A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Geisinger Medical Center by the parents of one of the 3 babies that died from a bacterial infection at the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The suit was filed in Luzerne County Court by Philadelphia Attorney Matt Casey on behalf of the Hazleton area parents of Abel David Cepeda. Abel was born at the Danville hospital on September 24th and died in the NICU on September 30. The suit claims that when little Abel was delivered, Geisinger knew that its NICU was dangerous and contaminated with the bacteria that infected several babies. Cepeda was the third infant to die. The suit says Geisinger made a conscious, deliberate decision not to close its NICU and not to transfer premature infants delivered at less than 32 weeks, whom Geisinger knew to be at greatest risk.
Pennsylvania’s Auditor General is calling on state lawmakers to take action to combat fentanyl overdoses. Currently illegal in Pennsylvania because they’re considered drug paraphernalia, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is urging state lawmakers to pass legislation making fentanyl test strips legal In PA. Noting that fentanyl is often mixed into heroin, cocaine and meth without the knowledge of users, DePasquale says the test-strips can let them know if their drugs contain fentanyl before they use them. Without the ability to test for its presence, DePasquale says drug users could die from a fentanyl overdose without even knowing they took it.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors postponed action Wednesday on a request for funding for investment in a system redesign. While a motion was made in committee to request $100 million over five years for investment in a system redesign, PASSHE Board of Governor’s Chair Cynthia Shapira proposed amending the request to $300 million, saying that’s what’s really needed to get the job done. But board member, Representative Brad Roae voiced concern about the higher number, saying lawmakers are not likely to support it. In the end the board decided to table a vote pending further number-crunching. The State System is made up of the 14 state-owned universities including Bloomsburg University.
Berwick Police believe 2 brothers are responsible for a brutal beating last week that left a woman in a coma. 30-Year-old Michael Porth is in the Columbia County lock-up on $500,000 bail charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, robbery, burglary, and theft. Porth’s brother Christopher Lynn is being held in Pike County on a probation violation. 51-year-old Geraldine Carson was found unconscious and tied to a chair at her home on East 13th Street in Berwick last Tuesday. Authorities say the pair beat Carson so badly she was unrecognizable. Cops say Carson’s home was also ransacked and items were stolen, including a television. Witnesses told police Porth had threatened Carson about a week before the attack, demanding money he said she owed him and his brother. Police says she remains unconscious and has shown "no signs of improvement."
PennDOT is advising motorists who travel Route 11 in the Danville area that new traffic lights that were installed at the Route 11 intersection with Railroad Street will be activated on Monday, October 21st. The new traffic lights will have left turn arrows which the current traffic lights don’t have. The timing and operation of the signals are based on traffic volumes.
We now know the date for former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's resentencing. In an order filed Tuesday, Jerry Sandusky will appear in a Centre County courtroom November 8th, as Judge Maureen Skerda reviews the sentence given following the 45-count child sexual abuse conviction in 2012. Sandusky's attorneys successfully appealed saying some mandatory minimums weren't properly followed when he was given a term of between 30-and-60 years. The re-sentencing was to take place this month, but that was delayed when Judge John Foradora recused himself. Judge Skerda, who serves Warren and Forest counties was named to take over the case last week.
A Pennsylvania Christmas Tree has been chosen to be the official White House Christmas Tree. A Douglas Fir, about 22 feet tall from Mahantongo Valley Farms in Pitman, Northumberland County has been chosen to be the official White House Christmas Tree. This is the 10th time in the past 54 years that Pennsylvania will be providing a Christmas tree to the White House with the last time having been in 2015. The tree will be cut and transported to the White House in November and displayed in the Blue Room. PA is home to more than 1,400 tree farms and ranks third in the nation in Christmas tree production.
For the second day in a row, a written bomb threat was discovered at Danville Area High School. The school was put on lockdown Tuesday morning around 10:30 and students were taken to the auditorium while bomb-sniffing dogs and police searched the rest of the building and campus. Nothing was found. Students returned to their classroom and resumed their day shortly after noon on Tuesday. On Monday, the Danville High School was evacuated and students were sent home after a written bomb threat was found. The Montour County DA says the whoever is responsible for the bomb threats at Danville could face felony charges.
Geisinger has announced plans to sell Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill, Cumberland County to Penn State Health which owns Hershey Medical Center. Target date for completion of the transaction is June 30th, 2020. The change in ownership will require regulatory approval and will include affiliated outpatient practices, urgent care centers, and other facilities. Geisinger bought Holy Spirit back in October of 2014. In recent years Holy Spirit has faced declining patient volumes and a challenging financial picture.
ollowing 2 days of lengthy hearings, the Senate Judiciary Committee may soon vote on legislation reforming the Statute of Limitations on sexual abuse, but vote has yet to be scheduled. The bill removes all time limits for future victims of sexual assault, establishes a two-year window to file retroactive claims, and includes penalties for those who fail to report sexual abuse. Passage of the bill is one of the recommendations from the 2018 grand jury report from Attorney General Josh Shapiro outlining decades of abuse and cover-up in six Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.
Danville High School was placed on internal lock down just before 11 o’clock Tuesday morning due to a potential threat. There is no word on the exact nature of the threat. The school notified parents via phone call and emails about the lockdown and said it initiated with local police for safety purposes. Students were not being permitted to leave the building. Just yesterday afternoon Danville High School was evacuated and closed due to written bomb threat.
A threat forced the evacuation and closure of Danville Area High School on Monday afternoon. The superintendent confirmed the decision was made to send the students home due to a bomb threat that was received shortly after noon on Monday. Police wouldn’t say much about the threat except that it was a written threat. Students were evacuated to football field on campus where they had to wait for a bus or a family member to take them home. All after school events at the high school including practices and games were canceled for Monday afternoon. Police and a bomb-sniffing dog searched the school for hours, but no bomb was found. Authorities are investigating who is responsible for the bomb threat at the Danville High School.
Local state Senator John Gordner will hold a telephone town hall meeting tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. Senator Gordner says this type of meeting allows constituents to listen in, offer their opinions, and even ask a question from the comfort of their homes. If you want to take part you need to sign-up online. A link to the online sign-up is available here. Folks can also choose to audio stream the event live via their smartphone or PC. Senator Gordner represents all of Columbia, Mountour, Northumberland, and Snyder Counties as well as part of Luzerne County in State Senate in Harrisburg.
A new poll shows many Pennsylvanians don’t support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. And, that directly contradicts the widespread support that Lt. Governor John Fetterman reported from his statewide pot listening tour. The new scientific poll conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research shows that 48 percent of respondents were opposed to legalization while 37 percent were in favor. 15 percent are undecided. The pollsters contacted 650 registered voters between September 30th and October 6th. The poll has a margin of error of 3.8 percent. The Lt. Governor reported that nearly 70 percent of those who attended his statewide pot listening tour were in favor of legalizing recreational pot. But, that was far from a scientific poll as it was done on a show of hands of those who attended the sessions and they didn’t actually count the hands for or against. The Lt. Governor and his staff just made a visual estimate of how man were for or against legalization.
The state House will soon take up a bill approved in the Senate designed to expand hunting in Pennsylvania. The bill would allow hunting on 3 Sundays in the Commonwealth. State Senator Dan Laughlin, Chairman of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee says this measure is a compromise between those who wanted to keep Sundays free of hunting and those who wanted it throughout the year. Laughlin says banning hunting on Sundays is an outdated practice. The bill passed the state Senate 36 to 14 and is now before the House Game and Fisheries Committee.
There's more fallout after a Penn State Football fan complained about the length of a player's. The controversy started after a Penn State alum penned a letter criticizing safety Jonathan Sutherland's dreadlocks. That prompted several players to wear t-shirts with the phrase Chains, Tattoos, Dreads, and We Are during warmups before Saturday night's game in Iowa. Team officials confiscated the shirts shortly after they walked onto the field. Penn State officials issued a statement saying while they are supportive of students expressing themselves in a thoughtful manner, they are expected to wear team-issued apparel on game day.
Columbia County DA Tom Leipold has ruled Berwick Police Detective Greg Martin was justified in shooting wanted felon, 38-year-old Frank Snyder, Thursday. Leipold reviewed the incident with State Police and says deadly force was justified because Snyder’s actions put Detective Martin and fellow Detective Reagan Rafferty in the immediate danger of death or serious injury. The two detectives had approached Snyder as he sat in his parked car on East 15th Street Thursday around noon and ordered him to get out of his vehicle. Instead, Snyder allegedly hit the gas and turned his wheel toward the detectives. According to Leipold, as Snyder accelerated toward the Berwick detectives, Martin fired his gun three times. Snyder was hit in the arm by one the shots. Detective Rafferty was hit in the left arm by the driver’s side mirror of Snyder’s car. Snyder’s vehicle also hit a police car. Snyder was taken into custody after a police chase that ended in a crash near the intersection of East 16th and Dell Streets. Snyder is in the Columbia County lock-up on $300,000 bail.
The parents of at least one of the 3 babies that died from a bacterial infection at Geisinger Medical Center’s NICU are planning on filing a wrongful death suit as early as this week. Philadelphia Attorney Matt Casey has been retained by the Luzerne County parents of Abel David Cepeda. Abel was born at the Danville hospital on September 24th and died in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on September 30. Casey says at the time the parents weren’t informed about a specific cause of their child's death and weren’t told that the NICU may be contaminated by a waterborne bacteria. According to Casey, his clients weren’t briefed by hospital officials until Oct. 6th, just a day before the press conference to inform the public.
Beginning tomorrow, a utility contractor will implement lane restrictions on Route 11 in Bloomsburg. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane between East 6th Street and East 4th Street. Delays are expected. The utility work is expected to take two weeks to complete. Motorists should be alert and watch for stopped or slow-moving vehicles.
A highway restoration project is underway this week on Interstate 80 in Montour County. Work will take place eastbound between the Route 254 (Limestoneville) Exit and the Route 54 (Danville) Exit. Lane restrictions are in place. Traffic will be restored to two lanes by 9 o’clock Friday morning. Delays are expected, especially during hours of peak traffic. Motorists should be alert and drive with caution through the work zone.
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health is supporting efforts to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products here in the Commonwealth. Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, says teen vaping has become a serious public health concern, noting U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams has called it an epidemic. As a result Levine supports raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products to 21. A bill that would do so is before the state House following recent passage in the state Senate.
In a game that you heard on the HLM Sports Network, the Nittany Lions played against the Hawkeyes of Iowa. Penn State defeated Iowa by a score of 17-12.
Berwick: 42 - Crestwood: 7
Bloomsburg: 42 - Hughesville: 6
Shamokin: 28 - Danville: 21
Warrior Run: 14 - Central Columbia: 10
Southern Columbia: 42 - Wyoming Area: 0
Dallas: 37 - Valley View: 7
Loyalsock: 53 - Milton: 14
Mount Carmel: 59 - South Williamsport: 0
Shikellamy: 35 - Holy Redeemer: 7
Jersey Shore: 47 - Lewisburg: 21
Scranton: 21 - Hazleton Area: 15 (in Overtime)
Wyoming Valley West: 21 - Abington Heights: 13
Selinsgrove: 38 - Central Mountain: 21
Pottsville: 32 - Jim Thorpe: 26
North Schuylkill: 39 - Blue Mountain: 7
Wilkes Barre Area: 45 - Wallenpaupack: 24
Montoursville: 38 - Mifflinburg: 0
In a game that you heard on the HLM Sports Network, the Berwick Bulldogs played at Crestwood against the Comets. Berwick beat Crestwood by a score of 42-7
A wanted felon hit a Berwick Police officer with his vehicle and led police on a chase Thursday. 38-year-old Frank Snyder is facing a slew of charges including aggravated assault, fleeing police, and recklessly endangering another person. State Police who are investigating the incident say it all started on East 15th Street around noon Thursday. Berwick officers tried to take Snyder into custody for several active warrants but instead, Snyder drove off and hit an officer with his vehicle. Berwick police shot at Snyder, but he kept going. The chase came to an end when officers struck the suspect’s car with their cruisers near the intersection of East 16th and Dell streets, causing him to crash. The officer who was struck is doing okay. Snyder was hit in the arm with a police bullet. Berwick Police Chief Ken Strish says he officers acted appropriately throughout the incident.
The Danville School Board filled three vacancies on the board at it’s Wednesday night meeting following the recent resignation of three members. The new board members are Yohannes Getachew, Victor Marks and Jennifer Gerski. Getachew and Marks are both Geisinger doctors and have been appointed to fill the unexpired terms of Kevin Brouse and Josh Seidel that will last until December 2021. Gurski, a former assistant principal at Danville High School, was appointed the fill the final two months of Dawn Koons Gill’s term. Gurski who won both parties’ nomination in the May primaries is likely to be elected to a four-year term in upcoming November election.
A Florida man has been cleared of attempted murder and aggravated assault charges in Montour County Court. A jury agreed with the defense that 41-year-old Philip Walker, of Ocala, Florida, acted in self-defense when he stabbed a man during fight outside the Hilltop Bar and Grill in Valley Township, Montour County 2 years ago.
Police in Berwick are investigating after an incident where shots were fired in town around Noon today. According to Berwick Mayor Tim Burke, the suspect fled police in a vehicle and led them on a chase through town, during which three police vehicles were damaged – one significantly. The chase ended when the suspect crashed near the Berwick Hospital, where he was taken into custody. The 100 block of East 15th Street was closed to traffic following the incident.
People who live in one part of Berwick are frightened after their neighbor was tied up and beaten. Now, police are asking for the public's help to find who did it. Investigators say 51-year-old Geraldine Carson's face was unrecognizable when they found her tied up inside her trailer Tuesday morning. Berwick Police Chief Ken Strish say one or more people were at Carson's trailer home on East 13th Street around 5 o’clock Tuesday morning and brutally beat her. A television was stolen and Carson's roommate came home shortly after the attack and called 911. Carson was taken to the hospital and was in critical condition. Strish is calling this an isolated incident and doesn’t believe the general public is at risk because there were no signs of forced entry and it is believed that Carson knew her attackers. Despite the assurances from police, neighbors like Pauline Kishbaugh tell our news partner Newswatch 16 they are concerned. The Berwick Police Department is asking for the public's help. If you saw anyone in the area of East 13th and Walnut streets on Tuesday morning between 4 and 5 o’clock you're asked to call police.
The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on the helicopter crash at the Bloomsburg Fair last month. The NTSB says surveillance video captured the final 19 seconds of the flight. The report says the helicopter pitched upward as it approached the landing pad and made two full clockwise spins before smashing into multiple parked cars and the ground halfway through a third spin. Skies were clear, and wind conditions were calm when the accident occurred on the fair’s last night, September 28th, about 7:30 p.m. The pilot, Kenneth Cordrey of Delmar, Delaware, suffered major injuries in the crash. He was admitted to Geisinger Medical Center in critical condition, but has since been discharged. Two passengers sustained minor injuries.