Chamber & Budget
The 2017 – 2018 state budget is due on Governor Wolf's desk a week from Friday. Already there is some conjecture as to how to close an estimated 3 – billion dollar budget gap. Fred Gaffney is the President of the Columbia – Montour Chamber of Commerce telling WHLM News that the gap could be closed by increasing the personal income tax... or increasing the sales tax. Meantime, there are a lot of details that need to be finalized... and not much time to do it.
Governor Wolf is expressing opposition to some Republican ideas as the budget deadline looms. The new fiscal year begins July 1st, and GOP leaders have sent rank and file members home for the rest of the week. Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman says both chambers are trying to deal with a deficit of more than three billion dollars, but without a tax increase. Corman says while agreement on a spending package is close, there's differing views on how much to expand gambling. Governor Wolf is opposed to gambling that could hurt state programs.
What's there not to like about summer at the Bloomsburg Public Library. There are plenty of books... and Wednesday there was David Moreland who presented a program about building a better world...
Moreland was a member of the Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble for 11 years starting in the mid 80's. He crisis-crosses the northeast bringing his shows to students at library's... encouraging reading.
An All Points Bulletin has been issued by state police in Frackville for a man who allegedly killed his own father. State Police say 60 – year old Gary Marchalk of Barnesville was found dead in his home near Tamaqua on Monday. On Tuesday, state police issued an arrest warrant for the victim's son, 37 – year old Michael David Marchalk of Barnesville. He remains on the loose. Michael Marchalk is accused with a host of charges... including with criminal homicide. Troopers have not offered a motive for why the son is suspected of killing his father.
A bill changing graduation requirements for vo-tech students has been signed into law. Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill allowing high school students pursuing careers in the vocational/technical fields to opt out of taking the Keystone Exam as a requirement for graduation. It provides those students with four options to demonstrate their readiness for education beyond high school. House Speaker Mike Turzai who sponsored the bill, says it recognizes the need to provide choices other than one standardized test for students to prove they are ready to graduate.
Meals on Wheels
A panel of state lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday on "Meals on Wheels" services in Pennsylvania. The dedication of those who work to bring life-sustaining food to the homebound was clear during the informational hearing. Home-delivered meals actually got their start in Pennsylvania with a then-first-of-its-kind program in Philadelphia back in 1954. Advocates for home-delivered meals appealed to state lawmakers to remember the life and death stakes for many homebound elderly and disabled Pennsylvanians. Montgomery County Meals on Wheels Director Heidi Fareri told members of the House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee that the service dished out nearly 8.5 million meals last year in Pennsylvania...
Operation Code R.E.D.
State Police and the Department of Agriculture are teaming up to ensure food transport safety this summer. Operation Code R.E.D., or Refrigerated Enforcement Detail is an annual joint effort, begun in 2013. The program ensures food is stored properly and kept at safe temperatures as commercial haulers deliver products to restaurants and grocery stores. State troopers with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Division inspect trucks for motor carrier compliance, while food safety inspectors check for conformity with the Pennsylvania Food Code.
Town Park Concert
Wednesday night... at Town Park in Bloomsburg... It was the toe tapping good time of the Shoreliners. They played a musical variety for all ages. Town Park Association President Chuck Wagner says next Wednesday show is Raven Creek. The concert in the park series gets underway at 7 O'clock. Be sure to bring your lawn chair so you have a place to sit.