Barletta / Mica
Freshman Congressman Lou Barletta brought some heavy duty influence to Bloomsburg on Tuesday in the form of Republican congressman John Mica. Mica chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure committee... and has a lot of influence with the US Army Corps of Engineers. It was an eye opening experience for central Florida's John Mica. The tour comes a week since the Army Corps of Engineers told local officials they don't plan to spend any more money in a study of flood protection for Bloomsburg... saying in essence... local officials are on their own.
The Bloomsburg Fair Association board of directors has spent the past two months assessing damage caused by the flood water produced by Tropical Storm Lee. Fair President Paul Reichart says damage has been estimated at more than a million dollars... and there are days when that figure grows. Mr. Reichart telling WHLM News he has met with FEMA... and has reached out to the Small Business Administration.... as well as local banks. The 157th annual fair was canceled a week after floodwater receded... but now plans are underway to make the 2012 edition top notch.
It's been nearly three months since the floods of September heavily damaged most of Northeastern Pennsylvania... including Columbia and Montour Counties. Now... those FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers will be a thing of the past by Wednesday afternoon at the close of business. Ever since September 14th... one center had been in operation on Sawmill Road near Lightstreet. That center... and the others that will shutter... have served people in need with... literally... one stop disaster shopping. The agency says if you haven't wrapped up business on a face to face basis... you can call 1 – 800 – 621 – FEMA.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially ends at midnight tonight. It's tied for third most active season on record with 19 named storms-- seven of them hurricanes. Daniel Brown at the National Hurricane Center says Irene in early September was the first hurricane to hit the U S mainland since Ike in 2008, breaking the "hurricane amnesia" that had started to develop. Brown says improvements in technology helped them accurately predict the path of Irene more than four days in advance.
Nanticoke Police... in Luzerne County... say they're looking for people who may have witnessed a motorcycle accident earlier this week. 45 – year old Myron Malloy of Nanticoke dumped his bike in the 400 block of East Main Street Monday night... sending him to the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center for treatment. Police say Malloy didn't possess a motorcycle license... and his bike wasn't registered.
President Obama will be in northeastern Pennsylvania Wednesday afternoon... pushing tax cuts and jobs in a state that could be very important to his re-election bid. The White House tells us... Air Force One will land at the Wilkes – Barre / Scranton International Airport around 1:30 PM... then takes a quick motorcade northbound on Interstate 81 to Scranton High School where he'll deliver his speech around 2:30. By 4:30... it's wheels up for Air Force One. Also on Wednesday's schedule.... Mr. Obama to attend fund raisers in the New York City area.
There is a lack of affordable housing in neighboring Lycoming and Sullivan Counties... as well as in Bradford. That word from two researchers at Lycoming College in Williamsport. Professors Bonita Kolb and Jonathan Williamson says it's due to the impact of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale fields. Their research shows those hardest hit are low income earners... as well as seniors. And they say the situation isn't going to get any better soon.
Two men are in the Columbia County prison after they got into a fight inside a van over who would sit in the front seat. State Police at Bloomsburg say it turns out 44 – year old Keith Watkins of Wilkes – Barre... and 30 – year old Jerry Masi are wanted felons. Watkins is accused of assaulting Masi in the 1000 block of Commerce Drive in Briar Creek Borough. Police running a name check and finding that Watkins is wanted in Illinois on a controlled substance warrant... while Masi is wanted in New Jersey on an aggravated assault charge.
State lawmakers are scheduled to get a cost of living bump in pay starting Thursday... but it appears Luzerne County politicians will not take the money. Published reports say they will donate the extra $2,400 dollars to charities across Luzerne County... or write a check and return it to the state treasury. Beginning Thursday... rank and file lawmakers salary will jump from $7979,623 to $82,026 a year.
Hazleton Little League
The Hazleton Little League is trying to raise money for the 2012 season.... so they're holding a fund raiser this weekend. “A Magical Christmas” will begin at 1 o'clock Saturday afternoon at the Hazleton Area High School. The money raised during the event will be earmarked to renovate Correale Stadium.
Still no word dealing with the death of a White Haven woman. The body of 63 – year old Joann Hagen was found late last week along the Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail in Carbon County. Ms. Hagen's death is being investigated by State Police in Hazleton.
A state police fire marshal is still scratching his head... as to not being able to find the cause of a fire which destroyed the Cressona Textile waste facility over the weekend... near Schuylkill Haven. It's the third fire in the past couple of years to hit the plant... burning it to the ground.
In the not too distant future.. the sewer authorities in Northumberland and Point Township may merge. Published reports say the Northumberland Borough Council met this week... and voted 4 to 2 to go ahead with the plan. The initial approval was given earlier this month. It's not known when the final deal will be voted upon.
High School Football
It will be a match - up of two high school football teams with identical 12 and one records when Southern Columbia faces Pius X Friday night in Nazareth in a Class A state quarterfinal. Pius X coach Phil Stambaugh scouted the Tigers last Friday and came away impressed. Friday night's Southern Columbia- Pius X game kicks off at 7. You can hear it starting with the pre-game show at 6:30 on News Radio 930, 94.7, 104.3, Berwick's 1280 and www.whlm.com.
Two other regional teams are also playing state quarterfinal games this weekend. In Class AAA.... Shamokin plays Allentown Central Catholic Friday night at Mount Carmel. In Class AA.... Mount Carmel plays Lancaster Catholic at noon on Saturday at Kemp Memorial Stadium in Shamokin.
In a college basketball game Tuesday night involving two of the nation's top ranked teams... Ohio State defeated Duke 85 to 63.