2012-10-05 06:36:00 by Mark Williams / News Director
PPL Plant Reducing Output
PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant... north of Berwick in Salem Township... has reduced electricity output on both of its generating units... and is preparing for a planned shutdown of the Unit 1 reactor later this month. According to a PPL
spokesperson... when the reactor is shut down... there will be time for additional turbine inspection, as the company looks to confirm data provided by new instrumentation that could lead to finalization of a plan to resolve the issue of turbine blade cracking that was first identified in 2011. Pending the outcome of the Unit 1 inspection,PPL Susquehanna will determine whether a similar inspection of the Unit 2 turbine is warranted.
109th State House Debate
The two candidates who want to represent Columbia County in the State House in Harrisburg debated the issues Thursday night. From economic development... to health care... to gun control... Republican incumbent David Millard and Bloomsburg Mayor Dan Knorr... a Democrat... were able to explain the differences in their beliefs. Representative Millard... then Mayor Knorr... said they believe they got their message out to the audience. Thursday night's debate at the Central High School auditorium was sponsored by the Columbia – Montour Chamber of Commerce and the local visitor's bureau.
If you're not registered to vote in the November general election... you only have a few days to stop by the Columbia County elections office at the Courthouse Annex in Bloomsburg. Chief Registrar Matt Repasky says new registrations are pretty much in line with past presidential election years. And although you have until Tuesday at the close of business to register... Monday isn't an option since most local, state and federal offices will be closed due to the Columbus holiday.
Covered Bridge Festival
The 31st Covered Bridge Festival got underway Thursday at the Knoebels Amusement Resort... just off Route 487. Otto Kurecian of the Columbia – Montour Visitors Bureau said despite rain showers through midday... the first day was a success. But Kurecian said the folks also took in the AgriTourism part of the festival... with animals from Columbia County farms adding to the day's event. The Covered Bridge Festival runs through Sunday at the Knoebels Resort.
A Columbia County man was in Court Thursday where he was sentenced on charges of stealing an estimated $20,000 worth of farm equipment. Our media partner, NewsWatch 16 is reporting David Lodewyks was ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution... and serve probation. Police say Lodewyks and Michael Albert made off with oil tanks... and other items from the Pet Dome earlier this year... then turned around selling them to a scrapyard.
It's being called the largest seizure of video poker machines in Pennsylvania. That... after federal and state authorities raided nearly 200 locations in a four county area... including Luzerne... seizing an estimated 400 machines. Bars, private clubs and other locations were raided earlier this week... as well as a storage area in Nanticoke belonging to Pennsylvania Coin... the vendor of the machines. No one has been arrested... and no citations have been issued yet.
The Freeland Borough Council in Luzerne County says it plans to demolish the old Pitman's furniture store soon. The store in the 500 block of Centre Street has been deteriorating over time... and is a safety hazard. Franzosa Trucking of Hazleton was awarded the $68,000 contract to take down the building.
Still no cause into a fire which leveled a barn in South Centre Township earlier this week. There is very little left in the structure at 5005 Sweppenheiser Drive... across the street from the Columbia – Montour Vo – Tech school. Earlier this week... Lime Ridge Fire Chief Scott Fedder said he believed the fire was electrical in nature. Meantime... the state fire Marshall has been sifting through the ashes trying to figure out what started the blaze.
The Corbett administration is looking for a new Secretary of Health. Current Secretary... Dr. Eli Avila... has tendered his resignation... saying he plans to peruse other interests and be closer to his family. Within the past two months... Dr. Avila visited Geisinger Medical Center in Danville where he handed out $3.9 million for research. Until a replacement is named... Deputy Secretary Michael Wolf will serve in an acting capacity.
The wife of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is getting back the $50,000 she put up for his bail before his conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse. A judge granted a request to refund the bail to Dottie Sandusky and to release the court's hold on their home, which had been put up as $200,000 collateral. The 68-year-old Sandusky has been in a county jail since his June conviction on sexually abusing 10 boys, some on campus. He'll be sentenced next week.
Central Columbia put up a valiant fight against their Nemesis of Mount Carmel in our Game of the Week Friday night, but ultimately came up short against MCA 34-14. In Bulldogs action on 103.5 Berwick shut out Tunkhannock 49-0.
Other High School Football
In other action, Southern Columbia extended their winning streak with a 50-21 win against Selinsgrove, Danville beat Jersey Shore 42-14, and Bloomsburg beat Muncy 42-20.
You can hear all the details from the night's action in the WHLM Firday Night Football Update:
Bloomsburg University Football
In college football on Saturday... the unbeaten Huskies of Bloomsburg play at Millersville in a game that starts at 12:30. Coverage on the WHLM stations begins at noon with The Husky Countdown Show.
NFL / Thursday
In Thursday night NFL action... the St. Louis rams downed the Arizona Cardinals 17 to 3.
MLB Post Season
Major league baseball's postseason begins today with two wild card games. In the National League St. Louis is at Atlanta. In the American League Baltimore is at Texas. The losers are eliminated as the winners advance.