The 2012 edition of Block Party gets underway this afternoon in Bloomsburg. It began back in 1993 as a fund raiser... but has grown. The event is not sanctioned by either the town or Bloomsburg University... but it attracts young adults from across the region. Bloomsburg Police Chief Leo Sokoloski says a combination of ordinances adopted by Town Council and heavy handed enforcement has brought the party from a knock – down, raucous event culminating with cops and students squaring off against each other back in 2007... to a toned down weekend with individual parties. Block Party continues through early Sunday morning.... but with the weather forecast calling for rain... that should quell a lot of the rowdiness associated with the event.
If you drive enough this weekend... there is a good you'll probably run into a sobriety checkpoint. Those checkpoints also coincide with Block Party weekend in Bloomsburg. Bloomsburg P-D Sgt. Leonard Rogutski says the times of the checkpoints over the next two days will be random... and so are the locations.
The Columbia – Montour Chamber of Commerce has asked tough questions of the Democratic candidates in next Tuesday's primary for the 109th district house seat. Bloomsburg mayor Dan Knorr and James Geffken of Benton face each other in the primary... the winner going on to face Republican David Millard in the November general election. One question... according to the Chamber's Fred Gaffney... deals with unemployment and worker's compensation. Gaffney says the candidates will get a series of questions dealing with the issues once the field is settled.
Columbia County Votes
Headed to cast a ballot in Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary. Despite the lack of excitement this year... all 42 polling places in Columbia County will open at 7 AM... and close at 8 PM. Whatever the case... the voting machines used across the county will not be in danger of being tampered with.... so says chief registrar Matt Rapasky...
Penn State has agreed to provide millions in payments and benefits to Joe Paterno's estate and family members under the late football coach's employment contract. Paterno was fired by Penn State's board of trustees late last year... after getting caught up in the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal... after the board felt he didn't do enough once allegations surfaced.
BU Fire Scare
Bloomsburg firemen threaded their way through Thursday afternoon rush hour traffic... as they raced to the Bloomsburg University campus Thursday shortly after 5 O'clock. The Press – Enterprise is reporting in Friday's edition... that a a valve in a furnace room of the Warren building built up too much pressure... blowing off a valve. There was no fire... and the apparatus responding to the alarm were back in quarters within thirty minutes.
Hemlock Twp. Accident
A Bloomsburg woman was slightly injured when her car flipped over on it's roof Thursday afternoon in the 100 block of Frosty Valley Road... in Hemlock Township. The Press – Enterprise is reporting in Friday's edition 50 – year old Edith Mergler apparently sneezed... distracting her just enough that her car went off the road and ended up on it's roof. Mergler was trapped for a short time in her 2012 Chevrolet until freed by firemen. She was taken to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.
Eight Luzerne County residents have been arrested by the FBI... breaking up an alleged widespread drug distribution network. In a news release from the FBI... the eight operated out of a Pittston tire business... a couple of homes and some bars. The Bureau telling us the investigation resulted in the seizure of narcotics... cash.. weapons and bullet proof vests. All were arraigned at the Wilkes – Barre Federal building and face a preliminary hearing next month.
Schuylkill Burn Ban
Wooded area's throughout the region remain dry... due to the lack of rain. So much so... that the Schuylkill County commissioners have ordered a 30 – day burn ban on open fires in the county. The ban calls for no outdoor burning by residents... but grilling in approved devices is legal. However, you can't light fires in burn barrels... or fire rings.
The former Hazleton City administrator... in neighboring Luzerne County... has been fired from his job as Silver Spring Township manager near Harrisburg. Sam Monticello was terminated by township supervisors by a vote of 3 to 2. He had been on the job less than a year... and was the township's second manager in two years. While in Hazleton... Monticello worked as city administrator from the early '80's through 2009.
A committee in Luzerne County Government says an estimated $37 – million in improvements should be preformed at Moon Lake Park in Plymouth Township. For the past couple of years... the lake has been open for fishing, biking and hiking, but the campground and swimming pool has been closed due to vandalism. Most of it happened after the county laid off park management. Now it's up to Luzerne County Council weather to accept or reject the proposal.
In WHLM Sports
High School Baseball
In high school baseball yesterday... Bloomsburg defeated Millville 15 to nothing... Saint John Neuman slid by Columbia Montour Vo Tech 11 to 1.
High School Softball
in Girls softball... Berwick blanked Pittston Area 13 to nothing... Benton defeated Sullivan County 11 to 5... it was Bloomsburg over Saint John Neuman 4 to 2... Southern Columbia blanked Millville 16 to nothing. Danville got by Selinsgrove 8 to 1.
The Bloomsburg University softball team plays its final home games of the season this afternoon with a doubleheader against Lock haven. The first game starts at 2:30.
Flyers / Penguins
The Philadelphia Flyers can clinch their series against the Penguins tonight in Pittsburgh. The Flyers lead the series three games to one.
The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres last night 2 to nothing.... as the team continue their west coast swing. Philadelphia's Vance Worley striking out eleven while on his way to the win. The Phils and Padres meet again Friday night. You can catch all the action starting with the pre – game show at 9:30 on News Radio 930... 94.7 and 104.3... as well as Berwick's 1280.