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February 21, 2013

SELINSGROVE - A man called Snyder County 9-1-1 this morning and told them he just lit a fire and that, " The voices inside his head told him to start the fire." The fire located at One White Block Studio just South of Selinsgrove Borough in Penn Township was located in a 15 by 20 shed. Fire crews first to arrive around 6:30 a.m. found the shed fully involved and endangering a mobile home. State Police and Mental Health officials also responded to the arson fire and took the man into custody. No injuries were reported and crews made quick work putting out the fire.

Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MUNCY - A Muncy police officer and a neighbor who is a volunteer firefighter rescued a disabled man from his burning home on John Brady Drive just outside the borough early Wednesday morning. The rescue occurred hours after a Hepburn Township family of five escaped their burning house on Crescent Hill Road after being awakened by smoke alarms. Gary Davis was rescued by Muncy Patrolman Anthony Oeler and neighbor Mark Schneider about 4:30 a.m., within minutes after his mother, Shirley Davis, discovered a fire on the second-floor of the Muncy Creek Township home they share. Several cats were rescued from the fire as well. Most of the fire was confined to the second floor. Fire officials say the blaze caused about $45,000 in damages and has been ruled accidential as it started in a second-floor closet where clothing left on a heat pipe ignited. Another family displaced was Adam and Becky Corter and their three children who were routed from their home at 954 Crescent Hill Road just before midnight, Tuesday. The couple was awakened by smoke alarms that were activated by a fire that originated in the basement of the two-and-half story brick home. The family escaped without harm. The entire back of the house was engulfed in flames when crews arrived. That fire too was ruled an accident and started in the basement and was electrical in nature. Damage was estimated at $250,000.

(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - When Old Lycoming Township Police investigated a suspicious vehicle on Wednesday morning, they found more than they were looking for. After discovering that the vehicle had been reported stolen, officers searched the truck and uncovered more than $8,500 worth of crack cocaine. Now 19-year-old Tyrice Bowen, of Philadelphia, faces felony charges for receiving stolen property and possession with intent to distribute narcotics, as well as other charges. Police say the SUV had been reported stolen in December. Bowen is now jailed on $100,000 bail.

(WGRC)

NEWTON HAMILTON - A Mount Union man was arrested for possession with intent to deliver heroin at 110 Church Street, in Newton Hamilton. State Police say 27-year-old Dustin Spennati was arrested after an investigation by a state police drug unite on December 1st, 2012. Police say Spennati is lodged in the Mifflin County Prison on $100,000 bail.

(WGRC)

SHENANDOAH - Two men were arrested by Shenandoah police on Tuesday and charged in connection with a January 14th shooting in the borough. Police say 21-year-old Keshon Canyon, of Shenandoah, and 22-year-old Jesus Chagolla-Arreaga, of Hazleton, are charged with two counts of aggravated and simple assault, and related counts. Canyon is jailed on $75,000 straight cash. Canyon was already in Schuylkill County Prison on a charge of intimidation of a witness in connection with the same case. Chagolla-Arreaga was taken into custody by state police at Hazleton on Tuesday night, and jailed on $50,000 straight cash bail.  Police say the incident that led to the charges occurred on East Centre and Bower streets where officers responded to reports of shots fired and several people fleeing the scene. Jeffrey Maurer was identified as the target the shooting. Maurer was not injured.

(WGRC)

SUNBURY - After more than 20 hours of testimony, a 22-year-old state prisoner who represented himself in Northumberland County Court, convinced a jury to acquit him of five of six charges after he said he was defending himself when being attacked by guards. While the jury convicted Dashaun Jamison, of York, of one count of aggravated assault for a November 2010 incident at the State Correctional Institution at Coal Township, one by one jurors said they were impressed with how he presented his case. Jamison, an inmate at Northumberland County Prison, does not have a law degree, he doesn't even have a high school diploma. Jamison was charged by state police at Stonington following a November 2010 incident at the State Correctional Institution at Coal Township in which two guards were taken to the hospital. Jamison insisted he was being mistreated and set up to get beaten by prison guards. He said was defending himself in striking the guards.

(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A $15 million grant to Columbia County will help protect two major businesses, and nearly 1,000 jobs, from flooding. On Wednesday Matt Erskine, U.S. deputy assistant secretary for economic development and U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta delivered the news at the Autoneum plant on West Fifth Street.The grant, to Columbia County, will help build flood control systems, which will include flood walls, possibly moving utilities, moving a waterway, if necessary, and installing pumps. The flood control system will protect Autoneum along with nearby Windsor Foods.

(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - Union and Northumberland counties are among 40 sharing in more than $18.7 million the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will invest in watershed protection projects. Union County Conservation District will receive over $353,000, while Northumberland County Conservation District will get $356,000. Union County will use $180,000 for work on Buffalo Creek, and $173,000 for work on waterways throughout the county. The grant to Northumberland County Conservation District is for work on Schwaben Creek and Hallowing Run. The DEP protection projects are intended to improve watersheds, storm water runoff, acid mine drainage and educational programs, among other environmental efforts.

(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Elected officials from several municipalities agreed Thursday night that steps are being taken to help the Greater Lycoming Emergency Services Alliance Committee gain ground. The organization, which includes fire departments from the city, DuBoistown, Montoursville, South Williamsport and Old Lycoming Township, was formed a few years ago to explore ways that volunteer and paid fire departments could save costs and increase manpower. A state Department of Community and Economic Development consultant's recommendation last month advised departments to continue seeking ways to pool resources while bringing borough councilmen and township supervisors into the mix. Some of those discussions took place Thursday at a meeting of the Lycoming-Sullivan Boroughs Association. Lycoming County Commissioner Jeff Wheeland tells the Sun Gazette volunteer fire departments are faced with dwindling membership and an increasingly older volunteer base. Younger recruits brought into volunteer departments often leave after a few years - usually due to family and work demands. Meanwhile, paid departments - such as the city's - often struggle with available funding to purchase new equipment or to pay for additional firefighters. John Yingling, county director of public safety, who also oversees the county's 911 center, said some volunteer departments have found success with a live-in program that houses college students at the fire station while they perform tasks and respond to calls, but college students leave after their schooling is done. Yingling says the alliance would cover about half of the county's population.

(WGRC)

SOUTH CENTRE TWP. — Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech directors will likely scrap the idea of launching a lottery system for admitting students. Officials this week also discussed future expansion of the school so more students could enroll. Directors are discussing an admission system that would mirror what Vo-Tech already does, with one change: Students who fail to achieve a minimum score of 45 in the first round of the application process would have the opportunity to file an appeal with a committee of administrators and teachers. Lawyers hatched this new plan after hearing opposition about a lottery from parents, alumni and some Vo-Tech board members. Those opponents contend picking names from a hat would unfairly deprive top-achieving and well-deserving students from attending the school. Lawyers got involved after parents of a special-needs student at Southern Columbia threatened to file a discrimination lawsuit against Vo-Tech for rejecting the student. Under the new system if a student scores poorly on an application due to poor school attendance and fails to make the initial cut, the student could schedule an appeal to explain absences. Discussion Tuesday about a new admission policy prompted parents and alumni to call for an expansion of the Vo-Tech so more have an opportunity to learn a trade. Board members said expansion has been a back-burner topic for years. School Administrator William Forsythe tells the Press Enterprise, he is putting together a proposal to fund a long-term study that may include the acquisition of some nearby property for expansion.

(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - The Lewistown Hospital yesterday lifted its visitation restrictions on children under the age of 18. The hospital will continue to monitor flu activity and will impose visitor restrictions as needed.  Visitors of all ages are still urged to use good judgment when visiting. If you are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms such as coughing, sore throat or runny nose, you are being asked to please not visit the hospital. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and need to be at hospital, you are asked to please wear a mask.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - Next year's USCA National Canoe and Kayak Championships will be run from the boat launch in Lock Haven. The event is scheduled for August 12th to the 17th, 2014. It won't be the first time for this section of the river to host the nationals. The event was a success here in 1987 and in 1998. During the USCA Nationals week, sprint and orienteering events will be held near the boat launch, including a 500-meter sprint near Veterans Bridge at Jay Street, Tuesday through Thursday. Long-distance events are scheduled Friday through Sunday. The course for the marathon races is an 11-mile loop beginning with an upstream start at the boat launch area and heading for a turn-around buoy at Farrandsville. The course features a variety of water conditions and challenges, including a 100-yard stretch of Class I/II rapids at Queens Run. Competitors range in age, and youth events also are scheduled.

(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - Former Penn State and NFL Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris wants Penn State President Rodney Erickson to restore the wall honoring decades of the Nittany Lions football team achievements. The wall was removed as part of the dismantling of the Joe Paterno statue in July.  Harris says ,“The wall represents a rallying point for the Penn State community and is important to everyone connected with Penn State football: players, students, fans, faculty and alumni.” “Those on-field accomplishments, including last year’s team, should be honored on the same wall," Harris says. A Penn State spokesman said the university has not received a request from Harris to restore the wall. The location of the statue and the wall remain a mystery. The football tribute wall was built in 2001, and it had plaques with season-by-season records of the Nittany Lion teams. Harris said he was proud to be represented on the wall and that tearing it down was equivalent to “tearing down every player’s history.”

(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - The executive search firm Isaacson, Miller will help Penn State leaders select the successor to President Rodney Erickson. The university announced Wednesday, that the firm, which has helped recruit presidents at Ivy League schools and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was told to make its search “as broad as possible” and to go after top-notch “traditional and nontraditional leaders.” Penn State trustee Karen Peetz is chairing the internal group overseeing the process. Peetz says the Board of Trustees have engaged Isaacson Miller because the expertise and experience they possess reflects the type of search the Board wishes to conduct. tThe 66-year-old Erickson, has said he will retire by June 30, 2014.

(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The NCAA wasted no time in challenging a new Pennsylvania law designed to keep the $60 million Penn State fine over the Jerry Sandusky scandal in the state, filing a federal challenge to the legislation hours after Governor Tom Corbett signed it Wednesday. State and congressional lawmakers have objected to use of the NCAA fine to finance child abuse prevention efforts in other states. The Associated Press reports, the complaint asks a federal judge to throw out the Pennsylvania Institution of Higher Education Monetary Penalty Endowment Act, saying it violates provisions of the U.S. Constitution. It also asks for an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced. The NCAA lawsuit claims the new legislation is unconstitutional because it directs state officials to collect money to which the state is not entitled. It argues the state has no legal right to abridge the contract between the NCAA and Penn State and says the new law tries to regulate transactions by out-of-state entities in violation of the Commerce Clause. NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement saying that it was important that the organization's members abide by its rules and that college sports would be "dramatically altered" if others are responsible for deciding what penalties are appropriate.

(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Advocates say technology is leading the way to help the 1.6 million Pennsylvanians without a high school diploma finish their basic education. C.T. Turner, with GED Testing Services, says internet-based classes are typically more successful than traditional classroom learning. He says 60 percent of students who fail a test will re-take it, if it's based online. A recent study by Georgetown University reveals next year 63 percent of jobs will require education beyond a high school diploma. The GED, or General Educational Development test, brings students up to speed in reading, writing, social studies, science and math. Nationwide, about 40 million people have not earned their high school diploma.

(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The state attorney general is asking lawmakers for a roughly $12 million budget boost. About a week after Attorney General Kathleen Kane upended the Corbett administration’s effort to privatize the lottery, she’s warning lawmakers of a different threat if her office doesn’t receive more money. Mexican drug cartels and child predators were the buzzwords of Kane’s remarks to the Senate Appropriations Committee. To fight such crime, she asked for $6 million to add staff. Kane said an additional $6 million will be needed to compensate for the 7.8 percent increase in her office’s expenses, bringing her total request to more than $12 million. The governor had proposed to flat-fund the Office of the Attorney General. Kane said that would necessitate about 57 layoffs and possibly some closed offices. Her warnings of drug gangs and roving child predators overshadowed questions about her office’s decision to flunk the lottery contract in a routine legality test, but Kane affirmed that such a rejection is a rare occurrence.

(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Wegmans has issued a recall for its own brand of flour. The supermarket chain says that the 5 pound bags of its All Purpose Bleached Flour may contain small, blue polyurethane balls. Wegmans say the balls can be seen easily because of their bright color and size. The flour was sold in stores between December 24th and February 15th.

(WGRC)

WASHINGTON D. C. - The US Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that BBU Incorporated, the parent company of Bimbo Bakeries has issued a nationwide recall of multiple bread brands because they may contain flexible wire from a faulty screen.  The recall involves among others Aldi L'Oven Fresh Hearty 12 Grain bread and Strohmann Dutch Country 100% Whole Grain bread.
The recall involves:
    Sara Lee Multi-Grain Thin Style Buns with best buy dates prior to and including Feb. 17 sold in California;
    Aldi L'Oven Fresh Hearty 12 Grain bread with best buy dates prior to and including Feb. 20 sold in Arkansas, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia;
    Farm Bread All-Natural Multi-Grain bread and Harmon's 100% Multi-Grain Wide Pan Over-Baked bread with best buy dates prior to and including Feb. 20 sold in Utah;
    Arnold Dutch Country 100% Whole Grain bread with best buy dates prior to and including Feb. 20 sold in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia;
    Arnold Healthfull 45 Calories Per Slice Multigrain bread with best buy dates prior to and including Feb. 20 sold in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia;
    Brownberry Healthfull  45 Calories Per Slice Multigrain bread with best buy dates prior to and including Feb. 20 sold in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia;
    Brownberry Dutch Country 100% Whole Grain bread with best buy dates prior to and including Feb. 20 sold in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia;
    Brownberry Grains&More Double Protein bread with best buy dates prior to and including Feb. 20 sold in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia;
    Brownberry Healthfull Nutty Grain bread with best buy dates prior to and including Feb. 20 sold in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia;
    Stroehmann Dutch Country 100% Whole Grain bread with best buy dates prior to and including Feb. 20 sold in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia;
    Earthgrains 12 Grain Natural bread in all states; and
    Sara Lee 12 Grain Bread Hearty&Delicious in all states.