Barletta Comes Through
Congressman Lou Barletta has announced that local fire departments in Bloomsburg and Aristes have received federal grants to help with recruitment and personal protection equipment. The Bloomsburg Fire Department will receive a grant of $131,500 from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. Aristes Fire Company #1 will receive $42,072 from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. Bloomsburg’s grant will aid in recruiting efforts for additional firefighters, while the Aristes grant will purchase personal protection equipment, such as helmets, eye protection, and turnout gear. Both grants are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the Department of Homeland Security.
The word “strike” has been in the air at 14 – run schools of high learning... including Bloomsburg University. In Bloomsburg Thursday... state Chancellor Frank Brogan... says he wants to see the university professors fairly compensated for the work they do. Meantime... the State System has presented to the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties a proposal that would provide a cash payment to all full-time permanent and temporary faculty this year.... and raises in each of the following two years—all contingent on cost savings.
It was move in day Thursday for the students who plan to live at Elwell Hall on the Bloomsburg Univeristy campus. There to greet them was Pedro Rivera... the commonwealth's secretary of education.
But what do you get out of this. Moving in take place Friday at other dormitory's on the BU campus.
A 75 – year old Berwick man.. arrested earlier this year for sexual offenses involving a juvenile... has once again been arrested by borough police. Jack Wall was charged with indecent assault and the corruption of minors. Wall was arraigned... with bail set at $25,000 in both cases. He did not post bail... so he was sent to the Columbia County Prison.
Following hearings across the state dealing with opioids and drug abuse... a series of bills to await legislators when they arrive in Harrisburg for special session. For Columbia County lawmaker David Millard... the special session can't arrive soon enough. Drug abuse and the use of opioids ranks up there as a major problem in PA.
Prescription Drug Monitoring
Pennsylvania has joined most other states by launching its prescription drug monitoring program Thursday. State officials say the program gives medical practitioners another resource to make life right for their patients... and curb the state's opioid addiction plague. Those with the power to write a prescription can now check their patient's history in a database... before writing another prescription for powerful drugs. Prescribers that fail to use the new system may face licensing sanctions by the PA Department of State.
An audit of the state Department of Education has found the process appealing charter school payments is unclear. The report from Auditor General Eugene DePasquale centers on what happens when a school district rejects a charter school's funding request. It's appealed to the state Department of Education, a process DePasquale refers to as confusing and nonsensical. The audit shows 82 percent of school district appeals from the last five years, totaling 3-point-5 million dollars, still listed as unresolved as of last December.
Children's Health Insurance
The state's website for the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, has gotten a bit of a facelift. Chip covers PA kids dot com now features a coverage map to show eligible families which insurance providers are available county by county. The new site also prominently links to social media, which the Department of Human Services hopes will give people easier access to useful information. And the site is now responsive... so it will be more convenient to use on mobile devices.
An investigation is underway into a fire in some row homes in Ashland Thursday afternoon. The blaze started around 1 PM on Center Street. 10 fire companies were called in to battle the fire that investigators say started on a mattress on the second floor of this home. The fire was intense, in part, because it was spreading quickly, but also because it was spreading to the home of the Ashland fire chief right next door. 14 people will now need new places to stay. Most had insurance and are being helped out by the Red Cross.
A landlord has been arrested in Luzerne County for allegedly taking rent and a security deposit for an apartment that was condemned almost two years ago. Margarita Murarescu of West Hazleton was charged Thursday with theft and receiving stolen property. Court papers show she took $1,400 from two people who planned to move into the apartment in early August on North Broad Street in West Hazleton. The building was condemned in October of 2014.
An Orangeville woman remains in critical condition after a one-car accident in northern Columbia County. 36-year-old Megan Long was traveling south on Route 42 on August 12th in Pine Township.
State police say the SUV she was driving drifted off the roadway, struck a culvert, and rolled several times. Long was ejected from the vehicle and taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced this week the launch of a new website where you can read data about the state government. The site is called OpenDataPA. Wolf said the site was created to promote more transparency in state government. The site includes information on job creation, school performance, and infrastructure projects.