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March 26, 2013

WHITE SPRINGS – Fire crews from Mifflinburg and surrounding communities rushed out to battle a fire last night at a home in Union County. The fire was located in the 1800 block of Penns Creek Road near White Springs. The fire started in the kitchen area of the home owned by Miles and Kathryn Maxfield. Reports say the fire destroyed the kitchen area and much of the rest of the house was heavily damaged with smoke and water. The Maxfield’s are staying with family members until repairs can be made to their home.    
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

ORWIGSBURG - A tragic crash Sunday morning in Schuylkill County has claimed the life of a second victim. Three-year-old Catrina Williams, of Minersville, died Monday afternoon at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest after she was taken off life support. Her sister six-year-old Carianna Kroh died at the Lehigh Valley Hospital after being flown there from the accident scene late Sunday morning. Both children were passengers in a car Breeze driven by their mother, 27-year-old Victoria Place, of Minersville, that was hit broadside by another vehicle on Route 61 at the entrance to Faith Church in Orwigsburg. Place was also taken to Lehigh, where she remains in critical condition. A 17-year-old Schuylkill Haven boy was taken to Schuylkill Medical Center for treatment of nonlife-threatening injuries after he hit Place’s car. The crash remains under investigation. The Republican Herald reports, a memorial fund has been set up at Sovereign Bank to help offset the funeral and other costs for the family. Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at any Sovereign Bank location to the Carianna and Catrina Fund.
(WGRC)

ELYSBURG — Five people were taken to Geisinger Hospital following a four-vehicle pile-up on Route 54 in Northumberland County yesterday afternoon. The crash happened right around 2:30 p.m. and involved a tractor trailer, two cars and a pick-up truck. The one car, a Ford Mustang was crushed by the rig. Police say the crash happened when the tractor trailer hit the rear of the of the Mustang crushing it and sending part of the car across the roadway, slamming head-on into another car which was then struck in the rear by a pick-up truck. Police have not yet released the identities of those involved in the crash as they continue their investigation. A section of Route 54 around the accident was closed for about six hours, as police investigated and crews cleared the scene.  
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

PORT ROYAL – Two from Juniata County were taken to the hospital last evening following a crash in Juniata County. The crash happened around 7:30 p.m. on Lions Club Park Road in Milford Township. Police say 21-year-old Gordon Goshorn and his passenger 18-year-old Sarah Campanini were both taken to Lewistown Hospital. Police say Goshorn lost control of his vehicle which went off the roadway and hit a tree spinning it into the air. The vehicle then landed on its wheels alongside the roadway.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MAHANOY CITY -  A prisoner at the State Prison facility at Mahanoy City is facing additional charges after he called a woman on the outside and asked her to smuggle heroin and suboxone into the prison for him. Police have charged inmate Waylon Drey with criminal solicitation and contraband charges for the incident between January and February of this year. Drey remains jailed in the state prison.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - The second man wanted in connection with a pistol-whipping and robbery last week in Bloomsburg, turned himself in Monday. The Press Enterprise reports, 22-year-old Samuel Jeannot, turned himself into Bloomsburg Police. Police say he along with 24-year-old Carlin Edwards, are accused of hitting Bloomsburg University student Jeffrey Rush in the head several times with a handgun, knocking him to the ground while Rush pleaded with the men for his life. Jeannot, a senior biology major at Bloomsburg University, told police he was on spring break visiting family in New York and did not realize he was wanted by police. Police say he was arrested two years ago for theft in Philadelphia and is still on probation for that charge. Jeannot is jailed on $100,000 pending a preliminary hearing.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - The jury trial for a Port Royal man accused of sexually abusing three children got under way on Monday in the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas. The sentinel reports 57-year-old George Reynolds, is charged with over 40 counts of sexual abuse of children. The charges stem from an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police who allege Reynolds abused a now-14-year-old female, now-13-year-old male and now-7-year-old male between 2005 and 2011 at two separate locations in Juniata County. Police also found child porn on two computers in Reynolds’ home.
(WGRC)

PHILADELPHIA - The lawsuit filed by Victim 6 from the Jerry Sandusky case will be allowed to proceed, a federal judge in Philadelphia said Monday. Judge Anita Brody denied Penn State’s and The Second Mile’s request to stay the lawsuit filed by the young man Sandusky forced to shower with him in a campus shower in 1998. The decision was the first stay Penn State has lost on a civil suit from an abuse claimant. In her court order, Brody said she ruled against the university and the charity because the young man “has already waited a long time for justice and would be burdened with further delay.” Lawyers for Victim 6 sued Penn State, The Second Mile and Sandusky in federal court in January, and Penn State’s lawyers asked for the stay, saying their defense would be hurt without the testimonies of former university officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE —Nine months after being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys — a scandal that destroyed the once unimpeachable reputation of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno — Jerry Sandusky is again claiming he did nothing wrong. The Associated Press reports, Sandusky has rarely spoken about the allegations, although he has consistently maintained his innocence since his November 2011 arrest. The latest statements came Monday in portions of a taped interview aired on NBC’s “Today” and transcripts posted on the web site of a filmmaker who aims to clear Paterno’s name. In the interviews, the former Penn State assistant coach denied having inappropriate contact with the boys, although he acknowledged he may have “tested boundaries.” “Yeah, I hugged them,” Sandusky said, according to transcripts posted on the filmmaker’s site. “Maybe I tested boundaries. Maybe I shouldn’t have showered with them. Yeah, I tickled them. “I looked at them as being probably younger than even some of them were. But I didn’t do any of these horrible acts and abuse these young people. I didn’t violate them. I didn’t harm them.” Although Sandusky’s comments aired and posted Monday were given to a man endeavoring to clear Paterno’s name, the late coach’s family has distanced themselves from the statements. Wick Sollers, a Paterno family lawyer, said in a statement that Sandusky’s statements are  “transparently self-serving and yet another insult to the victims.” “The Paterno family would prefer to remain silent on this matter, but they feel it is important to make it clear that they had no role in obtaining or releasing this recording,” Sollers said. “Moreover, they believe that any attempt to use this recording as a defense of Joe Paterno is misguided and inappropriate.”
(WGRC)

LINDEN - The Route 220 corridor between Jersey Shore and Williamsport has experienced a high number of severe crashes over the last decade. Improving safety along this corridor is challenging due to the large number of at-grade intersections, drives and median openings. As a result, PennDOT is initiating an access management study for the corridor. The primary purpose of the study is to identify access changes to improve traffic safety. In the coming weeks, PennDOT officials, the Federal Highway Administration, local municipal officials and the state police will conduct a field review for the corridor. The purpose of the review is to identify problematic locations along the corridor and observe driver behavior in the field. As the study progresses, focus group and public meetings will be scheduled in the summer.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY – A more proactive effort to address properties in Sunbury before they get blighted, was unveiled by mayor David Persing during Sunbury City council meeting yesterday.  Mayor David Persing announced Phase II in his blight removal plan. Part of the plan has the Codes office working directly with the Redevelopment Authority  at addressing properties that are headed downhill. The Daily Item reports, Council also voted to hire a part-time position to help in the code office. The two offices will develop a list of properties that have unsightly issues and the home owners will be contacted to make improvements to allay blight. The issues will include bad sidewalks, unsafe structures on property and outside maintenance issues. The Mayor also says the city has at least 25 properties in the Northumberland County Court system waiting for a judge to rule on whether or not the city can take control of the homes.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN – If you get a parking ticket in the borough of Lewistown, expect to shell out more cash to pay the fine. The Lewistown Borough Council adopted Ordinance 2013-2, at its regular Monday meeting. The new ordinance increases parking ticket fines from $5 to $15 for overnight and street sweeper violations and allows a seven-day period from the issuance of the ticket for it to be paid.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - The Bellefonte waterfront revitalization project is officially off the ground. The Industrial Development Authority held a special meeting Monday to kick off the project after the sale was finalized on the final property standing in the way of the initiative. The borough’s grand vision is to develop the land along Spring Creek into a boutique hotel and a high-rise apartment complex, but it must first build a flood wall. The Centre Daily Times reports, two engineering firms attended the meeting Monday to lay out plans and get feedback from borough officials on what they would like to see. One project is a six million dollar floodwall along Spring Creek. Money for the project will come from a $3 million state grant and a local match from the borough which will largely come from a bulk water fund from the sale of water to Milesburg. Borough officials hope to get started on the flood wall by spring 2014.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT  -Some 50 people marched 12 miles through rain and snow to the Williamsport office of state Senator Eugene Yaw to protest drilling for natural gas on Pennsylvania forest lands. Members of the group PennEnvironment sponsored the walk. Petitions bearing some 10,000 signatures were taken to Yaw's second-floor office on Pine Street. The Sun Gazette reports, Yaw was not present to meet with the protesters. The marchers arrived in the city at about 4:30 p.m. Their journey began at 11 a.m. at Wallis Run and Butternut Grove roads near the Loyalsock State Forest trail head. Anadarko Petroleum reportedly is in negotiations with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to drill for natural gas in the Rock Run area of Loyalsock State Forest. PennEnvironment is among the organizations and individuals opposing drilling.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A business in Columbia County unveiled an $8.5 million flood protection wall Monday. Employees said work on the project started four years ago, and means job security for some 400 workers. Workers at Kawneer in Bloomsburg said they worried the company would shut down its plant in Columbia County after the flood of 2011. Now there’s a ten-foot flood wall in place, designed to protect the entire facility from future flooding and to protect jobs. Employees at Kawneer, as well as state and local officials dedicated a flood protection wall in Bloomsburg. The ten foot high wall surrounds the company on Ferry Street.
(WNEP)