House speaker links liquor overhaul to new taxes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House says his members won’t vote for any sort of tax increase without privatization of the state liquor system, and that lawmakers may eventually override the Democratic governor’s vetoes. Speaker Mike Turzai said a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon Monday that recent budget talks have amounted to “constructive dialogue” but negotiations have been around the edges rather than at the heart of their disputes. Pennsylvania is about four weeks into the new fiscal year with talks at a stalemate. Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the budget, liquor privatization and pension cuts that were passed by Republicans without a single Democratic lawmaker’s vote. Wolf wants billions to close…

Falling plaster injures one at Penn State

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Penn State officials say a section of plaster fell in an auditorium during a program for prospective engineering students, injuring at least one person. Officials say about 500 people were in Schwab Auditorium at the central Pennsylvania University when the 2-foot-by-8-foot section fell from an overhanging balcony shortly before 11:30 a.m. Monday. The university says about half the debris fell into a center aisle and some fell on several seats. The Centre Daily Times reported that one person was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment of a minor cut on the head. Officials say another person was evaluated at the scene by emergency medical technicians. The program was…

Upgrades coming to busy Northumberland roadways

NORTHUMBERLAND — PennDOT is planning upgrades for some busy roads in Northumberland. Duke and Kings Streets as well as Water and South Front Streets are scheduled for improvements and repair beginning in 2017. The intersections of Route 11 at Duke and Water will also be upgraded as part of the two-season project.   Dave Thompson from PennDOT says a public meeting is scheduled for August 5 to answer questions and provide information on the project. The meeting will be from 6-8pm at the Northumberland borough office at 175 Orange Street. (Jennifer Wakeman)

Lewisburg Sprint Triathlon coming Aug. 8th

Ten years for Lewisburg’s Sprint Triathlon LEWISBURG –  Swimming, running and biking enthusiasts will take to the streets of Lewisburg in August for the 10th annual Lewisburg Sprint Triathlon. The Triathlon for Kids is Friday August 7 and the adult triathlon is Saturday August 8.  Organizer Tara Michaels tells us there are still spots open for both events and they are a big draw for the Lewisburg community.   Michaels said, “The adult tri has been around for 10 years and the kids tri has been around for nine.  It’s been around our town for a long time and brings in a lot of people from, really, all over the country.  We’ve had people from…

Double dose of duckling rescues in Union County

LEWISBURG — Police and firefighters in Lewisburg had their hands full at an animal rescue Sunday night. Buffalo Valley Regional police officers and personnel from William Cameron Engine Company rescued nine ducklings that fell through a grate over a storm drain on Fairground Road…twice. J.R. Erdley of the William Cameron Engine Company tells WKOK that the ducklings were reunited with their mother after their first rescue. She promptly led her brood across yet another grate and the smaller babies fell through and had to be rescued again. At last report, the ducklings and their mother were seen heading toward the pond near the East Buffalo Township Municipal Building.  (Jennifer Wakeman)

Arway addresses ailing Susquehanna River

WILLIAMSPORT – WKOK recently spoke with John Arway, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission about the ‘State of the Susquehanna River. He says the overall health of the fish in the Susquehanna continues to decline. Smallmouth bass are particularly affected.   “It’s the bass that are in the Susquehanna that have a high incidence of sores and lesions, the young bass. They’ve been that way ever since 2005 and we’re not really seeing a positive change.”   To begin to try to curb this disturbing trend, the Fish and Boat commission recently launched its Save Our Susquehanna campaign—or SOS. SOS aims to garner funds to aid both public education on the river’s…

Lewisburg man dies following Friday motorcycle crash

MILTON – A Lewisburg man who was involved in a motorcycle crash on Friday has died.  State police say 72-year-old Carroll Reese succumbed to his injuries at Geisinger Medical Center on Sunday.  He had been listed in critical condition.   Reese was riding a motorcycle on Route 147 in Turbot Township and was trying to get off the road when he was struck by a vehicle driven by 80-year-old Richard Crittenden of Northumberland.   Another motorcyclist, 66-year-old Steven Ayers of Milton, was also struck and was treated and released from Geisinger.  State Police say Reese quickly changed lanes and pulled in front of Crittenden, who couldn’t avoid hitting him.  (Ali Stevens)    

Selinsgrove woman found safe following search

SELINSGROVE – State police used a helicopter and ground volunteers to help locate a Selinsgrove woman who was missing for several hours Sunday.  Troopers were notified that 63-year-old Trudy Conrad was missing from her home and was “at risk” with health problems.   She was last seen on Yale Drive in Penn Township near the Selinsgrove Speedway around noon Sunday and wasn’t found until 8:25 p.m. A helicopter circled the Selinsgrove area for several hours.  When Conrad was found, she was said to be in good condition, but was taken to a local hospital for observation.   State Police were assisted by Shamokin Dam, Hummels Wharf, Kratzerville and  Selinsgrove Fire Departments and Northumberland County sent…

Themed train rides during Sunbury River Festival

SUNBURY – All Aboard!  Tickets are now on sale for the themed train rides that will take place during the Sunbury River Festival on August 15.  Veterans can ride free at 9am and then the character rides will follow. Slade Shreck, Sunbury River Festival Co-chair, “We have a veterans’ ride with veteran vehicles, then they are going to join the car cruise-in. We’re going to have a princes and princess train ride and a Dr. Seuss train ride.” At 11am, there will be a train ride with the ‘princes and princesses’ and at  1pm, a train ride with Dr. Seuss characters. Ellen Boyer and the Shikellamy Theatre Department is providing the costumes and characters. All…

State budget standoff threatens social services

SUNBURY – Social service agencies are on the front lines of the budget battle in Harrisburg. Representative Fred Keller (R-85th, Kreamer) says funding for these agencies will likely dry up if there isn’t a budget agreement soon.   “The first people that will run out of money here at the end of this month or the beginning of August will be the rape crisis and domestic violence centers.”   Keller says much of the budget Governor Wolf vetoed matched up with the Governor’s proposals.   “The thing that’s not getting out is that we funded two-thirds, more than two-thirds, of the items that the Governor wanted with at least as much money as he wanted. In…