Death Under Investigation
Columbia County Coroner Jeremy Reese is continuing his investigation into the death of a man found at midday Thursday in the parking lot of the Geisinger - Bloomsburg Hospital. Reese said the body of a 32 – year old man.. believed to be from Elysburg.. was discovered around noon time by a hospital employee... who contacted security. The cause and manner of death are under investigation. The person's identity is being withheld at this time.
In Berwick last night... the name of 77 domestic violence victims were read... highlighting the problem in Columbia, Montour and lower Luzerne Counties. The event taking place in front of Jackson Mansion on Market Street. The victims were remembered during Domestic Violence month.
Are the state's 2 major public retirement funds paying too much to have their investments managed? That was the issue this week before a state Senate Committee. The Senate Finance Committee examined investment management fees paid the State Employees Retirement System and the Public School Employees Retirement System. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says steps have been taken to reduce fees in recent years, but more needs to be done. He says both systems are meeting national standards when it comes to fee management but adds it's the standards that need .
Legislators and members of the public rallied in support of stronger safety measures along pipeline routes. The four bipartisan bills would require firms to consult with state and local officials for authorization on the placement of pipelines, to share information with county emergency coordinators in times of a potential incident, and incorporate automatic or remote shutoff valves in some areas. Local municipalities would also be able to place a fee on pipelines to fund increased emergency response services.
As volunteer organizations continue to loose membership... the Elks continues to grow. That word coming from a District Deputy during a recent stop at Elks Lodge 436 in Bloomsburg. Bill Mack of Frackville says there is something for everyone at the Elks these days. And Mack says it's getting tougher to retain members year after year.
Prescription Drug Costs
The state's PACE and PACE-NET programs continue to help older Pennsylvanians with their prescription drug costs. While PACE AND PACE-NET serve about 270,000 older Pennsylvanians, PACE Director Thomas Snedden says only 1 in 5 eligible residents are enrolled in the programs. Snedden says that's because 25 percent of the state's elderly residents don't take prescription drugs and about half a million people have good retirement benefits. However, Snedden reminds those who are eligible and currently not enrolled that they can take advantage of the program if they need to.
A Vietnam veteran in Schuylkill County received some high recognition nearly 50 years after he left combat. 67 – year old Lee Umlauf of Ashland, was presented with the Bronze Star as well as other military medals for his service with the army during the Vietnam war from 1969 to 1970. U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright held the ceremony in his office in Pottsville. Umlauf says he never knew he was able to receive the Bronze Star for those 48 years after leaving Vietnam.
Two Pennsylvania lawmakers have introduced legislation to increase penalties for nuisance offenses such as littering, loitering, and disorderly conduct. House Bill 1812 would increase existing fines for graffiti, scattering rubbish, public drunkenness, and loitering. Fines would be doubled for a second offense and tripled for a third or subsequent offense. The measure is being proposed by Rep. John Taylor and Rep. Jared Solomon both of Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania has received yet another extension to comply with a federal law that says driver’s licenses must meet anti-terrorism standards.Gov. Wolf’s office said the Department of Homeland Security granted the state a REAL ID enforcement extension through Oct. 10, 2018. The extension means Pennsylvania residents can continue to access federal facilities and board domestic airline flights until that date.
A Wilkes-Barre police officer is off the job after sending what the mayor felt was a threatening email regarding the performance of another commander. According to that Facebook post, Wilkes-Barre Police Union Vice President Dan Duffy is out of the job as a Wilkes-Barre police officer. Mayor Tony George fired the former Scranton police chief Wednesday night after receiving what he calls a "threatening" email from Duffy. He says the email wasn't a personal attack on the commander.