A Berwick man, 74-year-old Earl McCormick, was killed in a massive multi-vehicle, chain reaction crash along Interstate-80 westbound in Northumberland County near Tubotville Tuesday afternoon. There were actually a couple of crashes Tuesday afternoon involving a number of tractor trailers that shutdown I-80 in both directions near the Northumberland-Montour County line and caused big back-ups. The eastbound lanes were shutdown for just a couple of hours. The westbound lanes between Exits 212 and 215 remained closed until just before midnight. State Troopers believe heavy downpours were a factor in those crashes on Interstate-80.
A tar-and-chip job on Route 239 between Huntington Mills and Shickshinny that failed to set damaged cars and forced the shutdown of the roadway. The road was tarred and chipped on Monday, but the problem didn’t show up until Tuesday morning when the thick tar-and-chip mixture began to coat vehicle tires and even caused problems with vehicle brakes. PennDOT believes Tuesday’s rains got under the tar and helped create the mess. There’s no word on exactly when the roadway will open. Amanda Bach who lives along Route 239 told our news partner Newswatch 16 that the tires on her new van were coated with tar. PennDOT says anyone who had their vehicle damaged by driving along Route 239 on Tuesday can call the Luzerne County PennDOT office to file a complaint at 570-826-2386.
A bill which would create separate post-season tournaments for public and private schools came under fire during a meeting of the Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee Monday. Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Executive Director Robert Lombardi says legislation dictating to the PIAA how to administer championships is an end-run around the process and an overreach. Lombardi says another part of the bill, which would eliminate PIAA’s transfer rules, would lead to “open season” on transfers.
Reports are currently in of a rock slide along River Drive in Danville that has closed one lane. Sections of the road have also reportedly begun to flood following this afternoon’s strong downpours.
From our news partner Newswatch 16, in Northumberland County both lanes of Interstate 80 are currently closed between exits 215 and 212 (the I-180 interchange) due to a multi-vehicle accident. Officials have not announced how long the Interstate is expected to remain closed.
Bloomsburg Police had to euthanize an injured deer that found it’s way into the Salvation Army store on Main Street Monday. Police say the deer was bleeding when it entered the store and speculate it may have been hit by a vehicle before it made its way onto the sales floor and then into the back delivery area of the Salvation Army. The deer knocked over racks of clothing and other items. Officers attempted to herd the animal outside through back, but after consulting with the Game Commission it was determined that the most humane course of action was to euthanize the deer.
Work on the railroad crossing on Route 54 in Riverside was completed more than 8 hours ahead of schedule. Authorities began spreading the word around 8:30 last night that the Danville-Riverside Bridge was open to traffic in both directions. The bridge had been closed since Friday morning for traffic going from Danville to Riverside on Route 54 Eastbound that meant folks trying to get from Danville to Riverside had to travel to Catawissa or Sunbury to cross the river. Westbound 54 going from Riverside to Danville was still able to use the bridge during the railroad crossing work, which was scheduled to be completed by 5 o’clock this morning.
Pennsylvania American Water customers in Nescopeck no longer have to boil their water. The company was able to lift the boil water advisory Monday morning after getting clean test results two days in a row after completion of repairs on a broken water main Saturday. The boil water advisory was put in place last Tuesday when main break under the Susquehanna River was discovered.
A caregiver in Northumberland County is locked up on attempted murder charges after State Police say she tried to kill an elderly couple with rat poison. 37-year-old Tina Young, of Montandon, admitted to police she put the poison in the couple's cigarettes after the wife discovered she stole money from them. State police say Young tried to poison the elderly couple at their home near Milton where she was an in-home health assistant. State police say Young told them she poisoned the cigarettes because she was frustrated with the possibility she would be fired and she would have been the one to inherit the victims' money if they died.
The state Department of Health has launched a multi-media campaign aimed at preventing young people in Pennsylvania from using electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices. While many people may think e-cigarettes and other vaping devices don’t contain nicotine, Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine says they do. And Levine hopes parents will talk to their children about the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping. Levine is concerned that nicotine from e-cigarettes can harm adolescent brain development.
Work continues today on the railroad crossing on Route 54 in Riverside that has a lengthy detour in place and caused traffic tie-ups over the weekend. Traffic, with the exception of tractor trailers, traveling from Riverside to Danville on Route 54 Westbound can get over the Danville-Riverside Bridge. However, all traffic headed from Danville to Riverside on Route 54 Eastbound will have to go to Catawissa or Sunbury to cross the river. The work started Friday and should be completed by 5 o’clock Tuesday morning.
Pennsylvania American Water was able to complete repairs over the weekend on the broken water main under the Susquehanna River that affected customers in Nescopeck since last Tuesday. A boil water advisory remains in effect for water customers in Nescopeck. There is no word on exactly when the boil water advisory will be lifted. A water tanker with safe drinking water is available at the Sunoco on West Third Street, in the rear parking lot. Customers are asked to bring their own containers to fill. It will be there until the boil water advisory is lifted.
Traffic deaths in Pennsylvania were up last year, compared to 2017. 1,190 people were killed on PA roads in 2018, compared to the record low of 1,137 in 2017. Therewere decreases in single vehicle run-off-the-road crashes, motorcycle crashes and heavy truck crashes last year while there were increases in crashes involving drug- or alcohol-impaired drivers, pedestrians and drivers between the ages of 65 and 74.
Proposed legislation would overhaul how earnings are taxed in Pennsylvania. The bill would decrease the state tax rate on income generated from salaries, while increasing taxes on investment income, lottery winnings and capital gains. If approved, the so-called Fair Share plan would impose a 2.8 percent rate for earned income, 6.5 percent for what's known as passive income from investments or stocks. Supporters say the plan would shift the tax burden to those who can most afford it.
“The Moving Wall” is in Bloomsburg this weekend at the fairgrounds. It’s a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and it has all 58,000 names of servicemen and woman who were killed in combat. “The Moving Wall” has been crisscrossing the country for 30 years but this is its first visit to Bloomsburg. Mike Schmidt from Bloomsburg American Legion Post 273 says its a gift to the community from Columbia County veterans’ organizations. Following the opening ceremony at 9 o’clock this morning, the replica will open around-the-clock through Sunday near Gate 5 of the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds.
An arrest warrant has been issued for a Danville man that led State Police on a high-speed chase at the end of May on Route 61 near Sunbury. Troopers say they tried pullover 32-year-old Nicholas Hetherington for speeding at around 9:30 p.m. back on May 27th. Rather than stopping, State Police say he lead them on a chase with speeds reaching more than a hundred miles an hour. He ultimately crashed his car into a tree and then he took off on foot. A passenger in the car was injured in the crash. Troopers brought in a K-9 unit to help search for Hetherington, but couldn’t locate him. He’s still at large. When Hetherington is apprehended he will face charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police, recklessly endangering another person, and accidents involving death or personal injury as well as a slew of traffic violations.
A boil water advisory for homes and businesses in Nescopeck remains in effect because of a water main break under the Susquehanna River. The advisory was issued Tuesday by Pennsylvania American Water. The company issued an update on Thursday saying company engineers were working closely with contractors and the state Department of Environmental Protection to evaluate the break and determine the safest and most efficient way to complete repairs. Company officials said they expected repair work to get started yesterday afternoon. Pennsylvania American Water had no estimate how long the work would take or how long the boil water advisory would remain in effect.
The state House has passed a bill to establish a state-based health insurance exchange here in Pennsylvania. House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler and House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody say having a state-based health insurance exchange and a reinsurance program would significantly lower costs for the state and premiums for PA residents in the individual insurance market by 5 to 10 percent. The bill, overwhelmingly approved by the House, now goes to the state Senate.
Police in South Centre Township, Columbia County are asking for the publics’ help to track down the person or people that stole three zero-turn mowers and a 16-foot trailer from CH Waltz & Sons about 1:00 o’clock Wednesday morning. The stolen equipment is worth about $20,000. Police say the theft was carried out with the help of a stolen pick-up truck which was taken earlier in the evening from Heller’s Gas in Scott Township. The pick-up truck is a red 2003 Ford F-250 with PA license plate YMK-709. The stolen mowers are a red Exmark 60-inch mower, an orange Kubota 54-inch mower, and an orange 60-inch Kubota mower. The trailer is black with a rear loading ramp and license plate number XGT424. Anyone with information is asked contact the South Centre Township Police at 570-784-8552.
A swimmer from Danville is trying to do something that's never been done by another woman from the United States. During the last week of July, April Warrick will attempt to swim the Bonifacio Channel, which is 9.3 mile open-water swim from Sardinia, Italy to Corsica, France. Our news partner Newswatch 16 spoke to Warrick at the Danville Area Community Center where she trains. It's a swim April says less than a dozen people have finished. She was introduced to open-water swimming last summer. Since then, April has swam from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco twice.
Flames wrecked a home in Columbia County on Tuesday evening. Firefighters were called to the home on Ants Hill Road in Madison Township near Millville around 5:30 p.m. The fire chief said flames started in the garage and spread to the home. Part of a ceiling came down on two firefighters, but the chief says they weren’t hurt. A woman and her daughter were inside the home at the time. They made it out safely. The woman who is disabled was rescued by Police Officer who responded.
A popular program funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery is being extended. June 30th was the original deadline to apply for the annual Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. State Revenue Department officials say eligible Pennsylvanians now have until December 31st. Officials say they have additional funds so they can push back the deadline. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities who fall within certain income guidelines are eligible for an average rebate of 650 dollars towards property taxes for homeowners, or rent for apartment dwellers. Rebates were issued to close to 572-thousand recipients last year.
Officers with the PA Game Commission would be eligible for state retirement benefits under legislation approved by the state Senate Finance Committee. The bill would allow any law enforcement personnel employed by the PA Game Commission to receive benefits through the State Employees Retirement System or SERS. The bill's sponsor says that lack of eligibility hurts recruitment and retention. Game Wardens are currently the only state-employed law enforcement officers not eligible for SERS benefits.
A driver was charged Tuesday with homicide by vehicle while Driving Under the Influence in connection with a crash in Salem Township, Luzerne County back in April. Police say 40-year-old Joshua Lewis of Berwick was drunk when he drove his pick-up truck into the path of another truck on Salem Boulevard near Berwick. A passenger in the other truck, 56-year-old Patricia Schesney of Courtdale, was killed. Lewis is free on bail.
The fix for Bald Top Road in Mahoning Township, Montour County will not be a quick one. The township’s engineer says the permanent fix may not competed until the Spring of 2020. The road was closed on May 31st from Route 11 to Timberwood Drive after heavy downpours in late May and decades of erosion lead to a large wash out. Residents living on Bald Top need to take a rather lengthy detour using Route 54, 642, and Klein Road due to the closure. Officials say there have been reports that some motorists have been going around barriers to disregard the closure. Mahoning Township Police Chief Sean McGinley says those who disregard the barriers can be cited and fined.
A water main break interrupted service to about 600 Pennsylvania American Water customers in Nescopeck Tuesday. As result of the water main break, the water company issued a precautionary boil water advisory for customers in Nescopeck. There is no word how long the boil water advisory will be in effect.
Fire heavily damaged a mobile home in Berwick Monday night. The blaze was reported just before 10 o’clock at the trailer in the 200 block of West 17th Street. Everyone got out of the home safely and no injuries were reported.
Governor Tom Wolf is once again pushing to impose a fee on municipalities who rely exclusively on the Pennsylvania State Police for law enforcement. Legislation to impose a fee for State Police coverage has been introduced in both the Senate and the House. Currently a good deal of State Police funding comes from the Motor License Fund, but that is being phased out, so Gov. Tom Wolf says the fee is a logical alternative. State Police Commissioner Robert Evanchick says sustainable funding is crucial to the long-term viability of the PSP.
A bill which seeks to ensure electric vehicle owners pay their fair share for the maintenance of Pennsylvania roads and bridges has been approved by the state House Transportation Committee. The bill would eliminate the alternative fuel tax and replace it with an electric vehicle fee of $150 for non-commercial electric vehicles and $250 for commercial electric vehicles. The legislation seeks to level the playing field when it comes to ensuring what electric vehicle owners pay to use the state's roads is comparable with what the owners of gas-powered vehicles pay. The bill now goes to the full house.
The Danville Area School Board is expected to give an update at it’s Wednesday night meeting on the search for a new Superintendent to replace Dr. Jason Bendle who abruptly left in March about 14 months into a 5-year contract. Board President Kevin Brouse previously indicated that about a dozen people had applied for the job and interviews were scheduled for the top candidates. Why Bendle left Danville is still a mystery. He was recently hired as superintendent in the Shikellamy School District in Sunbury.
Part of busy roadway in Columbia County was closed Monday morning by a dump truck accident. The dump truck, which was carrying stone, rolled on its side on Route 11 near Interstate 80 in South Centre Township around 9:00 o’clock Monday morning. One lane of Route 11 was shut down while crews cleared the wreck. The driver, Randy Mertz of New Columbia, was trapped in the dump truck for a time, but wasn’t seriously hurt.