October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

SUNBURY – The Northumberland County Board of Commissioners, by a 2-1 vote, today approved appointments to the newly formed Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area authority.  Appointed were: Pat Mack, of Sunnyside, county planning and industrial development director, appointed to a five-year term; Michael Schwartz, of Trevorton, a banker and Zerbe Township supervisor, to a four-year term; Jim Backes, of Coal Township, a businessman, to a three-year term; Barry Yorwarth, of Paxinos, an outdoor enthusiast and employee of the federal prison in Minersville, to a two-year term, and David Crowl, of Elysburg, a businessman and contractor, to a one-year term.  The appointments were ratified by Commissioners Vinny Clausi and Steve Bridy. The News-Item reports, in voting against the appointments, Rick Shoch said he has no problem with any of the appointees, but did not approve of the way the authority process was handled and believes the board should have more members.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - An arrest warrant was issued for a Northumberland County man who failed to appear for jury selection on charges concerning his alleged responsibility in a woman’s death.  31-year old Thomas Schorr of Dalmatia and three passengers were traveling on McKees Road in Lower Mahanoy Township on April 12th, 2010, when Schorr allegedly began driving erratically, prompting Bethany Harris to leap from the vehicle and to her death. The Daily Item reports, Schorr is charged with accidents involving death while driving without a valid license, and several related counts.  He was scheduled to go on trial later this month.  Schorr failed to show up at jury selection this morning and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
(WGRC)

PLEASANT GAP - An overnight standoff in Centre County ended early this morning when police subdued an armed man who had barricaded himself in his apartment.  State police say 47-year old John Cleland Garrett Junior, got into an argument with his girlfriend at a residence on Jacksonsville Road in Marion Township on Sunday night and fired a handgun. He then went to his apartment in the Norman Avenue Townhouses complex on Norman Avenue in Pleasant Gap at about 10:30, refusing to cooperate when ordered to come out.  Police tell the Centre Daily Times, Garrett fired a gun inside his apartment during the standoff, but did not say whether he aimed at them or anyone else. Garrett surrendered just after 8 this morning.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – A prisoner escapes from a prison camp in Union County.  Authorities at USP Lewisburg say 36-year old inmate Rueben Latimer was discovered missing around 3 this morning from the minimum security Satellite Prison Camp in Lewisburg.  Latimer was serving time for dealing drugs in New Jersey.  Latimer is Hispanic and stands about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 157 pounds.  Anyone with information about Latimer is asked to call the U.S. Marshalls Service at 346-7277.
John Callahan (WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Arlen Specter, who spent much of his 30-year career in the U.S. Senate warning of the dangers of political intolerance, lost a battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Specter, who died Sunday, is remembered as one of Congress' best-known moderates. He was a member of both major parties during his career and even mounted a short-lived run for president in 1995. Specter died just two years after he was voted out of office.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Once again, a gunman held up a business late Sunday afternoon in Williamsport making it the fourth armed robbery of a business in the area in a week. A second Cigarette Outlet store, this one at 1725 East Third Street, was robbed just after four p.m. when a gunman walked into the Loyalsock Township business and demanded money from the clerk. The bandit fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. The first armed robbery in the area occurred about 8 p.m. Oct. 7 when an armed man fled with cash from the Nittany Minit Mart at 1450 East Third Street, just three blocks away. The bandit described in Sunday's holdup matched the description of the gunman in at least two of the other robberies, police said. The gunman was described as white, about 6-foot-2, with a beard, possibly fake, and weighing about 200 pounds. In addition to the Nittany Minit Mart, other recent robberies were at the Uni-Mart, 1944 West Fourth Street, on Friday and another Cigarette Outlet store on Lycoming Creek Road in Old Lycoming Township on Wednesday. No one was hurt in any of the holdups.
(WGRC)

LOGANTON— A fire at a farm house at 2030 East Winter Road, in Greene Township, Clinton County left no injuries Saturday. Sugar Valley Fire Company Chief Scott Kemmerer says the structure fire began as a chimney fire that “got out of control,” and extended into the wall of the home. Damage was limited to the first-floor kitchen area and the wall around the chimney. The fire was discovered by the homeowner at 9:30 a.m. and crews were back in service around 1:30 p.m.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - A 19-year-old Penn State student remained in the hospital Sunday after falling 39 feet out of a window at Calder Commons apartments. State College police said the young woman fell from the window of a fifth-floor apartment in the downtown building overnight Saturday. The Centre Daily Times reports Paige Raque who was taken to Altoona Regional Medical Center. Police said the fall appears to have been accidental. While they do not suspect criminal activity, an investigation will continue. Raque remains in critical condition at the hospital.
(WGRC)

PINE GROVE – A crash late last night in Schuylkill County send stow to the hospital. The crash happened just before eleven p.m. on Oak Grove Road in Pine Grove. Police say a car driven by 26-year-old Eric Lehr of Pine Grove drifted across the roadway and slammed into several trees. Both he and his passenger 20-year-old Joseph Currie were flown to Hershey Medical Center with what police called moderate injuries. Police say alcohol is believed to have played a part in the crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

POTTSVILLE – A crash just south of Pottsville on Route 61 in Schuylkill County remains under investigation. The crash happened just after noon, Sunday on Route 61 just south of the Mount Carbon Arch in North Manheim Township. Police say Jonathan Hobelman of Westfield, Indiana was hauling 34,000 pounds of aluminum on a flat-bed trailer when the trailer shifted causing Hobelman’s rig to roll. The crash closed Route 61 northbound for about four hours as crews cleared the scene. Hobelman was taken to Schuylkill Medical Center for his injuries.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

TURBOTVILLE – Two people were taken to the hospital following a crash on Route 54 in Northumberland County. The crash happened around 10:30 Sunday morning. Police say 83-year-old Marjorie Heydenreich of Washingtonville suffered major injuries in the crash while the driver of the other vehicle, 58-year-old Elizabeth Dougherty of Wyomissing suffered moderate injuries in the crash. Police say Heydenreich tried to pass a vehicle when she lost control and was hit by Doughery’s vehicle. Heydenreich’s car then went into a ditch and overturned. Both women were taken to Geisinger Medical Center. Heydenreich remains in critical condition.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Police are investigating several crashes in Lycoming County over the weekend. A car went off Route 220 and down a slight embankment, just south of the Jersey Shore Main Street interchange about 6:15 p.m. Saturday night. The driver, 24-year-old Benjamin Lakes, of Williamsport, was taken to the Jersey Shore Hospital for head injuries. The Sun Gazette reports, in another crash, 79-year-old John Lorson, of Williamsport, and three passengers in his car, his wife, 77-year-old Marcella, and the couple’s two grandsons, ages 5 and 7, were taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for injuries they suffered when the vehicle first struck a parked pickup truck and then a utility pole in the 2500 block of Euclid Avenue in DuBoistown about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. In another crash at about the same time, a woman was hurt when her car and another collided at Route 15 and Fritz Station Road in Brady Township. She was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE – Three from Lycoming County were taken to Geisinger Medical Center following a crash Saturday morning in Montour County. The crash happened just before eleven a.m. on Interstate 80 in Valley Township. Police say 70-year-old Juan Perez of Linden suffered minor injuries while his passengers, 18-year-old Jerome Hyden of Williamsport suffered moderate injuries and a 17-year-old Williamsport girl suffered minor injuries in the crash. Police say their vehicle slammed into guardrails on both sides of the highway. A portion of guardrail came into the vehicle and struck Hyden who had to be cut free of the wreckage.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

NEW COLUMBIA – A two vehicle crash Friday afternoon in Union County sends three to Geisinger Medical Center. The crash happened just after four p.m. at the intersection of Creek Road and Ridge Road in White Deer Township. Police say a Jeep driven by 69-year-old Patrick O’Fallon of Milton pulled into the intersection and collided with a pick-up truck driven by 87-year-old Herman Reichley of Winfield. Reichley and his passenger 88-year-old Bernetta Reichley also of Winfield and O’Fallon’s passenger 52-year-old John Doane of Milton suffered injuries and were taken to the hospital.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

POTTSGROVE – Police have released details on a crash Wednesday that sent a 19-year-old to the hospital. The crash happened just after eleven p.m. on Route 642 in East Chilisquaque Township, Northumberland County. Police say 19-year-old Vadim Karpeshov of Milton suffered moderate injuries when he lost control of his vehicle on a curve and went off the roadway striking a utility pole before sliding another 300 feet and hitting another utility pole. He was taken to Geisigner Medical Center.
(WGRC)

MILTON — More than a year after a being charged in connection with a gang-related stabbing in Milton, 22-year-old Michelle Smith was taken before a District Judge Thursday, and charged with aggravated assault and related counts. Smith, of Milton, was charged with the August 2011 incident in which she and 26-year-old Andrew Bradford, also of Milton, slashed a woman in the face with a box cutter. The victim was attacked allegedly over a $2,000 debt she owed the Bloods gang. The victim told police about the attack after she was treated at Sunbury Community Hospital. Following the incident, Smith fled with Bradford’s child to Maryland, where she was arrested in October 2011 in connection with a string of armed robberies. Three men, all known members of the Bloods, were also arrested in connection with the Maryland home invasions. Waiting for Smith to face charges in Maryland before coming back to Pennsylvania is what caused the year-long delay. In March, Smith was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree attempted murder in Maryland. For his role in the slashing incident Bradford was extradited from Delaware, where he was arrested in September 2011 for an unrelated incident. In January, he plead no contest to one charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and was sentenced to one to two years in prison.  
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN – A Juniata County woman is in jail after police find marijuana plants and other drug items in her home. Police have charged 26-year-old Elizabeth Bollinger of Mifflintown with possession with intent to deliver marijuana. Police say they found pot plants growing in her home along Big Run Road along with packaged marijuana and other drug items.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT - Driven by their heroin addiction, a man and a woman stole a television set from Beiter's Home Center in South Williamsport on Wednesday and again on Thursday. Police say shortly after the store opened at 9 a.m. Friday, the woman, 28-year-old Elicia McQuown, waited, as she had the two previous days, outside in a getaway car while her alleged accomplice, 35-year-old Joseph Walter, walked in and allegedly grabbed a third television. However, this time store employees stopped him. Police say Walter and McQuown conspired together to steal television sets, which they sold on the street to purchase heroin. Both are now jailed in the Lycoming County prison.
(WGRC)

RICHFIELD - A Richfield man is facing charges after stealing a lawnmower.  20-year-old Edward Owens admitted to taking the mower along Simmental Lane in Perry Township Snyder County between 12:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m. Thursday.  Owens says he took the mower from a Richfield man in order to steal the engine. Owens was already on probation and was taken to Snyder County Prison.
(WGRC)

MAR-LIN - Police are questioning an 18-year-old boy in connection with the theft of over $1300 in cash and prescription drugs from a home in Mar-Lin. The theft happened sometime over night Friday or early Saturday morning at the home at 301 Walnut Street.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - Pottsville police charged four people for their roles in the October 4th theft at the Rite Aid at Route 61 and Mill Creek Avenue in Pottsville. Police said 26-year-old Kerrianne Hoffman of Pottsville, was taken into custody the day of the theft and committed to Schuylkill County Prison. October 5th, police arrested 37-year-old Randy Bruen, of Pottsville. On Monday, police arrested 25-year-old Chelsea Ciccanti, of Pottsville. A fourth person 32-year-old Archie Ciccanti, of Pottsville, has not been taken into custody. Police ask that anyone with information on Ciccanti's whereabouts to call them. The day of the thefts, police said the four went to the store and removed three flat-screen television sets before fleeing the area.
(WGRC)

MUNCY - After hearing clear, detailed testimony from the victim Friday morning, a district judge ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold an Old Lycoming Township man on charges of kidnapping his former girlfriend outside her job site last month. 23-year-old Aaron Jonathan Morrison, is charged with the September 26th kidnapping of the 19-year-old woman as she was arriving for work at Hoopla's Family Fun and Grill on Lycoming Mall Circle just before 11 a.m. Arrest papers say Morrison approached her, picked her up and put her in the back seat of his car, locking her inside. As he drove her to a remote spot outside of Muncy, Morrison kept screaming over and over, and threatened to kill himself. The woman was able to call 9-1-1 using a cell phone which led police to Morrison’s vehicle. Morrison was taken into custody at gunpoint without incident after police found him. He’s now jailed on $200,000 bail.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE – One of two men who pleaded guilty to numerous arson charges I Montour County will be sentenced today. 19-year-old Zane Snyder of Milton faces up to 52-years in prison for his part in setting fires to several barns and abandoned homes in Montour County so that he and 35-year-old Charles Jacobs, of Lewisburg, could go and fight them as volunteer firemen. The former Potts Grove firefighters have pleaded guilty. Jacobs faces up to 66 years in prison. Both said they lit the fires so they could go and fight them because they were “bored.” Both have been jailed since their arrests earlier this year.
(WGRC)

BERWICK - Vandals trashed Crispin Field and three nearby Mulberry Street businesses in Berwick in an overnight spree discovered early Sunday. But more than 60 volunteers from the Berwick Youth Football League and the Berwick Bulldogs football team got cleaning. Within three hours, they and other volunteers had cleared almost all traces of the vandalism and had readied Crispin Field for a series of Sunday afternoon midget-football games. The Press Enterprise reports, someone had broken into a number of food stands, took out water bottles, nachos, and hamburger and hot dog buns and scattered them across the east end of the field. The vandals also dumped full garbage cans and smashed several windows and scrawled vulgar drawings and obscenities on buildings. At a near-by restaurant the vandals broke in and set off two fire extinguishers, stole a computer, broke cupboard doors smashed liquor bottles and sprayed ketsup and mustard all over, and stole nearly $2,000 worth of liquor. Police also found a smashed window at Suntex dry cleaning and one at the nearby Napa Auto Parts. The window breaking at Napa set off an alarm, warning police something was wrong around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Police were still investigating and believe the culprits had been teenagers.
(WGRC)

ALLENWOOD - The SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority plans to install a concrete railroad crossing along Route 44 just west of the Allenwood River Bridge in Gregg Township, Union County starting today. The work will be done by Railroad Constructors Incorporated as part of the overall project sponsored by the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority. A signed detour will be in place starting that morning. The work is expected to be completed by October 19th, at which time the crossing will be opened to traffic and the detour lifted. Once the crossing is completed and prior to the line becoming active, railroad-crossing warning signals will be installed. Motorists are reminded that this will be a new crossing and to stay extra alert in the future.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - Businesses throughout Northumberland County can help fight blight while earning a 75 percent state tax credit by participating in the Neighborhood Assistance Program. The program was explained to prospective contributors Friday at The Hotel Edison during an information session coordinated by Edward Christiano, executive director of the Northumberland County Housing Authority, and consultant Christopher Gulotta of the Gulotta Group, Carlisle. The Neighborhood Assistance Program, established in 1967, provides for a state tax credit to companies that contribute to nonprofit organizations in distressed areas. It has $18 million available this fiscal year. Money, goods or services may be contributed in exchange for the tax credit. Shamokin, Coal Township, Mount Carmel, Ralpho Township and Sunbury have made commitments to use 30 percent of their community development block grant money to attack blight while receiving supplemental state or federal funding. Milton and Delaware Township, the other two CDBG entitlement communities in the county, have not committed CDBG funds to the strategy, but can still refer blighted properties to the county planning commission, as can non-entitlement municipalities.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - The Clinton County commissioners began to hold meetings with row officers and department heads this week, in preparation for what's expected to be a difficult budget process. Several board members have already signaled that some sort of tax increase might be required for 2013, and early budget sessions suggest the commissioners will be taking a dim view of requests for salary increases, new capital outlays or special projects. The previous board approved a $30.2 million 2012 budget with no tax increase. The figure represented a $640,000 draw-down on the $1 million fund balance over the previous year.
(WGRC)

PENN'S CREEK - About $125,000 in grant money has gone toward the renovation of a Centre Township ball field, in Penns Creek in Snyder County the first phase in a plan to create a new park. The funds for phase one, the first of three, went for the field’s landscaping, dugouts, handicap accessibility and concession stand. A community work day on October 6th helped build the concession stand and finished work on the stand’s roof. Funding for phase one came from a community block grant worth approximately $60,000 as well as a $65,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Local businesses gave support and donations as well. For phase two, work will begin on the park’s playground. The Daily Item reports phase three will consist of completing a picnic pavilion. There are also plans to include a small picnic area and a basketball or volleyball court. Plans to create the Keane Community Park began four to five years ago when six acres of land was donated to the township by the family of Paul Keane, an active member of the community before his passing. The family wanted a park built on the land and named after Keane.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - One-third of the 119 recommendations to Penn State in the Freeh report have been completed. The University made that announcement over the weekend. Among the steps to meet the recommendations that stemmed from the third-party investigation into Penn State leaders’ response to allegations of sexual abuse against former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky was conducting mandatory reporter training for more than 7,200 employees and volunteers. The university has been working on implementing the recommendations since January, when the initial ones were made. So far, 40 of the recommendations have been completed. The No. 1 recommendation from the Freeh report — the one to guide the other 118 — was to examine the university’s culture to ensure children are protected, create more accountability among leaders, increase transparency into the university’s management, and integrate athletics with the university community. Penn State said that progress is on track and said it remains committed to protecting children and promoting accountability, transparency and the integration of athletics by implementing all recommendations set forth in the report.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - The Centre Region and Penn State emergency management offices will partner for a joint emergency operations exercise October 17th. The exercise will test the readiness of emergency operations staff and plans should a major disaster occur. As part of the exercise, the region’s notification and alert plan will be tested, and residents will receive a notification via phone, radio and/or television. Residents enrolled in the CodeRED notification program will also receive the information via cell phone. Social media alerts will be sent via the region’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. To prepare for emergencies, residents are encouraged to visit the Centre Region Ready website, crcog.net/EM, to download the Family Emergency Preparedness Guide. Copies also are available at municipal offices and the Centre Region Council of Governments office. The guide offers information on how to prepare for a disaster and a list of important phone numbers.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Voters in Lycoming County still will be asked to show photo identification at the polls on Election Day - Tuesday, November 6 - but those without it still may vote if their names are included in the poll book. Election workers originally were instructed to require a photo ID for all voters, but a Commonwealth Court decision ruled that voters without one still may cast a ballot. First-time voters and those who have moved to a new voting precinct still will have to present ID. Acceptable ID includes a driver's license, identification card issued from the state Department of Transportation, any government, school, military or employer-issued photo ID. First-time voters who do not have a photo ID can present other forms of identification including: voter ID card, non-photo government ID card issued from the state or U.S. government, firearm permit, government check or current utility bill, bank statement or paycheck.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - Forty-three deceased firefighters, including four chiefs, were honored during the Sunbury Fire Department’s 23rd annual memorial service Sunday. A silent parade kicked off the ceremony, with fire engines traveling down Market Street from 10th and Market, ending in front of Sunbury City Hall. The trucks were greeted by the Sunbury City Band, which entertained audience members while they waited for the day’s speakers. Doug Snyder, eastern field supervisor for the state fire commissioner, praised the 43 firefighters who died during the last year. Seven Pennsylvania firefighters died this year while on the job. Snyder says it is for this reason that he encouraged department members to be an example to those younger than them.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania ranks high nationally for West Nile virus reports. The state’s West Nile Virus program announced this week the final counts of positive samples and national rankings for 2012, including second in the nation for positive mosquito samples, with just over 3,400. Pennsylvania ranked third in the nation for positive bird and horse samples. However, the state ranked lower for human cases, at 28th in the nation. The state saw 25 cases, including one in Centre County. In a statement, program officials thanked partners and high public participation that helped keep the human case count lower than other parts of the country.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Governor Tom Corbett has proclaimed this week as Teen Driver Safety Week, noting two significant pieces of legislation that he signed into law in the past year aimed at increasing safety for teens. Corbett’s proclamation coincides with the safety week’s national observance. In the past year, Corbett signed Act 81, which enhanced teen driver safety by strengthening the graduated driver licensing law, and Act 84, which requires safety training for 16 and 17-year-olds seeking motorcycle licenses. For more information on young driver safety, visit PennDOT’s highway safety website, JustDrivePA.com and select the “Young Driver” link under the Traffic Safety Information Center.
(WGRC)

IN SPORTS…
UNIVERSITY PARK — The student section for Penn State’s first Division I hockey game didn’t need to stand for the national anthem — they were already on their feet. The sold out game at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion was standing room only with some people being turned away at the door. The crowd was loud until the end with Penn State ultimately losing the game 3-2 to American International College. Penn State hockey is on the rise with the combination of the Division I classification and new Pegula Ice Arena opening next fall. The Pennsylvania hockey fan bases in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh will combine to make Happy Valley a hockey town.