Meth Lab Explosion Causes Danville Fire

Authorities say it was a meth lab explosion that caused a fire that heavily damaged a double home and injured one person in the 300 block of Chamber Street in Danville on Tuesday morning. Police have charged 33-year-old Richard McHugh with operating a meth lab, risking a catastrophe, reckless endangering, manufacture of methamphetamine with child present, and endangering the welfare of a child. He is in the county lock-up on $250,000 bail. McHugh lived in the home at 321 Chamber Street with his girlfriend, Nikki Doebler, and her son. Michael Mowrer, Jr. who doesn’t live there was helping to cook the meth and was burned. He was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital. The Montour County DA say Mowrer will likely face charges as well. The fire also damaged 325 Chamber St. where a grandmother, a grandfather and a granddaughter lived.

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Appeals Court Upholds Decision To Reinstate Fired BU Prof

A Pennsylvania appeals court panel has agreed with a decision to reinstate a Bloomsburg University college professor. The Commonwealth Court ruling upholds a June 2018 decision by an arbitrator, which voided the termination of BU assistant professor John Barrett. Barrett was fired in 2017 after it was determined he had engaged in consensual relationships with two students. The arbitrator overturned the decision, which the panel upheld: it ruled that the two women in question were not taking any of Barrett’s classes at the time of the relationships, and that he had not violated any school regulations. The ruling calls for Barrett to regain his standing at Bloomsburg, with full back pay and benefits.

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State Health Department Declares Hepatitis-A Outbreak

The state Department of Health is declaring a Hepatitis A outbreak in the Commonwealth. Health officials report that 171 people have contracted the illness, ranging across 36 counties, most prevalent in Philadelphia and Allegheny. Officials say the best preventative measure is through the Hepatitis A vaccine. By declaring the outbreak, the state becomes eligible for federal funds to purchase additional vaccine, if necessary.

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Victim In Bloom Fatal Fire Identified

The Columbia County coroner has confirmed that the body of 40-year-old Fabio Adragna was pulled from what was left of a two-family home in the 300 block of Fair Street in Bloomsburg on Monday. A fast-moving, intense fire early Sunday morning reduced the double-block home to a pile of charred rubble. An excavator and a cadaver dog had to be used to help recover the man’s body. The fire also gutted a student apartment house next door. Investigators say they may never know what sparked the deadly fire in Bloomsburg.

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Berwick Area Couple Accused Of Stealing Mail & Identities From Neighbors

A husband and wife from the Berwick area are accused of stealing mail from their neighbors and then using it to steal their identifies. Our news partner Newswatch 16 is reporting that 31-year-old Ernest Stonebraker and his wife 39-year-old Theresa Stonebraker are facing several counts of identity theft. Federal, state and local authorities raided the couple’s home in the Pleasant View Mobile Home Park, off Stone Church Road, in Salem Township, Luzerne County Monday morning. Police say the couple was stealing other people's mail and getting a hold of their bank information. Salem Township police say they got their first complaint about six weeks ago. They believe the couple stole mail from more than 15 people and racking up thousands of dollars on their accounts.

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Legislation To Protect Those Who Leave Drug Treatment Prematurely Is Advanced In State House

A bill advanced by the state House Human Services Committee seeks to protect a person who leaves a drug treatment facility before they are cleared to do so. Under the bill a drug treatment facility would have to notify an emergency contact when a person leaves a facility against medical advice. The bill’s sponsor, state Representative Eric Nelson says a common scenario in which this occurs is when a drug dealer sends someone in to entice a person out of treatment and then that person is forced into prostitution and sex trafficking. The bill now goes to the full state House.

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One Resident Unaccounted After Fast-Moving Weekend Fire In Bloom That Destroyed Two Homes

A massive fire destroyed two homes and damaged several others in Bloomsburg over the weekend and now, with one resident unaccounted for, a cadavar dog is being brought in to search through the debris. The fire was reported at about 1 o’clock Sunday morning when a passerby noticed smoke and flames coming from a double-block home at 335-337 Fair Street near Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital. All that’s left of the duplex is a charred pile of rubble. The blaze spread to an adjacent student apartment house at 341 Fair Street, which was gutted by the blaze. The student apartment house was empty, but Bloomsburg Fire Chief Scott McBride tells our news partner Newswatch 16 that only three of four people who live in the duplex that was leveled have been accounted for. A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, but the fire chief says the damage is so severe, the cause may be never known.

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President Trump Visits Lycoming County This Evening

Montoursville Mayor Steve Bagwell is reminding residents that the area will likely be swollen with people, so expect traffic and parking problems. Locals are also being asked to be kind to out-of-towners and to show respect to any protesters.. The President is scheduled to appear at 7 p.m. Monday at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, in support of GOP Congressional candidate Fred Keller. He's squaring off against Democrat Marc Frienberg in a special election for a vacant seat in the US House on Tuesday.

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Top Republican In State Senate Wants Open Primaries In PA

The top Republican in the state Senate is calling for movement on his bill which would affect primary elections in the Commonwealth. When Pennsylvanians go to the polls on Tuesday, only those registered Republican or Democrat will be able to vote. That would change under a bill sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, which would open up the primaries to those registered Independent. Scarnati says that would represent a greater percentage of the voting population. The measure is currently before the Senate State Government Committee.

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Berwick Police Bust Up Drug Ring

Three people are locked up and police in Berwick are searching for two others after they busted up a drug ring dealing in heroin and methamphetamine, according to our news partner Newswatch 16. Police say 56-year-old Charles Hess Sr., and 29-year-old Charles Hess Jr., of Berwick, are both facing charges following a raid yesterday. Police have also charged an informant, Tyia Starr, saying she warned at least one of the suspects prior to the raid. Police are also looking for Damon Magnuson and Zachary Parker. Authorities warn that Magnuson and Parker are considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to contact police in Berwick.

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Geisinger's Life Flight Moving Danville Base To Selinsgrove

Geisinger's Life Flight Moving Danville Base To Selinsgrove

After 38 years in Danville, Geisinger is moving its Life Flight 1 base to Snyder County this summer. The move will allow for expansion, giving more space in Danville to the program's maintenance team. Geisinger says the program’s base in Danville, which has been on the GMC campus since 1981, will be relocated to the Penn Valley Airport near Selinsgrove. The Danville location will continue as the helicopter maintenance facility. Geisinger says the move will decrease response times in Juniata, Mifflin, lower Northumberland, Perry, Snyder and Union counties, which are furthest away from specialized treatment. Life Flight averages 2,800 transports per year with nine helicopters spread over a half dozen bases in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. Life Flight recently transported its 66,000th patient in its history.

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PennDOT To Hold Public Meeting On Big Road Project In Bloom

PennDOT will host a public meeting about a plan to reconstruct parts of Routes 11 and 487 in the Town of Bloomsburg. The meeting is set for Wednesday, June 5th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Monty’s on Bloomsburg University’s Upper Campus. During the meeting, PennDOT will present plans to reconstruct East Street, Poplar Street and Ferry Road from Main Street to the Susquehanna River Bridge. Columbia Boulevard from 6th Street to Park Street will also be milled and resurfaced. The existing traffic signals at the 5th Street, 6th Street and 7th Street intersections with East Street will be replaced. The Town of Bloomsburg is developing a project to construct sidewalks and street lighting, which will be incorporated into the PennDOT project. The reconstruction will be done in short phases so the entire length of road won’t be closed for the duration of the project. The work is tentatively scheduled to begin in Spring 2021.

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DEP Surveys Impact Of Flooding On Fishing Creek

Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection joined other state and county officials in Columbia County Thursday afternoon for a tour of Fishing Creek to see the impact of erosion and flooding. And, last night DEP officials held a public open house at the Benton High School to share information about working in streams impacted by flooding and erosion. DEP officials also discussed how the Wolf Administration’s $4.5 billion infrastructure improvement plan known as Restore Pennsylvania can help communities dealing with the aftermath of flooding. Wolf’s is counting on the passage of a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production in order to fund the initiative. Columbia County state Representative David Millard has it made known multiple times that he supports the Governor’s Restore PA initiative.

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Catholic Diocese Of Harrisburg Provides Update on Its Survivor's Compensation Program

The enrollment period has ended for the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg’s Survivor’s Compensation Program for victims of clergy child sex abuse. The 90-day enrollment period for the program which began on February 12th ended on Monday. The Diocese says Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation or CMCI for short will making settlement offers between now and the end of June. The Diocese says it’s not involved in the process of determining who is eligible for settlements and the amounts. Bishop Ronald Gainer says when the settlement period ends, the Diocese will release a final report on how many survivors it was able to support. The bishop says the Diocese will continue offering counseling to survivors, whether or not they take part in the compensation program or receive a settlement. The Harrisburg Diocese includes parishes in Columbia and Montour Counties.

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A Bill To Ban Abortions Of Unborn Babies Diagnosed With Down Syndrome Passes State House

For the second consecutive session, the state House has approved legislation regarding abortion and a Down Syndrome diagnosis. State Representative Kate Klunk was among those voting for the bill which would prohibit the abortion of unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Klunk says a baby should not be discriminated against because the they have an extra chromosome. But, State Representative Melissa Shusterman voted against the bill, calling it an attempt to restrict the rights of women. The bill now goes to the Senate where similar legislation failed to pass last year.

Legislation To Allow Night Vision Equipment To Be Used For Predator Hunting Advances in State House

A bill which seeks to help predator hunters has been advanced by the state House Game and Fisheries Committee. The bill would remove restrictions on the use of night vision equipment for hunting and allow the Pennsylvania Game Commission to regulate the equipment. Supporters say the use of night vision scopes on rifles could, for example, help predator hunters to control the coyote population in northwest PA and other parts of the state where there are too many coyotes.

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