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Thank God for His provision of your hands, feet and voices willing to speak His truth throughout our region - what a blessing you continue to be.  (State College)

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January 3, 2013

ROSE VALLEY - A garage along Rose Valley Road in Cascade Township, Lycoming County was destroyed by fire yesterday afternoon. Firefighters from Trout Run, Ralston, Plunketts Creek Township and other companies were called out around 12:45 p.m. to fight the blaze which consumed the structure. It’s not been released as to who owns that garage, and a damage estimate has not been released. Crews remained on the scene until just after three yesterday afternoon. The cause of that blaze is under investigation.
(WGRC)

AVIS - A Williamsport man was treated for smoke inhalation after trying to help another man remove belongings from his burning home in Avis yesterday. Jimmy Duncan of Williamsport stopped by the burning mobile home of Joseph Linsicombe along Manor Village Avenue in Avis shortly after fire broke out around 4:30 yesterday to help him out. Duncan was overcome by smoke and taken to Jersey Shore Hospital. Firefighters had that fire out within minutes. A cause of that fire is under investigation.
(WGRC)

MILTON - A Middleburg man charged with making threats against the Priestly Elementary School in Northumberland less than a week after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, sent his charges on to Northumberland County Court yesterday. A pretrial conference has been scheduled for 37-year-old Jeremy Church who faces drug charges and allegations of threats of violence at the school. Police say on December 20th Church made threats against the school his ex-girlfriend and their child a student at the school. The threats prompted a lock-down of the school. Church was caught in Middleburg and police filed additional drug related charges after they searched his vehicle and found marijuana and other drug items. He remains jailed in the Northumberland County Prison on $126,000 bail.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – A Winfield woman, who was charged with felony assault on two nurses at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg following a drug overdose, is now jailed with trying to escape Union County Prison guards and injuring them. Police have charged 31-year-old Jayme Clark with additional counts of felony aggravated assault and escape. Police say December 14th Clark was found unresponsive from a heroin and cocaine overdose at the Hampton Inn in Kelly Township. She was taken to the hospital where she injured two nurses trying to treat her. The next day Clark bolted from Union County Prison guards as they were moving her to another facility. The guards caught up with her at which time she bite and scratched the guards. One of the guards had to get hospital treatment for his wounds.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

DANVILLE - A Danville woman was arrested for allegedly cutting her boyfriend’s neck with a serrated steak knife on New Year’s Eve. That happened around 11:30 p.m. Danville police say 45-year-old Sharon Arndt assaulted her boyfriend after they had an argument at his apartment at 218 Mill Street. The boyfriend suffered a cut to his neck but it was not serious. Arndt faces felony aggravated assault and related charges and was jailed on $50,000 bail.
(WGRC)

TAMAQUA – In Schuylkill County, Tamaqua police arrested a part-time Girardville police officer and his girlfriend Saturday after a domestic incident. Police charged 22-year-old Anthony Houser, of Tamaqua, with two misdemeanor counts of simple assault. Houser was released after posting bail. Houser's girlfriend, Alicia Whah, was also charged. Police say the charges stem from an incident just before four a.m. Saturday at the home the couple shared.
(WGRC)

ROCKVIEW - An inmate at Rockview state prison jailed since 1989 on murder charges, who was set for release last month, now faces new charges for allegedly threatening to kill witnesses and a prosecutor in his murder case. 54-year-old Ryan Richard, who pleaded guilty in 1989 to murdering his wife at their home in Berks County, allegedly sent his mother a detailed list of people he planned to kill upon his release from the state prison in Centre County. Richard was charged December 13th after his brother found the letters and alerted authorities. Richard was in Centre County court Wednesday, where he sent his new set of charges onto court. Richard remains jailed in the Centre County Prison. Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks-Miller says before killing his wife, Richard participated in Community Theater in the Pottsville area and was cast in the lead role in a murder-mystery drama, and patterned his wife’s murder after the theatre plot.
(WGRC)

ASHLAND - After an investigation into a rash of burglaries and thefts in November, Ashland Police charged 18-year-old Michael Fickinger with three of the incidents. Fickinger, an inmate at the Schuylkill County Prison, remains jailed. Police say between November 14 and 16, there were eight burglaries and thefts from homes and garages, including the theft of a vehicle that led to damage to the Willow Park softball field in Ashland.  Police say they are still investigating the five other incidents.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - Clinton County District Attorney Michael Salisbury has announced that he will be running for the position of Clinton County Court of Common Pleas Judge. Salisbury is serving his fifth year as the county's lead prosecutor, having been re-elected to that position in 2011. Salisbury cited his work in the justice system, both as an attorney and as a district attorney as the primary factor for his decision, and said he is the best qualified candidate to fill the seat vacated by Judge Michael Williamson, who retired December 31, 2012. Salisbury is a 1975 graduate of Lock Haven High School, 1979 graduate of Juniata College and a 1982 graduate of Widener University Law School.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A retired judge’s portrait is back on display after it was quietly removed from the main courtroom here last week and put in storage. On Wednesday, a framed picture of former President Judge Scott Naus was first spotted in a second-floor hallway near a water fountain. Later in the day, it was seen hanging in a small hearing room on the courthouse’s first floor. Court administrator Tami Kline said there was no suitable space in the main courtroom to hang another judge’s picture so officials decided to display it in the hallway. But after further consideration, the Naus portrait was taken down again and placed in a hearing room used for custody disputes. The portrait may end up being moved again. As part of upcoming renovations, all pictures of former judges could be relocated. The ex-judge announced he was resigning in late 2010 amid an inquiry into his conduct on the bench. The Press Enterprise reports, the 62-year-old Naus, served on the Columbia-Montour bench for nearly 20 years.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A cultural diversity-professional training workshop hosted by Bloomsburg Police is set for Tuesday, January 8th. The training is for local law enforcement and members of the Task Force on Racial Equity. It will be conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice. The workshop will help individuals identify how biases and prejudices can lead to conflict. The training also identifies how law enforcement and community members can work together. For more, contact Bloomsburg Police: 784-6779.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - In a bold challenge to the NCAA's powers, Pennsylvania's governor claimed in a lawsuit Wednesday that college sports' governing body overstepped its authority and "piled on" when it penalized Penn State over the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. Governor Tom Corbett asked that a federal judge throw out the sanctions, which include an unprecedented $60 million fine and a four-year ban on bowl games, arguing that the measures have harmed students, business owners and others who had nothing to do with Sandusky's crimes. A small number of top NCAA officials inserted themselves "into an issue they had no authority to police under their own bylaws and one that was clearly being handled by the justice system," Corbett said at a news conference. The case, filed under federal antitrust law, could define just how far the NCAA's authority extends. Up to now, the federal courts have allowed the organization broad power to protect the integrity of college athletics. In a statement, the NCAA said the lawsuit has no merit and called it an "affront" to Sandusky's victims. Penn State said it had no role in the lawsuit.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Joe Paterno's family says it's encouraged by word that Governor Tom Corbett is filing a federal lawsuit against the NCAA over its sanctions against Penn State. The Associated Press reports, the family of the late football coach released a statement Wednesday that says that Corbett "now realizes, as do many others, that there was an inexcusable rush to judgment" in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal. The NCAA imposed a $60 million fine, a multiyear bowl ban and other penalties in the wake of a report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh that concluded Paterno and other Penn State officials covered up abuse reports.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Not everyone’s on board 100 % with Governor Tom Corbett’s anti-trust lawsuit against the NCAA. Representative Scott Conklin of Centre County sent this out to WGRC following the Governor’s announcement of the suit, yesterday. Conklin says he’s “…bewildered by his change of heart.  As a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, the Governor accepted the sanctions imposed by the NCAA last summer.” Conklin made reference to the fact that on July 23, in his own news release, the Governor supported the NCAA penalties. Conklin says, “I think his position is compromised because he was a part of the same rush to judgment he is now condemning. I agree the sanctions are terrible, but I fear the Governor’s case is flawed,” Conklin said.  Conklin suspects there is some degree of uncertainty as to why the Governor flip-flopped and that his actions come only two weeks before the new Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, takes office.” Conklin says, “In the end, I hope there is a positive outcome for the people of Pennsylvania. Sadly, I think the Governor continues to stumble over and over again when it comes to defending the honor of Penn State University.”   
(WGRC)

McVEYTOWN - The children who attend the Snyder, Union, Mifflin Child Development Head Start Program in McVeytown are enjoying a new playground. During the past few years, SUM Child Development and McVeytown Borough have invested in seesaws, benches, picnic tables, shade structures, fencing and mulch. They worked together to maintain the equipment and extend the life of the play structures as long as possible. However, the aging wooden equipment was splintering and could not be used safely. New equipment was purchased with the assistance of the Mifflin County Community Development Block Grant funding. The developmentally appropriate playground provides a safe environment for the program.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE – Getting books from the doctor is now part of regular pediatric checkups at Geisinger-Susquehanna University, a service of Geisinger Medical Center, as doctors and nurses welcome the Reach Out and Read program to the practice. The clinic joins nearly 5,000 program sites nationwide that are preparing America’s youngest children to succeed in school. Reach Out and Read begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Families served by the program read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills. The Reach Out and Read program at Geisinger – Susquehanna University is funded by Children’s Miracle Network at Geisinger. Children’s Miracle Network at Geisinger helps fund programs and services for pediatric patients throughout Geisinger Health System.  
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - The Brush Valley Chamber of Commerce turned down a promotional contract with Shamokin City Hall. Sandy Winhofer, director of the Chamber says that another contract "took precedence" over a city proposal, declining to say more on that contract ahead of a full chamber board meeting. The city had proposed to pay the chamber $8,000 for 300 hours of work focused on, among other tasks, creating a promotional campaign for the city through traditional and digital media and to promote and organize events at Claude Kehler Community Park. City officials are banking on the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area in Coal Township and the potential tourism opportunities it creates, along with the significant investment of grant money to upgrade Kehler Park as reasons to seek outside help to promote Shamokin. The Coal Mountain Jeep Jamboree has offered to host its registration event in the city, and more recently there are indications Yamaha could host a similar event. These events could be developed into community events with vendors and promoted to attract visitors. The City is now looking to the Susquehanna Valley Visitors Bureau for possible promotional help.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Professional hockey possibly could be played inside a multi-purpose arena this fall and winter. Kristen Rooney, owner and CEO of the Williamsport Outlaws, confirmed Wednesday during a Federal Hockey League All Star game banquet at The Genetti that the team looks forward to playing indoors at a multi-purpose arena, mostly likely the Pickelner Arena that developer Dan Klingerman, owner of The Liberty Group, bought when he purchased the YMCA property on Elmira Street. She was excited as the city hosted its first league All-Star Game Wednesday night at Airman Pond at Bowman Field.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY – Sunbury Revitalization Incorporated hosted such a successful New Year’s Eve party this year that they plan to make it an annual event. Before planning next years’ event, Sunbury Revitalization is currently working on the Hometown Veterans Banners program. The banner’s, which hang in Sunbury throughout the year, include a soldier’s name, era and branch of service, a photo, hometown and sponsor name. Sunbury Revitalization is accepting applications from veterans and active-duty service people with ties to Northumberland County until February 29th.
(WGRC)

WATSONTOWN – An event to benefit the Children Miracle Network at Geisinger Medical Center will be held next Saturday at the Watson Inn in Watsontown. The Black and Blue Ball will be held January 12th at the Watson Inn. People can come either dressed in their best black tie attire or come casual in blue jeans and a t-shirt. The event gets underway at six p.m. and runs till 11:00 p.m. There will be food, dancing and an auction. The cost is $8.00 and tickets can be purchased at the Watson Inn or at Wendy’s Hair Place in Watsontown. Tickets at the door are $10.00. All money raised will go to the Children’s Miracle Network at Geisinger Medical Center’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.
(WGRC)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney Matt Cartwright becomes the new congressman for Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and most of Schuylkill County today, as he takes the oath of office on the House floor. Cartwright, a Moosic Democrat, along with Lou Barletta, Tom Marino, will be sworn in for their second two-year terms today. In the U.S. Senate, Sen. Bob Casey of Scranton will be sworn in for a second six-year term. Redistricting has meant substantial changes for Barletta, who announced new offices in Cumberland, Dauphin and Northumberland counties. A new Congress also means a new committee assignment for Barletta. He has been appointed to the Homeland Security Committee, which oversees border security, anti-terrorism efforts and disaster responses. Most importantly to him, the committee will have a huge say in a new immigration law. Barletta became a nation-wide figure when he penned tough immigration ordinances as Mayor in his hometown of Hazelton. Marino's committee assignments remain the same - Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security and Judiciary.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program started offering crisis grants in Pennsylvania to help low income people struggling to heat their homes. This is the second phase of LIHEAP which has been offering cash assistance since November 1st. The crisis grants now available are in place for home heating emergencies such as broken equipment or a lack of fuel. Income guidelines and applications for the program are available at liheap.org.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The state of Pennsylvania is raking in more tax revenue than expected this year. The state revenue secretary says since the fiscal year began in July, receipts have been up about 1.5%. The amount of money collected for corporate, real estate, and personal income taxes has been higher than estimated. Tax revenues from tobacco, beer, and liquor sales have been down, along with taxes paid on table games.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls will increase this Sunday. The Associated Press reports, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said Wednesday most cash-paying customers will see a 10 percent increase, while E-Z Pass users will pay 2 percent more.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Some workers at the state capitol got to go home early yesterday. Authorities say a natural gas leak forced the evacuation of an office building near the Pennsylvania Capitol and, eventually, the early dismissal of many state employees. Utility workers responded to the report of a gas odor in the basement of the Capitol Complex's North Office Building Wednesday morning.  Department of General Services spokesman Troy Thompson says workers were evacuated around noon and sent home. About 400 employees work in the building for the Pennsylvania departments of State and General Services, and for some legislative offices. No injuries or illnesses related to the gas odor were reported.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The health of the Chesapeake Bay improved slightly in 2012. A new report by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation gives the bay an overall score of 32 out of 100, up one point over the last report in 2010 and four points since 2008. Out of 13 bay health indicators such as oysters, crabs, wetlands and phosphorus and nitrogen pollution, the study shows five improved, seven stayed the same and only one declined. Underwater grasses were the only indicator that worsened in 2012. Harry Campbell, a senior scientist in the foundation's Pennsylvania office, says some of the success can be credited to the restoration of forested buffers that help prevent nutrient and sediment pollution. But, Campbell says more work needs to be done in Pennsylvania to reduce pollution and improve the water quality of its streams and rivers. He cites the Susquehanna River, the bay's largest tributary, as an example, since it provides half the fresh water to the bay.  Among the group's priorities for Pennsylvania in 2013 are helping local governments achieve clean water goals in line with the bay's Clean Water Blueprint and assisting farmers in reducing agricultural pollution.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The center of the agricultural universe turns its attention to Harrisburg this weekend as the 97th Pennsylvania Farm Show gets underway. The exhibition offers a lot of things to see and do, so says the Farm Show's Nicole Bucher including a bulked up food court featuring state produced products. A sneak peak preview of the exposition begins Friday at noon at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg with opening ceremonies set for Saturday morning.
(WGRC)