2013-02-14 06:19:00 by Mark Williams / News Director
Millard / Pensions
State Representative David Millard has been named chairman of a sub – committee... part of the house appropriations committee... dealing with education funding and what to do with state pension reform. The Mt. Pleasant Township Republican says he and other committee members try and get the best ideas to solve the issue. Millard says pension reform is needed since it costs state taxpayers billions of dollars a year.
As Governor Corbett continues his push to take the state store system private... he says a billion dollars raised from the sale of the stores and liquor licenses would be directed towards his proposed education block grant program. Brian Earley... who heads the Hazleton Area School Board... spoke in support of the program... saying it will help fund the district's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs. State Education Secretary Ton Tomalis says the block grant program is an enrichment that will accelerate a lot of things that are already happening in Pennsylvania education.
Some cruel economic times in near - by Snyder County. The management at the National Beef Company in Hummels Wharf are scrambling these days. They were told recently that Wal – Mart doesn't want the product they produce anymore... and that will toss 70 people out of work by the end of business Friday. Another 80 may be pink slipped by mid – April if new business can't be found.
PSP / Theft
State Police at Bloomsburg are searching for those responsible for a theft from Pennsylvania Aluminum on Route 11 in Briar Creek Borough over the weekend. Investigators say someone removed some aluminum from the property without the permission of the owners. The thieves were tracked by footprints through the snow. The trail ended along Sparrow Drive... close to the business. If you have information about the theft... give state police a call.
PSP / Rocks
State police are looking for someone who threw rocks at a passing motorist this week. 42 – year old Eugene Coolbaugh of Lost Creek... in Schuylkill County... telling troopers he was southbound on State Route 42... near Aristes in Conyngham Township... when someone tossed the rocks... damaging the driver's side window and hood of his KIA. If you have information about the incident... call State Police at the Bloomsburg Barracks.
Mt. Carmel Fire
Still no word as to what caused a fire which destroyed three row homes last night in Mt. Carmel... in Northumberland County. A fire breaking out in one of the homes in the 400 block of Centre Street... before spreading to two other home. No one was injured.... with the three home destroyed. The American Red Cross is helping those affected.
Ninety members of the Pennsylvania National Guard have been placed on State Active Duty to assist with recovery efforts in Connecticut as a result last weekends blizzard. The troops are assisting with closed roadways, motorists trying to retrieve their cars... and transportation of health care professionals to hospitals. They will also assist communities by performing area welfare checks of residents who still may be cut off from power, food, or medical care.
The theft trial of Wilkes – Barre Township Fire Chief John Yuknavich is off for the time being.... halted Wednesday after the trial judge and the lead prosecutor squared off against each other. Judge Joseph Sklarosky accused prosecutor Michael Melnick of continuing to avoid questions about the case.Melnick asking the judge to step down due to having dinner with the defense attorney and a dozen other people. The jury has been dismissed. Yuknavich is accused of writing $11,000 in checks from the fire department account... as well as using the department's credit card for personal use.
The former UGI building in Kingston is being demolished. Fidelity Bank purchased the structure recently... and ordered the building destroyed to make way for more parking... and a better way into the bank. The Wyoming Avenue building has been vacant for at least the past ten years.
New business may soon be headed to Kline Township in Schuylkill County... near Hazleton. Supervisors have given their conditional approval to build a new Dollar General store on Hancock Street. Now... the township planning commission will hold a public hearing to hear from folks living in the area about the pros and cons of building the store.
The Bloomsburg University men's and women's basketball teams played at Shippensburg last night. WHLM's Jim Doyle says the Shippensburg men defeated Bloomsburg 68 – 59... while on the women's side of the ledger... the Bloomsburg women downed Shippensburg 66 – 58. The Huskies next play Saturday afternoon at West Chester.
Girls HS Basketball
In girls high school basketball Wednesday night, in the Heartland Conference semifinals... Danville defeated Mount Carmel in overtime 58 – 53... and Benton downed Shamokin 57 – 50. The championship game will be played Saturday night at Williamsport High School
The Heartland Conference boys semifinals took place at Mifflinburg Thursday night. In the first game, Loyalsock beat Saint John Neuman. The Ironmen of Danville were defeated by Lewisburg in the second game 61-56. You can hear the details with Jim Doyle in the WHLM High School Hoops Report:
In the NBA Wednesday night the Milwaukee Bucks edged the Philadelphia 76er's 94 – 92.