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June 30, 2011

ALBANY - A sheriff's deputy trying to serve a burglary warrant was shot and killed by a suspect armed with an assault rifle, who was then killed by police. State police at Hamburg tell us Berks County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Pagerly was pronounced dead at Lehigh Valley Hospital after being shot Wednesday night while trying to serve a warrant on 25-year-old Matthew Connor. Investigators say Pagerly was part of a fugitive task force trying to serve a warrant on Connor for burglary and weapons charges when Connor fled from his girlfriend's home in Albany Township. State police say they pursued Connor into the woods behind the home. A shootout broke out after police say Connor refused to drop an AK-47 assault rifle. Connor was pronounced dead at the scene.
(WPPA)
   
FRACKVILLE - Two people were taken into custody this morning in Schuylkill County charged with making methamphetamine inside a motel room. The incident happened at Granny's Motel in West Mahanoy Township near Frackville. West Mahanoy Township Police arrested Larry Wilcox of the Bloomsburg area and Catherine Womer after officers were alerted to the one pot lab inside Room 18 at the motel around 11 last night. The Republican Herald reports, two adjoining rooms were temporarily evacuated and a state police Clandestine Lab Response Team was called.  The team successfully removed the container around 4:30 this morning.
John Callahan (WGRC w/WNEP)

TREMONT - Bandits steal 35 electrical ground cables valued at $35,000 from a Schuylkill County electrical business. The theft happened sometime between 7:30 Tuesday night and 6:30 Wednesday morning at Harlan Electrical Conctruction Company in Tremont. Police say the theives snapped a lock on a trailer owned by the company and stole the cables.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

NEWPORT - Two from Juniata County are in the Perry County jail on theft and taking contraband into the Perry County prison. State Police say 23-year-old Jakee Lindemuth of Port Royal and 36-year-old Manuel Ortiz of Mifflintown were stopped just before eight last Tuesday in Newport Borough on a traffic violation. During the stop police discovered they had stolen scrap metal in their vehicle. Both were charged with theft. It was also discovered Ortiz was wanted by U.S. Immigration officials and was a fugitive. Bother were sent to the Perry County Prison on $15,000 bail. When they arrived at the prison police discovered both had taken marijuana with them into the facility and both are now charged with trying to smuggle contraband into the prison.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education today approved a $436 tuition increase for the 2011-12 academic year. The increase will only partially offset the loss of more than $90 million in state and federal funding PASSHE will receive next year, or about $802 per full-time student. PASSHE's state funding level next year will fall nearly to the level it was in 1997-98 - 14 years ago. The decrease reflects a loss of more than $52 million in state funding and $38 million in federal stimulus funds. The new annual tuition rate for full-time, resident undergraduate students beginning this fall will be $6,240 - still among the lowest rate of all four-year colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, and well below the national average among all public institutions.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The Department of Environmental Protection today announced it has approved a Water Obstruction and Encroachment Permit amendment for Pennsylvania General Energy that allows the company to finish construction of a water intake structure on Pine Creek in Lycoming County. PGE submitted the application for amendment on June 27th. A stone coffer dam that PGE was constructing washed away in May due to a series of heavy rainstorms.  The new coffer dam will be a portable type that was allowed in DEP's original permit, but it will be built closer to the creek bank, and the intake structure will move 40 feet nearer the bank.  After the original structure was washed away, DEP required PGE to submit a new plan and amend its existing permit to avoid a repeat of the problems experienced with the first coffer dam.
(WGRC)

ALBANY - A sheriff's deputy was shot Wednesday night in northern Berks County along with a person for whom an arrest warrant was being served. Members of the Berks County Fugitive Task Force were serving a warrant about 8 p.m. at 43 Pine Swamp Road, just over the Schuylkill County line near Hawk Mountain in Albany Township, when the person fled into the woods. Members of the task force gave chase and gunfire broke out with the person and the deputy sheriff hit. The sheriff's deputy was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital with critical injuries. The Berks County Coroner's Office was called to the scene but no identities have been released at this time. State police at Hamburg are investigating.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)
    
CENTRE HALL - A Centre Hall man remains in the hospital following a crash Tuesday in Spring Township, Centre County. Eighteen-year-old Nikolay Gusev, remains in serious condition at Geisinger Medical Center. State College police say Gusev, was speeding on Route 322 at Oak Hall when his car ran a stop sign and crashed just after one p.m. Tuesday and landed upside down in Spring Creek.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - No injuries were reported in a three-vehicle crash Tuesday morning at Grant and Arch streets near Northumberland County Career and Arts Center in Shamokin. Police tell the News Item, 34-year-old Markist Moore, of Shamokin, hit a van and another car before striking a concrete porch attached to a home.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MOUNT CARMEL TOWNSHIP - A 21-year-old Wilburton man has been charged with numerous offenses relating to a May 7th chase in which he rammed the side of a Mount Carmel Township police cruiser before losing control and crashing into a tree. The News Item reports, Jeramy Deeter, is charged by Mount Carmel Township Police with aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, fleeing or attempting to elude police, and a number of other charges.   Deeter was apprehended following the vehicle and foot chase after Police saw Deeter driving erratically on the Locust Gap Highway. Deeter remains jailed in the Northumberland County Prison in Sunbury on a probation violation since the incident.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

TROUT RUN - A Trout Run man is locked up in the Lycoming County prison on aggravated assault and reckless endangerment charges following an incident earlier this month in Lycoming County. That happened on Saturday June 11th in a wooded area between Cemetery Road and Cogan House Road in Cogan House Township. Police say two Allentown men were riding ATV's in the area when the unknowingly traveled onto property owned by 60-year-old Paul Crissman. Police say Crissman confronted the men by firing several shots from a handgun at the ATV's. One round struck one of the ATVs but no one was hurt during the incident. Crissman was taken into custody Tuesday without incident and jailed on $125,000 bail.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILESBURG - In Centre County state police are investigating the assault of a three-year-old boy. That happened last Tuesday June, 21st at a home on Canal Street in Milesburg. Police say the boy appears to have been assaulted during a domestic  situation.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN - A Minersville woman employed as manager of the Schuylkill Haven Wine and Spirits Store is accused of stealing more than $7,600 cash from the liquor store. Police tell the Republican Herald, 44-year-old Linda Mullin is accused of failing to deposit cash from sales at the store. Three felony counts of theft by unlawful taking and three misdemeanor counts of tampering with records were filed against Mullin. Police were made aware February 11th when they received a call from a special investigator with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board who said an audit revealed discrepancies with deposits that were not made from the Schuylkill Haven store.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

TREMONT - Police in Schuylkill County are investigating a break-in at a business in Schuylkill County. That happened sometime between 11:30 Sunday night and six o'clock Monday morning at Morgans Service at 190 South Tremont Street in Tremont. The bandits got inside the building by removing a vent from a window in the garage area of the business. The bandits took $135 in cash and a pellet gun and supplies worth about $80. Police say the culprits caused about $435 in damage during the break-in.   
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY - A hearing was held yesterday in Northumberland County on evidence that a woman feared for her life before jumping from a moving car eventually dying from injuries during the incident on April 20th 2010. A state troopers presented taped testimony of others in the car driven by 30-year-old Thomas Schorr of Dalmatia. The others told police Schorr was driving erratically and was in a trance like state when 19-year-old Bethany Harris jumped from the moving car after it hit an embankment. Schorr, denies his actions behind the wheel caused the death of Harris, and his defense has moved to get charges, including a felony, dismissed because of lack of evidence. The Daily Item reports, President Judge Robert Sacavage gave the prosecution and defense time to respond to the request to have charges dismissed.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Senior Deputy Attorney General David Gorman says his office plans to appeal last week's ruling by Northumberland County President Judge Robert Sacavage to acquit former Northumberland County Prison guard Kazimir Growhowski of felony drug-related charges that he was convicted of in 2006. The News Item reports, Gorman says he's appealing to the state Superior Court. The 39-year-old Grohowski, a resident of Mount Carmel, was acquitted June 23 in a ruling by Sacavage, who cited ineffective defense counsel at the trial, and a prejudicial remark by Gorman in his closing argument.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG - A former businessman accused of swindling customers by taking their money and not delivering the vehicles he promised bought some time Wednesday by striking a deal with the Snyder County district attorney. Kurt Keiper, was expected to plead guilty in Snyder County Court. But the Daily Item reports, District Attorney Mike Piecuch wanted to give Keiper an opportunity to make good on his paybacks. Keiper, former owner of Summit Transport Services on Route 522, Middleburg, faces nearly a dozen charges against him in Snyder County Court totaling thefts of about $400,000. Piecuch says Keiper is arranging to make restitution to the victims by the end of July. That would affect the penalties he faces when he is sentenced.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN -- Susquehanna Health officials showed off the new Medical Plaza at Lock aven at a grand opening event held on Sunday. The facility, located at 610 High Street, expands upon the existing Susquehanna Health Family Medicine at Lock Haven. Visitors learned about the most advanced, high-tech equipment for X-ray and lab services as they toured the facility and participated in glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings. Bob Kane, Vice President of Operations for Susquehanna Health, lead the dedication ceremony followed by a blessing of the facility and words of welcome from Dr. Thane Turner and Neil Armstrong, President of Williamsport Regional Medical Center.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A Tioga County based health system is looking to partner with Susquehanna Health. Laurel Health System, of Wellsboro, and Susquehanna Health, of Williamsport, on Wednesday announced they have signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore a "potential affiliation." Ron Butler, president and CEO of Laurel Health Systems tells the Sun Gazette, "Laurel Health System is looking out for the best interests of the patients in their communities by looking to work collaboratively with another established health system." Butler held meetings with employees Wednesday to discuss the potential changes. According to Butler, Laurel Health System has a long history of partnering with other health care providers in ways that benefit its patients and communities.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN -The United State Department of Agriculture has awarded $99,000 in grant funding to Downtown Lock Haven Incorporated. The grant was awarded through USDA's Rural Development Enterprise Grant program, which provides grants for local projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses. Congressman Glenn Thompson announced the grant Tuesday and says, "The funding will be crucial in providing consultation and technical support for independent small businesses located in Lock Haven and help lure investment activity to the city's commercial district."  Downtown Lock Haven, created in November 2004 as a nonprofit entity, serves in partnership with the City of Lock Haven, the Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center and the Clinton County Economic Partnership in order to facilitate commercial development in Lock Haven's commercial business district.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - It's the time of year when outdoor activities can really take their toll physically. The heat and humidity of summer can creep p on a person no matter what the age especially if they are outside on the job or at play. Dr. John Skeinjelewski an Emergency Room Doctor at Geisinger Medical Center says there are some simple common sense tips that can help keep you from being overcome by heat exhaustion. He says wearing light. non restrictive clothing, taking breaks in the shade often if working outside, and drinking plenty of water is the best way to avoid heat related health problems. Dr. Skeinjelewski says those who are affected by the heat the most are the elderly. He recommends if you have neighbors or family members to check on them during times of hot weather.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The State House passed a 2011-2012 state budget late last night, one day after the Senate approved the budget plan. The $27.15 billion dollar budget does not include a tax increase for Pennsylvania residents. Republican Legislators say the budget is a responsible plan that brings spending under control. Republicans say the budget is four percent or about one billion dollars less than the 2010-11 budget. Democrats however, most of whom voted against the proposal say the spending plan makes severe cuts to schools and programs to help needy Pennsylvanians while putting more than $700 million into reserves. Democrats say those reserves will not go to help alleviate school districts that in turn will raise local taxes on property owners.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The Senate of Pennsylvania unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Senator Jake Corman to allow a parent to request a "Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth" from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The bill now moves to the Governor's desk to be signed into law. Corman says the issue was brought to him by a resident of his senatorial district. The bill has passed through the General Assembly. Corman says, "Stillbirths are a tragedy for parents, and often times they feel no sense of closure or healing because there is no documentation of their child's birth." Senate Bill 326 would provide parents with documentation when a child is stillborn, something Corman said can help families through the grieving and healing process. The Governor is expected to sign this legislation, which will take effect in 60 days.  
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Seeing more hunters in the woods on Sundays soon may become a reality in Pennsylvania. Earlier this week, the state Board of Game Commissioners approved a measure by a vote of 4-3 encouraging the Legislature to allow Sunday hunting and permit the commission to regulate it. The Game Commission says allowing widespread hunting on Sundays would encourage more participation and improve area economics where restaurants and hotels may be frequented by visitors taking to the field. Legislators and constituents stand on both sides of the issue. Spokesman for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Mark O'Neill, says his organization is opposed to Sunday hunting. He says not that farmers are against hunting but Sunday hunting will impact property owner's rights, religious beliefs and the overall culture of life. He says most landowners tolerate hunting six days a week but want a least one day to enjoy their property without commotion. The Commission says year-round Sunday hunting already is allowed statewide for coyotes, foxes and crows. The Commission says more weekend hunting could be considered advantageous for out of state hunters and travelers considering a trip to camps or for students who have school during the week. State Representative Garth Everett, of Muncy, says the House's game and fisheries committee he's a member of had one public hearing in Somerset earlier this month, when public comment on Sunday hunting was gathered. He said the committee plans to have at least two more hearings. Everett encourages residents contact their legislators concerning the possibility of hunting on Sunday's in Pennsylvania.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking for public input on a plan to bring back a cute little game bird to portions of the state where they once thrived. Residents are being asked to comment on the northern bobwhite quail management plan, which can be reviewed on the Commission's website at pgc.state.pa.us by clicking on the "Draft Quail Management Plan" icon. Public comments on the agency's quail management plan will be accepted until September 1st, through the website. The Commission says the mission of the bobwhite quail management plan is to maintain and restore wild breeding populations of Northern Bobwhite Quail in suitable habitats. The plan identifies supporting goals, objectives and strategies for guiding restoration and management decisions over a 10-year period from 2011-2020.
(WGRC)