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February 25, 2013

FORKSVILLE – Fire crews in Sullivan County rushed out to battle a fire this morning just north of Forksville. The fire was reported just before eleven a.m. at 486 Norton Road. When crews arrived on the scene they found the home fully engulfed in flames with three-quarters of the home already burned to the ground. It’s not known if anyone was at home at the time of the fire or what the cause of the blaze might have been. The state police were called in to the scene.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

COGAN STATION – In Lycoming County Police say it was an apparent murder-suicide, when a Hepburn Township man and his former girlfriend perished late Thursday night in a burning SUV that the man allegedly set ablaze outside his parents' home along Route 973. Police say 42-year-old Seth Snyder, used an accelerant to set fire to 38-year-old Cherilyn Kephart's vehicle while she and Snyder were in the vehicle about 11:30 p.m. The couple had two children, a 2-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. Police are still investigating and say the final minutes of Snyder's and Kephart's lives remain a mystery at this point.
(WGRC)

SHEPPTON - A Sheppton woman was jailed Wednesday after Schuylkill County detectives charged her with trying to hire someone to kill two people for evicting her. 36-year-old Jamielynn Reilly, was jailed on $50,000 bail. East Union Township police contacted detectives after learning that Reilly was looking for someone to kill Brian Treco and Kelly Feeko, also of Sheppton. Police say Reilly told an undercover detective to make the killings look like a burglary because that is what Treco and Feeko accused her of. During the conversation, Reilly agreed to pay the undercover $500 for the murders.
(WGRC)

MILROY – Five people, including four teens, were taken to hospitals following a crash yesterday afternoon in Mifflin County. That crash happened just before four p.m. on the Siglerville Pike near Milroy. Police say 15-year-old Texxann Hostetler of Lewistown lost control of her car on a curve the car struck some guard rails then went airborne slamming into a tree and landing in a field. Hostetler along with her passengers, 14-year-old Cheyanne Duke of Milroy and 17-year-old Bradley Smith of Lewistown were taken to Lewistown Hospital with minor to moderate injuries. Two other passengers, 21-year-old Fredrick Kneisler of Southampton and 18-year-old Vance Definis of Lewistown were flown to Geisinger Medical Center with major injuries. Police say only one person was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY - A Dalmatia man was taken to Geisinger Medical Center following a crash Saturday afternoon outside Sunbury. State police say 29-year-old Nickalous Anderson lost control of his vehicle on a curve on Boyer Hill Road in Upper Augusta Township around 5:30 p.m.  His car went off the roadway hit a stop sign and then a home. Police say Anderson suffered moderate injuries in the crash.
(WGRC)

TREVORTON - A Sunbury teen was taken to Evangelical Community Hospital following a crash on Route 225 Saturday night in Little Mahanoy Township, Northumberland County. The crash happened around eleven p.m. State police say 17-year-old Shawn Delong lost control of his vehicle and drove off the road, hitting a ditch. Police say he was taken to Evan Hospital with moderate injuries
(WGRC)

ELIMSPORT – Two people were taken to Williamsport hospital following a crash in Lycoming County Saturday. The crash happened around ten a.m. on Sulphur Springs Road in Washington Township. Police say 20-year-old Amarja Sholder of Watsontown suffered moderate injuries and 20-year-old Tiffanie Brown of Baltimore, Maryland suffered major injuries in the crash. Police say the two were passengers in a pick-up truck driven by 21-year-old Timothy Ryall of Greensburg. Their truck went off the roadway and hit an embankment. Police say Ryall was wearing a seat belt while the two women were not.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HUGHESVILLE – A Muncy woman was taken to Muncy Valley Hospital following a crash in Lycoming County. The crash happened just before noon Friday on route 405 near Hughesville. Police say 23-year-old Stacey Wheeler suffered moderate injuries when her vehicle was hit from behind and pushed into the path of another vehicle. No one else was seriously injured in the crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILTON - A Milton man is facing charges including DUI and fleeing police after a crash early Sunday morning in Northumberland County. State police say around 12:30 a.m., they tried to stop a vehicle driven by 18-year-old Jordan McEvoy. McEvoy took off on Route 147 and got onto Route 642 driving through Milton. The police chase ended when McEvoy crashed his vehicle at the intersection of Red Hill and Muddy Run Road. Both McEvoy and his passenger, 29-year-old Jonathan Scott of Milton, had to be cut free of the wreckage and were taken to Geisinger for moderate injuries.
(WGRC)

SHENANDOAH - A woman was seriously injured when she jumped from the third floor window of a burning home in Shenandoah early Saturday morning. A man was rescued from the same house by borough firefighters and climbed down a ladder placed into the window of his row-home on West Coal Street. In less than two hours flames tore through nine homes on West Coal Street and North Jardin Street. Nearly a dozen people were left homeless in the blaze reported around four Saturday morning. The injured woman was taken to Geisinger Medical Center by ambulance. Fire officials say they were met with heavy smoke coming from homes at 36 and 38 West Coal Street. A large home at the southeast corner of West Coal and North Jardin streets was completely destroyed. That building was recently renovated. There was no word on how the fire started and a state police fire marshal says the cause is undetermined due to the amount of damage.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - A mother and daughter were displaced after their Spring Township home went up in flames Saturday afternoon in Centre County. Spring Township police say a grease fire in the kitchen “got out of control and spread to the second level” of the family’s 164 Yarnell Lane home. Bellefonte and Pleasant Gap fire departments responded to the scene. The home sustained “extensive damage.”
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - Additional arson charges have been filed against a Shamokin man. Shamokin Police say 21-year-old James Neidlinger has admitted to them that he came up empty in finding something to steal from the abandoned buildings he entered, and decided to light the structures on fire. Neidlinger, who was arrested January 28th and charged with setting a fire in the 600 block of Sunbury Street, was charged again Wednesday with setting fires at 717 North Shamokin Street in September and at 424 and 426 North Shamokin Street on January 24th. Neidlinger faces an additional 16 felony counts in connection with the two fires. Neidlinger was nabbed at the scene of the January 28th fire and has been in Northumberland County Prison since.
(WGRC)

NEWPORT – Police in Perry County say they’ve caught the man they believed who held up the Dollar General Store in Newport at gunpoint. That happened Wednesday just before nine p.m. Police say 31-year-old Adam Bohn of Newport entered the store with a gun and wearing a mask, demanding money, but did not get any cash before he fled. Police say Bohn was picked-up a short time later driving a stolen car. Police say Bohn stole the vehicle just moments prior to the robbery. He’s now jailed in the Perry County Prison.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

NEWTOWN – Police in Schuylkill County are investigating a robbery that happened around 2:30 p.m. last Tuesday.  Troopers say a 70-year-old Gilberton woman got a ride from Pottsville on route 209 toward Newtown when she was thrown out of the SUV and her purse stolen. The woman told police that she had over $1,200 in the purse when she was forced out of the vehicle near the intersection of Route 209 and Swatara Road in Reilly Township. Anyone with information on then incident is asked to call state police, Schuylkill Haven.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Police in Lycoming County are looking for the thieves that stole over $3,400 in copper pipe from the Kidron plant. Police say the theft happened sometime between February 14th and the 18th at the plant on Seager Station Road in Clinton Township. The copper pipe was then sold to Staimans recycling in Williamsport.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

ROCKVIEW - A New York man faces drug charges after police say they found 12 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle Friday during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 in Centre County. State police say 57-year-old Keith Davis, of Ossining, New York, was stopped for speeding Friday on I-80 in Marion Township. Police said they found 12 pounds of marijuana in a laundry bag stuffed in the truck. Davis was arrested and placed in the Centre County Prison on $25,000 bail.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A former city police officer suspended without pay since 2007 won't get his job back now that the state Superior Court affirmed his conviction Thursday on charges of tampering with public records and obstruction of justice. Thomas Ungard Jr. who was charged along with former police Corporal Dustin Kreitz by the state attorney general's office in June 2007, was lieutenant and in charge of the Lycoming County Drug Task Force. He and a former city police chief used a pickup truck in June 2006, a vehicle forfeited by a drug dealer, for a fishing trip in Canada. Kreitz was not part of the fishing trip but state attorney general's prosecutors determined Ungard made "straw purchases," claiming vehicles forfeited were for third parties, but were actually for himself and family. In July 2011, county jurors found Ungard guilty. Ungard's sentence of 18 months' probation and a $750 fine, imposed on October 12, 2011, had been stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State trustee Anthony Lubrano long has been critical of Louis Freeh’s $6.5 million report that accused former university leaders of covering up abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky. Now, Lubrano — after reading the Paterno family’s rebuttal and the eight-page contract with Freeh’s group — wants to go one step further. He thinks Freeh’s group should give Penn State back at least some of those millions of dollars because the investigators hired by the university’s trustees did not do a thorough enough job. The Centre Daily Times reports, Lubrano says, “It became clear to me that we didn’t get our money’s worth.” Lubrano was elected to the board last year by seizing upon the anger from alumni over the trustees’ handling of the Sandusky scandal. Lubrano plans to raise the question at next month’s board of trustees meeting in Hershey, and he wants a serious discussion in public about it.
(WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE - A number of parents and taxpayers in the Jersey Shore Area School District have formed a "Concerned Citizens" group to challenge the school board on its plans to close one or more schools. The group is urging taxpayers to attend tonight’s school board meeting at 7 p.m. in the district administration building. At that meeting, the school board intends to discuss closing Nippenose Valley Elementary School. The vote to close the school comes about a year after the board decided not to close any school. The board is also looking to restructure grades by moving fourth-and fifth-grade students to the middle school and eighth-grade students to the high school. Ultimately, the plan was tabled for two years because of issues related to state reimbursement amid the ongoing renovation/expansion at Jersey Shore Elementary. The administration says the district is faced with declining enrollment against escalating costs and reduced state subsidies, forcing consideration of significant cost-saving measures that include closing a school or schools and restructuring grades.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Qualified individuals who need help preparing and filing their 2012 tax returns can visit the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at Pennsylvania College of Technology. The free service is available through early April in the Teachers’ Learning Center of the Madigan Library on Penn College’s main campus in Williamsport. Required appointments will be scheduled from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. About a dozen students, most of them accounting majors in the School of Business and Computer Technologies, have been trained – both in-house and by the federal government – and certified as tax preparers. The program is designed for taxpayers who have relatively uncomplicated returns and less than $51,000 in annual income. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 570-321-5544; taxpayers should bring proper identification, required forms (W-2s, 1099s, etc.), Social Security cards, banking information and receipts to document any deductions.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - Commissioner Stephen Bridy believes Northumberland County can save more than $1 million dollars and make government more efficient by replacing the computer system and allowing field workers in certain departments to work at home or from the road. Bridy tells the News Item, an initial investment of $350,000 to $500,000 to install a virtualized private network of computers and purchase or lease laptops or iPads for field workers could save the county approximately $1.3 million annually. He said state funding currently provided to certain departments, along with grants and general fund dollars, would be used to pay for the new software and Telework program. Bridy said he has been studying the computer system issue since attending the National Association of Counties Conference in Pittsburgh in July 2012. He said Tyler Technologies has submitted a proposal to the county to reduce its current annual computer licensing fee and payroll software cost of $60,000 to a total of $10,000 per year.
(WGRC)

SHENANDOAH - In Schuylkill County, dozens of people came out to visit “The Shroud of Turin” an exhibit at St. Michael’s Church in Shenandoah. The replica of the shroud is an exact copy of the one Jesus is believed to have worn during his resurrection, and on Sunday many rejoiced for the chance to see it. Catholics believe the Shroud of the Turin is the piece of cloth wrapped around Jesus Christ in his tomb, right before he rose from the dead. At the church in Shenandoah, the Shroud of Turin exhibit will showcase a replica of the cloth that Catholics believe displays Christ’s body. Pope Benedict the 16th approved nine replicas of the actual shroud, and then sent them out on tours all around the world. The Shroud of Turin exhibit will be on display for the next two weeks at St. Michael’s Church in Shenandoah.
(WNEP)

CATIWISSA - Despite the name of the event at Southern Columbia Area High School Sunday, bowls were indeed filled to the brim with soup. And, with the students raising money for Manna for the Many, even more people will have food on their plates. Thirty-five members of the senior class and art club voluntarily hosted their first Empty Bowl fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday in the high school cafeteria and fed more than 200 people. Casie Baker, high school art teacher, and the art students from grades six through 12 took a month of preparation to handcraft, glaze and paint 250 clay bowls. Guests were asked to keep their selected bowl as a reminder of all the empty food bowls in the world. The soups were made by teachers, students, family members and cooks at Original Italian Pizza in Elysburg and Pine Barn Inn in Danville. OIP also donated bread for 150 people. The event rose over $1,000 for Manna for the Many food pantry which serves the Coal Township/Shamokin area.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - Coming up Wednesday night, area state troopers will take on the roles of waiters and busboys as they once again host the Celebrity Service Night at Applebees in Lewisburg. The service night helps to fund the Susquehanna Valley Law Enforcement Camp Cadet program. The camp teaches boys and girls ages 12 – 15 to focus on teamwork, structure, discipline, and self-esteem.  The camp uses law enforcement to instill those four qualities. Camp Cadet is free for kids, thanks to fundraisers like Celebrity Service Night. Burrows said tipping the troopers Wednesday night will not only help the cadets, but also get you some Applebees perks. “A $10 tip will get you two $5 coupons.  A $20 tip will get you four $5 coupons, and so on. This year’s Camp Cadet program will be held at Susquehanna University on June 16-21. For more information about Camp Cadet, as well as an application to attend, visit SVLECC.com.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - State Senator Jake Corman fired back Friday against the NCAA’s challenge of a freshly signed state law that seeks to keep the $60 million Penn State fine in the commonwealth. Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Wednesday the Corman-authored bill that requires Penn State to pay the fine money into an endowment to be used in child sex abuse prevention programs within the state’s borders. The NCAA filed a federal lawsuit before Corbett’s signature was dry. In the suit, the NCAA argues that the new law violates the Constitution by attempting to disrupt interstate commerce and confiscate funds intended for child sex abuse victims nationwide. On Friday, Corman said the NCAA’s suit will delay Penn State fine money from reaching programs and services that help child abuse victims. Corman criticized the NCAA’s interpretation of the new law and suggested that state-related and public universities should call “for a change in the NCAA leadership and operational standards.”
(WGRC)