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January 14, 2013

WILLIAMSPORT – For the second time in less than a week, Williamsport police are dealing with yet another shooting. Police say just before eleven Saturday night Police were called to the 600 block of Spruce Street. There police say one man was shot and was taken to the hospital by a private vehicle. Police say the man’s injuries are non-life threatening. Police do not believe the shooting was a random act.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Police in Williamsport are also investigating a stabbing. Police say a Williamsport woman was stabbed by an unknown assailant inside a home at 505 Rural Avenue at about 6 p.m. last night. The woman was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center where she was treated.
(WGRC)

TROUT RUN – A crash around midnight Saturday in Lycoming County claims the life of a 26-year-old Trout Run man. The crash happened on Route 14 at Field Station Road in Lewis Township. Police say the man lost control of his vehicle on a curve and went off the roadway hitting a traffic sign and a rock cliff before overturning. Troopers say alcohol was a factor in the crash and the man’s name is not being released pending family notification.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG – A 17-year-old Middleburg girl and her 16-year-old passenger were hurt in a crash last night near Middleburg. The crash happened just before eleven p.m. at the intersection of Route 104 and Shambach Road in Centre Township. Police say the girl ran a stop sign at the intersection and then slammed into an embankment. State Police did not say how badly either girl were injured in the crash nor where they were taken for treatment.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LIVERPOOL – A crash in Perry County sends a Mount Pleasant Mills man to the hospital. The crash happened just before midnight Saturday on Routes 11 and 15 near Liverpool. Police say 41-year-old Brian Troutman of Mount Pleasant Mills was taken by ambulance to Hershey Medical Center to be treated for his injuries. Police say he was hurt when his vehicle collided with another driven by a man from Denver, Pennsylvania. The other driver wasn’t hurt.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

CATAWISSA - A Kulpmont woman was taken to Geisinger Medical Center after her vehicle sheered two stop signs and toppled a railroad-crossing pole at the Catawissa river bridge early Saturday. Police say, 31-year-old Amber O’Donnell, lost control of her car while looking down to change a CD. She was taken to Geisinger by ambulance following the crash just after two a.m.
(WGRC)

RICHFIELD – A crash on Route 35 in West Perry Township, Snyder County sent two women to the hospital Friday. The crash around noon happened when Mary and Joda Miller, both 74-year-olds, from Newport crossed the center of the roadway and hit a vehicle driven by Wayne Dressler of Thompsontown nearly head-on.  The Millers were taken to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment. Dressler wasn’t hurt.
(WGRC)

HERNDON - Two crashes that occurred within minutes of each other Friday in the lower end of Northumberland County caused injuries to three people. Emergency crews were sent to Herndon Bypass Road, in Jackson Township, around noon after an SUV hit a dirt embankment and rolled onto its roof. 18-year-old Elijah Ilgenfritz, of Dornsife, and a passenger, 17-year-old Jedidiah Ilgenfritz, also of Dornsife, were each wearing seat belts and were both injured, though the severity of their injuries was unknown. Less than five miles north on Route 147 in Lower Augusta Township about five minutes later, 21-year-old Katelynn Straub, of Dornsife, lost control of her vehicle while rounding a curve, hit a guiderail and went over an embankment coming to rest in a small stream. Straub was taken to Geisinger Medical Center.
(WGRC)

MIFFLIN - A woman lost control of her vehicle Thursday in Juniata County, struck an embankment and rolled her vehicle over. Police say 35-year-old Jaime Shope, of Port Royal, was trapped in the wreckage and had to be cut free. She was flown to Hershey Medical Center, but is not reported as being a patient there.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Three people are without a home after fire destroys their two-unit apartment building in Williamsport Friday afternoon. No one was hurt in the blaze on Charles Street and the building is completely gutted. Fire Chief Dean Heinbach tells the Sun Gazette, the fire caused about $70,000 worth of damage.
(WGRC)

ATLAS - The quick work of firefighters and the alertness of a family prevented a small fire from spreading to adjoining row homes early Friday morning in Atlas in Northumberland County. Firefighters contained fire damage to the kitchen at 201 West Girard Street after the family of four smelled smoke shortly after midnight. The fire caused minimal damage after it was quickly put out. The fire was ruled accidental and was electrical in nature.
(WGRC)

SCOTT TWP. – In Columbia County a woman who couldn’t sleep found herself a few feet away from a man rummaging through her husband’s unlocked truck early Saturday. The woman then called police who caught the thief. Police caught up with Brian Troup, of Orangeville, in the fog on Old Berwick Road. He was found hiding under a pile of blankets in a nearby garage. Police say Troup admitted to looking for unlocked vehicles and taking cash from five of them. Police say Troup made off with about $500 in cash and change. Anyone who suspects they may also be a victim should call Scott Township Police at 784-9114.
(WGRC)

MILLVILLE - A man asked family members about their plans for New Year’s Eve, then used the information to break into his nephew’s house and steal more than $20,000 in jewelry. State Police say 8-year-old Steven Warhurst, 58, of Millville, called Brad Warhurst’s parents on December 31st and asked what they and Brad would be doing that night. When Brad returned home to his Mount Pleasant Township home just after two a.m. New Year’s Day, he found someone had broken in and stole the jewelry from a bedroom as well as $100 in cash. Troopers matched shoe prints to Steven’s shoes and he then admitted to the theft and turned over the goods. Warhurst is jailed on $75,000 bail.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - A Mifflinburg man pleaded no contest Friday in exchange for possibly three months behind bars for the August 2011 crash in which his girlfriend, 17-year-old Emily Kunkle, was killed. 20-year-old Christopher Libby, appeared Friday in Union County Court before Judge Michael Hudock. Hudock has until a sentencing hearing in March to decide if he will accept Libby’s plea deal.
(WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG — An alleged threat called into the Snyder County 911 Center Friday afternoon prompted a brief lockdown of the courthouse in Middleburg. County Clerk Lee Knepp said he received a call from Middleburg Police Chief Tony Jordan around 2:45 p.m., informing him of the potential threat and advising the building be locked and no one be allowed to enter or leave. Sheriff Joseph Reigle tells the Daily Item, the threat may have come from one of the parties involved in a protection-from-abuse petition that was heard earlier in the day by Senior Judge Harold Woelfel. About 60 people work in the courthouse and all responded calmly, and employees in first floor offices shut off the lights and closed the blinds during the 20-minute lockdown. The threat stemmed from a domestic dispute I the near-by IGA parking lot when a woman with a baseball bat threatened a man in a pick-up truck.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINBURG – A young Mifflinburg girl is making strides in the football scene. Kayla Kline, a Mifflinburg Area High School freshman, made history Sunday with her second consecutive championship in the NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick competition. Kayla’s victory, along with those of the other Punt, Pass and Kick winners, was announced during Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. With a total score of 351.6 feet, she placed first in the 14- and 15-year-old girls’ division. Last year, she was the champion in the girls’ 12- and 13-year-old bracket with a total of 339 feet. Kayla and her family, all of Mifflinburg, attended the playoff game, and she and the other winners were recognized at a ceremony held between the game’s third and fourth quarters.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - The committee attempting to raise money for the construction of Kidsburg 2-point-0 has received a substantial donation. Organizer Deb Huckens says Bloomsburg Carpet Industries has contributed $10,000 to the on-going campaign. This brings the total amount raised to $100,000 as the group attempts to reach a goal of $250,000. The original Kidsburg was destroyed by the September 2011 floods.  
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Williamsport officials are still trying to address the problem of a lack of housing in the city and took steps in that direction last week. City Council has pinned high hopes on a plan to reuse the Brodart warehouse site at Memorial Avenue and Oliver Street. The project involves cleaning up the soil and removing asbestos at the building, leveling the aged and vacant structure and turning it into a space for a developer to build attractive multi-family apartments, owner-occupied townhouses and two houses under the watch of Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity. The hope is the project may end up transforming a former industrial and residential neighborhood in the city's West End. On Thursday night Williamsport Council unanimously approved a developers agreement between Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity, P&L Investments of Washington, D.C., the prime developer, the city, and the city Redevelopment Authority regarding the project. The next step towards more homes in the city includes cleaning up the building's top soil, removing any trace contamination and any asbestos or other hazardous materials. The city will put bids out for that job and has received a grant for some of the clean-up. Several funding sources are meant to pay for the projects, including $26.5 million focused on the housing portions, of which $21 million is from private investment, $4 million is state funding and $1 million is funded locally by impact fees.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN – Mifflin County residents will soon have the opportunity to strengthen their resume and stand out in a competitive job market by completing free customer service training beginning January 22 at PA CareerLink Mifflin County. Officials with the local CareerLink office say the training was developed with a grant from the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation and is funded through a Highmark Foundation grant. The two-week course, taught by instructor Carolyn Kline, is designed for young people who are seeking entry level positions. The course will approach customer service in a broad sense, which can be applied to any career avenue, including health care, manufacturing, retail, service and hospitality and participants will receive a certificate of completion that can be added to job applications and resumes. Adecco, Geisinger, Lowe's, Snappy's and other local employers have already endorsed the upcoming training and will look for documentation of completion on job applications. To register or for more information, stop in at PA CareerLink, in Lewistown.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - Centre County Commissioner Chris Exarchos thinks compressed natural gas-powered vehicles are the wave of the future, and the county is now taking step in that direction. The decision follows that of several Centre Region municipalities and the Council of Governments, which have begun making Compressed Natural Gas vehicle purchases to test the waters for future purchases. County planners are applying for a Department of Environmental Protection grant that would provide $25,000 per vehicle for counties looking to convert them to natural gas. The federal money is generated from the Marcellus Shale Act 13 impact fee. County officials say the County is applying for about $150,000 in this year’s first wave of applications including five of their own and one vehicle from the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority. If the County gets the money the vehicles could be in hand by 2014.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - A new day has dawned for the Buffalo Crossroads Elementary School as it moves from a place of learning to a place of worship. Rechristened the Buffalo Valley United Methodist Church, the former school played host to its first worship service on Sunday. About 100 attended. The new congregation is formed by members of the former Buffalo Valley United Methodist Charge including churches at Forest Hill, Mazeppa, Pleasant Grove, and White Deer Township’s Sunrise United Methodist. Pastor Dan Hicks tells the Daily Item, the idea to merge the churches started in November 2010. The new church’s opening service featured a prayer by Bishop Jeremiah Park, bishop of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Members of 15 organizations and concerned citizens met in Lycoming County to discuss what the future holds for the Susquehanna River watershed at an annual summit hosted by the local chapter of Trout Unlimited last Wednesday. Environmentalists gathered to outline successful projects their organizations have completed in the last year and share information. Many groups focused their efforts around repairing damage caused by the flooding that occurred at the end of 2011. Work has been done to repair stream beds, fortify banks and restructure the flood plain all across Lycoming County. Bill Worobec, a state Fish and Boat Commissioner with the agency's North Central Region, which helps to fund many stream and flood plain reconstruction projects, warned that funding for several programs likely will be cut in the new budget for 2013.
(WGRC)

SOUTH CENTRE TWP. - Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech may start plucking names from a hat to determine which students from seven districts are accepted to the trade school. Some say such a change could deny the most-qualified pupils enrollment. Superintendent Harry Mathias tells the Press Enterprise, Vo-Tech officials must rethink the school’s 14-year-old admission policy under threat of a discrimination lawsuit by parents of a special-needs student at Southern Columbia whose Vo-Tech application was rejected. However, students who meet those standards wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot at the school. They would be entered into what would amount to an admission lottery. Names of eligible students would be written on pieces of paper, tossed in a hat and selected one by one to determine who makes the final cut. Names from different districts would not be intermingled. Vo-Tech officials would repeat this process for each of the seven districts. Vo-Tech has an enrollment of 626 students from throughout Columbia and Montour Counties.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Two years of gridlock over a new contract between State College Area teachers and the district will come to a head tonight. The State College Area school board will vote to accept or reject a report from a state-appointed arbitrator, who drafted recommendations as a way to resolve the contract dispute. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the board room of the Nittany Avenue administration building. The issues that have held up an agreement are not known, as both sides agreed to keep the nature of their talks confidential throughout the process. The report was delivered to the district and the teachers’ union last week, and they have until Thursday to vote. If both sides accept the report, the recommendations in the report become the basis for the new contract. But if either side rejects the report, the report is made public and people will be able to see what the recommendations were and explanations as to why the fact-finder recommended what he did.
(WGRC)

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge has rejected the arguments of the owners of a central Pennsylvania furniture and cabinet manufacturing company that new requirements to pay for employees’ contraceptive services violate their constitutional rights. U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg on Friday turned down a preliminary injunction request by the owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties, saying Norman Hahn and his family were unlikely to prevail in their case. The Hahn’s say having to pay for contraceptives and drugs used to abort a pregnancy would violate their rights to free speech and religious freedom. But the judge said they had not proven that complying with the new health care law amounted to a “substantial burden” on their religious rights. The Hahn’s Attorney, Charles W. Proctor III, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that an appeal was planned. Conestoga has two plants in Snyder County, one in Beavertown and one in Beaver Springs.
(WGRC w/AP)

HARRISBURG - The crowds may have cleared out from the 97th Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, but event officials say they've left their mark in a big way. Patrick Kerwin is the executive director of the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. He tells WVIA he expects the show to draw in more attendees than ever before, including last year, when 400,000 people flocked to the event billed as the country's largest indoor agricultural show. Kerwin says he thinks this year's focus on locally-produced foods and products is just one reason behind the large turnout. Favorable weather for the last week or so could also have attracted more people. This year's event closed Saturday and featured more than 6,000 animals, a grape-stomping competition, and new foods, like pumpkin funnel cake.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The first full day of work for Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane this week will mark the start of the review of why it took her predecessors three years to investigate Jerry Sandusky. In a phone interview with the Centre Daily Times  Kane says the probe, which she promised on the campaign trail and parlayed into a victory in November, is one of her top priorities as she takes over the post as the state’s top law enforcement authority. And everything — grand jury transcripts, evidence, media leaks, police reports and more — will be reviewed by someone working solely on it. Kane says, “There isn’t anyone we aren’t going to talk to if they have relevant information, and there isn’t any area that I’m going to avoid.” Kane’s swearing-in is Tuesday afternoon in Harrisburg. Kane will hire a deputy attorney general whose job it will be to lead the internal Sandusky investigation, and that person will report to her. The deputy attorney general has not been selected yet. Kane has been critical of Tom Corbett, who as attorney general started the investigation and then handed it off to his predecessor, Attorney General Linda Kelly, after he was elected governor.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - State Senator Jake Corman has taken on a new committee assignment for the 2013-14 legislative session, serving as a member of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee. The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee oversees legislation relating to hunting and fishing, as well as Pennsylvania’s vast wildlife resources. Senator Corman is currently the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He also serves as a member of the Senate Banking and Insurance, Education, Rules and Executive Nominations, and State Government committees.
(WGRC)