Winter Storm Warning
It is a mess across our region Wednesday night... as snow and freezing rain continues to fall. As of 6 PM an estimated 2 to 3 inches of snow had fallen in mid – town Bloomsburg... with the National Weather Service in State College telling us we can expect to get anywhere from six to ten inches of total snow accumulation before the storm ends. We remain under a Winter Storm Warning through 7 O'clock Thursday morning... but it could be lengthened depending on how fast the snow, sleet and rain travels from the south to the northeast. Wednesday's storm has produced a rash of traffic accidents... including a major one on Interstate 80 near the Lightstreet interchange. At one point... PennDOT lowered the speed limits on all interstates to 45 MPH from their usual 65. We'll keep you up to date.
With a winter storm warning with us through daybreak Thursday.... the folks at PennDOT headquarters in Montoursville have established an incident command center. The people in the center keep an eye on the big... as well as the small weather picture... so says the Agency's David Thompson... and that includes constant contact with PennDOT Headquarters in Harrisburg. Crews spent Tuesday morning pre – treating some of the busiest roads across District 3.... with plowing and anti – skid material hitting the roadway once a thin layer of snow began to accumulate.
PPL / Storm
With the National Weather Service issuing a winter storm warning for central and northeastern Pennsylvania through Thursday morning... the folks at PPL have been busy. As of mid – morning Pennsylvania Power and Light's Terri McBride says the giant utility was getting ready. Ms. McBride told WHLM News crews have been called in off vacation... and they're standing by for the first sign of trouble. If you loose your juice... call PPL at 1 – 800 – 342 – 5775.
Now that Christmas is slipping away in our rear view mirror.... the next big holiday is this weekend. The New Years holiday weekend is straight ahead... and for many.... it's a reason to drink more than your usual share of alcohol. However, David Everly of the Pottsville – based PA Traffic Safety Enforcement Resource Center... says lawmen will be lurking to find impaired drivers. As we head into the weekend... roving patrols will be out.... as well as DUI checkpoints established along some of Columbia and Montour Counties busiest highways.
If you've noticed small, blue lights in windows this holiday season... they're to show support for police officers. With the murders of at least a half – dozen officer this month alone across the nation... it's been a tough month for law enforcement. Locust Township police chief Allen Breach says there is one recurring theme among officers before hitting the street... and that is to be safe and go home to your family at the end of the shift. And the job that Chief Breach and his officers preform is even more stressful... since Locust Township is predominantly rural... and the closest backup officer could be 15 to 20 minutes away.
Butler Twp Fire
Fire investigators say a late Sunday night house fire in Butler Township... north of Hazleton... began in a propane gas fireplace. The family lost everything they had in their home in the Beech Mountain gated community. Now... they're being helped by the American Red Cross... as well as the Valley Regional Fire and Rescue Company... as the unidentified family tries to get their lives back in order.
Northumberland County Fire
A rough start to Christmas Day in Northumberland County for one Shamokin Township couple. They awoke around 2:30 Tuesday morning to a fire which swept through their mobile home along Route 61. Authorities say Paul Singara and his girlfriend escaped the flames. The fire is being blamed on his wood burning stove.
Hazleton City Council will meet Thursday afternoon... in order to reach a new property tax rate... and approve a budget for 2013. If they don't... Hazleton's government could shut down. Top of mind... a proposed 83 – percent property tax hike.... slash spending to the bone or find new revenue streams. Whatever the case... city code says Hazleton must have a budget in place by the 31st of the month.
Powerball Winning Tickets
Two Powerball tickets sold for last Wednesday's drawing in Pennsylvania are worth a million dollars each. The state lottery commission says one of the tickets was sold at Stauffer's One Stop in Ringtown in neighboring Schuylkill County. No one has stepped forward with the winning ticket. The convenience store owner will receive a $5,000 bonus.