Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection Secretary Michael Krancer is expected in Columbia County Friday for a firsthand look at flood damage produced by Tropical Storm Lee last September. An area of concern are the banks of Fishing Creek. Columbia County Commissioner David Kovach says they're in such bad shape due to debris... the flow of the stream could be impeded during a high water event.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has voted to investigate PPL Electric Utilities request to increase its electric distribution rates. Under the company’s proposal, the monthly bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kWh would increase about $7.00. The request is now suspended for up to seven months and will be assigned to a judge for public hearings and a recommended decision or settlement.
The Memorial holiday weekend is upon us... the unofficial kick off of the summer season... and it appears lower gas prices will prompt us to get out on the road during the three day weekend. The Triple A says many of us are headed for the beach... or shorelines of streams or lakes.
It won't be a holiday weekend for the folks from the American Red Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. They'll be on duty... making sure blood supplies are adequate in case of a major accident or disaster... which they hope... won't happen. Sue Norton of the Bloomsburg Chapter of the American Red Cross says the organization needs to collect anywhere from 300 to 350 pints a day to keep the blood supply up to par in Northeast PA.
The Hazleton Area School Board did what it had to do to make ends meet. They tentatively approved their 2012 – 2013 budget Thursday night... and calls for the elimination of 13 positions... and an increase in property taxes. The reason... the district is facing a $1.5 – million shortfall. The board hopes the gap is closed somewhat after the state legislature releases final education funding figures.
Nine staffers are expected to be cut in the Crestwood School District at Mountaintop. During a School Board meeting Thursday night... the 2012 – 2013 proposed budget was approved on a 5 to 3 vote. The cuts include a half – dozen elementary teachers... all designed to close a budget deficit.
Alledged Bank Robber
The Harveys Lake man accused of knocking off the PNC Bank in Mocanaqua earlier this month... is now charged with robbing two others. Girard Kalinay is now accused of topping the Luzerne Bank in Dallas Township last November... as well as a bank in Wyoming County... in order to pay off credit card debts. Kalinay was arraigned Thursday at a District Magistrate's office in Shickshinny... and sent to the Luzerne County Jail in Wilkes–Barre.
Freeland Police Chief
Freeland... in Luzerne County... will soon be looking for a new police chief. Nadine Sist tendered her resignation... effective immediately... deciding to peruse other interests. She was first hired two years ago. Now.. it's up to Freeland City Council to accept her resignation... and that could come during their meeting on June 4th...
The attorney's for former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella is asking the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to toss convictions not related to tax evasion counts.... grant a new trial or vacate Ciavarella's nearly 30 – year sentence. If you recall... Ciavarella was the judge involved in that “cash for kids” scheme... in which he sent teens to juvenile detention centers run by his friends... and got boxes of money in return.
Fish for Free
Families and friends visiting Pennsylvania’s popular outdoor spots this holiday weekend can enjoy a day of free fishing, thanks to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Memorial Day on Monday... marks the first of two free fishing days in the Commonwealth. Fish For Free Days allow anyone – residents and non-residents to legally fish in Pennsylvania. No fishing license is needed to fish in Pennsylvania's waterways. More information about Fish-for-Free Days is available on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website.
In WHLM Sports...
High School Softball
there was plenty of HS Softball Playoff action Thursday... In the District 4 Class Single A Southern Columbia defeats Cowanesque Valley 8 to 1.
District 4 Class Double A... Bloomsburg blanks Towanda 4 to nothing... Warrior Run downs Central Columbia 5 to 1...
District 2 Class Triple A... Berwick tops Pittston 3 to 2...
Track & Field
A number of area athletes will be competing for medals at the state track & field championships which begin Friday at Shippensburg University. The championships conclude late Saturday afternoon.
The Philadelphia Phillies on the road Thursday night to start a seven game road trip... and they didn't disappoint. At Busch Stadium in St. Louis... the Phills getting by the hard – charging Cardinals 10 to 9. Shane Victorino and Freddy Galvis each had three RBIs, with Galvis knocking in the tiebreaker in the sixth inning. Both teams meet Friday night. You can catch all the action starting with the pre-game show at 7:40... with the first pitch scheduled for 8:15 on News Radio 930... 94.7 and 104.3... as well as Berwick's 1280.