from yards. The thefts taking place on West River Street. The incident was happened on this week... and was caught by a surveillance camera and shared on social media.

In all... 16 campaign signs were stolen.

 

Charges Dropped
Charges have been dismissed against a Wilkes – Barre woman charged with assaulting a man. Pia Daniels was charged earlier this month after investigators say she accident shot the father of her 2 year old child. In essence... it boiled down to the fact the man did now want to testify against Daniels.... so assault charges were dropped in court.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Softball

The Bloomsburg University women's softball team plays Gannon Thursday afternoon at 1:30 in the opening round of the PSAC championships in Quakertown. The Huskies are the second seed in the East while Gannon is the third seed from the west.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Wednesday... Bloomsburg blanked Columbia Montour Vo-Tech 13 to nothing... It was Danville over Central 8 to 6... and Benton just by Montgomery 6 to 5.

 

HS Softball

In girls high school softball... Bloomsburg defeated Central Columbia 3 to 2.

 

MLB Baseball

In the majors Wednesday night... the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 5 to 2. That four game series in Saint Louis concludes with a Thursday afternoon game starting at 1:45. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 1:10.

 

Other Games

In other games... the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs 8 to 1... The red hot Miami Marlins downed the New York Mets 7 to 3... and the Tampa Bay Rays got by the New York Yankees 3 to 2.

 

NBA

In the NBA playoffs... the Atlanta Hawks outscored the Brooklyn Nets 107 to 97. Atlanta now takes a three games to 2 lead in that series... and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Portland Trailblazers 99 to 93 to clinch that series.

 

 



 

Kidnapping Alleged

Three people are in the Columbia County Prison... after they allegedly kidnapped a 5 – year old child from his Maple Road home in Berwick Tuesday afternoon... in a custody dispute. Berwick Police tell us 52 - Kimberly Boston of Nescopeck... 34 – year old Steven Slusser and 24 – year old Rachelle Deschaine... both of Colorado... allegedly snatched the child from the arms of Lori Torsella. All were located in Nescopeck a short time later... and are facing charges of criminal trespass.. criminal conspiracy... and simple assault. The trio was arraigned before District Justice Doug Brewer in Millville last night.

 

State Dog Warden

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is sending dog wardens throughout Columbia County this week.... checking to see if your “pooch” is currently licensed and if the animal has had a rabies shot. That word from the Departments Logan Hall. Mr. Hall says the wardens will use a computer data base through their smart phones in order to find dog owners who have not renewed their licenses.

 

Spring Fling

You can tell Spring has finally arrived in the Susquehanna Valley. This Saturday it's Danville's turn for a festival. Spring Fling gets underway on Mill Street Saturday morning... and runs the entire day... so says organizer Jim Wilson. The event takes place along Mill, Lower Mulberry, East and West Mahoning Streets... with free shuttle parking available.

 

Trash to Treasure

Looking for a good deal on either a lap or desktop computer.... the United Way of Columbia County is holding it's twice – a – year Trash to Treasure sale at the Kerr Union Building at the University on Saturday May 16th , Early bird tickets are available... and allow you on the selling floor an hour before the general public. You can pick up those tickets at United Way headquarters on Penn Ave.

 

Lucille Whitmire
Funeral services will be held Thursday for former County Commissioner Lucille Whitmire of Berwick. She died over the weekend at the Geisinger Medical Center. Ms. Whitmire was a very active Democrat.... serving 12 years as County Commissioner... and a couple of terms as a Berwick Councilperson... including a stint as president. Those funeral services taking place Thursday at at 10 O'clock at the St. Joseph Catholic Church on Monroe Street.

 

State Treasurer Selection

The Senate's top Republican says he has no problems with Governor Tom Wolf's pick for state Treasurer, but he's not happy with the way the choice was made. The Governor chose venture capitalist Tim Reese to replace Rob McCord, who stepped down to face federal corruption charges. The problem, according to Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, is Republicans were not in on the process. Governor Wolf responded by saying there's no requirement for the GOP to be consulted, adding they'll have their chance when the Senate votes on Reese's nomination.

 

Support for PSP Chief
In a recent interview with Radio PA... Governor Wolf again voiced his support for the man who has become a controversial nominee for State Police Commissioner. In spite of loud opposition to Colonel Marcus Brown from some parties over an incident in which Brown removed signs critical of him from near his home.... and his decision to wear the State Police uniform without going through the PA academy.... Governor Wolf says he has not considered withdrawing Brown's nomination... and he's proud to stand behind him. Brown has not yet had a confirmation hearing scheduled in the state Senate.

 

Kathleen Kane
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane orchestrated an illegal leak to embarrass a critic and later lied about it under oath, according to a grand jury report made public Monday. The panel found that Kane's testimony was "riddled with inconsistencies" and that she lied about virtually every aspect of the leak, from her motivation to what she knew about the leaked documents and to who else was involved. In painting her as a liar, the grand jury relied on testimony from Kane's senior appointees, whose accounts were at odds with hers. Kane spokesman Chuck Ardo said this week that the AG was innocent and would not resign.

 

Drug Seizures

Pennsylvania State Police seized over $9.5 – million in cocaine and heroin during the first quarter of 2015. In addition to cocaine and heroin, troopers also seized over 54 pounds of cocaine, 157,000 thousand prescription pills, and over 14-hundred ponds of marijuana. One drug getting close attention is heroin, with the state facing a crisis in overdose-related deaths. Troopers say the 21 pounds of heroin seized during the first quarter is valued at $7.1 – million.

 

Cops Plead

August 17th is the date for sentencing for two former Wilkes – Barre police officers.36 year old Tino Ninotti and 35 - Jason Anthony entered guilty please this weeks before a U.S. District Judge. The pair pleaded guilty for trying to steal thousands of dollars from the Wilkes – Barre City Employee Federal Credit Union. Both could face 30 years in prison.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Lacrosse

The Bloomsburg University women's lacrosse team lost at West Chester 14-10 Tuesday in the PSAC Quarterfinals. The Huskies finished the season with a record of 8 and 8.

 

HS Softball

In girls softball Tuesday... Dallas downed Berwick 3 to 1... and Bloomsburg blanked St. John Neumann 10 to nothing.

 

PHL Phillies

In major league baseball Tuesday night... The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 11 to 5. The teams meet again Wednesday night in Saint Louis with the first pitch scheduled for 8:15. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 7:40.

 

Other Games

In other games Tuesday night... The Chicago Cubs downed the Pittsburgh Pirates 6 to 2... The Miami Marlins squeezed by the New York Mets 4 to 3... and the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the New York Yankees 4 to 2.

 

NBA

In the NBA Playoffs... the Houston Rockets clinched their series with the Dallas Mavericks 103 to 94... and the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 111 to 107. The Spurs lead the series 3 games to 2.

 



 

NEPA Gas Prices

The average price of a gallon of gasoline continues to creep upward. The latest Triple – A Fuel Gauge report shows... that in Northeast Pennsylvania... we're paying an average of $2.70 a gallon. More at some gas stations... less at others. That's up 7 cents from a week ago.... and 20 - cents a gallon higher than a month ago.

 

Bloomsburg Town Park

What should the future hold for Bloomsburg Town Park. That was the topic of a fact – finding meeting held Monday night at Town Hall. From kayak rentals to food trucks.... and even Montour County is willing to help Bloomsburg... so says Bob Stout who heads up the Montour County recreation Commission. No action was taken since it was strictly an informational meeting, but the Town is expected to float requests for proposals from business people in the not too distant future.

 

US Supco

The head of Pennsylvania's leading LGBT advocacy group is among those eagerly awaiting Tuesday's arguments on same-sex marriage before the US Supreme Court. Ted Martin, Executive Director of Equality Pennsylvania, needless to say, is hoping the Supreme Court upholds the right for same-sex couples to marry. Even if that happens, Martin says it's hard to escape the irony for those couples in Pennsylvania.

 

Audit / University System

An audit of the State System of Higher Education found it needs to improve safety procedures... and cut costs. The auditor general's office found that the state system was on track when it came to preventing sexual discrimination and violence on campus.... but says the system needs to step up its game and make policies uniform across the 14 universities. Auditors also said tuition continues to rise at the colleges... despite commendable efforts to manage increasing expenses.
 

Weis Markets

Sunbury – based Weis Market's is expanding. The company breaking ground in Milton Monday designed to add on 100,000 square feet to it's distribution center. The area will be used for refrigerated dairy and meat products... and take stress off of it's distribution outlets in Sunbury and Milton.

 

Red Cross / Nepal

The tiny south Asian country of Nepal is trying to recover from a devastating earthquake which shook the region over the weekend. CBS Radio News says the death toll has now surpassed 4,000 and could climb as high as 10,000. The Central Pennsylvania American Red Cross it pitching in the with the relief efforts... so says CEO Ellen Kyzer from her Harrisburg Office. If you want to help... you can donate by going to the American Red Cross web site... or simply send a check to the Red Cross... noting at the bottom it's for Nepal's disaster relief.

 

Protecting Animals
Lawmakers advocated protecting animals in the commonwealth at a recent rally in Harrisburg. Senators Andy Dinniman and Richard Alloway have introduced a package of bills in support of Pennsylvania's pets.... calling it a clearly bipartisan issue. The bills include measures allowing people to sue for civil damages if someone hurts or kills a pet... setting standards for tethering.... and creating a specialty license plate to fund spay and neuter programs at shelters.

 

Animal Resource Center

One of the biggest fund raisers of the year is the annual yard sale produced by the Animal Resource Center. They had a huge space the past couple of years... but that area is gone... and the search for an equal space continues.... so says the ARC's Linda Bird. They would like to find a building with at least 8,000 square feet of space. Ms. Bird making her remarks on the Monday edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz with Joe and Norm.

 

Rice Township

Officials of Rice Township... in the Mountain Top area of Luzerne County says 15 of the township’s roads are in need of major repair. That was the result of a survey... and fix could cost taxpayers a million dollars. Penn Eastern Engineers preformed the survey with suggestions to repave Rice Township roads. Right now... the township has about a half million dollars set aside for repairs over the next five years... about a half million dollars short of what is needed.

 

Road Work

If you use one particular Main Township Road... Sycamore Road in in Main Township... you may have to use a detour. PennDOT Crews will begin repair on Route 2018... commonly known as Sycamore Road beginning Tuesday. An agency spokesman says a detour will be in place starting early Tuesday morning. The detour will incorporate Route 487 and Mainville drive.

 

Former Criminals

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee is hosting a roundtable discussion focusing on employment challenges for former criminal offenders. At issue is how best to help non violent ex-offenders move forward once their sentences are served. Those taking part in the discussion include Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer, Janet Ginzberg, a Staff Attorney with the Employment Law Unit of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, and Cindy Daub, Executive Director of Re-entry and Quality Assurances at the Pennsylvania State Board of Probation and Parole.

 

Hazleton Drugs

A traffic stop led to drug charges against two men over the weekend in West Hazleton. Also in the car at the time of the stop was a six year old child. Officers stopped the vehicle on South Broad Street for having illegal lighting equipment. Probable cause was discovered to search the vehicle. Police coming up with narcotics and prescription medicine.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Lacrosse

The Bloomsburg University women's Lacrosse team plays at West Chester Tuesday afternoon in a PSAC Quarterfinal. The Huskies are the 6th seed in the tournament. West Chester is seeded third.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Monday... Benton blanked Millville 4 to nothing... Lewisburg downed Bloomsburg 11 to 3... Loyalsock defeated Central Columbia 15 to 2... and it was Hughesville over Danville 4 to 1.

 

PHL Phillies

In major league baseball Monday night... The Philadelphia Phillies downed the Saint Louis Cardinals last night 4 to 1. The second game of that 4 game series in Saint Louis begins Tuesday night at 8:15. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 7:40.

 

Other Games

In other games Monday night.. the Chicago Cub blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates 4 to nothing... the New York Mets downed the Miami Marlins 3 to 1... and the New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4 to 1.

 



 

Renaissance Jamboree

Planning is expected to get underway soon for the 38th annual Renaissance Jamboree. The 37th annual affair was held Saturday along Main Street in Bloomsburg... with thousands of people attending despite cool temperatures and partly sunny skies. Non – profit and commercial vendors took up Main Street from Iron to West Streets... peddling their wares... and informing visitors about their cause. There was no shortage of entertainment either.... with a number of venues set up for anything from square dancing to... the big band sounds.... as well as Motown rock.

 

Bloomsburg Skate Park

We could see construction get underway soon for a place for skateboarders to ride. It would be in the Town Park area... along Ft. McClure Boulevard... in the area of the former skateboard Park. Town Park Improvement Association President Chuck Wagner says since the proposed park has received a 5 – thousand dollar grant... the facility must be constructed of concrete. Wagner says it's expected ground will be broken in late May or early June.... with boarders using the facility sometime in July.

 

Town Park

There is a meeting Monday night at Town Council chambers dealing with what you want to see in Town Park. That session gets underway at 6 O'clock on the second floor of town hall... prior to Monday night's Town Council meeting.

 

Gov. Wolf's Budget
Governor Tom Wolf continues to push for his proposed budget, complete with tax hikes and Shifts. Governor Wolf proposed an ambitious plan to change numerous tax rates in Pennsylvania when he delivered his budget address to lawmakers last month. Since then, he's been on the road trying to sell his ideas to the people. On Radio PA's Ask the Governor program last week, Mr Wolf said he believes he can work well with Republican lawmakers who call the shots in the House and Senate... the two sides have about 9 weeks to get a compromise plan ironed out if they're to meet the June 30th budget deadline.

 

State Economic Stimulates
A recent roundtable discussion in Harrisburg looked at ways to stimulate the state's economy. A highlight of the meeting was the unveiling of a seven bill package sponsored by Senator Rob Teplitz. Key points include providing specific training for the jobs that are available, improving opportunities for veterans, as well as female and minority-owned businesses, promoting products that are made in Pennsylvania, and the creation of an office within the Department of Community and Economic Development to assist recent immigrants.

 

Knoebels

Knoebels Amusement Resort... sitting on the board of Columbia and Northumberland Counties opened for the first time for the 2015 season over the weekend. The ribbon was officially cut for the park's newest roller coaster... the Impulse. The first ride was auctioned off for “Give Kids the World.” The overall auction raising about $7,000 dollars. There are always impressive numbers from Knoebels... with the Columbia – Montour Visitors Bureau estimating guest attendance in the past at a million people a season.

 

Women's Center / Cell Phones

If you have an unwanted and unused cell phone.... why not turn it into the Women's Center in Bloomsburg... where it will be put to go use... and help the center.... so says Zabrina Finn. Cell phones that don't work are sent off to a company who erase personal information... then sending the Center a donation. Useable phones are wiped clean of data... and given to clients so they can call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

 

Eating Disorders
A bill in the state House would require schools to distribute information about eating disorders. State Representative Steve Santarsiero says he believes schools present a unique opportunity to get the right information to parents... so eating disorders can be addressed quickly if they occur. His bill would require schools share information on the warning signs with parents of children in fifth through twelfth grade. Eating disorders such as anorexia... bulimia... and binge eating affect more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians... and first symptoms usually present themselves in that age range.

 

Hazleton Drugs

A traffic stop led to drug charges against two men over the weekend in West Hazleton. Also in the car at the time of the stop was a six year old child. Officers stopped the vehicle on South Broad Street for having illegal lighting equipment. Probable cause was discovered to search the vehicle with cops coming up with narcotics and prescription medicine.

 

Wilkes - Barre Gunshots

Wilkes – Barre police are checking into reports of gunshots fired early Sunday morning. Police were called to the Passion Lounge on Scott Street. They later caught up with two people... believed to be involved... on Route 309. One person was taken into custody... while the second person ran off into some near-by woods.

 

WHLM Sports

CJ Curry
Former Berwick quarterback C.J. Curry played in East Stroudsburg's spring game on Saturday night. That concluded his first spring with the Warriors, and afterward he said the experience was a positive one. Curry was in for 14 plays on Saturday night. He completed 2 of 4 passes for 33 yards.

 

PHL Phillies

In major league baseball Sunday, the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4. On Monday night.. the Phils open a four game series against the Cardinals in Saint Louis. The first pitch will be at 8:15. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 7:40.

 

Other MLB Games

In other games Sunday... the Pittsburgh Pirates blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks 8 to nothing... and the New York Yankees got by the New York Mets 6 to 4.

 

NBA

In the NBA playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a sweep of Boston with a 101-93 win over the Celtics.

 

Other NBA Games

In other games,,, The Los Angeles Clippers downed the San Antonio Spurs 114 to 105... the Washington Wizards defeated the Toronto Raptors 125 – 94... and it was the Dallas Mavericks over the Houston Rockets 121 to 109.

 



 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Phils will wrap up their series against the Braves this afternoon in a 1:35 game. The pregame show gets under way on the WHLM stations at 1 o'clock sharp.

 



 

It's time for the 37th annual Bloomsburg Renaissance Jamboree, going on today in downtown Bloomsburg - rain or shine. The open-air street fair includes tons of food, crafters, vendors, free live entertainment and more. Stop by the WHLM booth at the corner of Main and Iron Streets and check out the latest collectors crock from the Bloomsburg Public Library, featuring Bloomsburg University's iconic Carver Hall. The Jamboree runs from 10AM - 5PM.

 

Katy's Church near the State Game Lands in Millville is holding a cleanup day for the church cemetery today from 9AM - 2PM. Cemetery families are invited at help. Refreshments and food will be provided for volunteers. For more information call 764-2412.

 

Monica's Heart greyhound adoption group will be holding two meet-and-greet events today. From 11AM - 2PM, stop by Tractor Supply Company on Route 11 in Bloomsburg and at PetCo in the Wal-Mart complex in Buckhorn. Learn more about retired racing greyhounds, meet some of the dogs, and maybe even adopt one. For more information call 570-644-2358.

 

The free Wheelchair Engineers program at the Columbia Mall in Buckhorn will be open for the last time today from Noon - 4 PM at the Sears end of the mall. The handicapped-accessible model train layouts are open to everyone. See a classic American Flyer and the Dillon Floral limited-edition train with its puffing MTH steam engine and MTH controls. Everyone is welcome.

 

The 12 annual Village Sampler and Wine Tasting will be held this afternoon at the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center in Benton. Wine tasting starts at Noon - food samples start at 2:30 and runs til 5PM. The event is only open to those 21 and older. Pre-order your food tickets for just $10 or both food and wine for $20. For more information call 570-925-0163.

 

Town Hill United Methodist Church is holding an Ice Cream Social tonight from 4:30 - 6:30 PM. There will be homemade soups, sandwiches, cakes, pies, and ice cream. The church is at 417 Town Hill Road in Shickshinny.

 
The Columbia Valley Moose Lodge will hold another 21-and-over singles dance tonight from 7-11 PM featuring DJ Eddie. Doors open at 6:30 PM. Couples are also welcome. Cover charge is just $8 and includes snacks, door prizes, and drinks. The Moose Lodge is located behind Sheetz on Route 11 between Berwick and Bloomsburg. For more information call 570-441-3534.
 
 
WHLM Sports
 
Phillies Baseball
The Phillies are in the middle of a home stand against the Atlanta Braves this weekend. Tonight's game starts at 7:05. You can hear the action on the WHLM stations starting with the pregame show at 6:30.
 


 

Stuart Tank

The “Bring Stuie Home” committee in Berwick are a step closer to bringing one of the World War Two tanks back home. Columbia County Commissioner David Kovach.. a committee member.. says there is a seller in England ready to part with the last Stuart tank in his collection. The seller wanting $120,000 for the tank... so the haggling continues. But whatever the case... the paper work has been started... and if it's brought back to the county... massive tank will be put on display at entrance of the BIDA Complex at Third and Oak Streets in Berwick.

 

Susquehanna Steam Electric

The spin – off of the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Salem Township... north of Berwick... is one step closer to reality. PPL Corporation and Riverstone Holdings have been notified by the U.S. Department of Justice that the agency has closed its review under the Antitrust Improvements Act of the proposed spinoff. The action is the final regulatory decision needed to close the transaction and keeps PPL and Riverstone on track to closing the deal during the second quarter of 2015. The transaction, when closed, will form Talen Energy Corporation... which will be an independent, publicly traded company.

 

Marcellus Shale
A group representing municipalities in Pennsylvania has come out against Governor Tom Wolf's proposal to replace the impact fee on Marcellus Shale natural gas wells. The State Association of Township Supervisors says their opposition stems from changes the Governor wants to make in the impact fee paid to local governments affected by natural gas drilling. The current sliding scale based on the amount of drilling activity would be changed to a flat fee, and the Supervisors feel under that plan they would miss out if new wells come on line. The fees for 2014 totaled 225 million-dollars.

 

Renaissance Jamboree

Bloomsburg Police will be enforcing a no – parking ban along Main Street... from Iron to Jefferson overnight. Shortly thereafter... the set up begins for this year's Renaissance Jamboree featuring several hundred craft and food booths. Organizer Jimmie Gilliland says since you can't park anywhere near Main Street... there is shuttle bus service from the fairgrounds. Saturday's event gets underway at 10 O'clock... and runs through late afternoon.

 

Cardiac Rehab

Geisinger – Bloomsburg Hospital has reached and passed a milestone. The hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation unit is celebrating it's 30th anniversary. Coordinator Madeline Dellegrotti has been in the department since it's inception back in 1985. Now... the cardiac rehab unit includes more exercise machines... as well as preventative methods to lower the risk of a second heart attack... or acquiring heart disease.

 

Sick Leave Laws
Governor Tom Wolf said Thursday he would veto a state proposal to eradicate local sick-leave laws in Pennsylvania if it reaches his desk. The measure, which passed the Republican-controlled Senate with bipartisan support, aims to preempt a Philadelphia law requiring businesses with 10 or more employees to give workers an hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Opponents say businesses shouldn't have to deal with a patchwork of local labor laws, but supporters say Philadelphia workers need such benefits in the absence of a uniform statewide law requiring paid sick-leave.

 

State Social Media
As part of Governor Tom Wolf's efforts toward "Government that Works"...the state's financial services regulator has opened three new social media accounts. Officials with the Department of Banking and Securities say if people are on social media...the agency can meet them where they are...with industry news and investing tips. You can now find the department on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Representatives say they hope people will use the shared information to protect themselves and their money from scams...and raise their level of financial literacy.

 

Road Work

Work continues on a $1.9 - million bridge painting project spanning multiple counties in our area. An Ohio – based contractor will continue blasting and painting operations on the Route 487 Bridge in Paxinos, and the Route 61 Bridge near Uniontown. Also to get the once over is the Route 522 bridge between the boroughs of Shamokin Dam and Selinsgrove... in near – by Snyder County A PennDOT spokesman said drivers should be alert for changing traffic patterns... as well as one lane traffic.

 

Access Cards

Pennsylvanians could not use cash assistance cards to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products under a bill pending in the state House of Representatives. Rep. Mike Reese... a Republican from Westmoreland and Somerset Counties said his legislation would also prohibit cash withdrawals on electronic benefit transfer cards at businesses licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. State law already bans the purchase of liquor and alcohol with EBT cards.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

The Bloomsburg University baseball team plays back to back doubleheaders against East Stroudsburg Friday and Saturday. Those games will decide which team will grab the 4th and final playoff spot in the PSAC East. The Huskies and Warriors are currently tied for that 4th spot. Friday's doubleheader begins at 1 0'clock at the Danny Litwhiler Field.

 

BU Softball

The Bloomsburg University softball team swept a doubleheader at Lock Haven Thursday. The Huskies won the opener 9-0 and the nightcap 2 to1 in 8 innings.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Thursday... Cemtral Columbia defeated Shamokin 5 to 3...

 

HS Softball

In girls softball... Bloomsburg blanked Muncy 1 to nothing... and Central Columbia downed Montoursville 4 to 1.

 

PHL Phillies

In major league baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies were routed by the Miami Marlins 9-1in Thursday afternoon action. The Phils open a three game home series Friday night against the Atlanta Braves at 7:05. Coverage n the WHLM Stations begins at 6:30.

 

Other Games

In other games yesterday Thursday... the Pittsburgh Pirates downed the Chicago Cubs 5-4... the New York Mets extended their winning streak to 11 with a 6-3 win over the Atlanta Braves... and the New York Yankees completed a sweep of the Detroit Tigers with a 2-1 win.

 



 

Berwick School Construction

Demolition began Wednesday in Berwick on a former clothing factory... paving the way for a new school. The West Berwick Elementary School will take in students from the current Orange Street and 14th Street schools. Superintendent Wayne Brookhart says the demolition will take an estimated six weeks... with construction on the $20 – million dollar school taking about a year.

 

Wolf / Kane
Like many others, Governor Tom Wolf says he's waiting for the legal system to deal with the trouble state attorney general. Kathleen Kane is facing possible charges from a grand jury, a potential contempt charge from a judge and a lawsuit from a fired former agent... and that's just this month. Kane's legal woes have been mounting steadily over her 2 – plus years in office and many on both sides of the political aisle are saying they want the legal process to play out. That includes Kane's fellow Democrat - Governor Tom Wolf... but the governor says the Kane situation is more cause for concern about the larger issue of trust in public officials.

 

State Budget
With just over 2 months to go before the state budget deadline, Governor Wolf is facing an uphill battle with a Republican Legislature that seems to be poised against his proposed tax plans. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman says the governor's plans for tax increases will not pass in the Republican - dominated general assembly and that makes it difficult to even start crafting a budget, given there would be no sources for the revenue the governor is proposing in many line items. Governor Wolf - appearing on Radio PA's Ask the Governor - responded by saying it's a simple numbers issue: the state needs and wants to spend money on certain things and it hasn't been collecting enough to do so...

 

Dog License

If you have a dog... make sure it has a 2015 license. State Dog Wardens will canvass homes in Columbia County starting Monday... in order to see if your “pooch” has the proper credentials... so says the State Ag Department's Logan Hall. Mr. Hall says the wardens will use a computer data base to try and find dog owners that have not renewed their licenses.

 

Geisinger / WVIA

A documentary profiling Geisinger Medical Center... and it's health care system makes it's debut Thursday night on northeast PA's public TV station WVIA. Geisinger's Mike Ferlazzo says it's an all – encompassing, locally – produced show. The program makes it's debut... Thursday night at 7:30 on WVIA. Encore performances take place between Sunday, the 28th and May 3rd.

 

Secretary of Human Services

The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee approved Governor Tom Wolf's pick for Secretary of Human Services. Human Services makes up the biggest chunk of the state budget at about 40 percent. Acting Secretary Ted Dallas says he hopes to put that money to good use by investing in quality community programs that should cut costs in the long run. He also wants to turn to an outcome-based payment system for those services... and he wants to get more Pennsylvanians to work... by focusing on their individual talents and needs.

 

Man Sought

Wilkes – Barre police want their man. Investigators are looking for Dondre Bess... wanted in connection with a shooting that wounded a person at the Sherman Hills housing project last month. They don't know where he is... but Bess is considered armed and dangerous.

 

Chicken Pox

You think in this day and age Chicken pox would have been eradicated. But that's not the case in the Valley Elementary Middle School in Sugarloaf Township... in the Hazleton School District. The school's website says one child has the virus. Now... school officials say if kids aren't vaccinated against chicken pox... to stay home from school through next Wednesday in order to avoid exposure.

 

Public School Funding

Proposed legislation would guarantee public schools continue to be funded. Under the bill, in the event a state budget is not approved by August 15th, the basic subsidy for all 500 school districts would still be allocated at the previous year's amount. The bill is sponsored State Senator Ryan Aument, who says a budget impasse is possible between Governor Tom Wolf and the GOP - controlled legislature. Expected disagreements over spending and taxes have fueled speculation over whether a new budget will be in place by the June 30th deadline.

 

News Secretary

A veteran press secretary familiar with Capitol politics is set to take on the job in Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office. Chuck Ardo, former spokesman for ex-Gov. Ed Rendell and ex-Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson, would become Kane's seventh spokesman in two years. Kane's office would not confirm his hiring. Ardo's salary is not known. He plans to sign a six-month contract. Kane's most recent communications director, Aaron Sadler, quit in February.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Lacrosse

The Bloomsburg University women's lacrosse team lost to IUP 11-4 Wednesday afternoon. It was the last regular season home game for the Huskies.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Wednesday... Hughesville defeated Southern Columbia 4 to 1... and it was Lewisburg over Danville 8 to 5.

 

PHL Phillies

In major league baseball Wednesday night... The Philadelphia Phillies lost the the Florida Marlins 6 to 1. The series concludes Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia... with a game starting at 1:05. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 12:30 with the pre – game show.

 

Other Games

In other games Wednesday night... The Pittsburgh Pirates squeezed by the Chicago Cubs 4 to 3... The New York Mets rallied... beating the Atlanta Braves 3 to 2... and the New York Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers 13 to 4.

 

NHL

In the NHL Playoffs... the New York Rangers downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 2 to 1. The Rangers now hold a 3 game to 1 lead in the best of seven series.

 

NBA

In the NBA Playoffs... The Atlanta Hawks out-scored the Brooklyn Nets 96 to 91... The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 97 – 82... and the San Antonio Spurs downed the Los Angeles Clippers 111 – 107.

 



 

Southern Teachers

The Southern Columbia school board has okayed a new contract with it's teachers when they met this week. The pact is retroactive from July 1st of 2013... and runs through the middle of 2018. The new contract calls for teachers to get a 1 percent salary increase in the first year... a 2.5 percent increase in the second through fourth years.... and 2-point-six percent in the final year. The vote by the school board was 6-1... while the teachers voted 72 to 11 in favor of the agreement.

 

Education Spending

Senate Republicans are sending a message to the Wolf Administration-don't count your "fiscal chickens" before they hatch. GOP leaders are criticizing the Governor for encouraging early education groups to apply now for state grants, with the Governor proposing a sharp increase in education spending. Lawmakers are expressing disbelief that the administration is asking various groups to plan for money that has yet to be appropriated. A spokesman for the Governor says they just want organizations to have as much time as they need to plan for the funds.

 

ObamaCare / Drug Companies

In a recent hearing with state lawmakers on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on pharmaceutical companies...industry representatives emphasized their role as an economic driver... and the importance of good insurance plans. Trade association representatives noted it can take 2 billion dollars over the course of a decade to develop a new drug. They said... to keep people healthy.... we need a system that does not shift so much of the financial burden of healthcare onto the patient.... and an insurance system that doesn't arbitrarily restrict access to doctors or medicine. Representatives said they believe the market makes prescriptions in the United States cheaper in the long run... compared with other countries.

 

Renaissance Jamboree

Most of Main Street in Bloomsburg will be blocked off on Saturday for the 37th annual Renaissance Jamboree. Coordinator Oren Helbok says there will be plenty of entertainment stretching from Iron to Jefferson Street... and plenty of craft and food vendors. Meantime, police will be blocking off a portion of Main Street.... as well as some of Market Street around the square. Renaissance Jamboree opens Saturday at 9 AM.

 

PSU

Another internal battle is brewing on Pennsylvania State University's board of trustees, and this time it could lead to legal action. Seven alumni-elected trustees on the 32-member board have repeated their demand to have access to materials used in preparation for the blistering investigative report by former FBI director Louis Freeh. The report concluded that former university leaders conspired to cover up child sex-abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

 

State Economic Growth

Lawmakers are holding a hearing Wednesday on how to stimulate economic growth in the commonwealth. The public is invited to join the lawmakers and business representatives at the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology at 1:30 Wednesday afternoon. There will be a roundtable discussion centered around the challenges of central PA... as well as a package of bills from Senator Rob Teplitz. He says he wants Pennsylvania's economic recovery to continue to be a top priority.

 

Danville Dumpster Days

If you live in Danville... and are doing some spring cleaning around the house this weekend... where do you toss the trash. How 'bout in some dumpsters provided by the Borough... during Dumpster Day on Saturday at the Danville Soccer Complex on Market Street... so says governmental affairs director Dan Knorr. They'll take items such as white goods.... all electronics.... as well as used tires. Mr. Knorr says the dumpsters are open at 7 AM.... with the day wrapped by 1 O'clock.

 

Barn Fire

Firemen from Columbia and Luzerne Counties couldn't save a family barn which when up in flames at midday Tuesday. Firemen were called to Moss Road near Sweet Valley. But, when they got there... the barn was gone and their operations dealt with keeping the flames from spreading. Although... it had been part of a dairy farm years ago... in recent years it had been used for storage. There is no cause as to what sparked Tuesday's fire in the Sweet Valley area of Luzerne County.

 

Lyme Disease

Pennsylvania officials are warning residents that there is now a danger of Lyme disease in every county in the commonwealth. Department of Environmental Protection researchers say that black legged deer ticks have now been observed in all 67 Pennsylvania counties... the first time that has happened. The ticks are the primary carrier of the disease that can cause fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and joint pain.
 

Medical Marijuana

Legislation legalizing marijuana for medical purposes has won unanimous approval in the Senate State Government Committee. Prior it its passage, the measure was amended to add a "real time" registry to track the growth, production and distribution of medical cannabis. It also eliminates the production of edible cannabis products, although patients would be allowed to mix prescribed cannabis into their foods, such as herbal teas and mashed potatoes. The amendment also expands the list of covered diseases to include HIV/AIDS and glaucoma.

 

A-Treat

A Pennsylvania – based soft drink may return to the shelves soon. If you recall... A-Treat Bottling shut it's doors earlier this year after being in business for a century. Now... a Lehigh Valley businessman has agreed to purchase the company. The deal includes the name... the trademark and the formulas for the flavors. Allentown businessman Paul Eifler says he hopes to have eight flavors on grocery store shelves by the time summer arrives.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

The Bloomsburg University baseball team split a high scoring doubleheader at IUP Tuesday winning the first game 19 - 7 before dropping the nightcap 12 to 5.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Tuesday... Mt. Carmel blanked Central Columbia 3 to nothing.

 

HS Softball

In girls high school softball... Central Columbia defeated Lewisburg 20 to 9.... It was Bloomsburg over Benton 13 to 1... Southern Columbia downed Loyalsock 8 to 3... and it was Berwick over Lake Lehman 7 to 1.

 

Bucknell Coach

Bucknell introduced their new men's basketball coach Tuesday. Nathan Davis spent the last 6 seasons at head coach at Randolph Macon in Ashland, Virginia... a Division 3 school. Davis was a Bucknell assistant from 2003 to 2008. He replaces Dave Paulson who left last month to coach George Mason.

 

MLB

In major league baseball Tuesday night... The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Miami Marlins 7 to 3. The two teams square off Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Game time is 7:05. You can catch all the action starting with the pre – game show at 6:30 on the WHLM Stations.

 

Other Games

In other action... The Chicago Cubs downed the Pittsburgh Pirates 9 to 8... It was the New York Mets over the Atlanta Braves 7 to 1... and the New York Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers 5 to 2.

 

NBA

In the NBA playoffs Tuesday night..., The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 99 to 91... and the Houston Rockets outscored the Dallas Mavericks 111 – 99.

 



 

Block Party Arrests

On Monday... we told you about the 2015 edition of Block Party in Bloomsburg... an event targeted at teens and university students... and fueled by beer and social media... and not sanctioned by either the town or the University. Now we know police were busy writing citations. Police Chief Roger Van Loan says that between 4 O'clock Friday afternoon... and 8 O'clock Sunday morning... officers issued 226 non – traffic citations. Another 15 traffic citations were issued. Chief Van Loan says there were numerous criminal arrests for narcotics possession... DUI and assaults.

 

Bloomsburg Fire / OBW

Bloomsburg firemen were out on the streets early Tuesday morning. Specifically in the 600 block of Old Berwick Road near Locust Street. The reason... a fire in an electrical meter which powers one of the five apartments in the building. Chief Bob Rupp and Rescue Chief Hugh Gross said the wiring leading to the meter was old. PPL was called to disconnect power to the apartment.

 

Child Abuse

Preventing Child Abuse in America. You can see the support by Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital with purple pin wheels planted on a small hill overlooking the parking lot in front of the Medical Arts building. Geisinger psychiatrists Dr. Steven Paolucci says child abuse is a serious issue. The pin wheels were also planted at Geisinger facilities in Danville and Shamokin.

 

Celebrate Berwick

May 9th has been circled on a lot of calendars. That's the day for the third annual Celebrate Berwick event along Front Street. The Columbia – Montour Chamber of Commerce is hosting the fun – filled day.... and coordinator Donna Sharrow says there will be plenty of things to do... especially for the kids at the Offray parking lot near the Briar Creek borough line. The event gets underway at 9 AM.... and runs through the afternoon. Need information... give the Chamber in Bloomsburg a call.

 

Labor Dispute Safety

Legislation on the state House floor aims to protect public safety in the midst of labor disputes. Republican Representative Ron Marsico says his bill would end the current exemption for labor unions when it comes to accusations of threats, stalking, or harassment. Marsico says these tactics have been used during labor disputes in the past...but in order to prevent potential violence in those situations and protect the public...labor organizations and management must be held to the same criminal law as everyone else.

 

Turnpike Safety

State Police and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are teaming up for a new safety campaign. "Operation Orange Squeeze" will see troopers conducting speed enforcement from inside work areas. It comes on the heels of two accidents in 2 years which resulted in the deaths of workers within Turnpike construction zones. The campaign, which includes the website OperationOrgangeSqueeze.com, will launch next month in the Philadelphia region and work its way west by the end of the summer.

 

NEPA Gas Prices

The average price of a gallon of self – serve, unleaded regular gasoline continues to increase. According to the latest Triple – A Fuel Gauge report... we're paying an average $2.63 a gallon across Columbia and Montour counties... as well as all of northeastern Pennsylvania. A week ago we were paying $2.50 a gallon.... and $2.53 a gallon a month ago.

 

Trout Season

Trout season open over the weekend all across northeastern Pennsylvania... with anglers hitting area streams right after day break. John Arway who heads up the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission says you'll have lots of opportunities to catch a big one. Trout season has been open for two weeks in neighboring Schuylkill County.... and points south towards the Philadelphia area.

 

Captured

A Mt. Carmel man is in custody after he wrangled he way out of a police cruiser in handcuffs. Police say Michael Fickinger of Ashland was arrested Saturday for taking weapons from a Mt. Carmel home. Once he was cuffed and placed in a cruiser.. he smashed out the back window and escaped. He was captured Sunday morning... still wearing those handcuffs. Fickinger faces a long list of charges.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Softball

After a week in which the Bloomsburg University softball team won 8 of 10 games, the Huskies have swept PSAC honors. Freshman outfielder Emily Mayhew is the player of the week and Sarah Bortner is the pitcher of the week.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Monday... Southern Columbia blanked Bloomsburg 10 to nothing.

 

HS Softball

In girls softball Monday... Central Columbia downed Danville 9 to 3.

 

PHL Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies had the night off. Tuesday night the Phil's open a three game home series against the Miami Marlins starting at 7:05. Coverage on the whlm stations begins at 6:30.

 

MLB

In games Monday night... The Chicago Cubs downed the Pittsburgh Pirates 5 to 2... and the Detroit Tigers got by the New York Yankees 2 to 1.

 

NHL

In the NHL playoffs Monday night...the New York Rangers skated past the Pittsburgh Penguins 2 to 1. The Rangers now lead the series two games to one.

 



 

From the Weather Eye Weather Center...

The National Weather Service in State College has issued a Tornado Watch for most of the Susquehanna Valley  It is in effect until 10 O'clock tonight and includes the following counties. Columbia, Montour, Lycoming, Northumberland, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk Schuylkill, Snyder and Union. 

 

Once again... a Tornado Watch has been issued for a 12 county area of Central Pennsylvania.

                                --oo--

 

Bloomsburg Block Party

Block Party 2015 is in the books.... and many of the out of town participants are home. Ground Zero was at the corner of Lightstreet Road and Fetterman Avenue. During the event a lot of citations were issued. I had an opportunity to ride along in a cruiser driven by Bloomsburg PD Sgt Leonard Rogutski. The Sergeant facing several issues from disorderly conduct... to too many people at a party to an open container violation. All were solved in a satisfactory manner. Town Councilman Carey Howell got a ride along... telling me that the crowds were smaller... saying council did the right thing when changing the ordinance to gatherings of 150 people or less... and not charging admission. Now... an assessment will get underway to determine what went right... and what should be changed.

 

Man Busted

A Bloomsburg man is in the County Jail after he allegedly attacked several police officers... then barricading himself in an apartment just before dawn Saturday morning. Our media partner Newswatch 16 says 27 – year old Jeremiah Hess initially caused a disturbance at Frank's Pizza. He was chased on foot by police to an apartment above Hess' Tavern. There... he barricaded himself inside. Police backed off... with Hess being picked up midday Saturday as he walked along a street

 

State Budget
With about 2-and-a-half Months to go before the state budget deadline, lawmakers are starting to slowly get organized. WHLM's Brad Christman says it was something of a bumpy start when Governor Tom Wolf indicated he was willing to work long after the June 30th deadline if necessary. House Majority Leader Dave Reed took offense at the remark, but says things have been smoothed over following a recent meeting between the governor and GOP leaders. Reed says "working groups" have formed and have begun to tackle the different pieces of the governor's budget plan - in search of common ground. Republicans have publicly acknowledged that there is little in the governor's plan that they agree with, and they plan to vote on their own priorities in the coming weeks and months.

 

State Unemployment Rate
Pennsylvania's unemployment rate rose slightly last month. The Commonwealth's jobless rate rose one-tenth of a point in March to 5.3%. That's still below the national rate of 5.5 and down 8-tenths of a point from this same time last year. Some sectors saw job numbers fall, but construction led the gainers, adding 2700 jobs. Since last March, Pennsylvania nonfarm jobs are up by more than 54,000 with the largest gains in transportation & utilities, leisure & hospitality and education & health services. Only two of the sectors declined from a year ago - information and government.

 

Berwick Mayor's Ball

For the first time in years... there will be a Mayor's Ball in Berwick. It takes place this Saturday at the Berwick Country Club on Martzville Road. For Mayor Tim Burke... it's his way to raise money for non – profit programs in the Berwick, Nescopeck and Mifflinville areas. Tickets are $40.00 each... and area available from Mayor Burke... or by calling Berwick City Hall.

 

Tim Tebow

Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow may become a Philadelphia Eagle. The official announcement is expected Monday... as he signs a one year deal. The former Heisman Trophy winner was a first-round pick by Denver in 2010. He started 14 games for the Broncos and led them to a playoff victory in the 2011 season.

 

Captured

A Mt. Carmel man is in custody after he wrangled he way out of a police cruiser in handcuffs. Police say Michael Fickinger of Ashland was arrested Saturday for taking weapons from a Mt. Carmel home.

Once he was cuffed and placed in a cruiser.. he smashed out the back window and escaped. He was captured Sunday morning... still wearing those handcuffs. Fickinger faces a long list of charges.

 

Blue Mountain Fire

Firefighters continue to douse hot spots which destroyed hundreds of acres of brush in Carbon and Lehigh County over the weekend. An estimated 400 acres of brush was destroyed on Blue Mountain near Bowmanstown. Most of it was brought under control... but now firemen continue to watch for hot spots.

 



 

Fire Department Busy

Bloomsburg firemen were kept busy late Friday night into Saturday morning. Around 11 O'clock Friday they were called to a possible structure fire at 61 E. 1st Street when an apparent electrical malfunction produced a fire inside the wall of the building. Firemen had that situation mitigated in a matter of minutes. While that was winding down, Engine 24 was dispatched to preform an elevator rescue at the former Hotel Magee. Up to a half dozen people were stuck between the first and second floor and were rescued safely. Shortly after 2:30 Saturday morning firemen were called to a possible structure fire at the rear of 278 East 7th Street. The department clearing the incident minutes after arriving on the scene. 

 

          --oo--

 

It's Block Party Weekend in the Only College Town in Pennsylvania. Be on the look out for increased pedestrians in downtown Bloomsburg and on Lightstreet Road and East Street.

 

St. James Luthern Church on East County Road in Hobbie will be holding a take-out roast beef dinner on Saturday April 25. Dinners are $10 each and can be picked up from 4-6 PM. Orders must be placed by today. For more information call 570-379-3878.

 

The Orangeville Fire Company will host a Pampered Chef Bingo today to benefit the Orangeville Public Library. Doors open at 12:30 - games start at 2 PM. For more information call 570-683-5354.

 

WHLM Sports

 

Huskies Football

The Bloomsburg University football team concluded spring drills with their annual Maroon & Gold game Saturday morning at Danny Hale Field in Redman Stadium. The game ended in the 3rd quarter with the Gold's 35-17 lead over the Maroon. You can hear the details with Jim Doyle in the WHLM Husky Post Game Report:

 

 
Major League Baseball

The Philles are on the road this weekend to play the Washington Nationals. This afternoon's first pitch is at 1:35. The pregame show on the WHLM stations starts at 1 o'clock sharp.

 



 

Fire Department Busy

Bloomsburg firemen were kept busy late Friday night into Saturday morning. Around 11 O'clock Friday... they were called to a possible structure fire at 61 E. 1st Street when an apparent electrical malfunction produced a fire inside the wall of the building. Firemen had that situation mitigated in a matter of minutes. While that was winding down... Engine 24 was dispatched to preform an elevator rescue at the former Hotel Magee. Up to a half dozen people were stuck between the first and second floor... and were rescued safely. Shortly after 2:30 Saturday morning... firemen were called to a possible structure fire at the rear of 278 East 7th Street. The department clearing the incident minutes after arriving on the scene. The two incidents come just as Block Party gets underway in the Town of Bloomsburg.

 

          --oo--

 

It's Block Party Weekend in the Only College Town in Pennsylvania. Be on the look out for increased pedestrians in downtown Bloomsburg and on Lightstreet Road and East Street.

 

Join the Friends of the Bloomsburg Public Library this morning for a Brer Rabbit Coffee House from 10 - 11:30. Come hear Hal Pratt share some Brer Rabbit tales for all ages, and enjoy coffee and snacks. The library is on Market Street in downtown Bloomsburg.

 

Bring your pup or pooch to Clark's Ag & Pet on Route 11 in Bloomsburg for a Doggie Biscuit Hunt today from 11AM - 2PM. A $5 donation gets your dog in the hunt - all dogs will receive a treat bag. All dogs must be on a leash. For more information call 570-275-7896.

 

Monica's Heart greyhound adoption group will be holding an educational meet-and-greet event today at the Marketplace Petsmart in Selinsgrove from 11AM - 2PM. Learn more about retired racing greyhounds, meet some of the dogs, and maybe even adopt one. For more information call 570-644-2358.

 

Bethany United Methodist Church in Berwick is holding a free clothing giveaway today from 9AM - Noon. There will be Spring and Summer clothes for all ages. The church is on Summerhill Avenue in Berwick.

 

A community meeting to discuss the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project will be held this afternoon at 2PM in the Mount Pleasant Township building on Millertown Road. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

 

The Father's Hope chili cookoff is happening this evening from 4-6 at the Revival Tabernacle on the Susquehanna Trail in Watsontown. Taste more than a dozen chilis - the winner will be decided by a cash vote. There will also be hot dogs and drinks available, as well as activities for children. All proceeds benefit the Father's Hope orphan mission.

 

The Danville Child Development Center's annual Celebrity Waiter dinner is happening tonight at the historic Danville Borough Ballroom on Mill Street. Step back to the Roaring Twenties with flappers, casino games, and live music. Cost is $60 each or $100 per couple. Cocktails start at 5PM with dinner at 5:45. For more information, call 570-275-4047.

 

The Animal Resource Center will host Another Night of Wine And Music, tonight at the Barn at Boone's Dam on Fort McClure Boulevard in Bloomsburg. Enjoy live jazz from Tony Kurdilla and the Lehigh Avenue Jazz Quartet, appetizers, and check out the silent auction. Doors open at 6PM, wine tasting by Shade Mountain Winery starts at 6:30. Get your tickets in advance for just a $35 donation. Proceeds benefit ARC. For more information, call 570-850-6986.

 

St. James Luthern Church on East County Road in Hobbie will be holding a take-out roast beef dinner on Saturday April 25. Dinners are $10 each and can be picked up from 4-6 PM. Orders must be placed by tomorrow. For more information call 570-379-3878.

 

The Orangeville Fire Company will host a Pampered Chef Bingo on Sunday  to benefit the Orangeville Public Library. Doors open at 12:30 - games start at 2 PM. For more information call 570-683-5354.

 

WHLM Sports

 

Huskies Football

The Bloomsburg University football team concluded spring drills with their annual Maroon & Gold game Saturday morning at Danny Hale Field in Redman Stadium. The game ended in the 3rd quarter with the Gold's 35-17 lead over the Maroon. You can hear the details with Jim Doyle in the WHLM Husky Post Game Report:

 

 

Major League Baseball

The Philles are on the road this weekend to play the Washington Nationals. Game 3 of the series starts this afternoon at 1:05; pregame at 12:30.

 



 

Block Party

With the annual rite of spring known as Block Party starting Friday night in Bloomsburg... there are several new camera – equipped security systems in place. That word from security specialist Eric Bower. He knows of at least five newly installed high – definition systems now in place where there have been troubles in the past. Bower says the new systems are effective if a person gets to within ten feet of the camera. Meantime, block party will hit full song on Saturday. But Bloomsburg Police Chief Roger Van Loan says he plans to import officers from surrounding county's to keep the party under control.

 

Pipeline

The Columbia – Montour Chamber of Commerce has thrown it's support behind a proposed 35 – mile natural gas pipeline. The project is designed to supply natural gas to a power plant in Shamokin Dam... in Snyder County. But... it could also provide gas service to a portion of Montour County. The pipeline would begin in Lycoming County by hooking up to the Transco Pipeline... with an estimated 500 construction jobs created. There would be an unknown number of jobs created at the power plant... which now sits dormant.

 

Job Tour

Governor Tom Wolf continued his "Jobs That Pay" tour this week with stops in Berks and Lycoming Counties. The Governor visited East Penn Manufacturing in Berks County, as well as the Energy Technology Education Center in Montgomery Borough, Lycoming County. In both locations, Wolf stressed his investments in education which he says will enable Pennsylvanians to secure the stable, good paying jobs in fields such as manufacturing and energy. He added that rebuilding the middle class depends on a skilled workforce and the education necessary to achieve those skills.

 

Voter Registration

Time is running out if you plan to vote in next month's primary. Columbia County Chief Registrar Matt Repasky says if you want to register to vote... have a change of address or name... Monday afternoon is the final day to make those changes. Repasky says if you need to make a change... you can go into the voter registration office in the Columbia County Courthouse Annex on Main Street in Bloomsburg... or simply download the forms off the county's website... but it must mailed back with a Monday postmark.

 

State Vehicle Auction

If you're in the market for a used vehicle, there's a big auction taking place next week near Harrisburg. Nearly 400 vehicles will be on the block at the next auction of state vehicles next Tuesday in Dauphin County. The event kicks off at 10AM at Manheim Keystone Pennsylvania on Firehouse Road in Grantville. You can preview the vehicles in person at the auction site through Monday, from 10AM to 4PM daily, or online at dgs.pa.gov.
 

Leadership Conference

The right leaning Pennsylvania Leadership Conference gets underway in Camp Hill Friday. One of the movers and shakers co-coordinating this weekend's event is Lowman Henry... the radio voice of the Lincoln Radio Journal heard every weekend on the WHLM Stations. Appearing on a recent edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz.... Henry says the keynote speaker for tonight is former CBS TV investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson. The event is taking place at the Radison Penn Harris conference center... just outside of Harrisburg.

 

Ed Pawlowski

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is expected to announce Friday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Pat Toomey. That could set up the potential for a contested Democratic Party primary in 2016. Also running is Democrat Joe Sestak, a former congressman from suburban Philadelphia who narrowly lost to Toomey in 2010. Pawlowski briefly tested his statewide electoral prospects in last year's governor's race, but he never made the ballot and dropped out after reporting disappointing fund raising.

 

Disabilities

Services provided to adults with disabilities in Pennsylvania was the focus of a hearing of the House Human Services Committee. Committee members heard from a variety of stakeholders in the adult disability field including officials with the Department of Human Services, along with caregivers and clients, and their family members. The main goal of the hearing was to determine what is and is not working, and suggest ways to improve how services are provided and if any laws or regulations need to be changed.

 

Stabbing Suspect

Wilkes – Barre police have charged a man in the stabbing death of a veteran. 27 – year old Matthew Vantine was arraigned and was charged with criminial homicide. Vantine is accused in the stabbing death of Bryan Hogan in an apartment in the heights section of Wilkes – Barre in January.

 

Hit & Run

Still no one in custody in the hit and run death of a Wilkes – Barre man earlier this month in Ashley. Hanover Township police now say 61 – year old Larry Herbert was struck by two cars on April 3rd. Neither of the drivers stopped to render aid.

 

Schuylkill Burn Ban

Starting today... Schuylkill County residents will be under a burn ban. County commissioners have enacted a 30 day ban starting at noon... running through May 17th. It is the fourth year that a burn ban was put in place.

 

WHLM Sports

BU / Saturday

Bloomsburg University's upper campus will be a very busy place tomorrow as the University celebrates an All Athletic Alumni Day. The Husky softball, baseball, women's lacrosse and men's and women's tennis teams will all be in action. There will be two alumni games, a celebration of the 1995 Husky baseball team that reached the College World Series, and the dedication of Steph Pettit Stadium. In addition, the Husky football team will conclude spring drills with the annual Maroon & Gold game which begins at 11 O'clock. Coverage of that game on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 10:30.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Thursday... Berwick blanked Crestwood 4 to nothing..

 

HS Softball

In softball from Thursday... Central Columbia downed Milton 12 to 4... and it was Bloomsburg over Bucktail area 16 to 1.

 

MLB

In major league baseball... it was the Washington National over the Philadelphia Phillies 5 to 2. That series in Washington continues tonight at 7:05. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 6:30. In another National League East game last night.. the New York Mets defeated the Miami Marlins 7 to 5.

 

NHL

In the NHL Thursday night, in the first game of a playoff series... the New York Rangers got past the Pittsburgh Penguins 2 to 1.

 

 



 

 

Block Party

Bloomsburg Police ready for this weekend's block party by University age students. The gathering... is not sanctioned by the town or University... has been going on for a generation. Bloomsburg Police Chief Roger Van Loan says he'll have plenty of out of town police officers... as well as a mounted horse patrol. The gathering of teenagers and young adults began back in the 80s as a fund raiser for non – profit groups... but has become a beer – swilling affair fueled by social media.

 

Columbia County 911

They've been talking about it for the last two years... and now Columbia County Commissioners are running up against a wall. We're talking about 911 service in the county. Commissioners are talking with political leaders in Montour County... with the possibility of merging... so says Commissioner David Kovach of Berwick. Kovach says the equipment now in use is reaching the end of it's life cycle.... and one advantage of consolidation would be the possibility of state and federal grants to purchase new equipment for a consolidated 911 Center in Bloomsburg.

 

State Background Checks 

Proposed legislation would eliminate the requirement for a state background check in order to purchase a firearm in Pennsylvania. The bill would eliminate the Pennsylvania Instant Check System, in favor of its national counterpart. Bill sponsor Senator Camera Bartolotta says there's a fee for a state background check, while the national version is free. The bill would also require State Police to report any crimes committed in Pennsylvania to the nationwide system, to keep Pennsylvanians with a criminal record or outstanding warrant from purchasing a firearm in another state.
 

DNA Testing 

Legislation making it way through the state Senate would change DNA testing rules. The measure would allow DNA to be collected for those accused of serious crimes, not just those convicted under current law. Supporters point out this is already legal in 30 states and Pennsylvania is merely playing catch up. But opponents say this would set an dangerous precedent, adding that all police need to do now is to get a warrant for a DNA sample.
 

Academic Fraud
Legislation has been introduced in the state House that would make academic fraud a felony. Representative Stephen Kinsey of Philadelphia says he wanted to write this bill because of the recent case out of the University of North Carolina, in which athletes were steered into fake classes to boost their grades and keep them eligible for their sports. Kinsey says that practice only hurts the athletes and their futures. His bill would make helping a student get credit by fraudulent means punishable by up to seven years in prison.

 

Hazleton Cab Robbery

A Hazleton area cab driver was the victim of a robbery this week. Police say someone called for a cab... and when the driver reached North Fulton Court... he was robbed after being punched in the face. Then the bandit pulled out a gun... threatening the driver... demanding his money. The driver was hit on the head with the weapon... with the bandit taking an estimated $100.

 

Hit & Run

Still no one in custody in the hit and run death of a Wilkes – Barre man earlier this month in Ashley. Hanover Township police now say 61 – year old Larry Herbert was struck by two cars on April 3rd. Neither of the drivers stopped to render aid.

 

Town Park Forum

Bloomsburg Town Council wants to hear from you about Town Park. So... a public input meeting will be held Monday, April 27th in Council Chambers. Assistant Town Administrator Lauren Martz says the council wants to hear your ideas as to what you want to see in town park... such as new equipment... community events... foot trucks and additional recreation opportunities. The session begins at 6 O'clock on the 27th at Town Hall.

 

Lou Barletta

President Obama has removed Cuba from the US list of state sponsored terrorism. But it's not sitting well with Congressman Lou Barletta... a Republican of Hazleton... who represents Columbia and Montour Counties. He said taking Cuba off the list is another example of Mr. Obama's failed foreign policy.

 

Gordner Bill

Legislation that provides more transparency of the regulatory process in Pennsylvania will be considered by the full state Senate. The Rules and Executive Nominations Committee has unanimously approved Senate Bill 562, authored by Senator John Gordner... a republican from Berwick. The legislation provides for specific time frames for legislative committees with state departmental oversight to review and comment on the proposed regulations once they are before the IRRC. Senator Gordner says he expects the full Senate to consider the bill in the near future

 

WHLM Sports

BU Softball

The Bloomsburg University softball team swept a doubleheader from Lock Haven Wednesday by identical 5 to 4 scores. The wins improved the Huskies overall record to 15 and 8.

 

HS Baseball 

In high school baseball Wednesday...Mt. Carmel defeated Bloomsburg 10 – 3... Southern Columbia blanked Danville 4 to 0... and Millville downed Montgomery 3 to 1. I

 

HS Softball

In girls high school softball... Crestwood got the best of Berwick 9 to 5... and it was Warrior Run over Benton 7 to 3.

 

PHL Phillies

In major league action Wednesday night... the New York Mets defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 6 to 1. The Phils begin a four game series tonight against the Nationals in Washington starting at 7:05. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 6:30.

 

Other MLB Action

In other games Wednesday night... The Detroit Tigers blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates 1 to nothing... and the Baltimore Orioles tripped up the New York Yankees 7 to 5.

 

 



 

Briar Creek Fire

A Briar Creek man is recovering from burns received when he tried to extinguish flames on the back porch of the home he shares with his mother. Now... a state police fire marshal says the blaze was deliberately set. Berwick firemen were called to the mobile home on Lark Drive late Monday night. 26 – year old Jay Garton sustained burns of his hand and foot. Neighbors also jumped in... trying to prevent the spread of flames. He was taken to the Berwick Hospital for treatment

 

Sharyl Attkisson

A former CBS Television investigative reporter will speak Friday night to those gathered for the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in Camp Hill. Sharyl Attkisson worked for CBS for 20 – years until 2014 when neither Ms. Attkisson or her producer could get a project on the air. Appearing on the Tuesday edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz with Joe and Norm... Ms. Attkisson says she is neither a liberal or a conservative. Attkisson also is the author of a book entitled “Stonewalled” which made the New York Times best seller list It documented her trials and tribulations in her final days at CBS News.

 

Town Park Forum

Bloomsburg Town Council wants to hear from you about Town Park. So... a public input meeting will be held Monday, April 27th in Council Chambers. Assistant Town Administrator Lauren Martz says the council wants to hear your ideas as to what you want to see in town park... such as new equipment... community events... foot trucks and additional recreation opportunities. The session begins at 6 O'clock on the 27th at Town Hall.

 

Bridge Work

Work continues in the westbound lane of Interstate 80... on the bridge which carries the highway over the Susquehanna River. There will be rolling road blocks until late Wednesday afternoon... so crews can replace bearing plates... part of the 5 – year, $50 – million dollar project.

 

Library Week

It's been a wild ride for the Bloomsburg Public Library... established on Market Street in 1899. And now... this week is being celebrated at National Library Week. But over the years... a lot has changed so says head librarian Hal Pratt. It is no long a warehouse for books... and the library has changed... with soft chairs... to wi-fi throughout the building... as well as other amenities.

 

Williamsport Shooting

Two people were treated for gunshot wounds in Williamsport overnight. Police say the incident happened in the 700 block of West Fourth Street around 9:30 last night. Investigators are keeping information about the shooting close to the vest... and have not detailed the situation surrounding the shootings... or if anyone is in custody.

 

Distracted Driving
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, and legislation to strengthen laws against it is being introduced at the state capital. It's already illegal to text while driving in PA, but this legislation would make make using a handheld device to place calls while driving a secondary summary offense. The fine would be 50-dollars for the first offense, 100-dollars for the second, and 150-dollars for subsequent offenses. The offense would be secondary, meaning that a driver would have to convicted for another violation.

 

Organ Donors

The subject of organ donation is coming up before lawmakers in Harrisburg once again. Proponents are hoping the state will update its 1994 organ donation law to streamline the process. The legislation would require coroners to show up in person to halt organ donation and to put their decisions in writing. But coroners are voicing concern, saying the requirements could compromise death investigations.

 

Lycoming Co. Fire

A state police fire marshal is trying to figure out what started a blaze that destroyed a Lycoming County barn late Monday night. First due firemen found flames shooting from the structure on the Styer's Farm in Muncy Creek Township. When the flames were extinguished there was nothing left of the barn. No one was injured fighting last night's fire in Lycoming County.

 

Bar Hours

Bars could stay open until 4 O'clock in the morning under a new proposal that would create an "extended use" permit. PennLive.com is reporting that Rep. Jordan Harris... a Democrat from Philadelphia... says the extended service hours would... in his words... create a more attractive Pennsylvania. Under current state laws, most bars and restaurants must stop selling alcohol at 2 in the morning although some private clubs are permitted to serve later. Harris' proposal is the latest among a raft of rule changes and proposed legislation aimed at modernizing the state's Liquor Control Board, which oversees the distribution of alcohol statewide.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Football

The Bloomsburg University football team is in its final week of spring drills. The Huskies are led by senior Tim Kelly who will begin his 4th season as the starting quarterback this fall. The Huskies have a record of 30 and 6 with Kelly as the starter. The senior captain has earned the praise of quarterbacks coach Jack Lydic. The Huskies conclude spring drills with their annual Maroon & Gold game which starts Saturday morning at 11 O'clock. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 10:30.

 

BU Baseball

The Bloomsburg University baseball team split a doubleheader at Kutztown Tuesday losing the opener 1 to nothing before winning the nightcap 8-7.

 

Girls HS Softball

In girls softball Tuesday... Central Columbia downed Hughesville 14 to 1.... and Bloomsburg blanked Millville 15 to nothing.

 

Phillies

In major league baseball Tuesday night... The New York Mets just getting by the Philadelphia Phillies 6 to 5. That series in New York concludes tonight with a 7:10 start. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 6:35.

 

 



 

Skateboard Park

We could see construction on a new Skateboard area in Bloomsburg's Town Park during the next couple of months. Town Park Association President Chuck Wagner.says the Association has an estimated $23, 000 to begin the project in June... if approved by Town Council... needing only $7,000 additional dollars to get the project underway. Mr Wagner says the association is targeting a June 1st build date... with the facility up and running in early July.

 

Tpr Dickson Remembered

The state Senate has approved another honor for a fallen Pennsylvania State Trooper. The Senate has voted unanimously to rename the Blooming Grove exit of Interstate 84 in Pike County for Corporal Bryon Dickson, who was gunned down last September outside the Blooming Grove Barracks. The bill now heads to the state House. A fellow trooper, Alex Douglass, was severely wounded in the ambush. The alleged shooter, Eric Frein, was captured following a 48 day manhunt through the Pocono region, and faces a possible death sentence.

 

CHIP Insurance

In what must be one of the shortest government committee meetings on record, state lawmakers voted to extend an insurance program for Pennsylvania's children. It took the House Insurance Committee less than three minutes to affirm the value of the Children's Health Insurance Program... or CHIP... by approving House Bill 857. CHIP covers 145,000 children in the commonwealth but it's set to expire at the end of this year. This bill will extend it through the end of 20-17. Lawmakers are also asking Congress to expedite their approval of a CHIP extension at the federal level.

 

Brush Fires

Volunteer firemen across Columbia County were busy Monday afternoon... battling a rash of brush fires which popped up during a three hour period. Bloomsburg Fire Chief Bob Rupp says the origin of a any brush fire comes down to one common denominator.... the wind. And although Chief Rupp says the Bloomsburg Department usually don't battle bush fires.... they still have to deal with trash fires... as well as mulch fires which are difficult to extinguish.

 

Biker / Train

A Shamokin man is dead after his motorcycle collided with a freight train in Limestone Township in Montour County Monday afternoon. State troopers says 27 – year old Brian Shifflet failed to stop for flashing signals... colliding with the Norfolk Southern freight train.. and thrown from his bike. Investigators say Shifflet was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

 

Budget Deadline

As another state budget deadline looms, every effort is being made to cut waste and fraud in state government... so says the state Auditor General... who adds education is no exception. State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale discussed a number of concerns brought to light by several hundred audits of PA's school districts. Speaking before the House Majority Policy Committee in Harrisburg last week, DePasquale said a lack of competitive bidding for transportation services was a recurring theme. Other key issues include lease reimbursements to charter schools, superintendent buyouts, and vendor accountability.

 

Cash 5 Winner

The folks who run the Pennsylvania Lottery tell us that one jackpot – winning Cash 5 ticket was sold at the Weis Market in Bloomsburg. It was sold for the Saturday drawing and is worth an estimated $325,000. Thus far... no one has stepped forward to produce the winning ticket. Whoever is in possession of the ticket has a year to claim the prize.

 

Bridge Work

Although the bridge project on Interstate 80 over the Susquehanna River appears to be in it's final stage... construction crews have one major job to preform. Starting at 7 AM Wednesday... the contractor will jack up the I-80 westbound bridge to replace the bearing plates. In order to do so... state police will have rolling road blocks in place from mile marker 250 to 242 in the Mifflinville area. The work must be preformed with no weight on the bridge... so that includes lifting the structure... installing the plate and putting the span back in place. The work is expected to be completed by late Wednesday afternoon.

 

Fuel Prices

The price of a gallon of self – serve, unleaded regular gas continues to hold steady across northeast PA. The latest Triple – A Fuel Gauge report shows the average price of gasoline at $2.50 a gallon. A week ago we were paying $2.49 a gallon in the Columbia – Montour County area. That's an 8 cent a gallon drop from a month ago.

 

I-80 Fatal

State Police at Hazleton have told us speed was a factor in the crash of an SUV on Interstate 80.... killing a Montgomery County man. Investigators say 20 – year old Jordan Campbell of Landsdale lost control of his SUV while westbound in Black Creek Township. The 2003 Honda Pilot slammed into a guardrail... overturning several times. Campbell was not wearing a seatbelt... and was ejected. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Luzerne County Coroner.

 

Doe Licenses

The board of the Pennsylvania Game Commission has voted to reduce antlerless license allocations in several areas of the state. In northeastern PA.... the number of doe licenses has been reduced to 28,000... that's 5,000 less than last year. Across the state... there will be 746,000 doe licenses available.. 151,000 less than last year. The reduction in licenses comes from concerns from hunters and the possible impact of the harsh winter,

 

 

WHLM Sports

Bloomsburg University

The Bloomsburg University baseball and softball teams both swept doubleheaders played Monday on the upper campus. The baseball team beat Mansfield by scores of 14 to 1 and 7-6 while the softball team took two from Shippensburg 3 to 1 and 9-5.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Monday... Central Columbia blanked Bloomsburg 8 to nothing... Danville downed Shamokin 8 to 5... Loyalsock defeated Southern Columbia 9 to 5... and it was Warrior run over Benton 9 to 3.

 

HS Softball

In girls softball... Bloomsburg defeated Muncy 7 to 3.

 

Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies lost to the Mets 2 to nothing Monday afternoon in the Mets' home opener. The teams meet again Tuesday night at 7:10. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 6:35.

 

Other MLB Games

In other games Monday... the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Detroit Tigers their first loss of the season picking up a 5 to 4 victory... and the New York Yankees just got by the Baltimore Orioles 6 to 5.

 



 

Block Party

One of the biggest celebrations of springs arrives in Bloomsburg this weekend. The annual Block Party starts Friday night and continues into last Saturday. Block Party began as a fund raiser for a non – profit group... .but over a generation the event has turned into a beer – swilling affair... not sanctioned by the University or town... but rather off – campus groups. Bloomsburg Police chief Roger Van Loan says no one has applied for a permit for large crowds... thanks to the town council changing zoning... limiting the number of people allowed at a fraternity house along East and Iron Streets. Chief Van Loan will have officers from other jurisdictions in town in order to keep the peace.

 

PPL Reactor 

Operators at PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant disconnected the Unit 2 reactor from the electrical grid at the start of the weekend. While the reactor is shut down, workers will replace about 40 % of the uranium fuel and complete a number of equipment maintenance tasks and upgrades. The plant also will be investing millions to upgrade equipment with state-of-the-art technology and to perform thousands of routine maintenance tasks that keep the plant in good condition. While Unit 2 is shut down... Unit 1 continues to operate at full power.

 

PPL License

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved PPL Susquehanna’s request for transfer of control of the operating licenses for both units at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant. That plant is located in Salem Township in Luzerne County.... about seven miles north of Berwick. The decision is associated with PPL Corporation’s proposal to spin off its competitive energy supply business to Talen Energy Corporation.

 

Barletta / Iran

Congressman Lou Barletta say he's not a big fan of the latest nuclear deal hammered out by the Obama Administration... giving Iran the capabilities of building a nuclear bomb. During a stop in Bloomsburg last week, Mr. Barletta says congress should have a say in any agreement. Mr. Barletta says Iran hasn't allowed inspectors into their country in the past... and there is no reason for that country to have a change of heart.

 

Tuberculosis

The Pennsylvania Department of Health wants to raise awareness of a disease that...while relatively rare in the US... is still deadly. While many people think tuberculosis is eradicated, it actually killed more than a million people worldwide in 2013... and Pennsylvania had 214 reported cases in the same year. The airborne bacterial disease is most likely to affect the lungs and cause a persistent cough and chest pains. Travelers are warned it's common in places such as Mexico, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

 

Trade Schools
Trade and technical schools may not have the glamor of a 4-year university, but they're getting more and more attention as the job markets change. State Rep Stan Saylor chairs the House Education Committee - he says education is changing as job markets evolve and it's time to drop the stigma attached to trade and technical schools that don't offer a 4-year degree but still provide a solid education that comes with marketable skills. Saylor says he hopes guidance counselors are paying attention so they can steer students to careers that are really available to them...

 

Road Maintenance

A road maintenance project is expected to get underway Monday in Mifflin Township. PennDOT says they'll start work on a short section of Route 339 that runs under Interstate 80. That means that drivers could be held up a bit... since one lane of the two lane road will be shut down. An agency spokesman says work will take place around the clock. That work is expected to be wrapped up Friday.

 

Kelly Snyder

No word yet on the results of an autopsy on the body of a woman found Saturday near Renovo. Now... state police have charged William Snyder of Renovo has been arrested in connection with the Easter disappearance of his wife... Kelley. Snyder telling police he dumped her body.. after reporting her missing... and faking a ransom note. He's now in the Clinton County Correctional Facility charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

 

Black Creek Fatal

A Lansdale man is dead after his SUV went out of control Saturday night... crashing on Interstate 80... in Black Creek Township... in Luzerne County. State police say 20 - year old Jordan Campbell was not wearing his seat belt and was tossed from the SUV when it rolled over. Campbell was pronounced dead at the scene. There was no one else in the SUV at the time of the crash.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Softball

The Bloomsburg University softball team split a doubleheader at Kutztown Sunday, winning the first game two to nothing and losing the nightcap 3 to nothing. Monday will be a busy day for sports on the upper campus. The softball team plays a doubleheader against Shippensburg starting at 2:30... and the baseball team plays two against Mansfield starting at 1 o'clock.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Monday, Bloomsburg and Central Columbia renew their rivalry at Bloomsburg.

 

MLB

In major league baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies lost a 10 inning game to the Washington Nationals Sunday 4-3. On Monday, the Phils play the New York Mets in the Big Apple starting at 1:10. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 12:35.

 

In other games Sunday...

The Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2; the Pittsburgh Pirates routed the Milwaukee Brewers 10-2; and it was the New York Yankees over the Boston Red Sox 14 to 4.

 

The Masters

In golf, 21 year old Texan Jordan Speith tied the course record with an 18 under par to win the Masters in Augusta. Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose tied for second, four strokes back.

 

 



 

The 4th annual Susquehanna River Arts open studio tour is happening This weekend. Several local artists' studios will be open 11AM - 5PM today for you to browse their work, talk with the artists, and get a glimpse at the creative process. Collect all the participating artists' initials and be entered for a chance to win free art! For more information and details on participating artists visit iTourColumbiaMontour.com

 

Come to the Washingtonville Fire Hall today for an afternoon of purse bingo to benefit the EOS Therapeutic Riding Center. Doors open at Noon, the early bird game starts at 1PM. Advance tickets are sut $20. The fire hall in Washingtonville is at 19 Strawberry Ridge Road. For more information call 570-437-3804.

 

The Benton British Car Club will meet this afternoon at 3PM at Strevig's Family Restaraunt on Route 487 in Benton. They meet the second Sunday of every month. Anyone who owns a British-made vehicle is invited to attend.

 

Greenwood Friends School is holding an open house today from 2-4 PM. The school serves students from Preschool through 8th grade. Greenwood Friends is on State Route 254 just outside of Millville. For more information, call the school at 570- 458-5532.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Phils will wrap up their weekend series against the Nationals this afternoon in a 1:35 PM home game. Pregame coverage on the WHLM stations gets under way at 1 O'clock.

 



 

 

** From the WHLM Newsroom **

 

PPL Reactor Down for Maintenance

Operators at PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant disconnected the Unit 2 reactor from the electrical grid late Friday to begin a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage. While the reactor is shut down, workers will replace about 40 percent of the uranium fuel and complete a number of equipment maintenance tasks and upgrades. The plant also will be investing millions to upgrade equipment with state-of-the-art technology and to perform thousands of routine maintenance tasks that keep the plant in good condition. PPL schedules nuclear refueling and maintenance outages at this time of year, when seasonal temperatures bring less electricity use and the demand on the regional power grid is lower.  Unit 1 continues to operate at full power.

 

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Wesley United Methodist Church's spring rummage sale continues today from 8AM - 1PM at the church on Market Street in Bloomsburg. Items can be dropped off for donation any time leading up to the sale. For more information call 570-784-1407.

 

The 6th annual Believe In Hope 5K Run & Walk in memory of Carissa Barrett will be held this morning at the Bloomsburg Town Park. Registration opens at 8AM. The race starts at 10AM. Registration fee is $20 or $8 without a shirt. Proceeds benefit St Jude's Children's Hospital. For more information, call 570-764-5778.

 

The Moose Exchange's Stairwell Gallery presents "What Are You Watching?" their latest community art exhibition - based around the theme of film and television. Stop by today from 11AM - 11PM for a special screening for submitted experimental films and animations. A reception will be held tonight at 6PM. The exhibition runs through May 16 at the Antler gallery in downtown Bloomsburg.

 

Artspace gallery in downtown Bloomsburg will host "221 Ocean Boulevard," a joint showing by gallery members Annie Barnhardt and Becky Marks based on the theme of water expressed in paint, calligraphy, and glass. A 6PM artists' reception will be held tonight in conjunction with the Moose Exchange's film festival and gallery reception. The showing runs through May 17.

 

There's still time to get your ticket to BTE's Taming of the Brew, going on tonight 7-11 PM at the Caldwell Consistory in downtown Bloomsburg. Come sample craft brews from ascross the country and try some local home-brewed beers as well. For more information visit the BTE under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 

The 4th annual Susquehanna River Arts open studio tour is happening This weekend. Several local artists' studios will be open 11AM - 5PM today and Sunday for you to browse their work, talk with the artists, and get a glimpse at the creative process. Collect all the participating artists' initials and be entered for a chance to win free art! For more information and details on participating artists visit iTourColumbiaMontour.com

 

Come to the Washingtonville Fire Hall Sunday for an afternoon of purse bingo to benefit the EOS Therapeutic Riding Center. Doors open at Noon, the early bird game starts at 1PM. Advance tickets are sut $20. The fire hall in Washingtonville is at 19 Strawberry Ridge Road. For more information call 570-437-3804.

 

The Benton British Car Club will meet this Sunday at 3PM at Strevig's Family Restaraunt on Route 487 in Benton. They meet the second Sunday of every month. Anyone who owns a British-made vehicle is invited to attend.

 

Greenwood Friends School is holding an open house on Sunday from 2-4 PM. The school serves students from Preschool through 8th grade. Greenwood Friends is on State Route 254 just outside of Millville. For more information, call the school at 570- 458-5532.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Phils continue their weekend series against the Nationals at home tonight. First pitch flies at 7:05. Pregame coverage on the WHLM stations gets under way at 6:30.

 



 

Windsor Plant

We could have some great economic news in our future. The construction of a 30 – million dollar flood wall from Autoneum south to 11th Street in Bloomsburg has peaked the interest of one out – of - town company... so says Columbia County Commission Chairman Chris Young. Although Mr. Young wouldn't name the company due to on – going negotiations. Windsor Foods was a long – time occupant of the building on West 11th. Two years ago... Windsor closed the Bloomsburg plant... and one in Southern California in order to consolidate their operations in the Midwest.

 

BU Economic Report

A newly – released report by Bloomsburg University says the school added more than $350 – million dollars to the economy of northeastern Pennsylvania in just one year. The report was authored by Idaho – based Economic Modeling Specialist, Incorporated. One person interested in the economic impact is Fred Gaffney... the president of the Columbia – Montour Chamber of Commerce. The study used various data from the 2012 – 13 academic year in order to create the overall analysis of the University's impact.

 

Kane Deputy Gone
A top deputy to Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who reportedly testified before the grand jury investigating his boss, has been abruptly fired. Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office says James Barker was fired as part of a larger restructuring. The head of criminal appeals reportedly testified before a grand jury looking into allegations that Kane leaked secret grand jury information, but an office spokeswoman says Barker's dismissal is unrelated. The attorney general is under threat of indictment as the Montgomery County district attorney mulls whether to follow through on charges recommended by the grand jury looking into Kane's activity. For her part, Ms. Kane says she has done nothing wrong, and has no plans to resign.

 

Russell Redding

He was the state agriculture secretary in the Rendell Administration... now he's been tapped again... this time to serve under Governor Wolf. Agriculture Secretary – Designate Russell Redding was the guest speaker at Thursday night's Columbia County ag banquet at the Columbia – Montour Vo – Tech School. His message... young people need to get involved in agriculture. And that... according to Mr. Redding is a strong agriculture program such as the Future Farmers of America. Meantime... many in Harrisburg feel his senate confirmation should not have a problem when it comes up for a vote.

 

Tuition on Hold

Tuition at the 14 state-owned universities in Pennsylvania... including Bloomsburg... will remain at its current level under a proposed budget for the next academic year. By a 9 to 8 vote, the Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education approved a tuition freeze, in exchange for 45-million-dollars in new spending in each of the next 2 years. It would be the first increase for the state-owned schools in 7 years and the largest in the system's history. Supporters say the next step will be to convince House and Senate members to make this plan part of the overall state budget for the next fiscal year.

 

Civil War

It was 150 – years ago... Thursday... the civil war came to an end. To celebrate the occasion civil war reenactors known at the 149th Bucktails held a ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors monument at Main and Market Streets in Bloomsburg. It was April 9th, 1865 that Confederate General Robert E. Lee put quill to paper... surrendering to Union General Ulysses Grant in Appomattox, Virginia. The Bucktails hope to have other celebrations around the region throughout the year.

 

Youth Safety

April is National Youth Sports Safety Month, and advocates are hoping parents and coaches will use the time to learn to prevent injuries. Officials with the Pennsylvania Division of the American Trauma Society say sports are a great way to get active and learn teamwork...but they also landed more than a million young people in emergency rooms in 2013 for related injuries. They recommend children get a physical and a medical history completed before playing...and for parents and coaches to clearly communicate any issues about the young athletes.

 

Hazleton Fire

Still no word as to what started a fire at a home on Lee Court in Hazleton this week. The flames were spotted in the early afternoon Wednesday... and apparently started on the second floor of the wood frame structure. That's the portion of the home where firemen found a lot of heavy smoke. No one injured in this week's blaze.

 

Traffic Deaths

Traffic deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014 reached an all-time low, continuing a favorable trend as safety advocates work towards the nationwide goal of zero fatalities. That.. from acting PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards. The 2014 number totaled 1,195, the lowest since record keeping began in 1928. PennDOT data shows that while the number of highway deaths dropped in many types of crashes, there were significant decreases in unbuckled, drinking-driver-related crashes last year when compared to 2013.

 

 

WHLM Sports

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Thursday... Bloomsburg just got by Lewisburg 4 to 3.

 

HS Softball

In girls softball... Berwick downed Coughlin 12 to nothing... Benton defeated Muncy 1 to nothing.... Bloomsburg blanked Sullivan County 15 to nothing... it was Southern Columbia over Warrior run 14 to 2...

 

MLB

In major league baseball Thursday night... The Boston Red Sox defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 6 to 2. The Phils open a three game home series against the Washington Nationals starting Friday night at 7:05. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 6:30.

 

Other Games

In other games Thursday... the New York Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 6-3... and the Cincinnati Reds completed a three game sweep of the Pirates with a 3-2 win. The Toronto Bluejays downed the New York Yankees 6 to 3.

 

The Masters

In golf... 21 – year old Jordan Speith shot an 8 under par 64 to take the first round lead in the Masters. Four golfers are tied for second four strokes behind.

 

 



 

Ground Broken for Flood Wall

Ground was broken Wednesday at Autoneum in Bloomsburg for a flood wall that will protect the 800 jobs at the plant. Columbia County Commission Chairman Chris Young of Rohrsburg says the 30 – million dollars in flood protection will start in the plant's parking lot... going for a little more than a mile. The wall is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

 

NTSB Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board has released it's findings dealing with the fatal crash of a plane which took off from the Bloomsburg Airport the day after Christmas in 2013. The report shows that the pilot.. 46 – year old Michael Bronzburg of Catawissa... took off in his twine – engine Piper Comanche... on a flight to Summerville, South Carolina under visual flight rules... but ran into snowy conditions near Gettysburg. The report says Bronzburg lost control of the plane... crashing into a field. Also killed in the crash was 17 – year old Miranda Rose... a junior at Southern Columbia High School. The report says that Bronzburg was not qualified to fly in snow or instrument conditions.

 

Medical Marijuana

Two state House Committees combined for a lengthy hearing on the possibility of legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Members of the House Judiciary and Health Committees heard a variety of views from experts in law enforcement, drug treatment, business, and consulting. Legislation before the state Senate would legalize cannabis for medical purposes. Today's House testimony included an advisory that legalization should come with strict regulations, as well as a warning that the federal government is unlikely to change its stance that marijuana in all its forms remains an illegal substance.

 

Caregiver Seminar

What do you do if... suddenly... your tasked with taking care of a loved one or relative if they become incapacitated. That was the theme of a caregivers seminar held last night in Scott Township hosted by State Representative David Millard of Berwick. One of the panelists delivering a message was elder law attorney Marianne Kreisher of Bloomsburg. Also on the panel were folks from the Office of Aging and Veterans Services.

 

Spring Suicide

Researchers are warning Spring can be a time when suicide rates increase. It's not clear why the number of suicides goes up in April and May. Some hypotheses include added pressure at the end of the school year. But mental health professionals say it shows that physicians as well as people in the community need be aware of the signs that come before suicidal thoughts year round. Those include losing interest in activities, a change in appetite or sleep, and trouble concentrating.

 

Shooting Folo

A Lycoming County couple are facing felony charges after their 2 – year old son grabbed a loaded weapon from a bedroom and accidentally shot himself in the leg. Amanda Fry and boyfriend Cody Asher were arrested on a charge of leaving a loaded weapon in their Montoursville home. Zachery Lee remains in the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville recovering from his leg wound. Bail for Fry and Asher was set at $75,000 each... and the couple could be released under special conditions.

 

Sex Abuse

A state lawmaker wants to continue raising awareness of two sensitive issues. April has been declared Child Abuse Prevention Month as well as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. State Senator Rob Teplitz has introduced a three bill package aimed at improved enforcement and awareness. His bills would give victims a longer period of time to report abuse, add computer technicians to the list of mandated reporters, and require police departments to get a better handle on the number of untested rape kits.

 

Luzerne County Fatal

Authorities in neighboring Luzerne County say a man was killed... and a woman taken to a trauma center following a crash late last night at Country Club Lane and Mountain Road near Hazleton. The names of the victims have not been released. The investigation continues today.

 

Hazleton Fire

Fire investigators are expected to be back at the scene of a blaze at a home on Lee Court in Hazleton.

The flames were spotted in the early Wednesday afternoon... and apparently started on the second floor of the wood frame structure. That's the portion of the home where firemen found a lot of heavy smoke. Investigators want to know what started Wednesday's fire in Hazleton .

 

Traffic Deaths

Traffic deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014 reached an all-time low, continuing a favorable trend as safety advocates work towards the nationwide goal of zero fatalities. That.. from acting PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards. The 2014 number totaled 1,195, the lowest since record keeping began in 1928. PennDOT data shows that while the number of highway deaths dropped in many types of crashes, there were significant decreases in unbuckled, drinking-driver-related and hit-tree crashes last year when compared to 2013.

 

Man Robbed

A pair of armed robbers are on the loose... and they're wanted by Hazleton Police. Cops say the gun toting pair forced a man into his car in the 500 block of Alter Street this week... then made the man drive into Kline Township. There... the bandits took the car keys and the man's money before escaping. The victim was not hurt...

 

Water Griffith

Former Luzerne County controller Walter Griffith’s official challenge of a county debt restructuring package will force the county to pay $300,000 more per month until the matter is resolved. That word contained in an email sent to county council members. Griffith filed the challenge with the state Department of Community and Economic Development which must clear county borrowing proposals. But the deadline to file has come and gone... however, Griffith was given an extension until next week. The extension also suspends DCED approval process of the county’s borrowing application.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Sports

Inclement weather continues to cause problems with the local spring sports schedule. On Wednesday... both the Bloomsburg University baseball and softball teams had their games at Mansfield postponed. The Husky baseball team will be at Kutztown for a doubleheader Friday. The softball team is scheduled to play a twin bill at Lock Haven Friday.

 

MLB

The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Boston Red Sox 4 to 2 Wednesday night. Thursday night the Phils begin a weekend home series against the Washington Nationals starting at 7:05. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 6:30.

 

Other Games

In other games Wednesday night... The Washington Nationals downed the New York Mets 2 to 1... It was the Cincinnati Reds over the Pittsburgh Pirates 5 to 4... and the New York Yankees just got by the Toronto Blue Jays 4 to 3.

 

Golf

In golf... the first major of the year begins this morning with the Masters in Augusta.



 

Susquehanna Steam

The Allentown Morning Call is reporting that the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission will transfer ownership at PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant to Tallen Energy Corporation. It's one of the last remaining hurdles to complete the spinoff of the generation assets of Allentown – based PPL Corporation. The plant is located on Route 11... north of Berwick in Salem Township. The NRC says the agency's staff plans to approve the operating licenses for Units 1 and 2 by next Tuesday.

 

Berwick United Way

The Berwick Area United Way is getting ready to launch the “most epic week of caring ever.” Starting the week of May 4th... the organization through the use of volunteers plan to spiff up parks and the like.... and also tackle project's... such as giving the Diagostine family a helping hand at the now non – profit Berwick Theater on Front Street... so says the United Way's Ginny Crake. Other projects include getting the Berwick Swimming Pool in Ber – Vaughn park ready for construction as well as giving a once – over to the J-C's building on Mulberry Street in Berwick.

 

Naloxone

State Police and other first responders in Pennsylvania will soon be carrying a medication many are calling a life saver. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is used to reverse the effects of a heroin or opioid overdose. A law passed in the last legislative session allows the drug to be distributed to law enforcement, firefighters and ambulance personnel. Several state agencies are joining together in the effort, including the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, and the Pennsylvania State Police.

 

Lowman Henry

It's been on the air since the mid 90's... and the Lincoln Radio Journal has become a mainstay on the WHLM Stations every Sunday morning. Host Lowman Henry made an appearance on the Tuesday edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz with Joe and Norm saying the show discuss Pennsylvania's political issues. And if that wasn't enough.... a second show dealing with national politics is also produced weekly.

 

Background Checks
The state Auditor General released an audit of a state system university saying it failed to complete child abuse clearances. In a release.... Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced that East Stroudsburg University in Monroe County failed to conduct criminal background checks and child abuse clearances at 229 youth camps and non-university events involving minors held over a three-year period. University officials said they are now in the process of updating policies to be in compliance with the Child Protective Service Law, which went into effect December 2014. DePasquale said those basic steps are long over due and it's fortunate no one was harmed. Auditors found similar issues at Clarion, Cheney, Edinboro, California University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Cop Charged

A former Luzerne County police officer is charged with sexually assaulting a child. Cops say David Turkos of Dupont allegedly assaulted two boys. Arrest papers say that at time the boys were handcuffed... beaten and threatened them with his service revolver. The assaults taking place between 2001 and 2008 while he was a police officer in Dupont.

 

Man Charged

A Hazleton area man is jailed after he was charged by police with allegedly molested five children. Police arresting 55 – year old Luis Soto of West Hazleton. He's facing ten counts of sexually abusing children. Court papers show that Soto allegedly molested the kids from 2007 through 2011. Soto's next court date is April 15th.

 

Mental Health Care Access

A state lawmaker has written a bill he says would help provide greater access to care for those suffering mental illness or addiction. As Pennsylvania moves from institution-based care to community-based care... the need for quality mental health and substance abuse treatment workers is growing... but low wages are leading to low retention of quality employees. Senator Mario Scavello says his bill would create a loan forgiveness program for college graduates going into those professions to encourage them to stay and work in the state.

 

Man Robbed

A pair of armed robbers are on the loose... and they're wanted by Hazleton Police. Cops say the gun toting pair forced a man into his car in the 500 block of Alter Street this week... then made the man drive into Kline Township. There... the bandits took the car keys and the man's money before escaping. The victim was not hurt...

 

WHLM Sports

BU Football

One of the tasks facing the Bloomsburg University football team as they continue spring drills, is to find replacements for 6 starters from last year's defensive unit including the PSAC East player of the year in Justin Shirk. According to defensive coordinator Chet Henicle, one area where the Huskies have both experience and talent is in the secondary. The Huskies conclude spring drills with the annual Maroon & Gold game on April 18th.

 

NCAA Women

In college basketball Tuesday night in Tampa, in the women's NCAA final... Connecticut downed Notre Dame 63 – 53.

 

NHL

In the NHL Tuesday night... the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Islanders 5 to 4... and the Pittsburgh Penguins lost tot he Ottawa Senators 4 to 3.

 

Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies take on the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night at Citizen's Bank Park starting at 7:05. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 6:30.



 

Millville Teachers Strike

Day two of a four – day teachers strike in the Millville Area School District. The district’s 62 teachers hitting the bricks Monday morning... prompting the state's education association to call the walkout the longest in PA history since 1992. Union President Carol Troisi telling our media partner Newswatch 16... it's all about a contract and health care issues. If the walkout stays the course.... Millville area students won't get out of school for the summer until June 30th.

 

Ag Tax

Farmers in Pennsylvania are proving to be a very tough population to convince when it comes to tax proposals put forth by Governor Tom Wolf. The plan calls for a 50 percent reduction in property taxes, with many in the farming community requesting that tax be eliminated altogether. Wolf Administration officials aren't planning to go that far, since the lost revenue which many school districts use a major source of funding would have to be made up somehow. That plan is just one of many "tough sells" the Governor is facing, as the process to hammer out a state budget before the June 30th deadline moves into full swing.

 

Man Charged

A Hazleton area man is jailed after he was charged by police with allegedly molested five children. Police arresting 55 – year old Luis Soto of West Hazleton. He's facing ten counts of sexually abusing children. Court papers show that Soto allegedly molested the kids from 2007 through 2011. Soto's next court date is April 15th.

 

Berwick Street Sweeping

Berwick has kicked - off it's street sweeping schedule. It happened at 4 O'clock Tuesday morning. The last time the borough had any type of a sweeping schedule last fall. The Borough's Nancy Sborz says the days and the routes are marked with signs. The sweeping schedule begins every morning.. Monday thru Friday at 4 AM.

 

LIHEAP

The deadline has been extended to apply for assistance in paying home heating bills. The funding comes through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP. The original deadline was last Friday, but officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services now say you have until May First to apply. Application information is available at county assistance offices, as well as on line at dhs.state.pa.us.

 

ARC

Fund raising is an important part of non – profit groups up and down the Susquehanna Valley. For example... the Animal Resource Center is getting ready for their annual wine tasting and auction. That word from ARC President Linda Bird. Give the Animal Resource Center a call for tickets for their April 18th event.

 

Autism Awareness Month

As part of April's Autism Awareness Month... the Department of Human Services is offering free training to those who directly support people with the disorder. The number of people with autism in Pennsylvania rose 180% between 2005 and 20-11... to more than 55,000 people. That trend is expected to continue... and so DHS is providing the training workshops to make sure PA's healthcare professionals know how to best help people along every stretch of the autism spectrum.

 

Road Widening

Work has begun on a road widening project in Locust Township... on Columbia County's south side. PennDOT says one of their maintenance crews will widen Mill Road. Work could take up to seven business days to complete. A detour will be in place each day between 6:30 AM and 5:30 PM using Creek Road... as well as Old Reading Road and Mill Grove Road.

 

Gas Prices

The prices of a gallon of self – serve, unleaded gasoline is going down ever so slowly. The latest Triple – A Fuel Gauge report... show the average price of gas is holding steady at $2.49 a gallon across Columbia and Montour Counties. That's down a penny from a week ago... and down ten cents a gallon of what we were paying a month ago.

 

Reverend Vincent Siciliano

Funeral services will be held Friday night at the First English Baptist Church on Millville Road for the Reverend Vincent Siciliano. He died over the weekend at the age of 78. The services begin with visitation at the church starting at 6 O'clock Friday night.

 

Ground Breaking

Ground will be broken for a $30 – million dollar floodwall on Bloomsburg's west side on Wednesday. The ceremony to take place at 11 O'clock. The wall is in response to the Lee flood in 2011 and is designed to protect the Autoneum plant on West 5th Street... thus saving an estimated 700 jobs. The flood control structure will begin near the corner of 5th and Railroad Streets and wrap around most of the building.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

The Bloomsburg University baseball team dropped a home doubleheader to Millersville Monday by scores of 11 to 4 and 15 to 4.

 

BU Softball

The Bloomsburg University women's softball fared much better. They swept two games at Millersville 7 to nothing and 3 to nothing.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Monday... Lake Lehman downed Berwick 9 to 7... and Selinsgrove slipped by Danville 6 to 5.

 

HS Softball

In girls softball... Jersey Shore blanked Berwick 4 to 0... and it was Weatherly over Millville 16 to 6.

 

NCAA

In men's college basketball last night, in the NCAA final... Duke defeated Wisconsin 68 – 63 to earn their fifth NCAA title.

 

MLB

In major league baseball, it was a rough opener for the Phillies Monday afternoon as they lost at home to the Boston Red Sox 8 to nothing. In other season openers... the New York Mets beating the Washington Nationals 3-1... the Pittsburgh Pirates losing to the Cincinnati Reds 5-2... and the New York Yankees dropping a 6 to 1 decision to the Toronto Bluejays.

 



 

 

Millville Teachers Strike

It will be a quiet day in the Millville area school district on Monday. Teachers are beginning a four day strike... since the teachers union and the school board are at a impasse in coming to an contract agreement. If you recall... the district got a late start at the beginning of the school year when teachers walked off the job for 27 days. Our media partner Newswatch 16 is reporting that the teachers have not worked with a contract since January of 2012.

 

David Millard

The battle over the proposed state budget between the General Assembly and Governor Wolf is expected to make for some long days in Harrisburg. One point is the governor's insistence to raise the state sales tax from 6 to 6.6 %... in essence expanding the tax base.... so says State Representative David Millard. The items proposed for taxing... diapers to caskets.. and everything in between.

 

Downtown Bloomsburg

Attempting to spiff up Downtown Bloomsburg. That's just what Downtown Bloomsburg, Incorporated manager Laura Haden is trying to do. During a recent interview... Ms. Haden says the data gathering and analysis has already been done.... now it's time to raise an estimated $100,000 as phase two of the project. Ms. Haden says the $100,000 will be bolstered by the $40,000 already earmarked for downtown development.

 

Kane / Help Wanted

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane's is hanging out the “help wanted” sign Monday morning. Her current chief of staff resigned at the start of the weekend... only four months into job. Blake Rutherford follows others who left key positions under the embattled state prosecutor. Four aides quit last year as a grand jury investigated Kane for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information. Rutherford says he will join a Philadelphia law firm which deals in governmental relations.

 

High Education
In his budget plan, Governor Tom Wolf promises big funding increases for higher education, but there is a catch... they'd have to keep tuition hikes non – existent or very low. Governor Wolf's budget plan bumps spending on the state-supported universities - Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln - by $81 - million. In return, they're being asked to keep any tuition increases under the rate of inflation. All four have agreed though some hedged their bets based on getting the full bump in funding. The 14 state-owned universities are also slated to get more state aid -- $45 - million additional dollars. The system was asked to freeze tuition in return, but the chancellor has indicated that such a commitment is impossible...

 

Fracking

The fracking boom has meant not only natural gas being drilled in Pennsylvania, but long trains carrying oil traveling through the state. The oil comes from Bakken Shale mainly in North Dakota. A string of recent train derailments in Pennsylvania has promoted local and state officials to call for more oversight in an effort to increase safety. Fortunately, none of those derailments has resulted in oil explosions or fires which have happened in other states, but officials say now is the time to take steps to minimize the threat.

 

Immunization
A state lawmaker wants to look at youth immunization in Pennsylvania. With all the changes in healthcare in recent years, state Senator Shirley Kitchen of Philadelphia says she's concerned not all families have easy access to necessary vaccinations. Kitchen's resolution asks the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on youth vaccination within the Commonwealth and recommend necessary changes or legislation to improve youth immunization. The Resolution was approved by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and has been sent on to the Appropriations Committee.

 

Hit and Run

A Wilkes – Barre man is dead... the victim of a hit and run driver in the Ashley section of Hanover Township. The incident happened at the start of the weekend. 61 – year old Larry Herbert was cross the street... outside a bar on Hazle Street... when he was struck by a silver Jeep. Herbert was taken to a Wilkes – Barre hospital where he died.

 

Wilkes - Barre Shooting

Still no suspects in custody in the shooting that injured a man and woman over the weekend at the Interfaith Heights apartment complex. However, they did find a red SUV which was seen on security video. It was discovered on Madison Street where the owner of the vehicle lives. The pair who were shot are being treated at a Wilkes – Barre hospital.

 

Nanticoke Shooting

Police in Nanticoke are investigating the shooting of an 18 – year old Philadelphia man over the weekend. The incident happened Sunday afternoon. Investigators say the man was walking down an ally between Orchard and West Broad Streets... when someone in a Jeep pulled up alongside... firing a weapon... the bullet striking the victim in the arm. He was taken to a near – by hospital for treatment.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

After losing both games of a doubleheader at Millersville on Saturday, the Bloomsburg University baseball team will get a chance at payback Monday afternoon when they take on the Marauders in a doubleheader at Danny Litwhiler Field. The first game begins at 1 0'clock.

 

BU Softball

The Bloomsburg University softball team plays a doubleheader at Millersville Monday starting at 2:30.

 

NCAA Men

The NCAA Division I men's basketball season comes to an end Monday night with the national championship game. Wisconsin plays Duke in Indianapolis.

 

NCAA Women

In the women's Final Four Sunday night in Tampa... Notre Dame just getting by South Carolina 66 to 65... and Maryland downed Connecticut 53 – 31.

 

MLB Baseball

In the first game of Major League baseball's regular season Monday night in Chicago... The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Cubs 3 to nothing.

 

Monday Action

There's a full schedule Monday including the Phillies opening at home against the Boston Red Sox. The first pitch will be at 3:05. Coverage on the WHLM stations begins with the pregame show at 2:30.

 



 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Philadelphia Phillies played their last game of Spring Training Saturday afternoon against the Pirates of Pittsburgh. The Phillies Regular Season Home Opener is this Monday afternoon - the pregame starts at 2:30.

 

 



 

Come to the Caldwell Consistory in downtown Bloomsburg today at Noon for a free performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream - part of BTE's theater in the classroom series. The perfromance is sponsored by the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

 

Black Creek United Methodist Church will hold an Easter egg hunt today from Noon - 3PM. Children of all ages are invited to join the hunt. The church is at 158 Golf Course Road in Sugarloaf.

 

Today is the last day to submit your artowork or film to "What Are You Watching?" the next community art exhibition at the Moose Eschange - based around the theme of film and television. Submissions can be in any medium - physical or video. A special screening for submitted experimental films and animations will be held Saturday April 11 from 11AM - 11PM with a reception at 6PM at the Antler gallery in downtown Bloomsburg.

 

Come to Artspace gallery in downtown Bloomsburg and check out their latest exhibition, Vista Gradients, by local fine art photographer Danielle deLeon. The showing runs through Sunday.

 

 

WHLM Sports

 

Phillies Baseball

The Philadelphia Phillies will play their last game of Spring Training this afternoon against the Pirates of Pittsburgh. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05. Coverage on the WHLM stations begins at 1PM sharp. The Phillies Regular Season Home Opener is this Monday afternoon - the pregame starts at 2:30.



 

Block Party Security

Property owners who rent apartments to University students in Bloomsburg are getting their ducks in a row as the day for Block Party nears on April 18th. Security specialist Eric Bower says at least five property owners have installed new, high – definition camera security systems. Block party began nearly a generation ago to raise money for a non – profit organization... but over the years has become a beer – swigging... rock – throwing event... not sanctioned by the university. It has toned down over the years... through police enforcement of laws... and this year... through a zoning change.

 

Education Document

A state budget is not the only document due by the end of June. The bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission has spent more than a year holding public hearings on ways to more fairly fund k though 12 public education. Local property taxes are currently the primary method, but that has led to disparities between low income districts and their more affluent counterparts. Advocates say lack of funding has been proven to have a negative effect on the quality of education and academic outcome for students.

 

Woman Found

A Lycoming County woman is recovering from her injuries received in a one – car crash near Williamsport a week ago. Word is just coming out that Alyssa Erb was missing for nearly a day... after her car went over an embankment on Cemetery Road. It was in a spot where no one could see Erb's PT Cruiser. She was found by her brother... who called first responders. Erb was cut from the car and rushed to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for treatment for a multitude of injuries.

 

Injured Trooper

The staff at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville has upgraded the condition of a state trooper injured last week near the Frackville exit of Interstate 81. Initially... 47 – year old Sgt. Robert Bemis was in critical condition... but now is reported in serious condition. Bemis works out of the State Police Academy in Hershey... and was southbound on 81 and pulled over to help a driver who's car was burning. His unmarked cruiser was struck by an out of control SUV... which plowed into Bemis. The investigation into the crash is continuing.

 

Shepperly Funeral

Funeral services will be held tomorrow morning for Fred Shepperly... the man who kept the Berwick – built Stuart tanks rolling during World War Two. 15,000 were built at the Berwick A-C - F plant. Now there's a committee headed by Columbia County Commissioner David Kovach to secure a tank for display. Kovach telling me Mr. Shepperly knew the Stuart inside and out. The service to be held at the Calvary United Methodist Church in the 11- hundred block of Orange Street in Berwick starting at 10:30.

 

Wilkes - Barre Shooting

A Wilkes – Barre man is dead after he was shot Wednesday night. Police say two weapons were being transferred from one car to another when one of the weapons went off... striking Jason Kahleen – Rowe in the hip. He was rushed to a hospital where Rowe eventually died. Now, police have 25 – year old Delroy Toomer in custody... facing a long list of charges.

 

Mental Health

Experts on mental health testified to the state House Human Services Committee on what can be done to dispel the stigma surrounding mental illness. Mental health advocates told lawmakers that stigma is made up of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination...and that stigma causes people with mental illness to avoid seeking treatment. They recommended a number of measures including loan forgiveness programs for psychiatry students... fines for insurance companies that don't provide mental health care coverage equal to physical care.... and community programs to combat mental illness stereotypes.

 

Distracted Driver

The state Senate has adopted a resolution recognizing April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. The resolution was introduced by state Senator Rob Teplitz. He cites a national study showing accidents involving distracted drivers increased 9 percent on 2012 compared to 2011, resulting in more than 33 - hundred deaths. Texting while driving continues to be the most common distraction, and Teplitz says it's up to all of us to raise awareness of this issue and to come up with common sense solutions.

 

Hazle Township

Hazle Township Boulevard remains closed.... and could remain that way for the next week or so. Township crews are trying to fill potholes... and rebuild sections of the roadway. The road took a beating over the winter due to harsh winter weather... as well as storm water runoff.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

The Bloomsburg University baseball team lost a doubleheader to Lock Haven Thursday. The Huskies lost the first game 4-2 and the night cap 2-0. Bloomsburg is now 6 and 8 overall and 5 and 5 in the PSAC East. On Saturday afternoon, the Huskies play a doubleheader at Millersville.

 

BU Softball

The Bloomsburg University softball team split a doubleheader with West Chester Thursday. The Huskies won the first game 7 to nothing and lost the nightcap 5 to nothing. Friday afternoon the Huskies play a doubleheader at Millersville.

 

HS Baseball

In high school baseball Thursday...Southern Columbia downed Mt. Carmel 12 to 10.

 

HS Softball

In girls softball Thursday... Central Columbia defeated Warrior Run 7 to 3... and it was Southern Columbia over Lewisburg 12 to 2.

 

NIT

In men's college basketball, in the championship game of the National Invitational Tournament... Stanford just got by Miami 66 to 64.

 

 



 

Possible Millville Teacher's Strike

It appears Millville Area School District teachers are ready to go on strike... the second time in the current school year. Our media partner... Newswatch 16 is reporting... that the strike is expected to begin on Monday... and last four days. If you recall... Millville teachers went on strike for nearly a month at the start of the school year. Teachers have been working without a contract since January of 2012.

 

Downtown Bloomsburg

The newly – hired Downtown Bloomsburg, Incorporated manager has hit the ground running. Laura Haden replaces Adrienne Mael who is now the executive director of the United Way of Columbia County. Ms. Haden's first task is to raise an estimated $100,000 for the next phase of bringing Downtown Bloomsburg back to life. The first phase of the project indicated that Downtown Bloomsburg was a special place already... and all it needed was a variety of shops to entice people to return to Main Street.

 

State Budget

The state house appropriations committee has wrapped up it's grilling of department heads... talking with house members about their portion of the budget. For State Representatives David Millard... a Republican from Berwick... one issue not caught by the media is the cost of pensions. Those pension costs... according to Mr. Millard... are expected to become a burden on taxpayers unless reform is undertaken.

 

PEMA Budget

The Director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency talked about the future of 911 during state budget hearings. WHLM's David Payne working out of our Harrisburg News Bureau tells us lawmakers are working on legislation to reauthorize 911 service, and PEMA Director Richard Flinn told the Senate Appropriations Committee that along with cost, connectivity needs to be key. In other words, 911 needs to be reachable via landline, cordless phone, text messaging, even from tablet devices. He says we need to keep up with changing technology in order for emergency services to continue to respond in a timely manner.
 

Games of Chance

Officials from the PA Gaming Control Board met with the House Gaming Oversight Committee to discuss the difference between games of chance and games of skill. Apparently there's a fine, blurry line between chance and skill. The state currently collects $1.4 billion dollars a year from casinos. 55 % of the revenue from slot machines and 14 % from table games. But that amount could be cut if the state Supreme Court takes up a case... that argues some slot machines are really games of skill, which are unregulated. The Gaming Committee says it will hold many more meetings over possible legislation to secure revenue.

 

Paperless DEP

Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection has taken some heat for falling behind on inspections, but the Acting Secretary says a big part of getting on track is becoming tech-savvy. Acting Secretary John Quigley says his agency is choking on paper...and if they can move to a totally digital system they can be more efficient processing permits...and more transparent by sharing and explaining data with citizens. Quigley says he is working on a strategic IT plan that will move the entire agency to electronic permitting... and while that will be costly... it's the measure that will get the most bang for its buck.

 

Sunbury Robbery

Police in Sunbury are looking for a strong – armed robber who grabbed a bank bag from a woman on Wednesday. The incident happened at the intersection of North River Avenue and Market Street. The unidentified woman telling police that the man approached her... knocked her to the ground then got away in green car. No weapon was shown.

 

Shamokin Fire

The cause of a Wednesday fire in Shamokin is under investigation. 11 people were displaced when an apartment building caught fire on Spurzheim Street. Those people at home at the time were hustled out onto the streets by police and fire fighters. All are staying elsewhere.

 

Shamokin Drugs

It appears a Shamokin – area day care center was the scene of drug dealing... while it was closed. Police say that over the weekend Ryan Varano... Christian Kehler... and Frederick Russo were partying... when Kehler overdosed. That's when cops were called. The center is owned by the mother of one of the men. Kehler remains at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville... Russo was arrested... but Varano remains at large. The center has been given a clean bill of health after a through scrubbing.

 

Child Sex Abuse

A 23 – year old Lancaster County man has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a 3 – year old Lycoming County child. State Police say Ryan Brown allegedly hit and bit the child last fall as he babysat the child at a Wolf Township home. Troopers said experts examined the girl and found multiple bruises on her face and large bite marks on her shoulders. Brown is now jailed on a host of charges.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Football

In their second week of spring drills, the Bloomsburg University football team hopes to find a replacement for graduated leading rusher Eddie Mateo. Lawrence Elliott and Joe Parsnik are the leading candidates. The Huskies will conclude spring drills on April 18th with the annual Maroon & Gold game.

 

BU Lacrosse

In women's lacrosse Wednesday, it was Lock Haven over Bloomsburg University 9 – 5.

 

NHL

In the NHL Wednesday night... the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4 to 1.



 

Block Party

The annual rite of passage is just around the corner. Block party in Bloomsburg takes place April 18th.... and due to new zoning restrictions... huge gatherings are not anticipated. Bloomsburg Police Chief Roger Van Loan says the usual compliment of officers will be supplemented by others. Chief Van Loan says there will be extra cars from out of town agencies... as well as a horse patrol to keep party goers in line.

 

PASHEE Cops

Where can Bloomsburg University police... and cops at 13 other state-owned schools have arrest powers. Now... there's proposed legislation in Harrisburg that seeks to clarify where campus police have authority. The bill states that the arrest powers of campus police extend to the roads and grounds that surround the state schools. It's the result of an October DUI arrest where the judge threw out the case because it involved a campus police officer in a location just off campus. The bill seeks to close a loophole created by that case, clearly spelling out where the powers of campus police officers can be carried out.

 

Berwick Bust

Three Berwick residents have been arrested and are now facing a long list of drug charges. Berwick Police Chief Ken Strish says the arrests this week of David Bomboy... Rebecca Ohl and Pamela Sponenberg capped an undercover investigation. It all went down Monday when Bomboy and Sponenberg were taken into custody as they left a Berwick apartment following a controlled buy of cocaine. Police then discovered Ohl and plenty of alleged drug paraphernalia. The trio was arraigned before a District Justice where bail was set at a half – million dollars for Bomboy... and $50,000 each for Sponenberg and Ohl. All are in the Columbia County Prison in Bloomsburg.

 

PPL Request

Starting the first of 2016... we could be seeing high PPL bills. The Allentown – Based utility is asking the state Public Utility Commission to okay a proposed rate increase. The average custom would see an increase of roughly $10.00 a month. PPL says the money from the rate hike would be earmarked for improved reliability and reduced outages.

 

Revenue Budget

The Acting Revenue Secretary going before the Senate Appropriations Committee as budget hearings continue. WHLM's David Payne is reporting Secretary Eileen McNulty spent much of the hearing defending Governor Tom Wolf's proposed 50 percent reduction in local property taxes, saying the formula used to come up with the cuts was fair and equitable, based in current state law. She also defended the Governor's plan for a 5-percent severance tax on Marcellus Shale drilling, with some Senators predicting it won't produce the billion-dollars in yearly revenue the Governor is predicting.

 

Mifflinville / Memorial Day

Plans are well underway for the annual Memorial Day weekend in Mifflinville. Organizer Bonnie Farver says starting Saturday, May 23rd there will be plenty of fun activities including a farm tractor and car show... capped by the annual Memorial Day parade on the 25th. The parade route takes marchers to the cemetery... which a ceremony will be held with County Commissioner Dave Kovach as the featured speaker.

 

Toddler Update

Authorities in Lycoming County are still debating weather to charge the parents of a two year old toddler who shot himself last week. Zackary Lee remains in critical condition at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Investigators say little Zackary found a weapon in his parents room... took it downstairs... and pulled the trigger.

 

LIHEAP

Governor Wolf has announced that the deadline to apply for the Low – Income Home Energy Assistance program has been extended until May 1st. LIHEAP was to have originally ended Friday... but was given an extra 30 days due to the severity and length of the winter. The program is funded by the federal government.

 

Additional Charges

More legal troubles for a Northumberland County man. Police say Victor Hare is now charged with involuntary manslaughter and drug delivery... following the death of a 9 – year old boy in his care last year. Investigators in Northumberland County say the youngster swallowed drugs that Hare had had lying around the house.

 

Bucknell Students

Three Bucknell University students were expelled this week. The trio working at the student – run radio station were expelled after making racist and violent remarks. All three were working last Friday when they made the remarks... on the air. A University spokesman says the behavior won't be tolerated.

 

Bomb Threat

Hazleton Police are still trying to figure out who left a note in a student bathroom... threatening to blow up the High School. Authorities say it was written on a napkin. A search of the building failed to turn up a device.

 

Selinski's Gal Pal

The ex – girlfriend of convicted killer Hugo Selenski... has been arrested on drug charges. Police say 44 – year old Carey Bartoo of Hanover Township... and 41 – year old Tara Cooper of Hunlock Creek were arrested by police over the weekend in Wilkes – Barre. Cops say they saw the pair with uncapped hypodermic needles... as well as packets of suspected cocaine. Both are lodged in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on $10,000 bail.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

Tuesday's snow storm was the only winner in local sports. Among the postponed events was the Bloomsburg University baseball team's doubleheader at Lock Haven. Those games have been rescheduled for Thursday afternoon starting at 1 o'clock.

 

NIT

In men's college basketball Tuesday night, in the semifinals of the National Invitational Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City... Miami just got by Temple 60 to 57... and Stanford dominated Old Dominion 67 – 60.

 

Phillies

In exhibition baseball Tuesday, the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the Toronto Bluejays 10 to 4. The Phils have announced that Cole Hamels will be their opening day starter. The Phils open the regular season next Monday at home against the Boston Red Sox.



 

Operation Storm Watch

Winter Weather Advisory

 

A winter weather advisory is in place for our area until 8PM Tuesday evening. A heavy spring snowtorm could dump as much as 1-3 inches of snow by the end of the day.

 

Closings and Cancellations:

 

* Benton Area School District - No after-school activities

* Luzerne County Community College - Closed after 5PM

 

 

Fred Shepperly

As a committee in Berwick tries to find a Stuart Tank... one of 15,000 built at the A-C-&-F plant during World War Two... one of the groups inspiration has slipped away. 93 – year old Fred Shepperly died over the weekend. Columbia County Commissioner David Kovach heads the “Bring Stuie Home” committee... telling us that Mr. Shepperly wrote the manual on the building and repair of the tough Stuart tank. Funeral services for Fred Shepperly are pending.

 

Orangeville Fire

It appears that logs too close to a wood burning stove was the cause of a fire at midday Monday outside of Orangeville. Greg Gass came home to find smoke pouring out of the structure at 62 Gass Road. The Press – Enterprise is reporting in Tuesday's edition that firefighters knocked down the flames in a matter of minutes. There was little fire damage, but two pets inside the structure died.

 

Additional Charges

More legal troubles for a Northumberland County man. Police say Victor Hare is now charged with involuntary manslaughter and drug delivery... following the death of a 9 – year old boy in his care last year. Investigators in Northumberland County say the youngster swallowed drugs that Hare had had lying around the house.

 

Student Investment
Pennsylvania's Acting Secretary of Education tried to convince lawmakers that they should focus on investment in students, rather than cost, during budget hearings. Acting Secretary Pedro Rivera said the increased dollars proposed for education will not only help students succeed now... but they will help those students stay off types of government assistance in the future. For example he told lawmakers that $100 - million dollars allotted to go toward special education students... will allow more of them to learn the life skills needed to get a job and live independently.

 

Beer Home Delivery

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has issued a set of guidelines for the delivery of beer to private homes. WHLM's David Payne is reporting from Harrisburg that establishments delivering beer must hold both a retail license and a transporter-for hire license. Deliveries can take place any time, but the sale must be completed before 2 am. The person making the delivery and the recipient must be at least 21 years old, subject to verification. In addition, the purchase must be made via credit or debit card, before the delivery is completed. A single sale cannot exceed the equivalent of 2 six-packs.

 

ARC

Tickets are still available for the annual Animal Resource Center wine tasting party at Boone's Dam. That word from Linda Bird... the President of the no – kill shelter... appearing on the Monday edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz. To get tickets... all you have to do is call the shelter during business hours.

Ms. Bird adds that they have a number of dogs and cats... as well as puppies and kittens who the ARC is trying to pair up with forever homes.

 

Federal Grant

Low income Pennsylvanians with disabilities will benefit from a federal grant awarded to 2 state agencies. The grant of $8.5 - million-dollars from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarded to the state Department of Human Services and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. The goal is to locate permanent housing for the disabled. The initial phase of this program will take place in four areas of the state and will eventually expand. You can go to dhs.state.ps.us for details, including how to apply.

 

Gas Prices

The price of a gallon of self – serve, unleaded gasoline is holding steady. The latest Triple A Fuel Gauge report shows that we're paying an average of $2.50 a gallon in Columbia and Montour Countie's. A week ago the average price stood at $2.51.... while $2.50 a gallon was the average price a month ago.

 

Schuylkill Assault

State Police in Frackville are investigating the assault of a Schuylkill County man. Cops say 60 – year old James Burns of New Philadelphia was found on Middle Street early Sunday. If you have information dealing with the assault... call State Police at Frackville.
 

Hazleton Investigation

Investigators in Hazleton are probing a fire which happened last Wednesday... but we're just finding out about it. The small blaze started on a porch at an undisclosed location in the pre-dawn hours. Surveillance video shows a woman police are calling a “Person of Interest.”

 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

The Bloomsburg University baseball team was swept by West Chester Monday in a doubleheader at Danny Litwhiler Field. The Huskies lost the opener 4-3 and were routed in the nightcap 22-3. Bloomsburg is back in action Tuesday afternoon with a doubleheader at Lock Haven.

 

High School Baseball

In high school baseball Monday... Danville downed Central Columbia 8 to 1... and Southern Columbia blanked Shamokin 11 to nothing.

 

Bucknell Coach

According to the Washington Post, Bucknell University men's basketball coach Dave Paulson will be the new head coach at George Mason. In 7 seasons at Bucknell, Paulson led the Bison to two NCAA tournament appearances and two N.I.T. Bids.

 

NCAA Woman

In the women's Division I elite 8 Monday night... Connecticut defeated Dayton 91 – 70... and it was Maryland over Tennessee 58 – 48. The women's final four, which also includes Notre Dame and South Carolina, will be played Sunday in Tampa.

 



 

 

Benton Area Murder

They were good friends... they even lived together on Ridge Road outside of Benton... but one of them is dead. State Police at Bloomsburg charging 25 – year old Cea Jay Chattin with the murder of 24 – year old Bryan Harris. The investigation began when police launched a probe into a burglary of Harris' parents home on Waller Divide Road late last week in which guns and ammunition were taken. Now investigators say Chatten allegedly burglarized the place then shot and killed Harris. Both were dating the same woman. Chatten was given a preliminary arraignment Sunday... and was remanded to the Columbia County Prison in Bloomsburg.

 

Big Event

An estimated 2,300 Bloomsburg University students were at Town Park Saturday morning ready to help residents. Taylor Williams from Carbon County and her friends were there. I asked if venues like the “Big Event” helps relations between University Students and folks who live in Bloomsburg. She said it was an opportunity for students to integrate with the town. The BU Community Government Association says an estimated 150 people were served by university students.

 

Bowling for Kids

Bowling for a good cause. That's what happened Saturday when the Big Brothers / Big Sisters organization held their major fundraiser at the P-Nut Bowl in Scott Township. The organization's Diane Macri says it's not only a good time to raise money and to have some fun... but it's good for networking. The next fund raiser for Big Brothers / Big Sisters is a golf tournament slated for May 11th at the Berwick Country Club.

 

Trooper Injured

A State trooper based in Hershey is recovering from injuries at Geisinger Medical Center after an out-of-control vehicle injured him while he was helping a stranded driver. 47 – year old Sgt. Robert Bemis pulled his unmarked cruiser off on the berm of the road to help a motorist who's car caught fire south of the Frackville exit in Schuylkill County. His cruiser was rammed by an out – of – control SUV. Sgt. Bemis was airlifted to GMC for treatment of broken bones.

 

Trout Season

Trout season is coming soon. WHLM's Brad Christman says there are actually two start dates for trout season in Pennsylvania - April 4th for the southeast part of the state and April 18th everywhere else. Some anglers could actually be out as early if they're taking part in the Fish & Boat Commission's mentor program. Information on that and all other aspects of trout season can be found on fishandboat.com. The Commission is also launching an app for your phone this year that should be available in your app store by opening day.

 

Aging Department Hearing
Pennsylvania's Department of Aging had a budget hearing in Harrisburg late last week. State budget hearings are often more about the issues rather than the line items for each state department and agency. During a Senate budget hearing for the Department of Aging, Acting Secretary Teresa Osborne fielded lawmakers questions on a variety of programs offered to senior citizens and the sustainability of those programs. She said the state is lucky to have the lottery program but said there will never be enough for every single need. The state is looking at a potential 2% shortfall in the state lottery which funds many of the senior programs...

 

Workers Comp

The cost of Workers’ Compensation insurance is declining for the fourth consecutive year in Pennsylvania. The state departments of Insurance and Labor & Industry said at the start of the weekend... that overall rates will decline by 5.99 % while benefits for injured workers remain unchanged. The changes take effect Wednesday and will save businesses an estimated $140 - million this year. Workers’ Compensation covers medical care and rehabilitation for workers injured on the job, and lost wages and death benefits for employees killed in work-related accidents.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

The Bloomsburg University baseball team split a doubleheader at West Chester Saturday afternoon. The Huskies won the opener 5-2 and lost the nightcap 11-8. Bloomsburg is now 6-4 overall, 5 and 1 in the PSAC East. Bloomsburg and West Chester meet again at Danny Litwhiler Field on the upper campus Monday in a doubleheader starting at 1 o'clock.

 

PSAC Basketball

The PSAC was one and one in Division II national championship basketball finals this weekend. On Friday night, the California women's team beat California Baptist 86-69 for the school's second national title, their first since 2004. On Saturday afternoon IUP lost in the national final to Florida Southern 77-62.

 

NCAA

In the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Saturday... Michigan State defeated Louisville 76 – 70 in overtime and Duke downed Gonzaga 66 – 52.

 

More NCAA

The final four which will be played next Saturday in Indianapolis is now set... Kentucky will play Wisconsin and Michigan State will go against Duke

 

 



 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

The Bloomsburg University baseball team split a doubleheader at West Chester Saturday afternoon. The Huskies won the opener 5-2 and lost the nightcap 11-8. Bloomsburg is now 6-4 overall, 5 and 1 in the PSAC East. Bloomsburg and West Chester meet again at Danny Litwhiler Field on the upper campus Monday in a doubleheader starting at 1 o'clock.

 

PSAC Basketball

The PSAC was one and one in Division II national championship basketball finals this weekend. On Friday night, the California women's team beat California Baptist 86-69 for the school's second national title, their first since 2004. On Saturday afternoon IUP lost in the national final to Florida Southern 77-62.

 

NCAA

In the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Saturday... Michigan State defeated Louisville 76 – 70 in overtime and Duke downed Gonzaga 66 – 52.

 

More NCAA

The final four which will be played next Saturday in Indianapolis is now set... Kentucky will play Wisconsin and Michigan State will go against Duke

 

 

 



 

Millville High School's drama club presents Guys And Dolls, running this weekend. Last showtime is this afternoon at 2PM. Tickets can be bought at the door; $8 for adults, $5 for students, and free for kids 4 and under. The school is on East Main Street in Millville.

 

This is the final weekend for the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble's presentation of Skin & Bone at the Alvina Krause Theater in downtown Bloomsburg. Follow aging twin sisters Midge and Madge down the dark and dusty path of a past better left undisturbed. The show is intended for mature audiences of at least High School age. For more information, visit the BTE under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 

Empty Bowls 2015 is happening today from 11AM - 1:30PM in Bloomsburg University's Kehr Union ballroom. Come enjoy a bottomless selection of soups from many area restaurants as well as live entertainment. Minimum donation is $10 for adults and $5 for students. All proceeds benefit the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard. For more information call 389-5145.

 

Come to the Orangeville Fire Hall for a Chicken and Waffle dinner this afternoon from 1-4 PM - sponsored by the Royal Order of the Raccoons of Columbia County. Cost is $8 for adults and $4 for kids 3-10. There will be games of chance available as well. For more information call 570-925-5736.

 

Bloomsburg Christian Church is holding an old-fashioned hymn sing and ice cream social tonight at 6:30PM. Everyone is invited to attend. The church is on Deussen Drive, off Route 11 West of Bloomsburg.

 

Bloomsburg University's Celebrity Artist Series continues with the new national touring production of the Broadway smash hit Jekyll & Hyde, tonight at 8PM. Tickets are $45 for adults and $22 for children and BU students. For more information, find the Celebrity Artist Series under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 



 

You can be a part of BTE's Summer Family Show - the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble is opening community auditions for vibrant and focused young actors from 4th through 12th grade for their production of Sideways Stories From The Wayside School. Auditions will be held starting this morning at the Alvina Krause Theatre in downtown Bloomsburg. Signup is open from 9:30 - 11AM, with auditions starting at 10AM. For more information, visit the BTE under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 

The Montour-DeLong fair association is holding another of their all-you-can-eat haddock fish dinners  today from 3-7PM. Cost is $12 for adults, $6 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. Take-out is available. Any active-duty military personnel who come in uniform will get their dinner for free. The fairgrounds are on Broadway Road, West of Danville.

 

Straub's Lutheran Church in Danville is holding a family style roast beef dinner today from 3-6PM. Take out is available, and there will be homemade ice cream sold by the quart. The church is at 60 Frosty Valley Road in Danville.

 

Black Creek United Methodist Church will hold a ham and dandelion dinner today from 3-7 PM. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-10 years old, and free for kids 5 and under. The church is at the corder of Methodist Church Road and Wlanut Street in Sugarloaf.

 

Millville High School's drama club presents Guys And Dolls, running this weekend. Showtimes are tonight at 7PM and Sunday at 2PM. Tickets can be bought at the door; $8 for adults, $5 for students, and free for kids 4 and under. The school is on East Main Street in Millville.

 

Come to the Danville Borough Ballroom tonight for a free concert by students of Williamsport's Uptown Music Collective. Donations will be accepted - no ticket is needed. The show runs from 6 - 8:30PM at the ballroom on Mill Street in Danville.

 

This is the final weekend for the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble's presentation of Skin & Bone at the Alvina Krause Theater in downtown Bloomsburg. Follow aging twin sisters Midge and Madge down the dark and dusty path of a past better left undisturbed. The show is intended for mature audiences of at least High School age. For more information, visit the BTE under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 

Empty Bowls 2015 is happening Sunday, 11AM - 1:30PM in Bloomsburg University's Kehr Union ballroom. Come enjoy a bottomless selection of soups from many area restaurants as well as live entertainment. Minimum donation is $10 for adults and $5 for students. All proceeds benefit the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard. For more information call 389-5145.

 

Come to the Orangeville Fire Hall for a Chicken and Waffle dinner Sunday afternoon from 1-4 PM - sponsored by the Royal Order of the Raccoons of Columbia County. Cost is $8 for adults and $4 for kids 3-10. There will be games of chance available as well. For more information call 570-925-5736.

 

Bloomsburg Christian Church is holding an old-fashioned hymn sing and ice cream social Sunday night at 6:30PM. Everyone is invited to attend. The church is on Deussen Drive, off Route 11 West of Bloomsburg.

 

Bloomsburg University's Celebrity Artist Series continues with the new national touring production of the Broadway smash hit Jekyll & Hyde, Sunday night at 8PM. Tickets are $45 for adults and $22 for children and BU students. For more information, find the Celebrity Artist Series under Our Partners at the top of the page.

 



 

Mifflin Twp Fire Folo

Three people are looking for a new place to live.... now that they were burned out of their Mifflinville area home early Thursday morning. 64 – year old James Harvey... and his 54 – year old wife, Patty... and their adult son, escaped their flaming two story home on Hofnagle School Road in Mifflin Township with the clothes on their backs. A state fire marshal spent all of Thursday on the scene... and it's now believed a wood burning stove may have led to the fire.

 

State House / Budget

It could be a long, hot summer in Harrisburg. Appearing on the Thursday Edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz with Joe and Norm... State Representative David Millard... a Republican from Berwick... says a lot hinges on weather the governor continues to push for the privatization of the state liquor store system.... and the money it would generate. Other issues confronting Governor Wolf an the General Assembly... the on – going pension crisis which costing the state billions of dollars a year.

 

PLCB Budget Hearing

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard from officials of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board this week. A number of topics were discussed, but one which did not get much time was privatization. The state House voted to dismantle the LCB in the last session, but the Senate never considered the move. This hearing focused on ways the agency can modernize, improve sales and revenues, highlight Pennsylvania-made products, and ways to maximize the agency's purchasing power.

 

Knoebels Accident

A worker at the Knoebels Amusement Resort in Southern Columbia County is recovering from injuries received Thursday. It happened during the testing of a car on the newly – built Impulse roller coaster. Immediately after the accident... Knoebels turned to social media... telling us that the employee was struck by a passing coaster car.... and that the person hit was alert and responsive. The Knoebels employee was taken to the hospital for treatment of cuts of the head and hand. The Impulse is in it's testing phase... and will take guests for a wild ride when the park opens next month.

 

PA Small Cities
The Department of Community and Economic Development testified on keeping Pennsylvania's small cities stable during budget hearings Thursday. Acting Secretary Dennis Davin said he wants his programs to fit each community's needs... whether that be met through job training for incoming businesses... or grants to improve downtown facades. Davin said Governor Tom Wolf's tax reform plan should help stabilize cities with high property taxes and attract new business. He also said PA may need to follow other states' lead in attracting entrepreneurial immigrants to counterbalance our aging population.

 

Pipelines

Huge pipelines intended to carry Marcellus and Utica natural gas to eastern markets are running into spreading resistance from landowners. There were meetings held last summer on the Williams Sunrise project that would come through the heart of Columbia County. Now landowners in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, have filed preemptive suits to stop surveying crews to go on property. Isak Howell is with Appalachian Mountain Advocates, a non-profit that represents dozens of landowners along each line.

 

Montoursville Child

Guns and kids don't mix. Case in point... a 2 – year old Montoursville youngster got ahold of a handgun... pulled the trigger... shooting himself in his leg. The incident taking place in a home late Thursday afternoon on Broad Street when the toddler went into a bedroom... grabbed the weapon... took it downstairs... and shot himself. The boy's mother and her boyfriend were taking a shower when the gun went off. Authorities say the youngster will be okay.

 

U.S. Senate Race
Voters may not be paying attention now, but political junkies are saying the 2016 U-S Senate race in Pennsylvania will be one to watch. The latest Franklin and Marshall College Poll shows 31 % of PA voters believe Republican Senator Pat Toomey is performing well... and he's currently leading his only declared opponent … Democrat Joe Sestak... by a five point margin... 34 to 29. As of now 37 % of Pennsylvania voters say they are undecided in this race... and 63 % say they don't know enough about Sestak to even have an opinion of him.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Football

The Bloomsburg University football team begins spring drills Friday afternoon. It will be the first of 15 practice sessions for the two time defending PSAC East champion Huskies. The culmination of the spring drills will be the annual Maroon & Gold game on April 18th.

 

PSAC

The PSAC has a chance at two national basketball champions. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota Friday night, the California women's team, a team that needed overtime to beat Bloomsburg in the Atlantic Regional final, will play California Baptist in the Division II national championship game. On Saturday the IUP men's team will play in the National Championship game. Thursday night, in the semifinals, IUP beat Tarleton State of Texas 72-68.

 

NCAA

In the men's Division I basketball playoffs last night... Notre Dam downed Wichita State 81 – 70... Wisconsin defeated North Carolina 79 – 72... Kentucky rolled over West Virginia 78 – 39... and Arizona edged Xavier 68 to 60. Four more games will be played Friday night

 



 

 

Mifflin Twp Fire Folo

A state police fire marshal has been called in to figure out what started a blaze that destroyed a home this morning at 39 Hofnagle School House Road... just outside of Mifflinville. Tones for firefighters were sounded around 4:15 this morning.

Reports from the scene indicate that flames were shooting out of the structure.

At least two out of three people who lived there were injured... and were taken to the hospital for treatment.

 

Home Accident

A Catawissa Township man is recovering from injuries sustained late Wednesday afternoon in an accident involving a table – top saw. The Press – Enterprise is reporting in Thursday's edition... 28 – year old Michael Brobst was cutting a piece of plywood at his Mountain Road home. That's when his left arm was pulled into the saw. The laceration went to the bone. Brobst was transported to the Geisinger Medical Center for treatment.

 

Aggressive Driving

Thanks to a state grant... you'll be seeing more police officers on the street... cracking down on aggressive drivers. Speeding... stop sign and red light violations... as well passing in no passing zones qualify as aggressive driving. Bloomsburg Police Department Sgt. Leonard Rogutski says the grant pays for overtime submitted by officers working the detail. The aggressive driving program runs through the first week of May.

 

United Way

A changing of the guard Tuesday at the United Way of Columbia County's annual meeting. Former Downtown Bloomsburg Incorporated manager Adrienne Mael... taking the reigns of the organization from long – time director John Thomas. Ms. Mael says there has been a change in the philosophy of giving over the last thirty years. Ms. Mael replaces John Thomas who was at the head of the local agency the past 31 – years.

 

Open Records Budget

The Acting Executive Director of the Office of Open Records testified before the House Appropriations Committee as state budget hearings continue. Acting Director Nathan Byerly did not address the controversy over Governor Tom Wolf's firing of his predecessor, or the case before Commonwealth Court seeking to reverse the Governor's move. His testimony primarily concerned his office's budget request, seeking an extra $300,000 to handle an increased and more varied work load and to hire additional personnel.

 

Department of Environmental Protection

The Department of Environmental Protection's Acting Secretary had to defend a proposed increase in funding and manpower to members of the Senate. Acting Secretary John Quigley is asking for 50 additional inspectors. He told lawmakers his current staff has been lagging behind in well inspection...only able to visit sites twice...when they should have gone 6 times. Quigley says his department will also need to keep up with the dozen forthcoming pipeline projects in the state...and create an expectation of communication with the industry to minimize the impact to communities and the environment.
 

Jekyll & Hyde

Big name entertainment is headed to the Haas Center for the Arts on the 29th of this month when a national touring group presents “Jekyll and Hyde.” The Bloomsburg University Celebrity Artist Series will welcome a revised, traveling production to the campus. Jekyll and Hyde is produced by a national touring company. The University's Randall Presswood says the production of Jekyll and Hyde did some time on Broadway in New York City before hitting the road. Tickets are now on sale for Jekyll and Hyde at the BU Box Office. Give them a call for more information and to place your order.

 

Home Invasion

Police in Plymouth... in neighboring Luzerne County... are investigating a possible home invasion. It happened Wednesday night along Pierce Street. What's not known... if anyone was injured... or if anyone is under arrest.

 

Teacher Fired

It's been a bad week for a former Coughlin High School dean of students and wrestling coach. Earlier this week Stephen Stahl of Hunlock Creek was sentenced to six months in jail after a conviction of having sex with a student ten years ago. Now... the Wilkes – Barre Area school district has fired Stahl. Stahl had worked for the district since 1995.

 

Kiddie Porn

A Plymouth man... in Luzerne County... will spend the next 7 and a half to 15 years in state prison. That's the sentence for Mark Stout for his conviction of possessing child pornography. When he was caught... he admitted to police that he downloaded kiddie porn.

 

Sherman Hills

Wilkes – Barre police have issued an arrest warrant for a 23 – year old man... wanted in connection with a shooting at a beleaguered apartment complex. Brian Hayes of Wilkes – Barre is wanted for a shooting at the Sherman Hill housing complex earlier this week. It's believed Hayes shot Brandon Eubanks following a fight Monday night. Hayes is a felon... and is wanted on charges of attempted homicide and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Football

As they begin spring drills, the Bloomsburg University football team has an additon to the coaching staff. Former Bloomsburg great Frank Sheptock will be serving as a volunteer defensive assistant. Sheptock was a three time all American linebacker for the Huskies in the 1980's. He is a memeber of the College Football Hall of Fame. The Huskies will conclude spring drills with the annual Maroon & Gold game on April 18th.

 

PSAC Basketball

Two PSAC basketball teams still have a chance at national championships. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota Wednesday night... the California University women's team beat Emporia State of Kansas 51 - 46 in the naitonal semifinals. In the men's quarterfinals in Evansville, Indiana, IUP beat Azusa Pacific 69-65. Thursday night IUP plays Tarleton State in a national semifinal.

 

NCAA

The men's NCAA Division 1 tournament continues Thursday night with four games on the schedule. In Cleveland, unbeaten Kentucky plays West Virginia and Notre Dame faces Wichita State. In Los Angeles, Arizona plays Xavier and Wisconsin gaoes against NOrth Carolina.



 

Investigation Folo

Briar Creek Township police say they believe 54 – year old Janice Petroff wasn't speeding when she crashed her SUV earlier this month. The crashed killed Petroff's granddaughter... 19 month old Emma Niznek. Petroff later died as well at due to her crash injuries. The Press – Enterprise is reporting in Wednesday's edition... a car seat was not a contributing factor in the infants death. Meantime... Township police chief Tom Frace says it will be several months before a final report is issued.

 

Streater Field

A sure sign of spring is here. The opening of Streater Field this Saturday at the confluence of the Susquehanna River and Fishing Creek... so says Bloomsburg Town Administrator Bill Lowthart. The local teenage soccer league is expected to be a big user of the park. Still closed at least until fall... according to Mr. Lowthart... is the field's football complex which needs a couple of months to make sure the seed sets and germinates.

 

Student Debt

Pennsylvania is a leader in student loan debt. Leaders from the four state-related universities testified how they are trying to lower student debt during budget hearings this week. University leaders said it doesn't take a lot of money to lower the debt load.... just a lot of talking. Both Temple and Penn State have started programs where students are counseled on the amount they are borrowing... and shown how long it will take to pay that off... which can help the students make better decisions... and be motivated to graduate within 4 years. The presidents did remind lawmakers that state dollars are a big part of keeping tuition as low as possible.

 

Tax Preps

Tax season is upon all of us... and for the most part we send in our return to the state and federal government without a hitch. But, professional tax preparer Kim Schooley says there are cases when you don't have the money you owe. Appearing on the Tuesday edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz... Mr. Schooley says there is a way to negotiate with the tax collector. Mr. Schooley's tax preparation service is on Route 11 a couple of miles north of Danville. The deadline for sending in returns is April 15th.

 

Senior Forum

State Representative David Millard says he'll will sponsor a senior caregiver support forum next month. The Berwick Republican says it will be held on Wednesday, April 8th... at the county office building on Sawmill Road starting at 6 O'clock. Topic include a local elder law attorney... the Columbia – Montour aging office... as well as the County's Veterans Affairs office.

 

Veterans Courts

A bill before the state Senate would expand the use of Veterans Treatment Courts in Pennsylvania. Veterans Courts are currently in use in 18 counties, but legislation sponsored by Senator Rob Teplitz would allow their use in all 67. They offer military vets who commit non-violent offenses an alternative to prison, in exchange for support to help deal with underlying issues, such as mental health or substance abuse. Senator Teplitz says Pennsylvania has the nation's fifth largest population of veterans.

Lottery Tickets
A state lawmaker is proposing a new venue for lottery ticket sales. Southeastern Pennsylvania state Senator Bob Mensch believes the lottery is missing out on a potentially profitable retail location and it could bring in millions more in sales. He's re-introducing legislation to sell lottery tickets in state stores. Mensch says the lottery needs to keep up with the growing demand for the senior services it funds and he believes the union representing state store workers would support the move.

 

Lou Barletta

Congressman Lou Barletta of Hazleton on Tuesday... addressed industry leaders in the field of biometrics during a meeting in Washington, DC. Biometrics is the technology that allows authorities to track visitors arriving in the U-S... and when they have departed. Current law requires a biometric entry and exit system, however, the system has never been fully implemented. Overstayed visas account for more than 40 % of people who are within the United States illegally.

 

Kiddie Porn

A Plymouth man... in Luzerne County... will spend the next 7 and a half to 15 years in state prison. That's the sentence for Mark Stout for his conviction of possessing child pornography. When he was caught... he admitted to police that he downloaded kiddie porn.

 

Sherman Hills

Wilkes – Barre police have issued an arrest warrant for a 23 – year old man... wanted in connection with a shooting at a beleaguered apartment complex. Brian Hayes of Wilkes – Barre is wanted for a shooting at the Sherman Hill housing complex earlier this week. It's believed Hayes shot Brandon Eubanks following a fight Monday night. Hayes is a felon... and is wanted on charges of attempted homicide and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Lacross

The Bloomsburg University women's lacrosse team won a 14-6 decision at Shippensburg Tuesday for their third straight victory. The Huskies, now ranked 20th in the nation, have an overall record of 3 and 2... and 2 and oh in the PSAC.

 

Basketball

The PSAC champion California University women's basketball team has advanced to the Division II national semifinals. In quarter final action Tuesday in South Dakota, Cal beat Nova Southeastern 84-79 in overtime. In the men's elite 8 this afternoon in Evansville, Indiana, IUP plays Azusa Pacific from Califonia.

 

College Hoops

In men's college basketball Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Tournament...

Miami defeated Richmond 63 – 61... and Stanford downed Vanderbilt 78 – 75.

 

NHL

In the NHL... the St. Louis Blues defeated the Pittsburgh Penguines 3 to 2.



 

Catawissa Fire

A Catawissa area family is waking up elsewhere Tuesday morning... after their home caught fire Monday. Bill and Danielle Little could only watch as crews knocked down the flames that had spread into the walls of the Long Wood Drive home in Franklin Township. Everyone made it out of the dwelling safely... including the families two dogs. Investigators believe a wood stove was the cause of Monday's fire near Catawissa.

 

Big Event

If you're up bright and early Saturday morning... you'll find an estimated 23 – hundred University age students at Bloomsburg Town Park. They'll be there to take part in the annual Big Event... in which the students get their marching orders and spread through the community helping home owners that have outdoor chores to be preformed. Bloomsburg Mayor Sandy Davis has had painting done to her home the past two years... telling me it's a great way to foster town – gown relations. Need help around the house... just pick up a request form... found by the tax collectors office on the first floor of Town Hall.

 

Casselberry Tweet

It was the tweet seen and read around the world... this one coming from a Bloomsburg University Junior... a member of the baseball team. It was made at the start of the weekend by Joey Casselberry... who was not happy with plans by Disney to make a motion picture dealing with Little League sensation Mo'ne Davis. BU Sports Information director Tom McGuire tells us. Meantime... the Washington Post is reporting that Ms. Davis is request that BU athletic officials to reinstate Casselberry to the team... although she was stung by the comment.

 

PUC Hearing

Natural gas was a hot topic during a budget hearing with the Public Utility Commission. About half of Pennsylvanians are natural gas customers... and Governor Tom Wolf's budget would expand that by including a line item for supplying gas to industrial and agricultural customers... a practice companies like UGI are already moving toward. But the PUC says to inspect all those new lines, they'll need to increase their capacity. They've kept administrative costs level over the last five years... but they're now facing revenue shortfalls.
 

Retirement Hearing

The House Appropriations Committee heard from officials of Pennsylvania's two main public pension systems as budget hearings continue. Members of the Public School Employees Retirement System and the State Employees Retirement System answered questions about two major issues-how best to address unfunded liabilities, and whether to switch from the current traditional pension plan to a defined contribution plan similar to a 401(k). The unfunded portion totals 18-billion-dollars for the state employees system and 35-billion for the school employees system.
 

Barletta Bill

Congressman Lou Barletta of Hazleton has reintroduced the Safer Trucks and Buses Act. It's designed to reform safety scores for trucks and buses by making the scores more reflective of the company’s safety record. The legislation would also temporarily halt the publication of flawed safety scores until the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance Safety Accountability scoring system is revamped. Barletta first learned about this problem from a company in his district, which suffered under the current, inaccurate scoring system

 

Powdered Alcohol
A state lawmaker is proposing an all-out ban on a product making headlines in other states. Philadelphia state Senator Shirley Kitchen says powdered alcohol is a dangerously tempting product, especially for young people. The state Liquor Control Board has already banned the sale of "palcohol" but Kitchen wants to go a step further with her legislation making it illegal to sell or even consume the product in Pennsylvania. She says the PLCB action needs the legislative muscle to back it up...

 

ARC

Many non – profit groups are holding fund raisers up and down the Susquehanna Valley... including the Animal Resource Center. Appearing on the Monday edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz with Joe... the organization's Linda Bird reminded all of us about a fund raiser for the shelter going on next month. Also... the shelter is in need of dry cat food... as well as bleach to clean out the kennels. Just give 'em a call.

 

Sherman Hills

One person was taken to a hospital following a shooting last night at the Sherman Hills apartment complex in Wilkes – Barre. Police Chief Robert Hughes says the shooting is an isolated incident... and the public was never in danger. Sherman Hills... if you recall... has had it's share of violent crime in the past.

 

Truck Accident

An out of state driver died when he lost control of his tractor – trailer on US Route 15 early Monday morning. State Police at Milton say the truck driver failed to negotiate a turn... the big rig crossing two lanes... striking a concrete barrier in the northbound lanes. Authorities say the truck driver died at the scene. The accident shut down the northbound lane of Route 15 for nearly six hours due to the investigation

 

Schuylkill Co. Sex Assault

A 33 - year old Shenandoah man is in jail... after he was accused of sexually assaulting and impregnating a 12 year old girl. Hector Rico allegedly assaulted the child over the past few months.

The pregnancy was discovered by the child mother. Rico was arrested... and is now in the Schuylkill County jail on $250,000 bond.

 

NEPA Gas Prices

The price of self – serve, unleaded regular continues to vacillate here in Northeastern Pennsylvania... including Columbia – Montour Counties. The latest Triple - A Fuel Gauge report shows we're paying an average of $2.51 a gallon. A week ago we were paying $2.56 a gallon.... and $2.45 a gallon a month ago.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

The Bloomsburg University baseball team swept a doubleheader from Lock Haven Monday by scores of 4-3 and 13-1. Because of poor field conditions at both schools, the games were played in Bel Air, Maryland. With the wins, the Huskies improved to 5 and 3 overall. They have won all four of their games in the PSAC East.

 

Women's Basketball

PSAC women's basketball champion California plays Nova Southeastern, a school from Fort Lauderdale, Florida Tuesday afternoon in the NCAA Division 2 Elite 8 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The PSAC also has a men's team in the Elite 8. Tomorrow afternoon in Evansville, Indiana, IUP plays Azusa Pacific from California.

 

Division I

In the NCAA Division I women's tournament Monday night, the nation's last unbeaten team, Princeton, lost to Maryland 85-70.

 

MLB

In major league baseball Monday, the Phillies defeated the Minnesota Twins 3 to nothing. Even though it was an exhibition game, it had some historic significance - it was the first game in which two Hall of Fame players managed against each other - Ryan Sandberg of the Phils and Paul Molitor of the Twins.



 

** Update **

Casselberry Tweat

It was the tweet seen around the world... this one coming from a Bloomsburg University Junior... a member of the baseball team. It was made at the start of the weekend by Joey Casselberry... who was not happy with plans by Disney to make a motion picture dealing with Little League sensation Mo'ne Davis. BU Sports Information director Tom McGuire says all student athletics have a seminar on social media and it's effects. Meantime... the Washington Post is reporting that Ms. Davis is request that BU athletic officials to reinstate Casselberry to the team... although she was stung by the comment.

 

Porch Collapse

The investigation continues into what caused an outdoor porch to collapse Saturday afternoon in Bloomsburg... injuring four people. The incident taking place at 345 West Main Street. Bloomsburg Fire Chief Bob Rupp was one of the first at the scene... finding four men sprawled on a snow – covered parking lot. A tenant... Frank Woolridge... telling our media partner Newswatch 16... that the floor of the porch began to crack... then collapsed... sending the four to the ground below.

 

PSP Commissioner

The nomination of Colonel Marcus Brown for Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police may be in jeopardy. Brown, who comes to Pennsylvania from Maryland, has come under fire for removing yard signs which criticized his wearing of the PSP uniform, since he didn't come up through the ranks here. Brown must be confirmed by the Senate, but Republicans who control the chamber are now calling on Governor Wolf to withdraw the nomination. Thus far the Governor is standing by his choice.

 

Hemp Industry
A state lawmaker is hoping to bring the hemp industry to Pennsylvania. Berks County Democratic state Senator Judy Schwank says Pennsylvania could reap the benefits o booming industry by bringing hemp back to the Commonwealth. Schwank says the plant was widely grown up until the 1970s, when its relation to marijuana cast a shadow on the industry. Schwank says there are thousands of uses for hemp and the 2014 farm bill allows states to legalize industrial hemp under authority of a state board and connected to a state institution of higher education.

 

United Water

It has been a rough winter for just about everyone. But one utility outsmarting mother Nature is United Water... the provider of drinking water in the Bloomsburg area. The utility's Bob Manbeck says there have been no major breaks this year... due to newly installed lines and on – going preventative maintenance.

 

ObamaCare
Today marks five years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, but has it been effective? Overall... healthcare spending is trending down... the rate of people going uninsured is drastically lower... and care seems more accessible. But the price of premiums have gone up in some parts of the state... 37 percent of surveyed Pennsylvanians say their out of pocket costs have risen.... and processing those costs is adding to physicians' administrative expenses. Healthcare experts say it will take a few years for all medical care costs to fall.... after a few rounds of trial and error.

Arrest

A Berwick man is behind bars after he was arrested over the weekend by police. 25 – year old Randolph Davis, Jr of Chestnut Street is accused of a burglary at a home in the 400 block of West Third Street. Taken was a large amount of money... food and alcohol... as well as a motorized scooter. A near-by garage was also broken into, but nothing was taken. Cops then interviewed the clerks at the Turkey Hill store... who described Davis saying he tipped them 90 - dollars. While they were there... Davis entered the store.. with a large amount of cash in hand. Police arrested Davis who had a plastic bag with money. Cash was also found on him. Davis faces a long list of charges.

 

PSP Aviation

In an effort to save money... it appears the State Police aviation unit... now based at the Hazleton Regional Airport... will be deployed to the Wilkes – Barre / Scranton International Airport at Avoca. Published reports say the move will cut costs and improve the agency's ability to respond to regional incidents. If it does happen... the folks who run the Hazleton Airport says it will lose an estimated $20,000 in hanger and fuel fees.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Softball

The Bloomsburg University softball team split a pair of games at Shippensburg yesterday afternoon in the PSAC East opening games for both teams. In the first game Huskies pitcher Taylor Parker pitched a 2 hitter to lead her team to a 5-0 win. Shippensburg won the nightcap 4-2. The Huskies are now 6 and 6 overall. Their next action will be a Wednesday home doubleheader against Lock Haven.

 

NCAA Tournament

The NCAA men's basketball tournament which started with 68 teams is down to 16. In Sunday's games... Michigan State defeated Virginia 60 – 54... Duke downed San Diego State 68 – 49... It was Wichita State over Kansas 78 – 65... Oklahoma upended Dayton 72 – 66... Gonzaga rolled over Iowa 87 – 68... Wisconsin downed Oregon 72 – 65... West Virginia defeated Maryland 69 – 59... and it was Louisville over Northern Iowa 66 – 53. The NCAA tournament resumes Thursday night.



 

** WHLM News **

 

Bloomsburg Building Collapse

Four men were taken to area hospitals Saturday afternoon.. after third floor porch they were standing on collapsed. The collapse happened shortly after two at the rear of a three story apartment building in the 300 block of West Main Street in Bloomsburg. One of the first people on the scene was Bloomsburg Fire Chief Bob Rupp. He said he found the four laying on top of a snow covered parking lot. All four were transported to area hospitals for treatment of multiple injuries... including broken bones. Bloomsburg Code Enforcement was called in to figure out what happened.

 

                     --oo--                       --oo--

 

The Bloomsburg University Library Association's 15th annual book sale is happening this weekend. This afternoon from 1-3, tonight from 6-9, and Monday 10AM-4PM stop by to find books, games, CDs, DVDs, and more. Items for the sale can be donated at the Andruss Library Circulation desk. For more information call 570-389-4210.

 

Come to the Nelson Field House on Bloomsburg University's upper campus for "A Day In Seussville" this afternoon from 1-3. The free program includes games, crafts, and entertainment for kids 12 and under.

 

The Bloomsburg University Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Mark Jelinek will present their Spring concert today at 2:30PM at St Matthew Lutheran Church in downtown Bloomsburg. The concert will also feature the Jubilate Choir of Bloomsburg under the direction of Dr. Alan Hack in a performance of Schubert's Mass in G. Admission is free.

 

Town Hill United Methodist Church has extended their homemade soup and ice cream sale. Choose from Vegetable or Ham and Bean soup, and Chocolate, Vanilla, and Peanut Butter ice cream. All are just $5.50 a quart. Please place your orders by today. Orders can be picked up Saturday March 28 from 10AM - 2PM at the church on Town Hill Road in Shickshinny. To place your order, call 570-864-2401.

 



 

From the WHLM News Room

 

Bloomsburg Building Collapse

Four men were taken to area hospitals Saturday afternoon.. after third floor porch they were standing on collapsed. The collapse happened shortly after two at the rear of a three story apartment building in the 300 block of West Main Street in Bloomsburg. One of the first people on the scene was Bloomsburg Fire Chief Bob Rupp. He said he found the four laying on top of a snow covered parking lot. All four were transported to area hospitals for treatment of multiple injuries... including broken bones. Bloomsburg Code Enforcement was called in to figure out what happened.



 

The Spring craft, vendor, and food fair at St Joseph Church in Berwick is happening today. From 9AM - 2PM enjoy Polish, German, and Italian ethnic foods, grab some baked goods and check out dozens of crafters. The church is on Monroe Street in Berwick.

 

Catch a free preview of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble's 2015 Theater In The Classroom presentation of A Midsummer Night's Dream today at the Bloomsburg Public Library. The show starts at Noon.

 

The Bloomsburg University Library Association's 15th annual book sale is happening this weekend. This afternoon from 1-4, Sunday 1-3 and 6-9PM, and Monday 10AM-4PM stop by to find books, games, CDs, DVDs, and more. Items for the sale can be donated at the Andruss Library Circulation desk. For more information call 570-389-4210.

 

There's an all-you-can-eat homestyle chicken and waffle dinner today at Strawberry Ridge United Church of Christ from 1-6 PM. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. Take-out is available. The church is on West Diehl Road in Danville. for more information call 570-437-9160.

 

Come to the Nelson Field House on Bloomsburg University's upper campus for "A Day In Seussville" Sunday afternoon from 1-3. The free program includes games, crafts, and entertainment for kids 12 and under.

 

The Bloomsburg University Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Mark Jelinek will present their Spring concert Sunday at 2:30PM at St Matthew Lutheran Church in downtown Bloomsburg. The concert will also feature the Jubilate Choir of Bloomsburg under the direction of Dr. Alan Hack in a performance of Schubert's Mass in G. Admission is free.

 

Town Hill United Methodist Church has extended their homemade soup and ice cream sale. Choose from Vegetable or Ham and Bean soup, and Chocolate, Vanilla, and Peanut Butter ice cream. All are just $5.50 a quart. Please place your orders by Sunday. Orders can be picked up Saturday March 28 from 10AM - 2PM at the church on Town Hill Road in Shickshinny. To place your order, call 570-864-2401.

 



 

** Newsradio 930 / WHLM Operation Stormwatch **

 

 

** Luzerne County Community College - Closing at 1PM

 

** King's College - Closing at 2PM

 

Other Closings and Cancellations:

 

** Bloomsburg Public Library - Closing at 12 Noon

 

 

Snowy Weather

Old man winter just won't let go of his icy grip. There is a Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 6 O'clock Friday night. Our day will start off with snow... 2 to 4 inches expected... with our high's in the mid – 30's. The morning commute won't be so bad... but the afternoon drive home could be brutal. We continue to monitor the situation.

 

Leadership Central Penn

Learning what the local media does. That was the lesson learned Thursday by fourteen members of the latest Leadership Central Penn class meeting at the Central Columbia Administration building. The panelists... Jim Sachetti of the Press – Enterprise... Doug Farley of Metrocast Cable of Berwick... and WHLM News Director Mark Williams. The folks taking this year's Leadership Central Penn class are deemed future business leaders in our area.

 

Jim Reed

The fire chief of a hose company in Mt. Carmel is back. Assistant Chief Jim Reed, Sr. is out of the Lehigh Valley hospital... showing his gratitude to Elysburg first responders who pulled him out a burning building Monday on Walnut Street in Mt. Carmel. The fire destroyed seven row homes... tossing nearly a dozen people out on the street. Reed's airway was burned... and went into cardiac arrest. He was first Life Flighted to Geisinger... then to Allentown. Reed now says he's ready to get back to work.

 

Flood Safety

We're nearing the end of Flood Safety Awareness Week. WHLM's Rachel McDevitt says the risks of flooding go beyond damage to your home. The PA Department of Health says floodwater is not the same as rain water. It can carry sewage that causes infection... and debris like glass and metal that can cause serious injury. The Department recommends keeping children and pets away from affected areas... and if you do have to clean up... wear goggles, rubber boots and gloves... scrub down hard surfaces with detergent... and throw away what you can't disinfect.
 

Internet Security

The Internet... as we know it... is still the wild west... and a local IT expert says if you're not running virus protection... you may be asking for trouble. During a recent appearance on the WHLM Morning Buzz with Joe... First Columbia Bank's IT Guru Bob Puckett says an updated virus protection plan could cost as little as 40 dollars a year. Also... if one's virus protection is not up to date... someone could sneak in and grab your identity... and account numbers from your hard drive.

 

Gaming Control Board

State budget hearings continues this morning, with the Chairman of the Gaming Control Board testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee. William Ryan told Committee members that Pennsylvania's casino industry is healthy and stable, and expects to avoid the problems which led to multiple closings in Atlantic City. He added that underage gambling is a concern but doesn't see it as a major problem in the state. He also expects the state Supreme Court to uphold the board's choice for Philadelphia's second casino license, but says it may take up to a year for the legal process to play itself out.

 

Watsontown Fire

At least four people were hurt Thursday after a fire of undetermined origin swept through an apartment building in Watsontown... in Northumberland County. One person was flown to a hospital for treatment of burns. Twelve people lived in the wood – frame building on fourth Street... and lost everything. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

 

Frein Manhunt

The 48 - day manhunt for Eric Frein who is charged in the homicide of a state trooper in Pike County cost more than originally projected. That word revealed by State Police Commissioner – designate Col. Marcus Brown. Cops spent an estimated $11.7 - million, about $700,000 more than the amount released in November to a Scranton newspaper. Col. Brown said the agency has absorbed the costs and is not seeking additional state funding.

 

Kingston Suspect

Two men have been arrested in connection with the stick up of a Turkey Hill Minit Mart on Rutter Avenue in Kingston. Police say 31 – year old Robert Mauer and 35 – year old Richard Huften allegedly held up the store early Wednesday morning. Mauer is also charged with robbing another Turkey Hill in Wilkes – Barre last week.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Lacrosse

Senior Julie Falk scored five times to lead the Bloomsburg University women's lacrosse team to an 11 - 7 win over Holy Family yesterday at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. It was the Huskies first win of the season, and the first win under new head coach Shannon Hertz. The Huskies, now 1 and 2, will return to action Saturday at West Chester.

 

NCAA

The NCAA basketball tournament got into full gear yesterday including four games played at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. In those games... Notre Dame defeated Northeastern 60 – 56... Butler downed Texas 56 – 48... Villanova rolled over Lafayette 93 – 52... it was North Carolina State over LSU 66 – 65.

 

NHL Action

In the NHL last night... the Dallas Stars defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 2 to 1... and the Calgary Flames downing the Philadelphia Flyers 4 - 1



 

Winter Isn't Done With Us

What a difference a week makes. Last week and earlier this week... we were basking in sunshine with highs in the upper 40's and lower 50's... now a dose of reality. The National Weather Service in State College is issuing a Winter Weather Advisory for the area starting Friday morning starting at 4 O'clock. Meteorologists are predicting anywhere from 3 to 5 inches of snow. Not to worry... it should be gone quickly with temps in the mid 30's Friday... and a forecast of showers on Saturday. The complete Weather Eye forecast is straight ahead.

 

Accident Victim Passes

The rural Berwick woman badly hurt in a crash that killed her 19 month old granddaughter... has died. 54 – year old Janice Petroff passed at the Geisinger Medical Center Wednesday afternoon. She was the driver of that Buick SUV which apparently slid on ice and into a utility poll on Martzville Road near the Berwick Country Club. The crash ejecting 19 – month old Emma Niznek from her car seat.

 

Big Event

The requests are in... and now it's up to the Bloomsburg University's Community Government Association to fill the slots for this month's Big Event. Up to 1,200 students will help homeowners with outside tasks on March 28th. The CGA's Sean Williams says BU Athletes make up a big part of the Big Event. Williams says the students will meet at the Town Park on March 28th... then fan out through the community... with requests in hand to help homeowners.

 

Department of Correction

Recidivism was the buzz word of the Department of Corrections' budget hearing this week. Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel says the DOC has targeted a number of ways to cut back recidivism... including vocational training... internal efficiencies and paying halfway houses based on their performance lowering the number of repeat offenders. However, the Acting Chairman of the PA Board of Probation and Parole John Tuttle reminded lawmakers as prison populations shrink...his department will need to grow.

 

Judicial Budget Hearing
The Senate Appropriations Committee heard from top judicial officials as state budget hearings continue. State Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin told members that pension obligations and medical benefits have created a 30 million-dollar shortfall for the state's judiciary, and that's with three fewer justices on the high court, along with other vacancies. He also pointed to areas where there have been savings, including the use of drug and veterans courts for non-violent offenders.

 

University Book Sale

Friends of the Bloomsburg University Library are making money, and at the same time, getting rid of books from their inventory. Appearing on Wednesday's edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz... University historian Robert Dunkelberger says the books come from different sources. The sale takes place starting this Saturday and running through Monday in the Schweiker Room of the Andruss Library.

 

Minimum Wage

Pennsylvania's Acting Secretary of Labor and Industry addressed an increase to the minimum wage during budget hearings Tuesday. Acting Secretary Kathy Manderino said 1.2 million Pennsylvanians will see their earnings increase if the minimum wage is raised to the proposed $10.10 an hour. To doubters that small businesses will be able to handle that minimum wage increase along with all the tax changes in Governor Tom Wolf's budget plan... Manderino said businesses benefit from everything the wholistic commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides... just as citizens do.
 

Drug Bust

A 36 – year old Luzerne County resident is facing a host of drug charges after his home in Butler Township was raided. Daniel Lopez was captured in Florida.. and is due back in the county by the end of the week. Authorities say probation officials were checking on Lopez's welfare when they stumbled across more than a hundred marijuana plants... some lamps and a generator. Some of the plants were eight feet high. The investigation is continuing.

 

Turkey Hill Robberies

Three Turkey Hill Mini – Mart were the targets of bandits in the Wyoming Valley Wednesday morning. Police says the stores on East Main Street and Hazle Streets in Wilkes – Barre... and Rutter Avenue in Kingston. In all three cases... a man with a weapon walked into the stores... getting away with cash. Authorities have not said if there is a connection between the stick up's.

 

English RR Supply

Police in Montoursville are investigating the theft of up to $90,000 worth of model trains from English's Model Railroad Supplies. Cops say two people apparently broke in over the weekend making off the equipment... much of it which can be fenced at numerous model train shows held every weekend across t he region. The theft was discovered Monday when someone noticed a hole in a wall of the building which was hidden by a desk. The store does have surveillance cameras... and it caught video of the two people rolling the merchandise out the front door.

 

Wal – Mart thefts

State police at Hazleton are looking for two men who took nearly 800 dollars in vacuum cleaners and a laptop computer from a Wal – Mart Supercenter in Hazle Township. The thefts took place February 23rd and March 11th. If you have information about the theft... give trooper Matthew Hunter a call at the Hazleton State Police Barracks.

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Athletes

Bloomsburg University seniors Jocelyn Ford and Marla Simmons have earned spots on the 2015 NCAA Women's Basketball Division II Atlantic Region All-Tournament Team for their standout play. Ford receives the honor for the second consecutive year after averaging 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists over the Huskies' three games at the Atlantic Regional. Simmons, a Daktronics All-Region selection last week and the PSAC East Athlete of the Year, led the Huskies in scoring by averaging 17.3 points along with 5.7 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Bucknell / Temple

A robust Temple team shook off it's NCAA blahs... eventually defeating the Bucknell Bison 73 to 67. It happened during the opening round NIT game Wednesday night in Philadelphia. Temple will now host George Washington in a second – round game on Sunday.

 

NCAA Games

In other action... Robert Morris defeated North Florida 81 – 77... and Dayton just got by Boise State 56 – 55.

 



 

 

Mt. Carmel Fire Folo

A state police fire marshal has ruled that a blaze that destroyed seven row homes in Mt. Carmel this week was electrical in nature... calling the blaze accidental. Eleven people were made homeless. Meantime.. the chief of the American Hose company is recovering from injuries. James Reed, Sr. was pulled from one of the burning building and Life Flighted to Geisinger in Danville.. then transferred to Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown.

 

State Potholes

PennDOT crews have switched over from snow plowing to fixing potholes which have developed on state – maintained highways in Columbia and Montour Counties. The Agency's David Thompson says there are a not a lot pot holes on heavily traveled highways and interstates.... it's the back roads that can do – in a car's suspension. PennDOT's Thompson urged to drive slow when you see a crew working on the roadway.

 

Senate Hearings / State AG
While the state Attorney General is under fire on a variety of legal fronts, it was drugs and her department's budget that dominated her appearance before the state Senate Appropriations Committee. Attorney General Kathleen Kane is fighting a grand jury's recommendation that she face perjury and other serious charges, but she was subjected mostly with praise as she appeared before state Senators to talk about her office's budget. Lawmakers focused on the battle against drugs and online predators, with the only only an occasional critical comment - mostly about Kane's refusal to represent the state in the Defense of Marriage Act lawsuits and the defense of legislation in opposition to local gun ordinances...

 

PennDOT Hearing

Budget hearings before the House Appropriations Committee continued this morning with the acting Secretary of Transportation. Secretary Leslie Richards says she'll be touring major highways and bridges across the state next month with US Congressman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee. This in an effort to renew the federal government's commitment to infrastructure. Richards added that thanks to the state law known as Act 88, more than 550 bridges in the state will be refurbished in the next three years.
 

Elks Lodge

Elks Lodge 436 in Bloomsburg continues to grow. During initiation ceremonies Tuesday night at the Old Berwick Road lodge... eight people were brought into the origination. I asked Exhaled Ruler Fred Whitenight... why the lodge continues to grow... despite the downturn in volunteerism. The Elks Lodge is heavily involved in Volunteerism... helping veterans and providing scholarships to high school seniors.

 

Brain Injuries

The Pennsylvania Division of the American Trauma Society is stressing concussion prevention during Brain Injury Awareness Week. The Trauma Society is encouraging everyone to wear a helmet when doing any activity that could put your brain at risk. Activities like biking and skiing. It also hopes athletes and their coaches will learn more about concussion symptoms... which can include confusion... dizziness... and loss of consciousness. Concussions are the leading brain injury in the 2 point 4 million the U.S. sees every year... and they require immediate medical attention.

 

Cash Five

There is a person holding a winning Cash 5 lottery ticket from last Friday... purchased in Luzerne County. Lottery officials says the winning ticket is worth $450,000. The ticket was sold at the Turkey Hill Market on North Washington Street in Wilkes – Barre. The ticket correctly matched all five numbers selected.

 

Luzerne Election

The May 19th primary election is just around the corner. However, in Luzerne County, the election director called it quits recently... and now a search for a replacement is on. The big problem... David Parsnik is the interim director... but he has never run an election.

 

WHLM Sports

BU Baseball

The Bloomsburg University baseball team lost to Wilmington 8-4 Tuesday in a game played in Bel Air, Maryland. The loss dropped the Huskies to 3 and 3. They're home Friday in a doubleheader against Lock Haven. The first game starts at 1 O'clock.

 

NIT

In men's college basketball Wednesday night, in the opening round of the National Invitational Tournament, Bucknell plays Temple in Philadelphia.

 

NCAA

In the NCAA tournament Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio... Hampton downed Manhattan 74 – 64... and it was Mississippi over BYU 94 to 90. On Wednesday night... North Florida plays Robert Morris and Boise State takes on Dayton.

 

NHL

In the NHL Tuesday night... the New Jersey Devils blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 2 to nothing... and the Vancouver Canucks outscored the Philadelphia Flyers 4 to 1.



 

Mt. Carmel Fire

A chief for the Mt. Carmel fire department is in a Lehigh Valley hospital... after he was pulled unconscious from the flames of a five alarm row home fire Tuesday afternoon. James Reed, Sr, was first airlifted to Geisinger Medical Center... then transferred to a Lehigh Valley hospital. Reed is now listed in stable condition. Now... it's up to a state police fire marshal to determine what started that blaze in those row homes in the 200 block of South Walnut Street.

 

Petitions

Not all potential political candidates who picked up nominating petitions at the Columbia County Courthouse Annex.... returned their paperwork. That word from Chief Registrar Matt Repasky. When pressed on the issue... Mr. Repasky believes it's due to getting cold political feet.... not enough time to campaign or work issues. The folks in the voter registration office will now prepare ballots for the county's 42 precincts... in time for the May 19th primary.

 

DCNR Hearings
Every lawmaker has his or her own interests in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and during legislative budget hearings, oil and gas issues were bound to come up. Acting Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn had to balance questions about how to incorporate energy infrastructure into state lands.... and declining royalties expected from the Oil and Gas Fund... with questions about an impact study on the South Newark Basin... that put a moratorium on drilling in the area until the findings were released. Dunn insisted DCNR is not interested in allowing drilling in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

 

Veterans Hearings
Pennsylvania Adjutant General James Joseph went before the House Appropriations Committee as state budget hearings continued Monday. General Joseph testified that one of his biggest challenges is the estimated 14-hundred homeless veterans in Pennsylvania, urging lawmakers to help get the word out that services and programs are available. He also touched on the positive aspects of housing the nation's third-largest National Guard, bring in close to 400-million-dollars in military construction funding over the last ten years.

 

Berwick Council

The Berwick Borough Council on Monday.... started the week holding their regularly scheduled meeting in the High School auditorium on Fowler Avenue. The Borough's political leaders exposing the senior class to what local government does. Also on hand... the three Columbia County Commissioners.... and that pleased mayor Tim Burke. Commissioner's Young... Ridgeway and Kovach liked what they took in... all in the hopes of finding some future leaders among Berwick High School Seniors.

 

St. Patrick's Day Drinking
The Pennsylvania DUI Association has some familiar reminders for those who plan on going out after work tonight to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The most important reminder is to plan ahead. Director of Law Enforcement Services George Geilser says arranging a ride home or planning on spending the night at a friend's house or in a hotel room, are the most effective ways to avoid taking to the roads once you're impaired. Police will be out in force from now through Saturday night to with extra DUI patrols.

ARC Shelter

It's been a long winter for the Animal Resource Center... and their in need of some items. That word from ARC executive director Linda Bird. Appearing on the WHLM Morning Buzz, Ms. Bird said dry and wet dog and cat food is needed. To either donate some pet food.... or apply for the staff person job now open... give the shelter a call.

 

Flood Safety

This week is Flood Safety Awareness Week. Pennsylvania is one of the most flood-prone states in the country, and so PEMA is urging Pennsylvanians to make sure they have a solid evacuation and emergency plan before the water starts to rise. Officials with PEMA are encouraging people to download their ReadyPA app to their phones. The app has checklists to prepare for emergencies as well as tools to set up communication with family members.

 

Shooting Victim

It's not often Wilkes – Barre police stop a car for speeding... finding a shooting victim. It happened early Sunday morning along North Pennsylvania Avenue... when a speeding car was stopped... in the passenger seat... a man suffering a gunshot wound. The victim telling authorities he was shot outside a South Main Street club. He's expected to be okay.

 

Suspect Sought

State Police at Hazleton are keeping a sharp eye out for a man wanted for allegedly assaulting a woman in Luzerne County. Cops say the man inappropriately touched a customer at a mini – mart in Dorrance Township in lower Luzerne County. A picture of the suspect is available at our media partner's web – site www.WNEP.com 

 

 

WHLM Sports

BU Women

The NCAA Atlantic Regional title and a trip to the Division II Elite 8 was on the line Monday night when the Bloomsburg University women's basketball team played at California University. WHLM's Larry White said despite tying the game ten times... the Lady Huskies lost72 – 69. That wraps up an impressive 26 – 5 season.

 

Men's Hoops

In men's college basketball, the first two games of the NCAA tournament will be played Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio. In the first game, BYU faces Mississippi. In game two, Hampton will take on Manhattan.

 

Bucknell Basketball

Bucknell earned a spot in the National Invitational Tournament by winning the Patriot League's regular season title. Wednesday night, the Bison pay Temple in Philadelphia. The winner of that game will face the winner of Tuesday night's George Washington at Pitt game.

 

NBA

In the NBA Monday night.. the Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 108 to 89.



Mt Carmel Fire Folo

The chief for the American Hose Company in Mt. Carmel is recovering from injuries sustained while fight a fire Monday afternoon along South Walnut Street. James Reed sent a distress call... and was plucked from one of the seven row homes destroyed by the flames... and Life Flighted to a hospital for treatment. Volunteers from Northumberland... Schuylkill as well as Espy... here in Columbia County were called in to fight the five alarm blaze. The flames were first spotted just before noon... and was brought under control three hours later. No cause as of yet... but a state police fire marshal has been called in. Eleven people lost their homes Monday afternoon in Mt. Carmel.

 

United Way

A changing of the guard in the top level of the United Way of Columbia County. Current executive director John Thomas is getting ready to retire.... while former Downtown Bloomsburg, Incorporated Manager Adrienne Mael is getting ready to slip behind Thomas' desk. During a recent exit interview... Thomas says Ms. Mael has her Rolodex of contacts. The next few weeks will be a transition period... as Ms. Mael gets ready to prepare for the organization's fall campaign..

 

Conyngham Twp Accident

Four teenagers had the scare of their lives Saturday afternoon... when the car they were in blew through a stop sign... went down an embankment into some trees in Conyngham Township. State Police say the incident happened at the intersection of Mid Valley Road and Route 42. The driver and three passengers were rushed to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for treatment.

 

Lou Barletta / Immigration
During a tour of the midstate a Pennsylvania Congressman with a history of strong views on immigration took a moment to talk about the issue. Representative Lou Barletta has thrown his support behind the Secure Our Borders First Act, which includes language from a bill he sponsored that would keep tabs on people coming into the country by requiring they be fingerprinted at airports. He says more than 40 percent of illegal immigrants don't cross a traditional border...but fly in on visas and never leave. His legislation would make it a criminal offense to overstay a visa.

 

Pot Holes

With temperatures expected the first part of the week ranging from the 40's to mid 50's... Bloomsburg public works crews will be busy patching potholes. It's a never ending task... so says public work's chief John Barton. Ever since the weather broke a week ago.... crews have spent a lot of time trying to fill the hole... which can do a lot of damage to car tires and the related suspension parts and pieces. The worst of the worst are potholes which continue to form along Ft. McClure Boulevard..

 

Parents in Prison
By state estimates, some 81,000 children in Pennsylvania have at least one parent in prison and are at a higher risk of a run-in with the law themselves. WHLM's Brad Christman says that advocates are asking lawmakers to take steps to break that cycle of incarceration. During a hearing the House Children and Youth Committee last week, lawmakers heard from children who grew up with one or both parents in prison...some of whom ended up there themselves. There are mentoring programs for kids struggling with family incarcerations and advocates say these programs deserve state funding. For many programs, federal funding dried up in recent years and now they rely on private donations and grants...

 

Shenandoah

There was a building collapse early Sunday morning in Shenandoah. A building on West Coal Street came tumbling down. A fire back in 2013 damaged nine buildings at the corner of West Coal and Jardin Streets... where the collapse took place. A contractor and a fire investigator says demolition of the buildings is stalled due to legal issues.

 

Freeland

Folks in Freeland... near Hazleton... put their worries behind them for a day. On Saturday.... their annual St. Patrick's parade held despite the rain. Earlier this month... the borough faced frozen water pipes... a shortage of crews... and a lack of money... so the mayor of Freeland declared a state of emergency. That 

declaration was recently lifted.

 

Redistricting
A Democrat state lawmaker is trying to draw attention to something governor Tom Wolf mentioned in his budget address, and it has nothing to do with taxes. Most of the time since the governor's budget address on March 3rd has been dominated by talk of taxes and spending...but one state lawmaker is hoping people also hear the brief mention of the need for changing the way legislative districts are redrawn. The highly-politicized process is currently handled by the state legislature. Senator Lisa Boscola of Northampton County says that needs to change to take the politics out of a very important process. Republicans have had the legislative majorities and controlled the process the past 2 decades. The once-per decade process always follows a U-S Census count.

 

VFD Grants
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has announced grants are available to help rural communities fight forest fires. March is the the official beginning of forest fire season... and the DCNR hopes volunteer fire departments will take advantage of federal grant money to put towards equipment or training to deal with those fires. The grants top out at $7,500 and must have matching funds. The deadline for applications is May 21st. To learn more go to DCNR dot state dot p-a dot u-s.

 

Bloomsburg Huskies Basketball

In Bloomsburg University Women's Basketball Monday night, the Huskies played California. Sadly the Huskies season came to an end with their loss to California 72-69. You can hear the details with Larry White in the WHLM Huskies Postgame Report.

 

 

 


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