Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 1:00pm by Larry White
According to the National Amusement Park Historical Association, Kneels Amusement Resort came out on top in their 30th annual amusement park and attractions survey. The park walked away with a few awards. Knoebels was ranked as their favorite traditional amusement park, the best park for families, and the Phoenix won favorite wood roller coaster.
Members of NAPHA are people who take this seriously. For the most part, their members have visited more than 100 different amusement parks and have been on over 300 roller coasters.
Verizon Strike - Rally in Harrisburg
Hundreds of people gathered on the steps of the PA State Capitol to rally with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers as the unions continue their strike.
Roughly 39,000 Verizon workers (6,000 in Pennsylvania) have been on strike since April 13th when negotiations between the union and corporate broke down. Before that, workers spent nine months on the job without a contract.
The company also brought in more than 20,000 workers to take the place of those on strike. Fortune Magazine reports the two sides are ‘digging in’ for a long fight.
Food Tray Sanitation
According to an investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the plastic trays used at fast food restaurants can be as dirty as a gas station toilet seat. The CBC took swab samples from trays in three malls and had them analyzed by the University of British Columbia.
They found as many bacteria on some food trays as they saw on a (gas station) toilet. He said it was troubling that two of the trays were contaminated with a type of bacteria that causes gastrointestinal illness and is highly resistant to antibiotics.
The CBC said officials at the malls said the trays were routinely wiped and disinfected and were never meant to come into direct contact with food.
Nurse Practitioners Plea for ‘Full Practice Authority’
Nurse practitioners were at the state capitol this week to plead their case for ‘Full Practice Authority.’
Nurse practitioners are Registered Nurses with advanced degrees who are nationally certified in specific areas. Under state law, they can only practice if they have collaborative agreements with at least two physicians. A movement is underway to remove that requirement and state Senator Pat Vance - a nurse herself - says it’s about time because we’re going to need them.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 4:48am by Larry White
PA Oil Drilling/Fracking
A State House committee has voted to reject new regulations on oil and natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. Just two weeks ago, new drilling rules won the approval of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, but the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved a concurrent resolution rejecting those rules. Representative Bryan Barbin says the commission was wrong because the regulations don't address the differences between conventional drilling and fracking. Those who voted against the resolution say the drilling guidelines have been four years in the making, were thoroughly vetted and will withstand legal scrutiny.
National Motto in Schools
It’s our national motto, but the words ‘In God We Trust’ are not in Pennsylvania schools, but that could change if a bill passed by the state House gets final approval. In a 179-20 vote, the House approved the bill introduced by state Rep. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson County).
Under the bill, ‘In God We Trust’ could be exhibited in public schools on a mounted plaque, or included in ‘prominently displayed’ student artwork. The proposed law also says the Bill of Rights can be displayed in school buildings. James Pollock of Milton was the director of the U.S. Mint when he suggested using the motto on coins in 1864. But don’t get your hopes up, the state Senate isn’t sure it’s a good idea, a similar bill died there last session.
50th Annual Pet & Toy Parade
The 50th annual Kiwanis Pet and Toy Parade is tonight, and the event will mark the start of the Fireman’s Carnival that will be happening for the rest of the week at the Fire Department on Market Street. Kids are encouraged to participate in the parade tonight, bringing pets, toys and dressing in costumes. Kiwanian Mariann Kreisher told here are some rules to participation that should be noted: Pets must be on a leash or in a cage, and kids riding scooters or bicycles must wear a helmet. Participants should gather at 5:30pm in the parking lot behind the Columbia County Courthouse. The parade will travel down Market Street and conclude at the Bloomsburg Fire Department.
May the Fourth Be With You!
Today marks five years since May the Fourth became a celebration of the cultural phenomenon that is star wars. Fans in Columbia and Montour counties can celebrate the day at the Bloomsburg Public Library. There will be costumes, trivia, refreshments and a Death Star Piñata that is slated for destruction later today.
The festivities at the Library run from 10 am - 8pm. For a full list of events, Click Here.
Car Crash - North Center Township
Rescue workers were called out this morning to extract a driver after a crash near the intersection of Harris Road and Ridge Road in North Center Township. The driver, who's name hasn’t been released, said he was unhurt but could not get out of his car. He also told police that a car passing at a high rate of speed, without headlights on, forced him off the road.
Two state lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require Pennslvania’s High School students to have a basic understanding of American history and civics before graduating. It would require that students pass a test on 100 basic facts from the United States Citizenship Civics Test, the test all immigrants have to pass when applying for U.S. Citizenship. State Rep. Karen Boback said national studies have shown that students can’t answer basic questions about the U.S. Government and American history.
If the measure becomes law, all high school students would have to get a minimum score of 60% beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. Nine States have passed similar legislation and 17 others are considering such measures.
When Pennsylvania opened small games of chance to taverns in 2014, it was expected to be a big revenue generator for the state… but only a small fraction - about 50 statewide - have signed up. A complex application process was partly to blame, but other factors were examined by the House Gaming Oversight Committee. Mike Filbin of the PA Gaming Alliance says $35,000 weekly payout limits are restrictive. Committee Chairman John Payne also expressed concern about gaming penalties being assessed to an establishment’s liquor license, saying the two issues are and should be considered separate.
Pennsylvania officials say seven child welfare workers have been fired for filing false reports. WHLM’s Tori Gates has the report:
State Hiring Freeze/Governor Wolf
If you are looking for a job in state government, you may have missed your best chance. You should have applied during the hiring freeze Governor Tom Wolf imposed last fall. pennlive.com reports that during that hiring freeze, state job openings were filled at more than double the rate they have been since the freeze was lifted.
He allowed for some exceptions, like the one that allowed a state meteorologist to come on board. as a result of those exceptions, state government hired 1,153 salaried employees and 2,950 wage employees, for a total of 4,103 during the hiring freeze period that went from September 30th to January 8th.
State Senator Scott Wagner (R-York County), who blasted Wolf for hiring so many during the hiring freeze said the state shouldn’t immediately be hiring another person for every single person who retires.
Selinsgrove Football Player
Ryan Keiser of Selinsgrove is getting a chance to play professional football. After an injury shortened his senior year at Penn State in 2014 - he will have an opportunity with the Baltimore Ravens.
Keiser will be at the Ravens rookie minicamp next weekend. He is a defensive back and made 11 career starts before he got injured, and was selected Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District as well as on the Academic All-America ballot. He was Penn State’s Big Ten Sportsmanship award winner as a senior.
The Bloomsburg University softball team has swept major awards in the PSAC Central. Taylor Parker has been named the Athlete of the year; Taylor Winkleman is the freshman of the year; and Susan Kocher is the coach of the year. Tomorrow the Huskies open the NCAA Atlantic Region One by taking on California at noon in Buckhannon, West Virginia.
Bloomsburg 3 Muncy 0
Southern Columbia 12 Lewisburg 2
Tunkhannock 8 Berwick 6
The Phillies 1 the Saint Louis Cardinals 0, that series continues tonight with an 8:15 start. Coverage on the WHLM stations begins with the pregame show at 7:40.
Chicago Cubs 7 Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Atlanta Braves 3 New York Mets 0
Baltimore Orioles 4 Yankees 1
Miami Heat 102 the Toronto Raptors 96 in overtime
the Golden State Warriors 110 the Portland Trailblazers 99 ….Golden State leads that series 2 games to none.