The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation intends to reopen Route 11/15 to traffic between Interstate 81 in East Pennsboro Township in Cumberland County and the Borough of Marysville in Perry County. This portion of Route 11/15 has been closed to all traffic since the night of May 1 for a rock slope safety improvement project. The closure was originally expected to continue until no later than July 30, but the contractor for the project – J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pennsylvania – is ahead of schedule and able to reopen the road today. The project is not finished, however, and motorists should expect to encounter daytime lane restrictions between 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM and possibly nighttime lane restrictions between 6 PM and 6 AM as the contractor continues to place steel fencing on rock walls that have been built along the road, painting traffic lines, installing pavement markings, and other miscellaneous construction items. The actual contract completion date is in November, but the contractor will wrap up the project long before then – probably by the end of July.
Legislative efforts to combat the Commonwealth's growing problem with heroin and opioid addiction was the topic of discussion among legislators this week. One of the members there was state Representative Kurt Masser of Elysburg... who was effected by the heroin epidemic. Also joining Rep. Masser was the task force and advisory committee on Opioid Prescription Drug Proliferation.
State Lawmakers heard the pros and cons of proposed legislation that would allow families to involuntarily commit a loved one to drug and/or alcohol treatment. The bill's sponsor, State Rep Harry Readshaw, says involuntary commitment to drug and alcohol counseling can be an important tool to help families dealing with a loved one's addiction struggles, but state Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine told the House Humans Services Committee that hospitals are not equipped to deal with a widespread program--that's because they have no locked rooms to forcibly hold overdose patients. Others testified that forced treatment is effective for addicts...
National Debate on Terrorism
The national debate over guns and terrorism found its way into the state House of Representatives Thursday. The House voted down a motion to bring to the floor a bill to ban gun sales to individuals on the federal terror watch list. House Speaker Mike Turzai was forced to cut off debate when House members veered off topic over whether the bill should move forward. Members made reference to the gun issue also before Congress, to the nightclub massacre in Orlando, and one Representative was twice silenced for bringing up the issue of Islamic extremism.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas leaded by hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas production. Allison Cassady is the director for the Center for American Progress... and says there are many companies using solid best practices to reduce methane emissions – but the concern is with those operations that are not. The Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized limits on methane emissions from new sources, and there are calls for the agency to also set standards for wells and equipment already in operation.
Jim Thorpe Fire
Flames damaged a popular restaurant Thursday morning in Jim Thorpe. It started at 2 AM at the Stone Row Eatery on Race Street. The restaurant opened in 2014... and happened on a day when it was their busiest. Many are hoping that the restaurant can rebuild and reopen. Authorities believe the fire was started accidentally, but are not sure yet what exactly caused it and will continue to investigate.
Nanticoke Computer Thefts
Nanticoke police say an estimated $30,000 worth of computers have been stolen from the Great Nanticoke Area High School. The theft happened Wednesday night. Two rooms were broken into. They got away with thirty laptops from each room... as well as a desktop computer. The sixty one computers are valued at $30,100.
Shenandoah Row Homes
A state police fire marshal now says that fire which destroyed row home in Shenandoah was set. More than a dozen row home along North Union and East Center Streets were destroyed. The blaze broke out around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, quickly ripping through those row homes. All were vacant. Investigators pinpointed the location as the rear of the home at 9 North Union Street... which sits in the middle of the row.
Seven Columbia County non – profit organizations have received part of the $450,000 in sustaining grants in order to support their efforts to improve education... develop a future work force and the revitalization communities. More than $94,000 of the funding is being donated to nonprofit organizations in the central Pennsylvania region of Clinton, Lycoming, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union, Snyder and Perry counties. The Foundation’s sustaining grants, ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 each, provide organizations with funding for specific projects or general operating funds.
Police in Plymouth are searching for the man who robbed a Sunoco station on Main Street. The incident went down around 11:30 Wednesday night. Neighbors say the man took off with some cash. Investigators have not said how much the bandit swiped.
A former post officer worker has agreed to plead guilty to taking more than $11,000. Authorities say Lori Regal – Child's took money from the south Williamsport post office between October 2014 until December 2015. The South Williamsport woman making off with the cash to pay for personal bills and expenses.
Berwick Concert Series
A toe – tappin' good time was had by all at last night's Berwick Concert Series. Up for last night's event was the Shoreliners. They provided the music... while the crowd provided the good times. Next week... Stanky and the Coal Miners from Nanticoke. Also in three weeks... Fifth Street will be blocked off between Market and Pine for the annual car show.
Snyder County Fire
A Freeburg man died in a fire which started in the bedroom of his home... along Route 35.. .in Snyder County. The incident happened this week. Investigators say 61 – year old Steven Inch was pronounced dead by the Snyder County coroner. They say the cause was electrical in nature.
Prosecutors want to force pro wrestling star Jimmy Snuka to have mental health treatment now that a judge has ruled he's mentally incompetent to stand trial in the death of his girlfriend in eastern Pennsylvania in 1983. Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach ruled that she didn't believe the 73-year-old wrestler was faking mental infirmity. As a result, the Allentown Morning Call say prosecutors want the judge to force Snuka into outpatient treatment for 60 days to determine whether he can become mentally competent.