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February 5, 2013

MARION HEIGHTS - Two Schuylkill County men were killed and two other people injured in a two-vehicle crash Monday on Route 54 near Marion Heights in Northumberland County. Mount Carmel Township Police say the collision involved an SUV and a pick-up truck. The crash happened just after noon and claimed the life of 92-year-old Charles Carl and 76-year-old Ronald Matejick both of Gordon. Carl was a passenger in the SUV driven by 40-year-old Tina Alexander and was reported to be the woman’s grandfather. Alexander was taken to Geisinger by ambulance where she is listed in fair condition. The driver of the pick-up truck 52-year-old Glenn Meredith of Mount Carmel was flown to Geisinger where he is listed in critical condition.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Students at the Stevens Elementary School in Williamsport were sent home later than expected yesterday after a possible threat was detected outside the school. Williamsport police tell us the school was placed on lock-down shortly before dismissal after security personnel noticed a suspicious individual outside the school in a wooded area with a possible weapon. Police thorough searched the wooded area surrounding the school and after finding nothing determined it was safe for children to be dismissed. The incident caused a 40 minute delay of students being let out of school.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MAHANOY CITY – A three-alarm fire damages the former General Cigar Plant yesterday in Schuylkill County. Fire crews were called out to battle that fire just after two yesterday afternoon. When crews arrived, heavy smoke and flames were seen in one room of the large building at 11 East End Road in Mahanoy City. Fire crews managed to have the blaze under control in about 30 minutes and no injuries were reported. Fire officials tell us the fire was caused when crews working to remove a furnace with cutting torches ignited some plastic in the area of the furnace causing the blaze. The western half of the building is leased to the Schuylkill Historical Fire Society and was not affected by the fire.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - State Police are investigating a house burglary in Juniata County. Police say the break-in occurred late Friday or early Saturday at the home of Gary Bleyer on Arch Rock Road, Mifflintown. Cash and rolls of “State Edition” quarters were stolen. Anyone having information about the burglary is asked to contact State Police at Lewistown.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE – A Danville man has been arrested for breaking into a Montour County church. Police say the break-in happened around 6:30 Friday night at the First Baptist Church of Danville. Troopers say 29-year-old Scott Buckley had removed portions of the church’s security system and was in the process of removing more when he was confronted by church members. He’s charged with felony burglary and related counts and jailed on $15,000 bail in the Montour County Prison.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SHENANDOAH - A Shenandoah man was jailed Sunday after he allegedly damaged $60,000 worth of equipment in operating rooms at Schuylkill Medical Center-South Jackson Street in Schuylkill County. Pottsville police arrested 34-year-old Larry Dettery, on the seventh floor of the hospital shortly after the incident. Dettery was charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief, both felony offenses, and public drunkenness among other charges. Police say Dettery was under the influence of a controlled substance, and was ranting and appeared delirious at the time of his arrest.
(WGRC)

PAXINOS - A car reported stolen in Lehigh County was spotted at the Glosser Motor Inn in Paxinos in Northumberland county overnight Monday, and police soon after had three people in custody and had confiscated 71 bags of suspected heroin, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and other drug items. Police arrested 18-year-old Jordan Detalente, of Bloomsburg, and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Allen Varilek, and 18-year-old Justice Hoffman, both of Slatington. The three had allegedly stolen the car from Bethlehem, along with money, jewelry and other items from a home there.  All three face burglary, theft and various drug charges and are jailed in the Northumberland County Prison.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - Sunbury police have charged a city man with drugging and raping a 14-year-old girl he was baby-sitting over the course of eight months. The Daily item reports, 38-year-old Andrew Moore, was charged Monday with the assault on the girl who was 13-years-old when the abuse began. Police say Moore drugged the girl with Percocet pills to make her sleep before abusing her. The incidents happened at least ten times since June. Police say the girl’s sister witnessed the events and went to authorities.
(WGRC)

PUEBLO LAGUNA, NEW MEXICO – A New Mexico judge recently sentenced the man who struck and killed a bicyclist from Schuylkill County who was riding for a cause. Gilbert Waconda was sentenced to 182 days in jail and 600 hours of community service in the June 2010 killing of 19-year-old John Anczarski of Ringtown. Waconda pleaded guilty in October to negligent homicide. Anczarski was on a cross-country bicycle tour to raise money and awareness for breast cancer when he was hit and killed along Old Route 66 in Pueblo Laguna, New Mexico.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY — A former firefighter for the Potts Grove Fire Department was sentenced Monday in Northumberland County Court to a four-to-nine-year state prison term for his role in setting a barn fire and a truck fire near Milton. The Daily item reports, 35-year-old Charles Jacobs, formerly of Lewisburg, will serve the sentence at the same time he serves a state prison term for similar charges in Montour County. He admitted to the charges in November. Jacobs and 19-year-old Zane Snyder, of the Milton area, were sentenced in Montour County in October. Snyder was sentenced to 58 months to 17 years and Jacobs received 81 months to 18 years in a state prison for setting fires to homes, a barn and a field in that county.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A Williamsport man will spend up to 22 years in state prison for an array of gun crimes, including shooting a dog. The Sun Gazette reports, 27-year-old Anthony Smith Jr., was sentenced to a minimum of 11 years in prison by Judge Dudley Anderson in Lycoming County Court on Monday. Smith was arrested March 30th after a city police raid of his apartment at 325 Mulberry Street found two handguns hidden in the ceiling. The raid came five days after Smith fired a gun at Seneca Mitchell, the father of two children with Smith's girlfriend at the time. Smith was charged with cruelty to animals for shooting a woman's pit bull in his apartment on March 23rd, then chasing it outside the Mulberry Street building and shooting it again. Smith also was charged for pistol-whipping and robbing a neighbor of about $800 on March 19th. Smith will be on state supervision for a decade after he serves his prison sentence.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - A Northumberland County man faces state prison time after being convicted Monday in Schuylkill County Court of breaking into a Shenandoah home in May 2012. 35-year-old Dale Heintzelman, of Bear Gap, was found guilty of burglary, and related counts. Heintzelman is scheduled for sentencing in April. Shenandoah police charged Heintzelman with breaking into 15-17 South Catherine Street on May 5th, and taking $285 and six DVDs.
(WGRC)

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT - The South Williamsport Area School Board adopted a preliminary budget on Monday night for the 2013-14 fiscal year that, at this point, will require an 11.28-percent tax increase. Superintendent Mark Stamm tells the Sun Gazette the increase is due to the unknown number of state dollars the school will get in the upcoming school year. School officials hope to pare down the budget by the end of June. The preliminary budget maintains all current budget categories at their same funding levels, except for required increases in compensation, health insurance and retirement benefits. School officials say over half the budget addresses retirement benefits and health care for school employees.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – Those traveling down Market Street in Lewisburg can now see the first Union County Bicentennial Banner, marking the 200th anniversary celebrations taking place in Union County in 2013. Union County Commissioner John Showers says they have been planning for the bicentennial for four years. Showers says the County isn’t doing anything really new but they are taking existing community events and expanding them by giving them a “bicentennial twist.” Showers says there are about 60 events with the bicentennial officially beginning March 22nd. The celebrations throughout the year will kick off March 22nd, as that was the day that the state general assembly partitioned Union County out of Northumberland County. The bicentennial committee has a website that will feature all of the events taking part during the bicentennial celebration and also an online store for bicentennial items you can purchase. The website is www.unioncounty200.com.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LEWISBURG-The Evangelical Gala, Evangelical Community Hospital’s premier fundraising event, will take place on Saturday, March 9th at Larison Hall on the campus of Bucknell University. The Gala begins at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction, followed by dinner, dancing and a live auction. Proceeds from this year’s Gala will support an effort to establish a comprehensive diabetes care program at Evangelical Community Hospital. According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 26 million adults and children in the United States have diabetes, and that number continues to grow. The comprehensive diabetes care initiative at Evangelical will serve the residents of the Susquehanna Valley by providing support and programs for those with diabetes and offering preventative care for those exhibiting signs of pre-diabetes. Reservations for tickets to the black-tie optional event are needed by February 22, 2013. For more information on the 2013 Evangelical Gala including reserving your seat to support diabetes care, visit www.evanhospital.com/gala.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - Lynn Miller, Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations for Geisinger Health System has been named Honorary Chair of the Susquehanna Valley March for Babies. This year’s event will be held on Sunday, May 5 on the campus of Geisinger Medical Center. March for Babies is the largest annual fundraising event for the March of Dimes, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2013. More than 4 million babies are born in the United States each year and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one of them through research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs. As the March for Babies Honorary Chair, Miller will play an integral role in raising awareness and funds to advance the scientific research and educational programs at the core of the March of Dimes efforts to prevent preterm birth and birth defects. Last year, the Susquehanna Valley March for Babies raised $83,000 through awareness and community support and the commitment this year is to reach $86,000. Susquehanna Valley residents can sign up today at www.marchforbabies.org and start a team with co-workers, family and friends. Last year, more than 900 people attended the event. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - Two counties are participating in a study conducted by PennDOT to look at options involving public transportation. Northumberland and Montour counties will be part of the study, which will look at consolidation and cooperation opportunities. Transportation officials say the study is voluntary and is expected to take about a year. Participating counties will not have to pay to participate in the study. The daily item reports, Union and Snyder counties have not made a decision about participating in the study. Snyder County commissioner Peggy Chamberlain-Roup and chairwoman of the Community Action Agency Joinder board, which governs the he Union-Snyder Transportation Authority, says the Authority already works with neighboring counties to meet residents’ transportation needs and studies its efficiency frequently. She says the Authority already supplies that data to PennDOT, which could be used in any efficiency study the organization wants to conduct.  
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen Kane has appointed a former federal prosecutor to take on the review of how her predecessors handled investigating Jerry Sandusky, a promise the state’s top law enforcement officer made on the campaign trail and parlayed into a win at the polls. Kane announced on Monday the appointment of H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr., who will report directly to her and have the internal review as his only responsibility. In addition to Moulton’s eight years as a federal prosecutor, he has worked as a law professor and he compiled a report about the failed federal raid of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993. Kane has said she will release the findings when the investigation is complete. She has said the investigation would review any and all pieces of information, such as grand jury transcriptions, evidence, media leaks, police reports and interviews.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Despite a report released last week from the Department of Environmental Protection saying they could find no instances of dire pollutants or adverse conditions that would place the Susquehanna river on a list of impaired rivers, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is urging anglers and boaters throughout the Susquehanna River watershed to contact their members of Congress to demand action to fix the Susquehanna River. The fish and Boat Commission says there mounting evidence presented by the commission that demonstrates that the river is sick and needs help, including the ill health and declining numbers of smallmouth bass in the river. The Commission is urging residents and anglers to contact members of Congress and heads of the Environmental Protection Agency to have the Susquehanna River put on the list of impaired rivers. For more information, go to the Commission’s website at fishandboat.com/susq-impairment.htm.  
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania motorists can now show their support of veterans by purchasing a new license plate. The new "Honoring Our Veterans" plate which was approved last year features an image of the American Flag and bald eagle and costs $35.00. Fifteen of those dollars will be donated to the veterans trust fund. The plate is available for passenger cars and light trucks up to 10 thousand pounds.
(WGRC)