Dozens of Catholics came out to Queen of the Most Holy Rosary church in Elysburg last night to attend a listening session with Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Diocese of Harrisburg. This session and others like it around the diocese are being held in the wake of last summer’s Grand Jury Report exposing decades of child sexual abuse by clergy in Pennsylvania. A listening session was supposed to be held at Immaculate Conception church in Berwick on Wednesday night but due to wintry weather its been moved to March 14th.Read More
A fast moving fire ripped through 6 row homes in Ashland Thursday afternoon. Nearly 2 dozen people are homeless as a result of the blaze on Brock street in the borough. A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of that blaze in Schuylkill County.
Penn State’s president when the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal erupted may soon be going to jail after Pennsylvania’s highest court declined Thursday to hear the appeal of his conviction for child endangerment. The state Supreme Court ruled it will not take up Graham Spanier’s appeal of the misdemeanor conviction related to Spanier’s handling of a 2001 complaint about Sandusky showering with a boy in the football team locker room.Read More
Following recent passage in committee, the sponsor of a bill that seeks to pave the way for Sunday hunting in PA is hopeful it will become a reality. State Senator Dan Laughlin's bill, approved by the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee which he chairs, would allow the Pennsylvania Game Commission to decide if there should be Sunday hunting in PA. Laughlin says allowing hunting on Sundays would give him and other people who are busy every other day time to hunt with their kids. Laughlin says lifting the ban on Sunday hunting, which goes back about 125 years, is long overdue.Read More
Testifying before the state Senate Appropriations Committee during budget hearings this week, the state's top elections official defended the need for counties to have new voting systems with voter-verifiable paper trails in time for next year's elections. Given the challenges counties may have in being able to afford the new voting systems, Senator Bob Mensch questioned the rush to have the new technology in place by next year.
But Acting Secretary of the Department of State Kathy Boockvar says PA does not want to be the only state with election systems lacking voter-verifiable paper trails. Currently PA is one of 13 states which doesn't have the new technology completely in place.
Bloomsburg Police have released a surveillance photo of the man responsible for stealing money and damaging washing machines at two laundromats in town early Monday morning. Police say the white man entered the Wash and Shop at 1000 Market St. and the Laundry Room at 428 W. Main St. between 1:45 a.m. and 3:15 a.m. Monday. He damaged numerous washing machines by forcing open the coin boxes with a pry bar and then taking money from inside them. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Officer Brad Sharrow of the Bloomsburg Police Department at 570-784-4155 Ext 171. A reward is being offered by the business owner.Read More
If you are looking for a job, you may want to check out a job fair in Bloomsburg which runs from today through Saturday. More than 60 businesses are expected to be on hand for the first ever job fair at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds. Free workshops on resumes and job interviews are planned for each afternoon. The job fair is open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm today and tomorrow and from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday in the Industrial Building at the fairgrounds. Free tickets to this year's Bloomsburg Fair will be given away at the job fair in Columbia County.Read More
A federal trial challenging a new policy on how mail is delivered to inmates at state prisons in Pennsylvania is underway in Harrisburg. Several groups including the ACLU of Pennsylvania have filed suit against the PA Department of Corrections, which last fall began sending inmate mail to one central location, photocopying it, then sending the copies to inmates. Corrections officials say it's needed to prevent drug smuggling, after several instances where staffers came into contact with synthetic drugs in the mail, some of whom had to be hospitalized.Read More
In the wake of recent mass shootings in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, a state lawmaker is sponsoring legislation regarding the safe storage of firearms, as one way to keep them out of the wrong hands. A pair of bills would require homeowners to safely store firearms in a container that can be locked. Cases where an improperly stored gun is involved in a crime or incident that leads to injury or death would result in a third-degree felony. The bill's sponsor says similar laws have worked well in other states, and since many gun owners in Pennsylvania already engage in this practice, he doesn't see a problem.Read More
A longtime Walmart greeter's job description is being changed by the retail giant and because of his cerebral palsy, he may have to find a new place to work. Adam Catlin has been a greeter at the Walmart in Selinsgrove for about 10 years and he is customer favorite. But on Saturday, Adam says he was told that due to a change in corporate policy, his job description will change. He must now stand for his entire eight-hour shift and lift up to 25 pounds. He says those tasks are impossible for him to do because of his cerebral palsy. Adam tells our news partner Newswatch 16 that he has until April 26th to comply with the new job description or he no longer has a job. Adam’s mother posted about the situation on social media and the post was shared thousands of times. Responses to the post shows that many people are outraged. And, a coworker has started an online petition in the hopes that Adam will get to keep his job. A manager at the Walmart told Newswatch 16 he was unable to comment.Read More
A threat reporting system now required for all Pennsylvania schools fielded nearly 5,000 tips in its first month, about a third of them were considered serious enough to pass along to local police and school officials. The goal of the “Safe 2 Say Something” program, which funnels tips to an around-the-clock call center at the attorney general’s headquarters in Harrisburg, is to respond to troubling behavior, unsafe school situations, and anything else tipsters deem appropriate to report. The program encompasses all K-12 students in Pennsylvania, including charter, private and vocational-technical schools. The reports come in through phone calls, by email, and via an app.
The state Department of Revenue is offering advice when it comes to tax refund anticipation loans. A tax refund anticipation loan is made when a state or federal income tax refund is expected. While its a way to get money right away the PA Department of Revenue says beware of interest and high fees which may be associated with such a loan. The department also says to read the fine print carefully and understand that you may be required to pay off the entire loan, even if your refund is lower than anticipated.Read More
This is a special month for lovers of "Man's Best Friend." A Proclamation signed by Gov. Tom Wolf recognizes February as Love Your Dog Month in Pennsylvania, serving as a reminder that all dogs in the state should be licensed. Dog licenses are available at county treasurers' offices, and in some cases through a veterinarian's office or online. The fine for each unlicensed dog could run as high as $300.Read More
Crews have started filling in a large sinkhole that opened up in Columbia County. The roughly 100-foot-deep hole was discovered last week off Route 61 in Centralia. The state Department of Environmental Protection says the sinkhole has nothing to do with the mine fire that's been burning in Centralia since the 1960s. DEP officials say the sinkhole was likely caused by a mine subsidence. DEP workers aren't sure how long the hole has been there but say they found no evidence that it is expanding. Officials tell our news partner Newswatch 16 large rocks and boulders are being used to fill the giant hole in Centralia.Read More
The Columbia Mall will lose another store. Payless ShoeSource has announced it will be closing its 2,100 stores in the US and Puerto Rico and that includes the store in the mall at Buckhorn. Liquidation sales began on Sunday. Payless says it expect all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May.Read More
Investigators know why a house went up in flames Sunday night in Columbia County. According to the Greenwood Township fire chief, it started as a kitchen fire and it took off from there. Firefighters were called to the home at 616 Rohrsburg Road just outside of Millville around 8:30 Sunday night. The home is believed to be a total loss.Read More
Pennsylvania's Independent Fiscal Office is casting doubt on the effectiveness of a long standing tax credit.
The Job Creation Tax Credit, first established in 1996, provides employers one thousand dollars for each job created, and 25 hundred for hiring veterans or the unemployed. A study by the Independent Fiscal Office suggested the credit isn't having the intended effect, but the Dept. of Community and Economic Development disagrees, with an official saying the credit may need to be adjusted but should remain in place.
A lawsuit challenging a school district's policy allowing teachers to carry firearms has been put on hold. The lawsuit, filed by teachers in the Tamaqua Area School District in Schuylkill County, claims the gun policy puts teachers in danger because it doesn't provide enough training. A county judge has delayed the lawsuit, challenging whether the union has standing to sue. The union has 20 days to file an appeal. A similar suit has been filed by parents in the district. No school staff are currently armed while the suits are pending.
Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has been holding a series of listening sessions throughout the Diocese in January and February. He will hold two sessions this week in our area. Bishop Gainer will be at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Berwick on Wednesday, February 20th and at the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Elysburg on Thursday, February 21st. Both sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. The visits come in wake of last summer’s Grand Jury Report on child sexual abuse by clergy. Each session will include opening remarks from Bishop Gainer and retired Pennsylvania State Police Capt. Janet McNeal, who was recently hired to oversee youth protection efforts of the Diocese. The floor will be open for questions following those remarks.
Montour County Commissioner Ken Holdren who had initially said he would not seek another four-year term in office says he has had a change of heart and will now seek re-election. Holdren says after his announcement that he wouldn’t run for another term he received so much support and encouragement from residents to run again that he has changed his mind. He says there’s unfinished business he wants to see get done in another term.Read More