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December 20, 2012

NORTHUMBERLAND - Tense moments at a Northumberland County school earlier today.  A threat incident at the Priestley Elementary School on Cannery Road near Northumberland ended at about 12:20 this afternoon as police took a suspect into custody.  Local police responded and immediately secured the building as they investigated the threat, which apparently developed from a domestic situation involving the suspect and a woman who had a child at the school.  The arrest reportedly happened somewhere else and there were no reports that the suspect had actually showed up at the school.
(WGRC)

NEWPORT – State Police are on the scene of a stabbing in Perry County this morning. The incident happened around 4:30 a.m. at the Bailey Run Mobile Home Park near Newport. We are told a 28-year-old woman was stabbed. Her injuries are said to be non-life threatening. The suspect was said to have fled the woman’s mobile home to a neighboring trailer.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

FREEBURG – A Snyder County man was taken to Geisinger Medical Center and remains in fair condition following a crash yesterday. Police say 26-year-old Howard Bolig of Mount Pleasant Mills was traveling on Route 35 in Freeburg when he lost control of his SUV and hit a utility pole. Police say they are still investigating that crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SNOW SHOE - A Howard man was injured after crashing his vehicle early Tuesday on Interstate 80 in Rush Township, Centre County. State police say Jeremy Jones was traveling east on I-80 around 5:30 a.m. when his vehicle drifted off the road and struck a guide rail. His vehicle then spun, hitting an embankment. Jones had to be cut from the vehicle and was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment of what police called moderate to severe injuries.
(WGRC)

MILROY – Police in Mifflin County are looking for the bandits that stole over 1,000 feet of copper wiring and three stainless steel tables from a restaurant. Police were called to the Trails End Restaurant in Milroy around eleven yesterday morning after the owner, Ronald Barner discovered the theft. Police ask anyone with information on theft from the restaurant located on Old Route 322 in Milroy to call Mifflin County Regional Police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY - A Sunbury man is jailed facing a list of charges after police said he trespassed at his ex-girlfriend’s place of employment, assaulted her and stole her cell phone. Police say 20-year-old Dylan Weikel, arrived at the Sunoco A-Plus convenience store on North Fourth Street in Sunbury, and began stalking his ex-girlfriend, around 12:30 Wednesday afternoon. His ex-girlfriend confronted Weikel outside the store and told him to leave but instead Weikle followed her inside and assaulted her and stole her phone. He’s now jailed in the Northumberland County Prison on robbery and related charges.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - State College police said a homemade “works bomb,” a container filled with an acidic liquid and reactive material, apparently designed to explode, was discovered Tuesday evening downtown. A passerby spotted the container just before seven p.m. on Sowers Street. Police said the container did not explode, and that no one was injured. But traffic was tied up as Hazmat and bomb squad personnel responded. Police said Wednesday they don’t know who placed the container, but that an investigation will continue. Anyone with information can contact State College police.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A concerned citizen's vigilance may have helped to prevent a potential burglary in Old Lycoming Township. Police say 27-year-old Timothy Reed, faces one felony charge and one misdemeanor charge for criminal trespassing after allegedly breaking into a local business. On Saturday, a man called authorities to report suspicious activity outside of Performance Towing, located along Lycoming Creek Road. The caller informed police that he had seen a man standing by the front door of the business. When Old Lycoming police officers responded to the call, they met Reed, who allegedly admitted he had seen some auto parts that he wanted and entered the building through an unlocked door. He’s now jailed in the Lycoming County Prison.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A man who brutally slashed and beat a worker during a robbery at a Berwick scrap yard was given 20 to 40 years in state prison Wednesday. Montour/ Columbia County President Judge Thomas James handed down that sentence Wednesday to 40-year-old Kim Roquet Jr. Roquet, a state parolee and ex-convict from Florida. Roquet pleaded no contest to attempted homicide in the January 2011 attack on Bernardo DiGirolamo at Decker’s Scrap Yard. Roquet was also sentenced to pay over $68,000 in medical expenses and fines.
(WGRC)

PORT CARBON – The former treasures for a Schuylkill County fire and ambulance company, accused of stealing funds from the company, will head to trial. 47-year-old Brenda Shuman, who prosecutors allege stole more than $50,000 from the Minersville fire company and EMS service, had her charges bound over for court by District Judge David Plachko yesterday. Shuman remains free on $50,000 bail pending further court action. Minersville police have charged Shuman with taking the money between August 2008 and November 2011 while she worked as treasurer and billing-office manager for Goodwill Fire Company and Minersville EMS.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The McAlisterville man facing federal bank robbery charges will still be charged locally with a felony count of receiving stolen property. 38-year-old Richard Lockett was to have a preliminary hearing on Wednesday in Mifflintown, however, the U.S. Attorney's Office recently announced it would be prosecuting Lockett in federal court. Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook formally withdrew the robbery charges against Lockett on Wednesday and the receiving stolen property charge was sent to the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas. Lockett was charged in a federal indictment for robberies at the First National Bank in Thompsontown, the Juniata Valley Bank in Port Royal in October and the Swineford National Bank in Beaver Springs in early November. Investigators say Lockett stole more than $20,000 from the three banks to support a drug habit. A grand jury in Harrisburg indicted Lockett on three counts of bank robbery. If convicted, Lockett faces a maximum of 60 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A Williamsport police officer, who has been suspended for more than four years was terminated Wednesday night by City Council. 43-year-old Dustin Kreitz, was discharged following an executive session and vote by five members of council. Kreitz was suspended in mid-2007 amid an investigation by the state attorney general's office and pleaded guilty in January to a charge of failure to file the proper paperwork that he received a gift that was the property of the former Lycoming County Drug Task Force. He was sentenced to a $350 fine and no jail time for the wrongdoing. Both he and his superior officer on the drug task force Lieutenant Thomas Ungard were implicated in misusing funds and items seized from drug investigations. Both were investigated by the State Attorney General’s office which now oversees Lycoming County’s Drug Task Force.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - Former Centre County Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane faces possible trial for allegedly selling marijuana he received from California to employees at the law firm where he worked. The 53-year-old Sloane has sent his felony drug charges on to Centre County Court Wednesday. Police filed those charges in October, alleging Sloane sold marijuana in September and October 2011 to two different men. Sloane was a Centre County prosecutor for a number of years until the current district attorney, Stacy Parks Miller, took office in January 2010 and made staffing changes. His time as a prosecutor included working for Ray Gricar, the district attorney who went missing in 2005 and was later declared legally dead.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG – PennDOT along with State and Local Police in Montour and Columbia County’s plan to unveil a new DUI trailer for use in those counties. The trailer is used to haul equipment to DUI checkpoints and provides space for processing paperwork and administering breath and chemical tests. The new trailer and equipment will be presented today at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Bloomsburg. The event will announce a crackdown on drunk drivers as part of Operation Safe Holiday, during which police will ramp up DUI enforcement efforts through the Christmas and New Year's holiday season.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - The Clinton County Prison Board decided to promote from within Wednesday, and unanimously selected Deputy Warden Jackie Motter as the new warden of the Clinton County Prison. Motter was hired as the local prison lead administrator from a field of over a dozen candidates. The hiring followed the dismissal of former warden Tom Duran, whose contract was terminated.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - The Schuylkill County commissioners approved their 2013 budget during a work session Wednesday, holding the line on taxes for the ninth consecutive year despite a $2 million shortfall. The shortfall will be met from the county general fund which stands at $17 million. The board also approved an agreement with Motorola Solutions for the federally mandated upgrades to the county's public safety communications network. The board also approved other projects including a new roof on the county jail, and possibly the purchase of a building for the human services complex.  
(WGRC)

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN - Two parties who have been at odds for some time over a fire protection agreement, have finally come to terms in Schuylkill County. Schuylkill Haven borough council signed the agreement last night to continue providing fire protection to North Manheim Township for another two years. The borough had decided not to extend it earlier this year. The current deal allows for equal division of the fire protection fund in North Manheim to Schuylkill Haven and five other surrounding communities to provide fire protection and emergency services. Schuylkill Haven will receive more funding through the new agreement.
(WPPA)

BOALSBURG – In Centre County, hymns of hope were sung by candlelight outside of St. Joseph Academy in Boalsburg Wednesday evening as students remembered the 26 lives lost in the tragedy in Connecticut. Candles lit and tears shed for the 20 little ones lost, and the six adults taken trying to save them. Those in attendance called for an end to the madness, the senseless violence.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Observances and tributes continue across the nation for the 27 victims of the Newtown, Connecticut Massacre. In Lycoming County, a group is coming together to participate in a national movement to walk for 27 minutes for the 27 victims of last week’s shooting. That will take place tomorrow on the Riverwalk in Williamsport beginning at 9:30 a.m. with walkers asked to blow bubbles to honor the victims. Walkers are asked to wear green and white, the Sandy Hook Elementary School colors.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - The man likely to be the favorite to take over as chairman of Penn State's Board of Trustees says he'll do all he can to help bring the university together. Vice chairman Keith Masser said Wednesday that he was planning on running for chair in the election for board officers to take place next month. Current chairwoman Karen Peetz announced Tuesday she would not stand for re-election for another one-year term because of time demands at her job. If elected, Masser said he would continue to shepherd the initiatives started by Peetz, which include governance reforms in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. Masser owns a potato farming company in Schuylkill County.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State President Rodney Erickson has received a performance-based pay raise from the university, boosting his annual salary by $85,000. The university’s board of trustees authorized a salary increase for Erickson from $515,000 to $600,000 per year. The raise was enacted on the one-year anniversary of Erickson being named president and is in line with the employment agreement between Erickson and the university. With his raise, Erickson’s base salary is at about the 50th percentile for presidents and chancellors of comparable research universities, according to a 2011 survey. Erickson has said he plans to retire by June 2014.
(WGRC)

HARRSIBURG - Parties representing the 14 state-run universities and unionized faculty will not meet until January 4th after having canceled a bargaining session this week. The session had been scheduled for Wednesday between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, but it was canceled by mutual agreement. Gary Dent vice chancellor for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education says, "Our overriding concern, as it has been throughout these negotiations, is the cost to our students and their families."  Figures show that seventy-three cents of every $1 in increased costs resulting from the agreement between faculties and the State System of Higher Education would be borne by students and their families. Dent says proposed salary increases; health care costs are the sticking points in the bargaining session. In its latest response, the faculty union rejected almost every element, with the exception of levels of compensation.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE — The Toys for Tots program and the Salvation Army is busy in Schuylkill County this week. Hundreds of people stood in line in the cold morning air at the Four Square church in Pottsville, all were seeking help, some with food and others with toys for the kids. Captain Adam Hench said one family camped out overnight. The toy and food giveaway would not be possible without volunteers. Salvation Army officials said 700 families signed up for help this holiday season and they expect that number to grow the next time around.
(WNEP)

WILLIAMSPORT - Some people in Lycoming County will be a whole lot warmer this winter thanks to a boy who has been collecting blankets. Kyle Toner is only in middle school, and for the fifth year in a row he is making a difference and helping to keep hundreds of the less fortunate warm. The teen from the Jersey Shore area came with a trunk full of blankets, Wednesday each one donated because of the boy’s concern for others. A portion of the blankets, nearly 300 of them collected this year alone, will be distributed by Shepherd of the Streets in Williamsport, a charity that helps people in need year-round. This is the fifth year Kyle and his mom have been donating blankets to charitable causes in the Williamsport area which means he started to do it when he was just eight years old, and he said he is going to continue the blanket drive. In five years he has collected more than 1,000 blankets for the Salvation Army and others. If blankets were not enough, every kids blanket this year comes with a children’s book. Kyle’s blanket drive continues into next month.
(WNEP)