May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012

POTTSVILLE - Charges against a Schuylkill County woman arrested for allegedly suffocating her 13-month-old son last month were held to court this morning.   28-year old Jennifer Bossler of Pottsville was charged with criminal homicide and aggravated assault.  The Republican Herald reports, Bossler was arrested in connection with the April 1st death of James Blake Bossler.  After the hearing Bossler was returned to Schuylkill County Prison where she is being held without bail.
(WGRC)

LYONSTOWN – A truck flips and spills its load in Centre County this morning.   State Police say 40-year old Michael Wagner of Petersburg was driving a truck hauling several dumpsters full of used oil filters when he went off the Exit 161 off ramp of I-80 in Marion Township.  The truck crossed a median and the on ramp before hitting a guard rail, rolling and spilling the load on the roadway and embankment just before 9:30 this morning.  Wagner and his passenger, 36-year old Michelle Parks of Huntingdon, had what police say were minor injuries.  They were both taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center.  Police continue to investigate.  The on ramp was closed for three hours as the mess was cleaned up.
John Callahan (WGRC)

DANVILLE – A Perry County man is hurt in a Montour County crash yesterday afternoon.  67-year old Carl Kauffman of Millerstown was taken to the hospital after the van he was driving went careening out of control and then flew off Route 11 in Cooper Township and came to rest on its side in field near Hayhurst Memorials around 4:30 yesterday afternoon.  Police said Kauffman was not wearing a seatbelt. He was taken to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment of what police say were minor injuries.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public information meeting on Thursday, June 14th, to discuss a residual waste transfer station permit application from Clean Harbors Environmental Services of Columbia, South Carolina, for a proposed facility in Sunbury, Northumberland County.  The meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the community room of the Degenstein Community Library at 40 South Fifth Street in Sunbury. The proposed facility would receive and process drill cuttings, drilling mud and other Marcellus Shale well pad wastes for solidification and consolidation prior to being shipped off-site for recycling or disposal. It would also receive paper, cardboard, well pad mats, plastics, waste oil and ferrous and non-ferrous metals, which would go through the same process.  The proposed site is in close proximity to an Environmental Justice area. DEP’s Environmental Justice policy grants communities the opportunity to attend an information meeting to learn more about the permitting process and the various activities under the proposed permit.
(WGRC)

LAVELLE - A 17-year-old boy died when he was thrown from the car he was riding in when it crashed on Deep Creek Road in Barry Township Schuylkill County, Thursday afternoon. The boy, who was not identified by state police at Schuylkill Haven due to his age, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The crash happened just before 5:30 on Deep Creek Road, about a mile off of Route 901. Police say the diver, also a 17-year-old boy, lost control causing the vehicle to flip over and come to a stop on its roof.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - The bus trip for a group of Shamokin Area School District students took an alarming turn when the bus driver was forced to stop the vehicle after a live electric wire fell across the hood of the vehicle Thursday afternoon. A driving rainstorm and strong gusts of wind took down the powerline that fell directly on the bus, just south of Overlook Boulevard, on Route 61, Shamokin Township. The line fell across the bus after a dump truck knocked over a utility pole. The children were quickly and safely evacuated from the bus, but traffic was stalled in both directions as PPL crews were called in to deal with the live wires strewn across the roadway.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE — A driver who rear-ended a vehicle, drove on the sidewalk, and nearly ran down a couple and their infant last month has been caught. Reports say 24-year-old Curtis Loss, is jailed in the Union County Prison, and has admitted he was driving March 21 but said his truck's brakes had failed. Police were sent to Bloom Road and Euclid Avenue in Mahoning Township for a hit-and-run. The driver of the other car said he was struck from behind by a pickup as he waited to make a turn. The pickup then drove on the sidewalk along Bloom Road and struck a business sign ripping it from the ground and shattering it into pieces. Two pedestrians pushing a stroller with their infant son inside said the truck crossed the sidewalk behind them, nearly hitting them. The truck continued along the sidewalk for about a half block before driving back onto Bloom Road. Police located the truck on Villa Street just off Academy Avenue with no one around it. Police say Loss’ claims that he had no brakes are not consistent with the maneuvers he made during the incident. Loss was charged with recklessly endangering another person, failure to stop at an accident, driving with a suspended license related to DUI, and related counts.
(WGRC)

BERWICK – Fire fighters in Columbia County called out this morning to battle an apartment house fire. The fire was reported just after two a.m. at 244 Summerhill Avenue in Berwick. Columbia County dispatchers tell us the red Cross has been called out to help those affected by the blaze. No word as to how many people have been affected. There were no injuries reported and the fire was reported out just before five this morning. A cause of that fire is under investigation.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – Quick work by firefighters last night in Lewisburg put out a fire along Market Street. Market Street which is Route 45 was closed for about an hour while as crews made quick work of the flames. Route 45 between Seventh Street and Route 15 in Lewisburg was closed. The fire at 718 Market Street was reported just after six p.m. and crews from Lewisburg and Milton responded. Reports say there were no injuries and a cause is unclear and damage is minimal. A state police fire marshal has been called to investigate.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN – A fire that left 13 people homeless early yesterday morning at an apartment building in Shamokin started in the kitchen of one of the apartments and has been ruled accidental. Investigators say grease left on a hot stove cause the fire just after three a.m. Thursday in the 300 block of Sunbury Street which is Route 61 in Shamokin. The six-unit, three-story apartment building was gutted and has been condemned. One person was taken to the hospital by family members for evaluation but no other injuries were reported.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG — A couple accused of making methamphetamine at their apartment on Legion Road in Montour Township, Columbia County will face those charges in court. Police say they raided 60-year-old James Moses, and 50-year-old Christine Obutelewicz home after Moses sold meth to a police informant three times. In the search April 5th, authorities seized cash, marijuana, meth and chemicals and materials used to make it. The Press Enterprise reports the two sent their charges on to court Thursday. The two remain jailed in the County Prison.
(WGRC)

MILTON – A Lewisburg man has been charged with sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl. Police say Shane Doane assaulted the girl while living with the girl’s parents at the Milton Village apartments in December 2010. Police say Doane has admitted to the unlawful acts.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – At a pretrial hearing yesterday at the Union County Courthouse for murder suspect 49-year-old Roderick Sims, Judge Michael Sholley denied a petition for a third mental exam of Sims filed by his new attorneys. Sholley said that Sims has the ability to research and argue on his own behalf which suggests he is mentally competent to stand trial. Sims has been evaluated twice before and found competent. Sims argues that his case involves racism against Sims who is black, but District Attorney D. Peter Johnson denied those accusations. Sims is scheduled to go on trial in late October for the September 2008 fatal shooting of his estranged girlfriend Charity Spickler in an apartment building on Water Street in Lewisburg.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - Former Clinton County Commissioner 32-year-old Adam Coleman and his mother, 54-year-old Kim Coleman, are scheduled for jury selection in Clinton County Court today. President Judge J. Michael Williamson will preside over the jury selection and the trial that will follow. The Coleman’s co-defendant, 32-year-old Jeramiah Clark, of Jersey Shore, pleaded guilty to third-degree felony charges of theft and forgery and the first-degree misdemeanor charge of conspiracy and was sentenced two weeks ago to spend 11 and a half to 23 months in the Clinton County Prison. All three were charged in connection with the misappropriation of $133,000 from the Lock Haven Area YMCA - Adam Coleman and Clark for stealing the funds, and Mrs. Coleman for attempting to cover up her son's involvement in the crimes. The Coleman’s of Lock Haven, have remained free on unsecured bail since their arrests, which followed a lengthy, statewide grand jury investigation.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE — A small win for Jerry Sandusky’s lawyers as Sandusky’s case moves towards trial. The Second Mile will have to give Jerry Sandusky’s defense team any complaints of “misconduct or inappropriate actions” made by the alleged victims in the case against the charity’s founder, but not financial or personal information of the attendees at his retirement party. Three school districts, including Bald Eagle Area, must turn over mental health and discipline records of some former students, but not their grade reports or attendance records. Those orders came Thursday from Senior Judge John Cleland, a day after he heard arguments from attorneys who objected to disclosing the information the defense asked for in subpoenas. The judge denied parts of the subpoenas for requesting information irrelevant to the case. Cleland still hadn’t ruled on a standing request by the defense to delay the trial beyond the June 5 start date.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY — It’s amazing what a year can do in bringing the Northumberland County Prison up to snuff as the prison has earned a certificate of accreditation from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.  The certificate was received for the facilities compliance with the organization’s standards for health services in jails. The inspection of the county prison took place on April 30 and May 1.  According to the commission, the prison was 100% compliant with their standards.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG — The Lewisburg School latest budget scenarios and revised master facilities plan looks bleak. The projected school budget deficit rose from about $403,000 to about $599,000 after Superintendent Mark DiRocco took out accountability block grant funds that he believes schools will not get for the 2012-13 school year. Last budget year, the state General Assembly spared school districts and reinstated the block grant money, which Governor Tom Corbett had zeroed out. DiRocco also offered the school board four options for spending 2012-13 funds. One would give up on the master facilities plan altogether, another would leave untouched all money in debt services but would let the board raise taxes up to a 2 percent real estate tax cap and a 1.2 percent real estate tax exception cap. Some unknown factors remain, such as health care increases, transportation escalation formulas and special education enrollment. The Daily Item reports, the board will get “budget books” at its May 24 meeting to review spending and cuts.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY — As of now, the Shikellamy school board will be raising property taxes by $32 to help make up a $1.1 million shortfall in the proposed 2012-13 general operating budget, but on Thursday, director Wendy Wiest said she doesn’t agree with the increase and will do everything she can to avoid the hike. The board voted 7-1 Tuesday night to approve the proposed budget, which includes a 2-mill real estate tax increase and a 10-percent discount on vendors’ and contractors’ fees and on every department in the district. Wiest tells the Daily Item, “I just want it to be known, I will do everything I can to try and get rid of this tax increase.” “If we have to have it, then we need to work for a long term fix to the tax structure inside this district.”
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A pastor of a church in Williamsport claims the almighty dollar is driving Mayor Gabriel Campana. The mayor's latest quest is to sell a city-owned parking lot at Via Bella and Mulberry Street to a developer who might build on it, turning the parking spaces into a store, apartments or a combination known as mixed-use. Meanwhile Pastor Kenneth Elkin of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, at 142 North Market Street is upset over the pending sale of a 41-space parking lot and adjoining grass knoll along Via Bella. The Sun Gazette reports, Elkin claims any future development would block the sight access of church-goers and visitors. With parking already a premium in the city, Elkin says he and the church board of directors view the pending sale and any future development there as more reduction of valuable parking space. Campana claims the sale of the lot managed by the Williamsport Parking Authority, is in the city's best interest. He claims any proceeds would go toward the 2013 budget. Campana says the parking lot today is under used and that he would like to see it sold for the $250,000 assessed value going to the city’s coffers and providing more jobs when developed.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG — A developer plans to put a campsite near the river just west of the McClure House in Boomsburg, but a nearby farmer is worried his pesticide spraying and plowing may make for "unhappy campers." By the end of a zoning board meeting Thursday, developer John Berger and farmer Stephen Kistler had come to a compromise for the property at 1051 Fort McClure Boulevard. Berger and partner Marlene Butters plan to purchase the house, barn and 10 acres of land there from Steven Hummel. They want to renovate the flood-damaged house so they can live there and then put in 20 parking spots for RVs, along with picnic pavilions. The plan requires some additional approvals from the town before construction could begin. Berger agreed to move the parking spots for the RVs so there would be a 30-foot buffer between the property lines that he and Kistler's farmlands would share.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – A Union County vegetable harvesting equipment company will be breaking ground this afternoon on an expansion of the company. At one this afternoon Pik-Rite located along Route 192 about a mile west of Lewisburg will celebrate their expansion with a ground breaking ceremony. Pik-Rite designs and manufactures innovative, quality-built vegetable harvesting equipment, manure spreaders, commercial waste-handling equipment and hydroseeding units. Pik-Rite was incorporated in July 1986 and presently employs approximately 85 people. Tim Lightner sales and marketing manager for Pik Rite tells WGRC over the years Pik-Rite has used its former warehouse space to expand production of new products for the agricultural and gas drilling industries both nationwide and across the world. The 14,400 square-foot expansion project will allow for more warehouse space at the facility and will be constructed in two phases. Lightner also says the company has been hiring all along and will continue to hire quality workers as their production line expands. He says sales of their products have been up across the board, especially with the onset of the Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania and the need for water takers which have been in greater demand. He says Pik-Rite’s water trucks have been a major contributor to the need for expansion at the plant.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

YEAGERTOWN - Mifflin County Regional Police Department presented its first Lifetime Achievement Public/Community Service Award at a ceremony conducted Thursday evening at the department building in Yeagertown. Corporal Robert Haines presided over the awards ceremony and began by sharing that the nominees of the Lifetime Achievement Public/Community Service Award are people the department can "count on, on a daily basis." Following his statements, Haines, along with state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, of Bellefonte, presented the awards. The Sentinel reports, the nominees all received a Lifetime Achievement Community Service plaque as well as citations from Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate. This year's nominees included Edward and Nancy Lerch, Owners of Lerch R/V; John Pannizzo, Owner of J.P. Edward's and the Downtown OIP&Grille; Neal Yorks, Fire Chief, Union Township and Director of Emergency Care, Lewistown Hospital Emergency Department; and William McCurry, Retired Chief of Burnham Fire Company and employee of Standard Steel, Burnham Borough.
(WGRC)

COAL TOWNSHIP - Some expressed their opinions calmly, others showed anger and concern, and one person was removed from the meeting, but all got their point across. Residents who oppose Coal Township's ordinance banning exotic and certain farm animals attended Thursday night's board of commissioners meeting in a last-ditch effort to persuade commissioners to suspend the June 7 effective date. Many in the audience complained about other ordinances that have been overlooked in the Township and still others made the point that elected officials can be removed from office when their terms are up. The News Item reports, Township Commissioners would not give out information about how many complaints the Township has received concerning animals like chickens or a pet pot belly pig. Township residents upset over the ordinance also complained about the number of feral cats and dogs that bark all night, and they claim those animals are not being scrutinized.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG — After less than seven weeks on the job, former Bloomsburg administrator Ron Mull faced multiple claims he had broken town rules on sexual harassment, computer and cell phone use. The town hired a $300-an-hour labor lawyer to investigate, and spent $26,000 on legal bills before Mull resigned March 29th.  Bloomsburg Mayor Dan Knorr says while the investigation never reached an official conclusion, it did turn up evidence Mull had violated town policy. Knorr says so far, the town has interviewed one candidate to replace Mull, and the mayor hoped to have a recommendation to council soon so it could take action.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG – A total of 1,297 undergraduate students and 238 graduate students will receive degrees during Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s spring commencement ceremonies today and tomorrow. Graduate commencement will be held tonight, at 6 p.m. in Haas Center for the Arts, Mitrani Hall. Undergraduate commencement will take place Saturday, May 12, at 10 a.m. for the College of Education and College of Liberal Arts and at 3 p.m. for College of Business and College of Science and Technology. Both ceremonies will be held on the Academic Quadrangle. Bloomsburg University serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.
(WGRC)

MILTON —Saturday kicks off the second annual Downtown Milton SpringTIME Celebration Week with the much anticipated Milton Cultural Festival. More than 50 international food and crafts vendors will be available as well as perusing kids’ activities and listening to music from around the world.  This year’s theme is “Unique Cultures, One Community,” created by Ashton Slaughenweit, a sixth-grader at the Meadowbrook Christian School. The festival logo comes from Monica Hepburn, a senior at Milton Area Senior High School. Both were chosen as winners in a competition for each category. There will be more kids’ activities this year, including crafts from around the world. Children can make anything from Irish flag pins to German Edelweiss hats to something knitted using a Honduran loom.
(WGRC)

PAXINOS — Despite pressure from Valley anglers and the state Fish and Boat Commission, a 98-mile stretch of the Susquehanna River cannot be declared “impaired” without proper testing and data identifying the cause of environmental problems that may be causing lesions in smallmouth bass, a state official said Thursday. Calling the waterway from Sunbury to the Holtwood Dam impaired is “complicated both legally and factually,” said Mike Krancer, secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. Krancer said Thursday what he told Fish and Boat Commission officials in the letter April 16th still stands. An impairment designation is not warranted without proof that the river is unhealthy. The black spot condition is said to be found on fish in the river since 1980 and in 11 states. Some anglers have chalked up the black spot condition to last fall’s flooding of the River and the contaminants that were dumped into it then and are certain the River will clean itself up.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania reported the earliest detection of a West Nile virus-carrying mosquito since testing began in 2000. The Departments of Environmental Protection and Health say The infected mosquito was found May 3 in Exeter Township, Berks County. Typically, the state's first West Nile virus-carrying mosquito is found in mid-June. Some blame the warmer than usual Spring toward the increase in mosquito populations already observed in the Northeast. The best defense against West Nile virus is to prevent mosquitoes from breeding by dumping standing water on your property.
(WGRC)