October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011

JERSEY SHORE – Fire destroys a home in Lycoming County this morning.  Fire crews were called to 233 Ash Pile Drive in Porter Township just after 9:30 this morning for a reported structure fire.  Reports from the scene indicated a heavily involved home.  Shortly after crews arrived the house collapsed.  There was also a report of explosions.  Officials said they believe the fire started in a wood burner.  No one in the family of four who lives there was home at the time of the fire.  Two dogs died in the blaze.  There were no reports of injuries.  Crews were on the scene until almost 2 this afternoon.
(WGRC/WNEP)

NORTHUMBERLAND – Three people arrested on drug charges in Northumberland County, two of them wanted fugitives.  The Northumberland/Montour Drug Task Force conducted a controlled buy of heroin yesterday.  They arrested 23-year old Paris Fulton-May of Canton, her father, 45-year old Gregory May, also of Canton and 32-year old John Wiley of Williamsport.  Fulton-May was wanted in Bradford County for failure to appear on other drug charges and theft related charges, and her father is on federal parole for prior drug charges and is wanted in Lycoming County.  All three are locked up on $20,000 cash bail each.
John Callahan (WGRC)

UNDATED – A white wintry weekend for most of the WGRC listening area and some new records for snowfall for the end of October. Only about an inch fell Saturday, in the Williamsport area but that was enough to set a new snowfall record for the day, according to meteorologists for the National Weather Service in State College. The further south and east you went snow fall totals reached three, six even ten inches in parts of the state. About four inches fell at the WGRC studios while in Northumberland County, Trevorton and Kulpmont recorded eight inches of heavy white snow. Schuylkill County had eight to ten inches, and areas in the higher elevations in Luzerne County near Hazelton saw around ten inches, while further south Gettysburg got around a foot. The heavy snow landing on trees with leaves still attached caused for downed power lines and power outages across the region. Thousands remain without power across the state. PPL Electric Utilities crews and contractors are working around the clock to restore power to about 124,700 customers. As of 4 a.m. Monday morning, power has been restored to about 186,000 customers affected by the snowstorm, nearly 4,200 of those customers in WGRC’s listening area alone. The hardest affected county in our listening area is Schuylkill County where just over 3,000 remains without power. The early onset of wintery weather has people wondering if the weekend storm may be a precursor to what lies ahead for our Pennsylvania winter.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LYKENS - Two people died Sunday night in a crash near Lykens. Police say 24-year-old Michael Anderson of Dalmatia struck 52-year-old Taralee Moyer of Sunbury on state route 1009. Anderson had to be cut free from his vehicle that burst into flames. Police say both Anderson and Moyer were dead when they arrived on scene.
(WPPA)

NUMEDIA — A Southern Columbia graduate died Saturday when her car slid off snowy Route 487 in Franklin Township, Columbia County and slammed into a tree. Police say 22-year-old Tricia Shutt, was trapped inside her SUV after she lost control rounding a turn just before noon. Shutt died at the scene.
(WGRC)

REEDSVILLE - Two teens are dead and one injured as a result of a one-vehicle crash around 5:30 p.m. Friday night in Brown Township, Mifflin County. Mifflin County Regional Police say 18-year-old Trent Herbert of McClure was speeding on Back Mountain Road when he lost control of his car. Police say the car left the roadway, hit a tree stump, launching the vehicle into the air. The driver's side of the car then struck a tree, snapping the tree in half. The Herbert had to be cut free from the vehicle while on of his passengers 19-year-old Ryan Hoffman of Bellville was thrown from the car and also died. Police say 18-year-old Kaitlyn Harpster of Burnham had to be cut free from the wreckage, and was flown to Altoona Hospital. Police said drug paraphernalia was found in the vehicle, and they do not believe the victims were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

NEW BUFFALO – A Bloomsburg man was involved in a fatal crash in Perry County Friday morning. The crash happened just before seven a.m. on Routes 11 and 15 at the village of New Buffalo. State Police say 59-year-old Horace Fritz of New Buffalo pulled out onto the highway in front of a car driven by 37-year-old David Johnson of Bloomsburg. Fritz’s car was sent down an embankment, rolling and hitting the front of a house. No one in the house was hurt. Police say Fritz was partially thrown from his car and died at the scene.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

DANVILLE – A Milton woman was taken to Geisinger Hospital following a crash in Liberty Township, Montour County. The crash happened just after four Saturday afternoon on Route 642. Police say 36-year-old Sherry Vincent-Reigle lost control of her vehicle on the snow covered roadway, went off the roadway and into a wooded area landing in a creek bed. Police say she suffered moderate injuries in the crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

ZION - a crash in Centre County Thursday night sends two to the hospital. The crash happened around 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of Routes 64 and 550 in the village of Zion. Police say 26-year-old Nicole Tenorio of Loganton veered into the oncoming lane slamming head-on into an SUV driven by 60-year-old Lorraine Yearick of Mill Hall. Troopers say Tenorio was flown to Altoona Hospital with serious injuries, while Yearick was taken to Geisinger for treatment.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIFFLINBURG - Charges have been filed against a Mifflinburg driver whose passenger was killed in an August 17th crash along Sportsman Club Road in Union County’s West Buffalo Township. Troopers charged 19-year-old Christopher Libby, Friday with vehicular homicide after passing another driver at a high rate of speed and crashing his car which rolled down an embankment. He and his passenger, 18-year-old Emily Kunkel, of Mill Hall and formerly of Mifflinburg, were thrown from the vehicle. Kunkel was pronounced dead at the scene while Libby was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, with serious injuries. Neither teen was wearing a seatbelt.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

NORTHUMBERLAND – A man that went missing from the Eyers Manor care facility in Point Township, Northumberland County has been found. Police say 52-year-old Ricky Sarfine was last seen at the center around 3:30 Friday afternoon. Sarfine was located in Shamokin around nine Sunday morning. He was taken to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SELINSGROVE – DUI checkpoints were conducted over the weekend in Snyder County. There police arrested three drivers for DUI and one driver for drugs as well as four underage drinking arrests. They also picked up 24-year-old Brett Witter of Shamokin Dam who was wanted by police in Virginia. He was taken to the Snyder County jail where he awaits extradition on $100,000 bail.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SELINSGROVE – Police report more vehicles broken into in the Selinsgrove area sometime Thursday night or early Friday morning. State Police say four vehicles had their windows smashed in and had nearly $1400 dollars in items taken from them along Fairview Drive in Penn Township. Police remind folks to not keep valuables in their vehicles and to keep them locked at all times.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – In Lycoming County a Lewis Township motorist faces charges for allegedly taking Williamsport police on a high-speed chase last week that ended when he crashed his car on Belmont Avenue, injuring a passenger in the vehicle. Police say 30-year-old Mark T. Kriner Jr., 30, of Trout Run, was drunk when he led police on the chase from West Third Street in Williamsport through the city's Historical District and north on Campbell Street into the Vallamont neighborhood, where he lost control of his car and struck a curb ripping a tire from his vehicle. Injured in the crash was passenger John Nittinger. Already on probation, Kriner was sent to the Lycoming County Prison on a probation violation and $15,000 bail.
(WGRC)

CATAWISSA — A Mifflinville couple has been found guilty of animal cruelty. In the basement of 205 West Third Street, aquariums were piled with dead animals and the home was strewn with animal waste and filth. Katrina Martz and David Bratten claim they didn't leave any animals behind when they moved out of the Mifflinville home Martz had lived in since 2007. Martz and Bratten were found guilty of animal cruelty last week, after a hearing before District Judge Craig Long.     In addition to the $800 fines, Martz owes the SPCA more than $5,000 for housing two cats found at the home.  The Press Enterprise reports, the couple says they plan to appeal the conviction.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A former Shamokin mail carrier, who was charged with a misdemeanor of desertion of mail for not delivering approximately 3,000 circulars that were later found in his home, was sentenced Friday in federal court in Williamsport to serve one year probation and ordered to pay nearly $300.00 in restitution, a $200 fine and $25 assessment fee. Magistrate Judge William Arbuckle imposed the sentence on 40-year-old Robert Hogan, who was charged "quitting and deserting commercial circulars" on several occasions from July through September 2010. He pleaded guilty to the charge in July.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE - Unable to pay for her cable bill, Police in Lycoming County say Brenda Clymer of Jersey Shore used money she collected as treasurer for the Jersey Shore Cheer Booster Club to cover the expense. Tiadaghton Valley Regional police say the 41-year-old Clinton County woman has admitted that she stole nearly $1,000 from the club, money she used "for her own personal use." Clymer, of Pine Creek Township, allegedly stole the money between July and September.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG — Three players on the Bloomsburg Huskies' top-ranked field hockey team have been accused of ambushing another woman and beating her unconscious during Homecoming weekend. Police filed charges Wednesday, just as the team is fighting its way toward the NCAA championship. For now, the three women remain on the field. Police say on October 9th, four field hockey team members; Nicole Bruce, of Clifford; Lauren McGinley, of Wilkes-Barre; Alexis Weber, of Bear, Delaware; and Betsy Herndon all 20-year-olds waited outside Balzano's Italian Kitchen around 1:30 a.m. as another Bloomsburg University student and her friends were inside getting pizza. When the victim and her group left the restaurant and headed up East Second Street, the field hockey players followed and confronted her, beating her up and giving the victim a broken nose. The Press Enterprise reports all have been charged and await a campus student conduct hearing. Players who are found to have run afoul of the university's codes of conduct for students or athletes can be suspended for a number of games or dismissed from a team putting at risk their shot at the national semifinals, set for November 11th, or the national championship, scheduled for November 13th.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - The Clinton County commissioners took steps last week to create a new handicapped ramp for the Clinton County Courthouse. The board voted to enter into a nearly $15,000 agreement with EADS Architects of Somerset to design the new accessibility modifications. The modifications are expected to cost about $40,000. Bids will be solicited at the beginning of the year, and the work will proceed sometime in the spring. The funding for the project comes for the county's Community Development Block Grant program. The new design calls for the new ramp to begin near the front entrance of the courthouse at Jay and Water streets and lead to the doors now being used as a the main entrance to the facility.
(WGRC)

MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel Borough Council will be selling the West End Fire Company building as part of another step to consolidate the company with American Hose Chemical and Fire Company, as well as make it a continuing source of revenue.  The process of moving equipment and property from the West End to American Hose, South Vine Street, has begun. The West End firefighters have taken their personal gear to American Hose, and they have been running calls together with American Hose's firefighters. The News Item reports, the cooperation between both companies has been going smoothly.
(WGRC)

HUGHESVILLE - Champion Technologies, the second largest privately-owned chemical company in the world, became the first tenant at the natural gas industrial park in Wolf Township, Lycoming County. Friday afternoon, local officials and developers gathered at the 45-acre TRACS development at the intersection of Boak Avenue and Woolen Mill Road. The natural gas industrial park will serve as the Champion Technologies headquarters for Pennsylvania. Champion Technologies works out of Cogan Station since June 2009 because the company could not find a location that met its needs. Company officials wanted to open the offices in the natural gas industrial park because it had everything he sought in a location.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Customers of United Water are about to see their bills increase by 3.4 percent. On Friday the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission unanimously approved the increase, which will generate an additional $1.45 million for the water utility. It serves about 20,000 people in the Bloomsburg area. Under the plan approved by the PUC, the annual bill for an average residential customer using 48,000 gallons per year will increase nearly $14.00.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HARRISBURG — State senators are scrambling to bridge a partisan divide and wrap up months of negotiations on a sweeping bill that would toughen outdated environmental regulations and impose a drilling fee on Pennsylvania’s booming natural gas industry. If all goes according to plan, the closed-door talks would yield an agreement on a bill that would run dozens of pages long, in time to write it and amend it into an underlying bill set for vote today or tomorrow. So far, the General Assembly has done little to update those laws, leaving it largely to the Department of Environmental Protection to make changes by regulation. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania remains the largest gas-drilling state without any kind of tax on the activity. In the works is a bill that would seek to toughen clean water protection laws and penalties for environmental violations, impose an impact fee on the wells and distribute the money from the fee. If the bill does not pass the Senate next week, it would likely have to wait until Senators return to session in Harrisburg during the week of November 14th. It is likely that parts of the developing Senate bill will run into opposition from the House and from Governor Tom Corbett.
(WGRC)