Former Benton Woman Murdered
A former Benton woman is dead... allegedly shot to death by her ex – husband during a church service in Coudersport on Sunday. CoudyNews.com is reporting 52 – year old Greg Eldred... fired two shots from a handgun... killing his ex – wife 53 – year old Darlene Sitler... as she played the organ during a church service. Sitler was a long time music teacher at Northern Potter School. Her ex – husband is an elementary Music teacher in the Coudersport School District. The pair were married for 20 – years... going their separate ways two years ago. Thurs far... no motive has been established for the murder.
Montour Dog Death
A Montour County woman could be jailed up to five years and fined 10 – thousand dollars... after she pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a Labrador Retriever last January. Suzanne Thomas admitted to putting the one and a half year old dog down after the animal allegedly killed one of her pet rabbits.
But owner James White says it didn't make sense... since the Lab was close to his kids and pets. Thomas will be sentenced at a later date.
Drugs / Leipold
It's a cat and mouse game played by the folks who manufacture so – called designer drugs... such as Bath Salts. Nearly two years ago... then Columbia County District Attorney Gary Norton had their sale outlawed... but current D-A... Tom Leipold... says the ruling has become a big game for drug chemists who keep changing the formula of the drug. DA Leipold said every time the law is changed to combat designer drugs... the chemists involved simply change their formula to circumvent the new legislation.
We all dodged a bullet last week when we got a light dusting of snow.... a prelude of what may happen this winter. Many of us are prepared for anything Mother Nature may toss our way.... but is PennDOT ?? You bet... so says the agency's David Thompson who said District 3, which makes up Columbia and Montour Counties has 220 plow trucks... 481 full time personnal and tons of salt and anti – skid material. And since last winter was so mild.... PennDOT's Thompson says the agency has saved millions of dollars... rolling that money over to the 2012 – 2013 winter season.
They keep hammering away at it.... Bloomsburg Town Council... trying to reach a 2013 budget. Despite numerous meeting's.... council is an estimated $300,000 short when it comes to expenditures verses income. But during a recent interview... Mayor Dan Knorr says it all comes down to raw material to make the town work. Already... council has turned down a request for an additional police officer... but has agreed to fill one of two vacancies in the public works department. Council holds a budget session Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 at Town Hall.
People are hurting in Columbia County... and don't have the resources to make ends meet. That word from Lt. Kevin Polito of the Berwick Salvation Army. 160 families were helped during Thanksgiving, but now they're looking to serve an estimated 500 families in Berwick and Bloomsburg during the Christmas holiday. For their part... Lt. Polito says there is generous giving from the community... as well as the Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle campaign.
Eleven people are waking up elsewhere this morning after they were forced out of their Hazleton apartments Sunday morning.
The fire on North Cedar near Green Streets was discovered coming from the attic eaves at midday... forcing eight adults and three kids out into the street.
One child was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation... while a fireman sustained cuts from glass.
The cause of the fire is under investigation... with a state fire marshal expected back on the scene later today.
State police at Hazleton are continuing their investigation into the theft of three, 55 inch televisions.It happened at the Wal-Mart in Hazle Township last month when two men strolled into the store... grabbed a cart... and wheeled the large TV through the front door to a waiting pick up truck.Investigators have surveillance video of the theft and are trying to identify the men.
At one time anthracite coal used to rule the roost in Northeastern PA... with men working in the deep mines... providing fuel to heat homes. Now... the business is gone... and so will be the coal miners compensation office in Wilkes – Barre by the end of February. The state saying there isn't enough business to keep it open to take care of former miners suffering from “Black Lung” disease. It will now all be handled by phone in an office near Pittsburgh.
A PennDOT maintenance crew in Columbia County will be busy this week... sealing cracks along sections of Route 11. An agency spokesman says the crew will seal pavement cracks along the north and southbound lanes in Scott and South Centre townships, starting near Bloomsburg and continuing to the Briar Creek Township line. Traffic patterns will switch daily... with traffic shifted into the center turning lane throughout each day. The work is expected to be wrapped up by Friday.
Older Pennsylvanians are reminded that the deadline for Medicare annual enrollment is this Friday. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging says individuals are urged to utilize the state Department's APPRISE program to determine a Medicare health plan that works for them. The APPRISE program has trained volunteers who work through the local Area Agencies on Aging. They deal with questions and concerns of older adults and provide clear and concise information to help choose the right Medicare health or prescription plan.