Due to the expected inclement weather predicted for this Saturday, May 13, the the Celebrate Historic Berwick festival has been postponed to Saturday, June 3. The event will still be in front of the Jackson Mansion and McBride Memorial Library from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. It will still include all of your favorite vendors, craft beer, live music, wineries and a day packed with fun! We hope to see you on June 3.
Local Realtor Achieves National Recognition
Stacy Snyder of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodrick Realty was recently awarded the Accredited Buyer’s Representation (ABR®) designation by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Stacy joins over 30,000 real estate professionals in North American who have earned this designation through successful completion of a comprehensive course in buyer representation and an elective course focusing on buyer representation specialty.
Small Business Development Center to Host First Step Seminar in Bloomsburg
Have you ever thought about starting your own business, but weren’t quite sure if it would be right for you? Or maybe you want to know what paperwork you need in order to open your doors? These and several other common questions for small businesses will covered at the First Step Seminar given by the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on Friday, May 12, at noon at the Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. Business Incubator, 151 E. Main St., Bloomsburg. Laura Haden of the SBDC will speak about the different legal structures a business can be, how to write a business plan and create financial projections, and much more. Cost is $15 for the First Step book. Walk-ins are welcome but pre-registration is preferred. Register by calling 570-408-4334, email or online at pasbdc.org/events.
First Columbia Hosts Chris Herren
First Columbia Bank will host speaker Chris Herren at Bloomsburg University on Wednesday, May 17 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.
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 on Thursday, 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.
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.
The Montour County job fair is less than two weeks away. Scheduled for Tuesday, May 23, from 2:30–6 p.m. at Frosty Valley County Club, 2201 Bloom Road, Danville, the event will feature more than 40 vendors seeking new employees for a variety of roles. The Columbia Montour Chamber is co-sponsoring this event, as are Chamber members Sykes and WHLM. The first 30 minutes of the job fair are exclusively for veterans, with the remainder of the event open to the public.
House and Senate lawmakers return to Harrisburg for session this week. With less than two months until the end of the Fiscal Year, they will have to take into account the state’s $1.2 billion revenue shortfall and incorporate that reality into their plans for spending in 2017-18. The law requires that the budget must be balanced; therefore, further cuts to spending, new taxes or other proposals to generate revenue will be necessary to close the gap. The House awaits Senate action on H.B. 218, the budget vehicle they passed a little more than a month ago that relies on gaming expansion and liquor reforms to generate new revenue, which the Senate Appropriations Committee could take up as early as this week.
On Friday, Senator John Gordner expressed concern about gaming expansion generating significant new revenue. He feels gaming in Pennsylvania may be at a saturation point, and that further expansion may result in reduced lottery proceeds for senior citizen programs. His comments were made at the budget breakfast sponsored by the Joint Governmental Affairs Committee of the Chamber and Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau held at The Greenly Center in downtown Bloomsburg. Representative David Millard and Harold Hurst from Rep. Kurt Masser’s office also participated.
Jennifer Reis, Manager of Government Affairs with the PA Chamber of Business & Industry, provided an overview of $32.2 billion budget proposed by Governor Wolf, as well as the $31.5 billion spending plan advanced by the House. While the Governor’s budget did not address the state’s public pension crisis, Senator Gordner believes that legislation to provide a long-term solution will be advanced and signed by the Governor. As the state Supreme Court would likely declare any changes in benefits to existing employees unconstitutional, a solution for immediate relief is unlikely.
Senator Gordner and Representative Millard felt confident that a budget bill will be provided to the Governor by the June 30 deadline.
Each year, timely and accurate new hire reporting by employers results in increased child support collections (between $30 million to $50 million) for Pennsylvania’s children. Employer outreach and education — focusing on the importance of timely and accurate reporting of new hire data (because it directly impacts dependent children who are owed child support) — is critical to the continued success of this program. Pennsylvania’s New Hire Reporting Program within the Department of Labor & Industry offers resources to understand the system.
Employers also directly benefit from new hire reporting, because the new hire data they submit to us are matched to Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation claimant data, and often result in reduced UC and Workers’ Compensation fraud overpayments. This saves employers millions of dollars each fiscal year in possible fraud overpayments — over $38 million in total since 1998.
But these results only come about if employers are aware of the Program, and the federal and state laws that mandate new hires be reported to the Commonwealth—employer reporting is not optional, but is required by law.
Additional information about new hire reporting is available through the CareerLink website, or by calling 1-888-PAHIRES (888-724-4737).
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