No Blizzard help

The federal government has declined a second request for disaster funds for the blizzard that hit northeastern and central Pennsylvania in March. Governor Tom Wolf made the announcement in a tweet yesterday afternoon.

Weis Market Incident

Four people are lifeless in a incident at a supermarket in Wyoming County. State troopers responded to Weis Market in Easton Township just before one o’clock this morning. Three men and one woman passed away when authorities say 24-year-old Randy Stair of Dallas, opened fire on co-workers. The victims are identified as Terry Sterling of South Montrose, Victoria Brong of Factoryville and Brian Hayes of Springville. The market was not open at the time.

Cyber Charter Schools

State lawmakers are looking to make a change to the amount of tax dollars that go to cyber charter schools. The new legislation was introduced this week and would cap the amount cyber charters receive from their school districts per student so that the districts would pay the same as they spend for their own cyber programs. Lawmakers say the plan could save taxpayers close to 300-million dollars.

Blaze in Monroe County

It appears an AC unit is the blame for a fire yesterday afternoon. It left a business and apartments damaged.
It happened in one part of the Poconos, according to WNEP TV. Two people were at home when the fire broke out, but managed to get out safely. The building is owned by Weir Lake Development Company.
Some workers from the lower level suffererd smoke and water damage.

State Grant Money

State grant money is being put to work in Schuylkill County. The money was awarded to the county to tear down blighted properties. The former American Legion building on East Sunbury Street in Minersville was razed by cranes yesterday. The site will be used as a park honoring the sacrifices of the state’s military vets.

To The Races

Rain didn’t stop the faithful fans of the 44th annual Pottsville Area Soap Box Derby from coming out to watch the racers speed down Laurel Boulevard. The race was supposed to start at 9 a.m., but was delayed until 10:45, due to the rain. Laurel Boulevard was closed from Seventh to Second Street for the event. 28 stock racers and 14 superstock racers participated. Children ages 7 to 13 competed in the stock division, while children ages 9 to 18 were eligible for superstock. The divisions are determined by size and weight. Bradeyn Ditzler, 11, of Port Carbon, won the stock division in a car sponsored by Fast Freddy’s Sub Shop. In the finals, he defeated Keera Brennan, 11, of Minersville. It was a repeat victory for Ditzler, who took the win in the superstock division last year.

Area House Fire

One family is out of their home after an early morning fire broke out in Schuylkill County. The first alarm was called around 1 a.m. Sunday along Center Avenue in Schuykill Haven. Everyone was able to get out safely without injury, however the home did sustain damage. The home located next door was also damaged in the flames. Investigators are still searching for the cause of the fire.

Buggy School

A high school in Carbon County alerted parents and students Friday afternoon of bird mites in the building. Lehighton Area High School tweeted out about the discovery, assuring families they contacted a pest control firm and were working to assess and evaluate the situation. Sources describe bird mites as parasites that are found near nesting birds, known to adapt from baby birds over to pets or humans. The mites are said to be very active during evening hours, known to multiply very quickly and be extremely difficult to eradicate once infested in a home or building.

Real ID Deadline Approaches

The Pennsylvania Legislature is pushing against a deadline set by the federal government to comply with new standards for more secure drivers’ licenses. In January, the state was given an extension until June 6, after Governor, Wolf and legislative leaders promised to come up with a plan to comply with the federal REAL ID law. Officials at the state Department of Transportation warn that a measure on deck in the state House falls short of fully complying. Act 38 is a law that bars the Department of Transportation from participating in the federal REAL ID program. At the time, lawmakers in Pennsylvania and many other states resisted federal law over concerns about privacy and the states’ costs of having the Department of Transportation make the changes to satisfy it. Since then, the resistance has been worn down in much of the country as privacy concerns have faded and the implications of not complying have become clearer.

Delong Insurance Update

A Mahoning Township supervisor has predicted the case to halt health insurance benefits for former township secretary-treasurer Christine Delong will likely drag on for up to a year. Supervisor T.S. Scott said DeLong’s attorney has filed objections to the township’s lawsuit, which seeks to not only end the township’s obligation to cover DeLong’s health insurance, but also requests the return of the $9,276 the township has paid for those benefits since the secretary, who also is a former supervisor, retired in July 2015. Those benefits amount to about $1,082 per month. DeLong believes she was entitled to early retirement health insurance benefits, claiming the board of auditors voted to approve them for her in January 2015. DeLong was 57 when she resigned as of July 15. She was secretary-treasurer for more than 20 years and simultaneously served as a supervisor for 18 years before losing to Bill Lynn in the 2015 primary.