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January 7, 2013

SHENANDOAH - Two men were injured in a shooting inside a home in the Shenandoah Sunday night. The shooting happened just after nine p.m. at a home on South Chestnut Street. One man was flown to a trauma center with a gunshot wound to the shoulder, while the other was taken to an area hospital by ambulance with a gunshot wound to his hand. Police say the injuries to both men did not appear to be life threatening. The investigation into the incident is continuing but it appears that the shooting was accidental.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - Two juveniles are in custody following an armed robbery Sunday evening in Shamokin. Police were called out just after nine last night after a report of someone being robbed of their cell phone at gunpoint. The theft was believed to be in connection with several vehicle break-ins on Eighth and Rock streets. Police chased both suspects before taking one into custody, while the other was taken into custody a short time later at his home. Police recovered a pistol near the robbery scene.
(WGRC)

MILTON – Police in Milton are investigating a strong arm robbery that happened around seven Saturday night. Police say a clerk from the Coles Hardware Store was walking to Susquehanna Bank to make a deposit for the business when another man grabbed his arms, threatened to shoot the clerk and demanded the money. The robbery happened at the corner of Arch and Center Streets. The robber grabbed the money and then took off. The bandit is described as being in his 20’s standing about five-ten and wearing dark clothing and wearing a ski mask. Police say surveillance cameras in the area showed several cars passing and pedestrians in the area when the robbery took place. Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call Milton Borough Police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WATSONTOWN – Police are looking for the thieves that broke into a Northumberland County business last week. State Police say Valley Ag and Turf of Watsontown was broken into sometime between seven p.m. Wednesday and 6:15 Thursday morning. Police say thieves ransacked the business making off with some cash. Anyone with information on the break-in is asked to call state police, Milton.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILTON – Police in the Borough of Milton in Northumberland County are looking for a fire-bug. Police say just before nine Friday night police and fire crews were called to a first floor apartment building on North Front Street for a fire at the former Elks Lodge. The fire was determined to be arson. The fire caused minor damage. Police are asking anyone who may have seen anything in the area of the building between eight and 8:45 p.m. are asked to call Milton Borough Police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILTON – A fire caused some minor damage at the Imperial bowling lanes in Milton Sunday afternoon. A malfunctioning dryer on the building’s roof touched off the fire just after three p.m. The building was evacuated and no injuries were reported. Some of the bowling balls and shoes were damaged in the fire. The bowling alley remains open.
(WGRC)

PENNSDALE - A 57-year-old Elysburg man critically injured in a one-vehicle crash New Year's Day on Interstate 180 at the Lycoming Mall interchange has died of his injuries. Wayne Houseweart died Saturday at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. State police said Houseweart lost control of his pickup truck as he was traveling east on the interstate. The truck spun off the roadway and rolled several times in the median. Police say Houseweart suffered serious head injuries and was initially taken to Williamsport Hospital before being flown to Geisinger.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BLACK FOREST - The Wisconsin pilot of a single-engine airplane that crashed in northern Lycoming County near the Black Forest Inn in December, was released from Geisinger Medical Center Thursday, the same day the National Transportation Safety Board issued its preliminary findings on the accident. Vincent Mow, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, crashed in a wooded area just a few hundred yards away from Route 44. Mow was headed to the Kingston-Ulster Airport in Kingston, New York, when the accident took place. Brian Rayner, a senior air safety investigator with the NTSB, says metal particles in the oil filter and other parts off the engine clogged the plane. Rayner said the engine will be shipped to Lycoming Engines where it was manufactured - for further examination.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - Two juveniles are in custody following an armed robbery Sunday evening in Shamokin. Police were called out just after nine last night after a report of someone being robbed of their cell phone at gunpoint. The theft was believed to be in connection with several vehicle break-ins on Eighth and Rock streets. Police chased both suspects before taking one into custody, while the other was taken into custody a short time later at his home. Police recovered a pistol near the robbery scene.
(WGRC)

MILTON – Police in Milton are investigating a strong arm robbery that happened around seven Saturday night. Police say a clerk from the Coles Hardware Store was walking to Susquehanna Bank to make a deposit for the business when another man grabbed his arms, threatened to shoot the clerk and demanded the money. The robbery happened at the corner of Arch and Center Streets. The robber grabbed the money and then took off. The bandit is described as being in his 20’s standing about five-ten and wearing dark clothing and wearing a ski mask. Police say surveillance cameras in the area showed several cars passing and pedestrians in the area when the robbery took place. Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call Milton Borough Police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY - A shackled state prisoner accused of spitting at a Coal Township, State Prison guard is in deeper trouble after he broke free from a Northumberland County deputy Friday morning and attacked another inmate while screaming racial slurs inside a holding cell at the Sunbury courthouse. Sheriff’s deputies say the problem was compounded by the number of prisoners being held Friday — at one point there were 18 people in detention at the courthouse. The maximum capacity for prisoners at the courthouse is 24. Chief Deputy Randy Coe said he was escorting two inmates, including 22-year-old Matthew Katona, of Stroudsburg, from one holding cell to another around 11:30 a.m. when Katona attacked inmate 18-year-old Leon Hastings, of Sunbury. Both men were at the courthouse for hearings.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - Fights have been erupting inside Columbia County Prison with more frequency in recent weeks, spurring a full lockdown after four guards were injured in a scuffle with a dozen inmates last weekend. It was the most recent of about six squabbles in the last two months that have left four guards injured. Warden William Campbell tells the Press Enterprise, prisoners are going to remain locked down until further notice. “No visits. No television. No nothing, he says.” The Warden says on December 29th, three fights broke out simultaneously with county inmates pitted against federal prisoners. The Warden says none of the guards had to take medical leave. For the last week, the approximately 200 inmates have spent 23 hours a day locked in their cells.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE – Another County Prison is reporting an inmate brawl two months ago. Two inmates at the Centre County Prison have been charged with assault after a fight in November. State Police filed the charges against 28-year-old Todd Brown, and 24-year-old Kenneth Jones, got into a fight. They were charged with simple assault and harassment.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - A worker at a grooming and kennel business in Kelly Township, Union County is accused of lifting a customer’s check routing account information to make a payment on her own car. State Police say 48-year-old Peggy Netzband, of Watsontown was charged with identity theft and related crimes as a result of the nearly $1,700 that she stole from the checking account of a 45-year-old New Columbia woman in mid-December. Netzband used the woman’s checking account information to make a payment by telephone to Ford Motor Credit Company for her personal vehicle while employed at Miller’s Grooming and Kennel.
(WGRC)

CATAWISSA - Police are asking the public to watch for suspicious activity after a home was burglarized Friday in the 100 block of Mount Zion Road near Catawissa in Columbia County. Police are still compiling a list of items stolen from the home. The break-in happened sometime Friday morning. It was the second Catawissa-area property to be targeted by thieves in a week, as police investigated an attempted burglary in the 200 block of Black Bear Drive on New Year’s Day. Anyone having information or spotting anything suspicious in the area is asked to call Locust Township Police.
(WGRC)

MUNCY VALLEY - About $2,500 worth of tools and welding equipment was stolen at a natural gas drilling site in Sullivan County. The theft of the items was reported last week at the Sonestown drill site along Route 220. The items belonged to H&H Enterprises of Andover, Ohio, and may have been stolen anytime since December 18th. Anyone with information on the crime should call State Police at Laporte.

MILTON - A Millmont woman is facing a preliminary hearing stemming from a September incident, in which police said she paid someone to beat up a Milton High School student. Milton Police filed the charges in September against 36-year-old Veronica Ulrich. Police say those charges were withdrawn and given to the state police over a possible conflict of interest due to Ulrich’s relationship with now-retired Milton Officer Kenneth Royer. Police say Ulrich was upset that a 15-year-old boy had beaten up her daughter during the summer and “she wanted to have the same thing happen to” him. Milton police confirmed that a fight between the youths had taken place, but that no charges were filed. After seeing the young man on the street, Ulrich allegedly approached a group of five or six men standing along Broadway Street. She pulled over and asked if they knew the boy Ulrich was looking for. Ulrich then allegedly offered one of the men $25 to beat up the young man.
(WGRC)

MUNCY - A 36-year-old man faces one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals after the Lycoming chapter of the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals seized 12 neglected dogs from his home. The charge was filed against Kevin Laird, of Muncy. One the dogs taken from the property had to be put to sleep because of its condition. SPCA officials say the dogs lacked adequate water, food and shelter, and several suffered medical problems that were neglected. The SPCA also claims the property owners have been advised - dating back to 1994 - about how to properly care for their animals.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The defense attorneys for former Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz want a hearing in front of a judge to suppress their grand jury testimony on the grounds that Cynthia Baldwin was not representing their clients when they testified. The motions were filed Friday in Dauphin County Court and were written responses to prosecutors addressing a previous defense motion regarding Baldwin’s role in front of the grand jury investigating the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case. The defense attorneys for Curley and Schultz have maintained that their clients’ rights were violated because they thought Baldwin was representing them when they testified to the grand jury in January 2011. Baldwin has disputed that, saying she accompanied Curley and Schultz to the grand jury to act as Penn State’s lawyer, not theirs. The attorneys are contending that because Baldwin was not removed and ended up sitting through the men’s testimonies, the secrecy of the grand jury was violated. Former Penn State president Graham Spanier has been indicted on the same charges and has a similar motion to keep Baldwin off the stand.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Governor Corbett is not the only one to sue the NCAA for their infractions against Penn State University. State Senator Jake Corman sued the NCAA on Friday to stop it from using money from Penn State’s $60 million fine to pay for child abuse prevention programs outside Pennsylvania. In the suit filed in Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg, Corman says the state gives Penn State so much money that the university could not pay the fine without state help. The lawsuit is the second lawsuit in three days by state government against the NCAA, with Governor Tom Corbett’s federal antitrust suit on Wednesday seeking a reversal of all the NCAA’s sanctions, including the fine. Corman tells the Associated Press the NCAA’s plan to use $45 million of the $60 million fine, for prevention programs outside Pennsylvania violates the state’s constitution on the grounds lawmakers review and oversee the university’s spending.
(WGRC)

UNDATED - It’s the season for fever, aches, chills and fatigue. And for many who are already suffering from flu symptoms, the season is starting earlier this year. The Centers for Disease Control reports this flu season is shaping up to be a bad one, spreading earlier and faster than usual. The Center is reporting 29 states, including Pennsylvania, had high flu activity last week. Those seeking medical treatment nationally for flu nearly doubled just over the last month. The Center for Disease Control says that in most areas however, the flu season has not yet peaked. In response, health officials are urging residents both young and old to get flu shots and to take other precautions. Some of those precautions recommend that you stay home if you’re sick, cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often and avoid touching your face, and get enough rest.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Lycoming County commissioners on Thursday approved a $262,900 consulting contract with Mechanicsburg-based Delta Development Group that aims to help secure grant funding for county projects. Kurt Hausammann, county planning and community development director, said the firm will seek funding from state and federal sources. The Sun Gazette reports, he says the county doesn't have specific plans at this time for any grant money that may be obtained. Commissioners also approved an agreement that will allow the county to collect Montgomery Borough taxes.
(WGRC)

DUBOISTOWN - The new Lance Corporal Abram L. Howard Bridge linking Williamsport and Duboistown opened in November, and the last remaining span of the old bridge was demolished by the state Department of Transportation on Friday. Four spans of the bridge, also known as the Arch Street Bridge, were brought down Friday, with three previous spans being demolished in early November. The bridge needed to be taken down in sections in order to avoid blocking the entire river. A road, or a causeway, was used in the river to retrieve parts of the bridge that were demolished. The old bridge soon should be completely removed, as piers that remain from the recently demolished section will be taken down in the coming weeks.
(WGRC)

MILESBURG - The Milesburg Citizen’s Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 will receive $151,620 in Federal Emergency Management Agency grants operations and safety. U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced the news Friday. Casey tells the Centre Daily Times, “This money will help provide Centre County’s firefighters with the resources they need to ensure their safety and the safety of those they serve.” Funds are awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, which aims to strengthen the health and safety of the nation’s first responders and those they serve.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - Capstone Development Partners, a national student housing developer, donated $25,000 to the Lock Haven University Foundation following the successful completion of their new, on-campus student housing development, Fairview Suites. The donation establishes the Capstone Development Partners Student Scholarship, which will be available to any Lock Haven University student living on campus. The scholarship was created not only to provide scholarship funding for students enrolled at the university but also to recognize achievements of students living in on-campus residential facilities.
(WGRC)

HUMMELSWHARF - One of the region’s busiest real estate agencies locally is changing hands. Bowen Agency Realtors is being sold by Art and Bill Bowen. The new owners are Larry Johnson and family member Matt Hoffman. The sale was announced Friday. A news release from the agency says Johnson joined the agency in 2001 and is now the new president of the agency. Hoffman joined Bowen agency in 2006 and becomes the vice-president. Art and Bill Bowen, the release states, will remain with the company as agents. Bowen Agency was founded by Bill and Art 43-years ago and has three offices, 25-fulltime agents and a property management department.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Since the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal rocked the community in 2011, an extreme heightened awareness of sexual crimes against children and efforts focusing on prevention have been pronounced in Centre County. The Centre County faith community is continuing that dialogue starting next week, when a series of World Cafe-style forums kicks off to discuss the issue. The forums, which are free and open to all community members, will focus on developing strategies for taking action against child sexual abuse, according to a news release from event organizers. Several churches in the area have agreed to host the community cafes, including the University Mennonite Church on January 20th and the State College Presbyterian Church on January 21st. For more information or to register log onto tinyurl.com/communitycafe.  
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - Hopes of a weekend of skating melted away as milder air and sunshine greeted Saturday’s opening of the YMCA ice rink in Bloomsburg. About a dozen adults and children managed to get in about an hour or so of free skating before a large crack opened where skaters get on and off the ice. After that, a decision was made to shut down the rink until colder weather finally settles in. Organizers say several days of cold temperatures in the teens and 20s could restore the ice. Attempts to open the rink last year also failed due to a mild winter. The public is asked to check the Bloomsburg YMCA website as to the opening of the ice rink.  The Press Enterprise reports, people are encouraged to bring their own skates. The YMCA also has several pairs of used skates available, which have been donated by members.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The 97th Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg opened over the weekend. Governor Tom Corbett officially opened one of the biggest agricultural events in the nation. Thousands of people made their way to the farm show complex to tour to take a look at farm machinery and exhibits in the Main Hall. Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary George Greig says state agri-businessmen do things well. The 97th Farm Show runs through Saturday.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - In the wake of super-storm Sandy and serious flooding from other hurricane systems, Pennsylvanians are being urged to increase their readiness in the new year. The state Emergency Management Agency's "resolve to be ready" campaign focuses on preparing for hurricanes, floods, snowstorms and other disasters. Spokeswoman Ruth Miller says having a communication plan should be a priority for families. She suggests families need to know where to meet within a community, how a family will we meet, and how family members can make sure they let each other know that they are okay, even if telephone systems are out. Miller says having an out-of-town contact is a good idea. Miller says people should update their disaster plans at least once a year. A blueprint is available on the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Website. The agency also has checklists for items that will likely be necessary for a number of emergencies.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Governor Tom Corbett said Friday he would consider a suggestion that gun shows be banned on publicly owned property. The Governor was asked why gun shows are allowed at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg and, in light of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut whether he'd support a ban. Corbett responded that no one had ever suggested the idea to him before. But he added that the Farm Show Complex is open to all businesses. He also noted that prospective buyers at gun shows must be cleared through the Pennsylvania State Police instant background check system - just as they are when buying weapons from gun shops. Corbett also says, "We have sensible gun laws, but we have to enforce them. The Associated Press reports, there's little indication so far that the shooting has impacted gun shows in Pennsylvania. The state-owned Farm Show Complex hosts several gun shows each year that attract thousands of visitors.
(WGRC)

PITTSBURGH - Pennsylvania higher education officials and the union representing state university faculty are reporting progress at the bargaining table. Members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties have been working without a contract for about 18 months. Union leaders met with management Friday for the first time since December 11th. Both sides reported progress but that no deal has been reached. Additional bargaining sessions are scheduled for January 16th and 17th.
(WGRC)