Here is the latest from Newsradio 1070 WKOK
   

Friday, January 2, 2009 

Low consumer confidence prompting Weis to lower and freeze prices

SUNBURY – Weis Markets has announced a price freeze on 2,400 items in the store.  Weis Spokesman Dennis Curtain says a low consumer confidence is the reason behind the actions.  He says the freeze affects many name brand and generic staple food items.  They include frozen, dairy, produce, meat, deli and bakery products.

A lot of the pricing in the store deals with commodity prices, which Curtain says have been very high for the last two years.  He says when those prices go down; then shelf prices will go down.  In the stores, customers will notice price freeze tags in items that are affected.  The initiative will be implemented until April 1st. (Sara Bartlett)

Geisinger delivers first area baby of 2009

DANVILLE – The area’s first baby of 2009 was born in Danville.  Geisinger Medical Center says Ari Cole Rupert arrived New Year’s Day at 11:33 a.m. He is the son of Cheryl Reichart and Cole Rupert of Catawissa and weighed in at 8 pounds.  (Matt Farrand)

Replacement named for the Director of Elections in Northumberland County

SHAMOKIN – Someone has been hired to replace Mary Thew, the director of elections who was fired in mid-December in Northumberland County.  The News Item reports Donald Reiner of Shamokin was chosen for the job.  He is the former fiscal manager for the Northumberland County Transportation Department.  Reiner was hired on December 15th with his salary going from $23,079 to $31,233.  Thew was removed from the job after an audit revealed about $3,000 in candidate filing fees missing from the 2005 and 2007 elections.  (Ali Stevens)
 

CEO resting comfortably

SELINSGROVE – The President and CEO of a group that advocates economic education for school age students is on the mend after an apparent heart attack.  Friends of Fritz Heinemann say the leader of EconomicsPennsylvania was treated on Christmas Day at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg, then underwent a by-pass procedure at Geisinger Medical Center.  He is home now, and resting comfortably.  EconomicsPA is a state wide organization based in Selinsgrove.  (Matt Farrand)

Three injuries reported in New Years Day fire

NORTHUMBERLAND – Injuries including burns were reported to three occupants of a Northumberland home that went up in flames New Year’s morning.  Initial calls to the fire at the home of Robert and Carol Beaver came in at about 10:15a.m.  Three people had to be taken from the house, first to Geisinger Medical Center.  Indications are that Robert Beaver was then transferred to the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Medical Center. 

Long time neighbor John Shosh lived near the Beaver family home at 710 Strawbridge Road and says they are great people, and always helpful.  State Police fire marshal Norman Fedder reports about $40,000 in damage to the structure, and his investigation will continue.  Most of the damage was to the southern wall of the structure, which was pulled down by firefighters.  Crews from Northumberland, Point Township, East End Sunbury, Tuckahoe, Upper Augusta Township and others responded. 

The Sunbury Chapter of the American Red Cross was on hand to provide hot beverages for firefighters as temperatures were in teens when that fire was reported. (Matt Farrand)

Riverfront Project grant denied

SUNBURY – A $1 million grant slated for the Riverfront Project in Sunbury has been denied by the Department of Community and Economic Development. Marian Kozak, Grants Manager in Northumberland County, says the letter was sent to a former commissioner—Sam Deitrick.

Deitrick was a county commissioner at the time the grant application was filed. The county received a letter from DCED last week. The DCED’s main concern is a lack of other funding sources and matching funds, something that many local officials say they believe they have. Sunbury city officials say they will fight for the grant and do have some of the financing in place.

Kozak says the grant was part of a larger bond fund made up of $1,395,000. $1 million was to go to Sunbury, and the rest to other projects in the area. The Riverfront Project includes improving flood protection and the wall, and bringing people into the city’s center. Officials plan to contact DCED this week to get further clarification. (Sara Bartlett)

Northumberland County’s Veterans Affairs Director has resigned

SUNBURY – The Director of Veterans Affairs in Northumberland County has submitted his resignation. James Ruch’s last day on the job was Wednesday and Commissioner Frank Sawicki tells us Ruch resigned for personal reasons.

Sawicki also says the Director of Veterans Affairs position may not be filled or may be combined with the Veterans Service officer position, which is now held by Sherri Scholl. Scholl has been on the job since August of last year. Sawicki says the position would be consolidated to save money. (Ali Stevens)

Bucknell students to travel to Louisiana

LEWISBURG – Eighteen Bucknell University students are getting ready to leave for Louisiana on Monday. The group will travel to St. Bernard Parish to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Janice Butler is the Director of the Office of Service Learning at Bucknell and says the students are going to an area that was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Butler says there is still a lot of work to be done to get people back in their homes. The students will work on home building and reconstruction, as well take time to appreciate the culture of New Orleans. This is the sixth trip for the group. They will stay for eight days. St. Bernard Parish is a town southeast of New Orleans. (Sara Bartlett)

Home Show 2009 is this weekend at the Susquehanna Valley Mall

SELINSGROVE – If you are looking to build a new home or remodel your current home, then the Home Show 2009 is the place for you. The show is being held at the Susquehanna Valley Mall this Friday through Sunday. Leslie Imhoof is special projects coordinator for the event, hosted by Sunbury Broadcasting and the Daily Item.

Imhoof says the timing of the show is perfect with lots of folks still on a holiday break and taking trips to the mall to return items or spend their gift cards. You can see more details about the home show at www.wkok.com.

Those businesses participating include window installation, basement and flooring companies, homebuilders, and anything else you could need for a home. The public is encouraged to attend the event on Friday, Saturday or Sunday at the Susquehanna Valley Mall during regular mall hours. (Ali Stevens)

Five officers selected for SEDA-COG for 2009

LEWISBURG – Regional planning group, SEDA-COG, has elected five officers for 2009. Columbia County Commissioner William Soberick will serve as president of the board. He was also president in 2005. Union County Commissioner Preston Boop was chosen as the board’s first vice president.

Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk was elected treasurer and Mary Simington of Montour County was re-elected secretary. Center County Commissioner Jon Eich was also chosen as a board officer. (Ali Stevens)

Bloomsburg student invited to Sweden for an international soccer tournament

BLOOMSBURG – A 12-year-old Central Columbia Middle School student will represent Pennsylvania in an international youth soccer tournament. Colleen Kitchen of Bloomsburg was recently nominated to participate in the 2009 Gothia Cup, a prestigious international showcase tournament held in Sweden. She is the only student from Pennsylvania taking part in the event and has been playing soccer since she was five year’s old.

Kitchen didn’t know she was nominated by the 365 sports organization until they told her she had been selected. The organization is directed by former collegiate and professional coaches that help soccer players learn more about the sport and play better. Kitchen sees it as a great opportunity and is looking forward to traveling abroad.

Now Kitchen must do fundraising to help pay for her trip for herself and her parents, which is more than $3,000 per person. They plan to go to area businesses for help and also do their own fundraisers. (Ali Stevens)

Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, business and entertainment:

POTTSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Fire officials in eastern Pennsylvania say the owner and two tenants were unaware of a fire racing through their apartment building until neighbors saw smoke pouring from the roof and knocked on the door.  Pottsville Fire Chief Todd March says an investigation continues Friday into the cause of the New Year's Day blaze. Officials say the owner, two tenants and a cat got out uninjured just minutes before the wood and stucco building was engulfed in flames and heavy black smoke.  March estimates the building was more than 100 years old and says it will probably have to be demolished.  Firefighter Angie Ventresca says those responding faced a double threat with smoke and flames inside the building while outside, "Things kept icing up." March says a few firefighters were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - A Luzerne County judge described as a bully and stripped of her office by a Pennsylvania court is pledging to continue her fight to have the ruling reversed. Former Luzerne County Judge Ann H. Lokuta tells The Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre that she won't stop her fight at the state Supreme Court and that she will take the case to a "logical conclusion." She tells the newspaper that she could eventually appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.  On Dec. 9, the Court of Judicial Discipline voted 6-1 to remove Lokuta from the bench. The court ruled Lokuta failed to perform her judicial duties, terrorized courthouse workers and had employees run personal errands. Earlier this week, the court denied an appeal to reconsider its sanctions.

YORK, Pa. (AP) - New Year's Day arrived with a bang in south-central Pennsylvania.  Authorities say a small earthquake jarred the York County area just after the midnight holiday celebrations.  The United States Geological Survey says the tremor measured a 2.4 magnitude on the Richter scale. It was centered near Dillsburg, in York County, and struck about 12:30 a.m.      Mary Myers of Carroll Township told WHTM-TV that "it sounded like dynamite going off." Residents reported nearly two-dozen small tremors afterward  A 3.3 magnitude tremor was recorded at 12:04 a.m. Saturday in Lancaster County. That one was centered about 10 miles northwest of Mountville but was felt in areas including Mechanicsburg, Reading and northern Maryland.  A series of earthquakes has been recorded in the Dillsburg are since October.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Performers dressed as pirates, knights and gunslingers are strutting through downtown Philadelphia in the annual Mummers Parade.  The Mummers are celebrating New Year's Day and, perhaps, the fact that the beloved Philadelphia tradition did not fall victim to the city's budget ax.  Thousands braved sunny but frigid temperatures in the mid-20s to watch the parade of comics, musicians and others dressed in elaborate costumes of satin, sequins and feathers.  The Mardi Gras-like festivities almost didn't happen this year after the cash-strapped city withdrew more than $400,000 in support.  The event was saved through last-minute private fundraising and an agreement to shorten the hours-long pageant.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Here are the winning numbers selected Wednesday and Thursday in the Pennsylvania State Lottery:

 WEDNESDAY NIGHT

 Daily Number

     0-9-9

 Big 4

     9-2-0-2

 Quinto

     5-8-5-6-0

 WEDNESDAY MIDDAY

 Daily Number

     8-6-9

 Big 4

     9-7-7-6

 Quinto

     5-7-9-6-5

 Treasure Hunt

     3-5-7-11-26

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Cold-water jumpers continue New Year's tradition

MILWAUKEE (AP) - It's an interesting way to bring in the new year all right. At least half a dozen bikers in Michigan braved chunks of floating ice and rode into a partly frozen Lake Michigan on New Year's Day. The ice almost shut down the event near Milwaukee's south side. The organizer says he and some others spent nearly two hours trying to break up the ice so no one would be hurt biking in. This is the third year he has organized a group of bicyclists who plunge into the lake at noon on New Year's Day.

CD sales down…digital sales up

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- We're more apt to sit in front of our computers than drive down to the music store to get our music these days. CD sales were down 20 percent in 2008. But we bought a record 66 million digital CDs. Another record was set for digital  tracks.  More than a billion songs were bought digitally. Even in this digital age, nearly two million vinyl albums were also sold.

Minnesota man recognized as oldest living with Down syndrome

WASECA, Minn. (AP) - An 80-year-old Minnesota man has the record for being the oldest known person with Down syndrome. Bert Holbrook lives in a group home with several other residents. According to Guinness World Records, the previous oldest person with Down syndrome on record was a man in Great Britain, who died in 2007 at 68. Life spans of people with Down syndrome typically don't exceed 55.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)