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January 28, 2013

KULPMONT – Fire crews were called out this morning in Kulpmont in Northumberland County for a fire. The fire was reported right around five a.m. at 916 Chestnut Street in Kulpmont. The fire in the home on Chestnut Street blocked Route 61 which is Chestnut Street in Kulpmont.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILL HALL - On Sunday, Lisa Stevenson watched her husband Gil and neighbors pull out charred wreckage from a burned skeleton of a trailer that just hours before had been their home at 13 Lionel Lane in the Camelot Estates in Mill Hall, Clinton County.  The fire started just after noon when the couple was trying to thaw out water pipes which had been frozen starting the fire beneath the trailer. The trailer was a total loss.
(WGRC)

WASHINGTONVILLE – A Washingtonville area family is homeless after a fire early Sunday morning in Montour County. The fire was reported around 3:30 a.m. at 1390 White Hall road in Anthony Township. Crews from Washingtonville, East End, Watsontown and Columbia County were called to the scene to fine a wood stove had caused the blaze in a wall of the home which then spread throughout the structure. The Red Cross was notified and is assisting the family.
(WGRC)

RIVERSIDE – Six people were left homeless in a fire in Northumberland County Saturday evening. The fire destroyed the ranch-style house on Crest Haven Road in Rush Township. Fire crews were called out around 6 p.m. to find the back half of the home already leveled by flames. Marvin and Janelle Eshbach and their four boys were not home when the fire broke out. A wood burner is being blamed for the fire which caused around $150,000 in damages.
(WGRC)

BERWICK – A mobile home went up in flames Saturday in Columbia County. A repairman was working on a water heater at the home of 27-year-old Suzann Brooks and Muta Duncan along 17th and North Vine Streets in Berwick when flames broke out and Brooks was ordered to get out of the home. She escaped with her dog and cell phone and watched as the trailer went up in flames. The fire has been ruled undetermined but broke out where the man was working on the heater. The trailer was fully involved when fire crews arrived. The Red Cross was called in to help.
(WGRC)

COAL TOWNSHIP - fire damages a business Friday night in Northumberland County. That fire broke out around nine p.m. at Jones Enterprise business along Route 125 near Burnside. Fire crews battled the flames until around one a.m. No injuries were reported. No word as to a cause of that blaze.
 (WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN- Nearly a dozen people in Clinton County were sickened and taken to the hospital Saturday afternoon due to a carbon monoxide leak. The leak in the apartments attached to a laundromat on the 100 block of North Fairview Street sent 10 people to the hospital around 12:30 p.m. Norm Wolfram, deputy fire chief of Lock Haven Fire Department says a faulty furnace was to blame for the incident. Wolfram advises the public to use carbon monoxide detectors in their places of residence.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Williamsport City police and the Lycoming County Coroner's Office are investigating the death of a 33-year-old man whose body was found Saturday morning in a home in the 600 block of Spruce Street. Police said they would not release any information about the death at this time. Coroner Charles Kiessling says Jamiel Moyd was found dead just before eleven a.m. Kiessling said there were no outward signs of trauma to the body. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday and that routine toxicology tests also will be done. Moyd did not live in the house where he was found.
(WGRC)

THOMPSONTOWN – State Police are looking for the driver of a truck or SUV that went off a roadway in Juniata County and hit a tree then slammed into a porch of a home and took off. That happened around 1:30 Saturday morning at the home of 61-year-old Donald Wirt of Thompsontown. Police believe the vehicle to be a blue in color Chevy S-10 pick-up truck or Chevy Blazer. The vehicle should have heavy front end damage as it did extensive damage to the porch of Wirt’s home. Anyone with information is asked to call state police, Lewistown.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LITTLE MAHANOY TOWNSHIP - A passenger in a sport utility vehicle that crashed into an embankment Saturday afternoon along snow-covered Sunshine Road near Route 225 in Northumberland County’s Little Mahanoy Township, was flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, while another passenger also was admitted to a hospital. The driver of the vehicle escaped injury in the 1:30 p.m. crash. State police say the vehicle driven by 33-year-old Randall Walters hit the embankment and then rolled over once onto its wheels. Walters wasn’t hurt. His passengers, 58-year-old Michael Farrow was flown to Geisinger; while a 15-year-old boy in the vehicle was taken to Geisinger by ambulance.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LEWISBURG – Police are continuing their investigation into a crash Saturday near Lewisburg in Union County. The crash happened just before noon on Route 192 at Buffalo Crossings in Buffalo Township. Troopers say 82-year-old James Bergen of Lewisburg was taken to Geisinger for treatment of several cuts to his arms and legs following the collision, while 31-year-old Kelly-Ann Kreisher of Mifflinburg was taken to Evangelical Hospital.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MOLINO – A crash in Schuylkill County Saturday afternoon sends a 71-year-old man to the hospital. Police say Raymond Goelbert of Orwigsburg was taken to Schuylkill Medical Center South following the crash just before two p.m. on Summer Valley Road near Molino. Police say Goelbert fell asleep at the wheel of his vehicle then hit two utility poles and a tree before finally coming to a stop.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE - A 24-year-old man was arrested late Thursday night on charges of allegedly threatening to "blow up" the gas pumps at the Minit Mart on Allegheny Street in Jersey Shore with Molotov cocktails. Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police arrested Matthew Bachman for plotting a plan to blow-up the Minit Market and then go to the nearby Tiadaghton Mall to cause major destruction. Police suspect that Bachman planned to barricade himself in the complex and possibly engage in a gun battle with police. Bachman was taken into custody after a search of the home where he was staying turned up guns and items used to make explosives. Police say his roommate alerted police to Bachman’s plan after Bachman became distraught over his relationship with a former girlfriend. Arrested at his place of employment, Bachman is now jailed in the Lycoming County Jail on $400,000 bail.
(WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG - Police in Snyder County are looking for the man that held up the Harvey’s Food Mart Store in Middleburg at gun-point late Friday night. State Police say the man wearing a mask entered a market along Route 522 in Franklin Township just before midnight and took cash from a register at the store. The thief then fled in a vehicle with another suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call State Police at Selinsgrove.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MOLINO – Police in Schuylkill County are looking for the bandit that broke into the Hawk Mountain General Store and gas station along Route 895 in Molino on Saturday. That happened around two a.m. Police say the thief got away with cigarettes and a small amount of cash in that break-in.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILTON - A Milton man is in jail after breaking into a Northumberland County business. Police say 18-year-old Tanner Shade broke into a motorcycle club along Shakespeare Road in West Chillisquaque Township, Thursday around 7:00a.m. Troopers say he stole a motorcycle, along with money, keys, tools and alcohol. Shade is jailed on $25,000 in the Northumberland County Prison.  
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A Williamsport man was convicted of attempted murder by a Lycoming County jury on Friday afternoon. 24-year-old Larry Travers, stabbed Kevin Houseknecht in the neck several times on June 17, 2011 in an overgrown lot near the intersection of Glynn Avenue and Arnold Street in Williamsport. The stabbing was a drug deal gone bad, where Travers planned to steal Houseknecht’s money. Witnesses saw Travers stab Houseknecht, who is currently incarcerated at SCI-Rockview on a parole violation. Travers pleaded guilty to charges this past April. Travers could face ten to 20 years in prison when sentenced.
(WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG - One of three men charged with the beating death of Donald Seebold III of New Berlin in 1997 wants to be tried separately from his co-defendants. The Daily Item reports the attorney for 37-year-old Christopher Aucker of Beavertown has filed a motion that Aucker be tried separately from 36-year-old Robert Reich of Beavertown and 36-year-old Ryan Sprenkel of Middleburg. All three men are charged with homicide, conspiracy and perjury. They are scheduled for trial together in late April. State police say Aucker, Reich and Sprenkel beat Seebold during a birthday party in July of 1997 at the home of Linda Thomas. Also charged with perjury are Thomas and Aucker’s wife Sheila Liddington Aucker. They are accused of lying to a statewide grand jury in 2011 about what happened at the party.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE – In Schuylkill County a Mahanoy City man Friday admitted to causing the crash that claimed the life of another man in September 2011. 40-year-old, Edward O'Boyle admitted Friday in Schuylkill County Court that he was intoxicated when he caused the crash that killed a Mahanoy Area High School Jeffrey Donnelly. O’Boyle pleaded Guilty to charges including homicide by vehicle while DUI and related counts. President Judge William E. Baldwin accepted O'Boyle's plea, but did not immediately schedule sentencing, instead ordering preparation of a presentence investigation.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - Watsontown Borough plans to sue Northumberland County over its decision to no longer fund the use of state constables for prisoner transports. Shamokin has already accepted an invitation to join the suit, and other municipalities that have their own police departments are considering the same. As of January 1st, the county stopped paying for the service, saying it lost more than $104,000 in 2011. But the suit will ask the court to mandate that it's the county's responsibility. Watsontown, like many other municipalities in Northumberland County that have their own police force, are now bearing the responsibility of transporting prisoners to the Northumberland County Courts for processing. At this point it’s not know what other municipalities would join the class-action suit against the County. County commissioners voted 2-1 in November to discontinue paying for state constables, who work as independent contractors, to transport prisoners from the county lockup in Sunbury to district courts for hearings and arraignments. Commissioners say of 67 Pennsylvania counties, only four use constables for transporting prisoners. Municipal leaders who oppose the decision say it simply shifts the financial burden to the local level.  
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – About 60 people who say they were in their right minds jumped into the icy waters of the Susquehanna River Saturday all to benefit the South Williamsport Little League program. The event was held at eleven a.m. at Haywoods on the Water along the river in Williamsport. All proceeds from the event went to South Williamsport Little League and Andrew's Special Kids Foundation. Before anyone took a step into the river, volunteers had to break a hole in the ice as it was completely frozen over. John Engel, treasurer of South Williamsport Little League, said the ice was about 4 inches thick Friday night when he was breaking it up. It again needed to be broken up Saturday morning as another inch had formed. Engel thinks temperatures in the single digits attracted more people than it discouraged. He tells the Sun Gazette, "It's a true polar bear plunge now," he said. "The only thing we need is a polar bear."
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - Dominion Foundation presented a check for $5,000 to the Lock Haven Salvation Army for the "More Than Bread" program serving lunches  Monday through Friday for those in need to an average of 65-70 individuals. Dominion donated $225,000 to area food banks and food pantries to help feed people in need during the holidays, bringing this year's total to more than $425,000. The grants are being made through The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, one of the nation's largest energy producers. Foundation grants are funded by shareholder dollars and are not borne by customers.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - In celebration of Catholic Schools Week, Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Lewistown is preparing to host a pancake breakfast and open house events to raise awareness and support for Catholic education in Mifflin County. Sacred Heart of Jesus School Principal Mike Fitzgerald says Catholic schools encourage the social and personal development of students in an individualized environment. Smaller classes give students a great sense of familiarity with their environment. Most classmates have known each other since Kindergarten, and teachers and students at the school have become a closely knit family. School officials say those relationships offer more than just a sense of security and teachers are better able to identify problems in the classroom and address them with individual students. The pancake breakfast will be held eight a.m. till one p.m. January 27th at the school. The Open House will be held January 31st from six till 7:30 p.m.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State is jumping on the bandwagon with other global institutions and implementing Massive Open Online Courses, otherwise known as MOOCs — noncredited free online college-level courses aimed at large-scale participation. Vice President for Penn State Outreach Craig Weidemann said the university is in the process of starting the program that will be consistent with university priorities and reputation. He said this year would be a test year. Students can join the program through a variety of platforms from tech companies that offer the program. Universities or individual professors offer classes through these platforms, and students sign up for free to take them. Penn State’s World Campus is in its 15th year of existence as an online educational institute, targeting adults with more than 6,000 under- and postgraduates. Penn State plans to announce the program to students and the public this spring, and initiate two or three classes taught by Penn State faculty. The free online classes are estimated to contain up to 200,000 students.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Penn State’s negotiator for civil claims involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky says the school is in talks with 28 people who have brought claims, 18 more than were connected to his criminal case. The Associated Press reports, Ken Feinberg said on Friday that the talks could produce settlements in the coming weeks. Feinberg says nobody has pulled out of the negotiations, and he thinks they will be successful in the near future. PennState announced in September it was bringing in Feinberg, who helped resolve claims from the September 11th terror attacks, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Virginia Tech massacre.  
(WGRC)

PITTSBURGH - Pennsylvania's private landowners could reap more than $1 billion in royalties each year from the boom in natural gas drilling, transforming some lives even as the windfall provides only a modest boost to the broader economy. An analysis by The Associated Press shows royalty payments could top $1.2 billion for 2012 in the commonwealth. Jerry Simmons, the director of the Oklahoma-based National Association of Royalty Owners, says membership is growing fast in Pennsylvania. The group says nationwide gas royalties totaled about $22 billion in 2010. Texas paid out the most, about $6.7 billion, followed by Wyoming at $2 billion, and Alaska at $1.9 billion. Robert Inman, a professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania, says the royalty windfalls are good for individuals, but not a big factor in the overall economy.
(WGRC)