2018 BUDGET PASSED, WARNINGS PUT FORTH

Williamsport City Council last night went ahead and passed the city’s 2018 budget of $26.6 million dollars as is but put forth warnings that there could be some real issues with future budgets.  The budget contains no tax increase for city property owners but council members are worried that future budgets could mean a large tax increase for city residents.  A motion to institute a .25 mills tax increase as well as motions to cut $25,000 in health care expenses for elected and non-union employees, take $53,000 from the codes department and eliminate $75,000 from the police department budget were defeated.

COMMISSIONERS TO LOOK INTO USE OF COUNTY OWNED BUILDINGS

The talk at yesterday’s Lycoming County Commissioners meeting was abo0ut the use of space in county office buildings and what to do with that space to save money.  Commissioners yesterday approved a $16,900 dollar contract with Barton Associates to evaluate office space at four county owned buildings, the courthouse, Lysock View, Third Street Plaza and Executive Plaza.  Commissions say there could be a better use of space and that they could in the future sell one of  the buildings off to make some money for the county and in the long run, save money.  It’s hope reults from the evaluation will be ready by spring.

COUNCIL VOTES TO OPT OUT FOR NOW

The city of Williamsport is saying no to any chance of a mini-casino operating in city limits…..For now.  City Council last night voted to opt-out of a mini-casino operating in town.  The mayor is supporting the idea in order to add revenues for the city.  Council has a number of questions they would like answered before saying yes to any type of mini-casino.  The city would need 1,000-1,500 spaces for parking and 100,000 square feet for the facility.  Council members are calling for more study and can revisit the idea if in fact there is interest for a casino to come her.

SLIPPERY ROADWAYS CONTRIBUTE TO CRASHES

The snow on Wednesday night into Thursday morning dumped about 3 inches in our area causing some treacherous driving conditions.  There were a number of accidents early yesterday morning due to slippery roads in our region.  A couple of sections of Interstate 80 were shut down in Montour and Union Counties due to  jackknifed tractor trailers, though no one was reported injured. A crash on Route 54  near Turbotville yesterday morning around 5:45 involved five vehicles.  Two vehicles collided head on and three others were involved. It’s only believed that one person was injured.  Their condition was not released. The names of those involved have not been revealed.

BERWICK HOMICIDE SUSPECT FOUND IN FLORIDA

A man wanted for the homicide of a child in Berwick has been located in Florida and arrested by U.S. Marshals.  Back on November 25th, a 3 year old Berwick child was taken to a hospital to receive care for a head injury.  The child died three days later and police began looking for 19 year old Michael Crimi of Berwick who was said to be involved.  Crimi was found yesterday in Port Orange Florida and taken into custody without incident.  He will be returned to Berwick to face charges of criminal homicide, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children. 

LANDMARK DESTROYED IN SHAMOKIN

A more than 100 year old landmark in Shamokin was destroyed by fire early yesterday morning.  .The fire broke out around 1:30 in the building on North Eight Street which held several businesses on the first floor as well as Masonic Lodge Rooms on the upper floors.  Firefighters from several companies fought the blaze, but the fire destroyed the building causing a wall to collapse.  Due to the danger the building represented, officials had to tear It down yesterday.  No one was reported injured, and a damage estimate has not yet been released.  A cause for that Shamokin fire has not yet been determined.

UPMC TO HELP PENN COLLEGE NURSING PROGRAM EXPAND

A UPMC Susquehanna owned property in Wellsboro has been gifted to the Pennsylvania College of Technology, allowing the school to expand it’s nursing program in the Northern Tier.  The transfer of the building at 21 Walnut Street in Wellsboro has been approved for $1 and the college will use the building to expand it’s Practical Nursing program there.  The college board needs to approve the agreement yet and it’s hoped that renovations can begin in early 2018 with the nursing program to move into the facility by early 2019.  The expansion would accommodate an increase in the yearly enrollment in the program from 18 to 24 initially with the possibility of more down the line.

EVERETT TO HOLD TELEPHONE TOWN HALL

Residents of the 84th legislative district will be able to get the scoop on the leading legislative issues in Harrisburg on Monday as State Representative Garth Everett holds a telephone town hall meeting.  The session will begin at 5:45 on Monday December 18th and Everett says the program will consist of a legislative update  concerning the budget and reform legislation passed recently as well as the proposed Marcellus Shale severance tax legislative redistricting and education funding.  If no  initial call is received by 5;40pm,, constituents can participate by calling 1-8777-229-8493 and when prompted use the code 13279.

VOTE LOYALSOCK CREEK THE PA RIVER OF THE YEAR

A local stream could be named Pennsylvania’s River of the Year with the help of area residents.  The Loyalsock Creek which has it’s origins in in Western Wyoming County and winds it’s way down through Sullivan and Lycoming Counties to the Susquehanna River in Montoursville is one of five streams across the state which is up for online voting for the PA River of the year at the website Pariveroftheyear.org.  Area officals say that the creek wil benefit in several ways from the designation.  Voting ends on December 22nd