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April 3, 2013

WILLIAMSPORT – In Lycoming County an Old Lycoming Township gun dealer is in trouble for tax evasion. The Sun Gazette reports 56-year-old Franklin Lowe, owner of All American Guns, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and income tax evasion during a plea hearing before federal Judge Christopher Conner Tuesday. He’s accused of filing incorrect tax returns in 2009 claiming tax refunds of over $534,000. He is also accused of allowing a convicted felon purchase guns for him at an estate sale in 2008. Lowe could face up to five years in prison plus restitution to the IRS. He also must also forfeit his gun selling license.

WILLIAMSPORT - A 26-year-old Loyalsock Township man who allegedly was driving drunk is jailed on $100,000 bail after leading state police on a brief high-speed chase through the township on Saturday. Police say Charles Brown failed to stop when state police tried to pull him over just before midnight, Saturday. Brown was chased to Randall Circle where he lives and jumped out of his vehicle and took off on foot but was eventually captured. Brown faces charges of eluding police, resisting arrest, driving under the influence, and related counts.  

MIFFLINBURG – A Mifflinburg area man is facing felony fleeing police and DUI charges following an incident back in January. Mifflinburg police have filed those charges against 26-year-old Seth Scott. Police say during a snow storm police tried to pull over Scott for speeding along Mensch road in Mifflinburg, but Scott sped off leading police on a high speed chase through the Borough. Police say Scott tried to outrun officers going speeds of 60 miles-per-hour on Borough streets. He eventually pulled over on East Street and was taken into custody and was found to be driving under the influence and was taken to a hospital for blood tests which showed his blood alcohol levels at nearly three times the legal limit. Police say he was also under the influence of marijuana. Scott also faces a slew of traffic violations for the chase in Mifflinburg.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG – In Columbia County a judge would not allow two former Bloomsburg University field hockey players to escape prison time for viciously beating another woman. The Press Enterprise reports, Columbia County President Judge Thomas James thinks it was a case of bullying. 22-year-old Lauren McGinley, of Wilkes-Barre, was ordered to serve 10 days in jail Tuesday for assaulting 25-year-old Ashley Carsia of Drums. Co-defendant 21-year-old Nicole Bruce, of Clifford, will serve three days. Both were convicted of assault and harassment during a jury trial in January. And both women have since transferred to other state universities after they were expelled from Bloomsburg University following their arrests. McGinley and Bruce were members of BU’s undefeated field hockey team when they and several other players confronted Carsia downtown during 2011 Homecoming. Reports say Carsia had contact with a man who was dating Bruce which set off the fight.

BELLEFONTE - The streak is over for a Bellefonte man charged with exposing himself in public five times last year and more than a dozen times since 1995. 50-year-old Kelvin Flory pleaded guilty Monday to charges stemming from five incidents between May and July in which he was seen running around naked in public in State College and Bellefonte. Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks-Miller says Flory was sentenced to serve six to 12 years in state prison. Flory was sentenced to serve a year in state prison in 2010 after he was seen naked in the Hills Plaza on South Atherton Street. Court documents say Flory was arrested in 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007 for open lewdness or indecent exposure. The District Attorney says in this case, “Some people leave you no other option but incarceration as a means to protect other people in the community.”

LOCK HAVEN - A close call earlier this year has led the city of Lock Haven in Clinton County to require all rentals to have carbon monoxide alarms. It was January and several apartments above a laundromat in Lock Haven were filled with a deadly gas but no one, including the university students who lived there, knew it. Firefighters responded and discovered high levels of the gas. The students were taken to the hospital and have recovered. Fire officials went to city leaders and suggested all rentals should have carbon monoxide alarms. City council voted in favor of requiring the CO alarms and now landlords have three weeks to install the devices.

DANVILLE - Landlords who paid the $50 fine levied by the Borough of Danville for failing to register apartments in 2012 will get that money back. But council will not refund the additional $80.50 in fees and court costs for each citation. The Press Enterprise reports, those who fought the citations were found not guilty by a district judge because failing to register in 2012 was not a violation as per the wording of the ordinance. Meanwhile 22 other property owners decided not to join the lawsuit and pleaded guilty and paid the fine.

MILTON - A piece of local history was recently found in Northumberland County, and it will soon be unveiled to the public. While cleaning out the former Milton Public Library, volunteers found the original deed to Milton, which was written in 1790. It may look like just a piece of paper, but officials at the Milton Historical Society say this document has a lot of history behind it. When volunteers were cleaning out the former Milton Public Library last summer, someone found a folded up piece of paper inside a vault. When they opened up the piece of paper it looked an awful lot like a deed. It turned out to be the original deed of Milton. The deed was hand-written on sheepskin and has original seals on it from both Northumberland and Philadelphia Counties. The deed will be introduced to the public next Thursday at Milton Historical Society’s annual dinner. After that, the deed will be displayed at the Milton Public Library.

MILTON - The Milton Kuhns Brothers Log Homes pre-fab log-home division in Milton has shut down, but the firm’s lumber division remains open. The 50 employees that ran the showroom and log-home sales division in Milton have been laid off. Tim Kuhns, president of Kuhns Brothers Lumber, based in Union County says a new owner of the showroom facility might rehire the employees. Kuhns says the economy is to blame for the shut-down. Reports also say along with Kuhns Brothers Log Homes, the company’s surplus outlet and American Heritage Crafters locations are also for sale. Former employees of the plant have said that they were told Thursday that the homes division would close its doors, effective immediately. The company’s lumberyard located near Mazeppa is thriving. The Daily Item reports, that Kuhns says “The lumber company is busy as the lumber economy is turning around.”

WILLIAMSPRT – Williamsport City Finance Committee yesterday was given Mayor Gabriel Campana’s economic development plan that hopes to fix up numerous streets in the city. Campana is seeking approval from City Council to pursue debt restructuring to tackle capital improvement projects that include repaving roads and replacing the oldest downtown parking garage.  The plan calls for the city to take on $1.9 million more in debt and use natural gas impact fees as part of the funding. The Sun Gazette reports, among the major projects in the plan are Reach Road reconstruction work, re-investment in the East End Pool, upgrades to Bowman Field, renovations to the Trade and Transit II parking deck on West Third Street and funding for projects associated with Destination 2014 - the reuse of the YMCA properties. The finance committee will review the proposal and hold a session to go over each project.

MOUNT CARMEL - A flood protection project should get underway this month in Northumberland County. Water Street in Mount Carmel lived up to its name in September of 2010. Storm water drains became clogged and there was nowhere for Shamokin Creek to go. It flooded dozens of homes as it’s done in times past. The creek will be deepened and clean of debris and a flood wall will be built higher to protect property owners. Ground will be broken for the project sometime this month. The cost of the project is about $13 million, all of that from grants.

DANVILLE - A nearly $645,000 safety improvement project along a section of Route 54 at Danville is set to start next week. The safety improvements will extend the acceleration and turning lanes along Route 54 from just north of Montour Street to Route 11. The work will also include placing new drainage inlets, new concrete median and resurfacing of the existing roadway. The project gets underway Monday. The project is expected to be completed by July 17th. Drivers in the area of the work projects are being asked to use caution.

MOUNT CARMEL – Improvements to keep the water flowing in Northumberland County to improve water service and fire protection is underway. Crews from Aqua Pennsylvania are replacing water mains in Mount Carmel.  They are digging up more than a mile of pipe on Fifth Street. Part of the project is connecting the new eight-inch water mains are larger than the old ones. They’ll be connected to new fire hydrants. The wider lines mean more water to fight fires. The bigger water mains will also mean better pressure to customers. Aqua Pennsylvania officials said they will be spending $10 million on projects just like the one in Mt. Carmel in other areas of Northumberland, Schuylkill and Columbia counties.

BELLEFONTE - Still reeling from the nationally-watched trial and conviction of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on dozens of counts of child sexual abuse, Centre County is honoring both child and adult victims this month. County Commissioners Steve Dershem, Chris Exarchos and Michael Pipe Tuesday voted unanimously to proclaim this month as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the county. Those visiting the County Courthouse in Bellefonte will see blue and teal ribbons adorning trees in front on the courthouse remembering those who have suffered sexual abuse and assault and placed there by the county’s Department of Children and Youth Services. Each ribbon is to signify a reported case to the two agencies in the past year - 388 children cases and 481 adult cases. Centre County officials say both child and adult reports rose in the aftermath of the first allegations against Sandusky in the fall of 2011.

HARRISBURG – With April marking National Donate Life Month, PennDOT today reminded driver’s license and identification card holders that they can easily help another person live a fuller, longer life by registering online as an organ donor. To add the organ donor designation to an existing driver’s license or identification card today, visit dmv.state.pa.us and select the “Donate Life Pennsylvania” icon at the bottom of the page. Once the designation is added, individuals will receive a designation card that they will have to carry with them to affirm organ donor status until they renew or replace their driver’s license or identification card. There is no charge for adding the designation to your driver’s license or identification card. Nearly 46 percent of driver’s license and identification card holders are registered organ donors – that’s more than 4.4 million Pennsylvanians. More than 8,300 Pennsylvanians currently await organ transplants. More information on organ and tissue donation in Pennsylvania can be found at donatelife-pa.org.  

HARRISBURG - Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania is accepting applications for its 2013 nursing awards, with expanded categories to include more nursing roles. To be eligible, a nominee must be a practicing nurse in Pennsylvania. Applications must be postmarked by midnight May 31st. A non-profit organization, Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania was established in 1989 “to recognize the exceptional nurses of today and to recruit the nurses of tomorrow.” Nomination forms are on the organizations’ website, nightingaleawards.org, or from the organization’s headquarters, 801 East Park Drive, Suite 100, Harrisburg PA 17111. The awards will be presented at the 24th anniversary of the Nightingale Awards Gala, October 25th, at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel&Convention Center in Camp Hill.

HARRISBURG - The fate of state health facilities hangs in the balance of a lawsuit filed Monday by several Democratic lawmakers and the union that represents many state workers in an effort to stop Governor Tom Corbett's plan to close nearly half the state's health centers. The lawsuit, filed in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, seeks a preliminary injunction order, pending a trial, to immediately stop the closings of the centers across Pennsylvania as well as a permanent injunction against the plan thereafter. Union officials within the Health Department say Act 87, passed in 1996, requires the Department of Health to provide at a minimum those public health services and must not "reduce the scope of services currently provided nor reduce the number of centers. Union officials say if the governor wants to change the law, he needs to go through proper legislative process. However, Corbett and the Department of Health believe the closing of state health centers and the mobilizing of services will ultimately benefit Pennsylvania communities, said Acting Secretary of Health Michael Wolf.