For the first time in it's history... there will be no Bloomsburg Fair this year. That decision made Wednesday night by the Fair Association Board. There are a variety of reasons according to Board President Paul Reichart... including public health... high risk of insurance claims... so many unknowns... as well as working in a disaster area. Another consideration... the fairgrounds are situation in the west end of Bloomsburg... hard hit by the high waters of Fishing Creek. Earlier this week... Reichart said the rampaging waters caused mind – boggling damage. Since the high water receded from the fairgrounds... volunteers have been working hard to get the grounds cleaned. For many... the task of getting the grounds ready for the 157th annual exposition seemed imposing at best. The Fair was scheduled to open it's doors on September 24th and run through October 1st.
United Water has restored service to the homes of their Bloomsburg customers. That word from utility's spokesman Bob Manbeck. In Sunken Heights... crews had to repair a water main which was damaged by flood waters. Fernville saw their first water in a week last night... while in Lightstreet... The utility installed a pump so resident had running water. Meantime... there is a boil water directive in effect... until further notice. That means tap water must be brought to a rolling boil for at least a minute... then cooled before consuming.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency says they've opened seven disaster Recovery Centers across the region. One site has been established at the Columbia County Agriculture Center in the 700 block of Sawmill road. A PEMA spokesperson says the sites are open from 10 AM until 7 PM daily. However, you registrar before visiting a DRC site. You can do so on – line at FEMA-dot-gov or 1-800-621-FEMA.
The demand is there... and more volunteers are needed as Bloomsburg residents recover from last week's flood. AGAPE's Cathy Lowe says folks living on the flood – ravaged west end say they're tired and they need help. If you want to contribute time... and volunteer... go to the AGAPE building on East 7th Street... directly across from the YMCA..
With the Town of Bloomsburg in a recovery mode following last week's flooding... Police Chief Leo Sokoloski says bars and restaurants will be required to close a little earlier than usual the next few days. Meantime... West Main Street.... at Market remains closed to thru traffic. Chief Sokoloski says folks who live along West Main Street need room to work... and cars and people just don't mix as we recover from the disaster. Meantime... the chief will be meeting with town, county and state officials Thursday to determine when Main Street could be open to traffic.
The 19 Pennsylvania Counties qualifying for FEMA aid also qualify for federal jobless benefits. Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to residents who are unemployed as a result of last week's flooding. You qualify if you no longer have a job because of the storm, suffered injury or illness, or are unable to get to work. October 14th is the deadline to apply for assistance.
We won't be driving north to Millville out of Bloomsburg anytime soon. The so – called Iron Bride spanning Fishing Creek near the former Magee Transportation Museum is expected to be closed the next two months. That word from PennDOT. During the flooding of a week ago... water from the creek washed over the bridge. The high water also uprooted power lines and downed trees... effectively closing the link from Bloomsburg into Hemlock Township.
The flood of 2011 was felt all across Bloomsburg... and that includes students who attend the Elementary School... as well as their parents. Principal Ryan Moran says if you've been effected by the flood... or know someone who has... call the school. Information gathered will be sued to assess needs of families in effort to coordinate distribution of donations and services.
There will be free tetanus shots offered to those people who are flood victims... and even volunteers cleaning up from last weeks flood. They will be offered at the Bloomsburg YMCA on 7th street starting today at 10 AM. On Friday... the shots will be given from 3 to 6 PM... with additional times scheduled for 8 to 10 on Saturday morning... and from noon until 2 Sunday afternoon.
The American Red Cross flood relief operation in Pennsylvania has set up shop in the Humboldt Industrial Park near Hazleton. It follows a visit last week of Tropical Storm Lee... and Hurricane Irene. It's in a warehouse where Red Cross officials oversee about a thousand volunteers statewide... who provide food and shelter to those people displaced by the flood.
A Freeland man is in the Luzerne County Prison after he allegedly shot his girlfriend in the head with a BB gun. 31 – year old Gil Darcy of Washington Street faces a preliminary hearing today after allegedly shooting Rachel Rusnock. She will need surgery to remove the pellet. The shooting followed a domestic dispute at the home they share.
A traffic stop by police in Sugarloaf Township in Luzerne County lead to the discovery of a rolling meth lab. Police say 33 – year old Gregory Jerrome was stopped along Route 93... when they discovered he not only was homeless... but he had an operating meth lab in the rear of his Chevrolet Blazer. Jerrome was charged with producing meth... arraigned and was taken to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.
Insurance Mandate Unconstitutional
Pennsylvania is the latest state to rule an insurance mandate in President Obama's healthcare reform act is unconstitutional. U.S. Middle District Judge Christopher Conner says Congress does not have the power to dictate a lifetime financial commitment of health insurance coverage. Conner also wants to remove provisions tied to the mandate, such as the requirement for insurers to guarantee levels of coverage and to provide coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
The Bloomsburg University Huskies traveled to IUP Thursday for their second mid-week match of the season. The Huskies held off IUP for a 20-16 victory. Bloomsburg is at home next Saturday to face Millersville. Coverage on the WHLM stations starts with the Tailgate show at 11AM.