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February 11, 2013

UNDATED - The National Weather Service in State College has issued a "Freezing Rain Advisory" for the region until about 9 a.m. today. The area of impact includes most of central Pennsylvania, where a light glaze of ice can be anticipated due to the freezing rain. The rain began early this morning. Untreated roadways are expected to be slippery and drivers are recommended to use caution, especially on bridges and overpasses, where slippery spots develop first. The rain should end by noon today over most of the state.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - A Kulpmont woman died Saturday from injuries suffered in a car accident on Tuesday on Route 61 near Coal Township Wal-Mart. 73-year-old Hazel Rooney, had been listed in critical condition at Geisinger Medical Center. Rooney was a passenger in a car driven by her son, Howard Splitt Sr., of Mount Carmel, that collided with a northbound SUV that had crossed into their lane of travel. Splitt and two others in the SUV have been treated and released from Geisinger following the crash.
(WGRC)

DUNNSTOWN - Police in Clinton County are investigating a report of a stabbing Friday night. Police say just before eight p.m. a man and woman forced their way into the home of Macara Pullins on Woodward Avenue in Dunnstown. Police say while the man forced Pullins onto the floor the woman stabbed her in the right thigh. Pullins was taken to Lock Haven Hospital where she was treated and released.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - A Pennsylvania Furnace man was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle crash Sunday morning near the intersection of North Atherton Street and Buffalo Run Road, in State College. Police say 45-year-old Cory Slick, lost control of his pick-up truck around 4:45 a.m., sliding off the roadway and crashing into sign. Police are continuing their investigation into the crash.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT- For the second time in three days, a working smoke alarm was credited with alerting an area family Saturday night when a fire broke out in their Old Lycoming Township home. The fire heavily damaged the home of Vince and Chris Bruno and their two children. All four safely made it out of the house at 2227 Fox Street just before 10 p.m. after Vince discovered a fire in a first-floor bathroom. Smoke was pouring from the home on two sides when township police arrived on the scene. The Bruno’s are expected to be displaced for several weeks until repairs are made. The local chapter of the American Red Cross is helping the Bruno’s, who are staying with friends until they can find a temporary home. The fire has been ruled accidental and damages are estimated to be around $70,000.
(WGRC)

ELIMSPORT - A man rescued his disabled wife from their burning home near Elimsport in Lycoming County, Thursday night after the couch in their living room caught fire. Authorities say the fire in the 3000 block of Gap Road was caused by a dropped cigarette. The structure was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene. There were no reports of injuries. The home was destroyed. Concerning another fire on Thursday, investigators have estimated the damage to the home in the 800 block of Elmira Street in Williamsport at $100,000. Williamsport Fire Chief C. Dean Heinbach says the fire originated in the area of an electric stove in the kitchen. The fire has been ruled accidental.
(WGRC)

PINE GLEN - State Police are considering filing animal abuse charges against the owner of several cattle found dead due to starvation in Centre County. Friday morning, county officials called in two, out-of-county animal control officers to help expedite the investigation on a farm where close to a dozen cattle have died. Police say it was obvious the herd of cattle at the farm had been neglected for a long time. The farm is near the village of Pine Glen. Good Samaritans have been showing up with hay to feed the remaining herd. The farm, except for the cattle has been vacant for months.
(WGRC)

MUNCY – A Lycoming County man was held for court on charges of attempted homicide and related counts Friday. 60-year-old William Hellenthal is facing those charges for the December incident where he walked in on his estranged wife while she and her boyfriend were watching television together at threatened both with a shotgun. The incident happened at a home on Beaver Run Road, just south of Beaver Lake, in Penn Township, Lycoming County. Hellenthal fired the gun in the home but no one was hurt, as the boyfriend disarmed Hellenthal and held him till police arrived. Hellenthal remains jailed without bail.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Lycoming County is considering a $40 million plan to build a new county jail outside the city of Williamsport. Prison construction consultants Carter Goble Lee and Ebensburg architecture firm L.R. Kimball presented a design to the county Prison Board Friday morning for a 538-bed, one-floor facility that combines the county prison and Pre-Release Center at one site. The plan projects 23-percent growth in Lycoming County's inmate population over the next 15 years and calls for a new, combined 348-bed jail and 190-bed Pre-Release Center. The county prison, at 277 West Third Street, has 255 beds and no room for expansion. The Pre-Release Center at 546 County Farm Road, Montoursville, has 137 beds. One possible location for a new prison is on land already owned by the county at its farm complex, which is home to several county offices, the county department of public safety and the Pre-Release Center. Lycoming County Commissioner Jeff Wheeland said he didn't know what would become of the existing prison, but indicated that the Pre-Release Center could not be incorporated into a new structure because of the building's inefficiencies.
(WGRC)
 
MONTOURSVILLE - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is making technical and financial assistance available to Pennsylvania landowners looking to improve wildlife habitat on their land. The initiative is looking to create wildlife habitat for animals that are in decline here in Pennsylvania. Funding is not guaranteed for all interested parties, but is based upon availability and environmental benefit/need. After February 15th funding may not be available again until 2014. A presentation on the program will be open to the public at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 13th, at the Lysock Complex, 542 County Farm Road. To make reservations for the program, contact Representative Rick Mirabito’s office at 570-321-1270.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN – For the past 19 years the Central Pennsylvania World Hunger Association has been conducting their annual meat canning project in Mifflin County. Secretary for the Canning project Rick Esh says this year they plan to can 30,000 pounds of turkey thighs for the world’s hungry. But they need help, and that’s where you come in. Esh says they need people to prepare and can the meat as well as funds to help defray the costs of the project. If interested in helping the project starts today and runs through Thursday, and Esh says you’re invited. Esh says the canned meat will then be distributed by the Mennonite Central Committee and ten percent of the canned meat will stay within Central Pennsylvania. For more information call Esh at 717-667-2643. Monetary donations toward the project can be sent to World Hunger Association, P.O. Box 76, Bellville, Pa. 17004
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - State College Area School directors may need a 3.2 percent increase on property taxes in the next fiscal year to balance the district’s $120 million budget. That could mean, on average, an $85 increase on taxpayers’ bills. The school board is scheduled to vote on the proposed tax increase at a meeting tonight. The approval would not necessarily set the tax rate, but it would give the board the power to raise taxes up to that percentage by June, when budgets have to be finalized. The district would not have to get voter approval for the proposed tax increase.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Joe Paterno's family released its response to Penn State's report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal Sunday, attacking Louis Freeh's conclusion that the coach hid sex abuse allegations against his longtime assistant. In a report commissioned by the family, former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh said the investigation by former FBI director Freeh resulted in a "rush to injustice." That report, authorized by the university, found that Paterno and three former administrators covered up child sexual abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The Associated Press reports, the family says, those findings last July were unsupported by the facts. Months in the making, the report was billed as an independent analysis of the work by Freeh, who defended his report Sunday.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Louis Freeh is standing by his report. The former FBI director issued a statement Sunday after the release of the Paterno report to address concerns and defend his work. Freeh called the Paterno report “self-serving,” and said his team made ample attempts to contact the key witnesses in the case including Joe Paterno, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. The Centre Daily Times reports, Freeh as saying, “Although Mr. Paterno was willing to speak with a news reporter and his biographer at that time, he elected not to speak with us.” Freeh says documents submitted by the Paterno's were included in his report.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is making technical and financial assistance available to Pennsylvania landowners looking to improve wildlife habitat on their land. The initiative is looking to create wildlife habitat for animals that are in decline here in Pennsylvania. Funding is not guaranteed for all interested parties, but is based upon availability and environmental benefit/need. After February 15th funding may not be available again until 2014. A presentation on the program will be open to the public at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 13th, at the Lysock Complex, 542 County Farm Road. To make reservations for the program, contact Representative Rick Mirabito’s office at 570-321-1270.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - Montoursville Mayor John Dorin has announced that he will not seek a ninth term. Dorin, a Republican, said serving the people of the borough for so many years has been a pleasure. Dorin tells the Sun Gazette, he may become more involved in the Pennsylvania State Boroughs Association. Dorin is a past president of the organization and also served as chairman of its legislative action committee. He also has served as president of the Pennsylvania Association of Mayors and as a member of its executive board. Dorin, a native of Taylor in Lackawanna County, became mayor in 1982.

(WGRC)

MIFFLINBURG - While the latest winter snowstorm blacked out much of the Northeast, the dusting the Valley received was a blessing for Raymond B. Winter State Park’s "Snow Fest." Park manager, Mike Crowley says there were easily 900 people who attended the event. While the snow was only about 2.5 inches deep, there was enough for skiing, winter mountain biking, animal demonstrations and winter-themed arts and crafts. A record-breaking 220 racers participated this year, in the annual 3.5 mile race around the park.  (WGRC)

 HARRISBURG - Major changes are in store under Governor Tom Corbett's budget proposal for the state health centers which provide flu shots and other services to the public. The governor's plan calls for closing an undetermined number of the 60 county-based centers for an estimated savings of $3.4 million and adopting a strategy where teams dispatched from regional centers would deliver services in communities or at well-attended community events such as festivals and fairs. Although the number of physical locations will be reduced, health officials said they will be able to increase access to health services with a more mobile approach that relies on new technology and better use of staffers. The change will lead to the elimination of 50 positions. Lawmakers are seeking more information about the proposal with House and Senate appropriations committee hearings on the budget starting later this month.
(WGRC)

GETTYSBURG - A proposed four-year contract covering 5,500 faculty members at Pennsylvania's state-owned universities is headed for a ratification vote by the union rank and file. The leadership body of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties endorsed the contract agreement Friday at a meeting in Gettysburg. The faculty members of the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education have worked without a contract since June 2011. Faculty members are expected to vote on the contract in early March.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - A controversial plan to change the way the state allocates its electoral votes to presidential candidates is getting regular beatings from state Democrats, but it doesn’t seem to be gathering much steam among Republicans. The proposal would keep the winner of the state’s popular vote from taking all 20 electoral votes – instead, each candidate’s take would be based on his or her share of the popular vote. Governor Corbett hasn’t taken a position on the plan. So far, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi has only signaled his intent to introduce such legislation with a co-sponsorship memo. If the plan had been in effect in Pennsylvania last November, Senator Pileggi’s spokesman has said President Obama would have gotten 12 electoral votes, not all 20, based on his share of the popular vote. State Democratic lawmakers are calling the proposed change a way for the GOP to sidestep the issue of its waning voter base.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Governor Tom Corbett will challenge the NCAA’s motion to dismiss his federal antitrust lawsuit that seeks to overturn the sanctions against Penn State. James Schultz, the state’s general counsel, defended the lawsuit in a statement Friday, saying his legal team is preparing a response to the NCAA’s request for federal Judge Yvette Kane to throw it out. The NCAA said in the motion Thursday that the governor does not have legal standing to file the lawsuit. The NCAA also said the sanctions do not violate antitrust laws as the governor had alleged. Corbett filed the lawsuit on January 2nd in federal court in Harrisburg. Corbett accused the NCAA of going outside its rules when it punished Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky criminal case. He said the sanctions that include a $60 million fine, a 4-year bowl ban and a loss of scholarships violate antitrust laws and will weaken the team.
(WGRC)