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November 8, 2012

MONTANDON – A crash backed up traffic in Northumberland County this afternoon.  We received reports of a vehicle accident at the intersection of Routes 147 and 405 in West Chilisquaque Township.  The accident happened just after 3 this afternoon and traffic was backed up significantly for a time in both directions of Route 147 as rescue crews worked at the scene.
John Callahan (WGRC)

LEWISBURG  - The man wanted for questioning in his elderly mother’s death was located this morning in Union County.  Authorities found Mark Boyles at a restaurant near Lewisburg this morning. On Sunday, the man’s mother , 80-year old Vennie Boyles, was found dead  in her home on Park Lane in Milton.  Investigators call Mark Boyles a person of interest.  Boyles told authorities he wasn’t feeling well and he was taken to the hospital to be checked out.  Police have not said how the woman died, and no charges have been filed.
(WNEP)

BERWICK - Unit 1 at PPL Corporation's Susquehanna nuclear power plant near Berwick, resumed generating electricity for the regional power grid safely and reliably on Wednesday after completing a turbine blade inspection. The inspection found signs of cracking on a small number of turbine blades, confirming data from diagnostic equipment installed in the spring of 2012. Those blades were replaced. PPL officials say they now have a solid understanding of the cause of the cracks and are finalizing short-term and long-term plans to resolve the issue. PPL Susquehanna also announced it will shut down Unit 2 for a similar inspection in the near future based on information provided by the diagnostic equipment installed on that unit, and will replace any cracked blades that may be found on the turbine. The work done this fall will serve as a bridge until the power plant begins making long-term fixes starting in the spring of 2013.
(WGRC)

HARRISLAND - If all goes according to plan, there could be a new company serving the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry in South Avis in Clinton County in about a year. Andrew Kicinski, President and CEO of Reserved Environmental Services, and Lee Roberts, one of the owners of the former Excel Homes property, detailed plans for the new shale wastewater treatment facility proposed in the former 145,000-square-foot main manufacturing facility at the complex, at Wednesday's Pine Creek Township supervisors' meeting. The main issue with the supervisors, and other officials is the location of the proposed facility in the township's flood plain. However, both Roberts and Kicinski noted the planned treatment unit will not impact the flood plain, and it has two features that will capture any liquids - all of which are safe - from entering the waterways. Reserved Environmental Services has two such facilities already operational: One in New Stanton, which is the largest such water treatment facility in the state, and another in Wheeling, West Virginia.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - Two referendum questions on ballots in Bratton and Granville townships in Mifflin County appear to have passed, according to unofficial election results. In Granville Township, voters were asked if they would support a one-mill increase in property taxes from 2.08 mills to 3.08 mills, to help pay for the purchase, maintenance and housing of fire equipment. 825 voted in favor of the tax increase, while 807 were opposed. There are still six outstanding provisional/absentee ballots to be considered. In Bratton Township, voters were asked if they would support reducing the number of township supervisors from five to three. According to unofficial results, 298 voters supported reducing the number of supervisors, while 102 were opposed.
(WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE - Recently finishing a renovation project of about 6,000 square feet, the Jersey Shore YMCA, at 826 Allegeheny Street, showed off the new areas at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday night. Work on the area, which previously was a bowling alley but had not been used in years, began in August. The section of the building now holds the Shangraw Wellness Center, an aerobics room and free-weight room.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Mayor Gabriel Campana - decrying the city's present and future financial condition - called out union leaders Wednesday, claiming city taxpayers face a real estate tax increase next year because of their lack of concessions on pensions and health care contributions. He also claimed there has been a lack of effort by state legislators to reform pension and arbitration law. City taxpayers face a real estate tax increase next year, which would increase taxes of about $85 dollars on a property accessed at $100,000. But State Representatives Rick Mirabito and Garth Everett both say it’s a contract issue and the city needs to look for new ways to generate income. Meanwhile Williamsport will receive more than $500,000 from the Marcellus Shale impact fee, according to revised figures released late Wednesday by the Public Utility Commission. That is more money that initially expected. The Sun Gazette reports, Mayor Gabriel Campana says, "It's nice to receive some positive news ... we planned on putting the money into the budget."
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN – In Shamokin, expenses and revenue are balanced in a budget proposal presented Wednesday to city council. The budget proposal, essentially a rough draft given to council members during their monthly workshop session, totals $2.6 million up a modest $23,000 from the current year's operating budget. Council will again seek a Northumberland County judge's permission to keep the real estate tax at 30 mills, 5 mills above the 25-mill maximum allowed under Third Class City Code. The increase has been permitted each of the past four years under a state law protecting financially stressed municipalities.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - The policy of housing inmates from other counties has generated significant revenue, but Northumberland County Prison will no longer accept out-of-county prisoners because of its own increasing population.  Warden Roy Johnson reported during Wednesday's prison board meeting that presently, there is only one inmate from another county being housed at the Sunbury jail, which currently holds 270. Johnson said there will be times when exceptions are made to house prisoners from other counties, but he said the normal practice will be curtailed. The News Item reports, the prison board agreed to begin releasing in the next two weeks as many as 40 non-violent prisoners from Northumberland County Prison and placing them on house arrest in an effort to reduce costs and inmate population. County commissioners believe the move could save approximately $500,000 a year.
(WGRC)

MUNCY - Fire crews were called out around two this morning for a structure fire in the borough of Muncy in Lycoming County. The fire was reported in the first floor of the home at 502 South Market Street. Crews remained on the scene until around 3:45 this morning. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
(WGRC)

MOUNT CARMEL – A State Police fire marshal will be on the scene today of a massive fire in the borough of Mount Carmel in Northumberland County to try and determined what caused the extensive blaze. Fire officials don’t believe the cause to be suspicious. Crews were called out just after eight yesterday morning to the four alarm fire on the 200 block of East Second Street. In all, three homes were destroyed; three others damaged and eight to 10 people were displaced.
(WGRC)

LINDEN - A workshop in Woodward Township which was used to store items related to a Loyalsock Township business was destroyed by fire late yesterday morning. Fire broke out around eleven a.m. at the workshop along Mahaffey Hollow Road owned by Michael Swope. The building was used to store mattresses, bed springs and other items for Swope’s appliance and mattress business on East Third Street in Williamsport. Firefighters from Woodward and Old Lycoming Townships as well as Nisbet and Jersey Shore were called to the scene, but were not able to save the structure. Damage is estimated at about $40,000 dollars and the cause remains undetermined due to the amount of damage.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - 21-year-old Tyler Marlatt will spend the rest of his life in a state prison for the stabbing death of a 20-year-old man over $20 worth of stolen marijuana. A Centre County jury found Marlatt guilty of felony counts of second- and third-degree murder for killing Tyler Struble in a Lemont backyard in January, but acquitted him on a charge of first-degree murder. The second-degree murder charge carries a mandatory life sentence. Centre County President Judge Thomas Kistler delivered the sentence minutes after the jury rendered its verdict, Wednesday.
(WGRC)

BENNER TOWNSHIP - A York County man convicted of murder is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection today at the Rockview state prison. If the execution goes on as scheduled, 56-year-old Hubert Michael, would be the first inmate to be put to death in Pennsylvania in 13 years and the fourth in the past 50 years. The execution is set for 7 p.m. Executions are conducted at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview. Michael was convicted in 1993 for the murder of a 16-year-old girl walking to work in Dillsburg. Hubert took her to state game lands where he shot her twice in the chest and once in the head. The state’s Supreme Court refused on Monday to stay the execution, and a federal judge did the same on Tuesday. The state Pardons Board denied granting him clemency Wednesday. An anti-death penalty group will hold a vigil at 5 p.m. outside the prison on state Route 26 to protest the execution.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - Days after a fugitive on the run released a taunting YouTube video, U.S. marshals are taking over the search for Scott Binsack. Binsack is wanted for a parole violation by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation, the U.S. Marshals Service Middle District of Pennsylvania Task Force announced Wednesday. Anyone with information is asked to contact the U.S. marshals at a toll free, anonymous tip line 866-437-9847. This summer, Binsack appeared at a Shamokin City Council meeting and unveiled plans to revitalize the city with a $13.4 million public offering of stock. Regulators with the state Securities Commission became aware of the unregistered offering. According to the terms of his release, Binsack is prohibited from engaging in most financial and business transactions. Binsack, formerly of Clarks Summit, was a homebuilder who was accused of shady dealings and unpaid bills. He pleaded no contest in July 2010 to seven bad check charges stemming from his work in Lackawanna County as head of Mansions&Estates and sentenced to time served. He was granted parole in April 2011.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - A woman who ran a home-based day care center in Spring Township, Centre County faces possible trial on charges that she shook an infant hard enough to cause a skull fracture. Charges against 38-year-old Jalene McClure, who now lives in State College, were bound over for trial Wednesday. Police began investigating the case in August 2010 when a mother noticed her five-month-old child had a bump on her head, was pale and had vomited on the car ride home from day care. McClure told police she tripped and fell while holding the baby, injuring the child. A doctor at Geisinger Medical Center told police in September 2010 that he didn’t believe the injuries were accidental. McClure was charged in September with aggravated and simple assault and child and reckless endangerment.
 (WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - Three men are charged with stealing another man's duffel bag containing about $5,000 in cash, including bills that had been marked by the victim to identify them. Police recovered some of Greg Badger's money when they went to speak with 54-year-old Guy Gordner and roommate 20-year-old Christopher Edmunds, at Gordner's apartment at 327 East Street in Bloomsburg. The Press Enterprise reports, Gordner, who is mentally disabled, became irritated with police and slammed some of the money down on his table as he was being questioned about what became of Badger's duffel bag. The suspects were not jailed and were given unsecured bail to await a hearing on theft and criminal conspiracy charges. A third suspect, 22-year-old David Lodewyks, was jailed on a probation violation as a result of his arrest in the theft and remains locked up. Lodewyks, who has prior arrests for burglary and thefts in the Bloomsburg area, was found carrying about $700 on him as well as some marijuana when taken into custody near Gordner's home.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A woman allegedly caught mixing up meth in her car last month was charged Wednesday with 38 felony counts of forgery after police say they uncovered a stash of counterfeit money in the vehicle. The Press Enterprise reports, 40-year-old Christine Morgan, of Berwick, was already facing felony charges related to the makeshift meth manufacturing. The new forgery counts are graded as second-degree felonies carrying up to 20 years in prison. She remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail at Columbia County Prison. Police pulled Morgan over October along Deussen Drive. After Morgan was arrested for the alleged methamphetamine offenses, police searched her car and found 38 fake bills in the console of the vehicle.
(WGRC)

MOUNT CARMEL - The Berwick man who allegedly fled from police last week and the girlfriend who police say hid him in the attic of her house both sent their charges onto Northumberland County Court Wednesday afternoon during preliminary hearings before District Judge Hugh Jones in Mount Carmel. 24-year-old Justin Cressinger, of Berwick, and 19-year-old Brittney Anecki, of Elysburg, were ordered to appear for plea court December 31st at Northumberland County Courthouse in Sunbury, where they can plead guilty or no contest, or seek a trial by pleading not guilty. The circumstances surrounding their charges stem from a traffic stop November 1st by Ralpho Township Police along Route 54. Cressinger allegedly gave false information, and then pushed the arresting officer when he started to handcuff him and fled the scene. He has seven warrants for his arrest against him in Columbia County in relation to unpaid fines. Anecki allegedly assaulted the same officer later when the he came to her house, and is accused of hiding Cressinger for 2 1/2 hours while dozens of police officers from Northumberland, Montour and Columbia counties searched for him.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - The judge presiding over former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary’s whistleblower lawsuit against the university has rescheduled a court hearing over staying the case for November 16th. Penn State asked the judge to put a hold on the case until criminal cases against university leaders are finished, but McQueary’s attorney objected to a stay. Attorneys will give oral arguments at 11 a.m. in courtroom No. 2 of the Centre County Courthouse. McQueary is suing Penn State for millions of dollars, accusing the university of defaming him and making him a scapegoat. The hearing was previously scheduled for earlier this month, but it was delayed because of Hurricane Sandy.
(WGRC)

NEW BERLIN – In Union County, a town meeting, tonight surrounding the borough of New Berlin’s Post Office, will be held at 7 p.m. in the Fire House Social Hall. The meeting with the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission was to go over the results of a borough survey regarding the New Berlin Post Office and for the community to show their support of the local post office, which the Postal Service is looking to close.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Blaise Alexander in State College donated a check for $10,000 to Operation Jersey. The operation was started to provide relief to those affected by hurricane sandy in New Jersey. Organizers of the operation say so far they've gathered a lot of donations and will continue accepting them through today. The items collected will be delivered to the community food bank of New Jersey.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - Schuylkill County residents are continuing to help the less fortunate victims of Hurricane Sandy. In addition to a group of residents that will be making a trip Saturday to Toms River, New Jersey, to volunteer and donate supplies, other community businesses and organizations are seeking donations to help victims as well. Harold Marks of Natural Energy Solutions, Minersville, said that his company also came into contact with people in Toms River and decided to start collecting desperately needed items. The Natural Energy Solutions website states that it has more than 20 years experience and provides GroundSource heating and cooling systems design and installation. Natural Energy Solutionswill  be running a trailer to Toms River, this weekend. The company will be collecting every day through 8 p.m. at their office at 878 Sunbury Road, outside of Minersville on Route 901. Donations will be accepted at a trailer in the parking lot of Natural Energy Solutions until 11 a.m. Saturday. The Republican Herald reports, pets also need help during the aftermath of Sandy. Pribilla's Home Center, with locations in Tremont and Tower City, and Wayward Animal Rescue, Cressona, are working together to collect donations for animals in need. Kim Pribilla, a resident of Pine Grove, said donations are being accepted at various locations in the county. Pet supplies such as food, collars, leashes, bedding, water, toys and other items are needed. Items will be collected until November 17th and delivered November 19th to Toms River along with the collections from those who donated to the Middleport Fire Company. Monetary donations should be donated by calling the American Red Cross at 800-Red-Cross. Items will be collected until Nov. 17 and delivered Nov. 19 to Toms River along with the collections from those who donated to the Middleport Fire Company, Middleport. The following businesses are accepting donations.
Pribilla's Home Center, 200 Bridge St., Tremont. and 101 Colliery Ave., Tower City, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday.
Berger's Market, 30 Lovers Lane, Pine Grove, during business hours, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Mountain Shadow Veterinary Hospital, 64 Kiehner's Lane, Schuylkill Haven, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.
We Luv Pets, Cressona Mall, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Sasha's Canine Bakery, 1415 Bunting Street, Pottsville, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Wayward Animal Rescue, 157 Pottsville Street, Cressona, no time was provided.
Wal-Mart, Saint Clair, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY – The kick-off of the Veterans Day weekend in Northumberland County will be an historic event. The public is invited to the first graduation ceremony of the County’s Veteran’s Treatment Court, Friday November 9th at the Northumberland County Courthouse. Four Veterans will be recognized for their successful completion of the program. The ceremony begins at eleven a.m. in the second floor courtroom.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINVILLE - It may be slow going today in the westbound lane of Interstate 80 between the Mifflinville and Berwick interchanges. PennDOT says the right lane will be closed on the new bridge crossing the Susquehanna River as work is preformed to remove the wall on the old westbound bridge. The two bridges are close together and the contractor wants to make sure a shield is in place to prevent flying pieces of concrete from hitting cars.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINBURG - PennDOT will soon start work on the roadway reconstruction and ADA-compliant curb ramp project on Route 45 in Mifflinburg, Union County.  The project will reconstruct Route 45 (Chestnut Street) between Route 104 (10th Street) at the west end and Forest Hill Road at the east end. The project's initial work phase will begin on Friday, November 9th with a November to January work phase, shut down for February and March, and then the bulk of the roadway reconstruction work from April through October 2013. The nearly one-and-a-quarter-mile-long project through the borough will begin this Friday with curb and sidewalk modifications, and utility work. In mid-December a subcontractor will begin cutting trees along Route 45 (Chestnut Street) through the borough until the end of January. A "pre-tree cutting" meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 19th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mifflinburg Borough building. Following the short winter shutdown, construction will resume in the early spring. All work in this $3,870,000 contract is scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2013.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - Clinton County Veterans Affairs and Lock Haven University invite the public to honor area veterans at a ceremony Monday at 2 p.m. in the Durrwachter Alumni Conference Center on campus. Several awards and special recognitions will be given, including the inaugural Ryan Graham Memorial Scholarship. Also, the Dallas Braden Leadership Scholarship and a special award for community service will be presented, and all University faculty, staff and students in attendance who are veterans will be recognized. Guest speakers will include Clinton County Commissioner Jeff Snyder and Nikolai Andresky who is currently assigned as the professor of Military Science at both Lock Haven and Mansfield universities.
(WGRC)

KULPMONT - In recognition of National Memory Screening Day on Tuesday, November 13th, LIFE Geisinger will host a free memory screening event and open house at its day health center at 1100 Spruce Street, in Kulpmont, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you or a loved one is concerned about memory problems, a free screening can help determine the need for further testing. The cause can range from the readily treatable disorders like vitamin deficiencies to lifelong conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. The earlier the diagnosis of such problems, the easier it is to treat or manage. Screenings will take just a few minutes and consist of a series of questions and tasks. Attendees are also invited to tour the facility, learn more about LIFE Geisinger, and enjoy light refreshments during an open house the same day. LIFE Geisinger serves the elderly in the community through on-site daily services at its day health centers in Kulpmont and Scranton or in the individual's own home. The program focuses on the medical, social and behavioral issues of local seniors, and meets national standards to care for those with dementia disorders. To register for the event, please call 1-866-230-6465. For more information about the LIFE Geisinger visit online at wwwlifegeisinger.org.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - The Friends of Lewistown Hospital is hosting the first 24-hour dance marathon to benefit the congestive heart failure program at Lewistown Hospital. Though the Dance Your Heart Out event isn't until February, the community can get involved now by forming teams and beginning the fundraising process, said Julie Maidens, nurse navigator for the Congestive Heart Failure department and a member of the event committee. Organizers are hoping to raise $15,000 through the dance marathon. The money will go toward educational materials and necessary resources for people living with heart failure. Regulation and printable registration forms can be found online at lewistownhospital.org under the Special Events section of the Support Your Hospital tab.
(WGRC)