2013-09-20 06:09:00 by Mark Williams / News Director
The state fire marshal says an electrical problem in the ceiling sparked the blaze which caused considerable damage to the Consolidated Container Company in the BIDA Complex in Berwick Wednesday night. Now... The folks who run the firm are starting to clean up... trying to get things up and running.. .putting their 100 employees back to work. A large group of workers were at the plant Thursday checking out the damage. It's not known how long the plant will be out. Consolidated Container makes plastic bottles for companies in the consumer goods business.
Gilberton Police Chief
The Gilberton Borough Council has begun termination proceedings against their controversial police chief. Mark Kessler was initially suspended when a video was posted on You Tube... showing the chief using borough's automatic weapons to fire off hundreds of rounds.... and cursing. The video went viral... prompting the suspension. Borough Council Thursday night voted to continue the suspension as they launch termination proceedings.
Bloomsburg Fair Improvements
We've waited for a year... and we're just hours away from the preview opening of the 158th Bloomsburg Fair. One item guests will see is a new and improved Skyride... giving all of us a birds eye view of the fair grounds. Fair President Paul Reichart said during the debut of the ride last year... state amusement inspectors only allowed 60 cars on the ride. But, that's been doubled to the ride's maximum of 120 cars. Friday's preview opening begins at 2 PM... with the fair officially opening Saturday morning at 7 O'clock.
AGAPE / Heating Money
It could be a long, rough winter... and that means there are folks who may have trouble paying their heating bills. So AGAPE volunteer Jessica Lowe is using the fair and it's guests to raise money by placing donation jars at the stands of the exposition's most popular concessionaires. Ms. Lowe says for many families... it's tough to make ends meet... and that's when they turn to AGAPE. Last year... AGAPE went through $19,000 to help people... and they hope to raise more money at this year's fair in order to keep their heating assistance program going.
Berwick Pool Fund Raiser
A man who works for a Berwick trucking company says he wants to raise $10,000 this weekend in an effort to get the swimming pool rehabilitated and re – opened on the Borough's west side. Marc Cosgrove plans to bike through Columbia and Luzerne Counties this weekend in order to raise the money. His 90 mile trek begins Friday... starting at the now – shuttered pool at Ber – Vaughn park.
Two years after the flood produced by Tropical Storm Lee... Congressman Lou Barletta still isn't happy with the response of the federal government. He chaired a hearing Wednesday... dealing with the re – authorization of FEMA. Mr. Barletta let it be known that FEMA's response was inadequate for some... especially in the area of so – called low cost loans. The federal government eventually dropped the interest rates for the loans.
Agents connected with the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation unit has rounded up 16 people in connection with a drug trafficking organization stretching from the Dominican Republic to Luzerne... then to Northumberland County. Two grand juries indicting Juan Carlos Alvarez and fifteen others in the trafficking operation. Alvarez is currently in a federal prison.
That new 238 room hotel at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs will open for business November 30th. Construction of the $50 – million dollar building has been underway for sometime. A spokesperson for Mohegan Sun said the hotel also has a 20,000 square foot convention center. The first reservations were taken last week.
A 23 – year old man is dead... days after he was struck by a car as the stood beside his bike on the Sans Souci Parkway. Brett Freed died earlier this week at the Geisinger - Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township. He spent several days in the hospital before passing. Police in Hanover Township continues their investigation.
The Berwick High School football team beat Wyoming Valley West for the first time since 2008 when the two unbeaten teams met at Crispin Field Friday night. The Final was 42-28.
Game of the Week
Central Columbia played its home opener Friday against Milton in the first game played on the Blue Jays new artificial turf. Milton took away the victory in that game 32-20.
In other action Friday night, Southern Columbia remains unbeaten after defeating South Williamsport 48-14, Bloomsburg fell to Jersey Shore in Overtime 21-14, and unbeaten Danville stays unbeaten after a 37-13 win against Mifflinburg. Saturday afternoon Columbia Montour Vo Tech hosts Bucktail Area.
You can hear the details from the night's games in the WHLM Friday Night Football Update:
The Bloomsburg University football team is at Kutztown Saturday afternoon. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins at 12:30 with The Husky Countdown Show.
In the NFL last Thursday night... Coach Andy Reid was back in Philadelphia as his Kansas City Chief's routed the Eagles 26 – 16.
The Philadelphia Phillies had the night off. They begin a home series against the Mets Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
In other Thursday games... the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated San Diego Padres 10 to 1... the San Francisco Giants downed the New York Mets 2 to 1... and the Toronto Blue Jays getting by the New York Yankees 6 to 2.