Member News – May 17, 2017

Member News

 

First Columbia Hosts Chris Herren

First Columbia Bank will host speaker Chris Herren at Bloomsburg University tonight at 7 p.m. at Gross Auditorium in Carver Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m. and this event is open to the public. The founder of the Herren Project, Herren is a former college basketball and NBA player who struggled with substance abuse for much of his basketball career and overdosed on heroin in June of 2008. With the help of friends and family, he has been clean since August 1, 2008 and has traveled the country telling his story to increase education and public awareness on the dangers of substance abuse and to ultimately help others one person at a time. He was also the subject of a 2011 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary titled Unguarded. 

This event is open to the public. However, seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on this event, visit First Columbia’s website or Facebook page.


Public Meeting to Address Flood Impacts in Danville

Floods and flood insurance have impacted Danville Borough, and the public is invited to a meeting to learn about a flood resiliency initiative that aims to resolve many of these issues. The meeting will be held tomorrow, May 18, at 6 p.m. in the Borough Hall, 239 Mill St., Danville. The purpose of the meeting is to review flood mitigation ideas, gain a better understanding of residents’ needs and discuss preliminary survey results. It is part of a larger flood resiliency initiative being undertaken by SEDA-COG in several communities within Pennsylvania’s central region, and is funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission. For more information, contact Jamie Shrawder at 570-275-3091.

 

Montour Fossil Pit Garners Recognition on Travel Website

The fossil pit at the Montour Preserve, which is managed by the Montour Area Recreation Commission, was recently recognized on the travel website, topvaluereviews.net in a piece that lists the “30 most impressive fossil sites in North America. The site is one of just seven in the list of 30 located east of the Mississippi River. Noted for its status as both a preserve an an active excavation site, the website also recognizes the fossil pit as a popular destination for local school field trips. 


Teen Star Musical Competition Finals Set

The finals of the seventh annual Teen Star musical competition will be held on Sunday, May 21, at 2 p.m. in Haas Auditorium at Bloomsburg University. Inspired by the hit TV show American Idol, this annual event for local high school students is sponsored by First Columbia Bank as a way to show support for local youth, schools and the performing arts. At the final event, friends, family and a supportive community will gather to cheer on 12 finalists as they perform songs ranging from contemporary pop music to show tunes and even a few original pieces. Over the past six years, First Columbia has awarded more than $30K in prize money and given more than $30K in ticket proceeds and donations from this event back to area high school music departments. For more information, visit First Columbia’s website.


Attend a Yoga Mala Event to Help Beautify Downtown Danville

Join your community in raising awareness and funds to help beautify downtown Danville as you help Mill Street become a thriving and vibrant downtown destination for everyone to enjoy. A yoga mala event will bring together community members to support this common cause on Sunday, June 4, at 2 p.m at Goose Cove Field at the Montour Preserve. Those that attend will be guided through 108 sun-salutations to honor growth, transformation, and new beginnings. This is a donation-based event, and the public is welcome. All donations raised will help provide for new public amenities such as bicycle racks, flowers and decorative plant potters, benches, and much more in downtown Danville.


Free Cancer Screenings in Bloomsburg

Geisinger Health System will provide free skin cancer screenings on Tuesday, June 6 from 1–4 p.m. at Geisinger Bloomsburg, 2407 Reichart Road, Bloomsburg. Appointments are required. To register, visit geisinger.org/events or call 800-275-6401.


Geisinger Seeks Community Members for Hot Air Balloon Festival Planning Committee

Geisinger Health System will host the inaugural Dream Big Hot Air Balloon Festival, October 6-7 at Spyglass Ridge Winery in Sunbury. In order to encourage participation and feedback from the community and gain more ideas, Geisinger is currently seeking additional community members to serve on a planning committee for this event. If interested in participating, please contact Linda Vaji at 570-214-2581 or email.

Regional Industrial Development Forum Scheduled

Focus Central Pennsylvania will host an Industrial Development Forum on Tuesday, June 6 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Bucknell University’s Elaine Langone Center, Lewisburg. This event was organized to join industry thought leaders to take a comprehensive look at the current and future state of industrial development in the Central Pennsylvania region, including “game changers.” Attendees will collectively look at the game changers, opportunities and barriers to sustainable, successful industrial development. For more event details and to register, visit the Focus website.

This is a free event, made possible by generous sponsorships from: First Energy, PPL Electric Utilities, Larson Design Group, SEDA-Cog Joint Rail Authority, Norfolk Southern, Sunbury Generation, Mericle Commercial Real Estate, Grayston Enterprises, Don Stringfellow, JVI LLC, Berwick Industrial Development Association (BIDA), Williams, and Bucknell University.

Focus Central Pennsylvania is a non-profit, regional economic development marketing alliance committed to promoting new corporate investment in Central Pennsylvania resulting in the growth and creation of family sustaining jobs. 

Montour County Readdressing to Begin Next Month

Residences and businesses that will be impacted by Montour County’s readdressing will begin receiving information in the mail this month. The first of three mailings will be a checklist which will include updating driver’s license and vehicle registration information. Pending final approval by the Postal Service, address change information will be mailed and are scheduled to take effect in June. The Post Office will continue to deliver to the old addresses for one year. Any location that does not receive a notification in the mail by mid-July and would like to confirm address information should contact the Columbia Montour GIS office at 570-387-4930. Montour County intends to begin using new addresses for 911 dispatch on August 1, so it will be important to have the updated information by then.

The Montour County Commissioners hosted the first of four public information sessions last Wednesday to discuss readdressing as a result of 911 consolidation with Columbia County. Three more sessions are scheduled. The next is Wednesday, May 24, at 7 p.m. at the Anthony Township Municipal Building, followed by May 25 at First Baptist Church of Danville and May 31 at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Riverside. Information, including the checklist and schedule of future meetings, is available at MontourCo.org. 

Welcome Thrivent Financial

More than 550 businesses and organizations belong to the Chamber to receive benefits and support efforts to strengthen their businesses and our region. Increased membership allows us to offer additional programs and benefits, have a stronger voice in advocacy and be involved in more activities and initiatives in our communities. The Chamber welcomes its newest member, Thrivent Financial, to help us fulfill our mission.

Thrivent Financial is a not-for-profit, membership organization of Christians that provides financial planning and wealth management solutions to its members. It will soon move into to a new location in downtown Bloomsburg at 417 West Main St. Locally, Thrivent’s services are available through financial representatives and consultants Richard Keller, Dave Saul and Kerry Maurer in the Bloomsburg, Berwick, Danville and surrounding areas. 

For more information, visit the Chamber’s Online Directory

PA Chamber Supports UC Reform Bill

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

PA Chamber Government Affairs Director Alex Halper advocated in favor of legislation that would clarify and strengthen language within the state’s Unemployment Compensation law last week at a public hearing of the House Labor and Industry Committee. House Bill 1014 defines “willful misconduct” (i.e. the circumstances under which a firing triggers ineligibility for UC benefits) and clarifies that an individual whose separation from employment was due to “voluntary leaving work without cause of necessitous and compelling nature” is only eligible for benefits if he or she quits for reasons attributable to the job or workplace.

Halper explained to the committee that part of the reason these changes are necessary is to preserve the UC system for who it is truly designed to help – individuals who lose their job through no fault on their own for a temporary basis as they search for new employment. The bill will also help address problems with the administration of the UC system and service centers – of which the funding and function has recently been the subject of much scrutiny – along with challenges that have strained the UC Trust Fund for years.

“The problem is that the term ‘willful misconduct’ is not defined within the statute, which gives overly broad discretion to those tasked with resolving eligibility disputes and too often leads to benefits being granted to individuals fired for reasons that would lead an objective observer to almost certainly conclude should be disqualifying,” Halper said. “Unfortunately, we hear frequently of employers in this precise situation: a former employee whom they were forced to fire for good cause still manages to qualify for benefits … everything from chronic absenteeism and altercations with fellow employees to the individual arriving at work clearly under the influence of illegal drugs.” To make matters worse, those employers’ taxes increase as a result because tax rates are partially based on experience.

While not a panacea for addressing Pennsylvania’s myriad UC system problems, the PA Chamber supports H.B. 1014 because it will help to provide specific statutory guidance and clarification to help dictate decisions, remove unpredictability in the system and allow for a quicker, more uniform approach to dispute resolution.

The bill still awaits action by the House Labor and Industry Committee.