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October 10, 2012

GARDEN VIEW – An armed robber makes off with cash from a Lycoming County cigarette store late this morning.  Old Lycoming Township Police say a large white man with a full black beard showed a hand gun to the clerk inside the Cigarette Outlet at 1930 Lycoming Creek Road in Old Lycoming Township just before 11:30 this morning.  He was able to get away with an undisclosed amount of cash.  No one was hurt during the hold up.  The middle aged man, wearing all black, was last seen running east through the parking lot of the business.  Anyone with information is asked to call Old Lycoming Township Police.
John Callahan (WGRC)

WATSONTOWN — Police in Northumberland County are searching for a woman they believe stole the identities of her parents and charged thousands of dollars on credit cards issued in their names.  30-year old Emily Fitzgerald of Watsontown faces 40 charges of forgery, theft, fraud, and identity theft.  Investigators believe Fitzgerald opened nine credit cards in her parents’ names and charged over $42,000.  Police said Fitzgerald may be traveling with 33-year old Douglas Humphries, possibly in the Lancaster County area. Humphries has several warrants out for his arrest.
(WNEP)

SELINSGROVE – A family of four is homeless following a fire at their home in Snyder County this morning. Fire crews from Snyder County rushed out to fight a fire at a mobile home near Selinsgrove. The fire was reported around 8:00 at Nine Mitten Drive off Wedgewood Drive in Penn Township. Dauntless Hook and Ladder Deputy Chief Don Weirick says when his crews arrived on they found the trailer fully engulfed in flames. The occupants of the trailer were able to get out safely. Weirick says a space heater caused the fire that destroyed the mobile home and cause a total of $20,000 in damages. No injuries were reported. The American Red Cross was assisting the family.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MUNCY – A crash on Interstate 180 near Muncy backed up traffic yesterday. The crash happened just after 3:00 p.m. at the Muncy Main Street Exit. Police say a concrete mixer that was headed west lost control of the truck and crash in the median of the highway. The mixer from Dan-Ber concrete and Supply of Danville, went airborne over the emergency cross-over and rolled several times ejecting the driver of the truck. The mixer became dislodged and flew several feet from the truck as the axle was ripped from the body of the vehicle. The West bound lane of I-180 was backed up for over an hour. Lifeflight landed on the Interstate’s westbound lane and flew the driver, who is in his 20’s, from Berwick, to Geisinger.
(WGRC)

BRIAR CREEK TOWNSHIP - A 68-year-old man was taken to the hospital after a tractor rolled over him yesterday. Leo Long, was mowing fields behind Heller's Trailer Court in Briar Creek Township around 2:30 p.m. The Press Enterprise reports, Long was guiding the small tractor down a steep slope when the machine apparently caught on a guy wire for a utility pole and went into a barrel roll. Mrs. Long, who was working on a small riding mower near-by, ran and called 9-1-1. Long was flown to Geisinger Medical Center, where he is listed in serious condition.
(WGRC)

VICKSBURG – A New Jersey man had charges filed against him following a deadly pedestrian crash in the village of Vicksburg in Union County. The crash happened June 17th when a pick-up truck driven by 32-year-old David Selby of Union, New Jersey was heading east on Route 45 and left the roadway hitting and killing 53-year-old Keith Wertz who was standing in the driveway of a home. State Police have field involuntary manslaughter charges against Selby. Court documents say Sleby told police he had fallen asleep at the wheel when he drifted off the roadway hitting Wertz. Police also say Sleby did not have vehicle insurance at the time of the crash and was charged as such. Police say the crash, which happened just before six p.m., was not alcohol related.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MARION HEIGHTS – In Northumberland County, Police are searching for a man who robbed a woman after knocking her to the ground outside her home last night. Mount Carmel Township Police Chief Brian Hollenbush says the crime was committed at 6:30 p.m. when the suspect attacked a 53-year-old woman while she was approaching her front door at 142 East Melrose Street in Marion Heights. Hollenbush said the victim was struck in the head, before landing on her face. The victim was sore from the fall, but refused medical treatment. The victim described the suspect as a white male of thin build, around 5 feet 11 inches to six feet in height with short white-colored hair. The suspect fled eastbound on Melrose Street to Brunswick Street. From Brunswick Street, he turned right on Coal Street, where he entered an unknown type vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to call Mount Carmel Township Police.  
(WGRC)

SHENANDOAH - A man and two women were jailed after being caught breaking into a Mahanoy Township home Tuesday afternoon. 41-year-old Samuel Steffie,  of Schuylkill Haven; 44-year-old Michele Linder, of Orwigsburg; and 19-year-old Shawna Lenker, of Schuylkill Haven, were taken before a District Judge on felony counts of burglary and criminal trespass. All three were then sent to the Schuylkill County Prison. Mahanoy Township police charged the three with burglarizing a home at 1265 West Centre Street in the Village of Boston Run just before two p.m. yesterday.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - A 26-year-old Lewistown man was arrested Monday after leading police on a chase in a stolen pickup down a gravel trail near West Charles Street in Lewistown. Lewistown Police say Thomas Clinger-Keiser was seen by an officer on patrol at around 10:30 a.m. Monday and the vehicle being driven matched the description of a truck from a theft reported earlier in the day by a local automobile dealer. The patroling officer then began to follow the pickup when it suddenly accelerated at a high speed and drove to the end of West Charles Street where it left the road and went down a gravel trail where it became stuck. Clinger-Keiser then fled down a trail into a section of woods where, he was found by police nearly an hour later. Drug paraphernalia was also recovered during Clinger-Keiser's arrest. Clinger-Keiser is jailed in the Mifflin County Prison on $75.000 bail.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE - Convicted Snyder County conman 41-year-old Kurt Keiper will appear in Snyder County Court this afternoon, seven months after he fled the state to avoid being sentenced on felony theft charges. Keiper, of Middleburg, was nabbed near Durango, Colorado, in early September and was brought back to the area to face the charges on Sunday. The businessman pleaded guilty early this year to 12 counts of theft for stealing over $340,000 from a dozen people who paid him for vehicles he never delivered. Under the terms of the open plea, a judge will have discretion in determining the penalty. Keiper was scheduled to be sentenced on April 5th in Snyder County Court, but failed to show up. He also failed to appear in court a few weeks earlier when his wife, Jessecca Keiper, alleged he had assaulted her and filed for a protection-from-abuse order against him. The PFA was granted. Warrants for Keiper’s arrest were issued, and attempts to locate him weren’t successful until early September when authorities near Durango received an anonymous tip that he was living in the area with his wife, violating the terms of the PFA. Keiper is scheduled to appear at a hearing in Snyder County Court this afternoon for failing to appear at a bail revocation earlier this year.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - An insurance company is suing two former firefighters who have pleaded guilty to arson after torching a client’s barn. The Celina Mutual Insurance Company, of Celina, Ohio, filed suit against 35-year-old Charles Jacobs, of Lewisburg, and 19-year-old Zane Snyder, of Milton. According to the civil suit filed in Montour County Court, the company insured the property of Neil Jenkins, including a barn at 255 Potts Grove Road, Montour County. The defendants set fire to the Liberty Township barn February 12th, causing nearly $81,000 in damage. The former Potts Grove firefighters have pleaded guilty to arson involving the barn, two homes and a field. Snyder is scheduled for sentencing Monday in Montour County Court, and Jacobs is listed for a motions hearing the same day. Jacobs faces up to 66 years in prison. Snyder faces a lesser maximum sentence of up to 52 years in prison because he initially cooperated with investigators. Both have been confined to jail since their arrests earlier this year.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE - 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 the 58-year-old handicapped man in the right side of the head and yelling at him to “shut up” as she pushed his chair into an activity room. Facility housekeeper Jennifer Leitzel reported seeing Lockcuff hit Wilkinson and hearing her complain about her job and the people around her. Lockcuff is scheduled to appear at an October 22nd preliminary hearing before District Judge John Reed in Selinsgrove on simple assault and harassment charges.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - An Elysburg woman who overdosed on heroin in February was jailed Tuesday after she was allegedly caught shooting up heroin in a restroom at Dunkin' Donuts in Bloomsburg. 26-year-old Courtney Hollingshead was also found with seven packets of the drug. The Press Enterprise reports, Hollingshead was taken before District Judge Russell Lawton on drug charges and jailed in the Columbia County Prison.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - An estimated 50 to 100 gallons of an antifreeze-type substance called Glycol leaked from six large containers that were punctured sometime overnight Monday outside Bowman Field. The 27 square-foot containers belong to the North Carolina-based company, Rink Specialists, which has the contract to install and dismantle the ice rink, called Airmen Pond, where the Williamsport Outlaws, the city's first professional hockey team, will play their home games. Despite the vandalism, the firm still will have the field ready for use when open public skating begins next Tuesday. The Outlaws season home opener is scheduled October 24th against the Dayton Demonz of Dayton, Ohio. Police are trying to determine who was responsible for the vandalism, which will cost the company nearly $2,000.
(WGRC)

KREAMER - A mid-day crash and circuit malfunction kept over 1,000 Wood-Mode employees off the job Tuesday. Tom Morgensen, the company’s vice president of human resources says repairs have been made, and the factory resumes normal operations today. Power at the Snyder County plant was cut off after a one-vehicle crash on Route 522 at 11:15 a.m. Monday, Morgensen said. However, 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 Tuesday. The crash that set off the outage occurred near the intersection of Lisalyn Road, on Route 522. Police say a pick-up truck hauling a trailer crashed into a utility pole, knocking out power, before going over an embankment. The driver of the truck was taken to Evangelical Hospital with minor injuries.
(WGRC)

NEW BERLIN – A water boil advisory is in place for the entire Borough of New Berlin following nine water main breaks in the Borough Monday. Crews from Gutelius Excavating worked all night Monday and part of Tuesday fixing the mains after Municipal Authority Crews flushed water lines and check valves failed to work property building up pressure in the lines causing them to break. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is conducting water quality tests and indicated it will use a rapid-response phone system, a type of automatic phone call, to notify residents when the boil-water order is lifted for the 800-plus residents of the Borough in Union County.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - Federal lawmakers are working to fund a flood protection project for two of Bloomsburg’s largest employers. U.S. Representative Lou Barletta; Senator Bob Casey; and Senator Pat Toomey, say they are working to secure a $15 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to fund the project on the town’s west end. This project would design and construct a flood wall around Autoneum (formerly Rieter Automotive North America) and Windsor Foods, two of Columbia County’s largest employers, the lawmakers said in a joint statement. Both of these manufacturers endure damaging flooding when the Susquehanna River and Fishing Creek overflow their banks. All three Senators say protecting the businesses from flooding is a must as those businesses have a major economic impact on Columbia County.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - After seeing its capital funds diminish, the Lycoming Housing Authority announced Tuesday that it has decided to sell the Center, which puts the existence of the Campbell Street Family Youth and Community Association at risk. MeriLyn Severson, executive director of the housing authority, tells the Sun Gazette the decision to sell the property at 600 Campbell Street came after looking at finances. She said instead of continuing to own the property and perform the needed work and upgrades, the housing authority will focus more on providing housing for its residents. Severson added that there was a lease agreement between the housing authority and the association for the use of the building. Sam Belle, president of the board for the association, said he was told Tuesday that the decision was final. With the building going on the market sometime in early 2013, Belle isn't sure what's going to become of the Center which  provides educational and personal enrichment to the area's youth, families, and seniors with comprehensive After-School Programs, Summer Day Camp, career-related workshops, health and nutrition seminars, drug and alcohol abuse counseling, and much more. The association had operated in the building before the housing authority purchased it in 2007, but Belle said it's "up in the air." The housing authority will begin repairs to the property in December. Until it is sold, Belle said the association will try to continue as close to normal as possible.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - An agreement with the Montour County Prison to house inmates from Lycoming County will be reviewed by Lycoming County commissioners Thursday at their meeting. Kevin DeParlos, warden at the Lycoming County Prison, said Montour County would charge $60 a day to house inmates there. No Lycoming County inmates presently are incarcerated there. DeParlos said at an August commissioners' meeting that the local prison is experiencing overcrowding issues and has been forced to place inmates in Tioga, Centre and Clinton county prisons.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - Elizabeth Smart was given by her mother a solid piece of advice soon after police in Utah rescued her nine months after she was abducted by kidnappers in June 2002: live your life. Her mother told her, "The best punishment you can ever give him is to be happy. Smart spoke to a full auditorium at Shikellamy High School Tuesday night. Smart was the special guest speaker at the Healthy Women Sixth Anniversary Party, hosted by the Sunbury Community Hospital, where she shared her story of abduction and survival. Smart was kidnapped by Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee from her Salt Lake City bedroom, raped and held captive against her will for nine months. She was 14-years-old at the time, when Mitchell captured her and told her God wanted her to be one of his seven wives. Smart held the audience's attention with her tragic, yet inspirational account of the traumatic events, at times, even adding comic relief. Smart says "It's not what happens to you that counts, It's what you do with what happens to you." Since her safe return to her family, she has advocated for change in relation to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. She also travels around the country speaking about her experience and is the co-founder of the "Elizabeth Smart Foundation."
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - The Salvation Army of Lewistown is taking applications for Christmas Assistance until October 26th. Anyone with questions should call 717-248-8338. No application will be taken after October 26th.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY – Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver will host her Second Annual Senior Forum on Thursday, October 11th, at 6 p.m., in Sunbury at the Office of the Educators, 1312 Market Street, which is located across from Dominos Pizza. Parking for the event will be marked. The event will feature a panel of professionals who will be at the forum to talk about a number of topics. The Northumberland County Area Agency on Aging, Life Geisinger, Melee Law Firm and Focus Health will all have guest speakers in attendance to talk with seniors and their caregivers about information and services that are available to them in the 108th District. Due to space limitations, Culver asked that seniors who are interested in attending this year’s forum should call her district office in Sunbury at (570) 286-5885 to register.
(WGRC)

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN - Schuylkill County residents will get a chance to hear both congressional candidates in the race for the 17th District seat. Republican Laureen Cummings, a home health nursing agency owner, and Democrat Matt Cartwright, a lawyer, have agreed to debate at 7 p.m. November 1st in the John E. Morgan Auditorium at Penn State Schuylkill, just outside Schuylkill Haven. The debate is co-sponsored by The Republican-Herald and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Penn State Schuylkill. The debate will last one hour and will be televised live on PCN. The 51-year-old Cartwright, of Moosic, and 48-year-old Cummings, of Old Forge, are running for a two-year term to replace the senior member of the state's congressional delegation, U.S. Representative Tim Holden, of Saint Clair, a 10-term incumbent who lost to Cartwright in the April 24th Democratic primary election.
(WGRC)