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I drive one hour each way back and forth for work Monday through Friday&sometimes on the weekend. WGRC is always on the radio when I am in the car. The uplifting music and Christian programs are treasured opportunities for me to worship God and help me stay centered throughout the day. A few years ago, my son was killed in a motorcycle accident. I took a week off from work but then had to go back. It was all I could do to keep myself together during the months after his death and the hour drive each way for work was unbearable at times. I always kept WGRC on the radio and would focus on the message in the music&the scriptures that were shared which many times felt like they were directed at me at the time I needed it most. I know this was God’s way of holding me in the palms of his hands to assure me that he was with me. It was a very painful time but I felt His presence and gradually a peace that those without faith in God could never understand. (Williamsport)

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April 4, 2013

HARTLETON – A popular spot for folks to sit and eat in Union County’s west –end is no longer. Fire crews from Union, Snyder, and Northumberland counties were called to the Barn Yard restaurant around nine last night. Fire Chief John Heiges says four employees were closing up the restaurant for the night and smelled smoke and saw flames coming from an area of an exhaust fan near a dish washer at the establishment. Employees tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher but they ended up calling 9-1-1. Heiges says heavy black smoke was pouring from the exhaust area and fire was discovered in the roof area of the building. An interior attack was launched but firemen were told to get out of the structure as the flames worsened. Heiges says the business is a total loss. Crews had a rough time getting water to the scene as tanker trucks had to shuttle water about two miles to a makeshift pond at the fire. The restaurant is located along Route 45 and PennDOT closed Route 45 for about five hours. There were no injuries. The restaurant is owned by Troy Harvey of the Mifflinburg area, it’s not known whether he will rebuild. The blaze leaves about two dozen without a job.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SHAMOKIN DAM – Likening it to an uphill run, Senator John Gordner of Columbia County was part of an announcement yesterday at the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce. The big announcement was the commitment of $568-million dollars for the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project from a delegation of Republican Senators and Representatives from Central Pennsylvania and Department of Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch. Gordner says the funding will come under Governor Tom Corbett’s upcoming transportation budget plan, which Gordner says has bi-partisan support in the state legislature. Those in support from Central Pennsylvania included Senator Gordner, Senator Eugene Yaw, Representatives Kurt Masser, Linda Schlegel-Culver, Fred Keller, and Garth Everitt. Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch says the log awaited project is the largest on PennDOT’s table at this point and if funding passes through the legislature construction could begin as early as 2015 with the Winfield bridge project to get underway first followed by the Northern section of the Thruway and then the Southern section will follow with the Route 61 connector to be the last part of the project expected for completion in 2019.

MIDDLEBURG — After hearing more than 90 minutes of testimony yesterday, a district judge in Snyder County ruled that Joshua Snook will stand trial on an open count of criminal homicide in the stabbing death of his grandmother, 71-year-old Bonnie Jean Snook and the injury to his grandfather Dale Snook on February 16th. The Daily Item reports, District Judge Lori Hackenberg ruled that there was sufficient evidence to hold all but one of the 24 counts filed against Snook for trial. He remains in the Snyder County Prison without bail. Snook’s wife, 30-year-old Jennifer Snook, has also been charged in the case.

SHAMOKIN – A Shamokin man is in jail after police found him driving while intoxicated and having over $3,700 in drugs and over $1,000 in suspected drug money. Stonington State Police say just after five Sunday afternoon they pulled over 20-year-old Jeremy Rickert at the corner of North Shamokin and Race Streets in Shamokin for an expired vehicle sticker. Police say shortly after Rickert stopped his vehicle drifted forward and hit a utility pole. Rickert was arrested for DUI and a search of his vehicle turned up marijuana, 116 bags of heroin and 55 Percocet pills.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LEWISBURG - A Bucknell University graduate student is facing a felony charge of attempted burglary after allegedly demanding to be let in to a Lewisburg home, then taking police on a quarter-mile foot chase through an East Buffalo Township neighborhood. The Daily Item reports, 22-year-old David Wacker, of Parkton, Maryland, also faces DUI and drug charges among others from the incident back in February on Maclay Avenue in East Buffalo Township. Residents told police Wacker was pounding on their front door, demanding to be let in. When police arrived at the scene, a white vehicle was turning around and coming straight for the police vehicle, meeting bumper to bumper. Wacker then allegedly got out of the car and started walking away. When police told him to stop, he started running, leading to a chase through the backyards of Maclay Avenue. Wacker was later tackled by police and placed under arrest.

STATE COLLEGE - Two from Huntingdon County have been charged with stealing more than $100,000 worth of gold from a business and selling to gold buyers at malls in State College and Altoona. State police have charged 50-year-old Stephen Heidel, and 43-year-old Lisa Creswell, both of Mount Union, with the theft. Troopers say they stole more than $103,000 worth of gold. Heidel would allegedly take the gold from his employer, FCI Incorporated, and give it to Creswell, his girlfriend, who would allegedly sell it at mall kiosks.

SUNBURY – Differing views between Northumberland County Commissioner Vinny Clausi and District Attorney Tony Rosini on a new Northumberland County Prison was the topic of discussion at the County’s Prison Board meeting yesterday in Sunbury. Clausi has said a new prison would save the County millions of dollars in lawsuits. Meanwhile, the District Attorney believes that Northumberland County taxpayers could not afford a new facility at this time. But during the meeting both parties agreed to a study into the counties options on its prison system and costs of a new facility. Aside from talks about a new prison, recent cases of MRSA infections at the prison were discussed. But, the healthcare provider for the County, Prime Care reported that there were no more cases of the disease reported than what is normally reported in the general public.

WILLIAMSPORT – Williamsport’s surveillance camera system is expected to be scanning Roy A. Flanigan and Memorial parks by this summer. That was the update discussed Tuesday by the city public safety committee on the first seven cameras to record video for law enforcement use. Council last May awarded a contract with CSI Incorporated, of Allentown, for nearly $390,000 to purchase the cameras. The Sun Gazette reports, project management company, Larson Design Group, is overseeing installation. A U.S. Department of Justice grant paid for the project. Meanwhile City Council is expected to vote tonight whether to permit the city police administration to pursue the purchase of four new police vehicles. The cost of the new police cruisers would be $131,000. Council is also expected to vote on a proposed grant between the Williamsport Bureau of Fire and state Emergency Management Agency to buy$16,000 worth of equipment for the fire department.

DANVILLE – Over the past 15 years, the number of endoscopy procedures has increased with increased awareness of colon cancer and recent advances in gastrointestinal procedures. To accommodate the increase in these types of procedures, a new endoscopy suite will open at the Geisinger Medical Center’s Hospital for Advanced Medicine today. The new, 10-room, 21,000-square-foot, $13.2 million endoscopy suite on the first floor of the Hospital for Advanced Medicine will provide additional room for the safe and efficient procedural care of both adult and pediatric patients. Geisinger officials say seven new jobs will be housed in the unit, including four nurses, two clinical technicians and a patient access representative.

LEWISTOWN – Two branches of the Mifflin County Library system are set to close. Following a meeting of the Mifflin County Library Board of Directors, yesterday the directors voted to close the Allensville and Milroy branches of the library. They are two of five current branches of the library, also including Lewistown, Kish, in Belleville, Rothrock, and McVeytown. Several members of the community showed up to express their concerns over the closings of the facilities. The Sentinel reports, that board members and library staff cited cuts in funding and low circulation at the branches as reasons for closing.

MIDDLEBURG – Forty children who attend a Head Start program in Middleburg have been split up and sent to programs in Selinsgrove and Mifflinburg. The reason is the closing of the Head Start program in Middleburg due to a lack of Federal dollars due to sequestration budget cuts. The Daily Item reports, officials with Snyder Union and Mifflin County Child development closed the Middleburg facility and they say some 30 children will be turned away in September if a federal budget plan is not enacted. Meanwhile in Columbia County about 75 children and their parents will be looking for new day care providers now that the Gordon Thompson Learning Center announced it will close May 3rd. The Press Enterprise reports, the David J. Thompson Mailing Corporation, which started the center more than 12 years ago for its employees, has decided to end funding for the center as the company cuts costs.

BELLEVILLE -The Board of Trustees at Belleville Mennonite School recently announced that Mrs. Starla Fogleman was offered the position of superintendent, and she has accepted the role.  Mrs. Fogleman will be replacing Mr. Kevin Dellape effective July 1, 2013. Mrs. Fogleman brings a wealth of experience in education and a strong background in working with students and their families. She received a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Eastern Mennonite University and a Master's in Education with reading specialist and elementary education certifications from Shippensburg University. Mrs. Fogleman says, "I'm very excited about returning to Belleville Mennonite School and having the opportunity to serve God here.”

READING - Governor Tom Corbett yesterday was joined in Reading by members of the General Assembly and local education and business leaders, talked about reinvesting proceeds from the sale of the state liquor store system into an educational block grant for Pennsylvania’s schools. The governor is proposing to use the proceeds from the sale of the state’s liquor system to create the Passport for Learning Block Grant, to be divided among Pennsylvania’s school districts over four years. The Passport for Learning Block Grant is in addition to Corbett’s proposed $90 million increase in the upcoming budget’s Basic Education Funding line item. This year’s proposed $5.5 billion state investment in education is the highest in state history. The Passport for Learning will offer funds in four, student-focused, initiatives: school safety, early student education, individualized learning programs, and science, technology, engineering and math or (STEM) programs.