Voter ID Law Struck Down
A Pennsylvania judge Friday struck down a law requiring voters in the state to show photo identification at the polls, saying the requirement imposed "unreasonable burden" on voters and represented "a legislative disconnect from reality." State Judge Bernard McGinley's ruling comes nearly two years after civil and voters' rights groups challenged the law, which Gov. Tom Corbett signed in March 2012, that never went into effect because of the court case. Joseph Cercaine, lead organizer of PA Voting Rights Coalition, called the ruling a victory for those who fought against what he called the hardships imposed by the requirements of Act 18, as the law is called.
Fake Report of “Active Shooter”
Berwick Police are trying to track down the person who's call to Columbia County emergency dispatchers launched a massive manhunt for a so – called “active shooter” Thursday morning near the Berwick Offray Plant on Susquehanna Avenue. Police say someone called from a second Offray plant at Third and Oak Streets saying people would be shot if they came to work. Cops also racing to the Offray plant in the BIDA Complex... but found no one. Dozens of police officers from agencies outside Berwick responded... and after searching the area of the Susquehanna Avenue plant... came up empty handed... and the incident labeled “a hoax.”
A fire believed started due to faulty wiring extensively damaged a Danville home Thursday afternoon. Firemen were called to a two – story home at 109 Spruce Street shortly before 1 O'clock. Fire Chief Chris Dickinson was one of the first on the scene... finding flames shooting out the rear of the building.
No one was at home with the fire broke out. The structure was extensively damaged
Berwick United Way
Folks at the Berwick Area United Way are bustin' their buttons after it was revealed last night that the organization surpassed their fall fund raising goal by an estimated $114,000. United Way CEO Ginny Crake is pretty happy with the $514,000 total. Ms. Crake says some of the bigger businesses in the area... such as P-P-L came through with more money than expected despite rough economic times.
Legislative reform to generate adequate funding for 9-1-1 services upgrades is among the priorities for Pennsylvania's county commissioners in 2014. WHLM's B.J. Small reports the rising costs of keeping up with technology and an inadequate fee structure that has not followed trends, make funding 9-1-1 systems the number one economic concern for counties across the commonwealth. The fee structure, based on land lines, hasn't kept up with the shift to modern digital technology of smartphones and even texting. Legislation is being drafted for fees to cover all types of communication devices.
A physician's group is giving the nation a low grade for it's emergency care environment, but Pennsylvania fares better in the report. The American College of Emergency Physicians gives the nation a D plus, warning that decreases in the number of emergency departments, staffed inpatient beds and psychiatric beds has led to crowding. Pennsylvania does better in the report, getting high marks for quality and patient safety environment. But PA's emergency preparedness ranking declined due in part to a decrease in intensive care beds.
A 31 – year old woman has been charged with robbery after she allegedly held up a Dunkin' Donuts in Plains Township... looking for cash to buy drugs. Diana Marie Hardy allegedly walked into the store on Route 315... threatened the cashier and asked for money from the register. She got what she requested... and was arrested a short time later... with the cash stuffed in her bra.
A Wilkes – Barre man was arraigned on a murder charge in the death of an 18 – year old man. 27 – year old Jordan Stevens was picked up from the Columbia County Prison in Bloomsburg... and was arraigned before a judge on Thursday... charged with aggravated assault... reckless endangerment... possessing a firearm as a felon... and having a weapon without a license. He is accused of murdering Christopher Narainasami... shooting him during a random attack at Boulevard Townhomes. Stevens is now behind bars in Luzerne County.
Congressman Lou Barletta of Hazleton has been named a member of a special panel of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The committee focuses on the use of and opportunities for public-private partnerships across all modes of transportation. Barletta was named to the panel by Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania.
An robbery of a Wilkes – Barre convenience store. Police say a man... dressed in all red... entered the Turkey Hill store on Hazle Street shortly after 1 O'clock Thursday morning. He demanded cash from the clerk... and left the store. No word on how much money was taken.
Our area lost one of its most prominent sports figures yesterday when long time Central Columbia baseball coach and athletic director, Don Engle, died after a lengthy illness. In 29 seasons as the Bluejays baseball coach, Engle had 555 career wins including the 1991 state championship. He coached two players that made it to the major leagues- Paul Hartzell and Doug Davis.
Four Bloomsburg University football players will play in nationally televised all star games Saturday. Defensive end Larry Webster and offensive tackle Matt Feiler will play in the East-West Shrine game in St. Petersburg, Florida. That game , which starts at 4, will be on the NFL Network. At 6 o'clock, running back Franklyn Quiteh and guard Brian Clarke will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Los Angeles. That game will be carried by ESPN 2.
Girls HS Basketball
In girls high school basketball Thursday night, Berwick was at home against Dallas. WHLM's Jim Doyle says Dallas defeated Berwick 42 – 33. In another girls game Thursday night... Benton defeated Columbia – Montour Vo – Tech 51 – 41.