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January 8, 2013

WILLIAMSPORT – The 1600 block of West Fourth Street in Williamsport was closed this morning as crews continued to work on fixing a utility pole that was knocked down during a crash last night. Williamsport Police say no one was seriously injured in the crash and power was re-routed so that customers were not affected. City crews and PPL were on the scene working to restore the area following the crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

RICHFIELD – State Police are investigating a stabbing incident in Juniata County. That happened just after five Monday afternoon at a home along Strawser Hill Road in Monroe Township, just south of Richfield. Police say a 36-year-old man was stabbed in the leg. The man was taken to Geisinger Medical Center.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SHENANDOAH - Shenandoah police released the names of two men injured in an accidental shooting in a borough home Sunday night. Police say 27-year-old Curtis Hahn, and 29-year-old Joshua Stevens were at Stevens South Chestnut Street home where he was cleaning his pistol when the gun went off. The bullet went through Hahn’s hand and struck Stevens in the shoulder, and came out his thigh before hitting a stove, landing on the floor. Hahn was treated at a hospital and later released. Stevens was flown to Geisinger Medical Center and is expected to make a full recovery. Police say no charges are expected to be filed.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - A 43-year-old Pottsville man suffered a leg injury when he was struck by a vehicle while trying to illegally cross Route 61 in Pottsville around 6 p.m. Friday. Pottsville police said the incident occurred as David Haller was illegally crossing the highway in the middle of the block north of the A-Plus store and was struck by a vehicle being driven by 30-year-old Kristan Matsell, of Ashland. Haller was taken to the Lehigh Valley Hospital while Matsell was not hurt. Police said Haller's injury was not life threatening.
(WGRC)

NEWPORT – Police in Perry County caught an armed robber after he tried to get money from someone exiting a bank in Newport Borough. That happened around 9:30 Monday morning at the bank in the 200 block of Market Street. Police say the bandit approached the victim and pulled out a gun and fought with the victim but didn’t get any money and then fled to a waiting car. The driver of the car 36-year-old James Rider has been charged. Police have not yet released the name of the bank robber pending the filing of charges.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

POTTSVILLE – State Police in Schuylkill County are looking for the thieves that stole nearly $40,000 in dirt bikes and ATV’s from Matto Cycle in Pottsville. Police discovered the burglary Tuesday morning around three a.m. Police say the thieves pried open the front doors to the business to remove the vehicles and load them up onto a trailer or truck. Anyone with information is asked to call state police, Schuylkill Haven.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIDDLBURG – Police in Snyder County are looking for the vandals that broke into the Middleburg Livestock Auction and caused some damage last week. Middleburg Police say the incident happened sometime between January 2nd and the 4th at the auction located along Route 522. Police say the vandals broke in and stole several items and then smashed around two dozen eggs on the floor and walls and damaged dry goods with a blunt object. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Middleburg Police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - With packets of heroin and her crying, 2-month-old baby lying by her side, 36-year-old Maureen Confer laid unresponsive on a bed in a Lock Haven apartment this past Saturday. She was found by her mother, who called 911. Confer is now jailed in the Clinton County Prison on $75,000 bail on drug and endangering the welfare of a child charges. Police arrived around 8:30 a.m. to find the woman passed out and unresponsive. She was then taken to Lock Haven Hospital for treatment.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - A Bellefonte man will serve up to two years in county jail on corruption of minors charges. 24-year-old Zachariah Johnson pleaded guilty Monday and was immediately sentenced to serve six months to 23 1/2 months in jail. Prosecutors said the charges stem from an incident in July 2011 when Johnson enticed a 14-year-old girl to smoke marijuana and then engaged in sexual acts with her at a home in Centre County.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG -Former motorcycle shop owner 62-year-old Damyon Corradini admitted Monday to “not being honest with business practices” when he bilked several investors out of $88,000 for a new motorcycle braking system that never got off the ground. Corradini, who operated North East Iron Horse on West Main Street in Bloomsburg, pleaded guilty to conducting fraudulent business practices on the eve of jury selection in Columbia County court. The Press Enterprise reports, Corradini could see up to seven years in prison when sentenced.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE — A Snyder County Prison guard has been fired for using a Taser on a nurse inside the jail after she pulled a prank on him. The guard, 27-year-old Randy Lee Noll, of Middleburg, is appealing his termination from the job he’d held for about three years. The local union is also saying the punishment is too harsh. Warden Ruth Rush said county officials have “no tolerance for pranks” and would not comment further on Noll’s termination while it’s under appeal. Rush said she was shocked to learn the details of the incident, which took place October 15th.  Noll is charged with possessing instruments of crime, using an electronic incapacitation device, simple assault and harassment.
(WGRC)

REBERSBURG - One person was injured when an SUV sheared off a utility pole Sunday afternoon along Route 192 in Brush Valley, Centre County. Firefighters said the driver of the vehicle was traveling on state Route 192 around 1:30 p.m. when the SUV left the roadway and crashed into the utility pole. The driver, who was not identified, was reportedly taken to a local hospital for treatment. Both lanes of the rural stretch of roadway east of Rebersburg were closed temporarily while emergency crews and the power company responded.
(WGRC)

CARLISLE - Giant Food Stores have removed several products from store shelves after a recall of smoked salmon due to a possible listeria contamination. Ocean Beauty Seafoods has removed three varieties of salmon from sale: the 8- and 3-ounce Nathan’s Nova Salmon packages and a 3-ounce Lascco smoked salmon package. The packages were recalled in December after internal testing by Ocean Beauty Seafoods revealed the presence of listeria monocytogenes in the products. The supermarket chain hasn’t received any reports of illnesses to date. Customers who have purchased the recalled products should discard any unused portions and can bring their purchase receipt to any Giant location for a full refund.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY -  A brawl between state and county inmates that broke loose Friday in the Northumberland County Courthouse could have been much worse and that left President Judge Robert Sacavage looking at an option he has advocated for years — video arraignments. The Daily Item reports, the number of prisoners being held at the courthouse at the time the incident broke out was partially to blame for the ruckus. Sacavage says he has been trying to implement a plan that would allow county inmates to remain in jail and be seen by a judge through video technology. The judge’s plan will also help to reduce costs to municipalities because it would cut the amount of time and money it costs to transport prisoners. Police departments are now responsible for transporting of prisoners after the Northumberland County commissioners decided to stop paying constables for inmate escorts and transportation. There’s one problem, there is no space at the County Prison for video teleconferencing.
(WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG - The District Attorney in Snyder County is now using the social media to keep in contact with the community in Snyder County. District Attorney Mike Piecuch made that announcement Monday. The Snyder County DA’s office can be found on Twitter @Snydercountyda and on Facebook. Piecuch says, “Part of the duties of my office is to stay connected with the people of Snyder County and these social media tools will help me reach more community members with timely criminal justice information.” The Snyder County DA’s Office will use Facebook and Twitter to provide information on topics such as high-profile cases, victim resources, fraud prevention tips and other outreach efforts.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - Bloomsburg’s 140 teachers won’t get pay raises during the first two years of a new three-year union contract ratified Monday. In exchange, the teachers will pay less toward the cost of their health insurance. Teachers won’t get raises, but they will move up one step on the district’s pay scale, which is based on years of service, effectively giving them raises for 2013-14. The school board voted unanimously last night to approve the new contract hours after the teachers did the same. The Press Enterprise reports, the sides had been in talks for roughly two years, and the pact’s terms apply retroactively to the 2011-12 school year. That means the two sides get only a one-year breather before returning to the bargaining table in January 2014. The contract will cost taxpayers $1.4 million more in salary and benefits over the three years.
(WGRC)

YEAGERTOWN – In Mifflin County, the Derry Township Board of Supervisors approved at its regular meeting Monday the removal of numerous trees at Derry Township Community Park. The ash trees in the park had been infested by emerald ash borers several years ago and the majority of the trees need to be removed. There have been some problems with tree limbs breaking off and whole trees getting blown down during storms. More than 100 trees have already been taken down with about 100 more slated for removal. The Supervisors hope to sell the lumber from the trees to be able to start the process of replanting the park.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - Borough officials think sales agreements have been reached on both the Hotel Do De and the Cadillac Building. Council representatives tell the Centre Daily Times, deals are in place but have not been made officials yet and the same buyer is looking at purchasing the Garman Theatre. All three buildings were badly damaged by fires. The Garman and Do De fire took place in September, while the Cadillac burned in December 2009. Borough Council has not said who is interested in the buildings. The deals could become official and sorted out by the spring but there is no timetable or deadline for them to be announced.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - Coal Township government registered a "victory" in court Monday when a property owner was fined $1,000 by a county judge for the conditions of two blighted properties. 50-year-old Ricky Walter, of Shamokin, pleaded guilty to three summary counts of hazardous structure and one summary count each of dilapidation of property and faulty weather protection for the building in Ranshaw. Authorities say the Ranshaw property has been an ongoing code issue for the past decade, and is in worse condition now.  
(WGRC)

GIRARDVILLE - Officials in Girardville, in Schuylkill County, fear a leaning building could fall and seriously injure or kill someone. Officials have tried to keep people away with barricades. The building on the main street in Girardville is the topic of Borough Council’s lawsuit going to Schuylkill County Court. Borough officials say the owner of the building lives in New Jersey and has ignored pleas to get rid of the eyesore. Council hopes a Judge will sign the property over to the borough and then the borough can tear the building down.
(WNEP)

PINE GROVE - The wait is almost over for 11 residents expecting buyout money after their homes were damaged by flooding in September 2011 in Schuylkill County. Pine Grove Mayor Kimberly Brown-Zerbe said Monday that $674,000 was received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency for buyouts. Thirteen properties were condemned by the borough in September 2011. One of those properties was sold and the rest are on the buyout list. The residents applied for the buyouts in October 2011. The homes will be demolished and become a grass lot owned by the borough that can't be redeveloped for occupancy.
(WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE - For years of giving to the community, U.S. Representative Tom Marino recognized 13-year-old Kyle Toner, a student at Jersey Shore Area Middle School, on Monday. Toner, an eighth-grade student, was given a certificate of appreciation by Marino for holding an annual blanket collection to distribute to county residents in need. Five years ago, Toner was feeling the winter chill and he begun asking questions about what those without homes do during the winter. After discussing it with his parents, Toner decided to begin collecting blankets. What started with 67 blankets that first year, now has grown to Toner collecting over 1,100 blankets over the past five years. After collecting the blankets, they are distributed through a variety of organizations, including the Salvation Army, the Rescue Workers and the American Red Cross. Marino said he appreciated Toner's work as he understands that there are those who need extra help. And as next year comes around, Toner may have a little extra help. Marino offered to put an announcement out to colleagues and on his website, along with donating to the collection.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Some Pennsylvania farmers are frustrated Congress didn't pass a new Farm Bill at the end of the year, and instead voted to extend the old one until September. But, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer says the move isn't all bad. He says, "Farmers know what to expect for the next nine months, and that'll get them through the growing season.”  Shaffer says any new legislation that's drafted should try to help dairy farmers by providing incentives for them to export products to other countries. He says the end of the year did bring some good news for farmers, who successfully avoided going over the so-called "fiscal cliff." The deal to avert the cliff helps farmers reinvest in their businesses, which keeps the money in the commonwealth.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Diners in Pennsylvania will soon be able to check out the cleanliness of a restaurant before they eat there. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is working on a system to allow customers to see the results of thousands of restaurant inspections online. The department has already posted more than 40,000 inspections on restaurants that don't have their own inspection programs on their website, yet another 60,000 inspections are reported locally.  The state wants all inspections to be archived and available on its website within the next 12 months.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Harrisburg and York made the list of the country’s top 100 most dangerous cities. York is the nation’s 18th most dangerous city. Harrisburg came in at number 30. There are three other Pennsylvania cities on the list: Chester, Philadelphia and Norristown. Topping the list is East St. Louis, Illinois.
(WGRC)