Hazleton Vs. Supco
The U-S Supreme Court has ended Hazleton's efforts to prevent immigrants from renting apartments. The justices on Monday declined to take up appeals from the city of Hazleton, Pa., of lower court rulings that blocked local ordinances regulating rental housing. They were intended to keep people who are in the country illegally from finding housing in those jurisdictions. The high court held in 2012 that immigration is primarily a matter for the federal government, ruling out most local and state laws targeting illegal immigration. The Hazleton case also involved an ordinance that would have denied permits to businesses that hired people who are in the U.S. illegally.
We dodged a major snow storm overnight. That storm rolling out of the midwest was to have given us anywhere from three to six inches of snow tracked to the south... leaving the Susquehanna Valley unscathed. All of it south of us with cities along the I-95 corridor are expected to get hammered with snow and freezing rain. But now we're bracing for some bitterly cold weather. It could be as low as minus three degrees Tuesday morning.
Susquehanna Steam Electric Station
The operators at Pennsylvania Power and Light Steam Electric station... north of Berwick in Luzerne County have disconnected the Unit 2 reactor from the grid. That happened over the weekend as technicians get ready for a planned inspection of turbine blades. A PPL spokesman says the unit has not shown any indication of turbine blade cracking... however, the utility is working closely with the blade manufacturer to make sure it resolves all turbine blade issues. Cracks in the blades turned up during previous shutdowns. It's not known how long Unit 2 will be off line.
It's a long way from Berwick to Sochi, Russia and return. That's the journey winter Olympic double luge competitor Jayson Terdiman took... arriving home to enjoy a homecoming parade north on Front Street Saturday afternoon. The 2007 graduate of Berwick High School was amazed at the turnout... and the folks lining the street... waving American flags. Terdiman and his partner finished eleventh in the double luge competition and sixth in the relays. Now... he returns to Lake Placid this week to prepare for a national event later this month.
Pennsylvania's Agriculture Secretary came a callin' on agri – businessmen in Montour County at the start of the weekend. George Greig was the guest at a breakfast hosted by 107th District State Representative Kurt Masser in Danville. Secretary Greig spoke on a variety of topics... but during an interview... he hammered home the importance of the state's 109 fairs... and their economic impact. It's also a way to tell the story of agriculture. The fair season in PA begins in June... with the Bloomsburg Fair scheduled to begin September 20th.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth appeared before the House Appropriations committee at the start of the weekend... as three weeks of state budget hearings wrapped up. In January, a judge ruled that Pennsylvania's Voter ID law is unconstitutional. The case is not done yet, there are still post trial motions. Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele says the state has spent over $6.9 million, mostly on voter education, while trying to implement the law that never took effect. Almost one million of that went to legal fees.
Support continues to grow for legislation to change the name of the state welfare department. The new name of Department of Human Services would better reflect those offered by the current Department of Public Welfare, so says legislation stalled in the House and Senate. DPW Secretary Beverly Mackereth told the Appropriations Committee that Pennsylvania can follow the positive trend of other states, by eliminating the negative connotation that goes with the word "welfare." Mackereth says the cost of the name change can be extended over time.
Former State Senator Ray Musto will be spending more time than expected at a federal treatment center in North Carolina. The Wyoming Valley Democrat was to have gone on trial on corruption charges earlier this year... but his attorney said he couldn't live through the proceeding due to illness. Now... a medical team has until June to evaluate the 84 – year old Musto to determine... if in fact... Musto could be tried.
The operational services committee of the Luzerne County Council is expected to debate the pro's and con's of a proposed anti – smoking ban on all County property. Proponents say it will improve health... reduce little with the lack of butts and help health insurance costs. Opponents believe it's a freedom of choice issue... and thus the county is taking something away that's legal.
Three area high school wrestlers won gold medals at the Class AA Northeast Regional in Williamsport over the weekend. Finishing first were Todd Lane of Southern Columbia at 120 pounds... Lewis Williams of Central Columbia at 126 pounds... and Kent Lane of Southern Columbia at 138 pounds. Benton finished first in the team standings and Southern Columbia was second. Altogether 11 area wrestlers qualified for the state championships which begin Thursday morning in Hershey.
The third time was a charm for the Bloomsburg University men's basketball team. After losing both games to Kutztown during the regular season, the Huskies beat the Golden Bears on Saturday afternoon 82-71 in a first round PSAC playoff game. Tuesday night the Huskies play at West Chester in the PSAC quarterfinals. The Bloomsburg University women's team, which earned a first round bye, is at home Tuesday night in a quarterfinal game against East Stroudsburg.
Of the four area high school basketball teams that played in District 4 championship games on Saturday afternoon.... only the Millville girls emerged as District champions. The Quakers routed Northeast Bradford 66 - 35 in the Class A final to remain unbeaten.