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September 28, 2012

SNYDERTOWN — A Bradford County teenager was killed in a crash in Northumberland County Thursday. It happened around 10 a.m. on Snydertown Road in Snydertown. Troopers believe 18-year-old Sarah Reid, of Athens was speeding when she lost control on the wet road, spun around and hit several trees. Authorities said Reid died at the scene, and she was not wearing a seatbelt.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMPSORT – Two people were taken to hospitals following a crash in Lycoming County. The crash happened just before one a.m. Thursday on Northway Road in Eldred Township. Police say 19-year-old Timothy Turner of Williamsport lost control of his pick-up truck on a curve, went off the roadway and slammed into several trees. Turner suffered minor injuries and was taken to Williamsport Hospital. His passenger 18-year-old Stacey Silverman of Hughesville suffered major injuries and was taken to Geisinger Medical Center where she remains in critical condition. Police say Silverman was not wearing her seat belt.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILROY – Police have filed DUI charges against a man that crashed his vehicle through the wall of a business near Milroy in Mifflin County on Saturday. That happened around eight p.m. Saturday. Police say Randy Bitner of Yeagertown was drunk when he drove off Electric Avenue in Milroy and smashed his pick-up truck through an exterior wall of the Milroy Mattress building. Bitner then fled the truck and locked himself in a near-by porta-potty and police had to force the door of the unit open to get him out. Bitner was then taken to Lewistown Hospital for blood tests which showed his blood alcohol above the legal limit.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY – A 43-year-old Sunbury area man had hunting equipment taken just prior the tomorrow’s archery deer season. Police say sometime between two Saturday afternoon and 9:30 Monday morning someone pried open a door to the home located along Hidden Valley Road in Snyder County’s Penn Township and stole a crossbow, arrows, a pellet gun and BB gun. Anyone with information on the break-in is asked to call state police, Selinsgrove.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

TROUT RUN - A $10,000 reward has been offered by Brubacher Energy Services to anyone with information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of whoever vandalized construction equipment on the evening of August 30th near Hagerman's Run and Narrow Mountain roads and Upper Grays Run, near Trout Run, in the Loyalsock State Forest. Police say vandals cut down two trees within the state forest to block access to the road where the company’s equipment was located. The vandals, who had somehow acquired keys, used pieces of equipment to damage other pieces of equipment. In total, the company suffered $120,000 in damages.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A Lycoming County Prison inmate who was released on electronic monitoring so that he could visit his ailing mother earlier this month now is back behind bars and is facing a new felony charge of flight to avoid apprehension after cutting off his monitoring ankle bracelet. Twenty-nine-year-old Anthony McGinley, of Mount Carmel, cut the bracelet on September 13th, three days after county Judge Marc Lovecchio authorized his release from the jail through the county's intensive supervised bail program. Having pled guilty in mid-July to charge of sexual assault, McGinley had been in prison awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for November 16th. Under electronic monitoring, McGinley would have been allowed to stay with his mother until he was sentenced. However, he lost that freedom upon cutting the bracelet and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. McGinley was picked up in Northumberland County on Monday and automatically jailed on $100,000 bail.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - A Howard man sentenced in July to serve 36 years in state prison for shooting his ex-girlfriend’s lover is suing his former attorney. Thirty-nine-year-old Randall Brooks, filed a lawsuit against Bellefonte-based defense attorney Brian Manchester. Brooks alleged his father paid Manchester $17,000 in November 2010 to represent him through his trial. The suit says Manchester dropped Brooks as a client in July 2011 and wouldn’t refund any money. Brooks was convicted in the December 2009 drive-by shooting of Matthew Ross, who survived, called 911 and testified at Brooks’ eventual trial in March 2012. After Manchester withdrew from the case, Brooks was represented by defense attorney Karen Muir. But he ultimately chose to represent himself at his trial.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - Scott Binsack is prohibited from being part of a business or participating in even basic financial transactions, such as having or using a bank account or a credit card, according to terms of his parole granted in April of 2011. Now, Binsack says he's going back to jail for a technical violation of his parole. Last month, he started circulating a stock prospectus trying to raise $13.5 million to revitalize the Shamokin area. State securities officials found the unregistered activities questionable and are actively investigating it. In August, Binsack began circulated a prospectus seeking investors in a far-reaching plan to revitalize the Shamokin area. The prospectus came to the attention of the Pennsylvania Securities Commission. If the violation is found, Binsack could go back to prison for the balance of his term, which would end up on May 18, 2014. Binsack was arrested in Lackawanna County for bad check and insurance in a scandal involving county commissioners, Robert Cordaro and A.J. Munchak.(WGRC)

ORWIGSBURG – In Schuylkill County the Blue Mountain school board unanimously suspended middle school Principal James McGonigle without pay at its meeting Thursday. Board member David Lafko read a statement that also listed several other conditions McGonigle must meet. The board then voted in favor of the suspension without comment and no member of the public commented. McGonigle was charged with DUI and careless driving after an incident in Leesport on August 30th by the Northern Berks Regional Police. He waived sent his charges to court Tuesday and is expected to apply for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program in Berks County.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - A Northumberland County judge ruled Thursday that county commissioners violated the Sunshine Law by discussions that led to the barring a Shamokin outdoors enthusiast from visiting county land now known as the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area. Northumberland County Judge Charles Saylor late Thursday afternoon said Commissioners Vinny Clausi and Steve Bridy violated the law by ordering, in a private meeting, that planning director Pat Mack send Dave Kaleta, of Shamokin, a letter banning him from the adventure area land. The ruling opens the land, closed since a booby trap was found in August, for five days. Clausi hinted that the commissioners will vote Tuesday in public to close the land again.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - This report is for anyone who purchased ground beef Wednesday night or Thursday at the Weis Markets store on North Fourth Street in Sunbury. Weis spokesman Dennis Curtain says, “ The Sunbury store’s meat department discovered that the ground beef it produced on Wednesday September 26th may contain small pieces of metal due to a processing error.” “This issue only affects this store’s store ground product and includes our 80 percent, 85 percent and 93 percent lean ground beef. This issue does not impact our case ready ground beef. The store sold 66 packages of the ground beef in question and the company has tracked down and contacted 56 of those customers. The problem is confined to the Sunbury store. Customers who purchased the meat can return the product to a Weis Markets’ store for a full refund and a new package of ground beef. Customers who consumed this product can do so as well.
(WGRC)

CARISLE - Giant Food Stores, following a recall by Sunland Incorporated, announced it removed from sale select varieties of peanut butter products due to possible salmonella contamination. Both Sunland Banana Peanut Butter Spread and Sunland Raspberry Peanut Butter Spread, with best if used by dates between May 1, 2013, and September 24, 2013, have been recalled.  Customers who have purchased the product should discard any unused portions and bring their purchase receipt to Giant for a full refund.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - A key witness against convicted child molester and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, known in court papers as Victim 1, has a book deal and will soon reveal his identity, a publisher announced Thursday. "Silent No More: Victim number 1's Fight for Justice Against Jerry Sandusky," is coming out October 23rd. The memoir will be co-written by the victim's mother and psychologist and "will share how he survived years of shame and secrecy, harassment and accusation, before reporting Sandusky's actions to the authorities, and will offer a hopeful and inspiring message for victims of abuse." Victim 1, now 18, will reveal his identity on the day of the book's release in an interview with ABC's Chris Cuomo.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - The fundraiser whose goal was to draw attention to child abuse by encouraging people to wear blue to last weekend’s Penn State-Temple football game netted almost $75,000 for a statewide advocacy group. The Blue Out raised the money, and all of that will go to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, which likely will put the money toward an abuse prevention initiative. Blue Out organizer Laura March, a graduate student at Penn State, said she got a tally of the proceeds this week. March said she was overwhelmed with the support after seeing so many people wearing blue clothing. Last week’s event, volunteers raised money from T-shirt sales, from a donation- through-text-message campaign, as well as another student offering proceeds from sunglasses she sold in the summer. The check will be presented to PCAR in the next month or so.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - Withered plants around the Danville Primary School will be replaced by the district at a cost of nearly $42,000 after the building’s contractor neglected to handle the problem. The money will be taken out of the funds owed to E.R. Stuebner, the original contractor for the Danville Primary School. Stuebner has been “unable or unwilling” to replace the trees and shrubs around the school. , School Board President Allan Schappert says Stuebner has had more than ample time to correct the problem and has not honored the warranty. Stuebner is still owed roughly $90,000 by the district for contract work on the school, which opened last fall. However, the district felt Stuebner did not complete a substantial part of the work and began withholding money from the firm earlier this year.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - Union Elementary School will close its doors for good at the end of the current school year following a vote taken Thursday by the Mifflin County School District Board of Directors. The board voted by a 5-2 margin to close the Belleville school which currently shows a student population of 61. Prior to the vote, Superintendent James Estep said he needed direction as to the future of the school with the impending renovation project looming at Indian Valley Elementary Center. During a special workshop meeting last month, the district's architect, Vern McKissick, indicated he estimated the school could lose up to $679,000 in reimbursement funds from the state on the Indian Valley Elementary project should Union remain open. Estep assured the public that there would be ample space available for Union Elementary students following renovation at the Indian Valley Elementary.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The Lycoming County Housing Authority is making it easier for military veterans and their survivors to receive public housing. On Thursday, the authority updated its policy to give veterans and their spouses preference when selecting applicants to receive public housing. The policy now provides those applicants with reference points toward their ranking on the authority's public housing waiting list. Preference points also are given to county residents, those who are employed, are enrolled in or have graduated from an educational or training program, are in the low income bracket or have been displaced. The authority members agreed, voting unanimously in favor of a resolution implementing the policy.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A $500,000 grant announced Thursday for the Williamsport YMCA from the First Community Foundation of Pennsylvania - with an opportunity for another $250,000 - gives the organization a major boost in its fundraising campaign for new city facility. The donation comes about six weeks after the YMCA received it’s biggest-ever donation - $1 million from Loyalsock Township residents Ronald and Rosalie Cimini. If the YMCA reaches $9.5 million in its campaign by April 1, 2013, the foundation will donate another $250,000, according to Jennifer D. Wilson, president and CEO of the foundation. The $500,000 will be given once construction begins. The donation comes from the foundation's Impact Fund, designed to make major contributions and steer projects on a positive financial course. Plans were announced March 7th for a new 70,000 square-foot facility south of the hospital campus to replace an aging and inefficient structure in the Downtown.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - Despite Thursday's weather Bloomsburg Fair officials say nearly 48,000 guests came through the turnstiles. That’s up from 14,000 who visited on the sixth day of the exposition back in 2010, the last time the fair was held. The Bloomsburg Fair runs till Saturday night, September 29th.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - The Clinton County commissioners approved a $200,000 loan from the Revolving Loan Fund for KCnet Thursday, in support of that nonprofit agency's plans to expand and improve broadband coverage in rural areas of the county. According to KCnet Operations Director Todd Snyder, the funding is part of a $886,000 project to "address the needs of under-served communities, institutions and businesses within the county." KCnet presently offers a wide array of computerized communications, Internet and broadband services to about 2,000 households, organizations and businesses.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - Advocates for a Drug Free Tomorrow are partnering with Lock Haven Hospital and Bucktail Medical Center for the Drug Enforcement Administration National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Unused medications can be taken to either hospital from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow. These two sites are the only designated collection locations in Clinton County. Community members will have the opportunity to drop off accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs and to safely dispose of those medications. Local law enforcement agencies will be on hand throughout the collection process.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - Connecting Susquehanna Greenway River Towns is the theme of a new mini-grant program by the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership. The mini-grant program was financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Environmental Stewardship Fund under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. The purpose of the mini-grant program is to advance public and private efforts to connect people with the natural and cultural resources of the Susquehanna and promote a sustainable and healthy environment. Award of the mini-grants is focused on projects that create or improve the following: trail connections with the Susquehanna River, riverfront parks, river acccess, or water quality. A total of fourteen grants are being awarded ranging from $500 to $8,000. The project partners are leveraging the $60,000 in awards with an additional $203,000 in cash and in-kind contributions.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - An ambitious project stretching some 320 miles between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg was a topic of discussion at Thursday's workshop meeting of the Mifflin County Commissioners. Representatives from Allegheny Ridge Corporation of Altoona were on hand to seek the county's support of an ongoing project, the Mainway Canal Greenway, an economic development activity utilizing recreation areas, trailways and waterways as a method of attracting new business across the state. Jane Sheffield, Allegheny Ridge executive director, and Carl King, project coordinator, were in Lewistown as part of an effort to gain the support of the 12 counties affected by the canal project. The project is part of the ongoing Pennsylvania Heritage Areas program, which, King said, was established in 1989 as one of the state's key initiatives for promoting tourism. The program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The group also worked with local officials during the establishment of the Canal Park located just off U.S. 22/322 in Juniata County.
(WGRC)

WEST MILTON - The Frack Awareness Coalition is a combined effort on the part of a variety of regional groups to increase the public’s awareness of all sides of the fracking issue, not just the well-publicized industry position. The groups involved are all devoted to the health of people and place here in Central Pennsylvania. The Frack Awareness Coalition will put on a concert, entitled “Songs from the Sacrifice Zone,” on Sunday, September 30th, from 4 to 6:30pm, in the Tabernacle at Central Oak Heights in West Milton. The Frack Awareness Coalition wants to make it easier to talk about and think about without plunging into arguments or despair. This is a way to participate, to help further the cause of increasing understanding and knowledge of the fracking issue and to have fun at the same time.
(WGRC)

MOUNT PLEASANT MILLS – They’re from the Andes Mountains in South America, they’re fluffy, personable, about the size of a small horse and their fleece is luxurious and in some breeds worth hundreds of dollars a pound. They are alpacas. This Saturday and Sunday Pallas Hill Alpaca Farm in Snyder County is giving the public an opportunity to come out and meet the critters. The farm is located at 1843 Hoffer Road just before Grubbs Church near Mount Pleasant Mills.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission will offer public tours of its game farms on Sunday, September 30th. Guided tours are scheduled to begin at noon and conclude by 3 p.m., rain or shine, at the game farms in Lycoming County. Tour stops will include hatcheries, brooder houses, and rearing, “grow-out” and over-wintering pens. Workshop discussions will focus on objectives in propagation management, including sportsmen’s organizations participating in raising day-old chicks provided by the farms to increase local hunting opportunities and surplus day-old hen chicks that are sold to the public. Since budget cuts in 2005, the agency reduced the production of ring-necked pheasants from 200,000 birds to 100,000 birds annually at the Game Commission’s game farms, and the agency temporarily closed one of the game farms. Thanks to recent revenues from Marcellus Shale-related gas leases on State Game Lands, the agency has increased its production level to distribute 200,000 birds for the 2012-13 hunting seasons. Tours will take place at the Loyalsock Game Farm located at 136 Game Farm Road in Montoursville and the Northcentral Game Farm at 1609 Proctor Road, Williamsport.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - A judge considering a challenge to a politically charged Pennsylvania law that requires voters to show photo identification suggested Thursday he may strike part of it so that someone who doesn't have a valid ID at the polls can cast a provisional ballot that will still count without getting one. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson made the suggestion toward the end of a hearing on the issue, and lawyers for the plaintiffs seeking to halt enforcement of the entire law before the November 6th presidential election quickly protested it, saying it could cause even more problems and confusion. Under the new law, someone who does not have a valid ID at the polls can cast a provisional ballot, but it won't count unless they show a valid photo ID to county election officials within six days of the election. What Simpson seems to be considering would excuse a voter without valid ID at the polls from having to get it and show it later. The constitutionality of the law is not a question in front of Simpson. Instead, the judge is under orders from the state Supreme Court to issue an injunction of the law for this year's election if he finds the state has not met the law's promise of providing free and easy access to a photo ID or if he believes it will prevent any registered voters from casting a ballot. Simpson must rule by Tuesday.
(WGRC)

GETTYSBURG - The 150th anniversary of the decisive Civil War battle in Gettysburg is nine months away, but national park officials in Pennsylvania, tourism planners and hotels are bracing for what is expected to be a huge turnout. Gettysburg tourism office spokesman Carl Whitehill tells the Associated Press, many hotels in the immediate area have sold out, and they are expecting some 4 million visitors over the course of the year, or about a third more than usual. Typically, the battle's anniversary draws some 5,000 re-enactors. But the figure next July 1-3 could be three times higher. Fought in early July 1863, Gettysburg is considered the turning point of the Civil War, as the Northern army was able to repel Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army.
(WGRC)

SHANKSVILLE - The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the National Park Service $1.2 million to finish work on an access road at the 9/11 Flight 93 Memorial in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Associated Press reports, the memorial in Shanksville marks the grounds where a hijacked United Airlines jet crashed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Investigators determined the hijackers likely planned to crash the plane in Washington, D.C., but were thwarted when the 40 passengers and crew fought back and the plane crashed as a result. Each year, about 400,000 visitors to the memorial use the road.
(WGRC)