Chamber Meets with Political Leaders
For the first time... Columbia and Montour County officials... as well a political leaders on a local level met Thursday night at the Bloomsburg Fire hall to talk about the issues they're facing. Fred Gaffney of the Columbia – Montour Chamber of Commerce says the session was a great way to open the communication stream. In addition to a chamber update... area tourism was discussed... as well as emergency communications... and a proposed reform in the prevailing wage law.
A mild winter has allowed PPL crews to get a pretty good idea of the utilities distribution system throughout central and northeast Pennsylvania. The company's Terri McBride says with the use of thermal imaging cameras... the Allentown – based utility now knows where problems are developing. Ms. McBride says the mild winter weather allowed crews to inspect an estimated 600 miles of overhead distribution lines... as well as power distribution sub-stations.
Troopers from the Bloomsburg sub – station of the Pennsylvania State Police will be doing more this weekend than their usual patrols. They plan on conducting sobriety checkpoints across Columbia County. It's all in support of the State Police Checkpoint Strikeforce. A news release says the program is designed to reduce alcohol – related crashes. No word where and when those checkpoints will be established... but in the past they've been concentrated on Route 11, 487 and route 42.
A Hazleton man... initially charged on the state level more than 400 counts of allegedly having kiddie porn on his computer... will now be charged on the federal level. 21 – year old Rafael Polonia was originally charged by State Police in January.... but was re-arrested this week on the federal charges. That means... if convicted... he'll be facing a longer prison term.
A preliminary hearing is set for April 24th in the “sexting” case involving a former substitute teacher at the Shamokin Area High School. 23 – year old Michael Zack of Marion Heights... allegedly sent 43 – hundred text messages to four teenage girls... all school students... between March and October of last year. Police say some of the messages were explicit. Zack remains free on 20 – thousand dollars unsecured bail.
Jerry Sandusky's attorney asked a judge to dismiss all 52 sex-abuse counts against the former Penn State assistant football coach. Joseph Amendola says they were too vague, too flimsy or happened too long ago to be adequately defended in court. Sandusky is accused of allegedly sexually abusing ten boys over a 15 – year period of time. Centre County Judge John Cleland has scheduled an April 5th hearing on the issue.
Authorities are trying to track down the source of letters mailed to Northumberland County residents asking to donate money to the County's 911 center. County officials saying the letters are nothing more than a scam... since the center in Sunbury is funded with taxpayer dollars. Officials add... if you get a letter or are called to donate.... give the 911 emergency center a call.
Want to vote in the April 24th Pennsylvania primary election and you're not registered? Monday is the last day to sign up to cast a ballot. Officials say voter registration forms can be found on the websites of your particular county... or by stopping by any county elections office. There is one catch... there will be a soft rollout of the new voter ID law during the primary. If you don't have a government issued ID... you'll still be allowed to cast a ballot... but come the November general election... an ID is required.
We now know the name of the man killed by a car on Interstate 81 near Wilkes – Barre earlier this week. Police say they don't know what prompted 52 – year old Darren Simonson to be walking along the highway when he was struck and killed. The accident shut down the busy north – south highway for hours while investigators did their work.
Northumberland may soon have a dog park in its future. Councilman Steven Reed is the force behind the park on Orange Street in Northumberland... between Seven and Eighth Streets... at Jolly Hollow. The borough council was considering selling the property, but now have backed off and have started pushing the dog park concept.
In WHLM Sports
BU Baseball / Softball
The Bloomsburg University baseball and softball teams both play doubleheaders Friday afternoon. The baseball team is at home against Kutztown with the first game starting at 1 o'clock. The Huskies will take a 10 and 8 record into that doubleheader. The softball team is at Mansfield with the first game scheduled for 2:30. The softball team has a record of 15 and 5.
High School Basketball
Pennsylvania's high school basketball season comes to an end this weekend with the state championship finals at the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State. Four games will be played Friday starting at noon and four more Saturday.
In the NCAA Division one men's basketball tournament Thursday night... Syracuse got by Wisconsin 64 to 63... Louisville topped Michigan State 57 – 44... Florida dispatched Marquette 68 to 58 and Ohio State downed Cincinnati 81 to 66. Four more games are on tap Friday night.