The State Department of Labor and Industry says the unemployment rate across northeastern Pennsylvania remains at 9.2% during November... pretty much the same as it was in October. The area includes Columbia and Montour Counties. Statewide... unemployment decreased two tenths of a percent down to 7.9%.
The Montour County Commission has adopted their $7.8 million dollar 2012 budget. To make ends meet... property owners will see an increase of roughly $10.00 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. Also... some positions won't be filled and hours of current employees will be reduced. Overall there will be an estimated shortfall of about $210,000 in the spending plan.
Still stressed out over the September flooding which greatly effected Columbia and Montour County's... many are. That has led to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to establish Project Keystone through the P-A Department of Welfare for folks still traumatized by the flood. Both governmental entities have established a crisis counseling hotline... up and running 24 / 7... toll free at 885-789–7890.
A major flood control project may soon get underway in Mt. Carmel... in Northumberland County. After being on the back burner since the mid – 80's plans and most of the financing is in place to keep Shamokin Creek in check. The waterway flows over it's banks during times of heavy rains. $13.5 - million dollars is already in place for the project. The Borough of Mt. Carmel has raised $500,000 and SEDA – COG's Steve Kusheloff says the organization is working with local lawmakers to get the remaining half – million dollars. Kusheloff says in the past fourteen months... 230 households have been effected by the rising Shamokin Creek whenever rainfall is heavy.
Coal Twp Accident
Coal Township police are continuing their investigation into the death of a man and woman found Tuesday afternoon in Northumberland County. Authorities say the couple died when the Jeep they were in slid off Mountain Creek Road... and ended up in a stream near Big Mountain Road. Northumberland County Coroner James Kelley has not released the names... but says the deaths are not suspicious.
Police in Monroe County want to know the identity of a torso wrapped in a couple of garbage bags... and discovered Tuesday afternoon along route 191 in Paradise Township. They also want to know how and why the man died. He is described as between 45 to 60 – years of age. It's not known how long the remains were there... so an autopsy is planned this week at the Lehigh Valley Hospital.
The man convicted of killing his girlfriend back in 2009... has been sentenced to 12 to 40 years in state prison. Robert Zola of Mountaintop heard the sentence imposed by Luzerne County Judge Joseph Cosgrove. A jury convicted Zola in October of 3rd degree murder in the stabbing death of Rosemarie Cave inside her Plymouth home.
If you use either the Pennsylvania Turnpike or the Northeast Extension... be prepared to dig deeper into your pocket to pay the cash toll. They're going up on Sunday... but if you have an E-Z pass... those tolls remain the same. The extra cash is expected to generate money to help pay off bonds that fund highway improvements and mass transit across the state.
State Police investigated five fatal crashes over the Christmas holiday weekend. The PSP says two of the five fatal accidents were alcohol related... and none of the victims wore seat belts. Troopers arrested 200 people suspected of driving under the influence. 1,300 drivers were cited for speeding... 174 for not buckling up... and 17 for not having their kids properly restrained.
In WHLM Sports
In boys high school basketball last night, it was Weatherly over Millville 39 to 28...
In the Milton Holiday tournament,
Lewisburg defeated Bloomsburg 62 to 56...
In girls basketball, in the Judy Knorr Tournament in Berwick the Bulldogs getting by Bethlehem Freedom 46 to 32. Tonight... Berwick plays Selinsgrove for the tournament championship
Two tournaments begin Wednesday night. In the Holiday River Tourney at Selinsgrove, the Berwick boys play Shikellamy. In the Knights of Columbus tournament in Shamokin, both the Southern Columbia boys and girls teams play Lourdes Regional.
College Bowl Games
In college football bowl games yesterday, it was Purdue over Western Michigan 37 to 32... and North Carolina State getting by Louisville 31 to 24.