The United Way of Columbia County is out with a status report... and it's mixed as they continue their annual capitol fund raising campaign. Executive Director Thomas says figures show $258,000 of the organizations $525,000... or 49% of this year's goal has been raised. Meantime... Thomas says they're waiting for pledges from the area's largest employers such as Geisinger Health Systems... Pennsylvania Power and Light... and DelMonte Foods.
Bloomsburg Town Council has put to bed the proposed 2013 budget... but it took some doing... such has not hiring a police officer... and only approving one of two positions in the public works department. But still the proposal has a projected deficit of $99,000 with council dipping into cash reserves to the tune of $164,000 to pay for one time expenses. Bloomsburg Mayor Dan Knorr said it took several years to build up that reserve. Council now meets in special session on the 21st to see if there are any last minute changes... and to place their seal of approval on the 2013 spending plan.
Madison Township Fire
A Millville area home was extensively damaged Tuesday afternoon when a fire tore through the two – store structure on Legion Road in Madison Township.
The Press – Enterprise is reporting in today's edition... that authorities believe the blaze broke out in the kitchen area... a half hour after Todd Johnson had left for work. The fire is believed to be accidental. One Benton firemen was taken to the hospital after experiencing breathing problems. The Red Cross is now helping Johnson get his life back in order.
Geisinger / Lewistown
Could Danville – based Geisinger Health Systems be expanding again. Hospital officials say they've signed a non – binding letter of intent with the Lewistown Hospital... in Mifflin County... to explore way they can work together. Geisinger already has a presence in the Juniata Valley with several out – patient facilities including a physician practice purchased nearly 30 – years ago. The move allows both hospitals to explore way to better serve the Lewistown area.
The organizers of Kidsburg 2.0 in Bloomsburg received a donation late Tuesday afternoon... giving a big boost to their fund raising drive to rebuild the flood – damaged play area. Deb Huckens... and Town Park Association President Chuck Wagner receiving a check for $20,000 from Kawneer and the Alcoa Foundation. Huckens says the donation is the jump start the project needed. For Kawneer Manager Axel Heinrich the donation was a no brainer. The organizing group wants to raise a quarter million dollars to be used to build a world class play area for kids.
It's bigger and better each year... the annual Journeymate Ministry... and their annual Christmas dinner. It will be held this Sunday at the Caldwell Consistory in Bloomsburg. The Ministry's Janice Labour said 400 people were fed a year ago... but organizers are ready to feed an estimated 500 people. The event begins noon time Sunday at the Caldwell Consistory on the square in Bloomsburg.
The city of Hazleton has hit it's “fiscal cliff....” so says Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi. At a Tuesday news conference... he is pleading with council members to okay the city's 2013 budget... containing an 83% property tax increase. If not okayed by the end of the year.... Yannuzzi said there could be dire consequences... such as furloughs... and the inability to get loans or tax anticipation notes needed to operate.
A former secretary in the Nanticoke Area School District is in trouble with the law. Police putting the cuffs on Jacqueline Ruchinski... accusing her of pocketing an estimated $19,000 over the past six years. At one time... Ruchinski was in charge of the food program and cafeteria money. After making a court appearance on Tuesday... she was released without posting bail.
The Luzerne County Council will soon be looking for a new prison warden. 61 – year old Joseph Piazza... the man who runs the Luzerne County Correctional Facility... plans to retire at the end of the month. Piazza has run the lock up since 2009.
BU Men's Basketball
The Bloomsburg University men's basketball team has lost three straight games since the Thanksgiving Holiday break, dropping the Huskies record to 2-4. Despite that record, 6-7 freshman Matt Aikey is confident that his team can turn it around.
The Bloomsburg University women's basketball team is ranked 16th in the nation this week. The Huskies have a record of 5-0 after their 84-59 win over 15th ranked Edinboro on Sunday.
The Bloomsburg University men's and women's basketball teams play their PSAC Eastern Division openers Saturday afternoon at Millersville. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 12:40 with the pregame show to the women's game.
Two of the nation's top 25 college basketball team played in the Jimmy V Classic last night at Madison Square Garden in New York City:.. 15th ranked Georgetown shut down Texas 64 to 41... and 25th ranked North Carolina State got by Connecticut 69 to 65.
In the NBA last night... the Minnesota Timberwolves rolled over the Philadelphia 76ers 105 to 88.