A Carbon County Man Charged In Friday's Standoff With Bloom Police

Charges have been filed against the man involved in that a four hour standoff with police last week in Bloomsburg. Investigators say 23-year-old David Andrew of Nesquehoning threatened to harm himself and barricaded himself in a bedroom with a handgun early Friday morning inside Hunsuckle Apartments while visiting his girlfriend, who’s a Bloomsburg University student. Officers say Andrew fired two shots during the incident, but no one was injured. Hundreds of residents in the off-campus housing complex were evacuated as a precaution. Andrew, who is not a university student, has been charged with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. Court papers indicate Andrew was heavily intoxicated and the incident was likely touched off by relationship problems with his girlfriend.

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President Trump To Hold Rally In Lycoming County Next Week

President Donald Trump is coming to Pennsylvania for a rally the day before voters in a congressional district in the northcentral part of the state pick a new representative to go to Washington. Trump’s rally is Monday, May 20th at a hangar at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville. Republican Fred Keller and Democrat Marc Friedenberg are vying to fill an open seat created by Republican Tom Marino’s resignation in January. The district is heavily Republican and voters there backed Trump in 2016′s presidential election by better than 2-to-1 over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Click here for information on tickets. They are being issued on a first come, first serve basis.

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PA Lawmakers Hear About The Legalization Of Pot In Massachusetts

With some state officials considering legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, lawmakers recently heard about legalization of pot in Massachusetts. Steve Reilly, who co-founded a cannabis company in Massachusetts, says if Pennsylvania legalizes the recreational use of marijuana it would need a state infrastructure to oversee the program. Reilly says the state would also have to consider setting a tax rate. He says ideally that rate should help to make the final cost of the product equivalent to the black market which eventually would effectively eliminate that market.

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Hate Crimes Legislation Unveiled At Pittsburgh Synagogue Where 11 Were Killed In Mass Shooting

A package of bills being proposed would address hate crimes in Pennsylvania. The legislation includes increased investigative authority by the state Attorney General, enhanced training for police officers in how to determine when a hate crime has been committed, and mandatory sensitivity training as part of any hate crime sentence. A news conference announcing the bills was held outside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where a mass shooting last October claimed 11 lives.

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Staffers At State Youth Lock-Up In Montour County Named In Abuse Suit

A non-profit advocacy group for disabled children and adults in Pennsylvania has filed a federal lawsuit against the State Department of Human Services alleging physical and emotional abuse of the kids at the state’s 3 Youth Development Centers including the North Central Secure Treatment Unit (NCSTU) on the ground’s of the Danville State Hospital. The 125-page lawsuit by Disability Rights Pennsylvania details repeated instances of assault, intimidation, humiliation, and the illegal use of restraints as well as subsequent cover-ups by staff and administrators at the facilities. Five of the 11 youth complaints detailed in the suit involve the NCSTU in Danville. Disability Rights Pennsylvania says approximately 70 percent of the children placed at the Youth Development Centers have mental health, developmental, or intellectual disabilities.

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Columbia County Jury Rejects Defendants Insanity Defense

A former Berwick man will face the possibility of significant jail time after being convicted in connection with a shoot out with police back in 2015 at the Berwick Industrial Development Association complex. A Columbia County jury rejected 39-year-old James Calderone’s insanity defense and convicted him Friday on the attempted murder of 3 Berwick Police Officers. He was also convicted on aggravated assault and reckless endangering charges. No sentencing date has been set.

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Montour County Water Main Project Starts This Week

A water main project will begin this week along the southbound lane of Route 11 near Danville between Woodbine Lane in Mahoning Township and Ridge Drive in Cooper Township, Montour County. The work will be performed at night along the shoulder of the road. Traffic will be shifted away from the shoulder, but one lane will be maintained in each direction. Traffic patterns will return to normal during non-work hours. The contractor will work Wednesday and Thursday nights this week, beginning at 9:00 p.m. and ending at 6:00 a.m. the following day. The contractor will maintain the same hours Monday through Thursday nights next week.

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Time For The Lt. Governor's Residence To Be Sold?

A top state Senate Republican says the official residence of the Lt. Governor should be sold. State Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati says he's drafting legislation to sell the 24-hundred square foot house, located at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County. It has served as the official residence of Pennsylvania's Lt. Governor since 1969, according to the Dept. of General Services. It was last used by Mike Stack, who was defeated for re-election last year by current Lt. Governor John Fetterman. He has opted not to the use the residence, and instead lives in an apartment closer to the Capitol. Fetterman says the National Guard has expressed an interest in the three-story house.

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State Health Official Warns Of Lyme Disease Threat

With the summer months approaching, Pennsylvania’s top health official wants to get the word out about the continuing threat from Lyme Disease. These are the months when people spend more time outdoors, increasing the risk of coming into contact with ticks which can carry Lyme Disease. Symptoms can mimic other ailments, so experts say it’s best to seek a diagnosis and treatment as quickly as possible to avoid further complications. As of 2017, Pennsylvania reported close to 12 thousand confirmed or probable cases of Lyme Disease.

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State Lawmaker Embroiled In Controversy Is A BU Graduate

Democratic state Representative Brian Sims who has been making headlines recently for recording himself aggressively berating people praying outside a Philadelphia abortion clinic has local ties. He is a 2001 graduate of Bloomsburg University. In 2000, Sims was co-captain of the Bloomsburg University football team, when he came out as gay to his teammates. In doing so, he became the only openly gay college football captain in NCAA history. That was also the year that Huskies were runners up in the Division II National Championship. In September, 2000, Sims and two of his teammates were credited with saving the life of a 15-year-old Berwick boy who was drowning in the Susquehanna River. After Bloomsburg, Sims became a lawyer and activist for LGBTQ rights. In 2012, Sims became the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania history.

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Danville School Board Poised To Raise Real Estate Taxes

Real estate taxes in the Danville Area School District will likely be increasing by nearly 3-percent, as the School Board earlier this week approved at tentative budget for the 2019-2020 school year. The $41 million spending plan calls for a tax hike of 2.7-percent. District officials say the increase is needed to cover Danville’s share of the nearly $29-million expansion and renovation project at the Columbia Montour Vo-Tech. Danville’s share will be nearly $7 million or just over 24% of the cost. The Danville School Board is expected to adopt a final budge at a June 12th meeting.

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VP Of Danville Area School Board Resigns

There’s a vacancy on the Danville Area School Board as Vice President Erin Ross has resigned. Ross said in a letter that family commitments and time constraints were the reason for her resignation. The board voted to have board member Josh Seidel to take over as V.P. and take Ross’ spot on the negotiating committee. Board President Kevin Brouse says the board will advertise and appoint someone to fill Ross’s seat in the next 30 days.

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State Auditor General Finds Many Cyber And Charter Schools Have Outdated Child Abuse Reporting Policies

Pennsylvania’s Auditor General says a vast majority of cyber and charter schools in Pennsylvania are lacking updated child abuse reporting policies. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says a review by his department found many cyber and charter schools do not have updated policies for reporting suspected child abuse in place. While 80 percent say they will have policies in place this month, DePasquale does not believe that would have happened if his department had not done its review.

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Benton Little League Seeking Donations As They Continue Efforts To Recover From Tornado

The Benton Little League is continuing its efforts to recover from the tornado that hit the area last month. The storm did significant damage at the little league facility. An equipment shed, the concession stand, a brand new scoreboard, and dugouts were all destroyed by the twister. After the storm volunteers were able to get the 3 fields into playable condition. Benton Little League parent and volunteer Natalie Wilson told our news partner Newswatch 16 that the kids are just thankful that they able to play. To help rebuild all that was lost to the tornado, the Benton Little League has set up GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $10,000.

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A 3-Year-Old And Great-Grandfather Killed In Northumberland County Crash

A 3-year-old girl and her great-grandfather are both dead after a one-vehicle crash in Shamokin Wednesday morning. Police say 68-year-old Allen Travitz, Sr. crashed his SUV head-on into a concrete wall along West Montgomery Street. Travitz and his 3-year-old great-granddaughter Mackenzie Mae Garber both died in the wreck. Shamokin police aren’t sure if he had a medical emergency or if the vehicle malfunctioned, but Travitz didn’t use his brakes. Police don’t believe Travitz was wearing a seatbelt. Also, there were two car seats in the vehicle, but police are not sure if the child was strapped into either one of them.

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PA House Leaders Scold Members Over Recent Public Controversies

Republican Leader Bryan Cutler and Democratic Leader Frank Dermody scolded the House of Representatives Wednesday regarding their behavior in the wake of a number of controversies involving House members in recent weeks and months. Videos showing state Representative Brian Sims berating people praying outside a Philadelphia abortion clinic is certainly the most recent, but not the only example of House members exhibiting bad behavior. Majority Leader Cutler said the people of Pennsylvania expect better. Minority Leader Dermody’s spokesman Bill Patton said the leaders felt it was important to join forces to “underline the importance of respectful civil discourse.”

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Phillies chairman David Montgomery passes away at 72

Phillies chairman David Montgomery passes away at 72

Word spread across the world of Major League Baseball after the Philadelphia Philles announced on Wednesday that their longtime chairman David Montgomery passed away Tuesday night following a long fight against cancer. Montgomery, age 72, had been working with the Phillies since 1971, becoming a beloved figure in the baseball world at large, and among many accomplishments oversaw the building of the current home of the Phillies, Citizen’s Bank Park.

Read more in the Phillies official press release by clicking HERE.

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Lt. Governor's 60th Stop On Statewide Marijuanna Listening Tour Is In Montour County

About a hundred people turned out last night at the Montour Preserve Environmental Education Center near Washingtonville to take part in Lt. Governor John Fetterman’s listening session on whether or not Pennsylvania should legalize marijuana for recreational use. All three Montour County Commissioners joined the Lt. Governor for the session. Montour County was the 60th stop on the Lt. Governor’s statewide tour to take Pennsylvania’s pulse on legalization. Fetterman estimated that about 55% of crowd last night was in favor of legalization and about 45% was opposed based on a show of hands at the end of the session. Those citizens who stepped up to the microphone to speak were pretty evenly split as well. The Lt. Governor says many other counties in the state were more heavily tilted in favor of legalization.

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Columbia County Coal Mine Reopens

A Columbia County coal mine which was last mined in the early 2000s has reopened. Blaschak Coal Corporation began removing coal from the Mammouth Vein in Conyngham Townhip between Centralia and Mt. Carmel last month and has been developing the site since 2016. The company received a $1-million grant from the state to aid in a $14-million investment in the site. Mining on the site is expected to continue for more than 20 years, and will produce about 200-to-300 hundred thousand tons of anthracite coal per year. The coal is being strip mined and the company says it will restore the stripped land.

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State Lawmaker Says He Will Do Better After Abortion Clinic Video Posted On Social Media

A Pennsylvania state lawmaker who has drawn criticism for a recording of himself berating a woman who was protesting or praying outside a Philadelphia abortion clinic has admitted he was aggressive and promised to “do better.” Democratic state Rep. Brian Sims posted a two-minute video on Twitter Tuesday that said “two wrongs don’t make a right.” But it wasn’t an apology for his actions. Last week’s video of Sims berating the unidentified woman wasn’t the first time he confronted people outside the Planned Parenthood Clinic in his district in Philadelphia. He had also previously confronted and criticized a group of teens praying outside the same clinic and posted the video on social media. The chairman of the state Republican Party has sent a letter to city, state and federal prosecutors, asking them to investigate what he called potentially criminal conduct in the 2 videos. He says not only does Sims use physical intimidation, but he also threatens people with so-called ‘doxxing’ or enticing viewers to provide identifiable information about his targets to increase the harassment and intimidation.

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