September 6, 2012

September 6, 2012

NORTHUMBERLAND – In Northumberland County, more than a dozen Pennsylvania State Police personnel combed an area of Route 11 outside of Northumberland in Point Township this morning with sticks and metal detectors looking for a critical piece of evidence in the Frank Spencer homicide investigation.  State Police would not comment on what the group was searching for or if they found it.  The searchers were personnel from the Bloomsburg State Police barracks.  The Daily Item reports, the search lasted for about an hour and a half.  In July, the 46-year old Spencer, was found dead at his home at 20 Fairview Drive in Hemlock Township, Columbia County. He died from a gunshot wound to the head.  His pickup truck was missing, and that was found hours later at North Fifth and Line Streets in Sunbury.  No one has been charged in connection with the crime.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY – Law officials in Northumberland County say the death of a 22-year-old Kulpmont woman found half clothed in the back seat of a car was due to a drug overdose. The Daily Item reports, just short of a year ago, Kulpmont police found Kortni Kenenitz inside a car Prix parked in front of a home police said she shared with several other people. On Wednesday, District Attorney Tony Rosini said Kenenitz died of a drug overdose, and police are now investigating where the drugs came from. Rosini said the investigation is ongoing, and until police have solid evidence, the case will remain open.
(WGRC)

ROCKVIEW - An eastern Pennsylvania woman was injured in a rollover crash around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday on Interstate 80 in Centre County. State police at Rockview said 58-year-old Emma Smith, of Matamoras, was traveling west on I-80 when she took her eyes off the roadway to check a GPS unit in her vehicle. Her minivan drifted off the roadway into a ditch, and rolled twice, before going into a wooded area hitting several trees. Police say Smith suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - A vacant building in Shamokin caught fire late Wednesday night. The fire at 717-719 North Shamokin Street was first reported shortly after 10 p.m. City police say a man came to the police station to report the building was ablaze. Thick gray smoke and flames shot from the second floor of the building as crews arrived on the scene. The building owned by Larry Burda, had no electricity and had not been inhabited since 2005. There’s no word on a cause and an investigation into the fire is underway. Crews were called back out to North Shamokin Street just beofre nine this mroning for a re-kindle of last night's blaze.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE - Borough police are searching for three men after an 18-year-old borough resident reported being pistol-whipped while being robbed of $350 on West Spruce Street. At approximately 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, the 18-year-old was assaulted on West Spruce Street near Orange Street by three attackers. Police say the victim was struck numerous times to the face and head with what was believed to be the butt of a pistol. The man was treated at a hospital for his injuries and released. Police said the man was visiting the home of a friend prior to the attack, and he was able to fight back against the attackers, striking at least one of them in the face with his fist. The suspects are described as a white man, approximately 5 feet,10 inches tall, a black man, approximately 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall with a medium build, and another black man, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall with a medium build. Information will be kept confidential. The attack resembles another attack Friday August 24th at the former Value City Parking lot in Monroe Township. Where an 18-year-old man was attacked and robbed at knifepoint by a black man standing around six feet tall, with facial hair. Two other people were believed to be with the thief and they took off in a vehicle. The 18-year-old was robbed of $130 dollars in cash. Police are asking anyone with information to call them at 374-8655.
(WGRC)

MILTON – State Police at Milton are reminding residents to avoid scams where big prizes or money await those who send cash in return for big ticket items. This after a 78-year-old Milton man was scammed out of $7,000 over the past month. The victim was told to send cash to various international locations in return for large sums of money and valuable items. Police are continuing their investigation of those incidents.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

DALMATIA – A Dalmatia man is facing charges after numerous motorists called police saying the man was lying on a roadway and doing push-ups, yelling at motorists and stopping traffic. State Police were called out around 9:30 yesterday morning to 318 School House Road in Lower Mahanoy Township, Northumberland County. Police say 35-year-old Michael Fabrizio of the Dalmatia area was causing the disturbances. He was taken into custody and faces charges of disorderly conduct.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LAIRDSVILLE – Police in Lycoming County are investigating a case of animal cruelty. Police say sometime August 24th someone snuck onto a farm along German Road near Lairdsville and cut the tail off a horse. State Police are continuing their investigation.Jim Diehl (WGRC)

DANVILLE - A Danville woman who allegedly set fire to cardboard in the basement of her apartment building will undergo a mental health evaluation. The Press Enterprise reports, 24-year-old Christine Ahlum, sent her charges of arson and related counts onto Montour County Court after appearing before District Judge Marvin Shrawder. She was returned to the Northumberland County Prison on $15,000 bail. Her attorney, public defender Bob Marks Jr., said Ahlum needs a competency and psychological evaluation, and she's now getting medication. Ahlum seemed disconnected from the court proceeding and uttered random phrases and began singing as paperwork was completed. Investigators say     Ahlum poured lighter fluid on a pile of cardboard in the basement of her apartment building at 16 Bloom Street in Danville on July 27 and set it on fire while other tenants were in the building. Fire crews were able to put the fire out in a short time without much damage.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A Muncy man has been sentenced to 16 months to three years in state prison for a crash in Williamsport last October. Police say 36-year-old John Easton Jr., was drunk and fell asleep behind the wheel of a company truck in the 400 block of West Third Street during the early morning hours of October 9th. The truck hit Alonzo Barr of Mississippi who was trying to get into a vehicle. Barr suffered some serious injuries.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - A Danville teen accused of stealing three handguns and other items from unlocked vehicles will now face charges in Montour County court. The Press Neterprise reports, 18-year-old Yaser Oms, originally from Cuba, sent charges of burglary and theft onto court Wednesday with the aid of an interpreter. Police say rifling through cars in July, Oms and 17-year-old Bryan Arriaga-Soto, 17, managed to get their hands on three guns. The pair also allegedly stole other items, such as a camera and MP3 player. Oms remains jailed on $50,000. Arriaga-Soto was returned to Philadelphia to be sentenced by juvenile authorities there.
(WGRC)

MOUNT CARMEL - A Mount Carmel woman charged with multiple felonies for operating a methamphetamine lab with her live-in boyfriend waived her right to a preliminary hearing and formal arraignment in county court Wednesday afternoon in Mount Carmel before District Judge Hugh Jones. Thirty-year-old Kim Metcalf, was sent back to the Northumberland County Prison on $200,000 cash bail after sending her charges to court. Metcalf and 33-year-old Jason Hunsinger, were charged by Mount Carmel Police following a raid at their home on August 28th that led to the discovery of a mobile methamphetamine lab, which prompted police to evacuate neighbors, cordon off a square block area around the home and request a decontamination zone. Hunsinger remains jailed in the Columbia County Prison on a probation violation and is awaiting a hearing before a judge on the drug charges.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - When organizers of the Bloomsburg Fair welcomed local media and dignitaries to the educational building for their annual kickoff luncheon last year, it was raining outside. Really raining. Little did those in attendance know just how bad it would get. That was Wednesday, September 7, 2011, the day streams and creeks began to overflow their banks from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee in what would result in historic flooding and the cancellation of the fair for the first time in its 157-year history. Yesterday, organizers, the media and dignitaries were gathered again, and they acted quickly to thank the volunteers who have brought the fair back to life for 2012. William Barratt, secretary of police and parking, made a special request of the board of directors, take a vote to dedicate the 2012 fair to all those that worked to get these buildings and grounds ready. The board unanimously agreed, and the symbolic gesture was approved. During his invocation Wednesday, former long-time fair board president Fred Trump talked about the mission the fair - and the town of Bloomsburg - had in the days following last year's flooding. "Last year, the flood ravaged the town, but, you, Lord, brought people together to rebuild and mold this town, and we thank you for that blessing," Trump said. Board President Paul Reichart says the grounds and buildings are 100 percent ready for this year's fair, to be held September 22nd to 29th.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - Beams for a new Slabtown Bridge in Lycoming County connecting Route 973 and Route 87 began arriving Wednesday, just a few days before the one-year anniversary of massive flooding spawned locally by Tropical Storm Lee. A raging Loyalsock Creek is responsible for taking out the span early last September 8th, and the state Department of Transportation has had the bridge's replacement on a fast track for completion by Thanksgiving. The contractor began setting beams for the new, three-span bridge on Wednesday. One span will be done each day for the rest of the week, with work finishing Friday. Next week, the contractor will begin constructing a deck for the new $3 million structure over Loyalsock Creek. Bridge work began in March. So far, the weather has not delayed the project. The Slabtown Bridge is four miles north of Montoursville. Instead, a detour of about 12 miles has been in use since the flood to maintain Route 973 traffic.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A year ago this week much of our region was battling flood waters produced by Tropical Storm Lee. This Sunday the Bloomsburg Ministerium will remember the events of September 2011 during an outdoor service Sunday evening at the Town Park bandshell. The service gets underway Sunday evening at six o'clock.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Some things were done right. Some could be improved upon. That's the assessment that Williamsport Bureau of Fire Chief C. Dean Heinbach delivered Tuesday to City Council's public safety committee in regard to the flash flood of July 28th. Heinbach tells the Sun Gazette the need for police, fire, Streets and Parks and codes officials to share in responsibility of emergency management disaster planning and training is a necessity. He included partnering that plan with Susquehanna Health and other regional entities. Among the lingering questions Heinbach tried to clear up was a decision not to activate warning sirens. Heinbach said the rationale for not doing so was based on the sirens possibly causing confusion and an inability to provide the public with an immediate warning message. He suggested a citywide and/or countywide procedure be established and tested annually. John Yingling, county director of the Department of Public Safety, agreed with Heinbach about emergency officials getting caught off-guard during the storm.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport finance committee Wednesday gave a positive recommendation for a $3,000-per-month lease of a temporary compressed natural gas fueling station on wheels to be stationed at the River Valley Transit garage, 1500 West Third Street. The full body of council will vote on the measure tonight. William Nichols, general manager of River Valley Transit, the city's bus service, said the leased equipment from Mansfield Gas Equipment Systems of Ontario, California should be ready by October 1st to fuel fleet vehicles, such as a bus that has been ordered. Nichols said he considered the arrival of the RVT bus and temporary fueling station to be transitional time in the city's mode and method of transportation. The city plans to order four buses that run on the alternative fuel source and the full conversion of the fleet is expected to save $500,000 annually in fuel costs.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - A former State College schools superintendent, a local police chief and two child psychologists are among the nine local people to form the board of the Centre County Children’s Advocacy Center. The formation of the board of directors is the latest step in the quickly developing advocacy center, which will be a place where child crime victims are interviewed by trained professionals. The center’s goal is to reduce the trauma a child experiences when being interviewed by multiple people in multiple places. Organizers are homing in on a site possibly on South Fraser Street in State College. The advocacy center here is a direct result of community leaders looking to find ways to better protect children in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case, in which the former Penn State coach was convicted of molesting 10 boys, six of whom were from Centre County. The Centre Daily Times reports, organizers hope to raise $2 million and have the center operational within a year.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Congressman Tom Marino is slated to receive the National Industries for the Blind AbilityOne Champion Award, for his advocacy of the social, financial, and personal independence of persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities. The award will be presented at a ceremony today from 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at the Congressman’s Constituent Service Center on Commerce Park Drive in Williamsport by members of North Central Sight Services. Congressman Marino has supported North Central Sight Services and its sixty employees over the past two years, visiting their facility in Williamsport, meeting with personnel both in Washington and in Pennsylvania, and using SkilCraft-made products in his D.C. office. Congressman Marino will also be presented with the 2012 RetireSafe Award, recognizing his continued commitment to defending and supporting our nation’s seniors during the ceremony.
(WGRC)

BUCK RUN – In Schuylkill County the state Department of Environmental Protection is planning to fine a Foster Township supervisor for allegedly removing 20 tons of anthracite from a coal seam without a permit. The DEP has charged G. Robert Sterling with violating the state’s Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act, conducting mining activities without a state surface mine operator's license and permit. Sterling has 30 days to appeal his case to the Environmental Hearing Board in Harrisburg. Officials with the DEP say the agency is going to assess some type of fine against Mr. Sterling regardless of whether he appeals or not.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky regrets not taking the stand at his child sex abuse trial and likely will be sentenced next month, his defense lawyer said Wednesday. Attorney Joe Amendola says he has not received a presentence report for Sandusky from the county court system and the defense has not decided whether to contest a recommendation that the 68-year-old be declared a sexually violent predator under Pennsylvania's Megan's Law, which would subject him to stringent reporting requirements if he's released on parole. Amendola tells the Associated Press, ''The reality is Jerry is going to get a sentence, which, if it's not reversed on appeal, is going to be tantamount to a life sentence.'' Sandusky maintains his innocence. Amendola said he has continued to warn Sandusky about plans to make a statement at sentencing to Judge John Cleland because going into specifics could return to haunt him if he eventually gets a new trial. Amendola has begun work on post-trial motions that can't be filed until after sentencing. He said Sandusky will have 10 days to file post-sentencing motions and the judge would have four or five months to rule on them. If Sandusky loses those efforts, he would then have a month to file an appeal to Superior Court.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - PennDOT's newly launched Facebook page gives Pennsylvanians more ways to interact with the agency and find valuable transportation news and tips. PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch says, "We're pleased to now have another way that we can communicate with Pennsylvanians and transportation stakeholders." The new PennDOT Facebook page features information on travel, construction, highway safety, law enforcement, traffic safety, driver's licenses and PennDOT job opportunities, and access to free resources and online services. To visit and "like" the PennDOT Facebook page, go to www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The TV screens of Pennsylvanians are suddenly empty of presidential campaign advertising as the post-Labor Day campaign season begins. An independent media tracker and various independent advocacy groups say no ads are running in Pennsylvania, which traditionally has been treated as an important swing state in presidential elections. But independent polls over the summer have consistently shown President Obama, a Democrat, with a lead over his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Since mid-April, the Obama campaign and advocacy groups have spent millions of dollars on ads. Romney's campaign last advertised on TV in Pennsylvania in April. A spokesman for Crossroads GPS, a group associated with Republican strategist Karl Rove, insists Pennsylvania is still competitive and that the group may advertise in the state again.
(WGRC)