PPL Proposed Rate Increase
Allentown – based Pennsylvania Power and Light has asked the state's Public Service Commission to put their stamp of approval on an annual revenue increase of nearly $105 – million for distribution services. A company spokesperson says that's about a 2.9% increase... and if approved... would take effect at the start of 2013. Over the past two years... PPL has invested an estimated billion dollars in infrastructure upgrades. If approved... PPL bills would increase an estimated $7 a month... bringing the average residential bill to $118 – a - month. If you want a comparison... in 2010... the average residential customer was paying $137 – a - month for electricity.
State Revenues / Millard
Revenues for the state treasury are looking better than predicted. State Rep. David Millard of Mt. Pleasant Township says when it comes to actual revenues... against anticipated revenue... the month of March is ahead of the curve. At one time it appeared the current state budget would be anywhere from $400 to $500 – hundred million in the hole. And although the treasure has yet to put final figures together... it's now anticipated that the deficit won't be as bad as expected.
Culver / Flood Relief
State lawmakers are working on bills to assist flood victims of last year's storms. Representative Lynda Culver of Sunbury says it's important to help residents recovering from last year's back to back flooding through a measure such as local governments providing tax abatement to flood victims from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. A second would allocate $50 – million for bridge repair or replacement projects.
The Corbett administration has taken the first step toward privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery. In doing so.. the state has issued a so – called "Request for Qualifications" to pursue a private management agreement for the Pennsylvania Lottery. State Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser says what's most important is preserving services for older Pennsylvanians. The Pennsylvania lottery is one of the nation's oldest and biggest lotto operations in the country.
Unemployment in the Hazleton – Wilkes – Barre Metro area is down just one – tenth of a percentage point between February and March. It now stands at 8.9%... according to the State Department of Labor and Industry. The department says that the region still leads the state's 14 metro areas with the highest unemployment rate for the 22nd consecutive month.
Kline Twp Accident
A woman is recovering from her injuries after a two vehicle crash in Kline Township near Hazleton Monday afternoon. The accident happened after the still yet – to – be – identified woman's SUV collided with a tractor trailer at State Route 309 and Silver Brook Road. Authorities say the woman was flown to a trauma center for treatment. The big rig's driver was not seriously hurt.
Legislation designed to provide a multi – year funding stream for the state's Homeowners Emergency Assistance Program has been okayed by the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee. Senator John Gordner of Berwick authored the bill. Money for the program comes from a recent settlement with the nation's lenders to re-institute mortgage assistance in the state. Senator Gordner says the measure now head to the Senate for their consideration.
The price of a gallon of self – serve, unleaded gas across northeastern Pennsylvania continues to climb towards the four dollar a gallon mark. The Triple – A fuel gauge report out Tuesday morning shows the pump prices at the $3.91 mark... that's a penny higher than Monday, three cents a gallon higher than it was a week ago... and fifteen cents higher than a month ago.
E - Dumping
A new state law goes into effect next year.... making it illegal to put old TV and computer monitors in landfills. Both are loaded with toxic materials. At the same time... the law will make it easier to recycle old electronics. The incentive to divert e-waste from landfills comes from the state's Covered Device Recycling Law passed in 2010.
Is there a problem with small mouth bass in the Susquehanna River? Some have been caught containing lesions... and State Rep Kurt Masser... who represents a portion of southern Columbia County... wants some answers. A freshman Republican... Masser saying over the weekend... he wants to get to the bottom of the issue by chatting with the fish commission. Also concerned is Rep. Lynda Culver of Sunbury.
In WHLM Sports....
High School Baseball
In high school baseball Monday... Tunkhannock downed Berwick 4 to 1.... Montgomery defeated Benton 15 to 3... Hughesville getting by Bloomsburg 3 to 2... Central Columbia downed Lewisburg 12 to 1... Danville blanked Midd – West 5 to nothing... Muncy defeated Millville 10 to nothing... It took eight innings, but St. John Newman just getting by Southern Columbia 7 to 6.
It should be a good match up Tuesday afternoon when the Bloomsburg University softball team takes on IUP in a doubleheader at Hutchinson Field. Bloomsburg has a record of 19-7 while IUP is 16-8. The first game starts at 2:30.
NCAA Men's Championship
In the men's basketball national championship game last night Kentucky downed Kansas 67 to 59. The victory was Kentucky's eighth national title... the first one since 1998.
NCAA Women's Championship
Tuesday night in Denver, the women's final will take place with unbeaten Baylor facing Notre Dame.