April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

FOUNTAIN SPRINGS  -  Fire crews rushed out to battle a structure fire in Schuylkill County this afternoon.   Fire fighters were called to 796 Fountain Street, also Route 61, in Butler Township near Fountain Springs just before 12:30 this afternoon.  Fire fighters on the scene said the structure was fully involved.  Fire crews from Columbia County were also called in to help quell the blaze.  A fire authority tells us the home was a RedCo group home.  The modular home was a total loss.  No injuries were reported.  A fire marshal is investigating.  Fire crews were on the scene of the fire until around 3 this afternoon.
John Callahan (WGRC)

SUNBURY – A Northumberland County man is sentenced to several years in prison on sex offenses.  Albert Carroll Junior was sentenced today to 4 years to 8 and a half years in prison for sexually abusing two children under his care from 1996 to 2003 in Deleware Township.  Carroll was also classified as a sexually violent predator under Megan’s Law.  He pleaded guilty to the charges in December.
John Callahan (WGRC)

DANVILLE - Geisinger Medical Center in Danville has received the 2012 Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks Award.  The New York-based firm recently released its annual study, identifying the 100 top U.S. hospitals based on overall organizational performance.  GMC was one of three Pennsylvania healthcare facilities to be named to this list in the Major Teaching Hospitals category.  This announcement marks the eighth time GMC has been named to the Thomson Top 100 list.
(WGRC)

RED ROCK — At least 31 State Police cars rushed to the Red Rock Job Corps Center off Route 487 in Sullivan County Sunday night after some students there began assaulting staff members. The disturbance was under control by about 9 p.m., and no one was seriously injured. Police say numerous adults and juveniles were in custody and scheduled to face charges. The Press Enterprise reports, the turmoil began Saturday night, after a dance was canceled. Several of the students, angered by the cancellation, set off false fire alarms. On Sunday, staff members started calling in the students they thought were responsible to be disciplined, that’s when the violence broke out. The staff members called for help, but when state troopers and local police arrived, the students began attacking them, too. Three people have been charged with aggravated assault and related counts. Police have charged 20-year-old Charell Ackerman and 19-year-old Shadira Gardner both of Philadelphia and 20-year-old Brianna Rivera of Reading. All three are jailed in the Wyoming County Prison. The investigation continues.
(WGRC)

NEW RINGGOLD - Frackville State Police say a crash Saturday in Schuylkill County sent a Tamaqua man to the hospital who later died. Reports say 21-year-old Nicholas Ziegler was killed as a result of injuries he received in a single vehicle crash that happened in Walker Township. Police say Zeigler was driving on Catawissa Road at a high rate of speed and lost control of his vehicle. He drove off the roadway into a field and struck a utility pole. The impact sheared off much of the left side of the car and caused Zeigler to be thrown from the vehicle. He was flown to Lehigh Valley Medical Center by helicopter, where he later died.
(WPPA) 

HONEY GROVE – A Mifflintown man was flown to Geisinger medical Center following a motor scooter crash just before five last evening in Juniata County. The crash happened on Route 850 at Thompson Hollow Lane in Tuscarora Township. Police say 20-year-old Kyle Ewing went off the roadway and hit an embankment causing both he and the scooter to become airborne landing back on the roadway. Police say Ewing was not wearing a helmet and suffered severe injuries in the crash. Ewing remains in fair condition at Geisinger.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

COAL TOWNSHIP - A pickup truck driver was flown to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment following a 3 a.m. crash Sunday on Trevorton Road. The News Item reports, the truck was headed south on Trevorton Road when the driver lost control of the vehicle and left the roadway. It then entered a grassy area causing the vehicle to roll and collide with a utility pole before coming to rest on its roof. Emergency crews had to cut the driver free. Route 225 was closed for approximately three hours while crews removed the vehicle from the roadway and cleaned up debris. Police did not immediately identify the driver of the truck.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE — A driver lost control of a stalled car on a hill and leaped out just before it crashed into a barn Saturday night, in Montour County. Police say 35-year-old Mirna Diaz of Sunbury, was driving a car east on Route 54 just after six p.m. She had just passed Klondike Road when it stalled on the way up a hill. Two passengers got out of the car and tried to push it up the hill, but the car started to drift backwards. The Press enterprise reports that’s when Diaz lost control of the car, she opened the door and jumped out. Diaz suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Geisinger Medical Center. Officers said they planned to charge her with leaving a vehicle unattended without making sure it couldn't move.
(WGRC)

SLATE RUN – Crews from Lycoming and Clinton Counties were on the scene of a structure fire Saturday night in Lycoming County’s Brown Township. Crews were called out just after ten p.m. to that structure at 6327 Slate run Road. Firefighters remained on the scene of that blaze until just after midnight.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT - A 12-year-old boy was allegedly approached by a masked man from a white van near South Williamsport Area High School, Thursday at 3:10 p.m. The man is described as being in his late teens, white, and wore a white mask, covering his nose and mouth, and a black hooded sweatshirt. He was the passenger of a white van that had a patch of adhesive on its side, apparently from a round decal that had once been displayed there. The driver was a white man also, in his late teens, and wore a black mask covering his eyes and a white hooded sweatshirt. After the van pulled onto Percy Street, the passenger exited the van and approached the boy, who then ran home. His parents reported the incident to the school district Friday, which reported it to the South Williamsport Police Department. Anyone with information is asked to call the South Williamsport Police Department at 570-327-8152.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The woman accused of conspiring with a man she met online to commit sexual assault on a three-year-old child was found guilty Friday by Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio. Twenty-four-year-old Samantha Mathers, of Williamsport, has been found guilty of two counts of conspiracy, sexual exploitation of children, and related counts. She is accused of conspiring with 38-year-old Richard Lafayette of Watertown, New York, to repeatedly abuse the child when he came home on leave from the Army in April 2011. Last November, Lafayette pleaded guilty to charges in the case and is serving a 7 1/2- to 15-year sentence. Mathers is scheduled to be sentenced in July.
(WGRC)

TURBOTVILLE – A Cumberland County man has been charged with sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in Northumberland County. 42-year-old Aaron Hostetler of Newville is charged with aggravated indecent assault and related counts. Police say he had inappropriate contact with the girl on numerous occasions in 2009 and 2010. The incidents reportedly took place at a home on Wertman School Road in Lewis Township, Northumberland County. The girl was nine when the abuse allegedly happened.
(WGRC)

HUGHESVILLE – Police from several departments helped catch four suspected drug dealers who allegedly were running a methamphetamine laboratory within the borough of Hughesville in Lycoming County. The Hughesville Police Department, which has been investigating the case for some time, served two search warrants. Police found enough evidence to detain Jolene Stahl, of Montgomery; Shawn Klock, of Millville; and Tabitha Morris and Bruce Woodcock, both of Muncy. The four have been charged with one count each of operating a meth lab, and related drug charges. During the operation, Hughesville police were assisted by members of the Lycoming County Drug Task Force, the state police clandestine lab team and state police sheriff's emergency response team. All four are jailed in the Lycoming County Prison. Hughesville police say the investigation still is ongoing and more arrests may be made.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - A Patton Township man faces felony drug charges after allegedly receiving 22 pounds of marijuana through the mail at a downtown State College business. Twenty-five-year-old Michael Turkovich, was charged Wednesday. Turkovich, a former Notre Dame football player, was brought before District Judge Daniel Hoffman and was jailed in Centre County on $100,000 bail. Police intercepted 22 pounds of suspected marijuana shipped to a business on East Beaver Avenue. Police found an additional 25 pounds of marijuana at Turkovich’s home on Oakwood Avenue.
(WGRC)

MILESBURG – In Centre County a Curtin Township man is behind bars after police said he hit another man with a hammer, put a smoking napkin in the opening of his SUV’s fuel tank, threatened to kill him and then fired a gun before running off late Saturday night. Police captured 27-ywear-old Eric Yarrison and charged him with felony aggravated assault and arson among other counts. Yarrison is jailed in the Centre County Correctional Facility on $150,000 bail. Police say they were called to 1450 Runville Road in Boggs Township around 11 p.m. Saturday for a report of a firearm being shot during an altercation. Police say the incident stemmed from Yarrison’s aggression towards 34-year-old Justin Hinds and his girlfriend 30-year-old Jennifer Kephart. Yarrison had been out on bail awaiting trial on charges related to a forgery case in November. Police charged him with conspiracy for his involvement in a group of people trying to cash a $50 check stolen from his grandmother in November. He was serving a year’s probation for that incident.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE — A 21-year-old man is in Snyder County Prison after trying to resist arrest. Selinsgrove State Police were called to the JC Mobile Home Court in Franklin Township, Snyder County just after midnight Friday. 21-year-old Cody Steinback was wanted on an adult probation detainer from Lycoming County. As police were attempting to take him into custody, Steinback became combative and began to kick and shove the officers. He then attempted to flee. He was eventually taken to Snyder County Prison and is facing charges of resisting arrest, escape, and disorderly conduct.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - Schuylkill County Detectives are on the lookout for a man who failed to show up for prison on drug charges in Schuylkill County Court. Police say 27-year-old Gavin Allan III of Schuylkill Haven, is wanted for failing to appear at the Schuylkill County Prison on March 7 to begin serving a prison sentence. Allan pleaded guilty to delivery of a controlled substance and failed to appear at the Schuylkill County Prison after his supervision was revoked by the Court. Police say Allen is armed and dangerous and anyone knowing of his whereabouts should not approach him but call police immediately.
(WGRC)

NEW COLUMBIA – Police are looking for the suspects who stole several hundred if not several thousand pounds of railway material from the National Railway Historical Society in White Deer Township, Union County. Police say they theft of material was taken over the past month. Police say the truck into which the material was loaded may have been parked along the on-ramp to Route 15 at White Deer. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call state police, Milton.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MONTANDON – Police are looking for those who stripped a home of copper pipe in Montandon in Northumberland County. That happened sometime between Thursday and Saturday at the home at 342 Main Street. Police say the bandits shut the power off to the home before taking the pipe.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HERNDON – In Northumberland County, police are looking for the thieves that stole two brake drums and one thousand feet of copper wire from two places in Herndon. The thefts happened earlier this month on Mandata Road. The value of the items taken is estimated to be just over $4,900. A white man with short dark hair standing around six feet two inches tall and having no teeth was seen in the area at the time the goods went missing. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call state police, Stonington.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HERNDON – Police are looking for the individuals that took around $2000 worth of copper pipe from a vacant home near Herndon. That happened sometime over the last week at the home along Route 147 just south of Herndon Borough. Police say the bandit went into the home through an unlocked basement door and took the pipe from various areas throughout the home.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MCCLURE – Police are looking for the individual that hit the McClure Borough Building in Snyder County and then took off. Middleburg Police say that happened sometime between early Friday morning and five p.m. Saturday at the borough building on Forbes Street. The impact caused damage to the block wall of the building. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Middleburg Police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LEWISTOWN – Several pieces of jewelry was taken from a home in Decatur Township, Mifflin County. Police say three gold rings and a silver pocket knife was taken from a home along Dry Valley Road in Decatur Township. The items were taken sometime during a public sale preview Saturday between three and nine p.m.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

ELYSBURG — Nearly eight months and 30,000 man hours in repairs after a historic flood closed Knoebels Amusement Resort, the Elysburg park reopened for the season Saturday, its new attractions drawing fans young and old alike. The crowd exceeded Knoebels officials’ expectations. Repairs were made to the rides hit most heavily — a Kiddieland car ride and a 100-year-old carousel and Saturdays turn-out was as if nothing ever happened in September. Knoebels remains open on weekends until May 21st when the park will be open daily through the summer months.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A major rehabilitation project is scheduled for a section of Route 15 Southbound between the Hepburnville and Foy Avenue interchanges.  Work will begin this week on the $8.1 million dollar project which will basically reconstruct both lanes.  A crossover will be constructed and traffic will be down to one lane in both directions during the work.  Work will also take place on the ramps.  It’s hoped all of the work will be done by mid-October.  
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The mini-Indy race cars took over Brandon Park in Williamsport this past weekend as the North Central Chapter of the American Red Cross held its Susquehanna 500. The annual mini-Indy car race was postponed from September due to the flooding which happened last year that took up the Red Cross’ time and effort.  The event raised about $25,000 dollars for the local Chapter of the Red Cross. A team sponsored by Glenn O. Hawbaker captured first place in the modified championship race. Professional Petroleum first in the stock event. Another regularly scheduled race is scheduled for September of this year.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY — The Northumberland County Commissioners are scheduled to meet today with District Attorney Anthony Rosini about which one of his staff members will be cut, a secretary or detective. The cut to the District Attorney’s office is one among many cuts made by the Commissioners in the shadow of a budget deficit. A $3 million bank loan due before the end of the year will cost Northumberland County $46,500 in fees and interest, or the equivalent of one County position. The loan was taken out in January to repay money borrowed from the county’s debt payment account to meet payroll and other operating expenses when cash ran out at the end of 2011. Since the start of the year, County Commissioners have eliminated 14 positions and $680,630 in wages and benefits from the annual payroll, and more layoffs are expected.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY — Representative Linda Schlegel-Culver and officials with the Milton Library began a new chapter began for the Milton Public Library on Sunday. As soon as the red ribbon was snipped during the grand opening ceremony at the front of the building, the assembled crowd eagerly gathered inside to tour the 11,000-square-foot structure and the 6 acres that surround it. The new library, located in the Rose Hill mansion at 541 Broadway, is the largest public property in Milton. The former library on South Front Street had about 4,000 square feet and was constantly in danger during flooding from the Susquehanna River. The total cost of the new library was $4 million. The library used $1 million of its own funds and received $2 million in federal and state funding. The last $1 million is being collected through a capital funds campaign, of which the library board has already raised half. The new library has three floors, with much more space for tables, reading areas and community activities. The building has twice the number of computers as the old library and much more outdoor space. An outdoor amphitheater on the Rose Hill grounds is planned to be the site of free, outdoor movie nights later this summer.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – Buffalo Valley Lutheran Village will break ground at 2 p.m. tomorrow for a nursing care center to replace the village’s current health care facility. Executives with Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, owner/operator of the senior living community on Fairground Road, said construction on the $14 million project should be under way shortly. The two-story winged nursing center will be built behind, and connected to, the village’s personal care center along Fairground Road. The new nursing care center will provide 102 beds, the same as the current building, but will be constructed in what is called a “modified neighborhood concept.” The modified neighborhood concept staggers rooms and includes common space across from some rooms.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE – Geisinger Medical Center’s dermatology department will conduct free skin cancer screenings throughout the month of May in Montour, Columbia, Northumberland and Snyder counties. More than three million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. According to the American Cancer Society, over 9,000 people will die from a melanoma skin cancer, and another 3,000 will die from a non-melanoma skin cancer this year. Skin cancer screenings are being held during the month of May in observance of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. GMC dermatologists are scheduled to conduct four screenings beginning May first from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Geisinger Dermatology and Mohs Surgery 115 Woodbine Lane, Danville. Other screenings will take place in Shamokin, Selinsgrove, and Bloomsburg. To register for one of the free screenings, call 800-275-6401 or visit geisinger.org/events.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - A spirit of caring and a love for the Loyalsock Valley were the common threads that tied together the volunteers who turned out Saturday for the second organized effort to help remove debris from the flood-ravaged Loyalsock Creek. The first cleanup, held March 24, drew more than 420 volunteers who removed almost 63 tons of debris and 140 tires from four sites along the creek. This time around, there were about 150 volunteers. Saturday's cleanup organized by Clinton County CleanScapes focused on three sites. Additionally, a mobile cleanup group worked its way down Route 87 from Barbours, cleaning up pockets of debris wherever they could be found.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY —Spots seen on smallmouth bass taken from the West Branch of the Susquehanna River could be cancerous lesions. The Daily Item reports a biologist studying the matter for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission found traces of potentially carcinogenic substance in the lesions. However, the source of substances or cause for the lesions is still unclear.  Likewise, cellular changes in the lesions make it difficult to determine if the fish actually have cancer. Members of the local Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies have studied the issue and say there is no consensus on the cause or impact of the spots. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has been trying to get the Susquehanna River included on a list of waterways for greater conservation efforts through the Department of Conservation and Natural resources.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN -The Dominion Foundation, in partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, has awarded over $30,000 in grants to area non-profits to help protect and improve Pennsylvania waterways. Grants were presented at the 8th Annual Watershed Mini-Grants Luncheon/Workshop to 28 community-based groups. Clinton County CleanScapes plans to conduct the West Branch Susquehanna River Greenway Community Revitalization Project. The watershed association, located in Clinton County, was awarded $2,500. The funding for the awards comes from the Dominion Foundation, which is dedicated to the economic, physical and social health of the communities served by Dominion Energy companies.
(WGRC)

SHENANDOAH - Facing a $1.6 million deficit for the 2012-13 school year, the Shenandoah Valley school board voted Wednesday to approve its tentative budget that includes a 4-mill increase in real-estate taxes. Layoffs and program cuts are also being considered, although the board did decide to keep pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Both programs had been on the list to be eliminated. Shenandoah Valley Superintendent Stanley Rakowsky says funding cyber and charter schools is putting a strain on school district budgets in Pennsylvania. Rakowsky says as funding from state and federal government sources gets squeezed tighter or eliminated, it will take being more creative in all school districts to meet the educational needs of the students.
(WGRC)

WASHINGTON — Under intense pressure from individual farmers and rural organizations, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday that it would be dropping an unpopular plan to prevent children from doing hazardous work on farms. The proposed rules would have banned children younger than 16 from using most power-driven farm equipment; it would also have prevented those younger than 18 from working in feedlots, grain bins and stockyards. Labor officials claimed the goal of the regulation all along was to reduce the fatality rate for child farm workers, but it had quickly become a popular political target for Republicans who called it an impractical, heavy-handed regulation that ignored the reality of small farms. The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau says the decision is a major victory for farm families in Pennsylvania and across the nation.
(WGRC)
    
HARRISBURG - Governor Tom Corbett, as part of his proposed 2012-’13 budget, wants municipalities covered by state police to give up thousands of dollars each year that these townships and boroughs receive as their share of traffic fine revenue. Nearly one in four Pennsylvania residents live in municipalities covered by state police. But as state police are stretched thinner by having to cover more municipalities, the time should soon come when taxpayers in those municipalities start picking up more of the tab. It won’t happen this year. For now, all Corbett is asking is that the municipalities covered by state police give up their share of traffic fine revenue collected within their borders. Under current law, 50 percent of money collected for traffic fines goes to the municipalities covered by state police. The rest is sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Under Corbett’s proposal, the 50 percent now going to the municipalities would go to state police. State police now don’t directly receive any traffic fine revenue from the townships and boroughs they patrol. The change would give state police $8 million a year to buy equipment for troopers, including radio gear and protective gear. Legislation to implement the change and make it permanent as Corbett seeks must be passed by the General Assembly before the municipalities would have to give up the money. Corbett’s proposed change could also result in a revenue loss for municipalities that just rely on state police part-time. Municipalities that have their own police protection less than 40 hours a week would also give up their share of the traffic fine revenue, under legislation that has been introduced to carry out the governor’s proposal.
(WGRC)