A fire inspector is expected to be in Atlas... in neighboring Northumberland County... trying to figure out what started a blaze in some row homes overnight. First responders were dispatched around 3 O'clock... with the blaze quickly escalating... destroying up to four homes in the 100 block of Girard... just south of Route 61. Firemen from Aristes... in southern Columbia County sent an engine and a tanker to help in the effort. No word if anyone was injured in this morning's fire in Atlas.
Montour Twp Fire
A water heater in a mobile home in a park adjacent to the Geisinger Medical Building on Montour Boulevard caught fire Monday morning... providing a big scare to homeowner Gordon Brown. Montour Township Police Chief Terry Eckart was the first to arrive on the scene... and found smoke coming out of the structure. He grabbed his the small extinguisher he carries in his SUV and put out the flames. Volunteer firemen from Montour, Hemlock and Scott Townships... as well as Catawissa and Bloomsburg responded. Brown and his wife escaped the structure safely. However, they'll have to find a place to live for the next couple of days.
The Susquehanna River and it's tributaries are a way of life in Columbia County... and we found that out all too well during the 2011 flood. So Lewisburg – based SEDA – COG held a Susquehanna Greenway River Towns Workshop Monday on the Bloomsburg University Campus. Fishing Creek Township Supervisor Jay Challingsworth was there getting information on flood mitigation. The aim of the conference... according to SEDA – COG... creating greener... and more flood resilient communities along the Susquehanna.
State House leaders are preparing for a transportation funding showdown that could begin as early as this week. No vote has been scheduled yet to approve more money to fix the state's roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Aides have scurried to and from the House Majority Leader's office discussing a transportation funding proposal and myriad amendments coming from members. Majority Leader Mike Turzai has said he would soon call for a vote on the two-and-a-half billion dollar plan that passed in the Senate. PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch says the governor has some concerns about the bill, but would sign it. In fact, he says, the governor would sign almost anything that can pass in the House, at this point
A state lawmaker is drafting pension reform he says could save the commonwealth billions of dollars. Cumberland County State Representative Glen Grell has unveiled his proposal to address the severe pension shortfall in the State and Public School Employees retirement systems. Grell's multi-pronged approach to the $45 - billion unfunded liability, includes a hybrid cash balance plan that sets aside 11% for retirement. Grell says it adds up to $37 - billion in savings over 30 years.
The second phase of Danville's Streetscape project is expected to resume Tuesday night at sundown. Contractor Don Bower, Incorporated of Berwick will begin milling... and then paving Mill Street. Danville Governmental Administrator Dan Knorr says there is a plus factor to working overnight... such as less traffic to deal with. Danville's Streetscape project is a collaborative effort between PennDOT and the Downtown Business Association.
A McAdoo man is in the Luzerne County lock up after being busted by Hazleton Police on Monday. Steven Davis is accused of making off with power tools taken from sheds along Meade Court in Hazleton. Alert neighbors notified Hazleton police who busted Davis on the spot. He's facing a long list of charges.
Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea was back on the job Monday... only days after being involved in a crash with a pick up truck. The incident happened on North Cedar Street... when he was responding to a call in a city – issued unmarked SUV. DeAndrea was shaken up when the vehicle collided head on with a pole holding a sign. State Police are investigating the crash.
Hit & Run
Hazleton Police are investigating a hit and run... in which a 70 – year old man was injured. Police say Leopoldo Cruz was hit by a car while trying to cross Diamond and Church Streets over the weekend. Now... police say they're looking for a 2010 VW Jetta which may have been involved in the incident.
Gas prices continue to fall across all of northeastern Pennsylvania. The latest Triple A fuel gauge report shows self – serve, unleaded regular is averaging $3.41 a gallon. That's off a penny from the weekend... and down seven cents from a week ago.
The unbeaten Bloomsburg University football team has moved up to 9th in the nation in the American Football Coaches Association poll. Two other PSAC teams are in the top 25- IUP is 7th and West Chester is 17th. This Saturday at noon the Huskies will face their toughest test to date when they take on a 3-1 Gannon University Golden Knights in Erie.
In the NFL Monday night... the New Orleans Saints defeated the Miami Dolphins 38 – 17. Former Bloomsburg University All American Jahri Evans returned to the Saints' lineup. He had started 114 consecutive games at guard before missing last week's game with an injury. His streak was the third longest among active players in the NFL.
In major League baseball Monday night, in a one game playoff to decide the American League's second wild card team... the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Texas Rangers 5 to 2.
Tuesday night... the Pittsburgh Pirates play their first postseason game in 21 years when they host the Cincinnati Reds in the National League wild card game. The winner will advance to a series against the St. Louis Cardinals.