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March 27, 2013

DIAMONDTOWN – Another violent crash in lower Northumberland County today closed Route 61 in Diamondtown. The crash happened just after nine a.m. on Route 61 in Mount Carmel Township. Witnesses at the scene say a ten wheeler loaded with coal dust was likely coming down the hill in Diamondtown entering Mount Carmel when it went off the roadway hit a parked van a trucks and another vehicle before smashing through part of Greco’s Service Station and Auto Parts center and a block wall. Tony Greco, owner of the business tells us he was downstairs when the truck took off the doors and smashed the windows of his business before going through the wall coming to rest partially over the wall. The driver of the rig was hurt but was up and walking around the crash scene. Greco says it sounded like thunder when the truck went smashing through his business. Route 61 was closed and was expected to remain closed for several hours in Northumberland County.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

ELYSBURG - A New York couple remains in critical condition today after their Ford Mustang was crushed between a tractor-trailer and another car near Elysburg, Monday afternoon. Richard and Brenda Shaw of Johnson City, New York, were taken to Geisinger after firefighters cut them from their mangled Mustang. Three people from Shamokin were also injured in the Route 54 crash when their car was struck head-on by the Mustang as it was forced into the opposite lane. A nursing supervisor at Geisinger tells us, the driver of the car David Wolfe Sr. was listed in serious condition at Geisinger this morning while his son David Jr. was released from the hospital. Wolfe’s wife Judith Wolfe was treated and released, shortly after the crash. Meanwhile the driver of the pick-up truck, Ricardo Contreras of, Danville, and the driver of the tractor trailer, David McGunn of Paxinos were not hurt.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BARNSVILLE – A man was taken to St. like’s Hospital in Coaldale after a crash involving his motorcycle. That happened just after four yesterday afternoon on Barnsville Drive in Ryan Township. Police say a vehicle driven by 48-year-old Karen Lorady pulled out into the path of the cycle driven by 23-year-old Chauncey Cunningham of Mahanoy City. Police say Cunningham suffered moderate injuries in the crash. Lorady and a passenger were not hurt.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY - A Milton man will spend 2 to 5 years in prison for copper thefts in Northumberland County and is waiting to hear how much time he will serve for similar thefts in Union County. The Daily Item reports, 41-year-old Dennis Russell, of Milton, was sentenced in two separate cases Monday in Northumberland County Court. Russell was charged in September with breaking into a home on Lincoln Street and a home at North Front Street, both in Milton, and causing severe water damage when he stole the copper pipes from the homes without turning off the water. Russell also is facing jail time in Union County, where he pleaded guilty to nine counts of burglary after being charged with breaking into at least four homes in Lewisburg. The homes are rented to Bucknell University students. Police say Russell sold the copper for cash to support a drug habit.
(WGRC)

LOGANTON -A 54-year-old Loganton man is in prison today, charged with sexually assaulting two young girls numerous times in 2005. The Express reports, David Wynn sent his charges on to Clinton County Court. Police say he assault an 8-year-old and 9-year-old. He’s jailed on $150,000 bail.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - Multiple charges have been filed against a Perry County man accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 10-year-old girl in February 2012. 51-year-old Dennis Walton, of Millerstown, faces a dozen felony counts of suspected child abuse against a ten year-old girl several times. Walton is in the Mifflin County Jail on $50,000 bail.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - A jury reached a split verdict after two hours of deliberation in the case of a Port Royal man facing over 30 felony charges involving the sexual assault of three children. George Reynolds was acquitted of all charges pertaining to two alleged victims, a now-14-year-old female and a now-13-year-old male. Judge Kenneth Mummah also dismissed a number of charges, mostly affiliated with a third alleged victim, a 7-year-old boy who froze on the witness stand. However the Sentinel reports, Reynolds was convicted on 25 of the 32 possession of child pornography charges filed against him. Reynolds remains jailed in the Mifflin County Prison and is expected to be sentenced on the child porn charges in June.
(WGRC)

NEW COLUMBIA – A Williamsport man is facing felony drug charges after police stopped his vehicle in union County and found him with over a pound of marijuana and over $1,600 in suspected drug money. Police have charged 21-year-old Anthony Manire with drug possession with intent to deliver and related counts. State Police say Manire was pulled over along route 15 in White Deer Township for speeding. A check of the car Manire was operating found the marijuana and cash. Police say Manire was also driving the vehicle without being licensed.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY - Northumberland County, commissioner chair Vinny Clausi says they need to move fast on a plan for a new prison. Clausi said he was at the prison Sunday and Monday and said there is a major problem at the facility, but would not say what those problems are. Clausi says the county faces millions of dollars in lawsuits if a new prison isn’t built quickly. Reports say, Northumberland County has already settled several million dollar lawsuits and Clausi says the County cannot keep going down that road. Clausi believes a new prison could be built for $35-million with a two-mill tax increase to Northumberland County residents. In a rare moment Commissioner Rick Shoch agreed with Clausi that the time to move forward on alternative prison housing is now. He recommended looking at Union County’s new Day-center and Clinton County’s new prison facility.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY – U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta officially opened an office in Sunbury Tuesday. The office is located at 106 Arch Street. Redistricting led to Barletta to cover Northumberland and Montour Counties and he says they have already heard from many constituents from the area. Barletta says he’s heard from folks in his district on everything from guns, and immigration to budget issues. The building also houses the office of State Representative Lynda Schlegal-Culver who was also at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Before cutting the ribbon Barletta said he’s proud to represent Northumberland and Montour Counties and is glad he has a place where residents can get services from the state and federal government through one centralized office.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – If you are a patient of Susquehanna Health System you can now view your health records online. Susquehanna Health now offers its patients MyKeyCare, a secure online tool to gather, store and manage health information from a tablet, smartphone or computer. Through MyKeyCare patients can view results of common diagnostic and lab tests, emergency room visits and reports from surgical procedures performed in a Susquehanna Health operating room. A MyKeyCare record may contain a patient’s primary care doctor’s name and phone number, allergies, medications and ongoing health conditions. Information in MyKeyCare is password-protected and viewable only by the patient or by someone the patient designates. MyKeyCare is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the goal of improving communication between doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare professionals.
(WGRC)

MILTON - The Milton State Police will be holding their 28th Annual Golf Tournament to Benefit Susquehanna Valley Law Enforcement Camp Cadet. The date of the tournament is May 6th at the Wynding Brook Golf Club located along route 405 just North of Milton. The cost is $75.00 per person of $300.00 for a group of four and includes a full breakfast and dinner, refreshments and snacks, golf cart rental and other prizes. Registration is required by April 8th. All proceeds benefit the Susquehanna Valley Law Enforcement Camp Cadet program. For more information contact Trooper Matt Burrows at the State Police Milton Barracks.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Lycoming College held its ninth annual Relay For Life on Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, in the College’s Recreation Center. The event raised just over $24,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society. The Lycoming chapter of Colleges Against Cancer hosted the event, which had a birthday theme. Clubs and organizations decorated birthday party-themed tables and provided snacks, activities and a variety of entertainment during the 12-hour walk-a-thon. Students and faculty competed in volleyball, dodgeball, a cupcake decorating contest and trivia. Also during the event 15 people donated 8 inches or more of their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization that provides free hairpieces to cancer patients.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - Governor Tom Corbett made a brief stop Tuesday at the Williamsport Regional Airport to hear from local officials how Act 13 natural gas drilling impact fees are being used in Lycoming County. The stop in Montoursville was one of three in the region. The governor toured facilities in State College and Pleasant Gap before making the trip to Montoursville, where administrators showed him plans for a new terminal building that will use $1 million of Act 13 funding. The Sun Gazette reports, the governor said natural gas drilling has created thousands of direct jobs in Pennsylvania while generating more than $200 million in Act 13 fees in 2012, the first year of the legislation. Another $260 million is expected to be distributed in July. Corbett says money generated from Act 13 turned out to be twice the amount predicted. While in Pleasant Gap the governor visited the new Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology facility that will allow the school to vastly expand its natural gas and transportation training programs. The school is expanding thanks to a $2 million Economic Growth Initiative grant from the state.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - PA CareerLink® services in Bloomsburg will relocate the current location on Tenny Street to a new location at 415 Central Road (next to M&T Bank). The new PA CareerLink® Columbia/Montour Counties will open its doors on Monday, April 1st. Services will continue to be available at the Tenny Street location through today. During a brief transition period, the site will be closed on Thursday, March 28th and Friday, March 29th but job seekers can continue to access job search services online at jobgateway.state.pa.us.
(WGRC)

BERWICK - PPL Susquehanna has appointed an industry veteran with nearly 30 years of military and commercial nuclear power experience as its new site vice president for the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in northeastern Pennsylvania. Jon Franke will join PPL on April 9 from the Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida, where he had been site vice president since 2009, and previously served as director of site operations and plant general manager. Prior to assignment at the Crystal River plant, Franke held a variety of management positions at the Brunswick nuclear plant in North Carolina from 1991 to 2002. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he achieved the rank of lieutenant commander. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and earned master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland and business administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A state senator from Lycoming County is being questioned about ties he has with a natural gas drilling company while he plays a major role in influencing how the state regulates and does business with the gas industry. State Senator Gene Yaw is only in his second term but already has considerable influence in the state legislature. Now, some question whether the Republican has a conflict of interest. On Tuesday, Yaw proposed new laws that would expand natural gas service to more Pennsylvanians, all while he stands to make lots of money from the gas industry. Yaw is the chair of the senate environmental Resource and Energy Committee. At Penn College in Williamsport, Senator Yaw was pushing for new laws to expand natural gas line service to more Pennsylvania homes and businesses. As it turns out, Senator Yaw owns land in rural Lycoming County that’s proven lucrative. Yaw has leased more than 100 acres to natural gas company Anadarko Petroleum. Ralph Kisberg of Responsible Drilling Alliance says Yaw should be taking himself out of the legislative process when it comes to issues involving natural gas development. Kisberg says “It’s a lot easier to buy the arguments of the industry when, in the back of your mind, there’s millions coming your way.” Yaw says that’s not so, pointing to the fact he signed the lease with Anadarko before he was elected to the state senate.
(WNEP)

UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State will close off access to the Nittany Lion Shrine after the graduation ceremonies in May for a construction project. University officials say crews will begin construction May 6 and continue through the summer. The university said the shrine will be accessible from August 5th to August 11th for summer graduation pictures. The work will consist of new landscaping, improvements in the accessibility of the site and new lighting. Work is expected to be finished the first week of September. The shrine is a gift of the Class of 1940, and the Class of 2012 voted to improve the shrine area as its senior gift.
(WGRC)

MCCLURE – A work project to replace the Route 522 bridge over Beaver Creek in West Beaver Township, Snyder County, will begin April 3. Only minor interruptions in traffic are expected as a temporary bridge will be in place during the construction. Work is scheduled to be completed by September 20th.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - PennDOT is looking for volunteers for this year’s Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania that runs through May 31st. The cleanup event is an annual effort sponsored by PennDOT, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, state Department of Environmental Protection and other partners. Groups involved in PennDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program, which involves volunteers cleaning roadsides year round, are also encouraged to participate in the cleanup. Interested individuals can find a listing of cleanup events, resources for organizing a cleanup, and other information about the effort online at www.gacofpa.org. During last year’s Great American Cleanup, 6.7 million pounds of litter was collected from Pennsylvania’s roads, trails and shorelines by more than 141,000 volunteers. This year, cleanup partner Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is hosting its first-ever Great American Cleanup Video Contest. Interested individuals can send a three-to-five-minute video of their cleanup event to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful by May 24, with eventual voting on the group’s Facebook page. For contest rules and information visit www.gacofpa.org.  
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – State Senator Gene Yaw of Lycoming County and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi yesterday unveiled legislation designed to make natural gas service available to more Pennsylvanians. During a Tuesday morning news conference at the Pennsylvania College of Technology campus in Williamsport, the legislators announced the introduction of two bills which will foster the extension and expansion of natural gas distribution systems to un-served and under-served residential, commercial and industrial sites. Senate Bill 738, the Natural Gas Consumer Access Act, will require every natural gas distribution utility operating in Pennsylvania to submit a three-year plan to the Public Utility Commission outlining the utility’s plans for extension and expansion projects. The first such plan would be due by January 2014, with additional plans required every two years thereafter. The PUC will have the option to reject, revise or order the utility to submit a revised plan for adequacy and completeness and do periodic reviews. The Bill will also create a system providing for expedited extension or expansion projects if an economic development agency or a large number of residential, commercial or industrial entities want to seek to obtain natural gas service.
(WGRC)