There is nothing like getting a head start on the school year. And that's what the Bloomsburg School District is doing... as students and teachers hit the classroom for the first time on Monday. Superintendent Dr. Cos Curry says there's a reason for that.... and it deals with testing... and the week off for the Bloomsburg Fair in late September. Central Columbia and Berwick schools begin their year next Wednesday. Classes in the Danville Area School District begin Monday the 27th.
Cracking down on suspected impaired drivers across Columbia County this weekend. That's what police will be doing as they set up checkpoints on some of the county's busiest highways... including Route 11, 42 and 487. In a news release... Sgt. Leonard Rogutski of the Bloomsburg Police Department says the checkpoints will start Friday night... and run through late Saturday. Funding for the checkpoints starts at the federal level... then filters down to PennDOT... and local police departments.
The unemployment numbers are in... and they're up a bit. The State Labor Department says the Pennsylvania rate was up three tenths of a percent in July... to 7.9%. However, that's below the national rate of 8.3%. The hottest jobs in July in Pennsylvania are mining and logging... as well as professional and business services.
Bloomsburg Area Fire Calls
Area firemen were kept busy Thursday night responding to automatic fire alarms. Around 8:45 Thursday night... Buckhorn firemen were called to the Holiday Inn Express when a smoke alarm went off in a third floor room. Arriving firemen found nothing more than some burned food. Then at midnight... Bloomsburg fire sirens sounded when smoke was detected in the elevator area of the Bloomsburg Health Care Center. The problem was taken care off... and crews returned to their station in short order.
Drive By Shooting
Hazleton police are investigating a daring, daylight drive by - shooting in the 700 block of Locust Street... across the street from the Immanuel Christian School. Witnesses telling police they saw a car roll by... with someone firing shots into an empty double home. No one was hurt... but kids and parents were unloading items for a thrift store when the gun shots rang out. No one is in custody, but police are looking for either a silver or black car that fled south on Locust.
The two top administrators in the Hazleton Area School District will have a fatter paycheck in the future. The School Board naming Francis Antonelli as superintendent and awarding him a new three year employment agreement... and boosting his pay $22,000... to $150,000 a year. He had been interim super since September of 2011. The board also giving his assistant Donald Bayzik a $34,000 boost... matching Antonelli's salary at $150,000 a year... plus renewing his work agreement for another year. Of the nine people on the school board... eight agreed to the deal, but Director Clarence John turned it down... saying he didn't have time to look at the documents.
ID Law Appealed
Challengers to Pennsylvania's tough new law requiring voters to show photo identification are appealing a judge's decision to let it take effect for the November election. The lawyers for the people and rights groups filed suit Thursday afternoon with the lower Commonwealth Court. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson... earlier this week... rejected claims the law is unconstitutional and ruled the challenge didn't meet the stiff requirements to win an injunction
The ribbon was cut Thursday.... opening the $9.5 - million Sunbury Riverfront Park along Front Street. Three years of work went into the park... which now has ramps... an amphitheater... boat docks... lighting and new sidewalks. Upkeep of the new facility will be done by city staffers and volunteers.
Residents of Dimmock... in Susquehanna County... who claim water wells were poisoned due to fracking... are nearing a settlement in their federal lawsuit with Houston – based Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation. Court documents filed this week indicate a confidential agreement is in the works between residents of Dimmock and Cabot Oil. Dimmock became a flashpoint in the national debate over gas drilling and a technique called hydraulic fracturing... after residents claimed in 2009 that Cabot polluted their water supply with methane gas and toxic chemicals and made some of them ill.
All Home Days
All Home Days in Elysburg is almost here... and organizers say they looking for participants for the annual parade... and sumo wrestling competition. It's the 93rd year for the event... which marks a home coming of sorts for thousands of people. The event will kick off with a parade on September 1st.... with the event taking place in the Ralpho Township Community Park. Organizers says the sumo wrestling competition takes place the following day... Sunday, September 2nd.
High School Football
Area high school football teams will finish their first week of preseason drills Friday and then play the first of two preseason scrimmages Saturday. At Panther Stadium Saturday morning Bloomsburg will go against Columbia Montour Vo Tech. At Crispin Field in Berwick, the Bulldogs will play Central Mountain coached by former Bulldog Vinnie Kishbaugh. Other scrimmages include Central Columbia at Wilkes Barre G-A-R... Danville at Warrior Run and Southern Columbia against Shikellamy Saturday night at 7 O'clock at Tiger Stadium.
Beginning his second season as the starting fullback for the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, former Southern Columbia star Henry Hynoski and his team will play The New York Jets Saturday night. That game will be televised nationally on the NFL Network.
Kevin Frandsen's error opened the door... and the Milwaukee Brewers took advantage with Corey Hart's go-ahead grand slam in eighth inning in a 7-4 victory last night over the Philadelphia Phillies. The game was the first in a weekend series. Cliff Lee tied a season-high with 12 strikeouts. The Phils and the Brewers meet again Friday night at Miller Park. You can catch all the action starting with the pre – game show at 7:35... with the first pitch scheduled for 8:10... on News Radio 930, 94.7, 104.3 & Berwick's 1280.