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February 8, 2013

UNDATED – A "mostly all snow" event is expected to start off our Friday as a powerful winter Nor'easter, dubbed "Nemo" by The Weather Channel, moves northeast along the coast. The National Weather Service in State College says a fast moving "clipper" system arriving from the east will combine with the bigger storm moving up from the south to bring as much as two to five inches of snow to the region, especially in areas north and east of the Susquehanna River’s north branch. Parts of the region are under a winter storm warning, other parts are under a winter storm advisory. The further west you travel the less snow is likely. The storm, which the weather service has been watching for a couple days, is on track to impact New England the hardest, where snow will be measured in feet, not inches. High winds are expected are expected with the storm as well creating drifting snow. The storm should wrap up by early morning Saturday making for a mostly dry weekend, but another frontal system will make things a little messy on Monday. That one will start out as a mix, going to all rain with temperatures topping out in the 40s.

WILLIAMSPORT – Fire crews in Williamsport rushed out to battle a two alarm kitchen fire yesterday afternoon. The fire was reported around 1:30 at 831 Elmira Street. A couple escaped the double-home unharmed. A tenant who lived in the other half of the home also made it out. Moments after they got out of the home the window of the kitchen exploded and smoke poured from the building. The cause of the fire remained under investigation, but city Fire Chief C. Dean Heinbach said the fire is believed to be accidental. Smoke alarms are credited with alerting the home’s residents to the blaze. The fire caused extensive damage to the home. Crews remand on the scene for about four-and-a-half hours battling that fire. A second fire Thursday broke out at remote home west of Elimsport just before seven p.m. When volunteer firefighters arrived at the blaze in the 3800 block of Gap Road, the house was engulfed in flames and had already partially collapsed. It was unknown if anyone was in the Washington Township home. The fire was declared under control about 90 minutes later.

MILL HALL – A crash Wednesday in Clinton County sends one person to the hospital. The crash happened just after seven p.m. on Eagle Valley road near Mill Hall. State Police say 41-year-old Jodi Brown crossed the center of the roadway and sideswiped one vehicle before plowing into a second vehicle nearly head-on. Brown was flown from the scene to Geisinger Medical Center. No one else was seriously injured in the crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Authorities investigating an armed robbery at Kranich’s Jewelry Store in downtown State College think they caught a break last week when a man was arrested during a strikingly similar heist in North Carolina. North Carolina, police arrested 41-year-old Rodger Williams, of Philadelphia, as he was fleeing a jewelry store robbery there. Two other suspects eluded police and remain at large. Kranich’s Jewelers on East College Avenue in State College was robbed January 9th by three masked men. Police say they have recovered evidence that links the crimes. Williams is being held at the Wake County Public Safety Center, in Cary, North Carolina where he faces robbery charges. State College police are working with the FBI in trying to bring Williams back to Pennsylvania to face charges.  

BLOOMSBURG — A Bloomsburg mother of four made her kids smoke synthetic marijuana, drink booze and watch pornography. 33-year-old Jaria Price says the accusations are baseless and stem largely from a “history of custody battles” she’s waged with her estranged husband. Price sent her charges of child endangerment and related counts onto Columbia County Prison. Arrest papers also point to an abusive relationship between Price and boyfriend 35-year-old Adam Madara, who was charged in prior domestic fights in the presence of the children. The Press enterprise reports, Madara is presently in state prison, serving one to two years for assaulting another man in Bloomsburg in November 2011.

LEWISBURG - A 24-year-old man faces felony and other charges after he oversaw a bath in which a 2-year-old girl was so badly burned that she had to be flown by medical helicopter to the Lehigh Valley Burn Center. Stephen Childress has been ordered to stay away from the 2-year-old and her mother. The child also suffered bruises, scratches and a bite on her foot. He is charged with a felony count of child endangerment among other charges. Childress is free on bail.

MILTON –Little ones from Robinwood Day Care, in Milton, had their eyes wide Thursday as they warmly accepted a donated computer. The kids and staff picked it up at the Central PA Chamber of Commerce, which has been housing refurbished computers to benefit area organizations. The computers come courtesy of MeGive, headed by Conor Quinlan and Michael Levan, also of MePush, in Lewisburg and Bloomsburg. Maria Culp, President and CEO of the Chamber, says the computer, “will enhance their abilities to provide quality early learning experiences for their students.” Culp added, “As a Chamber of Commerce, we love connecting our members in ways that are mutually beneficial. Working with Conor and Michael to provide computer equipment to our member non-profit agencies at no cost is a win-win.”

MILL HALL -In a much-anticipated move, Keystone Central School Board approved a fast-track investment of $130,000 toward public school safety Thursday evening. The board's action at its meeting was a response to last month's recommendation by Superintendent Kelly Hastings who said the action was a necessary speeding up of the district's long-term plans in the aftermath of the Newtown Connecticut elementary school massacre. The express reports, among the recommendations made by Chief District Resource Officer Brandon Coleman are the replacement or upgrading of outdated camera systems and continued efforts to continue providing key and security card access to work places.

DALMATIA - A third meeting to help students transition to new building alignments in the Line Mountain School District next year was held Thursday night in the Dalmatia Elementary School. While the first two meetings set up what the district plans to do to help build a sense of unity while the district undergoes significant changes to the elementary levels, this meeting was held to start ironing out specific details on those activities planned in the last several months. Elementary schools in Leck Kill and Dalmatia will close at the end of the school year, and all students in grades kindergarten through fourth will be housed at Trevorton, where an addition will be constructed this spring and summer. Also as part of the $3.4 million plan, an addition will be built to the seventh- and eighth-grade wing at the junior-senior high school in Mandata, which will also then house all of the district's fifth- and sixth-grade students. Additional transitional meetings will be held March 6 and April 11 at the auditorium at Trevorton.

WILLIAMSPORT - A housing development at Brodart warehouse site on Memorial Avenue in Williamsport took another step closer to becoming a reality Thursday night. City Council approved an agreement with Lycoming County that will use $140,000 of gas impact fees in the demolition of the vacant building so a private developer may build 40 apartments and 32 townhouses at Memorial Avenue and Oliver Street. The money will be used to demolish the building, remediate the vacant former industrial site and get it pad ready and suitable for residential use. The Sun Gazette reports, the housing development is considered to be a component in the city's need to find affordable and mixed-priced housing - as it has been impacted by natural gas industries influence on housing costs and availability. The site will be used by the Greater Lycoming Habitat For Humanity to build two single-family dwellings.

LEWISTOWN - The Mifflin County Commissioners on Thursday approved crafting a letter of support for the rehab and memory support addition project being planned at the Valley View Haven Retirement Community in Belleville. Randy French, Valley View executive director, tells the Sentinel, the letter of support is a requirement from the United States Department of Agriculture, which is where the facility is applying for financing. The plan is to construct a 40-bed addition to the nursing home, 20 of which will be dedicated to the care of residents suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, and 20 more for the facility's short-term rehabilitation program. French said the expansion program in Belleville will coincide with the eventual closure of nursing home services at the Malta Home in Granville, which Valley View also owns.

ALLENTOWN - PPL Electric Utilities is preparing for a winter storm expected to arrive today and last into Saturday to safely respond to customers who may lose service due to accumulating ice and snow.  PPL is activating the company's central Emergency Response Center Friday morning to coordinate system-wide preparations and response and regional emergency response centers with their operating and support staff. The company is also alerting all storm response personnel to prepare for extended shifts and around the clock operations Friday through Saturday and holding all contractors working on the system to be available for support. The power company has also called 100 utility workers from its Kentucky affiliates, Louisville Gas&Electric and Kentucky Utilities to arrive Friday afternoon to assist in power restoration efforts, if needed. Customers are advised to contact PPL Electric Utilities if they lose service - 1-800-DIAL-PPL .

BLOOMSBURG - The Bloomsburg Area YMCA has taken the wraps off their improvements over the past few months. Executive Director Roger Brown says he expects a pretty good turnout for the refurbished building's open house. The open house is this Sunday afternoon starting at one p.m. It features tours of the main building and the field house, with plenty of activities taking place.

HARRISBURG – The Department of Environmental Protection announced today that it has awarded $17.8 million in recycling grants to 131 municipalities and counties for developing and implementing recycling programs. Through the grant program, municipalities and counties in Pennsylvania are eligible for up to 90 percent funding of approved recycling program costs. Municipalities that are designated financially distressed under the Financial Distressed Communities Act are eligible to receive funding for an additional 10 percent of approved costs. This is the 53rd round of grants being awarded since the inception of the Pennsylvania Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act in 1988, also known as Act 101. Those counties in the WGRC listen are that received grants are:
Centre County; Bellefonte Borough, $218,660; College Township, $33,904; Philipsburg Borough, $30,771
Clinton County; Lock Haven City, $196,269
Columbia County; Scott Township, $250,000
Mifflin County; Mifflin County Solid Waste Authority, $163,426
Northumberland County; Lewis Township, $24,324; Ralpho Township, $30,397; Sunbury Municipal Authority, $249,242
Schuylkill County; Rush Township, $52,201; Schuylkill County, $177,940
Union County; Union County, $108,632

KENNETT SQUARE – Governor Tom Corbett, joined by leaders of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, announced Thursday that the proposed 2013-14 budget will maintain funding for the school’s nationally renowned veterinary education and research. The proposed budget will provide level funding for the state’s only veterinary institution, including $27.8 million for veterinary activities and $248,000 to the Center for Infectious Diseases. Corbett says, “Its training for large animal veterinarians and pioneering research is invaluable to Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry.” Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s leading economic driver, with more than 62,000 farms generating $67 billion in economic impact and supporting one-in-seven jobs.

PHILADELPHIA – Governor Tom Corbett Thursday signed an Executive Order establishing the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease State Planning Committee. The committee will work to create a state plan to address the growing Alzheimer’s disease crisis in Pennsylvania. Corbett signed the executive order at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. The school’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center is one of two Pennsylvania centers funded by the National Institute of Health for advanced research in Alzheimer’s disease. Through this funding, dramatic advances have been developed for more effective therapies in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Over 400,000 Pennsylvanians are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Someone new is diagnosed every 69 seconds in the United States. Secretary of Aging Brian Duke will serve as the chairperson of the committee that will examine the needs and research the trends of Pennsylvania’s Alzheimer’s population. The committee will include representatives from various state agencies as well as those personally impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. They will have one year to develop a planned approach for Pennsylvania relating to Alzheimer’s disease and other related brain disorders.