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November 7, 2012

HARRISBURG - Former Penn State President Graham Spanier is free on $125,000 unsecured bail after being arraigned on charges related to the child sex abuse case of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.  The Associated Press reports, Spanier was arraigned this morning in Lower Paxton Township on charges including perjury, obstruction and conspiracy.  He has denied the allegations and claimed he is being framed for political purposes.

MOUNT CARMEL - Fire crews were sent to fight a fire that damaged several homes in Northumberland County this morning.  Fire fighters were called to a double block home at 244 and 246 East Second Street in Mount Carmel around 8 this morning.  Authorities think the fire started in the basement of one side of that double block home and spread to two other buildings. Three homes have heavy fire damage.  Another has smoke damage.  At least three families are without a place to stay.  One family thinks the fire started in or around a coal burner in the basement, but the exact cause is under investigation.  There were no injuries reported.
(WNEP/News Item)

WOODYCREST - An early afternoon fire in Centre County today caused heavy damage to a home.  Firefighters responded at around 12:30 this afternoon to 305 Fernwood Court in Patton Township for a house fire.  The home is in Heritage Village off Vairo Boulevard in an area heavily populated by college students who live in a mix of apartments, duplexes and townhouses.  The Centre Daily Times reports, it wasn't immediately clear if anyone was injured in the fire.  The split level home was heavily damaged by the blaze.  A fire marshal is investigating to determine how the fire started.

UNDATED – Saying he is going to call Governor Mitt Romney and work with him to build a better future, both voters here in Pennsylvania and across the nation re-elect Barrack Obama to another four years as the nation’s Commander-In-Chief. The president sealed his victory in Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Colorado, four of the nine battleground states where the two rivals and their allies spent nearly $1 billion on dueling television commercials. Democrats won two more years of control of the Senate, and Republicans were on track to do likewise in the House. Romney was in Massachusetts, his long and grueling bid for the presidency at an unsuccessful end. Romney says it’s time to put aside partisan politics to move towards a stable economy.

UNDATED – It appears to be a sweep for Democrats across Pennsylvania in the major races. In the race for the Pennsylvania Senate Seat, Incumbent Democrat Senator Bob Casey will remain as one of two Pennsylvania Senators the other being Republican Pat Toomey. Casey beat out Republican challenger and tea party favorite Tom Smith to retain his seat in the U.S. Senate.
For the first time in Pennsylvania History, Pennsylvania has a Democrat and a woman for Attorney General. Kathleen Kane a Democrat beat out Republican David Freed.
For Auditor General Democrat Eugene Depasquale edged out Republican John Maher 49 to Maher’s 46 percent.
And for state Treasurer Robert McCord a Democrat holds on to his post by beating challenger Diana Irey Vaughan.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

UNDATED – In Congressional races throughout the WGRC listening area most have been won by Republicans. In the Fifth Congressional District Incumbent Glenn Thompson of Howard defeated his challenger Democrat Charles Dumas.
In the 10th Congressional District Republican Tom Marino of Williamsport will serve a second term sounding defeating Democrat Phil Scollo of Pike County.
In the 11th Congressional District Republican Lou Barletta of Hazelton will serve a second term beating Democrat Gene Stilp of Wilkes-Barre.
The only Congressional race in the WGRC listening region given to a Democrat. The seat formerly held by Tim Holden was handed to fellow Democrat Matt Cartwright who hands-up beat out his challenger Laureen Cummings.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

UNDATED – In races for the Pennsylvania General Assembly for the Senate there were two contested races here in the WGRC listening area.
In Senate District 23 Republican Eugene Yaw overwhelmingly defeated challenger Democrat Luana Cleveland.
In Senate District 29 Republican David Argall holds on to his seat in a close race against Democrat Tim Seip.
Senatorial District 27 Senator John Gordner was not challenged.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

UNDATED – In races for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives not many changes in the races that were contested.
In the 77th District Democrat Scott Conklin defeats challenger Ron Reese.
In The 83rd District Democrat Rick Mirabito beats challenger Harry Rogers.
In the 85th District Republican Fred Keller will serve a second term by beating Grenn Party Candidate Erick Viker.
In the 107th Republican Kurt Masser retains his seat beating Democrate Ted Yeager.
In the 109th Republican David Millard beats Democrat Dan Knorr.
In the 124th Republican Jerry Knowles soundly defeats Independent candidate Dante Picciano.
In the 125th District Republican Michael Tobash beats Democrat Vicki Harman.
And in the 171st District Republican Kerry Benninghoff defeats Democrat Christopher Lee.

LEWISBURG - Voters in Lewisburg reported a problem with a machine at an East Buffalo Township polling place, when the machine was not properly selecting candidates. The touchscreen system on one of the electronic voting machines at Elmcroft Senior Living Community was not properly marking the chosen candidates. After several complaints, the machine - one of five at the polling location was shut down until a technician could come and examine the machine. Greg Katherman, director of the board of elections for Union County, said he was not sure how many votes were affected by the malfunction, but that misvotes are a possibility for any ballot. The Daily Item reports, of the 100 electronic voting machines in Union County, it was the only one to have a malfunction.

PORT TREVORTON - Six adults and one child are homeless following a fire near Port Trevorton in Snyder County last night. Fire crews were called out just before seven p.m. to the double home at 266 Oriential Road in Chapman Township. The residents were able to get out of the blazing home unharmed as that fire went to three alarms. Firefighters from 13 companies in four counties responded to the blaze. Tanker trucks were drawing about 3,000 gallons of water apiece at the Mahantango boat launch on the Susquehanna River to fight the fire. Crews were back in service around 11:30 p.m. No word on a cause of that fire as it is being investigated.

TURBOTVILLE – A Turbotville woman was taken top Evangelical Hospital following a crash early last evening on Route 54 in Northumberland County. The crash happened just after five p.m. in Lewis Township. Police say 38-year-old Becky-Jo Stephens was injured when she fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the roadway into a ditch and the yard of a house before going up over a cement barrier and driving through a bush before coming to rest in another yard.

MILTON - Police are still searching for the son of an elderly woman found dead in her Milton home Sunday. Police say 55-year-old Mark Boyles is a person of interest in the case. The death of 80-year-old Vennie Boyles at her park Lane home in Milton is considered suspicious. According to reports from the scene, the woman was found in a bedroom/bathroom shower. An autopsy on Boyles’ body was conducted yesterday at the Lehigh Valley Medical Center. Northumberland County says the autopsy is inconclusive at this point and he’s waiting on additional tests before making a determination. Meanwhile any information on Mark Boyles whereabouts is asked to call police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - Tyler Marlatt told a Centre County jury he never intended to start a fight when he went to a Lemont home in January. But when he fled a few short minutes later, he left 20-year-old Tyler Struble dying outside in the cold winter night. The 21-year-old Marlatt took the stand in his own defense during trial yesterday. Marlatt, is on trial for first-, second- and third degree murder charges. District Attorney Stacey Parks Miller says Marlatt killed Struble in a fit of rage while defense attorneys say he acted in self-defense when he allegedly stabbed and killed Struble. The trial is expected to resume this morning in Bellefonte. The jury could begin deliberating as early as this afternoon.  

MOUNT CARMEL - The teenage girl released from a juvenile shelter program last week after being charged with making bomb threats at Mount Carmel Area School District in October is back in custody after allegedly attacking her boyfriend with a knife. 17-year-old Crystal Clark, 17, of Mount Carmel, was charged as an adult by Police with two felony counts of aggravated assault, and related counts for what happened between 1:45 and 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. Clark is accused of entering the West Second Street home of Dillon Pellegrino, and punching him in the face, and ripping an earring out of Pellegrino’s ear. Police said Clark then went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and went after the victim upstairs, where Pellegrino had barricaded himself in a bedroom. Clark is now behind Northumberland County Prison bars on $75,000 bail.

NEW COLUMBIA – Two Milton men have been charged with felony burglary and theft charges for breaking into a White Deer Township Home in Union County and stealing around $200 in change. That incident happened on October 24th at a home along Shady Road, near New Columbia. Police say 44-year-old Donald Austin and 20-year-old Shane Parker broken into the home damaging a side door and broke into a safe taking the change. Court papers reports, both have admitted to the crime.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - State police at Rockview arrested a 28-year-old Bellefonte woman who was found running topless along Benner Pike under the influence of bath salts Tuesday evening. Police say 28-year-old Stephanie Watkins, was cited for public drunkenness after she was found knocking on doors and rolling through puddles along the roadway around 8 p.m. She was found running along the 300 block of Benner Pike, near the Y intersection at the Nittany Mall. Watkins was taken into custody and transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment.

DUBOISTOWN – In Lycoming County, a mini-parade erupted in celebration of the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Slabtown Bridge near Warrensville. Yet as one bridge officially became up and running, the DuBoistown Bridge fell as work continued. The state Department of Transportation opened the Slabtown Bridge Tuesday afternoon, less than 14 months after massive flooding from Tropical Storm Lee destroyed it on September 8th, 2011. First to cross the bridge after its opening was the Eldred Township Volunteer Fire Company Ambulance. It was the last vehicle to cross before the bridge when it shut down. Meanwhile, three of the seven spans on the DuBoistown Bridge, also known as the Arch Street Bridge, were demolished shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday. The demolition will happen in sections because the entire river cannot be blocked off at once. A causeway, or a road in the river, has to be built to allow workers to excavate the fallen parts, cut them and recycle them. After that is finished, the piers will be demolished. The causeway will be built on the DuBoistown side of the bridge and the four remaining spans will be demolished. That work is expected to finish in about six to eight weeks. The new span replacing the DuBoistown Bridge, which has been named the Lance Cpl. Abram L. Howard Bridge, is expected to open in the spring.