2014-01-27 05:20:00 by Mark Williams / News Director
* Operation Storm Watch *
School Delays for Tuesday, Jan. 28:
* Southern Columbia - 2-hour Delay
* Berwick - 2-hour Delay
* Millville - 2-hour Delay
* Benton - 2-hour Delay
* Greenwood Friends - 2-hour Delay
It's going to remain cold.... downright bone-chilling... for the next few days. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory which goes into effect Tuesday morning. The main reason... gusty winds of 24 miles an hour producing a wind chill factor of 15 below zero. And although the advisory runs only six hours.... there is a potential for hypothermia and frost bite to unprotected skin.
This cold weather that has been with us for the past week... and promises to stay around for a while... and it plays havoc on the elderly. Kathy Lynn of the Columbia – Montour Office of Aging says it only takes a couple of minutes to check on an elderly neighbor or relative. If they do have needs... and you need help providing the essentials... call the Office of Aging on Sawmill Road.
How will the closing of Windsor Foods on 11th Street in Bloomsburg affect that proposed flood wall project around that location... as well as Autoneum. Not much... according to SEDA – COG's Glenda Ruch. As a matter of fact... it may make the Windsor Foods building more marketable... even getting the okay from two state funding agencies. Now... a meeting on the proposed flood wall project will be held at the Bloomsburg High School cafeteria Tuesday night starting at 7 O'clock.
United Water / Kocher Park
The Columbia County Conservation District has received a $10,000 grant from the United Water Foundation. It's earmarked for the purchase of 51 acres of land adjacent to Kocher Park... north of Lightstreet in Scott Township. Conservation District Manager Maryruth Wagner says the purchase of the land will allow more access to Fishing Creek... as well as some walking trails which could eventually lead to Bloomsburg.
State Money Woes
With Pennsylvania's budget forecast gloomy, the legislature looks to be placing its bets on gambling. As budget discussions unfold over the next few months, it is widely expected that the GOP-controlled House and Senate, along with the Corbett administration, will seriously consider a proposal to expand lottery gambling and, possibly, one to legalize online gambling. Both measures could mean hundreds of millions in annual tax revenue at a time when the state is in the red.
Police in Freeland are looking for those responsible for break into St. Luke' Evangelical Lutheran Church late last week. Cops say burglars got in through a window... taking numerous items and damaging the place. Police are also investigating other church burglaries in the Freeland area that have occurred.
Wilkes – Barre Robbery
Cops in Wilkes – Barre are looking for two men who held up a convenience store over the weekend. The incident happened Saturday night when the duo walked into the Sunoco A – Plus store at Academy Street and Carey Avenue... fired two shots... grabbed some money and got away. It's not known how much cash the pair got away with.
Mountain Top Road
The most direct route from Mountain Top in Luzerne County to the Pocono's remains closed to traffic. Route 437 has been closed the past week or so... ever since the road started to buckle... forcing PennDOT to shut down the road and put a detour into effect. It's not known when the weather will break... so PennDOT crews have a chance to repair the road.
Pope Francis has appointed a new bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg... and that includes Columbia and Montour Counties. The Most Reverend Ronald Gainer is the 11 bishop of the Diocese. He replaces Bishop Joseph McFadden who died last May. Bishop Gainer is originally from Pottsville, but for the past eleven years has been the bishop of Lexington, Kentucky. Installation ceremonies will take place in Harrisburg March 19th.
HS Boys Basketball
The Central Columbia basketball team swept neighborhood rival Bloomsburg with a 62-40 win at home Monday night. You can hear the details in the WHLM High School Hoops Report with Jim Doyle:
In other boys games Monday night: Southern Columbia is at Milton, Danville is at Midd West, and Millville plays at Warrior Run.
A Bloomsburg High School girls basketball player reached a career milestone over the weekend. On Friday night in a home game against Muncy, senior Natalie Wittman scored a game high 23 points... and in the process... went over 1000 points for her career.
The Bloomsburg University women's basketball team extended their winning streak to 8 with Saturday's 74 - 56 win at Kutztown. The Huskies are now 15-3 on the season. On Wednesday night they will try to avenge one of their three losses when they play at Millersville.