2013-12-20 05:55:00 by Mark Williams / News Director
General Assembly Size
The state house has given it's approval to a bill reducing the number of members of the house and the senate. It's a controversial move... but House Speaker Sam Smith of Jefferson County says it's the only way to deal with proposed legislation in a bi-partisan fashion. State Representative David Millard of Berwick voted for the bill telling WHLM News that when you're trying to get the consensus of 203 members... it's challenging. But, Millard went on to say... if the plan is approved and takes effect in 2020... satellite offices in realigned districts must be maintained to provide service to constituents. Under the two bills up for consideration... the Senate would be reduced from 50 to 38... with the house going from 203 member to 153.
A Wyoming Valley West teacher was arrested and charged with having sex with a student. English teacher Lauren Harrington - Cooper of Plymouth is accused of having sex with the male student in her car. The relationship was discovered when the parents of the senior went to school officials saying they found explicit text messages between the pair. Cooper is due in court December 26th.
With Christmas and New Years quickly approaching... police across the region have a heightened sense of awareness of the possibility of drivers under the influence. Bloomsburg PD Sgt. Leonard Rogutski says the season comes with holiday parties and possible heavy drinking. Sgt. Rogutski says police may go as far as to set up checkpoints. If you do plan to drink at a party... Sgt. Rogutski suggests you have a designated driver to get you to your destination safely.
Berwick Vs. Danville
Do you remember that basketbrawl they had back at the Berwick High School back in 1963 when Danville came to play. That will be the focus of the pre – game Saturday... when Danville comes north on Route 11 to renew their rivalry so says Berwick School Superintendent Wayne Brookhart. Admission to Saturday night's game has been rolled back to a dollar. The game will be played in the old gym... and players will dress for warm up with clothing indicative of the time. It all gets underway at 7 O'clock Saturday night.
A Hazleton woman has been arraigned after being accused of making off with an estimated 85 – hundred dollars from the treasury of the Hazleton Area football league. Now 44 – year old Colleen Bresnock is talking to our media partner Newswatch 16. She admits taking the money to pay utility bills... and is paying it back. Ms. Bresnock went on to say that past board members also took money... and then made restitution.
Bell House Folo
The owner of the Bell House Cafe on Route 309 near Hazleton... says he'll rebuild following this weeks fire that leveled the popular restaurant. Flames were shooting from the structure when firemen arrived... now it's up to investigators to determine what started the fire. Tom Bell said he is insured, but does not know when he'll start rebuilding.
Hunlock Creek Fire
Authorities say a wood burning stove apparently malfunctioned... forcing a Hunlock Creek family out of their home this week. The family said they spotted the smoke and evacuated the structure. Damage was considered minimal... with the family hoping to get back into their home by Christmas day.
Market St. Scare
A scare in Wilkes – Barre on Thursday when someone spotted a snowboard and gloves were found laying on the ice – caked Susquehanna River at the Market Street Bridge. Examining the scene... authorities felt it was too dangerous to send divers into the water. Firemen were at the bridge for about an hour before calling off their operation... saying no one has been reported missing.
The holidays usually keep food banks busy and this year there's another reason more people are turning to them for help. Since the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits were cut in November when a stimulus boost ended, food banks says many of their member pantries have been seeing an increase in the number of people seeking help. Brad Peterson of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank says in recent years, they've seen a shift from people seeking emergency assistance a few times a year to seeking supplemental food assistance monthly.
In 1997, Bloomsburg University running back Irv Sigler received the Harlon Hill trophy which goes to the top Division II player in the country. Friday night another Bloomsburg running back was presented that award. Senior Franklyn Quiteh is the second Husky to be given the top honor in DII football.
HS Boys BB
Among Friday night's boys basketball games, Central Columbia was at Hughesville in a Heartland Conference Division II match up. The Blue Jays beat Hughesville in that game 65-57. You can hear the detials with Jim Doyle in the WHLM High School Hoops Report:
In college wrestling Thursday night... Bloomsburg University pulled off a come from behind victory as they defeated Lock Haven 19 to 16.
The Bloomsburg University men's and women's basketball teams play their final games before the holiday break Saturday afternoon when they play Gannon at the Nelson Field House. The women's game starts at 1 O'clock. Coverage of both games on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 12:40.
In the National Hockey League last night... the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated Minnesota 5 to 2... and the Philadelphia Flyers skated past Columbus 5 to 4.