A Jackson Township man is in the Columbia County Prison after he was accused of 50 counts of allegedly assaulting a 13 – year old female foster child. State Police at Bloomsburg tells us 50 – year old Leon Mengine is charged and is being held on $200,000 bail. He was arrested as his wife... Luella appeared for a preliminary hearing... but it was postponed. A month ago... Luella Mengine... was charged with torturing four foster children at their home near Benton. She is free on $100,000 bond.
PennDOT's north central region... which includes Columbia and Montour County... has launched a seat belt initiative... featuring a Montgomery woman who works for the agency. Bonnie Brown and her husband hit a deer in their car late last year while eastbound on Interstate 80... flipping their Honda. Luckily, both were wearing seatbelts... and now she's a one – woman campaign advocating the use of seat belts. During a news conference at an Interstate 80 rest area west of Danville on Tuesday... PennDOT's Rick Mason said that for the first six months of this year in the 9 – county region of District 3... 65% of those who died on the highways were not wearing seatbelts.
An estimated 30 employees at Cherokee Pharmaceuticals in Riverside are expected to be pink slipped in the not too distant future. That... as its contract for fermentation operations comes to an end this fall. Published reports say Cherokee's parent company... Merck says some of the employees have been told of the terminations... others will be notified soon. If you recall... Merck announced last year that it plans to sell the plant as they consolidate operations and trim staff world wide.
A Montour County court jury has decided a Geisinger Medical Center physician was not negligent while caring for a Bloomsburg man. William Glenney and his wife, Deborah, sued Dr. Nicholas Inverso... claiming that injected dye lead to irreparable damage to Glenney's pancreas back in 2004. The injection was part of a medical procedure. The jury reaching their verdict after deliberating two days.
Tree Removal / Bridge
That 90 – year old double track bridge, which connects West Main Street in Bloomsburg to Fernville, will soon be coming down. But first tree removal is underway. On Tuesday crews from Dincher & Dincher Tree Surgeons of Williamsport started taking out trees and vegetation... putting them into a wood chipper to be recycled at a later date. It's a noisy job... but it has to be done in order for a contractor to come in and remove the concrete span. Many who live on Bloomsburg's west side believe once the bridge is gone... that will alleviate a lot of the flooding problem which has devastated that part of town.
A one – day conference dealing with Autism presented by the Jones Center is on tap for next month in Bloomsburg. The conference entitled autism... attitude and acceptance. Appearing on the Tuesday edition of the WHLM Morning buzz... Bloomsburg University's Anne Katona says Autism remains a mystery. Registration is underway for the one day conference which is scheduled for July 13th at the Bloomsburg High School.
Three men and a teenager from the Hazleton area are in custody after they allegedly carjacked a mini – van driven by a 23 – year old Mountain Top woman early Tuesday morning. Authorities say the incident happened when the four walked up behind the van on Interstate 81 near the Nuangola interchange as it was parked on the berm. Then one of the men slipped behind the wheel... the other in the passenger seat... taking 23 year old Maryanna Millner for a ride. The incident came to an end near Beaver Meadows around daybreak with the four alleged carjackers caught a short time later.
Police have arrested a Freeland juvenile who fled from the law nearly two weeks ago... moments before he was to be sentenced at the Luzerne County Courthouse. The unnamed juvenile was busted for retail theft on Public Square in Wilkes Barre. As we reported earlier this month... the 16 – year old was being transported from a non – secure facility... and was not shackled or wearing handcuffs at the time of his escape.
U-S Senator Bob Casey announcing the Department of Agriculture has declared five counties in PA disaster areas as the result of freezing temperatures from March through May. Schuylkill County is one of the areas coming under the declaration... and that means that the contiguous counties of Columbia, Luzerne and Northumberland are also included. In all 21 counties are on the list. Under the declaration, producers in the counties will be eligible for aid... including emergency loans and other measures that will cover production and other expenses that the freeze cost farmers in the region.
Grants / Boback
Communities along the Susquehanna River now have an opportunity to apply for mini – grants in order to fund small projects designed to improve the quality of life of towns, cities and boroughs... as well as the river. That word from State Representative Karen Boback... who's district takes in Benton and Benton Township in northern Columbia County... as well as Luzerne and Wyoming. She said the Susquehanna Greenway projects could include trail connections with the river... waterfront parks... river access... and infrastructure that protect the quality of the river. Ms. Boback says applications can be submitted by municipalities... agencies and non profit groups.
We won't know for a while how and why an 11 – month old child died in Northumberland County. The reason... lab tests results are needed to determine the cause of death of the little girl. The child was rushed to the Sunbury hospital after she was taken from her mother's home on Orange Street in Northumberland late last week. Coroner James Kelly says it will be anywhere from 12 to 15 weeks before any of the results of an autopsy are known.
Fallout from the arrest... and conviction of Jerry Sandusky. The Second Mile's building is up for sale. The charity that Sandusky founded owns the building in State College. Now the Second Mile sign on the road side is replaced with a realtors sign. A real estate website has the property listed for $750,000.
The preseason college football editions of magazines are hitting the news stands. Lindy's magazine does not have Bloomsburg University listed in its top 20 Division II teams, but it does list two other PSAC teams. Defending PSAC champ Kutztown is listed as 19th in the nation while California is ranked 21st.
The Philadelphia Phillies won their second consecutive game Tuesday night... as they defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 5 to 4. The Phils moving ahead in the early innings off a Ty Wiggington two run homer. Both teams meet again Wednesday night in game three of their four game series at Citizens Bank Park. You can catch all the action starting with the pre – game show at 6:30... with the first pitch at 7:05 on News Radio 930, 94.7, 104.3 & Berwick's 1280.