900 Block Demolition
Traffic may be a bit slower Friday on West Main Street in Bloomsburg as demolition crews from Beaver Meadows begin tearing down and removing some of the 11 flood – ravaged homes in the 900 block. Those properties were purchased by the town using federal, state and local monies. All of the homes slated for demolition were damaged by the flood waters produced by Tropical Storm Lee back in September of 2011. Total cost of the demolition is pegged at an estimated $74,000.
Still no word from the New Zealand Navy as to when they'll attempt to recover the bodies of Berwick native Eric Hertz and his wife from the wreckage of their twin – engine plane which went down off the the southeast coast a week ago. After spending time with telecommunication companies in this country... Hertz became the CEO of 2 Degrees... New Zealand's third largest wireless provider. Authorities say Hertz was piloting the twin engine Beechcraft Barron when an engine failed at altitude... falling into the Tasman Sea. County Commissioner David Kovach telling WHLM News he knew Eric Hertz... and delivered the “Berwick Enterprise” to the Hertz home in the Woodcrest sub – division. Meantime... New Zealand's Navy is awaiting for calm seas to begin their recovery operation... one that should only take a day to complete. No word yet on a memorial service for 58 – year old Eric Hertz and his 64 – year old wife, Kathy.
State Senator John Gordner of Berwick is trying to get a Snyder County bypass project off dead center. The proposed roadway would run from Northumberland to the Selinsgrove area... completely getting around the so – called Miracle Mile from Shamokin Dam... running south. Senator Gordner says he's brought the project out of hibernation imposed by the Rendell Administration. However, Senator Gordner says the $558 – million project hinges on passage of Governor Corbett's $1.8 - billion transportation bill... as is. If approved... the current oil franchise fee would be removed... forcing gas prices upward.
Despite the fact this spring's Pennsylvania primary is May 21st... and you now have a time to register to vote... there hasn't been much action in the Columbia County Chief Registrar's office. Matt Repasky says one to two registrations trickle in each day... and since it's an off – year election... it could lead to low voter turnout out. On the ballot for the May primary... a lot of local races... including a Democratic primary for Bloomsburg Mayor... some town council seats... as well as township supervisor slots and school board positions. If you need to change your register or just sign up... you have until April 21st.
Salem Township Chase
A Berwick man is in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility following a high speed chase by Salem Township police early Thursday morning. 27 – year old Jesse Laubach led police on a chase which ended close to his home on Shady Lane. Laubach telling police he was scared. He's being held on $5,000 bond.
Berwick Road Work
You can tell spring is in the air.... with the road construction season getting underway in Berwick Friday. PennDOT says Barletta Materials and Construction will resume road work on Route 11... northbound on Front Street between Dunkin' Donuts and Market Street. The work will consist of saw – cutting the existing pavement... with excavating... placing a new sub – base and pavement. That job starts April 15th. It's all part of a $4 million reconstruction and resurfacing of Route 11 through Berwick.
An 800 acre controlled burn at Ft. Indiantown Gap.... in Lebanon County... caused concern in Columbia and Montour Counties Thursday night. The smoke from that fire was caught by the wind in the upper atmosphere and blew 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 to the area... but came up empty handed.
A Danville woman convicted of giving her relatives at a day care center has been ordered to repay $16,000. Karen Kruleski was also sentenced to 18 – months probation and 40 hours of community service... as well as pay a $500 fine. Kruleski was in charge of billing at the Busy Little Beavers day care center when she started giving unauthorized discounts to family members between 2009 and 2011. She was charged with theft in 2012.
Union County Fire
A fire marshal says a blaze at the Barnyard Restaurant near Mifflinburg... is not suspicious. The business burned to the ground Wednesday night... with flames first discovered in the ceiling of the building. They quickly spread. No one was hurt in that Wednesday night fire near Mifflinburg.
State Police in Laporte tell us they've collared five teenagers caught after they allegedly broke into the Turnpike Elementary School in Mildred... in Sullivan County. The incident happened this week when two of the five kids got into the school through a window. They opened the door to let a third teen in... while the other two remained outside the building. When the school's burglar alarm went off they scattered... but all five were captured within minutes. Police say all will be charged with burglary.
For the first time in 20 years, a Bloomsburg University football team will begin spring drills without Danny Hale as head coach. Hale announced that he was stepping down earlier this year. When the Huskies conduct their first spring practice this afternoon, former defensive coordinator Paul Darragh will be the interim head coach. The Huskies will conclude spring drills on Friday, May 3rd with their annual Maroon & Gold game.
With a new nickname and a stadium that features $43 - million in renovations, the Scranton-Wilkes Barre AAA baseball team opened their season in Moosic Thursday night. The final... the Pawtucket Red Sox defeating the Scranton / Wilkes - Barre Railriders 8 to 4.
In major league baseball, the Phillies got their first win of the season, beating the Braves 2-0 Thursday night. The Phils play their home opener Friday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:05. You can hear all the action on the WHLM stations starting with the pregame show at 3:35.
In other action Thursday... the Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Chicago Cubs 3-2... the New York Mets were defeated by the San Diego Padres 2-1 and the New York Yankees got their first win of the season, beating the Boston Red Sox 4-2.