Most of the campaigning has been done... and signs planted in yards... and Tuesday it will be time to cast a ballot in the 2013 primary election here in Columbia and Montour Counties... as well as across the state. In Columbia County... Chief Registrar Matt Repasky says he doesn't expect much of a voter turnout... despite the number of registered voters. And registration... according to Mr. Repasky... is split pretty evenly between Republicans and Democrats. The biggest races include the the three way democratic primary battle for mayor of Bloomsburg... and five Republican candidates running for four slots on the Berwick Area School board.
State Budget / Millard
Liquor store privatization … pension woes and the transportation bill is top of mind of the state house of representatives as they prepare a 2013 – 2014 proposed budget. The bill will be initiated next week... with an appearance on the house calendar June 3rd. For State Representative Lynda Culver of Sunbury... there are some important funding issues to consider such as not raising taxes. Since the proposed spending plan goes into effect July 1st... it must be on the governor's desk by the end of June for his signature.
Bloomsburg High School Junior Dante Green is the best of the best at Sunday's “Teen Star” competition on the campus of Bloomsburg University. For his efforts... Green wins a $2,500 first prize. Abigail Gobel of Benton High School finished second... winning a thousand dollars... for her rendition of a Bruno Mars tune.... while third place went to Kristen Broadt... a senior at Bloomsburg Christian School who performed on the violin... taking home a $500 prize. The event sponsored by First Columbia Bank and Trust.
The state’s unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point to
7.6 % in April. That word from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. In essence... unemployment decreased 17,000 to 496,000. It was the third largest decrease on record, behind only March 2013 and July 1983. On the other side of things... employment was up 13,000 just over 6,000,000. The increase tied September 2012 for the second largest employment increase in the past twelve months.
Luzerne County Controller Walter Griffith, Jr. is free on $10,000 unsecured bond after he was arrested at the start of the weekend on felony electronic surveillance charges. The 58 – year old Griffith is accused of allegedly recording three conversations back in 2010 without the other persons approval. He'll be prosecuted by the State Attorney General's office. A trial date has not been set... but several Luzerne County Commissioners have called for Griffith's resignation.
The City of Hazleton will soon take a step towards enforcing a controversial rental property registration program. An estimated 1,700 rental properties will get notification of inspection this week of the interior as well as the exterior of the buildings. Fees range from 25 to 100 dollars each with property owners bill by Northeast Revenue Service.
Track & Field
Southern Columbia junior Luke Rarig won four medals including a gold medal in the high hurdles to help the Tigers to the Class AA team title in the District 4 championships Saturday in Selinsgrove. Central Columbia junior Ellen Shepherd won three gold medals and set a new District record in the 200 meter dash to help the Bluejays finish second in the girls team standings. Rarig and Shepherd will lead a large contingent of area athletes into the state championships which begin Friday morning at Shippensburg University.
Eric Kratz and Freddy Galvis hit back to back home runs in the bottom of the 9th Sunday to give the Philadelphia Phillies a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Monday night the Phils begin a three game series against the Marlins in Miami. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 6:30.
Other MLB Games
In other games Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Houston Astros 1-0... the New York Mets topped the Chicago Cubs 4-3... and the New York Yankees game against Toronto was rained out.
NBA / Western Finals
In the opening game of the NBA's Western Conference final series, the San Antonio Spurs routed the Memphis Grizzlies 105-83.
In the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs last night... the Ottawa Senators got by the Pittsburgh Penguins 2 to one. But despite the loss Pittsburgh holds a two to one lead in the series.
Ed Carpenter wins the pole position for next Sunday's Indianapolis 500. He turned the fastest lap during a nine car shootout at 228.726 MPH.