2012-09-07 06:18:00 by Mark Williams / News Director
The Bloomsburg – based United Way of Columbia County kicked off their annual fall fund raising effort Wednesday. A year ago... the organization raised just over $543,000 dollars despite massive flooding... a questionable economy and the closing of the R-R Donnelley Corporation. Executive Director John Thomas says the annual capital campaign partially or fully funds 15 non – profit agencies here in Columbia County.
A Bloomsburg man has died of burns suffered at his Summit Avenue home last week. 82 – year old Laszlo Balla died early Thursday at the Lehigh Valley Medical Center after a propane tank caught fire in his workshop... allowing his clothing to catch fire. Mr. Balla was first rushed to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for initial treatment... then flown to Lehigh Valley's burn center.
Still no word as to what started a three – alarm fire late Wednesday night which destroyed four empty apartment buildings in Shamokin... so investigators have listed it as undetermined. The building is at the corner of Sunbury and Shamokin Streets. The three alarm blaze began Wednesday night around 10 O'clock. Investigators spent Thursday sifting through the building.... filling evidence boxes for closer examination. The building has been empty since 2005... and there wasn't any electricity running into the building.
State Police personnel spend about an hour on Thursday along Route 11 in Northumberland County... looking for evidence in the Frank Spencer murder case. They used metal detectors and sticks to comb the side of the road. The 46 – year old Spencer was murdered in June... just inside the doorway... at his home on Fairview Drive in Hemlock Township. Investigators refused to say what they were looking for.
If you live in Bloomsburg.... and you have a lot of old and unwanted papers around the house... and you don't know what to do with them... the Town of Bloomsburg's recycling center is offering to... in their word's... “Shred it” on Saturday. Town Environmental Coordinator Charles Fritz says no one working the industrial strength shredder sees the materials before they're destroyed. “Shred It” day takes place Saturday at the Town's recycling center on Patterson Drive... off of Old Berwick Road.
Flood / Red Cross
It's not an easy task... heading into disaster area's... setting up shelters and trying to feed people. But that's what the American Red Cross does week in and week out. We all witnessed it a year ago when Tropical Storm Lee paid a visit to the Susquehanna Valley... and just two weeks ago when Hurricane Issac slammed the gulf coast. Rita Inklovich of the Bloomsburg Chapter of the American Red Cross says it takes money to run relief operations. Those relief efforts continue in the Gulf and the Midwest as the result of Isaac.
A Wilkes – Barre man has made a plea deal in a murder case... sending him to prison for a maximum of 40 – years. The deal for 46 - year old Stanley Davis stems from the murder of Carlotta Springer – Howard in her Sterling Avenue home late last year. The pair were arguing... when Davis grabbed a shotgun and shot Springer – Howard in front of her 18 – year old son. The plea deal was reached with the approval of the dead woman's family.
It appears the September 10th trial of Hugo Selenski may be placed on hold. Selenski's lawyers telling the judge hearing the case... they would take a last minute, double jeopardy challenge to the state supreme court. Selinski is accused of murdering pharmacist Michael Kerkowski... and his girlfriend Tammy Fassett ten years ago... then burying their remains in his back yard.
Hazleton Area Accident
A 20 – year old Drums man is recovering from critical injuries suffered Thursday afternoon when his motorcycle collided with the side of a car... north of Hazleton. Authorities say the accident happened on Route 309... near Foothills Drive in Butler Township when Matthew Kaschak collided with the side of a car driven by 78 – year old Lillian Curry of Sugarloaf Township. Police say the woman was pulling out of a private driveway. The Curry woman was injured and taken to a Hazleton hospital for treatment.
Columbia County Recognized
Columbia County government was recognized Thursday as having achieved StormReady status. Bruce Budd... a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College made a presentation during the County Commission meeting Wednesday to the three commissioners and the Department of Public Safety. The StormReady program mandates county's to take a proactive approach to improving hazardous weather operations and public awareness.
State Police at Milton say a 78 – year old man... who lives in West Chillisquaque Township has become a victim of a scam... costing Ralph Guffey $7,000. Police say someone convinced Guffey to get money orders... then send them overseas. In return... the scammer said Guffey would receive a large amount of money. But... he never received anything. Police are remind folks... especially the elderly... to beware of scammers working the phones... and offering things that may be too good to be true.
Three area high school football teams played their home openers Friday night. The Bulldogs of Berwick beat Pottsville 41-0 in the first meeting of the schools since 2004. Bloomsburg was at home to defeat Hughesville 41-14 in our game of the week. Southern Columbia beat Montgomery 55-3, Danville beat Loyalsock 20-6, and Central Columbia was at home to beat Montoursville 27-17. Listen to all the details from the night's action in the WHLM Friday Night Football Update:
Saturday afternoon, Columbia Montour Vo Tech is at home against Nanticoke.
Bloomsburg U Football
In college football Saturday, Bloomsburg University plays its home opener as the Huskies take on Edinboro in a 1 o'clock start. Coverage on the WHLM stations begin at 11 O'clock with The Husky Tailgate Show.
Other College Football
In college football from Wednesday night... the Cincinnati Bearcats defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers 34 to 10.