We now know the name of an off – duty state trooper killed Wednesday night in Montour Township. Authorities say 27 – year old Royce Engler, Jr. died when he lost control of his custom – made bike... while attempting to negotiate the ramp from Route 11 south to Route 42 leading to Rupert. Engler's bike hit the guardrail... then tumbling over on the highway. Investigators say Engler was not wearing a helmet... and was pronounced dead at the scene due to multiple tramatic injuries. Engler had been a trooper since 2008 and was stationed at Troop N in Hazleton since October of 2011.
Dan Knorr / Campaign
One of the more competitive races for a state house seat this fall is in the 109th District. Incumbent Republican David Millard is facing Democratic challenger Dan Knorr... Bloomsburg's Mayor of four years. Appearing on a recent edition of the WHLM Morning Buzz... Mayor Knorr telling Joe and Norman the situation must change in Harrisburg when it comes to funding programs... and reducing taxes. Meantime... Millard and Knorr will highlight a candidate forum on Thursday, October 4th at the Central Columbia High School on Old Berwick Road.
Main Street Designation
Shop owners in Bloomsburg's downtown area could be in line to receive some cash... if Downtown Bloomsburg, Incorporated's application is accepted by the Pennsylvania Department of Community Development. DBI wants the business district recognized for it's on – going Keystone Community Main Street program. DBI's Adrieene Mael says there are matching grants for facades... as well as for advertising in order to draw shoppers into downtown. The Bloomsburg Town Council this week throwing their support behind DBI in it's quest for the Main Street designation.
Headed out on the highway over the Labor Day holiday... you may encounter a sobriety checkpoint in Montour County. The Pottsville – based North Central Highway Safety Network saying those checkpoints will be established Friday and Saturday. And the Network's Dave Everly says drivers under the influence just don't come out at night... they're spotted more and more during the day... between 7 AM and 12 noon. It's expected to checkpoints will be set up on Route 54 between Interstate 80 and Danville... as well as Route 11... two of the most heavily – traveled highways in Montour County.
An ex – Benton cop will spend the next two to 23 months in the Columbia County prison after pleading guilty to shaking down a farmworker he pulled over two years ago. 40 – year old Christopher Brock of Orangeville pleaded guilty to official oppression and records tampering... with charges of bribery... theft and forgery dropped. The Press – Enterprise is reporting in Thursday's edition, Brock was frustrated with “illegals” and his inability not to do anything about it.
Crime in Hazleton prompted about a hundred people to meet at the Emmanuel Christian School to pray for peace on the streets. The school was the scene of a drive – by shooting last week... and two men are in jail... charged in the beating death of a 29 – year old man who was found nearly dead in the middle of the street earlier this month. One change at the school since the shooting.... the presence of a police officer when classes are dismissed at the end of the day.
For the second time in a week a man staying at MinSec in Hazleton has disappeared. Authorities say 24 – year old James Eugene Rought has failed to return. Rought is at MinSec on forgery charges. He left the facility early Tuesday morning... and has not been seen since. A warrant for arrest has been issued. It was only a week ago a man left to perform community service. He didn't return, but eventually surrendered to Bloomsburg Police last weekend.
For the third consecutive month... there has been an increase in the unemployment rate in northeastern Pennsylvania... including Hazleton. Figures from the state labor department show a 9.3% unemployment rate for July... up .03% from June... and up eight – tenths of a percent during May. Some economists say the unemployment rate has gone up due to the number of people who initially gave up looking for work... are now back... seeking gainful employment.
Construction Site Rescue
It took about three hours Wednesday to rescue the driver of a large construction vehicle that fell into a pit in Conyngham Township... in southern Columbia County. The active mine property is owned by the Blaschak Coal Corporation and is located along Route 61 between Mt. Carmel and Centralia. Published reports say 60 – year old Allan Johnson of Ashland was alert as rescuers pulled him from his truck. Once freed... Johnson was taken to Geisinger Medical Center by Lifeflight where he's being treated for his injuries.
While the Bloomsburg University football team opens the season tomorrow night at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts,eight PSAC teams open Thursday night. Among this evening's openers, defending PSAC champ Kutztown is at home against Saint Anselm College , and West Chester is at Delaware.
High School Football
The area high school football season kicks off Friday night. You can hear a preview of the upcoming season on The Countdown to Kickoff Show. That show begins after Thursday's 5 o'clock news on News Radio 930, 94.7 and 104.3... as well as Berwick's 1280 and WHLM.com.
Despite giving up two home runs in the first two inning's Kyle Kendrick came through as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the New York Mets 3 to 2 Thursday afternoon. Although the Mets took an early lead... the Phils came back in the third, fourth and fifth innings to establish a one run lead. The Phils now travel to Atlanta where they'll face the Braves in a weekend series starting Friday evening. You can all the action following Bloomsburg University football on the WHLM Stations.