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March 25, 2013

ORWIGSBURG – A six year old child died in a crash as she and her mother were leaving Faith Church in Orwigsburg , yesterday morning. The crash happened around 11:30 at the entrance of the church along route 61 in West Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County. State Police say 27-year-old Victoria Place, of Minersville, remains in critical condition at the Lehigh Valley Trauma Center. Police say Place was exiting the church when her vehicle was hit by a 17-year-old Schuylkill Haven boy. A six year-old girl in Place’s vehicle died after being flown to Lehigh, while a three-year-old girl remains at Lehigh in critical condition after being flown there, also. The 17-year-old boy was taken to Schuylkill Medical Center. Police are continuing their investigation into the crash. People from the church stood in shock on a grass hill overlooking the accident scene.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

NORTHUMBERLAND – Three people were killed in a three vehicle crash which happened Friday on Route 11 in Point Township, Northumberland County. The Northumberland County Corner identified one of the crash victims as 85-year-old Faye Kieffer, of Dornsife. Police say 60-year-old Jeffery Robinson of Northumberland was taken to Geisinger where he died moments after the crash. Keiffer’s husband 83-year-old Derl Keiffer died Saturday after being taken to Geisinger Medical Center. The driver of the third vehicle 78-year-old David Sickle, of Sunbury was taken by private vehicle to Sunbury Community Hospital where he was treated and released. The crash happened just after 11:30 a.m. Route 11 was closed for nearly three hours after the crash near the intersection with Ridge Road.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN – A Jersey Shore man died in a crash in Clinton County over the weekend. The crash happened just after one Saturday morning. State police say 22-year-old Skylar Wool died in the crash on route 150 in Woodward Township. Police say Wool lost control of his car which then skidded down a section of the highway shearing off a utility pole. Police say once Wool’s car hit the pole it became airborne and slammed into several trees and bushes before landing in the backyard of a home at 518 Guardlock Road. Wool died at the scene of the crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Police in State College are continuing their investigation into two pedestrian crashes over the weekend. The first happened around 2:30 Saturday morning. Police say a 20-year-old Penn State student was crossing North Atherton Street at the Mitchell Ave intersection when he was hit by a car. The sober driver stated she never saw the pedestrian until impact. The pedestrian was alert and conscious when police and medics arrived on scene. He was flown from the scene to Altoona Regional Trauma Center due to head trauma. Then around 9:30 p.m. a 19-year-old State College man was crossing the Elmwood/College intersection when he was hit by a car. The driver stated the pedestrian ran out in front of him and he could not avoid impact. The pedestrian was alert and conscious and was taken to Mt. Nittany Medical Center and then flown to Altoona Regional Trauma Center due to head trauma.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

PETERSBURG - A Belleville boy is dead and his mother hospitalized after the boy's father, 52-year-old Kenneth Ayers, shot them early Saturday morning during a routine custody visit at a house near Petersburg in Huntingdon County. The Sentinel reports, Ayers began fighting with his estranged wife, Hollie Jo Ayers, of Belleville, who arrived with their two-year-old son Michael. Police say the woman was shot in the legs, right arm and face and flown to Altoona Regional Medical center, where she remains in stable condition. After killing his son and disabling his wife, Ayers shot at his mother and missed. He fled the rural home and was on the lam for several hours before a State Police found his body in his parked truck off Route 550 in Warriors Mark Township. The incident happened around nine a.m. Saturday.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - An early morning stabbing Saturday in Lewisburg has put one man behind bars and another in surgery at Geisinger Medical Center. Buffalo Valley Regional Police have charged 31-yer-old Sean Russavage, of Lewisburg, with felony aggravated assault among other charges. Police say he stabbed a 19-year-old man outside the victim’s home in the 200 block of St. John’s Street around 3:30 a.m. Russavage is jailed on $50,000 bail.  Meanwhile the victim, 19-year-old Marcus Cotto remains in critical condition at Geisinger Medical Center.  A Milton man is in critical condition, and a man from Lewisburg is jailed on felony assault charges after a Saturday morning stabbing. Buffalo Valley Regional Police say the victim is 19-year-old Marcus Cotto.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A Williamsport teenager faces attempted homicide charges after allegedly shooting his father on Stinson Avenue in Williamsport on March 12th. The Sun Gazette reports, victim was hit once and remains hospitalized for his injuries. 18-year-old Jeremy Drummond Jr., has been charged with criminal attempted homicide, and related counts. Drummond Jr. was arrested during a traffic stop in Lewisburg following a pistol whipping incident Saturday in Lewisburg at a home on Eighth Street. Drummond is jailed in the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $350,000. Police say the senior Drummond was shot once in the abdomen by his son. He was initially taken to Williamsport Hospital then to Geisinger where he is recovering after the shot damaged his liver. Now concerning the incident in Lewisburg three others have been arrested after they broke into a home and pistol whipped two who lived there. Aaron Johnson, 19-year-old Jabri Brown, and 17-year-old Antonio Carpenter have been arrested for their part following a mass police response from local and state police. Carpenter is also alleged to have been involved in the escape of two Easton men accused of shooting to death Terell Littles near the Pennsylvania College of Technology campus on January ninth following a drug deal gone sour.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - A woman allegedly stole jewelry worth more than $8,000 from her grandmother and jewelry valued at nearly $700 from her mother. State police at Milton also charged a man who had lived with the woman who knew of the thefts. Police charged 22-year-old Kimberly Lander, with two counts of theft and receiving stolen property from her grandmother, 65-year-old Carol Cashner of Liberty Township, from July 7th, 2012 to January 29th. She was also charged with theft and receiving stolen property from her mother, 43-year-old Jennifer Moyer, also of Liberty Township, during the same time  period.  Police charged 28-year-old Gregory Hummer, with two counts of theft and receiving stolen property as well. The Daily Item reports, Hummer knew Lander had taken many pieces of gold jewelry from Cashner and Moyer and that she took it to pawn shops in Bloomsburg and sold it. Police say Lander gave Hummer items purchased with the proceeds from the gold sales.
(WGRC)

MOUNT PLEASANT MILLS – Police say someone tried to get into a pharmacy  in Snyder County early this morning. State Police say just after five a.m. someone used a brick to smash a window of the Shade Mountain Pharmacy to get into the pharmacy likely to steal drugs. Police say the bandits were not successful at stealing any narcotics. A small grey four-door car was seen leaving the pharmacy shortly after the window was smashed. Anyone with information on the break-in is asked to call state police, Selinsgrove.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SELINSGROVE – Police in Snyder County are looking for the thieves that stole around $500 worth of electrical ballasts from a Snyder County business. Police say sometime between o0ne and six a.m. Friday someone took the ballasts from SRS Electrical Company located along Mill road in Monroe Township. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call Selinsgrove State Police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LAURELTON – Police are investigating the theft of over $8,300 worth of flooring from the West-end Fairgrounds in Union County. The theft of the flooring was discovered Tuesday. Police say 20 pieces of the flooring was taken between February 14th and earlier this month. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call state police, Milton.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

PAXINOS - A cigarette is to blame for causing extensive fire damage to the basement of a Northumberland County home Sunday morning. The home at 337 Ash Road in Shamokin Township was reported around one a.m. The fire at the home occupied by Sharline Bognacki and Ron Gessner caused extensive damages. The New Item reports, a lit cigarette placed in a waste bin is the likely cause of the accidental fire which caused around $20,000 in damages.
(WGRC)

CASTANEA – A second fire in the same place in Clinton County. That’s what fire investigators are saying about Saturday's fire at the first Quality tissue plant in Castanea.  The fire was reported just after one p.m. at the plant. The fire started in a dust collection system. The fire started in the same place and in the same system as a fire March 5th at the plant which makes tissue paper.  Crews were back in service around 3:30 p.m.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILTON — A man and his wife are homeless after a Friday night fire destroyed most of the interior of their home at 167 Dougal Street. Homeowners Robert and Kim Rauch lost everything in the fire including two pet cats and two dogs. Fire investigators say the fire was accidental and that it started from an overloaded surge protector. Robert Rauch said he returned home from work around 8 p.m. and noticed smoke coming from behind his computer. The fire caused extensive damages and fire officials say then home is a total loss.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - Fixing up a Lewistown landmark is underway to re-use the former Hotel Lewistown. The building, at 20 South Main Street constructed in 1936, was shut down in 2010 and has sat idle until just recently when a local business man, Joe Gagliardo, decided it was time for a change. Gagliardo is no stranger to these types of projects, having been involved with the rehabilitation of the Chestnut Street Apartments, which he also owns. The Hotel Lewistown will be transformed into Ansal Apartments, named for the owner's parents, Antonietta and Salvatore Ansal. What was 78 hotel rooms will become 22 apartments in a combination of one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations. Gagliardo said he kind of had his eye on the building since the moment it closed and saw the potential it would have with a little bit of work. Gagliardo estimates the project will cost around $575,000. Workers are currently gutting the building, while at the same time attempting to preserve some of the fixtures in the lobby and entrance way. The sentinel reports even the old elevator door, with the Hotel Lewistown emblem, will be preserved.
(WGRC)

COAL TOWNSHIP – Lower Northumberland County residents who suffer minor injuries and illness will soon have a new option for after-hours treatment. Geisinger Careworks urgent care center is being developed inside the expanding Ressler Center on the campus of Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital. The facility is expected to be open from 4 to 11 p.m. weeknights and longer on weekends. Anyone needing treatment for minor aliments at a time when their physician's office is closed can skip the emergency department and go to Careworks. The News Item reports, hospital officials say the facility will offer quicker service and lower costs compared to emergency departments. It will also free up emergency department staff for more serious cases.
(WGRC)

NORTHUMBERLAND – A nearly one-and-a-half million dollar resurfacing project along 2.5 miles of Route 11 in Northumberland County is set to start the week of April 1. The work will also include drainage improvements, guiderail upgrades, and two new layers of blacktop, paved shoulders, and new pavement markings. The work along Route 11 starts at the intersection with De Gruchy Avenue in Northumberland Borough and ends near the intersection with Bulk Plant Road in Point Township. This section of Route 11 is wide enough to accommodate one lane of traffic in each direction during the project. There will, however, be a restriction for over-width loads. Any loads over 14 feet wide will be prohibited from traveling through the work zone from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, weekdays. The work may cause some traffic delays so drivers are reminded to plan accordingly. All work is scheduled for completion by June 19th.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - PennDOT is seeking public input on a proposed short-term detour planned during two future bridge replacements on Route 287 in Lycoming County. PennDOT plans to implement the detour for Route 287 traffic between Salladasburg and Brookside during two separate one-week periods. The bridges on Route 287 to be replaced during those periods are located over Funston Run in Cummings Township and over Lawshe Run in Cogan House Township. Using the detour will significantly shorten the construction schedule. The total length of the detour from one end of the bridges to the other is 31 miles. PennDOT is asking the public to share any concerns about the proposed detour, in writing, to Design Project Manager Noah Bauer in Montoursville by April 5th. Correspondence can be sent via e-mail to nbauer@pa.gov.
(WGRC)

CATAWISSA - The Central Columbia school board is considering teacher layoffs, slightly larger class sizes at the high school and a property tax hike to eliminate a projected $1 million budget deficit for 2013-14. Overall, the school board will consider cutting up to seven positions. Superintendent Harry Mathias tells the Press Enterprise that when factoring in retirements and transfers of job duties, the cuts would put up to only four people out of work. Mathias will recommend several staffing cuts at the board’s April 1 public meeting. Mathias said his recommended cuts, which he has informed the teachers union about, would reduce a $1 million deficit by about $345,000. Mathias says that while state law prohibits districts from shedding personnel strictly to save money, lower enrollment will allow for reductions.
(WGRC)

SPRING MILLS - The Penns Valley school district is inviting residents to join in on a county-wide discussion in April focusing on school safety. Penns Valley has partnered with the Bald Eagle, Bellefonte, State College and Philipsburg-Osceola area school districts and Penn State on a forum that will be steamed live online and in each of the communities. Experts will discuss how community advocates and researchers can collaborate to prevent tragedies in schools – like the one in Newtown, Connecticut. The forum will take place April first at 7:30 p.m. at the Outreach Building on the University Park campus. Residents in Penns Valley can do so by attending the live streaming at the high school auditorium, watching online, or registering to watch the event in person on the Penn State campus. The deadline to register is March 27th.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE — An arbiter has awarded contractor E.R. Stuebner more than $100,000 that had been withheld from the company by the Danville Area School District. The Daily item reports, the  school district may yet pursue further legal action, and school officials contend the district was justified in not paying the contractor, whom they contend did not complete work on the Danville Primary School. Stuebner was awarded the low-bid contract for the construction of the Danville Primary School, which cost roughly $23 million. While the school reached substantial completion in time to be open for the start of the 2011-2012 school year, the district claims several items were left unfinished, including landscaping around the school.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Despite an announcement earlier this year that The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission planned to close two fish hatcheries in Central Pennsylvania to cut about two million dollars in cost, the Board of the Commission voted at a special public meeting today to keep its Oswayo and Bellefonte hatcheries open for at least two more years while the agency pursues a long-term funding source through the General Assembly. The Commission announced January 25th that it would close the Oswayo and Bellefonte hatcheries by the end of 2014. The Oswayo State Fish Hatchery is located in Coudersport, Potter County, and Bellefonte is in Centre County. Each has nine employees.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission have released their official deer harvest report card for 2012-2013. The commission says in the state’s 2012-13 seasons, hunters harvested an estimated 343,110 deer, which is an increase of about two percent from the previous seasons’ harvest of 336,200. Of that umber 133,860 were antlered deer, an increase of about five percent from the previous license year’s harvest of 127,540. Also, hunters harvested 209,250 antlerless deer in 2012-13, which is a slight increase over the 208,660 antlerless deer taken in 2011-12. Bureau of Wildlife Management personnel currently are working to develop 2013-14 antlerless deer license allocation recommendations for the April meeting of the Board of Game Commissioners.
(WGRC)