Berwick Man Jailed
Police in Florida arrested a man in connection with a homicide in Berwick. The United States Marshals Service arresting 19 – year old Michael Crimi on Thursday in Port Orange, Florida. A Marshal Service spokesperson said the Berwick Police Department had an arrest warrant out for Crimi earlier this week charging him with criminal homicide, aggravated assault and other related charges. The warrant comes after Berwick police responded to a call of an unresponsive three-year-old girl on November 25th. Police say the girl suffered multiple injuries to her head and ultimately died a few days later. Crimi is being held in Volusia County until he can be brought back to Columbia County.
The holidays are supposed to be a cheerful time for family and friends... but for some folks it isn't. That's why they turn to faith – based AGAPE on 7th Street in Bloomsburg for food... and toys for the kids. AGAPE's Eileen Chapman says thousands of toys are given away each year to those less fortunate... as well as tons of food for the holiday season.
Demolition crews spent Thursday bringing down what an overnight fire didn't. Where a historic building once stood at Independence and Eighth streets now stands a pile of rubble. Firefighters were called out around 1-30 Thursday morning when flames were seen coming from the building. Shamokin's Mayor said the building was constructed 1901 and has been home to the Masonic Lodge for a number of years.
Rainy Day Fund
If the Wolf Administration's belief that the state will finish the fiscal year with a budget surplus becomes a reality, the Secretary of the Budget says that would bode well for the state's anemic Rainy Day Fund. Secretary of the Budget Randy Albright says the Wolf Administration believes that if the state ends the fiscal year with a surplus that rainy day fund transfer language in the fiscal code be left in place and that 25 percent of any surplus goes into the rainy day fund. A Pew Charitable Trusts report in August found PA could only fund operations for less than a 10th of a day with its anemic rainy day fund.
A chance to have one of the ten mini – casino's across the state has been turned down by Bloomsburg Town Council. It's all due to the passage at the state level of Act 42. At their meeting this week... the council said “no” to the proposal. It's very doubtful that the state would place a mini – casino in the Bloomsburg Town limits. But, if it did... it would feature anywhere up to 750 slot machines and up to 50 table games.
Future State Budgets
Legislation passed at the end of the recent session could change the framework of future state budgets. Six pieces of legislation would mostly come into play during budget impasses. Among them, a call for official revenue estimates when lawmakers enact spending plans for the year, and a requirement for reports allowing legislators to see money that goes into special funds, which are not part of the main budget. Republican leaders say the bills are born out of frustration, as budgets continue to pass without the revenue to back them up. Democratic leaders counter the measures to not get to the root of the problem, which is under funding of state programs.
Spreading Holiday Cheer
Governor Tom Wolf made a pre - Christmas visit to a veterans center to help spread some holiday cheer. The Governor was joined by state Adjutant General Tony Carrelli who heads up the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The two paid a visit to the Southeastern Veterans Center in Chester County, one of six nursing facilities for vets and their families. The Governor thanked the members for their service to the nation, saying it's important to carve out time to celebrate with the veterans who have made it possible for us to celebrate.
The man found guilty of shooting up a Walmart parking lot has been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison. Scott Sargent walked out of his sentencing stone-faced after being convicted of multiple charges, including the attempted murder of five police officers. He was sentenced to 179 to 358 years Thursday morning at the Luzerne County Courthouse following that October 2015 shootout at the Walmart parking lot in Wilkes-Barre Township. Sargent was found guilty on numerous attempted murder charges in October. Meantime... a new aspect to the case... a tattoo on his left forearm of the names of the police officers he set out to kill that day.
Legislation to regulate addiction recovery houses in Pennsylvania is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature. Senate Bill 446, signed in the House and Senate this week, calls for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to establish standards for recovery houses that receive public funds or referrals. Recovery houses, where people live after addiction treatment, would have to be licensed or certified annually. Among other things, the bill requires criminal background checks for operators and employees.
Mohegan Sun Pocono in Plains Township in Luzerne County has been fined $1 million by the state. The casino near Wilkes-Barre must pay $550,000 for failing to follow internal controls to monitor free slot play and the main bank. That is the result of the investigation into three former workers who admitted being part of a half - million dollar scheme to duplicate player cards and cash out money for free slot play. Mohegan Sun Pocono is also being fine $450,000 for doing business with unlicensed gaming service providers.
State police say the man seen on security camera pictures stole $100,000 from a business in Schuylkill County. Troopers say over the weekend, the man broke a window to get into Weiner (weener) Iron and Metal Company near Schuylkill Haven. Investigators say once he got inside, he crawled on the floor to avoid motion detectors, took apart the security alarm panel, and used a pry bar to get into the vault where the cash was kept. Anyone with information about the crime or the suspect should call state police at Frackville.