Welcome Comfort Keepers

More than 400 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, Comfort Keepers, to help us fulfill our mission.

Comfort Keepers is a national company made up of franchises that provide in-home, non-medical care for seniors and other adults. Locally, the Bloomsburg office, located at 7185B Columbia Blvd. (Rt. 11), is one of several offices run by the local franchise group, which also has offices in Allentown, Bethlehem, Hazleton, Drums, Pottsville, Quakertown, Shenandoah, Stroudsburg, Sugarloaf and Wilkes-Barre. Comfort Keepers caretakers provide personal care services such as bathing, grooming and hygiene, mobility assistance, transferring and positioning, feeding, dementia care and medication reminders. Caretakers also can provide companionship, meal preparation, laundry services, light housekeeping, grocery shopping and respite care or relief for family members. Comfort Keepers in Bloomsburg services all of Columbia County. For more information, call 888-450-0890 or visit its website.

Central Columbia School District to Host Open House for Career Pathway Program

Students from throughout the region can attend the Central Columbia School District’s award winning, state-of-the-art Career Pathway high school free of charge to parents.  By enrolling in a state-approved program at Central, students whose home school district does not offer that program may attend Central Columbia. The approved programs are three or four-year programs in agriculture operations and agriculture mechanization and three-year programs in engineering and accounting.

Incoming freshman may apply for admission in the two agricultural programs and incoming 10th graders may apply for admission to engineering, accounting or the two agricultural programs.  Once admitted, students must stay in an approved program and make progress toward graduation.  Enrolled students are fully recognized students at Central Columbia High School and may participate in all courses, activities and extra-curricular programs.

From the student’s and parent’s perspective, these programs work similar to programs at Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech where the student is enrolled in that school full time.  The difference is that the programs are hosted by Central Columbia.

Central Columbia High School’s community open house is Sunday, Aug. 20, from 2-4 p.m. when all community members and interested parents and students may tour the building.

Interested parents and students should contact Chris Snyder or Jeff Groshek at the high school office at 570-784-2850, ext. 1000 to schedule a private tour and meeting to discuss the options.  The school year begins August 24, so act quickly if interested.

Natural Gas Forecasted to Equal or Exceed Coal as Electricity Source for Second Straight Year

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in its recent short-term energy outlook report, predicts that in 2017, natural gas will either exceed or equal coal as a source of electricity generation for the second straight year. Last year was the first that natural gas-fired electricity generation exceeded coal-fired generation, with coal generating 30% of U.S. electricity and natural gas responsible for 34%. In 2017, through the first four months, coal has provided 30% of U.S. electricity while natural gas has provided 28%, and the EIA expects that by the end of the year, both coal and natural gas will have each generated about 31% of the electricity in the U.S.

The EIA also recently released statistics that showed Pennsylvania as ranking second in the nation in natural gas production for the fourth straight year. Natural gas is a big part of the PA economy, and locally, a new natural gas pipeline is scheduled to get underway later this year. It will have an estimated economic impact of $85.5 million for Columbia County alone, and $1.6 billion for all of the project’s regions. The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline will expand the Transco gas pipeline system with a new pipe approximately 185 miles long connecting the existing pipeline just north of Columbia County to southeast Pennsylvania, which will allow for more efficient transportation of Marcellus Shale natural gas and should enable even more to be exported. 

Williams is also encouraging all workers that come into the area to work on this project to patronize local businesses. More information about the opportunities for local businesses related to this pipeline project will be available at the Chamber’s next Learn at Lunch, sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities, this Tuesday, Aug. 8, at noon at Wesley United Methodist Church. Mike Atchie from Williams will talk about the different types of opportunities for local businesses to cater to the visiting workers and give an overall update on the project at this event. The cost to attend this event is $10 for lunch and those interested can register here.

Parking Restrictions on Main Street in Bloomsburg Set for Aug. 7-9

From Bloomsburg Police Department

The Bloomsburg Police Department would like to notify motorists of pending parking restrictions on Main St. in Bloomsburg.  These parking restrictions will be in effect for a micro-paving project contracted by PennDOT.  The paving is scheduled to take place during the following nights.

            Monday August 7, 2017; Parking WILL NOT be permitted on Main Street between East Street and West Street from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

            Tuesday August 8, 2017; Parking WILL NOT be permitted on Main Street between East Street and West Street from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

            Wednesday August 9, 2017; Parking WILL NOT be permitted on West Main Street between West Street and Ft. McClure Blvd. from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

Any vehicles found parked in these locations during the date and time when parking is prohibited will be subject to ticketing and towing at the owners expense.

Motorist are encouraged to use the public municipal parking lots off of Main Street while visiting downtown Bloomsburg. 

For questions contact the Bloomsburg Parking Enforcement Office or the Bloomsburg Police Department.

Geisinger Updates Training Facility

The Geisinger Education and Medical Simulation (GEMS) Center has recently been updated to provide opportunities for medical students and professionals to enhance their skills. The GEMS Center was designed to provide a comprehensive program of clinical skills education and assessment. This includes such things as standardized patients, task trainers, simulations, web-based modules and workshops for medical students, residents, attending physicians, nurses, and other members of the health care team.

The GEMS Center promotes clinical skill activities that support and enhance interprofessional and interdisciplinary teamwork, educational accreditation, maintenance  of certification and patient safety and quality of care initiatives. These initiatives integrate simulation to effectively train and objectively assess applied knowledge, adequacy of skills and level of competence.

The newest section of the GEMS Center is located on the Geisinger Medical Center campus in the former Interim Lab Building by the School of Nursing.