91.3 Lewisburg - 90.7 & 107.1 Williamsport - 90.9 Lewistown - 91.9 Kulpmont - 101.7 State College -104.7 Pottsville - 107.7 Bloomsburg 

  

Support WGRC click here

Share Your Story

Upcoming Events

Friday, August 1, 2014 - 2:00pm

Todays Word

WGRC Newsletter

Sign up for our Free Newsletter





Quotes

My faith continues to grow because of the wonderful service WGRC provides every day! (Milton)

Follow us on Twitter

November 16, 2012

HARRISBURG - The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is now accepting applications for this winter. The state Dept. of Public Welfare says those who might be eligible for LIHEAP should apply early.  People who qualified for LIHEAP last winter season are being sent their applications automatically. No state dollars are involved in LIHEAP; all money is federal funds accessed through the state DPW.  Online applications can be completed by visiting www.compass.state.pa.us.  Paper applications are still available at local county assistance offices, or applicants can download and print an application from the Department of Public Welfare’s website.
(WGRC)

DUBOISTOWN - Traffic congestion at the Maynard Street Bridge in the morning and afternoon is about to ease up a bit. Penn DOT held a ribbon cutting ceremony this afternoon to dedicate the new Duboistown Bridge which will be named for deceased Lance Corporal Abram Howard who was killed in action in Afghanistan. The bridge will be opened to traffic on both sides.
(WGRC)

FORKS – A Benton man died in an all-terrain utility vehicle crash yesterday afternoon in Sullivan County. State Police say 69-year-old Robert Stackhouse died when the utility vehicle was going up a steep hill and the vehicle rolled over onto the driver’s side. The crash happened just before one p.m. yesterday about a mile south of the end of Valley View Lane in Shrewsbury Township.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

AVIS – A crash on Route 220 yesterday morning in Lycoming County severely injures two. The crash happened around 8:30 a.m. in Pine Creek Township. Police say 43-year-old Yvonne Martin of Lock Haven was heading north on Route 220 when a deer jumped onto the roadway. Martin tried to steer clear of the animal but hit it. Her car then went across the highway and struck another car driven by 27-year-old Justin Wenger of Litiz. Police say both suffered major injuries in the crash. Martin was taken to Jersey Shore Hospital while Wenger was flown to Geisinger Medical Center.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A disaster was averted late Wednesday night at the Williamsport YWCA, located at 815 West Fourth Street, when a fire caused by two children playing with a lighter on the fourth floor activated the building's sprinkler system. The sprinklers put out the fire in a matter of minutes. City Fire Chief C. Dean Heinbach says,"This could have been a real disaster had it not been for the sprinkler system." There were no injuries. The fire, which broke out about 10:20 p.m., routed about 40 temporary residents and several staff members from the building. Heinbach says, the children set fire to a potato chip bag that was in a baby's crib. The fire spread to a blanket and the mattress in the crib, which activated the sprinkler system and a fire alarm. There was no structural damage and the fire did not spread beyond the crib; however, the incident resulted in $90,000 worth of water damage. The local chapter of the American Red Cross set up an overnight emergency shelter for the displaced tenants at a local church, and River Valley Transit moved all the tenants to the temporary facility. The city Codes Department inspected the YWCA yesterday and allowed the agency to resume full operation.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - Five years of heartache have strengthened the resolve of two Mifflin County families who are as determined as ever to find a killer. The family and friends of two people who were brutally killed on November 25th, 2007 gather every year beneath a billboard outside Huntingdon and invite the media, in the hopes someone will read an article, or watch a news broadcast and remember something about that night which could aid police in catching the perpetrator. That night 33-year-old Jason Specht, and 43-year-old Sherry Jo Leonard, were killed in a mobile home along Route 522 in Granville Township. Specht and Leonard were discovered by firemen and police officers after they were summoned to Specht's home for a reported fire. Leonard was pronounced dead at the scene and Specht died shortly thereafter at the emergency room in Lewistown Hospital. One month later, Mifflin County coroner Daniel Lynch ruled the deaths were homicides and said the cause of death for both victims was skull fractures that occurred prior to the start of the fire. According to initial reports, the bulk of the fire, which was ruled arson. On Thursday, Mifflin Count District Attorney Dave Molek said it was time to take the "next step" in the investigation by requesting time with a statewide grand jury in Harrisburg. Molek said he has already made contact with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office, but no decision has been made yet as to when a grand jury could begin hearing sworn testimony. At the time of the murders, investigators had been able to nail down where "most everyone was, with just a couple exceptions." State Police say the billboard typically generates leads every year, and hopes someone will come forward with that valuable piece of missing information which could lead to an arrest. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police in Lewistown at 320-1010.
(WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG — A 25-year-old Port Trevorton man is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail on charges he molested an 11-year-old girl during a three-year period. The Daily Item reports, the alleged victim, now 14, told a Snyder County Children and Youth employee that Daniel Auker, frequently touched her inappropriately for three years. The abuse started when she was 11 and the last incident took place in August. Auker initially denied the charges, saying he touched her accidently; however, during a polygraph exam, Auker allegedly admitted molesting the girl. Auker appeared before District Judge Lori Hackenberg in Middleburg Thursday on 10 charges each of felony corruption of minors, first-degree misdemeanor indecent assault and second-degree misdemeanor indecent assault.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG — A Milton man in jail on more than 50 charges stemming from a summer spree of copper pipe theft in the Valley sent his charges onto Union County Court, Thursday. Meanwhile, county officials are looking to consolidate the multiple charges against 34-year-old Nicholas Norman as a matter of efficiency, said Peter Johnson, Union County district attorney. Norman already was in prison in Northumberland County in lieu of bail for counts in his alleged role in a Milton break-in and copper theft in July when he was charged in Union County. Norman alleged committed 13 burglaries in the borough in July in a four-block radius of South Sixth and South Seventh streets. Charges were added to Norman’s tally in October after state police alleged he broke into an Allenwood home sometime in June and took about 300 feet of copper pipe. Appearing Thursday before District Judge Leo Armbruster, Norman asked the judge if he could apply for consideration for drug court. Norman told investigators he stole the copper and sold it to support a severe heroin habit.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN – Good news for parents, students and educators in the Mifflin County School District, following 11 months of intense negotiations, the Mifflin County School District and the Association of Mifflin County Educators on Thursday agreed to a new two-year contract retroactive to July 1 of this year and continuing through June 30, 2014. On Thursday evening, the Mifflin County School Board voted by a 5-2 margin to approve a recommendation from Superintendent James Estep to ratify the new deal. Prior to the school board's vote, Estep commented, that “both sides looked at the continued uncertain financial situation from the state and both sides recognized the need to work together to come to an agreement." The teachers union met earlier in the day Thursday and "had a positive vote in support of the contract."
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - The Juniata County School Board of Directors voted Thursday to replace the well at Walker Elementary School. Superintendent Richard Musselman says the quality of the water supply at the school fluctuates and is occasionally cloudy or strong smelling. With heavy rain, those instances have been occurring more frequently. When water quality becomes questionable, Musselman says, the school supplies students with bottled water and switches to a cold lunch with paper plates. The water is not used for cooking or cleaning, he said. The new well will be located outside the elementary school and will be completed as soon as possible at an estimated cost of $12,000.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - Geisinger Medical Center has issued restrictions temporarily prohibiting children under the age of 5 from visiting children’s and women’s inpatient units because of the seasonal increase in pediatric Respiratory Syncytial Virus or also called RSV cases. Due to an increase in the common disease, Geisinger is restricting visits by children under the age of five. The restriction is usually lifeted at the end of winter when the disease is finished running its course. Gesinger officials say Age-related visitation restrictions serve as a protective measure to eliminate the threat of exposure from other children who are often a primary carrier. RSV is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. While most healthy people recover from RSV infection, it can be severe in infants. Winter is an especially harsh time for this illness. In the United States, RSV infections generally occur from November to April.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - Geisinger Careworks Urgent Care walk-in clinic will sponsor an open house in the Danville Weis Market Plaza at 604 Continental Boulevard, on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The first 100 people in attendance will receive a free gift at the event, which will feature children’s activities, refreshments and more. Everyone may also register to win a free iPad. Geisinger Careworks Urgent Care clinics treat acute illnesses and minor injuries—such as allergies, asthma, burns, colds, cuts, fevers and sprains—helping patients avoid unnecessary emergency room visits. Like the Geisinger clinics before it, patients visiting the new Danville clinic will have access to services including immunizations, labs, X-rays, EKG and IV therapy. The Danville walk-in clinic will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. seven days a week. No appointment is necessary.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE - The Girls on the Run 5k is open to runners and walkers of all ages. Participants will get to be with the girls from 3rd through 8th grade who participated in the Fall 2012 season of Girls on the Run as most of them are completing their first 5K event. A benefit for the local Girls on the Run chapter will be held this Saturday beginning at nine a.m. at the Garrett Sports Complex of Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove. Proceeds from the Girls on the Run 5K benefit Girls on the Run of the Greater Susquehanna Valley. For more information about Girls on the Run International, go to www.girlsontherun.org.
(WGRC)

ALTOONA - Sheetz Incorporated announced Thursday it has sent refrigerated trucks to assist the American Red Cross in distributing food to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. In an effort to help those devastated by the storm, the convenience store restaurant chain will also collect monetary donations for the American Red Cross, starting today through December 16, 2012, at all Sheetz locations. Sheetz donated the use of three 48’ refrigerated distribution trucks and drivers, to help the American Red Cross in delivering meals to storm victims in Toms River, East Rutherford and Middletown, New Jersey. The drivers left for the American Red Cross emergency kitchens on November 10, 2012, and will stay on site at those locations for a minimum of three weeks. Customers can donate money at any of Sheetz 431 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Donations will go directly to the Red Cross, to help rebuild the lives destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
(WGRC)

TAMAQUA - Anyone who has traveled on Route 309 near Tamaqua over the last year know that it was a bottleneck at times, with a serpentine turn to get across the Little Schuylkill River as a new bridge was being constructed. PennDot spokesman Ron Young reports that the new bridge was opened Thursday after 14 months, and finishing touches are now being completed. The total project cost was $3.1 million dollars, and will be completely finished next May.  
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A settlement has been reached in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed in 2009 by a former Northumberland County Prison deputy warden. According to a filing in U.S. Middle District Court yesterday, U.S. District Judge John Jones ordered the legal action filed by John Conrad and his wife, Leslie, dismissed without penalty to either party. The order also gives either side the right to reinstate the action within 60 days if a settlement is not fulfilled. On Wednesday, Jones approved dismissing all defendants from the suit except Northumberland County. The order removed the Northumberland County Prison Board, county President Judge Robert Sacavage, district attorney Tony Rosini, sheriff Chad Reiner, commissioner Vinny Clausi, former commissioners Kurt Masser and Frank Sawicki, former county controller Charles Erdman and former prison warden Ralph "Rick" Reish, from the suit. The Conrads filed the suit in 2009 after Northumberland County first suspended the former deputy warden with pay in February 2009 and eventually fired him. Conrad alleged a conspiracy against him, wrongful termination, defamation and violation of due process, equal protection rights and whistleblower rights. The county stated that Conrad was fired because of his actions against a guard, and also stated that the deputy warden knew exactly why he was terminated. As an at-will employee, court documents stated Conrad wasn't entitled to a written statement of the charges. No settlement amount was released.  
(WGRC)

SAINT CLAIR - During a special meeting Thursday night, the borough council tentatively adopted its 2013 budget with a tax increase. The borough council also authorized the advertisement of the tax ordinance for 2013, setting the real estate tax at 4 mills. The budget is on public display at the Saint Clair borough hall. That’s a slight increase over the 2013 tax rate, which was 3.34 mills. The millage increase will be used to help finance the continuing battle against the Blythe Recycling and Demolition Site landfill. The Saint Clair Borough Council is appealing a July 16 decision by the state Department of Environmental Protection to approve the landfill application to allow Blythe Township to construct and operate a municipal waste facility on 252 acres along Burma Road, overturning a previous decision. The proposed site is 2,400 feet from Wolf Creek Reservoir, the drinking water source for Pottsville, Mechanicsville, Palo Alto, Port Carbon, Saint Clair and parts of Blythe, East Norwegian, New Castle and Norwegian townships.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - Northumberland County President Judge Robert Sacavage signed an administrative order Wednesday to expand the county's house arrest program to reduce costs while allowing non-violent offenders to obtain jobs and lead productive lives. The signing sets into motion what County Commissioners approved earlier this month. As many as 40 non-violent prisoners from the county prison would be placed on house arrest under the expanded program. The move could save approximately $500,000 a year while also alleviating an overcrowded prison population, which totaled 270 as of November 7th. Under the plan non-violent inmates would be released and confined to their homes under the house arrest program. The program will allow offenders to transition into the community, find employment, further their education, complete community service programs, pay fines, fees, costs and restitution and complete medical and behavioral programs. Also beginning January 1, 2013, the program may be used on any new sentence imposed by the court.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – Around 300 people endured the high security checks at the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary yesterday as the “Big House,” celebrated its 80th anniversary. The Penitentiary was the first of its kind built in the United States and was the fourth federal prison for men when it opened in 1932. The prison unit today is a special management unit for the most unmanageable inmates in the federal prison system.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A near 18 percent tax hike will mean an average $49 increase when Columbia County property-tax bills arrive in the mail next year. The Press Enterprise reports, Columbia County Commissioners unanimously approved a tax bump for the second straight year Thursday, saying the state was much to blame in addition to the annual jump in what the county spends on employee wages and insurance. Commissioners say the state continues to cut funding and has been late in sending money it already owes the county. County officials claim the state still owes Columbia nearly $1 million for Children&Youth programs from as far back as the first quarter of 2012. The Columbia County budget for 2013 stands at     $21.9 million in spending ending with a 332,000 reserve at the end of 2013. The 2013 budget is $755,000, or a 3.6 percent, increase over 2012. The tax hike is expected to generate an additional $1.6 million.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Williamsport Mayor Gabriel Campana presented his 2013 budget message Thursday night to City Council. The $21 million proposed budget calls for a 0.85-mill real estate tax increase. The tax millage, if not altered, equates to $85 more per year for a household assessed at $100,000. Once again, Campana repeatedly slammed unions, primarily fire and police representatives, and higher costs associated with paying for medical insurance and pensions. The fire union has not agreed to Campana's request for concessions in its contract, among them a contribution toward major medical deductible, which other employees pay. The proposed budget does not replace two existing vacancies in the streets and parks department and lowers the police department complement by three officers, setting it at 49. Additional sources of revenue include building permits for a YMCA construction on Park Avenue, a medical facility and renovations in the Williamsport Area School District. The Williamsport Parking Authority agreed to contribute $75,000 toward the general fund, he said. Campana said the city is heading toward arbitration, and faces other big expenses including repairs to a portion of Reach Road, structural repairs necessary at Bowman Field, paying for a flood levee certification study not funded by the federal government, the purchase of four police cruisers next year, and a records management system for the police department.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Lycoming County Commissioners Thursday approved a $1 million agreement with the Williamsport Municipal Airport Authority for design and construction of a new airport terminal. The funding comes from the county's share of Act 13 money from the state's natural gas impact fee. The authority approved the funding last week. The two-story terminal will be larger than the present facility and be made to handle the airport's expanding needs. The $13.6 million terminal will include a lobby, a more spacious airline ticket counter area, modern baggage-handling systems and a holding area for 150 people offering refreshments and restroom facilities.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE – A business in State College whose business it is to know what’s up and what’s coming down celebrated 50 years in operation this week. AccuWeather, Incorporated marked 50 years of operation Thursday. Founded in 1962 by Dr. Joel Myers, AccuWeather has grown from a weather company providing forecasts for businesses into an international weather media company that reaches more than half a billion users worldwide daily. Trusted around the globe for its superior accuracy, AccuWeather serves a worldwide audience from its headquarters in State College, and its Severe Weather Center in Wichita, Kansas. AccuWeather provides hourly forecasts for more than 2.7 million locations worldwide, reaching consumers via smart phones, tablets, free wired and mobile internet sites, as well as via radio, television, and newspapers.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK — The search for Penn State’s next president will involve head hunters, a search committee of faculty, staff and students, and a group of trustees to oversee the process and ultimately decide which candidate is the best to guide the university. The process to replace President Rodney Erickson, who will leave around June 2014, was discussed by a handful of trustees Thursday during an open-door governance committee meeting. A piece of the process — creating the council of trustees — is slated to get the stamp of approval at the trustees’ voting meeting today. Erickson was made the interim president when former president Graham Spanier was forced out in the early days of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal. A few days later, the interim tag was removed from Erickson’s title, and he agreed to work through June 30, 2014. University officials hope to select the next university president by November 2013.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK — One of Penn State’s trustees scoffed Thursday at recommendations from the state’s auditor general that include removing the president from its board of trustees and reducing the board to improve transparency and accountability. Trustee Carl Shaffer tells the Centre Daily Times, “This is our university — this university is unique in a lot of ways from other universities.” “I think it’s up to this board to decide how we’re going to take this university forward.” Shaffer’s rebuttal came the day after Jack Wagner, the auditor general, called for state lawmakers and Governor Tom Corbett to change the way Penn State governs itself. Wagner thinks Penn State is operating under antiquated methods adopted in 1855 when the university was founded. Wagner said the board of trustees should be reduced from 32 to 21, the president’s powers should be reduced, trustees should not be allowed to slide into high-level university positions, the governor should not be a voting member, among others. Local trustee Joel Myers said the university is in a period of introspection, given the fallout and scrutiny from the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal, but that does not mean the university has to accept every recommendation people give. Board Chairwoman Karen Peetz said the university will review Wagner’s recommendations. Peetz said she was not surprised by what Wagner proposed.  Meanwhile, State Representative Scott Conklin, says he plans to introduce legislation to change Penn State’s governing structure.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - About $12 million in state gambling money will go toward protecting two of Bloomsburg's biggest industries from flooding, that’s according to state lawmakers. Combined with the $15 million Columbia County hopes to receive from the federal government and $3 million in pledges from the companies themselves, the county would have nearly $30 million to design and build flood protection for Autoneum and Windsor Foods. Ed Edwards, flood protection leader says that could mean an architect designing the project by next spring and construction by late 2014. The Press Enterprise reports, it's an abrupt about-face from July, when the Army Corps of Engineers told the town it wouldn't be building a levee system to protect the west end of Bloomsburg, including the auto carpet maker and frozen food plant. The Corps had been working on that plan for nearly a decade. But state Senator John Gordner, and Representative David Millard and local officials were able to convince Governor Tom Corbett of the project's importance. And with the governor's help, Gordner said they were able to get the project on the agenda of the Commonwealth Financing Authority in a month. Gordner says on Thursday morning, the authority voted unanimously to put $11.85 million in revenue earned from gambling toward the flood-protection project.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials Thursday announced that 52 elk were harvested by the 65 hunters awarded elk licenses for the recently concluded 2012 elk hunt, which was held November 5-10.  Of that total, 19 were antlered and 33 were antlerless. The heaviest antlered elk was taken by Richard Tratthen, Jr., of Scott Township, Lackawanna County. He took an 840-pound (estimated live weight), 8x8 on November 7th, in Jay Township, Elk County. A big congratulations go to Charles Ulrich, of Allenwood in Union County, who scored on a 729-pound, 7x7 on November 5th in Karthus Township, Clearfield County. Game Commission officials say since 2001, when the first modern-day elk season was instituted, 523 elk have been harvested. In 2013, the Game Commission will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the elk restoration project.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Six Prominent Pennsylvania judges have filed a lawsuit against the state challenging the requirement that all members of the bench retire at the age of 70. The lawsuit lists Governor Corbett and Treasure McCord as defendants. It alleges judges have been singled out because of their age, and not their ability. Currently the law says that all state justices and judges who are 70 must retire at the end of the calendar. The lawsuit was filed by attorneys representing the following judges: Judge John Driscoll, Judge John Herron, Senior Judge Benjamin Lerner, Judge Sandra Mazer Moss, Judge Joseph O'Keefe, and Judge Leonard Zito.
(WGRC)

WASHINGTON  - The struggling U.S. Postal Service on Thursday reported an annual loss of a record $15.9 billion and forecast more red ink in 2013, capping a tumultuous year in which it was forced to default on billions in payments to avert bankruptcy. The financial losses for the fiscal year ending September 30th were more than triple the $5.1 billion loss in the previous year. Having reached its borrowing limit, the mail agency is operating with little cash on hand, putting it at risk in the event of an unexpectedly large downturn in the economy. Much of the red ink in 2012 was due to mounting mandatory costs for future retiree health benefits, which made up $11 billion of the losses. Without that and other related labor expenses, the mail agency sustained an operating loss of $2.4 billion, lower than the previous year. Due to the losses the Postal service is looking to cut hours or close some 30,000 mostly rural post offices across the country. For a list of post offices in the WGRC listening area that are scheduled to be affected, got to http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/asse...
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - A Dauphin County church and its youth pastor have pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a mock kidnapping of a youth group that was meant to be a lesson in religious persecution. The Associated Press reports, Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Lower Swatara Township and 28-year-old Andrew David Jordan of Elizabethtown have waived an appearance at a formal arraignment on charges of false imprisonment and simple assault. Prosecutors said the half-hour ordeal in March included interrogation and staged torture using power tools. They said masked congregation members bound and blindfolded the teens and drove them in a van to the parsonage on the church grounds, where the men pretended to torture Jordan. The mother of one 14-year-old girl filed a complaint with police.
(WGRC)