9 HOMELESS FOLLOWING CITY FIRE

Fire struck in one side of a Williamsport double house yesterday leaving all nine in both sides temporarily homeless.  Fire broke out in the kitchen at 328 Locust Street occupied by Erica Wagner, Charles Johnson and a four year old child around 1:15pm yesterday.  Everyone who was inside the home at the time was able to make it out. Firefighters arrived and had the fire out within minutes but not before it caused extensive damage to the kitchen and the dining room.  Power was shut off to the property and the place condemned leaving the 3 occupants on one side, and six on the other side homeless.  No one was hurt, damage estimated at around $25,000 dollars and the cause said to be careless cooking.

FIRE STRIKES AT LOCAL HOTEL

A local hotel was evacuated yesterday morning when fire broke out in a dryer there.  Firefighters were called out around 11am to the Econo Lodge at 2019 East Third Street for the reported dryer fire.  An employee was able to notify other employees and keep the fire at bay with a portable extinguisher until firefighters arrived, who made quick work.  Anyone in the hotel at the time were evacuated and there were no injuries. Damage was kept to the dryer and guests were allowed back in their rooms once the fire was out and the danger passed.

TEACHER FURLOUGHS POSSIBLE

Teacher furloghs are being considered in the Jersey Shore School District in order to help make up a budget deficit of over $1.4 million dollars for the 2018-2019 school year.  The furloughs were outlined at last night’s Jersey Shore School Board meeting and in all some 9 to 10 teachers could lose their jobs saving the district about $854,000 dollars.  Other budget cuts have been made from various departments totaling over $140,000 dollars.  The board is expected to vote on the teacher furloughs at their May 21st meeting. 

SENTENCING FOR MOTHER ACCUSED OF STARVING BABY

The mother of an at the time, 3 month old child who was found to be malnourished and taken into emergency custody has been sentenced for her part in starving the child.  Marissa Smith was arrested along with Justin Lawrence at their Jersey Shore home last March after the baby continuously lost weight despite doctor’s advice that should have helped.  Smith this week was sentenced to 12 to 24 months in county prison, less one day and given credit for 53 days already served.  Lawrence  had already been sentenced to 9 to 24 months for his part.

BLOOMSBURG’S MAYOR RESIGNS

The mayor of Bloomsburg has resigned his position amidst allegations he patronized prostitution.  36 year old Eric Bower reportedly showed up at the door of a woman last month with $200 dollars and condoms allegedly looking for sex.  That woman was a state police confidential informant and he was taken into custody by police and charged.  Bower had said the woman was a friend.  He gave up his right to a hearing yesterday and resigned as mayor and town constable.  The case is being prosecuted by the State Attorney General’s office.

MIFFLINBURG POLICE INVESTIGATING THEFTS

Mifflinburg police are investigating numerous incidents of theft in the borough which have happened in the last week.  During the daytime hours, someone is entering unlocked and unsecured sheds and garages and taking power equipment, amongst them, two push mowers reported stolen.  Mifflinburg police are reminding residents to lock doors and secure their property and are asking anyone with information ot give them a call at 570-966-1027.   In addition, they are asking any residences and businesses with outdoor surveillance footage, willing to share it to contact officer Fetterman. 

CHARTER COMMISSOIN HAS RECOMMENDATION

During their meeting this week, the elected Williamsport Charter Commission came to a consensus that they will draft a preliminary recommendation to convert city government to a council-manager system.  That draft is expected to be done by the Commission’s next meeting on June 6th. A Council-Manager system would mean council is elected by city voters and a mayor could either be elected by the voters or by council, but would be mostly ceremonious instead of overseeing day to day operations. That would be up to a city manager hired by and overseen by council.  Ultimately it will be up to city voters in the fall to decide what form of government they would like. 

MAN CHARGED WITH STRANGULATION

Watsontown police have arrested a man following a domestic disturbance there on Monday night.  Police say 28 year old Cody Gemberling committed an assault during the disturbance at a residence on Main Street.  He was charged with  a felony count of strangulation as well as terroristic threats and simple assault and was jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail. Police have not identified the victim.

COMPANY WANT TO GROW MEDICAL MARIJUANA

A Massachusetts company which operated a medical marijuana dispensary in their home state was trying to apply for a license to grow and dispense it in Snyder County.  INSA wants to build a 50,000 square foot medical marijuana growing and processing facility on the Old Susquehanna Trail in Shamokin Dam.  The facility could bring with it anywhere from 30 to 100 jobs.  The deadline to apply was yesterday.  It was INSA’s second attempt to apply.