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March 14, 2012

AUBURN – A man is in custody charged with attempted homicide and related counts after an incident in Schuylkill County this morning.  State Police say 21-year old Matthew Miske of Schuylkill Haven is accused of cutting a 17-year old girl, and 21-year old Alberto Rodriguez-Ramirez of Schuylkill Haven at a home on Market Street in Auburn.  The incident happened just after 4 this morning.  Police say the accused came into the home and assaulted the victims with a cutting instrument causing lacerations.  Police say he then turned the weapon on himself.  Two children were also present during the incident.  Both victims were flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital with apparent life threatening injuries.  Miske was flown to Reading Hospital.  Miske is now in custody awaiting arraignment.  He is charged with attempted homicide, burglary and several related counts.
John Callahan (WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN – A Clinton County man will face trial on indecent assault charges involving two young girls.  52-year old James Rudolph of Lock Haven, was bound over for court yesterday on charges of indecent assault, indecent exposure and unlawful contact with two 9-year-old girls.  The Express reports, Rudolph remains in a state correctional facility on a parole detainer in connection with an earlier charge of criminal homicide.
(WGRC)

NEWPORT – A man is killed and his passenger is seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in Perry County last evening. The crash happened around 7:30 p.m. on Route 34 in Perry County’s Oliver Township. Police say 55-year-old Joe Baker was killed and his passenger 43-year-old Christine Crater, both of Newport, where thrown from the motorcycle when it went off the roadway and ran through several front yards hitting a yard swing. Baker died at the scene while Crater was flown to Hershey Medical Center where she remains in serious condition.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE – Police are continuing their investigation into a crash yesterday where three people were injured when a car collided head-on with a Centre Area Transportation Authority bus in State College. Police said Penn State students Alexander Koslov, and his passenger Gregory Degiorgis were trapped in the Mini Cooper and had to be cut free by emergency responders following the crash around 10 a.m. on Vairo Boulevard. Koslov, Degiorgis and the bus driver, Abraham Saylor, were injured and taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment. No passengers were on the bus at the time of the crash.
(WGRC)

AUBURN – State police rushed to the scene of a stabbing that happened just after 6 this morning a.m. Troopers from the Schuylkill Haven barracks said the incident happened at 104 West Market Street. Police on the scene say there are multiple victims. Witnesses say at the scene said at least one person was flown to a trauma center by helicopter.
(WGRC)

BELLEVILLE – A mother of four in Mifflin County is being charged with endangering the welfare of children after Mifflin County Child Services found the family living in deplorable conditions. Mifflin County region Police say Youth Workers found the children at the home in the 3000 block of West Main Street in Bellville, covered in animal feces and found them living in a home strewn with garbage and littered with animal feces and urine. Inside the home authorities found 11 dogs and several cats. The children ranging in age from five to 12 were removed from the home and their mother 37-year-old Tina Lawson was charged.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILTON - A Milton man has admitted he sexually assaulted a three-year-old girl he was babysitting. Thirty-three-year-old Bryan Robbins of Milton surrendered to police Tuesday after the child's parents called authorities. Robbins is facing a long list of charges. He is in the Northumberland County jail on $25,000 bail.
(WGRC)

NEW COLUMBIA – A 22-year-old New Columbia man is facing felony statutory sexual assault charges and corruption of minors, after a relationship with a 15-year-old girl who became pregnant and had baby boy in Union County. Jeremy Snyder is accused of the relationship with the teen last March and April. The charges were filed after a Social Worker interviewed Snyder and the 15-year-old about the child born in December. Snyder faces a preliminary hearing April 5th in Lewisburg.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

NORTHUMBERLAND – A 34-year-old Sunbury man has been charged with a November incident where he violated a protection from abuse order by his ex-girlfriend, strapped her to a chair in her home and held a gun to her and raped her. Benjamin Sheller was taken into custody yesterday. He is now jailed on $275,000 bail in the Northumberland County Prison.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE — A Montour County woman had a charge of endangering the welfare of child held against her for court. A Montour County Children&Youth caseworker arrived at 26-year-old Brandy Bower's apartment to talk about a parenting-improvement program Bower was interested in on January 23rd when she found Bower’s two children ages seven and three alone in the home. Police, who entered the Lower Mulberry Street apartment, found the apartment in disarray, and a pot pipe and a bottle of vodka within reach of the kids. Bower was at work downstairs in the same building at a pizza shop. The Press Enterprise reports, Bower’s defense attorney says as a single mother, she was doing a lot of things right, including holding a job to support her kids and working with the county to get help with her parenting skills. And she was lining up baby sitters to watch her kids while she was at work.     Despite that argument, District Judge Marvin Shrawder ruled Bower must still face the endangerment charge in county court.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE – In Montour County District Judge Marvin Shrawder found enough evidence Tuesday to send to court the case of a former nurse who allegedly stole painkillers from nursing home patients and replaced them with placebos in January 2011. Thirty-year-old Traci Lapaglia, of West Milton, worked at Grandview Health Homes where the alleged crime took place. Lapaglia is free on bail and faces charges of obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, illegally possessing a controlled substance and theft by deception. Police say fingerprints on opened medication containers matched that of Lapaglia and discrepancies in narcotics was found on the medicine cart following Lapaglia's shift.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - In late February 2011, an elderly Williamsport man appointed his niece's husband, 53-year-old David Montis, to be his power of attorney. Montis was to manage the financial affairs of the 93-year-old man, a resident at an area nursing home. However, investigators said Montis bought a new home for his wife and three children in September, allegedly using nearly $90,000 of the man's money to make the purchase. Yesterday, Montis surrendered to face 12 felony charges in the case. He remains free on $50,000 bail awaiting a court appearance.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINBURG – A Milton man accused of using his employer’s credit card to purchase over $20,000 in goods for himself, sent felony charges of forgery, theft by deception, and related charges on to Union County Court. Fifity-six-year-old David Burns is accused of using the credit card of the Mifflinburg Hotel to make those purchases between October 2010 and October 2011. Burns was the manager of the Hotel on Chestnut Street in Mifflinburg at the time he made those illegal purchases.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A jury in U.S. Middle District Court in Williamsport returned a split verdict Tuesday and found a man not guilty on charges related to a Jersey Shore bank robbery and the home invasion of a Limestone Township couple and tied them and their adult children up with duct tape early on the morning of December 10, 2007. However the jury did find 28-year-old Terrell Carter guilty of conspiracy to commit a bank robbery in Altoona, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The jury deadlocked on a charge of bank robbery of Sovereign Bank in Jersey Shore after none of the witnesses could identify him as the culprit. Carter also was found not guilty of using a semi-automatic handgun and robbing the home of a Muncy man to obtain $7,000 in drug money. Carter faces a maximum of 20-years in prison for the bank robbery charge when he’s sentenced this summer.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A Montoursville man was found guilty of two counts of animal cruelty by a Lycoming County jury Tuesday evening. Jurors debated for several hours after the prosecution and defense rested their cases around 4 p.m. Randy Feigles was charged by officials with the Lycoming County SPCA last June for killing one dog and wounding another with a 9 mm handgun. Feigles claimed a neighbor's dogs repeatedly chased and pursued him on his property, making him fear for his safety and the safety of his 10-month-old-daughter. However witnesses say the dogs - one of which weighed 16 pounds, the other 20 pounds - were a nuisance, but were not aggressive. The Sun Gazette reports, Feigles' sentencing will be held in June.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY – A Pottsville man who provided video gambling machines to an undercover officer pretending to be a member of a Sunbury fraternal order, was charged this week. The Daily Item reports, 53-year-old Joseph Womer bought the gambling machines on e-bay and then sold them to the undercover officer portraying to be the treasurer of the Sunbury Elks Club. Womer is also accused of taking bets on college basketball games from the undercover officer. He is free on $20,000 bail awaiting a hearing on illegal gambling charges.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - Northumberland County Commissioner Vinny Clausi is flirting with a libel suit if he continues to use derogatory terms in his reference to the Teamsters and its representatives, according to a letter from a Philadelphia lawyer who represents the union. The News Item reports, Attorney Thomas Kohn wrote the letter March 7th and told Clausi, "This is not the first time that you have made such a reference, but it better be the last time you do so." Kohn says it’s a "rarity" for the union to produce such a letter. "Most public officials are more careful in their choice of words," he said. Clausi, Tuesday says he stands by what he said at the county commissioners' meeting on March 6, when he made the comment toward the Teamsters and representatives for the union's continued pursuit of a grievance involving the layoff of John Muncer, one of five assistant district attorneys.  Clausi went on to say, "It's my constitutional right to use whatever language I want, they're not going to scare the taxpayers; they're not going to scare me."
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - Former Mifflin County High School football coach Steve Hayes was accepted into a program for first-time offenders following a court appearance on Tuesday in the Mifflin County Court of Common Pleas. The Sentinel reports, Mifflin County District Attorney Dave Molek said Hayes acknowledged his responsibility in recklessly endangering some students who found a loaded weapon in his truck. Hayes was accepted into the program for a period of six months. Upon completion of the six month Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, Hayes can petition the court to have his record expunged. Hayes was charged after an incident on October 11, 2011 in which several students discovered a loaded revolver in his truck. The students were cleaning out Hayes' truck at his request.
(WGRC)

CATAWISSA - Southern Columbia's teachers must choose between a wage freeze or a new insurance plan to avoid program cuts, the superintendent told the school board this week. Either option stands to save the district about $200,000, which would help shrink a $950,000 deficit in the 2012-13 budget. The Press Enterprise reports, for now, the union won't agree to a wage freeze, and by contract, the district can't force educators to forgo a scheduled pay raise next year. It's unclear if the district could implement a new insurance plan on its own.     Administrators have already proposed $567,000 in savings by slashing athletics, trimming jobs through layoffs and attrition, and shortening the workweek for part of the year. The rest of the deficit will likely be covered by a tax hike and a change to teacher pay or benefits.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - Montoursville Area School Board introduced Dr. Timothy Bowers as the district's newly hired superintendent during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night. Bowers recently was approved to replace Dominic Cavallaro who is retiring this summer. Bowers, who was given a five-year contract, has served as superintendent of Northern Tioga School District for the past six-and-a-half years. He formerly was employed as middle school principal in the Chambersburg School District. The Sun Gazette reports, following the hiring Bowers said, "Montoursville is a great school district," and "I'm excited to come to a district with such a great reputation."
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - After more than a year, the Juniata County Civil War Re-enactors Association received approval Tuesday from the Juniata county commissioners to construct a monument on the courthouse lawn. The new Civil War monument will be a thin, 3-foot-tall wall placed about 2 feet in front of the current obelisk, and it will list the names of Juniata County soldiers who died in the war. The Sentinel reports, Commissioner Robert Reynolds presented the motion to approve the monument, saying the re-enactors satisfied the commissioners' requests. The only condition Reynolds gave is that the re-enactors verify the soldiers' names with documents and present them to the Juniata County Historical Society and commissioners for approval.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINVILLE - More construction on the bridge rehabilitation project over the Susquehanna River between South Centre and Mifflin townships in Columbia County will take place today and tomorrow. PennDOT says the eastbound passing lane will be closed from the Lime Ridge to the Mifflinville interchange Wednesday and Thursday. The lane blockage will be in place until five p.m. It will allow the contractor doing the job to haul dirt and rocks in order to provide fill to the area. The $50 – million dollar project is expected to be wrapped up in 2015.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The state Game Commission is considering ways to help bring in more money to the agency, including a possible increase in hunting license fees. Executive director Carl Roe says fees have remained at the same rate for the past 13 years. Roe says the agency has taken in some money since it's leasing the state's land in the Marcellus Shale region, but it still could use additional funds. Roe adds he believes the public would support an increase in licensing fees. An adult hunting license currently costs $20.70, and a junior license for residents sixteen and under is $6.70.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - After a day of debate, House lawmakers put off a final vote until today on a controversial bill requiring voters to show specific photo identification at the polls starting with elections this year. Governor Tom Corbett said Tuesday he will sign the bill. Under the bill, the voter photo ID will be required for the November 6th General Election and any special election after September 17th. Republican lawmakers say the voter ID bill is a way to guard against voter fraud and uphold one person, one vote standards. Democratic lawmakers said fraud by voter impersonation is basically non-existent and the bill is an effort to suppress voter turnout among the young, poor and elderly in a presidential election year.
(WGRC)