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Thank God for His provision of your hands, feet and voices willing to speak His truth throughout our region - what a blessing you continue to be.  (State College)

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October 8, 2012

MAHANOY CITY – A Schuylkill County woman is charged with aggravated assault and related counts after attacking her former boyfriend and his new girlfriend.  State Police say 20-year old Jennifer Wood of Tamaqua went to the Mahanoy Township home of 22-year old Thomas Kehl just before 9:30 this morning.  Wood damaged Kehl’s car, including flattening all four tires, before breaking into his home and hitting him with several items including a shovel.  She also bit 18-year old Ashley Beynon of Tamaqua on the hand as she tried to stop Wood from hurting Kehl.  Wood is charged with aggravated assault, burglary and other related counts.
John Callahan (WGRC)

DRY VALLEY – Fire crews from Union and Snyder Counties were called out to fight a barn fire at the Pleasant View Egg Farm in Union County. Union Township Deputy Fire Chief Steve Anderson tells us the fire started just before eight this morning when a propane heater ignited a portion of an egg house at the farms owned by the Pleasant View Egg Farms. The farm is located just off County Line Road near the intersection of Route 304 and County Line Road in Union Township. A quick response by fire fighter limited the damage to the barn. Some eggs were damaged by the smoky fire. There were no injuries.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

DANVILLE – Two people have been left homeless in an early morning fire that heavily damaged a town house in Montour County. The fire was reported around 3:30 this morning at 47 Meadow Lane near the Perkins Restaurant in Danville. Crews from Montour and Columbia County responded to the second alarm fire and found heavy smoke and fire coming from the building. Montour County 9-1-1 tells us no one was injured in the blaze and the American Red Cross has been called in to assist.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

NORTHUMBERLAND - Personnel from five companies rushed to the scene of an attic fire at 480 Water Street in Northumberland that left a family of four temporarily homeless at about 4 p.m. Sunday. Carla Kalcich said she, her husband, Jeff, their 21-year-old daughter Casey, and 17-year-old son James, safely escaped the burning home along with their three dogs and one cat. Northumberland Fire Chief Brian Crebs said he believes the blaze was an accidental electrical fire in the attic of the home. Most of the damage was confined to the attic, although there was smoke and water damage on the second floor and some water damage in isolated areas of the first floor. He estimated the loss at $50,000. The family is being helped by the American Red Cross. Crebs says the home is fixable.
(WGRC)

ATLAS - PPL Electric reports that over 1,000 customers were without power this morning in Mount Carmel Township. Police were seen directing traffic at the intersection of Routes 54 and 61 in Atlas at about 8:30 a.m. as traffic lights at the busy intersection were inoperable. There is no report as of yet from PPL as to the cause of the outage.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - A McAlisterville man died just after midnight Saturday after a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of state Route 35 and Stop Plaza Drive in Fermanagh Township, Juniata County. State Police say 47-year-old Anthony Barth, was driving north on state Route 35 when his car slammed into a tractor trailer making a turn onto Stop Plaza Drive from Route 35. Barth, who was not wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene. The driver of the rig, a 49-year-old man from Perrysburg, Ohio, was not hurt. Police are continuing their investigation into the crash along with the Juniata County Coroner's Office.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LIVERPOOL – Two teens from Millerstown were taken to a hospital following a crash in Perry County. The crash happened around ten Sunday morning on Route 17 in Liverpool Township. Police say 17-year-old Bradley Foreman lost control on a curve and went off the roadway. Both he and his passenger 15-year-old Alyssa Foreman were taken to Harrisburg Hospital for treatment of their injuries.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

GILBERTON – An Ashland man is being charged with fleeing from police after a chase in Schuylkill County. The chase happened just before nine p.m. Friday on Route 924 in Gilberton when police tried to pull over 39-year-old Thomas Beltran for speeding. Beltran led police on a short pursuit which ended when Beltran went off the roadway and damaged to undercarriage of his vehicle. Beltran was taken to the hospital with minor injuries following the crash and is face fleeing police and numerous traffic violations.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WINFIELD - A Bloomsburg woman was hurt in a crash just before eight Friday night on County Line Road in Monroe Township, Snyder County. State police say 66-year-old Roberta Allen was driving near Winfield when she lost control of her vehicle on a curve, went up an embankment and rolled the vehicle. Allen was taken to Geisinger for treatment.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – A Lewisburg man was taken to the hospital following a two vehicle crash involving him and his motorcycle. The crash happened around 5:30 Thursday afternoon on Hospital Drive in Kelly Township. Police say an SUV driven by 41-year-old Jessica Tice of Mifflinburg pulled out of a driveway into the path of the motorcycle operated by 39-year-old Shane Dieffenderfer. Dieffenderfer tried to stop but hit the rear of the SUV. Police say he was taken to Evangelical Community Hospital with moderate injuries. No one in the SUV was hurt.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A gunman walked into the Nittany Minit Mart at 1450 East Third Street in Williamsport and robbed a female clerk of an undisclosed amount of cash at around 8 p.m. Sunday. No one was hurt in the holdup and no shots were fired. The only description police had of the bandit was that he was white, over 5 feet, 7 inches tall and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and what was believed to be a fake mustache. The gunman was last seen running behind the business, where a getaway vehicle may have been parked. The business immediately closed as state troopers questioned the clerk and collected evidence related to the holdup.
(WGRC)

NEWPORT – Residents were moved from their homes after some spent artillery shells were found in Perry County Friday morning. Around eleven a.m. state police received the call of the military shells in a wooded area near the Perry Manor Apartments near Newport. The state police evacuated the area and a state police bomb squad came to inspect the seven shells which were determined to have no explosives. After the shells were determined to be safe the residents were allowed back in their homes. The shells were returned to the military.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - The man who murdered his two children at the Stone Castle Motel in 2006, can appeal his death sentence with help of federal public defenders who specialize in capital punishment cases.Columbia/Montour County Presidents Judge Thomas James has ruled that 48-year-old Anthony Dick, may appeal the death sentence with the aid of Philadelphia-based lawyers Claudia Van Wyk and Keisha Hudson in Columbia County. Dick remains in the state prison in Greene County, where he's been on death row since 2007. Dick, formerly of Bloomsburg, was convicted of fatally shooting his 18-month-old son and 4-year-old stepson in a room at the Stone Castle, along Route 11 in Montour Township, in January 2006. The Press Enterprise reports, his next hearing on post-conviction relief is not expected until sometime later this year or early 2013.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A 30-year-old man sold heroin to a Catawissa woman who overdosed and died just after she had been scheduled to attend an AA meeting. Nathan Steimling of the Bloomsburg area, the father of seven children, began to cry Friday in court when asked about allegedly selling Trichelle Grove the drug that ultimately killed her July 20 at age 23. Arrest papers say Grove and friend Brandi Comstock injected heroin they got from Steimling in a bathroom stall at the McDonald's in Bloomsburg. The Press Enterprise reports, Steimling, who has a history of retail theft convictions, was charged with drug delivery resulting in death and jailed in the Columbia County Prison on $150,000 bail.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - What may have begun last year as a routine undercover drug investigation ended in the unraveling of an organized crime operation whose leader is suspected of selling as much as $500,000 of cocaine on Williamsport streets during a 15-month period. Lycoming County District Attorney Eric Linhardt says 26-year-old Khalil Fulks allegedly ran out of his home at 1010 Elizabeth St. began to collapse when he was arrested on September 7th on drug charges.  Since then, state troopers investigated Fulks and much of the evidence against him stem from thousands of telephone calls that police listen to through a court-approved wiretap to Fulks' cellphone. Fulks is jailed in the Lycoming County Prison on $350,000 bail. Thirteen people who were allegedly part of his operation have been arrested. Warrants have yet to be served for three other fugitives.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE - Several inmates at the Snyder County prison are — further — in trouble with the law after a drug bust last week. Five inmates are facing felony charges for smuggling drugs into the prison in greetings cards. Jacki Jo Etzler, Spence Etzler, Anthony Latshaw, Kyle Molek, Zachary Jordan, and Robert Yocum are all named in connect with the mailing, accepting or use of Suboxone strips, used to treat opiate addiction.
(WGRC)

WHITE DEER - The cleaning of bridge decks and installation of epoxy pavement markings will take place this week in Columbia, Northumberland and Union Counties. PennDOT crews will be doing the work which should take about two to three hours on each side of the bridges on Interstate 80. The work will be done in half-width construction and traffic will be restricted throughout the workday and unrestricted by the end of the work day. The project ranges on I-80 westbound from Union County to Columbia County, and I-80 eastbound from Northumberland County to Columbia County. PennDOT reminds motorists to remain alert for these work crews and slow down in work areas.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Mayor Gabriel Campana painted an alarmingly gloomy financial picture for next year's budget and beyond, and he's blaming his unionized fire and police officers. He and Controller Margaret Woodring said Friday, taxpayers face a 2-mill real estate hike which that translates to $200 more per year for a property assessed at $100,000. Woodring indicated the projected shortfall is $1.5 million. Campana said the city is losing money because of cost increases in union health care plans and pensions, and unfunded federal mandates such as certifying the flood levee. He's asking the unions representing police and fire, which have the highest personnel costs, to agree to a series of concessions. The Mayor however tells the Sun Gazette, the city firefighters aren't budging. He said police are not immune to restructuring, either.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - The Housing Authority of Northumberland County, already working with municipalities on an ambitious plan to reduce the number of blighted properties countywide by 30 percent in three years, is now offering businesses a chance to help fight blight and earn a tax credit for it. The News Iten reports, the authority has invited businesses to a informational session on investing in communities in the county to address the problem of blighted properties and a program that will provide an opportunity to receive a 75 percent state tax credit for municipalities' contributions. The meeting will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Edison Hotel, 401 Market Street, Sunbury.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The natural gas industry may well have reached its peak in Lycoming County in 2010 and 2011, but there's no reason to believe that the best economic times are over. Gas drillers and others connected business-wise to the industry claim they are staying somewhat busy these days. And some companies are doing better than ever. Anadarko has 85 employees in Williamsport and is staying busy, according to company spokeswoman Mary Wolf. The company leases five rigs, including a sputter rig. Wolf says activity at the rigs stays at a steady pace. The Sun Gazette reports, the company is also doing road restoration work and working on conservation projects. Meanwhile business dealing with the effects of the gas drilling are staying busy everything from drill casings, concrete to roadway construction and rehabilitation is busier than ever.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN -The Keystone Central School Board approved a $9.8 million restructuring of its long-term debt last week, in an effort to take advantage of historically low interest rates. The district's net debt service is in the $27 million ballpark and extending into 2021 - well below most other school districts in amount and the time to final payment. The restructuring of a $3.1 million note from 2008 and a $3.58 million note from 2009 could save the district anywhere from $280,000 to $600,000, depending on when the financial firm "pulls the trigger" on the note.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - Agricultural company Monsanto has awarded Danville High School a $25,000 grant to enhance its agriculture curriculum. Four other Pennsylvania schools won $10,000 grants. Danville was one of 19 finalists in the state. Monsanto awarded grants to schools across the United States as part of its America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program. Nominations for the grant money had to come from local farmers. The grant will be used to buy equipment to “support the CASE curriculum.” CASE, or Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education, is an initiative begun by the National Council for Agricultural Education. The Daily Item reports, the curriculum is designed to be an agricultural version of the federal STEM initiative, which emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - The 4-H/Future Farmers of America livestock sale at the Bloomsburg Fair grossed more than $108,000 in proceeds for 4-Hers and FFA members. The Press Enterprise reports, the annual event featured over 100 young people showing 230 animals which they have been raising over the past several months. The animals included steers, dairy beef, rabbits, lambs, goats and hogs.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - Mud-splattered all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes trekked through coal country to help raise money for sick children. About 250 motorists gathered at the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, along Route 125 in Coal Township, to journey over the 22-mile course set up for Sunday’s benefit ride. The riders paid $15 apiece or $25 to register a rider and passenger, with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network at Geisinger Health System. For the network, this was the “first time they ever did an ATV ride as a benefit.” A partnership already existed between the two groups, with Geisinger sponsoring ATV youth safety training at the adventure area and the Children’s Miracle Network providing a grant for the area to supply safety helmets and goggles. Kathy Jeremiah, project coordinator for the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, tells the Daily Item, “Due to that relationship, “We decided to have this benefit ride to give back to the Children’s Miracle Network.” Jeremiah hopes to turn the adventure area into a recreational park where people can come during specific hours to ride off-road vehicles. The adventure area normally has to get permission from Northumberland County to host events, such as the network’s ride.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - Administrators at Evangelical Community Hospital and Geisinger Health System are declaring that all of their patients are safe from the meningitis scare that is affecting medical patients in six other states. In response to media reports of outbreaks of meningitis cases tied to injected steroids for pain treatment, Evangelical Community Hospital and Geisinger Health System reports both hospitals and their related offices, surgical areas, and clinics are safe. Patients who have received or are scheduled for steroid injections should be assured the medical centers’ pharmacies are not clients and they do not use steroid products of the New England Compounding Center, the pharmaceutical company in question. The Food and Drug Administration last week urged physicians not to use any products at all from the Massachusetts pharmacy that supplied the drugs. So far, 35 people in six states — Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana — have contracted fungal meningitis, and five of them have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All had received steroid shots for back pain, a highly common treatment.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Susquehanna Health has appointed Jan Fisher to the role of Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President and Ronald Butler to the position of Chief Business Development Officer/Executive Vice President. As COO, Fisher will have overall operating responsibilities for the system’s four hospitals and their related Home Care and Long Term Care services. Fisher has over 35 years of hospital operations experience in Florida and Pennsylvania. Most recently, she served as President and CEO of Soldiers&Sailors Memorial Hospital, The Green Home and Tioga Health Care Providers as well as Executive Vice President of Laurel Health System. In Butler’s role as Chief Business Development Officer, he will oversee new startups, closures and restructuring, as well as system partnerships and Federally Qualified Health Clinics. Ron has over 38 years of hospital and health system operations experience in Florida and Pennsylvania.  His most recent positions was as the President and CEO for Laurel Health System as well as President for North Penn Comprehensive Health Services. Prior to this position with Laurel Health since 1996, Butler served in positions as Chief Operating Officer and as Executive Director for Soldiers&Sailors Memorial Hospital beginning in 1998.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - As people head out to deer camps or cabins this fall, they may want to take some precautions to safeguard themselves against a potentially fatal virus that sickened nine and killed three in California's Yosemite National Park this past summer. An expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, David Wolfgang says Hantavirus has killed several Pennsylvania residents over the years. Wolfgang emphasizes caution -- but not panic -- is warranted. Before this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 587 cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome were reported in the United States. Of these, 556 cases occurred following the initial identification of the virus in 1993, and 31 cases were identified retrospectively. About 36 percent of all reported cases have resulted in death. Wolfgang says it’s wise to be careful when cleaning out hunting camps and cabins. Several species of wild rodents, such as the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse, have been linked to the virus. Wolfgang says coming in contact rodent droppings, urine or nesting materials could expose someone to the virus. It’s important to not breathe the dust surrounding areas where mice have been. Use disinfectant spray wash areas where rodents have been and mop; do not vacuum areas where mice have been present. Wash all bedding that may have been exposed and, try to make sure holes, cracks and other areas are sealed where mice can get inside a structure.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - As Williamsport celebrated the opening of the city's Armed Forces Reserve Center on Sunday, it also said goodbye to more than 200 of its soldiers attached to the 3rd Battalion of the 103rd Armor Battalion. They are being deployed to Kuwait for security operations. As Lieutenant Colnel T.A. Starkoski, battalion commander, stood next to his son after the dedication ceremony for the new reserve center, he said the moment was "bittersweet." The "bitter" is having to leave friends and family, but the "sweet" is being able to put their training into action and serve their country. Not only did family and friends show up to bid farewell to the soldiers, but so did community members. As the troops prepare to travel to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, before heading overseas, city Mayor Gabriel Campana told them they were his heroes.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Some of the jurors who convicted Jerry Sandusky say they’ll be at his sentencing and hope he’ll be sent away for the rest of his life. Four of the five jurors contacted by The Associated Press said they plan to attend the sentencing hearing Tuesday in Bellefonte. A fifth says he’ll read about it afterward, and the other seven haven’t been identified. The 68-year-old Sandusky is likely to get a lengthy prison term from Judge John Cleland, given the serious nature of his convictions for child sexual abuse, and the fact that he was found guilty of 45 crimes. The former Penn State assistant football coach maintains his innocence and plans to appeal.
(WGRC)

WASHINGTON D. C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Fire Administration Join the National Fire Protection Association to Encourage Everyone to Have Two Ways Out. Home fires can happen at any time and spread in just minutes, claiming the lives and property of those affected. During this week, October 7-13, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Fire Administration, in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association, are encouraging individuals and families to have a fire escape plan. People can protect their homes and loved ones from emergencies by making their homes safer now and throughout the year. Hundreds of thousands of fires happen in and around American homes every year, killing or injuring thousands of people and causing untold damage to families and communities. The best way to prepare for a fire is to plan in advance and practice your response plan. Also check that all smoke alarms work; make sure that there are two ways out of every room; and practice your fire plan with family members including children, older family members, and individuals who have access and functional needs so that every person knows how to use both ways to get to safety.
(WGRC)