Controlled Burn Promps Concern
A 500 to 800 acre controlled burn at Ft. Indiantown Gap.... north of Harrisburg... is causing concern in Columbia and Montour Counties Thursday night. The smoke from that fire is being caught by the wind in the upper atmosphere and is blowing it our way... obscuring the sky... and causing some worries. That prompted someone to call Columbia County emergency dispatch around 6 O'clock Thursday night to report an unknown type fire in the vicinity of Buckhorn and School House Roads. The Hemlock Township Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched not only to find no fire anywhere in the area... but then learning that the origin of the smoke was an estimated 80 miles to the south.
For the first time in four months, the unemployment rate for the 12-county area of Northeastern Pennsylvania has dropped. The Department of Labor and Industry says the February rate stood at 9.0%, down a full percentage point from January's 10.0%, following hikes from December's 9.4% and November's 8.9%, when it started to rise from 9.0% in October.
PennDOT is doing it's part to repair or replace structurally deficient bridges across the state. One of the projects is a bridge on Bear Gap Road in Cleveland Township. The agency's Rick Mason says the current bridge will be replaced with a new, pre - cast arch culvert. Mason says the current bridge has been in place since 1934... and is starting to crumble. Detours will be in effect starting Monday... with the entire project to be wrapped by June 1st.
Agri - businessmen across Columbia County as well as across the state are being faced with new rules and regulation dealing with transporting farm equipment... such as driving from field to field. Now... State Representative David Millard wants to make sure farmers are in the know... by sponsoring a seminar on farm transportation regulations. The seminar takes place Friday morning... starting at 9:30 in the Locust Township building in the 1200 block of Numidia Drive.
Firemen Called Out
Bloomsburg firemen were called out around 4:50 Thursday morning when a smoke detector went off at 255 West Street. Police and firemen responded but couldn't find any smoke or flames. An estimated 30 minutes later... fire personnel determined the problem was a faulty detector and returned to quarters.
Children's author and illustrator Suzanne Bloom was greeted by dozens of pre – schoolers yesterday at the Bloomsburg Public Library. It was the first stop on a whirl wind tour to promote her PA award – winning book “The Bus for Us...” a story about Tess waiting for the school bus on the first day of classes. Ms. Bloom says she got her inspiration from visiting with 1st grade teachers. The day – long tour took Ms. Bloom from Bloomsburg... to Danville... to Berwick and Orangeville.
Murder / Suicide
Police in Lehman Township say two people are dead in an apparent murder – suicide in the Lake Silkworth area of Luzerne County. The coroner say 54 – year old Robert Stolarick, Sr. shot and killed his 26 – year old son, Robert, Jr... then turned the weapon on himself. The bodies were discovered at midday Wednesday in their Summit Avenue home.
A Wyoming Valley radio personality was arraigned yesterday on charges he took advantages of unemployment benefits. Authorities say Mark Thomas of Wilkes – Barre received an estimated $25,000 in unemployment benefits... something he wasn't entitled to. Thomas is alleged to have collected the benefits while working at a new car dealership... and Entercom Radio in Pittston. For an eight year stretch... Thomas was a vice – president at Public TV Station WVIA.
Track & Field
A significant winning streak came to an end yesterday in boys track & field. Mount Carmel beat Southern Columbia 79-71. That ended a 23 game winning streak by the Southern Columbia boys program. In the girls meet, Southern Columbia beat Mount Carmel 84-66.
High School Baseball
In high school baseball Wednesday... Mifflinburg defeated Danville 9 – 5... Montgomery getting by Millville 4 – 3... and Muncy downed Benton 15 to nothing.
High School Girls Softball
In girls softball... it was Bloomsburg over Montgomery 6 – 2... Mifflinburg getting by Danville 1 – nothing... Benton defeated Millville 11 – nothing... and Central Columbia downed Loyalsock 5 – 4.
MLB / Phillies
In major league baseball Wednesday night... the Atlanta Braves took the Philadelphia Phillies to the woodshed 9 – 2. The Phils and Atlanta tangle Thursday night. Catch all the action starting with the pre – game show at 6:35 on the WHLM Stations. The Pirates defeated the Cubs 3 – nothing... the Boston Red Sox got by the New York Yankees 7 – 4... The Mets downed the San Diego Padres 8 – 4.
In the NHL Wednesday night... it was the Philadelphia Flyers over Montreal 5 to 3.
In the NBA... The Charlotte Bobcats getting by the Philadelphia 76ers 88 - 83.