There is a drug problem in Columbia County. That word from Coroner Jeremy Reese... attending a drug forum at the Central High School Monday night... but 2017 was promising... with only 16 deaths. But, 2018 isn't starting off so well.... so says coroner Reese. One other drug forum will take place next week at the Millville High School.... and then a month later, in April, at the Benton High School. They're being hosted by State Representative David Millard.
The state unveiled a new effort Monday in the fight against Heroin and Opioid oversodes. It's called the "Overdose Information Network" - or ODIN - a centralized database for all available stats on overdoses, Naloxone doses administered and other key information that could help law enforcement. The information will also be used to assist health officials in deciding the best areas to direct their resources. ODIN was born out of a joint effort by the State Police and the Liberty Mid-Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area initiative.
In a boost to the Democratic Party’s chances of winning back the U.S. Congress this year, both the U.S. Supreme Court and a Pennsylvania panel of federal judges on Monday rejected Republicans’ efforts to block the state’s new congressional district map from taking effect. The twin rulings, which ensure November’s midterm elections in Pennsylvania will be contested using the new boundaries, were announced just 24 hours before candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives must file petitions to secure spots on ballots. In a 5-2 vote in January along party lines, the Democratic-majority state Supreme Court ruled the Republican-controlled legislature designed the old boundaries to hurt Democratic voters, violating their constitutional rights. Independent political analysts have said the new map will boost Democratic chances in one-third of the state’s 18 seats.
Animal Resource Center
Legislation to be introduced in both the state Senate and House seek to make "puppy mills" a thing of the past in Pennsylvania. That's good news from Animal Resource Center Executive Director Linda Bird. The bill would prohibit the commerical sale of dogs, cats and rabbits unless they came from the Humane Society... the SPCA or a similar type of rescue shelter. No word when the bill faces a vote.
Elysburg Industrial Accident
A worker had to be flown to the hospital after he got his arm caught in a machine at a factory in Northumberland County. Police say it happened Monday morning at The Toy Factory on Industrial Park Road near Elysburg. The place in Northumberland County makes stuffed animals. The incident is under investigation. There is no word how the man's arm got caught.
America’s oldest brewery is introducing a new beer to its line – up. The latest brew from Pottsville-based D.G. Yuengling and Sons, Inc. is called Golden Pilsner. The beer will initially be released in select markets in the first week of April, The Pottsville Republican-Herald reports. Those markets include Schuylkill County and the Harrisburg area in Pennsylvania; Virginia Beach and Cleveland as well as Rhode Island; Georgia; and select markets in Florida. This is Yuengling’s first new year-round beer in 17 years.
Build out of Internet
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration says it’s making $35 million available to encourage telecommunications companies extend high-speed internet service to areas that lack it. The Wolf administration said Monday that it is hoping to expand broadband internet to every part of Pennsylvania by the end of 2022. The administration wants to make the incentives available ahead of a Federal Communications Commission auction that subsidizes the build-out of broadband internet to unserved areas. The FCC says about 800,000 Pennsylvania residents lack access to high-speed internet access, including one in five people living in rural areas.
Seven people are out of their home after a fire in Schuylkill County. The fire chief tells our media partner Newswatch 16 the flames started on the third floor of a rowhome on West Norwegian Street in Pottsville around 7 p.m. Monday. Seven people live there, only five were home at the time. Everyone got out safely including a dog. The Red Cross is helping the fire victims. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Schuylkill Haven Stabbings
A 24 – year old man from Cressona is in trouble with the law. Roy Hogan is is charged with attempted homicide for stabbing three people in Schuylkill Haven. Police said Hogan broke into his ex - girlfriend's home on Orchard Avenue and stabbed three people while they were sleeping and then ran away from the scene. All three were taken to the hospital where they're expected to be okay. Police caught Hogan in the neighborhood. In addition to the attempted homicide charge, Hogan is also charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and burglary.
A Roman Catholic church in Schuylkill County will be closing soon. The announcement came at Masses over the weekend: after 150 years, St. Jerome's Church in Tamaqua is closing. Back in 2014, St. Jerome and SS. Peter and Paul Churches in Tamaqua combined into one parish, St. John XXIII (23rd) with two churches. The church's pastor says his members shouldn't worry because they will still be able to attend their normal services. All services will be moved to St Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Tamaqua beginning May 20th.