Flood Wall Meeting
A lot of questions... but really no concrete answers from SEDA – COG Thursday night during an informational meeting dealing with the two flood walls to be built around Autoneum North America and Windsor Foods on Bloomsburg's west side. Of primary importance for residents... how much higher will the water be in neighborhoods surround the plants. SEDA – COG's Bill Seigel quoted findings from the study Kawneer conducted prior to the construction of their flood wall near the airport... showing that water in the area will increase an estimated three – tenths of an inch. Meantime, bids for engineering work on the two projects will be opened next week at SEDA – COG's Lewisburg headquarters.... with construction to get underway in about a year.
What started as a fund raiser in the early 90's has taken on a life of it's own. Bloomsburg is expected to be inundated by thousands of college and university aged students starting Friday... running into Sunday morning for the 2013 edition of Block Party. The event is not sanctioned by the university... and there will be plenty of police presence on hand to make sure the event doesn't get out of control.
Town Councilman and businessman Eric Bower says he's prepared... as a lawmaker and a security expert. Bower's business has dozens of cameras up and down Main Street... and he's helped the police department in the past identify suspects which have led to arrests. Block party participants are usually found at gathering along East and Iron Streets... as well as Lightstreet Road.
We're approaching the second full weekend of trout fishing in Columbia and surrounding counties. Streams, such as Fishing Creek near the Iron Bridge off Route 42 near Hoffman Park, have been restocked with 500 additional trout this week... and that's where WHLM News caught up with Rob Wenrich of Berwick. Rob says dropping a line in the water is well worth it. Each year... the PA Fish and Game Commission gives the Fishing Creek Sportsman Association 25,000 trout to raise and distribute in Columbia County waterways accessible to the public.
Berwick Road Construction
Work began Wednesday on the re-construction of West Front Street in Berwick. Barletta Construction of Hazleton using a back hoe to take chunks of blacktop from the passing lane and placing the old pavement in waiting dump trucks to be hauled away. Berwick business owner Arden Oliver watched the action from in front of his store... telling WHLM News Barletta has done a pretty good job, but the utility companies are questionable. Barletta Construction hopes to have both travel lanes of West Front... between Dunkin' Donuts and Market Street pretty much wrapped up in time for the Celebrate Berwick Festival on May 11th.
Drug Take Back
Mark your calendar... and clear out your medicine cabinet... as “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” is quickly approaching. Pennsylvania State trooper Adam Reed says selected barracks are participating in the April 27th event. The most recent event took place last Septembers... with an estimated 244 tons of prescriptions taken off the street nationwide.
There's a new call to abolish the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. More than a dozen state lawmakers came out in support of House Bill 1197, which would abolish the Turnpike Commission and transfer it's duties to PennDOT under a new bureau of toll administration and deputy secretary. The Senators citing the recent grand jury indictments charging pay to play corruption in the turnpike's former administration.
State Police are investigating allegations that the police chief in Hartleton... in Union County... pressured speeders who received traffic citations to either pay the tickets or donate to the community playground. Donald Zerbe has been the police chief there for thirty years. He has his supporters in several borough council members. Already investigators have obtained a search warrant to go through the department's office in Zerbe's home.
Alleged Sexual Assault
A Luzerne County man is out of a job at a group home in Wilkes - Barre... and in jail after he was charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a 14 – year old girl in his care. Authorities say 23 – year old Lee Snyder took the teen to his Hanover Township apartment in March where the assault allegedly occurred. Police are basing their charges on a detailed journal the girl kept... as well as text messages.
Snyder is now in jail unable to post $50,000 bail.
There is one less person in Luzerne County government. County Manager Robert Lawton says Acting county Chief Public Defender... Al Flora, Jr.... has been fired. County Council members found that out in an e-mail sent to them by Lawton. No reason given for the firing of the Chief Public Defender.
Motorcycle Shop Fire
A state fire marshal is expected to be at a Hazleton motorcycle shop Thursday to try and figure out what started a blaze at mid - afternoon Wednesday. The fire broke out at Holeshot Cycle and Accessories... sending clouds of billowing black smoke in to the air. Mutual aid was requested. The building housing motorcycles... tires... plus oil and grease. No one was injured in the Wednesday afternoon fire in Hazleton.
Hazleton House Fire
A Hazleton apartment was substantially damaged by fire Wednesday morning. Firemen were called to a double block home in the 500 block of Peace Street. Two families were in the building when the blaze began... with everyone getting out safely. No word at to what caused that fire on Peace Street in Hazleton.
A man who robbed a Hazleton bank in September of 2011 will spend the next five years in prison. Kevin Parks was handed the sentence for the robbery of the First National Community Bank on West Broad Street. Following the stick up... Parks took a cab to Scranton where he was arrested for public intoxication.
The Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area has announced that nearly 3 miles of new trails are now ready for the upcoming riding season in Northumberland County. Also... nearly 4 acres of land has been cleared for a trail head construction project. The area will be used for the first Jeep Jamboree USA event being held in early June.