Riverfest Flows Through The Weekend

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She ain’t exactly a thrill ride, and she ain’t always pretty.

And in the past she’s been downright mean.

But the Susquehanna River belongs to the region, and plenty of people love her just the same.

Dozens of them kicked off Riverfest 2014 Friday with a kayak trip, paddling several miles from West Pittston to Nesbitt Park in Wilkes-Barre.

Read more:http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1479470/Riverfest-flows-through-the-weekend

11 State Game Lands In NEPA Have Gas Leases

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Re...

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gas leases on state game lands in Bradford and Susquehanna counties have earned the Pennsylvania Game Commission $32 million in signing bonuses since 2008.

The Game Commission signed leases on 11 parcels of game land in the two counties. No leases have been signed on game lands in Wyoming and Luzerne counties. Royalties vary from 20 to almost 29 percent. Some gas companies are deducting the costs of moving and marketing the gas from royalty payments, the same as they do for private leaseholders.

Mike DiMatteo, who oversees oil and gas development on game lands as chief of the commission’s division of environmental planning and habitat protection, confirmed that gas companies have deducted post-production costs from royalty payments, although never enough to send the Game Commission a royalty statement with a negative balance, as some private landowners have reported.

The practice has drawn anger even from Republicans supportive of the industry, including Gov. Tom Corbett and state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23, Williamsport. Both named Chesapeake Energy Corp. as a major offender.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/11-game-lands-in-nepa-have-gas-leases-1.1679176

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Ku Klux Klan Group Running A Neighborhood Watch Just Across The Susquehanna River Says Its Pa. Membership Is Strong

Map of York County, Pennsylvania, United State...

Map of York County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A white supremacist group sponsoring a neighborhood crime watch just across the Susquehanna River in York County says membership in Pennsylvania is strong.

But the leader of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan declined in an interview with PennLive to provide details of how extensive the group’s network is or who its leaders are because they are “somewhat discriminated against.”

“Members could be the guy who is delivering your pizza. It could be law enforcement from the local sheriff’s office. It could be the nurse taking care of you in the emergency room,” Frank Ancona, the organization’s imperial wizard and president, told PennLive reporter Eric Veronikis.

But Ancona did describe Pennsylvania as a “strong Yankee state” and said the Traditionalist American Knights’ reach includes “greater Pennsylvania,” West Virginia and western New York.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/the-ku-klux-klan-group-running-a-neighborhood-watch-just/article_c4117468-ca2f-11e3-9ecf-001a4bcf6878.html

Enhanced by Zemanta

Lackawanna State Forest To Grow By 3,000 Acres

Locator Map of Lackawanna State Forest, Pennsy...

Locator Map of Lackawanna State Forest, Pennsylvania, United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CONYNGHAM TOWNSHIP, PA — When state Sen. John Yudichak and state Rep. Gerald Mullery were growing up, they used to play in the shadow of the Avondale Mine area and the Plymouth flats.

The two legislators, both 43 and friends since boyhood, are familiar with the landscape that Friday became part of the Enhance Penn’s Woods project — a two-year, more than $200 million initiative launched by Gov. Tom Corbett to repair and improve Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests.

“John and I have the coal chips in our knees to prove it,” Mullery, D-Newport Township, said. “And now we’re here today to preserve and reclaim mine-scarred land so our children and grandchildren will have pristine and maintained natural areas to enjoy.”

At a chilly news conference Friday on the banks of the Susquehanna River, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced the state will add more than 3,000 acres to the Lackawanna State Forest with the acquisition of the Mocanaqua tract in Conyngham, Newport and Slocum townships.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/1299045/Lackawanna-State-Forest-to-grow-by-3000-acres

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wilkes-Barre, Other Pennsylvania River Towns Hit Hard By Flood Insurance Rates

HARRISBURG, PA — Jeff King had put his house in Wilkes-Barre up for sale for $90,000 last year, put off by the city’s struggles with crime and the desire for a better school district for his four children, when he got a surprise: The prospective buyer discovered that her annual flood insurance premium would be $7,015, higher than 12 months of mortgage payments.

Even though President Barack Obama signed a law Friday to ease the sharpest premium increases for policyholders receiving subsidies from the National Flood Insurance Program, King is resigned to never selling the house, which is about a mile-and-a-half from the Susquehanna River. The writing, he said, is on the wall.

“Any educated buyer is going to stay clear from a home in the flood area,” King said.

Across Pennsylvania, with an estimated 86,000 miles of creeks, streams and rivers, the premium increases could deliver a gut punch to the state’s legion of old river cities and towns still struggling to recover from the loss of their industrial core.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/w-b-other-river-towns-hit-hard-by-rates-1.1655882

Enhanced by Zemanta

Philly Firm To Develop PNC Building In Downtown Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA —Floors three to 11 are empty.

That’s what is on the board in the lobby of the downtown PNC Bank Building. It lists the only tenant — PNC Bank — which occupies the first and second floor of the 12-story building.

But if plans go forward, those nine floors of the building at Market and Franklin streets will become market-priced condominiums with views of the Susquehanna River and the River Common park. Some office space will also be created, according to the building’s owner.

Ben Oller, of Oller and Associates of Philadelphia, said Monday his real estate investment company owns the building and is partnering with a local developer to renovate the bank building, following the lead of a similar project at the nearby the former Citizens Bank Building, also Market Street. Oller would not disclose the name of the local development company.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1215383/Philly-firm-to-develop-PNC-building

Enhanced by Zemanta

Land Trust Acquisition To Boost Preservation

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The North Branch Land Trust is about to preserve a 3,000-acre parcel of some of the finest forest land in Pennsylvania.

And, eventually, the goal is to protect an entire mountain ridge and create a protected forest that will run from Mocanaqua north to Crystal Lake and a connection to existing state forest lands.

It will be the North Branch Land Trust’s most significant move in its 21-year history of saving and preserving parcels of varying size. When acquired, the 3,000 acres will boost to 15,000 acres the total land mass preserved via the trust.

One sidelight to the success of the land trust is its support of the trails system being developed in the Delaware and National Heritage Corridor. The land trust is playing a role in extending a trail from Mountain Top to Oliver Mills in Laurel Run Borough and then around the mountain to Northampton Street in Wilkes-Barre Township.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/land-trust-acquisition-to-boost-preservation-1.1619488

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bald Eagles Thriving In Pa., Game Officials Say

Photo of a Bald Eagle taken at the Toledo Zoo.

Photo of a Bald Eagle taken at the Toledo Zoo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – State game officials say the number of bald eagles in the commonwealth has grown dramatically three decades after efforts to restore the population began.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says 252 eagle nests have been confirmed throughout Pennsylvania so far this year, with nesting sites in 56 of the 67 counties.

That represents a big increase from last year’s midyear report, which noted only 206 confirmed nests in 51 counties.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/20130707_ap_ea42d3a5d96c40afb210588e01834b43.html#47HrtTsGBHsx7kiI.99

Wilkes-Barre To Take Precautions In Advance Of Heavy Rains

The logo of the United States National Weather...

The logo of the United States National Weather Service. The source page states that is not an “official” version but it looks very close to the version used on NWS’s website. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mayor Thomas Leighton has met with City officials and emergency services chiefs and announced the following minimum precautionary measures in the areas of Solomon Creek and Hollenback Golf Course in accordance with the storm predictions from the National Weather Service over the next 36 hours.

• The bridge located at Waller and South Franklin Streets will be closing at 5:00 p.m. today.

• The Barney and Regent Street bridges will remain open while weather conditions are monitored throughout the evening hours.

• Police and Fire Departments will monitor creek levels and flood prone areas throughout the storm.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/594188/W-B-to-take-precautions-in-advance-of-heavy-rains

Luzerne County Officials Take Another Look At Gnat Problem

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Luzerne County administration is rethinking plans to cancel participation in a state bug spraying program, sources say.

County management eliminated $75,000 from the 2013 budget for blackfly spraying because the state did not supply documentation showing the program has proven results.  The administration had planned to conduct spraying in-house if problems surfaced.

However, some County Council members and citizens expressed concern about pulling out of the program.

Prior commissioners considered a similar spraying cancellation on the advice of an outside financial recovery consultant in 2010, but they reversed their decision after the state warned the Susquehanna River generates “tremendous numbers of adult gnats that will adversely impact outdoor recreation activities throughout the county.”

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/423374/Officials-take-another-look-at-gnat-problem

Amish Farmer Charged With Killing Young Eagle

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Upper Leacock farmer fed up with birds of prey killing his free-range chickens has been charged with shooting an immature bald eagle.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission charged Paul A. Zook, 28, of the 100 block of Geist Road with two misdemeanors of the state Game and Wildlife Code.

One count is for killing an endangered or threatened species and one count is for unlawful taking and possession of protected birds.

Zook, an Amish farmer, could face up to two years in jail and fines up to $5,000 if found guilty and depending on the feelings of the judge.  In addition, a judge could require Zook to pay up to $5,000 to “replace” the eagle.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/806328_Amish-farmer-charged-with-killing-young-Eagle.html#ixzz2Ika5B9Sh

One Dead, Thousands Without Power; Roads Remain Closed In NEPA

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8-year-old Susquehanna County boy died Monday when wind from superstorm Sandy knocked a tree limb onto him north of Montrose, authorities said.

And while widespread power outages have left nearly 150,000 in the dark, Northeast Pennsylvania, for the most part, escaped the devastation Sandy left in many other areas.

“We can report back that everything is in really good shape,” Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien said at a 6 a.m. briefing.

In Lackawanna County, eleven 911 dispatchers and two supervisors handled 1,313 calls from 3 p.m. Monday through 6 this morning, with downed power lines being the main source of problems.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/one-dead-thousands-without-power-roads-remain-closed-1.1395736

City Of Lock Haven Asks For Cooperation During Superstorm

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clinton County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clinton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOCK HAVEN – Hurricane Sandy has this region buzzing about the potential loss of power, high winds and even high water.

City officials are aware of the situation and ask everyone to cooperate to get through the next few days as the remnants of the superstorm blow through the region.

The city does not have enough temporary stop signs to cover every intersection with traffic signals, so if the electricity goes out and the signals go dark, drivers will have to use care, City Manager Richard W. Marcinkevage said.

“Use common sense and the rules of the road,” he advised.

Read more: http://www.lockhaven.com/page/content.detail/id/541754/City-asks-for-cooperation-during-superstorm.html?nav=5009

School Closings, Bradford County Gets Ready For Sandy’s Approach

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the expected onslaught of Hurricane Sandy looming, shoppers on Sunday in Bradford County stocked up on groceries and the county commissioners signed a Declaration of Emergency.

“We’re taking the position that we don’t want to underestimate any part of this storm, and we’re trying to be very proactive at getting in front of this incident so everything is in place before we need it,” said John Ambrusch, the county’s emergency manager.

“Our public information officer is pushing out the information to all media outlets, and has made contact with all EMS officers and staff.”

In a prepared statement, the county warned the public that winds will gradually pick up during the day today and “are expected to become very damaging, at their peak intensities from Monday night into Tuesday morning.”

Read more: http://thedailyreview.com/news/school-closings-county-gets-ready-for-sandy-s-approach-1.1395302

Flooded West Pittston Business Reopens Temporarily.

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Image via Wikipedia

Editor’s note:  Another reminder that for many NEPA residents and small business owners, life has not returned to normal after the September 2011 flooding!

WEST PITTSTON, Pa. – In September Kimberly Burnham’s business, Miss Kim’s Coffee 2 Go, lay on its side, lapped by Susquehanna River floodwaters.

An entanglement with a power line attached to a nearby business is the only thing that kept it from being swept down river.

This week Burnham reopened her business, located at 200 Wyoming Avenue, and customers – both old and new – were eager to get their fill of caffeine and pastries.

But her stay will be temporary.  She has been notified the rented lot her business is located on will be leased to another tenant and she’ll be forced to find a new location.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/Coffee_2_Go_open_but_must_go_02-25-2012.html#ixzz1nPp9nB6e

Shut By September Flooding, Redner’s Won’t Reopen In Edwardsville

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Image via Wikipedia

People have forgotten about the devastation caused by September’s flooding in various parts of Pennsylvania.  Here is a good example of the where things are five months later!

Redner’s Warehouse Market will not reopen in the Mark Plaza, Edwardsville, Pa., a spokesman said Tuesday.

The store was under water in September when the Susquehanna River crested at 42.66 feet and has been closed since the flooding.

“Due to it being in a known flood zone, it was cost prohibitive for us to reopen the store,” said Redner’s spokesman Eric White. “The lease has been terminated for that location and we will not be rebuilding or relocating our store in the Mark Plaza.”

The store had been in the Mark Plaza for more than 10 years. Mr. White said Redner’s has not chosen a new location, but customers who have suggestions can send them through its website at http://www.Rednersmarkets.com

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/shut-by-flooding-redner-s-won-t-reopen-in-mark-plaza-1.1268723#ixzz1m6KBmoF9

Athens, PA Flood Recovery Slow But Steady

Map of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, USA with...

Image via Wikipedia

2011 has been a year of disasters.  As we recover from the freak snow storm on Saturday, many still without power, let us look back on the flooding which devastated parts of Pennsylvania and follow-up on the recovery efforts being made.

Athens, Pa. – On Maple Street in Athens Borough on Saturday, residents were making progress: some were spackling, some were insulating, some were putting up drywall, and one was ready for a break.

The street was inside a zone so devastated by the flood of nearly two months ago that, in the days just after the flood, people had to pass a Pennsylvania Army National Guard checkpoint to enter.

Read more: http://www.stargazette.com/article/20111030/NEWS01/110300350/Flood-recovery-slow-steady?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Bloomsburg Fair CANCELLED!!!!!

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Columbia County

Image via Wikipedia

The Bloomsburg Fair Grounds were completely inundated by flood waters from Tropical Storm Lee.  As of today, September 12th, the fair’s board of directors have cancelled this year’s fair.

A statement was released via Twitter saying after careful consideration the board of directors has decided not to have the fair this year.

If you click on the fair’s website, it says FAIR CANCELLED, Please check back tomorrow for further information.

Here is a link to their website: http://bloomsburgfair.com/

Grim Report On Pennsylvania Damages From Tropical Storm Lee

The latest estimate on the number of homes damaged or destroyed in Pennsylvania, by Tropical Storm Lee, is 4,500.  This number is likely to rise as 4,500 is a preliminary estimate.

19 counties were declared disaster areas by President Obama and are eligible for federal disaster relief aid.

First Estimates In – Dauphin County Damage Total From Lee

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Image via Wikipedia

The first official guesstimate of how much damage Tropical Storm Lee caused Dauphin County is in – and it is a large figure.  Not as large as the incinerator debt, but daunting nonetheless.

The magic number is $52.7 million worth of damage to commercial and residential properties in the county.  That is just one county out of MANY.  This storm will be very costly!

Harrisburg officials say they will need 60 days to come up with a number on how much they spent and the amount the city will be seeking in reimbursement from FEMA.

In other news, the National Guard will be pumping out basements in Shipoke since the city says it does not have the expertise or the manpower to do so.