June 26, 2013

June 26, 2013

MCCLURE – Fire crews from Snyder and Mifflin counties rushed out to a two-alarm barn fire in Snyder County. The fire was reported just after eight this morning at 23947 Route 522 near McClure in West Beaver Township. Crews arriving at the scene were met with a fully involved barn on fire. Route 522 was shut down as tankers hauled water to the scene and battled the flames.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

UNDATED - A 300-mile line of violent thunderstorms and heavy wind gusts moved across Pennsylvania’s heartland last night around nine p.m. causing wide spread power outages and letting loose a lightning bolt that struck a tree and started a fire in the attic of a Lewisburg house. The daily item reports, the attic of a house occupied by the Bucknell University provost caught fire at about 9:30 after a bolt of lightning split the top of a tall tree standing in front of the home. The lightning ran through the electric wiring and into the attic, of Bucknell Provost, Mick Smyer on University Avenue. Firefighters examined the inside of the home for flames. Earlier in the day a string of thunderstorms caused trees to be blown down in Perry, Juniata Snyder and Northumberland Counties. Crews in Snyder County worked to clear Routes 11/15 Southbound near Port Trevorton after a tree fell over onto utility wires onto the highway.  That happened just after three p.m. Meanwhile PPL Electric Utilities reports that as of five this morning only 940 customers still remain without power in their service area. Most of those are located in Northumberland County where just over 300 remain without power. Perry County has nearly 100 without juice and Juniata County has about 50 customers still without power.  Temperatures today should hit 90 with very high, extremely uncomfortable humidity, and today could be a repeat of yesterday with the threat of severe thunderstorms especially this afternoon.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Williamsport City police are looking for the gunman who fired several shots early Tuesday morning at one of the apartment buildings in the Timberland Estates complex in the 500 block of Lycoming Street. One of the shots went through a second-floor window of an occupied unit, but no one was injured. Officers rushed to the neighborhood around 12:30 a.m. after receiving a report of shots being fired at Building 9. Investigators have no motive for the shooting. Officers were at the scene for more than three hours collecting evidence. Police don’t know if the shooter was walking by the building or driving by. The sun Gazette reports, one man was taken from the same block and charged with allegedly having 25 packets of marijuana on him about 12:30 a.m. Police say 18-year-old Basil Arties, of Williamsport was not a part of the shooting incident. Arties is jailed in the Lycoming County Prison.
(WGRC)

ELYSBURG – A man tried to avoid hitting a deer in Northumberland County early this morning and crash his car sending him to the hospital. The crash happened just after two a.m. on Route 54. Troopers say Shane Brosious of Coal Township suffered moderate injuries in the crash and was taken to Geisinger. Police say Brosious tried to avoid hitting the deer and then struck an embankment.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIFFLINVILLE — A two-trailer UPS rig rolled on Interstate 80 near Mifflinville in Columbia County Tuesday after the back trailer hydroplaned in a sudden rainstorm. State Police say the driver 62-year-old Francis Forte, of West Milford, New Jersey, was part of a three-truck convoy heading east on Interstate 80 just after noon when a sudden cloudburst struck. The back trailer kicked out toward the left, pulling the entire rig into the median, where it rolled onto its driver’s side.  Forte was taken to Geisinger Medical Center to be checked out. The other two drivers in the convoy stopped to help Forte and talk to police. The Press Enterprise reports, eastbound traffic continued mostly unimpeded following the crash.
(WGRC)

BEAVER SPRINGS – Police are investigating a break-in at a home in the Beaver Springs area last Thursday. Police say the break-in happened sometime between eleven a.m. and four p.m. at the home along Route 235 in Spring Township. The bandits got away with a tv/dvd player and a table top stereo valued at around $250.00. Anyone with information on the break-in is asked to call state police, Selinsgrove.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

ALLENWOOD – A 31-year-old Allenwood woman is facing felony theft charges after police say she stole two gold rings and a gold pendant valued at over $4,900 dollars from another woman. Police say they charged Lesley George with the day-time break-in at a home on Showers lane in Allenwood and stealing the jewelry from the home. Police say George has admitted to the break-in back on May 28th.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LEWISBURG – A Sunbury couple is facing felony drug and forgery charges after trying to get more pain killers than prescribed by a doctor. Police have charged 30-year-old Amber Crownover and Mark Herrold with taking the prescription for Crownover to the Lewisburg Wal-Mart pharmacy back in February. Troopers say the couple changed the number of pills on the prescription to 120 pills. The Pharmacist noticed the amount and realized that the number of pills was unusually high and called police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG - A man accused of breaking into several churches in central Pennsylvania entered a plea in court Tuesday. John Shaffer of Middleburg pleaded no contest to burglarizing ten churches and one business in Snyder County. Shaffer faces a possible 112 years in prison. One of the churches is Port Ann Wesleyan Church near Middleburg.  Shaffer is accused of breaking in last June and stealing money. Pastor Sheets says his church board originally wanted leniency for Shaffer until they found out it wasn’t just their church that was burglarized. It was a similar situation at Penn View Bible Institute near Middleburg.  Shaffer is accused of burglarizing that church last June and getting $500.00 there. Police connected Shaffer to the church burglaries after finding a stolen laptop which they believe Shaffer pawned off.  At that time, Shaffer admitted to burglarizing two churches in Snyder County. Shaffer was picked up in Florida last August, and charged with eleven burglaries. Officials at some of the churches believe Shaffer can change his ways. John Shaffer is scheduled to be sentenced in August for the break-ins in Snyder County. State police have not said if they consider Shaffer a suspect in church burglaries in Union and Northumberland Counties.
(WNEP)

POTTSVILLE - A forensic pathologist testified Tuesday in Schuylkill County Court that, although delirium and a methamphetamine overdose played roles in Bryan Smith's death in May 2012, his being tied to a tree in South Manheim Township also contributed to it. Dr. Neal Hoffman, who works at Reading Hospital and Medical Center, West Reading, testified on the second day of 49-year-old Keith Reber's trial. Prosecutors have charged Reber of Schuylkill Haven, with numerous charges, including criminal homicide. Prosecutors will resume their case today.
(WPPA)

BELLEFONTE –In Centre County a Julian man was sentenced yesterday for a man who was involved in a fight with his girlfriend and shoved the woman while she held a nine-month-old boy. 24-year-old Timothy Shilling was sentenced to six months to 23 and 1/2 months in the Centre County Prison by Judge Bradley Lunsford. Shilling pleaded guilty to terroristic threats and simple assault on May 21st for the March 18th incident. Police say Shilling pointed a gun at the woman during the fight.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN – In Clinton County, The Lock Haven Branch of the Salvation Army has opened a cooling station at their building at 119 East Church. The cooling station will be open throughout this week as needed from 11a.m. through four p.m.  The cooling station will provide relief from the extreme heat we are experiencing at this time. Cold beverages will be served in an air conditioned room and is open to the public.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - The town of Bloomsburg plans to pay the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police between $3,500 and $5,000 to help it find a new person to lead its police force. In the meantime, Bloomsburg council voted to appoint longtime Sargent Roger VanLoan as acting chief. VanLoan takes over after Chief Leo Sokoloski, who retires Friday. The Press Enterprise reports, the Chiefs of Police Association will advertise statewide about the opening. Bloomsburg will also advertise in newspapers around the region.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - Bloomsburg has a new interim Mayor. Councilman Carey Howell was nominated and elected to the post by fellow council members Monday night. Howell will fill the unexpired term of Dan Knorr who soon begins an administrative job with Danville Borough government. Apparent Mayor – elect Sandy Davis was selected to fill Howell's seat and gets an opportunity to learn council procedures and will help prepare the budget for 2014.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE - The Selinsgrove school board Monday approved a final $37.4 million spending plan for 2013-14. Spending is up $1.04 million, and will increase taxes in the district an average $35 a year. The Daily Item reports, personnel costs make up nearly 74 percent of the total budget, with major increases in retirement costs, employee salaries and wages and medical insurance expenses.
(WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE – The Jersey Shore Area School Board unanimously approved a $36 million budget that includes no increase in real estate taxes. The spending plan eliminates the per capital tax, translating to about $60,000 in lost revenues. But with the closing of Nippenose Elementary School, the district hopes to realize much greater savings overall in expenditures. Overall, the budget is expected to show a fund balance of $5.7 million.
(WGRC)

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT - The South Williamsport Area School Board on Tuesday night passed a budget for 2013-14 that raises property taxes 4.5 percent over this past year's rate. The tax increase means the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 will pay $60 more in school taxes next year. The new budget, which exceeds $16 million, was approved with a $248,000 deficit.
(WGRC)

MILLVILLE -The Millville school district avoided teacher layoffs for next year after eight instructors agreed to retire early, but three teaching positions will effectively be eliminated. Taxpayers will see a net savings in 2013-14 of about $110,000 from the retirements. The Press Enterprise reports, the school board on Monday passed a $12 million budget for 2013-14 that will not include a tax hike.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - The Bellefonte Area school board unanimously passed its 2013-2014 budget at its meeting Tuesday with a 2.2 percent real estate tax increase. The tax increase amounts to a $51.57 in additional costs for the average household. The $45.7 million budget will $2.2 million of its reserve funds to balance the budget.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - The Northumberland County commissioners will hold a special meeting at 11 a.m. today to consider awarding a contract for the much-discussed countywide radio communications system. In May, Commissioner Vinny Clausi announced the county would save money because leaders decided to wait on the project and said the original price tag of $11.5 million was too much to spend. Clausi then announced in June the price was going to be about $5 million less. The Daily Item reports, the $7.2 million contract the board will consider today is with Motorola Solutions, of Maryland. It would include all county radios and equipment. The big question is what will be done in the northern end of the county, where it has been made known by members of the Milton and Warrior Run fire departments that they want to continue using 911 services provided by Union County. Clausi has said Union County officials are trying to get $200,000 a year for providing services in the Milton, Watsontown and Turbotville areas. That figure was denied by the Union County commissioners, who sent a letter to the Northumberland County leaders and media earlier this month saying the price they requested was only $100,000 to $110,000. Union County has requested a meeting with Northumberland County officials to settle the issue.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Volunteers are still needed to help build a playground in Centre County. Volunteers started yesterday morning building a playground at Orchard Park in State College. Kids from across the area worked to design the playground, sponsored by a nonprofit group called KaBoom! Organizers say the playground will benefit more than 1,500 children. At least 175 volunteers are needed to finish building the park.
(WGRC)

PINE GROVE TOWNSHIP - Monday morning, residents in Swatara Village in Pine Grove Township in Schuylkill County, reported dark fluid began coming out of their taps and then no water at all. Swatara Village is a development with 140 houses and about 220 residents. Folks with the development said a well that provides water has a problem. There was no water in Swatara Village, a smaller nearby housing development and an assisted living facility since Monday. Area companies made bottled water available to residents available at the office in Swatara Village, donated by companies. Reports say equipment at the main well for the development broke and is in need of a fix. A second well was up and running for bathing and washing clothing but not for drinking. D.E.P. officials are expected to be in Pine Grove Township this morning to assess the water problems.
(WNEP)

COLLEGE TOWNSHIP - Neighbors concerned about a student housing project taking root at the former Hilltop Mobile Home Park breathed a collective sigh of relief Tuesday. Township Council denied a rezoning request from Lafayette, Indiana-based developer Trinitas Ventures that asked for higher density housing at the former Hilltop site. The decision drew applause from a large crowd who attended the special meeting Tuesday. The statement may have felt especially true to the mobile home park residents who were told in September they had to move by February because the park’s owners were trying to sell the land. Some residents expressed hope Tuesday that the vote was a step toward finding another buyer who would maintain the property as a mobile home park. Council members, however, were far less optimistic about that possibility as Township Council voted to ask the Planning Commission to review a plan to rezone the site from its current mobile home park designation to one that allows for residential, or single family dwellings, or one which would include duplexes.
(WGRC)

LINDEN - The Route 220 corridor - a six-mile roadway that stretches from just west of Route 287 in Lycoming County to near Jersey Shore - has a dangerous reputation among locals. The state Department of Transportation has begun to study the corridor in an attempt to alleviate safety concerns. On Tuesday night, locals had the chance to share their worries about the road during a public meeting held by the department at the Woodward Township fire hall. Chris Neidig, PennDOT project manager tells the Sun Gazette the roadway mimics area interstates in regards of traffic speeds and density. Most locals agree it is time for PennDOT to address the safety issues; however, few people agreed on how the roadway should be fixed. Residents cited a lack of traffic enforcement, a lack of traffic lights, and a lack of acceleration lanes and J-turns as part of the problem.
(WGRC)

CATAWISSA — Motorists who travel Route 42 in Montour Township, Columbia County are advised that the North Shore Railroad plans to replace the crossing located just west of Catawissa starting Friday, June 28th. A five-day detour will be in effect, using Routes 11 and 487. The project is slated to be completed by July Second.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Did you see that daring feat of concentration and balance this weekend by Nick Wallenda over the Grand Canyon? Well, the cable that Wallenda used to walk across the canyon was made in Lycoming County. The two-inch thick cable was made at Wirerope Works, in Williamsport. It’s the same rope Wallenda used to walk across Niagara Falls last year and needless to say, folks in Williamsport are happy with how their product performed.
(WNEP)

HARRISBURG - Senator Jake Corman’s attempt at court-ordered mediation of his lawsuit against the NCAA was struck down Tuesday. The Commonwealth Court denied his request to settle the differences over how state officials and the NCAA think the $60 million fine money from Penn State should be handled. State Treasurer Rob McCord is a plaintiff in the suit and also sought the court-ordered mediation. President Judge Dan Pellegrini handed down that decision. Corman’s lawsuit says the consent decree is not clear about who owns the fine money, and he is suing to have it deposited into the state treasury in accordance with a law he sponsored. The law would direct large fines against universities into the state’s hands. The NCAA is fighting the lawsuit.
(WGRC)

WASHINGTON D.C. - Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who was a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, has been named CEO of the faith-based family film company EchoLight Studios. Mr. Santorum announced his leadership of the Dallas-based company Saturday on Fox News Channel’s “The Huckabee Show. “ Bobby Downes, president of EchoLight Studios, says Santorum helped the 2-year-old company with “hands-on“development, which included funding and discussing scripts and projects. Mr. Downes said it “just made sense“for Mr. Santorum to become CEO. EchoLight will release its first film, “The Redemption of Henry Meyers, “in the fall. It’s the second film, “Hoovey, “set to be released in 2014, tells the story of a promising Illinois basketball player whose dreams are threatened by a brain tumor. After surgery, he has to learn to relive his life, guided by faith. It stars Patrick Warburton and Lauren Holly and is directed by Sean McNamara, who also directed “Soul Surfer. “
(WGRC)