A Bloomsburg University student will return to classes after the school reversed its decision to expel her. Initially, 20 – year old Lauren McGinley of Wilkes – Barre was kicked out of school after she was accused of assaulting a fellow student during homecoming weekend. McGinley sued the school last week... alleging the school's disciplinary tribunal denied her a fair hearing. However, the issue was resolved during a hearing before a US District Judge. Meantime... McGinley still faces a preliminary hearing on assault and harassment charges later this month.
That 27 – year old Montour County woman... burned last week in a fire at her home... remains in the burn unit of the Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown. A family member tells us Elizabeth Kopitsky remains in critical condition... and at last check was in a medically induced coma. Authorities says Ms. Kopitsky was critically burned when apparently trying to set fire to a pile of leaves at the family home on Grovania Drive... and accidentally spilled gasoline on her hands and arms. When she lit a match... fumes from the gas caught her nylon coat on fire... producing second and third degree burns over 90% of her body.
It could be a rough Christmas for folks around Columbia County if it wasn't for the Salvation Army Red Kettle drive. You see volunteers at entrances to retail stores in the area... ringing the bell... trying to get folks to part with some loose change. Lt. Kevin Polito from the Berwick Chapter telling us there are red kettles throughout Berwick and Bloomsburg... as well as the Wal – Mart in Buckhorn and inside the Columbia Mall.
John Mica / Floods
Over the past month or so... several congressmen with a lot of clout have visited Bloomsburg at the behest of freshman congressman Lou Barletta. The latest person to tour the area was central Florida congressman John Mica... the head of the Transportation and Infrastructure committee who oversees the US Army Corps of Engineers. Congressman Mica says September's flooding is not a new situation.
Mica's visit to Bloomsburg came on the heels of a stop by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio... who got a first hand look at the destruction of the September floods.
Hit and Run
Bloomsburg Police tell us they're on the lookout for... what is believe to be a Mazda, bluish / gray in color. Its driver wanted for a hit and run which took place early Saturday morning on East 3rd street... between East and Catherine Streets. The car colliding with a red Ford Explorer. The Mazda should be pretty easy to spot since it's believe to have significant damage on the right side. If you have information call Bloomsburg Police.
An 85 – year old driver avoided striking a deer... but severely damaged her car in the process. State Police at Bloomsburg tells us that Lena Harps of Benton was southbound on Route 487 in Sugarloaf Township over the weekend when a deer jumped into her path. Her Pontiac Vibe went off the road and overturned. Ms. Harps was taken to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment of injuries.
If you live in the city of Hazleton... it appears you're going to be faced with at least a 14% property tax hike next year. That word from Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi. In essence... if you have a home assessed at $100,000... you'll be faced with an estimated $40.00 increase. The reason.. rising expenses to operate the city... and decking revenue.
Jury selection is expected to begin Monday in Wilkes – Barre for three men in connection with the death of a Hazleton man a year ago. Izel and Isiah Garrett... and their cousin.. Tyrek Smith... are charged with the death of 30 – year old Abdul Shabazz who was shot an killed while delivering marijuana to a house at 216 West Third Street. All three have accused each other of firing the fatal shot that killed Shabazz.
Police in Williamsport... in neighboring Lycoming County... still don't have a suspect in the shooting of a convenience store clerk at the start of the weekend. Now... the Williamsport store owner is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who robbed his store and shot his wife. The shooting happened when the bandit demanded cash from the register... and she didn't comply. The unidentified woman is in stable condition.