Saturday, April 23, 2011


In honor of Schuylkill County’s Bicentennial and Arbor Day, the Schuylkill County Conservancy is distributing 75 trees on Tuesday, April 26th to local municipalities and civic groups participating in the Bicentennial Tree Project. The 10-12 ft. bare root trees will be distributed at Fanelli’s Trucking in the Highridge Business Park from 1-3 p.m. With the help of the Pottsville Shade Tree Commission, the trees are provided by the Northeast Tree Association and are from Schichtel’s Nursery in Springville, NY. A study by researchers at Cornell University found that bare root trees, as opposed to ball and burlap, are easier for volunteers to handle and plant without the use of heavy machinery. Also, more of the root system of the tree is left intact. Partners in the project include the Penn State Schuylkill Master Gardeners and the DCNR Bureau of Forestry, who are helping to coordinate the project and providing tree planting instructions and advice to participants. Fanelli Trucking is providing transportation and a site for the trees to be distributed. This project is funded by Schuylkill Area Community Foundation. The Bicentennial Tree Project will bring beauty to the county’s public areas, teach volunteers how to care for trees, and provide a living legacy of our natural heritage for future generations to enjoy! Six of the trees will be planted at the Schuylkill County Courthouse. An Arbor Day ceremony will take place at the courthouse on Thursday, April 28th at 2 p.m.

Governor Tom Corbett announced yesterday that he has signed an executive order creating a Transportation Funding Advisory Commission to develop innovative solutions to Pennsylvania’s mounting transportation funding challenges. Corbett feels compelled to having a “strategic blueprint for how we pay for years of underinvestment in our roads, bridges, and mass transit systems. The governor tasked the group to make its recommendations by Aug. 1. The panel’s first meeting will be on April 25. The panel is comprised of public and private sector members representing various interests in the transportation industry. The commission’s materials can be found at or at the PennDOT website,, under the TFAC button. The commission also has established an email address,, to accept public comments. The commission’s first meeting will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 25 in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Office Building, 4th and Market streets, Harrisburg. Overflow seating will be in the second-floor auditorium.

No one was injured in a one-vehicle crash on Route 61 in North Manheim Township about 5 p.m. Friday. According to state police Schuylkill Haven, the crash occurred as a 1996 Subaru Impreza driven by Jonathan B. Phillips, 20, of Jersey Shore, was traveling north on Route 61 at about 60 mph. The front passenger tire blew out and Phillips hit the brakes hard, police said, causing the car to fishtail on the roadway before exiting the paved portion and striking an embankment. The car then re-entered the roadway before Phillips pulled off to the side of the road. Police said neither Phillips nor his passenger, Sloane J. Stradley, 18, of Williamsport, were injured. The car was towed from the scene.

A borough woman was charged with retail theft after leaving a Pine Grove Township market without paying for a box of Excedrin. According to state police at Schuylkill Haven, Sharon Wetzel, 43, went into BG Value Market and placed a box of the pain reliever into her right coat pocket. She paid for other items but left the store without paying $5.39 for the Excedrin. Charges were filed through the office of Magisterial District Judge Carol A. Pankake, Tremont.

Chronic wasting disease, a disease that affects deer and realted species and their nervous system resulting in death, was not found in samples taken from hunter-killed deer during the state's 2010 hunting season. The Game Commission took nearly 4,000 samples from hunter-killed deer, and CWD was not detected. This marked the ninth year for testing hunter-killed deer. Results showing that the tests of hunter-killed elk from 2010 were all negative as well for chronic wasting disease. Game Commission officials say that although CWD has not been found in Pennsylvania, the Commission must continue to be vigilant in their surveillance efforts for the disease. While no confirmed cases of Chronic Wasting Disease have been found in Pennsylvania's wild deer and elk, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials continue to be concerned about not only "when" it arrives here, but also about how fast it could spread once it does reach the Commonwealth. Officials say in the past two years, confirmed cases of chronic wasting disease have been documented only 20 miles from Pennsylvania's southern borders.

CANTON, Pa. (AP) - Workers have stopped the flow of drilling fluids from a natural gas well in northern Pennsylvania that leaked the chemical-laced water for two days following an equipment problem. Chesapeake Energy says the fluid leaking from a well near Canton was stopped. What caused the equipment failure hasn't been determined yet.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Corbett has given an advisory panel three months to recommend how Pennsylvania can finance its transportation needs. The governor says he wants the group to come up with a plan that takes into account the country's energy objectives and realities.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - An administrative judge has reiterated his ruling that the owner of Quecreek Mine should pay a $55,000 fine for "gross negligence" that caused nine miners to be trapped underground for hours because of faulty maps. PBS Coals has 40 days to pay the fine or appeal the ruling.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Just in time for Earth Day, Penn State researchers say they have developed a new tool intended to become the standard by which to measure zero-waste efforts. Researchers say the ReDi Index is the first tool able to quantify and compare claims of zero-waste operations.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Crews are cleaning up after an apparent tornado tore through a terminal at the main airport in St. Louis, putting it temporarily out of business. The storm caused several injuries and sent people scurrying for shelter as plated glass shattered around them. The storm yesterday evening ripped away a large section of the main terminal's roof.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Authorities say an Oregon motorcycle officer is dead after a being shot while trying to apprehend a a fleeing driver. Police say Eugene police officer Chris Kilcullen was shot near an intersection and never had a chance to return fire. The driver, a woman was arrested after a brief standoff.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some experts thinking past the one-year anniversary of the Gulf oil spill wonder if a similar blowout off remote Alaska's shores would be worse. Some experts worry that lack of infrastructure and people in remote drilling areas could delay and hinder a response as big as the one in the Gulf.

ISLAMABAD (AP) - Pakistan's army chief says the day is not far away when insurgents will be fully defeated. He says Pakistani forces have broken the "backbone" of the terrorists. The basis
for the army chief's predictions isn't known but he said them during a televised address to military cadets.

BEIRUT (AP) - Six Syrian human rights groups issued a statement today saying security forces killed 76 protesters yesterday in different parts of the country. It was the bloodiest day since
protests began last month. The groups called on the government to set up a judicial investigation committee to try those who shot at protesters and to release all political detainees.


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