September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012

HAZLETON - Two men connected to a string of robberies in three counties were formally charged today.  Federal and local officials announced the indictment of Tysheed Hargrove and Jose Nunez today at the Hazleton state police barracks near Hazleton.  The two men are now charged in connection with 18 robberies in Luzerne, Carbon, and Schuylkill Counties.  Investigators said the two committed the crimes between December 2011 and February 2012.  Hargrove and Nunez were arrested in February.
(WNEP)

MILROY – Fire crews from Mifflin and Centre Counties were called out to battle a fire at a saw mill in Mifflin County early this morning. The call for the fire at the Cedar Grove Saw Mill an Amish run facility located at 200 Cedar Grove Lane near Milroy came in around three this morning. Fire officials at the Milroy Fire Company say the mill was fully involved when their crews arrived on the scene. There were no injuries reported. Crews remained on the scene until just after seven this morning. The saw mill was totally destroyed and a cause was not determined. An investigation into the fire will be conducted by the Mifflin County Regional Police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LANDINGVILLE - Flames destroyed a South Manheim Township home in Schuylkill County, Tuesday leaving four people homeless. Firefighters from Landingville and surrounding communities found the home at 128 Woodland Drive already burned to the ground when they arrived. The fire was believed to have started in the garage of the home and then quickly spread to the rest of the house. The occupants of the home, Deborah Cherrybon, her two daughters and a granddaughter, were not home when the fire broke out. No cause of the fire has been determined and a state police fire marshal will investigate.
(WGRC)

KREAMER – A Kreamer woman is struck and killed while trying to cross Route 522 in Kreamer. That happened just before four yesterday afternoon. Middleburg Police say 85-year-old Martha Musser stopped by a yard sale in Middle Creek Township and was crossing route 522 to get back into her vehicle when she walked into the path of a car driven by 76-year-old Leon Bowersox of Middleburg. Police say Musser died at the scene. Middleburg Police along with a State Police accident reconstruction team investigated the incident.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MAHANOY CITY - A Mahanoy City woman was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street Tuesday morning and flown to Geisinger Medical Center. Police say 85-year-old Catherine Ambrose, a resident at the Mahanoy Elderly High Rise, on West Centre Street, was crossing the street when she was hit by a driven by 28-year-old Samantha Frye, of Delano. Ambrose remains in serious condition at Geisinger.
(WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE – A 41-year-old Jersey Shore man was flown to Geisinger Medical Center following a crash in Lycoming County. That crash happened around 10:30 Saturday night on Route 654 in Bastress Township. Police say Christopher McCann suffered major injuries when he apparently fell asleep at the wheel and went off the roadway slamming into several trees. Police have cited McCann for driving on a suspended license.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIFFLINBURG – State Police say 37-year-old Herbert Tiebout of Sunbury and 28-year-old Justin Richard of Mifflinburg were among four men who broke into a Millmont home and savagely beat up one man and tied him with a phone cord before stealing drugs and firearms, then drove to a home near Cowan where they used one of the stolen guns to kill Randy Sampsell. The killer remains at large. And state police continue their investigation. Police identified Justin Richard as a suspect in the case, but they were not able to track him down until his girlfriend sought refuge at the Virginia Beach Police after getting into a fight with him. The couple had fled there after originally bouncing around campgrounds in the days after the killing. Both Tiebout and Richard are charged with second and third degree murder. Two others, 26-year-old Amanda Kratzer, of Lewisburg, 24-year-old Michael Andrew Shetterly II, of Mifflinburg were charged as well. Kratzer was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and Shetterly was charged with receiving stolen property. Two other unidentified suspects in the case, including the shooter, are still being sought and Tiebout who knows the other two is not talking.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE — A 17- year-old boy who conspired with a woman to rob an Amish store in Penns Valley last November will serve 18 to 36 months in the county jail. Vincent Knepp, of Rebersburg, was sentenced Tuesday by county Judge Jonathan Grine. Knepp pleaded guilty in July as part of an agreement with the Centre County District Attorney’s Office. State police said Knepp went with 21-year-old Brittany Wingard, into Speicher Bulk Foods in Aaronsburg the morning of November 23rd. Police said Wingard brandished a rifle and told a female employee to give her money or Wingard would shoot her. The woman shouted for someone to call 911 and Wingard and Knepp left.The two were later arrested and charged along with Wingard’s sister, 17-year-old Brooke Wingard, who was waiting in the getaway car. Brittany Wingard is serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence in a state prison for the robbery. Brooke Wingard was charged as an adult, but her attorney has asked a judge to transfer the case to juvenile court. The judge has not ruled yet on Brooke Wingard’s case.
(WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG - A Middleburg woman is charged with taking $35,000 from her former boyfriend. 67-year-old Robin Vanhorn took the money out of a gun safe owned by her former boyfriend. She had also obtained a protection of abuse order from the man. However, when she failed to return the money, she was charged with theft and receiving stolen property.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - A Newton Hamilton man involved in a fatal crash on October 8, 2011, along U.S. Route 22/522 near Jacks Mountain Road, sent his charges of vehicular homicide on to Mifflin County Court, Tuesday. 42-year-old Carl Briggs, is accused of hitting a motorcycle driven by 64 year-old Bruce Kauffman Jr., nearly head on. Kauffman and his wife 63-year-old Judy Kauffman, both died at the scene of the crash. Police said there were no signs of braking from Briggs' vehicle. Witnesses say Briggs was attempting to pass another vehicle when he collided with the Kauffman’s motorcycle. Police say Briggs was drinking at the time of the crash but tested under the state legal limit to be driving following the crash. Briggs is charged with two counts each of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault and related counts. Briggs remains free on $150,000 bail.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG — A woman found living with more than two dozen malnourished and filthy cats now faces a $300 fine for alleged neglect. The Press Enterprise reports, police filed an animal-cruelty citation against 55-year-old Janice Lew-Pursel after all 29 cats seized from her West Fifth Street home in August were euthanized. At the time, Pursel said she had been in poor health and had difficulty taking care of the cats since her husband had died.
(WGRC)

NORTHUMBERLAND - A second rock slide in three months sent a 4-foot pile of shale across the southbound lane of Route 11 last evening, forcing motorists to alternate travels on the northbound lane. No one was hurt and no vehicles were damaged as a result of the slide, about seven miles south of Danville near Redman Acres Road. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation crews were expected to investigate and clean debris from the roadway. A massive rock slide on June 2nd closed Route 11 after 80 cubic yards of rock, and mud covered the highway.
(WGRC)

MONTGOMERY – Never Forget, that was the spirit of the annual 9/11 Memorial Ride, hosted Tuesday in Lycoming County by the 9/11 Coalition. As many as 3,000 motorcyclists turned out for the event, which featured a ride through the eastern part of Lycoming County that started and ended at the Clinton Township fire hall near Montgomery. Thomas "Tank" Baird is the coalition president and founder of the ride, which began as an impromptu gathering of bikers who met only days after the attacks, says, "In the first ride, there was a lot of shock and anger and all kinds of emotions." Eleven years later, the mood of the ride has changed from anger to reverence. Mickey Finn, a retired state trooper and coalition board member sasy,"This is just a reminder that we should never forget what's happened to this country and the way things have changed in the last 12 years since the 9/11 attacks." “The ride is a constant reminder of the lives that were lost."
(WGRC)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An injured Army Sargent from Bellefonte received a very special visitor Tuesday on the 9/11 anniversary. Twenty-four-year-old Vincent Reynolds is recovering at the Walter Reed hospital after losing part of his leg Labor Day to an explosive buried along a trail in Afghanistan where he was stationed. A knock on his hospital room’s door reveal none other than President Barrack Obama yesterday. Obama dropped by to chat with Reynolds, who was moved to Walter Reed last week. They talked about Afghanistan and Reynolds’ 2009 combat tour in Iraq — the wars set in motion by the September 11th attacks 11 years ago. During the visit, Obama gave Reynolds a presidential coin similar to the unit medallions military personnel trade with each other and told him how much he appreciated Reynolds sacrifice for his country.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - Danville officials are willing to review last week’s variance denial that would have forced the school district to abandon the Danville Middle School and pay as much as $30 million to construct a new building. At the school board’s Tuesday meeting, borough secretary Tom Graham said a variance could be offered if the board clarified what proof of hardships would stem from not receiving the variance. School board President Allan Schappert estimated that the total cost of repairing the middle school building and wet flood-proofing it would be around $8 million. The cost of dry flood-proofing the property would increase the cost by about $24 million to $26 million, and would require the district to find another site for a school. While the borough has control of the levee system, it is still working to improve flood protection with a floodgate system. It recently received a grant of $3.7 million for the project. Borough officials say they are willing to work with the school district to get a variance so that the Danville Middle School could be open for the 2013-2014 school year.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - All 1,400 employees of the State College Area School District are now considered mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse. The school board approved a modification to its child abuse reporting policy on Monday. The modification is not a drastic change, as most employees — such as teachers, nurses, administrators, guidance counselors — were already mandatory reporters. But the policy excluded employees who didn’t come into direct contact with minors, such as janitors who work a late-night shift or physical plant staff. District administrators wanted to expand beyond the current training to include support staff who do not work directly with students but who may become aware of a reportable incident. The Jerry Sandusky child abuse case factored into revising the policy because administrators saw an opportunity to better protect children. This spring, district administrators and employees went through mandatory reporter training offered by the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - Northumberland County commissioners took the first step Tuesday toward officially establishing the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area by passing a resolution to create an authority that will be responsible for managing and operating it. A public hearing regarding the formation of the authority was held prior to the vote, but no citizens from the crowd of about 30 at the meeting offered comment. No appointments were made to the five-member authority, which will take 60 to 90 days to establish. The commissioners chose to have the county own and operate the off-roading park rather than own the property and have another organization manage and operate the facility, or lease or sell the property to a private company that would own and operate it. Commissioner Rick Shoch, believes the park will boost the local economy, and would like to a see a "cross-section of competing interests" serve on the board, including a business owner or chamber of commerce representative, environmentalists, hunters and ATV riders.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - Bellefonte community members hope changes can be made to protect those buildings still standing from any future threat of fire. Two days after a fire ripped through Hotel Do De in downtown Bellefonte, one of the key questions that remains on a lot of displaced residents' minds, what is it about the Bellefonte buildings that make them more prone to fire? Bellefonte Borough Manager Ralph Stewart says the lack of sprinkler systems may be the answer to that question. Stewart says the cost of installing sprinklers is the only thing holding officials back from making them mandatory for property owners. Stewart says these changes will be discussed at the next borough work session in the coming weeks.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Good things sometimes come to those who wait. At least that's what some Williamsport City Council members are banking on after Mayor Gabriel Campana delayed by two weeks a scheduled presentation with officials from Delta Development, a Camp Hill-based consulting firm that is developing an economic development strategy for the city. The strategy includes Campana's Destination 2014. That project is a planned reuse and redevelopment of buildings on the YMCA block as the non-profit organization plans to build a new building south of the Williamsport Regional Medical Center. A meeting with Delta Development officials and Council that had been scheduled to take place next Thursday was moved to 7:30 p.m. October 4th. Council members are fine with the wait as the reason for the delay was so Delta could create solid, concise conceptual drawings for their presentation.
(WGRC)

HANEYVILLE - The Clinton County Commissioners shot down a proposed zoning regulation governing "temporary portable frac water treatment facilities" last evening, after listening to about an hour's worth of testimony by Gallagher Township residents and property owners. Commissioners Joel Long, Pete Smeltz and Jeff Snyder each cited different reasons for the rejection of the Clinton County Planning Commission's recommendation, but the general and unanimous conclusion appeared to be that the new rules didn't go far enough in protecting the environment or the citizens in rural sections of the county. Some 60 individuals gathered at the Haneyville Fire Company's station to offer their feelings about the matter, and barring a few exceptions, the large majority was opposed to the way the law was written.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN – Lewistown Hospital Blood Gas Laboratory received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists. The facility’s director, Dr. Jose’ Acosta, was advised of this national recognition and congratulated for the excellence of the services being provided. Lewistown Hospital Blood Gas Laboratory is one of more than 7,000 College of American Pathologists-accredited facilities worldwide. During the College of American Pathologists accreditation process, designed to ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients, inspectors examine the laboratory’s records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. Inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record, and overall management.
(WGRC)

BERWICK - A Berwick woman is doing her part to make the area aware of the dangers of drugs especially heroin. Vicki Lowery's daughter was swept up by heroin and now Ms. Lowery says she plans a rally at the Jackson Mansion next month to show her support in stamping out heroin and other drugs. The rally will be one of about a dozen being held around the U-S at the same time. It takes place Saturday, September 15th at the Jackson Mansion on Market Street starting at 1 O'clock.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Getting busted for public drunkenness in Pennsylvania will carry a higher price tag under legislation that’s being considered and is the subject of a public hearing in State College today. The state Senate already has passed and the House is considering two bills — one to increase the fine for public drunkenness from $300 to $1000, the other to let municipalities that are home to universities, including State College, to levy a $100 fee on people convicted of alcohol-related offenses. The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing from 10 a.m. to noon in the State College borough building to get input on the subject. State College Chief of Police Tom King and borough Manager Tom Fountaine are among those scheduled to address the committee. Senator Jake Corman who introduced the legislation in the Senate, also will talk at the hearing.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - Dozens of students, faculty and other researchers at Penn State’s International Center for the Study of Terrorism are busy monitoring domestic and international activity, as well as preparing to interview and analyze former terrorists overseas. Director of the Center, John Horgan said the group’s research is paid for with federal contracts and competitive grants from agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom. Horgan says they are working on research proposals to look at the increasing role of children in terrorist violence. Horgan says they are also conducting interviews with 30 ex-terrorists about their experiences in the movement. Horgan says the United States is more secure following the 9/11 attacks and the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but our nation’s biggest threat is “lone actors." He says bigger threats remain from groups within our own boarders involving plots associated with neo-Nazi groups, and anti-Semitic far-white groups, than with jihadist activity.
(WGRC)

NORTHUMBERLAND – The Point Township Police and Point Township Supervisors reached a new working agreement at the Township Meeting last night. The five-year contract extends the current compliment of officers working in the Township until the end of 2017 with an annual three percent raise. Those wishing to view the contract may do so by stopping by the Point Township offices, 759 Ridge Road, Northumberland.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE –With the Interstate 80 bridge preservation work continuing, PennDOT advises drivers of traffic pattern changes starting on Friday near the Bellefonte interchange. On Friday, the eastbound travel lane will be closed and traffic will move to the left/passing lane in two different work zones between mile-markers 160 and 167.  Also on Friday, the westbound travel lane will be closed and traffic will move to the left/passing lane between mile-markers 161 and 159. These lane restrictions will continue through late November. Drivers heading to this weekend’s Penn State home football game should be alert for slowed or stopped traffic between mile-marker 173 at Lamar in Clinton County and mile-marker 161 at Bellefonte in Centre County. State Police will direct traffic at the off-ramp to improve the traffic flow. Drivers may wish to use an alternate route if traveling to the Penn State Game this weekend.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The Divine Providence Hospital Auxiliary announces the first Car&Truck Show and Festival scheduled 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday, September 30 in the parking lot in front of the hospital entrance in Williamsport. This free event offers fun for the whole family including a display of cars and trucks, children’s games, musical entertainment, craft and food vendors. Pulled pork dinners featuring “to go” service will be available in the hospital cafeteria from 11 am to 4 pm. The gift shop will also offer 25 percent off all items throughout the festival. Car owners interested in placing their vehicles on display may register their vehicles from 10 am to noon in the parking lot area. Individuals who participate in the Car&Truck Show by placing a vehicle on display will receive a complimentary lunch. Awards will be presented at 2 pm to winning car owners in the following categories: People’s Choice, Participant’s Choice and Auxiliary Choice.
(WGRC)