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Update: One Dead, One in Hospital After Crash

EAST NORWEGIAN TOWNSHIP — One person is dead after a crash in Schuylkill County. It happened just after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Route 209 near Port Carbon, according to state police.

Troopers said the driver, Christopher Gibas, 41, of Pottsville, lost control of the vehicle while going around a curve. The vehicle flew through the air and hit a tree.

State police said Gibas was killed. The passenger, Rick Reilly, 48, was taken to the hospital. He has moderate injuries.

Troopers believe speed played a role.

Route 209 was closed in both directions for about two hours after the wreck.

Eggs Ready For Easter

It would not quite be a proper Easter season if Mike Stevens did not stop for some chocolate-covered eggs.

He traveled the Pennsylvania Road to Schuylkill County and – no surprise – Easter treats are being served.

Harsh Winter Affecting Crops

UNION TOWNSHIP — The harsh winter is taking a toll on some farmers in our area this spring.

You can’t beat picking your own strawberries. That’s what folks were doing last July at B and R farms near Ringtown. The berries are usually ready around the end of May. But farmer Robin Hetherington said not this year.

“People are calling me wondering when they should schedule their vacation for strawberries and I have no idea. The strawberries are still sleeping. People look forward to those berries, they look forward to Memorial Day and I’m here to tell you they won’t be ready for Memorial Day!”

The harsh winter is being blamed.  Heatherington explains the ground is simply too cold and wet for plants to grow.

This week on Pennsylvania Outdoor Life

We’ll take you stream side for the statewide opening day of the trout season, see who’s catching the big ones.  Plus, we’ll shoot some trap with the president and general manager of the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders.  We’ve teamed up with the hometown club to help raise money for Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation.  Be sure to watch for all of the details, Sunday night at 6:30.

Old School Building Partially Collapses In Shenandoah

SHENANDOAH — Part of the former J.W. Cooper School in Shenandoah collapsed because of water damage Tuesday.

According to the building owner, no one was injured, but the area was taped off.

Authorities brought in an engineer and declared the place structurally sound.

“I got a phone call from the borough manager. He was very calm. He just said, ‘Kent, we have a problem up at the school. You’ll want to get up here,’” said Kent Steinmetz.

Steinmetz owns the building and has been working to renovate it since 2009.

It has not been used as a school since the early 1990s.

Steinmetz said he wants to make the place into a space for businesses and a community center.

He called the collapse a “setback”.

Hearing Aid Store Robbed At Gunpoint

POTTSVILLE — We hear of robberies almost every day but an unusual place was targeted by a bandit Tuesday morning in Schuylkill County.

Police say a robber walked into the Ambrose Hearing Center on East Norwegian Street and confronted the owner. The victim said he handed over about $100 from his wallet.

Henry Lorah said he’s surprised the business was targeted.

“A hearing center? You never hear of a hearing center being robbed. Usually it’s a bank or restaurant or mini mart.”

Lorah’s friend Andrew Yeakley said the robbery concerns him.

“You have to be aware of your surroundings. You never know what can happen at any second.”

Neighbor Denise Olechnowicz is fearful of the armed man.

“I have a granddaughter that rides her bike up and down the street and it’s really bad when you can’t trust your neighborhood,” Olechnowicz explained.

Mother Facing Charges For Wreck That Injured Children

MINERSVILLE — Charges have been filed against a woman more than six months after a crash in Schuylkill County that sent two of her children to the hospital.

Nicole Moore of Minersville is accused of driving drunk when she hit another vehicle head-on near Pottsville in September 2013.

Moore’s 5-month-old daughter and 6-year-old daughter were hurt.

Moore faces a list of charges including DUI.