Rally for Power Plant in Jessup

JESSUP — For months, people opposed to the building of a controversial power plant in Lackawanna County said their piece, but Monday, people who want the plant held a rally of their own. The group Jobs for Jessup rallied at the Jessup Hose Company. Members then turned out in force for a borough council meeting. […]

Flames Destroy Home in Poconos

TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP — Fire destroyed a home in the Poconos Monday night. Video sent in by a viewer shows flames engulfing the house on Ski Trail, at the Arrowhead Lakes Community. Firefighters spent several hours battling the flames. No injuries were reported. There is no word what caused the fire or if anyone was home at […]

Shots Fired in Viewmont Mall Parking Lot

SCRANTON — Police are investigating gunshots fired outside a shopping mall in Lackawanna County. Scranton police officers were called to the Viewmont Mall just before 7 p.m. Monday. Detectives say witnesses told them two vehicles, a minivan and a blue sports car, were chasing each other through the parking lot. Then shots were fired from […]

Phillipsburg tops Easton in wild powder puff game (PHOTOS)

The annual game played by senior girls from Easton Area and Phillipsburg high schools leads into the Thanksgiving Day rivalry football game.

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Corrections Officer Attacked by Inmate at State Prison in Schuylkill County

MAHANOY TOWNSHIP — A corrections officer in Schuylkill County was attacked by an inmate over the weekend. According to state police, William Cramer, 24, attacked a guard using a homemade weapon at SCI Mahanoy on Saturday. Cramer slashed the guard in the neck and arm. The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition. […]

Collecting Coats for People in Need

SCRANTON — Friends of the Poor brought coats into the Scranton Cultural Center on North Washington Avenue Monday ahead of the  annual Thanksgiving dinner Tuesday. The coats will be given to those in need. “It’s just a simple jacket for a lot of people, but for some people it means a lot more than that,” […]

Troopers Investigating Purse Snatching in Union County

LEWISBURG — State police believe two women stole a purse from an elderly woman in Union County. The purse snatching happened Sunday afternoon at Weis Market in Lewisburg. Troopers say the women, who are believed to be from the area, left in a dark colored vehicle.

Filling up the Table for Thanksgiving Day

HANOVER TOWNSHIP — Like many supermarkets this week, Gerrity’s near Nanticoke was packed on Monday. Many people with lists in hand stuffed their carts with all they’ll need for Thanksgiving Day. Jason Hower was picking up this turkey to bring to his mother house. Procrastinating until this week may have paid off for him and […]

Bronze Grave Markers Stolen

CONYNGHAM TOWNSHIP — Veterans usually have special grave markers where they are buried, but it’s not clear whether some were among those stolen in Columbia County. State police say approximately a dozen bronze grave markers were swiped sometime last week from the Zion United Methodist Cemetery near Aristes. The estimated value is $480.

Northampton County controller requests to stop tax payments

145 days and lawmakers in Pennsylvania still haven’t passed a budget.

The impasse means some counties are having to take out loans just to make ends meet.

One Northampton County official wants to stop paying the state until a budget is in place.

Northampton County Controller Stephen Barron says why should the state collect tax dollars from the county when the county can hold on to the money and keep the interest in its own coffers.

It’s a sentiment picking up steam across the Commonwealth.

“The state on July 1 had an obligation to have a budget passed,” said Barron. “They did not and we suffer the consequences. Nobody in Harrisburg is suffering any consequences from not having a budget passed.”

Barron is firing back by asking county leaders to withhold revenue payments to the Commonwealth.

“There’s no reason the state should be collecting all this money when they are not meeting their obligations to us,” said Barron.

Two weeks ago, the county passed an emergency measure to borrow $50 million to keep funding all programs until a budget is passed. Northampton County is just one of several counties in the state looking to banks instead of Harrisburg.

Barron showed 69 News the bank transaction records from September 1 to November 23. So far the county has paid $2.9 million in taxpayer revenue.

Barron says one option is to not transfer funds to the account, meaning the state doesn’t get paid.

“Could they compel us with legal action to do it? Possible, but by that time hopefully the budget impasse will be over.”

Barron has forwarded the request to county administrators, but so far there is no word on if Northampton County will follow the lead of others.

“With Bucks County doing that, Lancaster doing it, as more and more counties join up in this effort. I think the state will soon realize they need to get something done and stop screwing around in Harrisburg,” said Barron.

A spokesperson with the State Department of Revenue said they do not have a statement at this time because they are looking to see if it is legal for counties to withhold tax dollars.