After nearly a week of testimony... a Luzerne County Court jury has found 44 – year old Gail Schneider of Berwick guilty of arson. Schneider was convicted late Wednesday afternoon of torching a Lantern Lane office complex and apartment building in Conyngham in September of 2010. That fire forced a 92 – year old woman to escape the building by crawling out on a roof. Schneider denied any involvement in the blaze... however there was surveillance video of her car near the scene. She lived in the building at one time, but was evicted. Schneider is now in the Luzerne County Jail awaiting sentencing in June.
Ex Cop Sentenced
A former Berwick police officer has been sentenced to at least a month in the Columbia County Prison. 30 – year old Chris Wilson will also be on probation and pay a fine... for stealing more than 800 packets of heroine from the police department. The Press – Enterprise is reporting in Thursday's edition... Wilson joined the force back in 2005... but his job came to an end the middle of last year. Wilson admitted he had a problem with heroine addiction for at least a sixth month period. Columbia County Judge Gary Norton also ordered Wilson to attend either Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
Now that last weekend's Block Party is becoming a distant memory.... many of us are looking forward to this year's next special event. The annual Renaissance Jamboree is Saturday up and down Main Street in Bloomsburg. Appearing on the Wednesday edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz... Oren Helbok of the Moose Exchange says there's plenty of things to see and do due to crafters and non – profit groups. The event also includes plenty of entertainment spread out over four stages up and down Main Street... including a venue in front of the Columbia County Courthouse. The event begins Saturday morning at 10 O'clock.
Danville Skul Board
The Danville Area School Board gets to bare it's soul next Thursday when they gather to face the public. School Board President Allan Schappert says is a way to have open dialogue with taxpayers... and to get some suggestions. The “Ask your School Board Night...” sponsored by the League of Voters gets underway next Thursday at 7 O'clock at the Danville Borough Ballroom on Mill Street.
Calling it quite the feat, the state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says a backlog of audits have been cleared. DePasquale says a backlog of 1,500 audits has been taken care of since he took office earlier this year. The A-G's office produces about four thousand audit reports per year. And DePasquale says he has also reduced his department's fleet of cars by more than 50 since January.
Loyalsock State Forest
Environmental advocates are urging Governor Corbett to keep natural gas drillers out of the Loyalsock State forest North of Williamsport. Jeff Schmidt with the Sierra Club of Pennsylvania says the state has control over the surface access of sensitive land in the state forests... and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is not property exercising that authority. Meantime... a DCNR spokesperson says the situation is more complicated that some may suggest.
An 87 – year old Hazleton woman had her wheelchair stolen off her daughter's front porch Wednesday afternoon. Anna Rose Matweecha of Wyoming Street used the wheelchair to sit in the sunshine and get around. Hazleton police say if you have information about the theft... give them a call.
The state attorney general's office is taking a look at the paperwork surrounding the proposed merger between Hazleton General Hospital and the Lehigh Valley Health Network. Talks have been on – going for some time... and the merger would bring new ideas and procedures to Hazleton General. It's not known when the Attorney General's office will give it's okay... but it could take anywhere from six months to a year.
Point Twp Fire
Investigators say they believe a Wednesday morning fire in a Point Township summer home began in a bedroom and spread. The fire extensively damaged the home along Route 11 south of Danville. Firemen were called out at midday to squelch the flames. No one was at home when the flames broke out... but authorities say at least a dozen cats died in the smokey fire.
Sunbury Water Treatment Plant
Sunbury’s 53-year old water treatment plant will be totally upgraded as a result of funding approved this week by PENNVEST. That word from state Senator John R. Gordner of Berwick... and state Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver of Sunbury. In essence... the PENNVEST board approved a $3 million low cost loan for the Sunbury Municipal Authority. The money to be used for new treatment units that meet current environmental standards... as well as associated mechanical equipment.
New License Plates
Members and veterans of the United States Armed Forces who have served with a U.S. Military Airborne Unit or as a World War II Merchant Mariner can now display their service with new license plates available from PennDOT. Veterans and military personnel interested in these new plates can visit PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website.
The Bloomsburg University baseball team has now won 6 straight games. Wednesday, the Huskies swept a home doubleheader from IUP, winning the first game 11-5 and the nightcap 3-0.
In high school baseball yesterday.... Berwick downed Holy Redeemer 3 – 1... it was Montgomery over Columbia Montour Vo Tech 5 to nothing... and Northwest blanked Benton 15 – nothing.
In girls softball... Berwick just getting by Hazleton 6 – 5... and Columbia Montour Vo - Tech defeated Sullivan County 15 to 4.
In the third game of their home series against Pittsburgh Wednesday night... the Pirates downing the Philadelphia Phillies 5 to 3. The series concludes Thursday with a matinee game that begins at 1:05. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 12:30.
In other games Wednesday night... The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the the New York Yankees 3 to nothing... and the New York Mets down the Los Angeles Dodgers 7 to 3.
In the NBA playoffs last night... it was Indiana over Atlanta 113 to 98.... Oklahoma City got by Houston 105 to 102... and San Antonio got the best of the Los Angeles Lakers 102 – 91.