Nearly a week since a powerful typhoon struck a part of the Philippines... relief supplies are finally getting to the victims. The international Red Cross is in charge... doing it's best to help... but they're getting some assistance from the American Red Cross.... so says Rita Inklovich of the Bloomsburg Chapter. In this country... and locally as well... money is being donated either through social media... smart phones... or checks being dropped off at the local chapters... money, if so designated, will go to relief efforts.
A roundtable discussion is on tap for next Thursday... hearing from non – profit groups trying to make a difference in Berwick. Ginny Crake of the Berwick Area United Ways... says next week's roundtable is some what different that a similar meeting which took place last fall. The community wide meeting will take place next Thursday... starting at 5:30 in the Berwick High School Auditorium.
Holden / Liquor Control Board
Former US Representative Tim Holden has been sworn in for a seat on the state liquor control board. He won confirmation earlier this week. Earlier this year... the Schuylkill County Democrat was nominated for the job. It comes at a time when Governor Corbett is trying to take the state's liquor system private.
There was a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday for a new hotel at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The 7 story... 238 room hotel and 20,000 square foot convention center has a price tag of an estimated $50 – million. Construction began more than a year ago... with the company hiring 250 people for the hotel and convention center.
Standing up for what's right in neighborhoods across Berwick. That's what members of the Berwick Blue Print Community is doing... attempting to rid streets of drugs and crime. Wednesday night... about two dozen people walked the length of LaSalle Street... a somewhat troubled neighborhood these days. Organizer Tim Burke says the groups efforts will work. Burke is also Berwick's Mayor – elect and takes office the first of the year. He told me he's looking forward to working closely with Police Chief Ken Strish.
GHS / AtlantiCare
Danville – based Geisinger Health System could get bigger in the future. GHS has signed a letter of intent to explore ways to provide better health care to AtlantiCare Health System of Atlantic City. The signing of the letter of intent enables each organization to investigate in greater detail the opportunities to affiliate. A Geisinger spokesman says the approval process could take up to a year to complete. AtlantiCare has more than than 5,400 employees and 600 physicians serving the coastal area of New Jersey in nearly 70 locations.
Scott Twp Budget
It is budget preparation time for municipalities across the region. Reading the legal notices... it appears places like Scott Township is way ahead of the curve. Township Secretary Eric Stahley says supervisors have done their work... and the $1.1 - million proposal is on display at the municipal building on Tenny Street. Stahley says there are no surprises in the proposed 2014 spending plan... including no plans to raise property taxes. The Supervisors are expected to approve the package when they meet on the 26th of the month.
A state house committee heard arguments from both sides over a senate bill to require DNA testing for people arrested for certain crimes. Jayann Sepich of New Mexico became a national advocate for pre-conviction DNA testing after her daughter was murdered in 2003. She disputes claims the testing is an invasion of privacy. But, Lt. Col. Scott Snyder, a Pennsylvania State Police Deputy Commissioner, says it's not an invasion of privacy question... but rather has concerns about the impact of expanded testing on the state police lab. No one knows if the issue will get traction.
Police Officer Remembered
Shamokin's only police officer to die in the line of duty was remembered Wednesday night. It was 30 – years ago Corporal David Witmer was gunned down by Preston Pfeifly after setting a garage fire. Pfeifly was convicted in 1984... and died just last month in a state prison.
A Freeland building... vacant for the past 3 and a half years... has a new owner. PGA, Incorporated that recycles plastics has purchased... and will move their operations into the 154,000 - thousand square foot Garland Commercial Industries building. The company will make their move from their 25,000 – thousand square foot White Haven operation before the end of December.
This week's murder of a woman in a troubled housing project in Wilkes – Barre has caught the attention of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The federal agency giving the owner of the Sherman Hills apartment complex until the end of the month to get their act together. HUD inspectors gave the management staff an “unsatisfactory” grade. Sherman Hills management had “no comment” on HUD's action.
An estimated $15 – million dollar Luzerne County cash gap for 2013 has been closed. County Manager Robert Lawton said that through a plan to secure money from the state and federal government... as well as some short – term borrowing... closed the cash crunch. Overall... Luzerne County is in the red by an estimated $400 – million dollars. 2014 even looks worse with Lawton threatening to lay off up to 250 county employees in order to make ends meet.