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6/15/17

by News Department on 06/15/17

6/15/17

by News Department on 06/15/17

Medicaid increase...




Hundreds of caregivers and administrators gathered at the Capitol, in Harrisburg, Wednesday, to ask lawmakers for an increase in Medicaid funding in the state budget. 

They were also asking them to enact a measure to end lawsuit abuse that targets long term care providers like nursing homes.

 Leaders with the Pa Health Care Association say their limited funding is running out and the 81,000 people they care for in the state are suffering because of it. 

They are asking for an increase of 2.7 percent in the 2017-2018 budget. Russel McDaid, the President and CEO of PHCA says based on current Medicaid reimbursement levels skilled nursing facilitates are paid more than $25 less per day than the cost of providing care and if there isn't an increase it will only get worse.

6/15/17

by News Department on 06/15/17

C-O-L-A Request Denied...




Schuylkill County retirees were again denied a cost-of-living adjustment Wednesday. 

According to the Republican Herald, Commissioner Gary Hess first made a motion at last month’s retirement board meeting for a cost-of-living adjustment of 0.3 percent for county retirees. It was not seconded by anyone else on the retirement board, which consists of the three commissioners, treasurer and controller. 

On Wednesday, members of the county retirees association asked for another vote, but the result was the same. 

Members of the county retirees association have attended the last several retirement board meetings to ask about receiving their first pension increase since 2007. 

The county is required to discuss a COLA at least every three years. Joan Deitrich, president of the retirees association, said the retirees were told to wait until House Bill 239 was approved. 

The legislation eliminating the requirement that counties make any COLA retroactive to the last time the retirees had a pension increase was approved last year and went into effect for 2017.

6/15/17

by News Department on 06/15/17

Pension cuts...




Pennsylvania is moving to cut costs again in its big public pension plans. 

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation this week that is projected to provide a less expensive pension benefits structure for future school and state government employees. 

The legislation will also shift some risk of investment losses off taxpayers and onto the public employees of tomorrow by introducing a 401(k)-style benefit. 

It's Pennsylvania's second pension benefits reduction for future employees in eight years. 

About one-third of U.S. states already administer a mandatory or optional 401(k)-style retirement benefit for employees. 

Olivia Mitchell at the University of Pennsylvania's Pension Research Council says the bill eventually will provide some relief from pension costs. However, Mitchell says the legislation doesn't fix the funding gap in the current pension plans.

6/15/17

by News Department on 06/15/17

Dump the Pump Day...




Today is National Dump the Pump Day and the Schuylkill Transportation System announced that it will join in for the twelfth annual event with other public transportation systems nationwide. 

This year’s slogan is “Dump the Pump, ride Public Transit.” All passengers will have the opportunity to ride any fixed route vehicle for FREE today. 

National Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride public transportation and is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association.

6/14/17

by News Department on 06/14/17

6/14/17

by News Department on 06/14/17

Assistance denied...




Governor Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that the President has denied his appeal for a federal disaster declaration that would have brought critical financial assistance to nine counties impacted by a crippling snowstorm in March. 

The governor made the initial request for a disaster declaration in May and filed an appeal earlier this month in order to provide federal funding to local, county and state governments, as well as certain eligible non-profits in the counties through the Public Assistance program. 

A federal disaster declaration for Public Assistance would provide reimbursement of up to 75% of the costs incurred on eligible expenses for the eligible 48-hour time period.

6/14/17

by News Department on 06/14/17

Kane pays in lawsuits...




Recent documents made public show Pennsylvania's former attorney general has paid $400,000 to settle a lawsuit by a former narcotics agent who claimed he was wrongly fired. 

The settlement between former Attorney General Kathleen Kane and former Bureau of Narcotics Investigation agent Charles Horvath was made public Monday. 

In the lawsuit, Horvath alleged he was harassed for months before his firing after he reported a supervisor's order to hide an informant's drug use. 

Neither side admitted fault under the terms of the settlement, and Horvath's termination is now a resignation. 

The attorney general's office so far has paid $710,000 to settle lawsuits against Kane and her administration by employees who claimed they were wrongly fired.

6/14/17

by News Department on 06/14/17

RECALL...




Conagra Foods, the maker of Chef Boyardee products is recalling more than 700-thousand pounds of pasta due to a labeling error. 

The USDA says the problem was discovered earlier this month by the company.

 According to reports, an ingredient supplier noticed the bread crumbs used in various spaghetti and meatball products contained milk, which was not disclosed on the packaging. 

There are no confirmed reports of illness to the mislabeling, but the USDA is urging consumers to throw away the recalled products as a precaution. 

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Conagra customer service at 1 (866) 213-1245.

6/14/17

by News Department on 06/14/17

Additional charges filed in chase...




The driver involved in a high speed chase with police that began in Frackville and ended in Pottsville, over the weekend, now faces additional charges. 

46 year old William D. Jubilee, of Philadelphia, was apprehended by police after crashing his vehicle and leading police on a foot chase. 

It was determined that Jubilee was wanted for outstanding arrest warrants issued by Pennsylvania State Parole and also on a bench warrant from Montgomery County. 

Pottsville Police Chief Richard Wojciechowsky said Pottsville police will be filing additional charges that include DUI and driving while under suspension. 

+
.+++Jubilee was arraigned on numerous charges filed by Frackville police, arraigned and committed to Schuylkill County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail.

6/13/17

by News Department on 06/13/17

6/13/17

by News Department on 06/13/17

Child rape charges filed...


Police say a Pennsylvania man caught his friend in the act of raping the man’s 6-year-old son. 

Hazleton police arrested 19-year-old Sebastian Wardingo on child rape and other charges after police answered a fight call at a home Saturday night. 

Police say Wardingo and the alleged victim’s father were fighting. They later learned why: The boy’s father told police he walked into a room after Wardingo had assaulted the child. Authorities say Wardingo eventually acknowledged raping the boy. 

Online court records say Wardingo remained in the Luzerne County jail as of Monday. He faces a preliminary hearing June 28.

6/13/17

by News Department on 06/13/17

Chase...




A Philadelphia man was jailed after he led police in a high speed chase, on Friday that started in Frackville and ended in Pottsville.

 Pottsville Police were asked to assist Frackville Borough Police with an active vehicle pursuit they had initiated. 

The suspect vehicle was observed in Pottsville traveling south on Route 61 after it struck a gold Chevrolet Traverse operated by a 31 year old woman from Ringtown. 

The operator of the vehicle, later identified as 46 year old William Darnell Jubilee, of Philadelphia, continue to the 100 block of East Laurel and where his vehicle struck an office building. Jubilee then exited the vehicle and fled on foot. He was apprehended by police in the 400 block of N. Centre St. He was turned over to Frackville police who filed charges based on their original involvement. 

Jubilee was also wanted for outstanding arrest warrants issued by PA State Parole and a bench warrant from Montgomery County.

6/13/17

by News Department on 06/13/17

Dump the Pump...



The Schuylkill Transportation System announced that it will join with other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the twelfth annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 15.

 This year’s slogan is “Dump the Pump, Ride Public Transit.” All passengers will have the opportunity to ride any fixed route vehicle for FREE that day. 

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2017 National Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation.

6/13/17

by News Department on 06/13/17

Welfare Fraud...




The Office of Inspector General filed welfare fraud charges against 64 individuals, four of which were from Schuylkill County. 

The charges against 32 year old Laura E. Miller, of Schuylkill Haven, 41 year old Nicole A. Welch, formerly of Pottsville, 34 year old Jamie L. Napolitano and 29 year old Vanessa L. Miller, both of Tamaqua range from April 1 to April 30, 2017. 

Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer said investigators are zealous in pursuing all cases, regardless of the amount, because its taxpayer money and stopping fraud means making those benefits available to Pennsylvanians who truly need them. 

The restitution owed the commonwealth in these cases totals $287,659.80. Additional cost savings will be realized as the defendants will be temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in the programs they defrauded.

6/8/17

by News Department on 06/08/17

6/8/17

by News Department on 06/08/17

POCONO...




If you’re heading to Pocono this weekend, special traffic patterns will be put into effect on Sunday to help motorists attending the AXALTA Pocono 400 NASCAR race at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond.

 Prior to the race, Route 115, from Interstate 80 to the raceway, will be converted to two lanes southbound. This conversion will be put into effect at about 9 a.m. and continue until all traffic has entered the track grounds. 

Following the race, Route 115, from the raceway to I-80, will be converted to two lanes northbound, until the raceway lots are cleared. Traffic will not be allowed to travel south on Route 115 from I-80 and the I-80 eastbound off-ramp at Blakeslee Exit 284, will be closed to traffic. 

State police say motorists should expect higher traffic volume and possible delays not only on Route 115 and I-80, but also on routes 209, 940 and 903.

6/8/17

by News Department on 06/08/17

Demolition planned...




Seven more properties will soon be demolished in Schuylkill County as part of a $1.4 million state grant. 

According to the Republican Herald, bids were opened during the county commissioners’ work session Wednesday for the demolition of buildings in Girardville; Frackville; Tower City and Coaldale. 

The projects are being funded through a $1.4 million grant the county received from the state Department of Community and Economic Development in January to demolish blighted properties. 

Seven companies submitted bids on the projects. 

Each one will be awarded separately with a tentative award date set for June 14.

6/8/17

by News Department on 06/08/17

Death investigation continues...




How and why a baby from Schuylkill County died, on Friday, remains unresolved as officials await the results of toxicology tests. 

Schuylkill County coroner Dr. David J. Moylan III said an autopsy, performed Monday by Dr. Samuel D. Land of Forensic Pathology Associates of the Lehigh Valley, “did not finalize the cause and manner of death,” and “Routine toxicology needs to be done, so conclusions are pending.” 

According to published reports, emergency medical crews were called to a home on St. John Street to help an unresponsive baby who was being cared for by a friend of the infant’s family.

6/8/17

by News Department on 06/08/17

Positions to be cut...




Due to declining district enrollment, the Pottsville Area school board voted, Wednesday, to furlough six faculty members. 

The potential furloughs were mentioned in early April. Positions that are being eliminated include a high school business teacher, 

English teacher and Title I math teacher, along with a middle school industrial arts teacher and guidance position and an elementary teacher.

 Those furloughed will be receiving letters in the mail. 

Superintendent Jeffrey Zwiebel said all the employees furloughed are subject to recall.

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