Bloomsburg Codes Office
It appears as the head of the Town of Bloomsburg's Code Enforcement has fallen from the grace of town council. There is a report in Wednesday's edition of the Press – Enterprise that Codes Officer Ed Fegley's salary has been cut a nearly $10,000.... from $59,000 to $50,000 a year. The move follows two closed door executive session's during council meetings this month. Council members call it simply a shift in duties... not a demotion. But the entire Code's office has come under fire recently by at least two business people who claim the office is very difficult to work with... with a habit of loosing paperwork and dragging their feet.
The Town of Bloomsburg wants you input into the future of Town Park. But, a controversy may be brewing over what should be.... or should not be... available. During our newscast's on Tuesday... Town Council person Diane Levan talked about the rental of recreational equipment... but does not want food trucks selling their products. Park Association President Chuck Wagner says he'd would like to see kayak and bike rentals... but added that the park should avoid over - commercialization. If you have an idea as what should be available at the town park... drop town government a line by simply going to the town's website... and giving your ideas on the comment page.
It was a sound heard all over the region Tuesday... folks with a single – blade plow.... mounted on a pick – up truck... moving snow from one area to another. One place with a lot of plowing took place at the Bloomsburg Fire Hall on Market Street. The driveways and huge parking lot plowed in short order.... not only for volunteers, but for folks headed for Wednesday night bingo at the fire hall.
In Catawissa... a demolition crew began tearing down the former Eagles building in the 100 block of Main Street Tuesday. The building... between First and Railroad Streets... was damaged by the Lee flood of 2011. The demolition is part of a plan to get rid of flood – ravaged buildings that are no longer deemed fit to live in.
A former bookkeeper for a Bloomsburg real estate office... who stole an estimated 230 – thousand dollars in an elaborate checking scheme... will spend six months in federal prison. The Press – Enterprise is reporting in today edition that 59 – year old Mary Ann Gillespie is expected to report to federal marshals on February 26th.
She was convicted of making off with $132,000 from her former employer Century 21 Covered Bridges Realty... and $98,000 from First Columbia Bank of Bloomsburg... over a five year period.
GOP Sues Wolf
The Republican majority in the Pennsylvania Senate is suing Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf over his firing of his predecessor's appointee as head of the state Office of Open Records. The lawsuit filed this week in Commonwealth Court said Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's appointee, Erik Arneson, is entitled to serve a full six-year term and that Wolf illegally terminated him without cause. The lawsuit seeks to restore Arneson as the agency's executive director and declarations that Wolf violated the state Right-to-Know Law and the state constitution.
Advocates for medical marijuana are hoping for better luck in the new legislative session. Senators Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer are re-introducing legislation to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. The bill passed the Senate in the last session, but was never acted on in the House. Folmer says he feels it has a better chance this time around, after receiving several encouraging messages from House members, as well as an impromptu visit from Gov. Wolf at Tuesday's news conference.
Fire and emergency response organizations in Columbia County have been awarded more than $220,000 in state grants. That word from Representative David Millard of Berwick. The grants ranged from $14,000 for the Bloomsburg Fire Department to a little more than $7,000 for Millville EMS. Projects eligible for funding include construction or renovation of a fire hall or ambulance company... as well as training.
The debate over liquor privatization is back with the new legislative session. A plan to privatize liquor sales passed the House about two years ago...but couldn't make it past the Senate. Now some House Republicans have listed privatization among their top priorities...and say it should be part of any policy compromises between the legislature and the Governor's office...especially with such a difference in opinions. Senate leaders are looking for pension reform and Governor Tom Wolf has put a shale drilling tax at the top of his list.
Police in the Wyoming Valley are looking for two people who tried to rob a jewelry store in Kingston at midday Tuesday. A man and woman walking into Steve Hydock Diamonds on Wyoming Avenue. Security surveillance showing the woman holding a weapon in her hand. The pair left without getting any of the jewelry.
Homeless Man Arrested
A homeless man is in the Luzerne County lockup... after allegedly tried to hold up a convenience store. Wilkes – Barre police say 27 – year old Matthew Vantine led police on a chase after he allegedly robbed the Turkey Hill store on North Pennsylvania Avenue early Tuesday morning. Vantine also struggled with cops while being taken into custody. He is charged with robbery... ag assault and other related charges.
Mixing heroin with guns. Police say two men are jailed in Luzerne county when one tried to trade a stolen weapon for heroin. 19 – year old Gary Rackowski of Ashley... and 20 – year old Ryan Robles of Wilkes – Barre were busted after police spotted the pair trying to pull off an alleged drug deal in a parking lot on the San Souci Parkway Monday afternoon. Investigators say the stolen weapons was traded for 50 packets of heroin. Both men face a long list of charges.
A study from a Washington DC-based safety organization says changes in traffic laws in Pennsylvania could save lives. One of the examples put forth by the group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, if failure to wear seatbelts while driving was a primary offense in Pennsylvania, 136 lives could have been saved in 2012. The group is also pushing for ignition interlock devices for all drivers convicted of driving under the influence, not just for repeat offenders under current state law.
The Bloomsburg University men's and women's basketball teams are at home Wednesday night against Cheyney starting with the women's game at 5:30. Coverage on the WHLM Stations begins with the pregame show at 5:10.
Boys HS Basketball
In boys high school basketball Tuesday night.. Berwick defeated Coughlin 45 to 27.
Girls HS Basketball
In girls high school basketball... Central Columbia downed Loyalsock 58 – 38... Bloomsburg defeated Sullivan County 50 – 26... It was Danville over Shikellamy 45 – 33... And Millville downed Southern Columbia 61 – 37.
In top 25 men's basketball Tuesday night... 17 ranked West Virginia got by Kansas State 65 – 59... and 20th ranked Baylor was defeated by Oklahoma State 64 – 53.