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October 9, 2012

BELLEFONTE - Jerry Sandusky has been sentenced to at least 30 to 60 years in prison in the child sexual abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State and led to coach Joe Paterno's downfall. A thinner Sandusky, smiling and accompanied by sheriff's deputies, showed up at the courthouse Tuesday wearing a red prison jumpsuit, white sneakers and holding a manila envelope. A defiant Sandusky gave a rambling statement in which he denied the allegations and talked about his life in prison and the pain of being away from his family. The Associated Press reports, Judge John Cleland said at today’s sentencing, "The tragedy of this crime is that it's a story of betrayal. The most obviously aspect is your betrayal of 10 children." Cleland said, "I'm not going to sentence you to centuries in prison, although the law will permit that." Still, Cleland said, he expected Sandusky to be in prison for the rest of his life. After today's sentencing Sandusky most likely would be sent to Camp Hill state prison. There, he would be tested and evaluated by Department of Corrections personnel, who will determine where he will serve his time.
(WGRC)

KREAMER - A crash and circuit malfunction keeps employees of a Snyder County company off the job today.  Tom Morgensen, the vice president of human resources for Wood Mode tells the Daily Item, 1,050 Wood Mode Employees are not able to work today.  Power at the plant in Kreamer was cut off after a one-vehicle crash on Route 522 just after 11 this morning.  Once power was restored, a faulty switch gear on the company's internal circuit caused an electrical outage, which forced Wood Mode to suspend operations for the day. The problems at the plant are being worked on today and the company hopes to have employees back at work tomorrow.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE — In Snyder County, A Selinsgrove Center aide is accused of slapping a severely mentally handicapped and wheelchair-bound resident.  38-year old Kerri Lockcuff of Northumberland, was employed as an aide at the Penn Township residential facility on May 14th when she was allegedly observed striking 58-year old William Wilkinson, in the right side of the head and yelling at him to “shut up” as she pushed his chair into an activity room, court records filed by state police at Selinsgrove said.  The Daily Item reports, facility housekeeper Jennifer Leitzel reported seeing Lockcuff hit Wilkinson.  Lockcuff is charged with misdemeanor simple assault and summary harassment charges.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – A 16-year-old Lancaster County boy was killed while helping family in the Lewisburg area over the weekend. Stat Police say around ten a.m. Saturday the boy was helping family members cut up a large oak tree along J.P.M. Road in Kelly Township, Union County. Police say the tree shifted while being cut and the boy was struck on the head by a large limb of the tree killing the boy.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SHAMOKIN DAM – A search for a man suffering from dementia early this morning in Snyder County ended happily after he was found safe. State Police, Selinsgrove say the man’s wife reported him missing around 3:15 this morning in the Borough of Shamokin Dam. State Police along with fire and rescue crews search the area and the man was found just before five this morning. He was checked by medical crews and state police say he appeared to be ok.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

DANVILLE - A fire that chased a man, his son and their dog from a townhouse early Monday near Danville probably started in the furnace. A motor in the heat pump in the basement was likely the cause of the blaze that gutted 47 Meadow Lane behind Perkins restaurant. Mike Sine and his son lived in the apartment with their black Labrador. They were jarred from sleep by a smoke alarm about 3:30 Monday morning. Everyone got out safely.
(WGRC)

DRY VALLEY – A small fire started by a propane heater caused about $40 - $50,000 in damages to the egg house at a barn owned by Pleasant View Egg Farms in Union County’s Union Township yesterday morning. The fire, which started just before eight a.m., damaged a section of the egg packing room at the farm near the intersection of County Line Road and Route 304. No animals or firefighters were hurt.
(WGRC)

STRONG - A Shamokin man involved a vehicle crash that knocked out electricity to more than 1,000 customers in Mount Carmel Township Monday morning was committed to Northumberland County Prison on charges he lied to police. 34-year-old John May was taken into custody by Mount Carmel Township Police following an investigation into the crash, which happened around 8 a.m. on Arcos Road. Police were called to the area for an accident that sheared off a utility pole and knocking out power. Police say May’s Jeep was found on its side at the crash scene. Police shut down Arcos Road for approximately two hours until PPL employees arrived to fix the pole and downed wires. Power was restored around ten a.m. May was found at his place of work and told police his vehicle was stolen. But police noticed his hand was bleeding, his coat was torn with blood stains, and he had glass on his back and dirt on the coat. Police also found one of May's wife's Oxycontin pills in his coat pocket inside a bottle.  He faces charges for lying to police, and minor drug counts and was jailed on $25,000 straight cash bail.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY – Police in Northumberland County are looking for the bandits that broke into a home and stole jewelry over the weekend outside Sunbury. That happened sometime between five p.m. Saturday and 6:30 p.m. Monday at the home along Route 61 in Upper Augusta Township. Police say the thief took numerous gold rings and necklaces including a 1973 Miami-Dade college class ring and a 1971 Shikellamy class ring. Anyone with information on the break-in is asked to call state police, Stonington.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY - Sunbury Mayor David Persing is continuing his quest to acquire blighted properties in the city and on Monday city council voted to scarf up three more. Since the beginning of the year, the city has seized 15 homes and has torn down six of them. The latest properties being eyed at by the city are 702 Chestnut Street, 850 North Fifth Street, and 217-219 12th Street. The properties have now been declared as nuisance properties and owners have 10 days to clean them up or the city can file with the Northumberland County Court for ownership. Persing and Councilman Jim Eister said they are going to be ruthless in their efforts to clean up neighborhoods. The Daily Item reports, the cost of tearing down homes in the city is between $10,000 and $15,0000.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Williamsport Mayor Gabriel Campana said Monday he is evaluating all city positions in response to information the city finance department gave him last week that the city faces a $1.5 million deficit next year. "All jobs are on the table, including the police department," he said. "The city's unions need to get in line with the private sector, but - most importantly - the city taxpayers who are paying for the employees' salaries and benefits." Campana said if union concessions are not made, he will be forced to lay off staff. Campana said taxpayers face an anticipated 2-mill real estate tax increase if concessions are not made.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Facing a $1.5 million budget deficit next year the City of Williamsport may lose two of its public swimming pools. At the recommendation of Mayor Gabriel Campana, the city Recreation Commission Monday is asking City Council to authorize the closing of the pools in Memorial and Brandon parks in favor of keeping and upgrading the East End Pool at Shaw Place Park. The Sun Gazette reports the Parks and Recreation Authority issued a report suggesting the East End Pool should survive and the other two be closed for good. As for the two pools on the chopping block, Memorial Park pool has been closed due to leaks and repairs this season. The Recreation Authority says Brandon Park Pool needs to be closed because of a lack of revenue to keep it going. Although the closing of the pools is recommended, council has the final word and may make a decision at their October 18th meeting.
(WGRC)

NEW BERLIN – Several hundred residents in the Borough of New Berlin were without water for the evening yesterday after seven water main breaks were reported in the borough. The problems began when sewer and water officials went to flush the water lines throughout the town and had not taken the proper steps to ensure release of pressure build ups. Crews from Guetilius Excavating could be seen throughout the borough digging up streets and repairing the broken mains. Water was restored to the borough sometime late Monday night or early this morning.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - The Northumberland County Bar Association has come to the defense of County Judge Charles Saylor, saying he has been "unjustly attacked" by Commissioners Stephen Bridy and Vinny Clausi over a recent ruling that the two Northumberland County commissioners violated the Sunshine Act. In a statement emailed to the media, Joseph Michetti Jr., president of the bar association, said Saylor has been an "esteemed member" of the bench for 10 years, has presided over a range of issues and is well known for his fairness and thorough analysis of the law. In a six-page order issued September 28th after a preliminary injunction hearing two days earlier, Saylor said a decision by the county that banned David Kaleta from Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area property should not be enforced, pending any further order of the court. Also, he said the county's decision represented a violation of the Sunshine Act, which requires county business be deliberated at a publicly advertised meeting. Following the ruling, Clausi and Bridy were critical of the judge, saying he should have recused himself from the case because of past conflicts with Clausi. Also, Clausi invited Saylor to the commissioners' October 2nd public meeting and placed a sign, "Reserved for the Honorable Judge Saylor," on an empty seat. The News Item reports, Clausi as saying the lawyers and judges of Northumberland County only look out for themselves, and not the people of Northumberland County. Michetti recommended the Commissioners appeal the decision. The county has said it will appeal the decision. Clausi claims Saylor ruled against the county because commissioners denied raises for court secretaries and removed the Court Appointed Special Advocates program from the courthouse.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - U.S. Representative Lou Barletta, who represents the 11th Congressional District in Pennsylvania, is a member of the Marcellus Shale Caucus, a group of members of Congress who have teamed up to explore issues related to the growth of the natural gas drilling industry in Pennsylvania. Barletta’s interest in the industry does not stop there. The Daily Item reports, he also owns stock in a half dozen gas industry companies, including several that are actively drilling in Pennsylvania and beyond, financial disclosure forms show. Barletta, is required to disclose his stake in the companies, but there are no rules in place to bar him from buying stock. The practice is both legal and permitted under the ethics rules that Congress has written for itself, which allow lawmakers to take actions that benefit themselves or their families except when they are the lone beneficiaries. The financial disclosure system Congress has implemented also does not require the lawmakers to identify potential conflicts when they take official actions that intersect or overlap with their investments. Barletta’s director of communications, Shawn Kelly says, “Representative Barletta does not make financial decisions regarding his portfolio but relies on a financial planner to make those decisions.”
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - Voter registration rolls are almost closed for the November election, showing a Democratic voter advantage slightly smaller than it was four years ago. In 2008, registered active and inactive Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans by 1.2 million, when President Obama won the election by 600,000 votes over Republican presidential candidate, U.S. Senator John McCain. The latest state data shows the Democratic advantage is now about 1.1 million voters. If you haven’t registered to vote and would like to the deadline to register to vote in the November election is today.
(WGRC)

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN - The 30-year-old John E. Morgan Auditorium at Penn State Schuylkill campus will be getting a much-needed upgrade thanks to a $250,000 donation from the John E. Morgan Foundation. Jerry Bowman, coordinator of public information at the campus, says the auditorium built in 1982 needs renovations. Jane Zintak, director of development at the campus says the upcoming renovations will likely include refinishing the stage floor, reupholstering or replacing seats, replacing acoustic wall panels, upgrading backstage equipment and furnishings, and purchasing new spotlights and wireless microphones. The campus is planning to start renovations in late spring when most students leave for the summer and the auditorium isn't being used. Renovations would be complete by the end of the summer.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - A national conference at Penn State on the topic of child sexual abuse has sold out. Scheduled for later this month, the conference called "Traumatic Impact, Prevention, and Intervention" was open to 500 attendees. It is sold out. The two-day event features sessions by nationally recognized speakers like Sugar Ray Leonard and Elizabeth Smart, both of whom suffered sexual abuse as children.  The Child Sexual Abuse Conference is scheduled for October 29-30 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINBURG – The annual Kelsey’s Fall Festival in Mifflinburg is Saturday, to benefit the Kelsey’s Dream organization, which supports children with cancer. Kylie Kuhns formed Kelsey’s Dream after her younger sister Kelsey succumbed to cancer in November of 2005. Kylie says the festival has grown over the past six years. The Fall Festival is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mifflinburg V.F.W grounds. Kylie says there will be plenty of fun for everyone. She said, “hayrides, kids crafts, petting zoo and pony rides,” and more make for a fun day for all. There is also plenty of delicious food and live entertainment to enjoy. All proceeds will benefit Kelsey’s Dream Foundation.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Most people don’t intentionally choose to sleep in a cardboard box on the street during a cold autumn night. But that’s exactly what a group of students and adults at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in State College plan to do Saturday. Some 50 or so people will trade their warm beds and bedrooms for sleeping bags and cardboard boxes to raise awareness and money for the homeless. Sleep Out Saturday is primarily aimed at members of Good Shepherd’s youth group — about 30 of them — but will include other kids and adults from any denomination. The students are collecting pledges they will donate to the Centre House homeless shelter. During the inaugural Sleep Out Saturday last year, the group raised $1,200 for Bridge of Hope. The effort is just one in Centre County aimed at helping the homeless. Beginning in November, seven local churches of all denominations will offer warm beds, healthy meals and hot showers to the homeless. Each of the churches will take three-week shifts in which they open their doors each evening and care for those in need. The plight of homelessness in Centre County is becoming increasingly pronounced now that some 200 families are or soon will be without homes after the imminent closure of two area mobile home parks and the Hotel Do De fire, all within the past few months.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - Teens, history buffs and other members of the public showed up as World War II aircraft landed in the Williamsport Regional Airport, but for at least two of the visitors, it was an opportunity to take a trip back to a younger part of their lives. As visitors of the Wings of Freedom Tour walked through and toured the B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24, 91-year-old Harry Wittman, and 95-year-old Joe Diblan, knew what it was like to sit in the pilot seats of those aircraft. Wittman was a member of the U.S. Air Force for just over two years before being discharged, on account of World War II ending. Diblan didn't see action but trained those who did, as a flight instructor. Diblan, who flew both the B-24 and B-17, said the B-24 was known as the "boom boom" airplane because of it exploding while in flight. He tells the Sun Gazette, at one point he was flying one of the aircraft and a fire broke out. The fire occurred because the fuel line sat on top of a mechanical system. He says it was a war-time mistake when the country needed to manufacture aircraft quickly.
(WGRC)