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April 5, 2013

MAZEPPA – A rig hauling a load of pig feed rolled over in Union County last night, spilling its load. The crash happened around ten p.m. at the intersection of Colonel John Kelly Road and Miller Road near the Village of Mazeppa in Buffalo Township. State Police say the rig was turning onto Miller road when the shoulder of the roadway gave way causing the trailer to roll over, snapping a utility pole and spilling its load of pig feed. The driver of the rig 51-year-old Jody Mease of Dalmatia was not hurt.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

DANVILLE - A Danville woman who took advantage of her position as second in command at a day care center by giving her own grandchildren steep discounts was spared jail time Thursday, thanks to her former employer. 55-year-old Karen Kruleski, will instead spend four months on house arrest and must pay a $1,500 fine for theft by deception. The Press Enterprise reports, Jennifer Enterline, owner of Busy Little Beavers Daycare in Mahoning Township, told the court she would not oppose house arrest for her former friend and operations assistant who had worked with her nearly 20 years. Judge Gary Norton was ready to give Kruleski 30 days in jail, but reduced his sentence to house arrest after Enterline’s plea for leniency. Kruleski, must also pay nearly $17,000 in restitution for her own seven grandchildren who attended the center at discount or free of charge between August 2009 and December 2011.
(WGRC)

DUSHORE - The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources went ahead with a closed-door meeting with invited "stakeholders" Thursday at its district offices near Dushore in Sullivan County. The meeting about proposed natural gas drilling on thousands of acres of land in the Loyalsock State Forest situated in Lycoming County was off limits to the public and news media. The Sun Gazette reports, about 50 people attended the meeting, including all three Lycoming County commissioners, state Reps. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport and Garth Everett, R-Muncy, and state Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township. Also in attendance were two supervisors from McIntyre Township - where proposed natural gas drilling could take place by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. - and one from McNett Township. Several environmental groups were also included. The Responsible Drilling Alliance, Lycoming County Audubon Society, Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Muncy Creek Watershed Association, Alpine Club of Williamsport, Highland Lake Snowmobile and Outdoor Recreation Club and a regional chapter of the state's Sierra Club where among those with environmental concerns. Discussions reportedly centered around what DCNR is doing related to development of possible gas drilling sites in the so-called Clarence Moore Lands, which includes 25,000 acres of forest lands - some of which contain highly sensitive environmental areas. DCNR Secretary Richard Allan and State Forester Daniel Devlin say they chose to keep the group closed to control the conversation. Allan said DCNR has no policy - and no intention - of holding public meetings on natural gas drilling on state forest lands. Allen said that DCNR finds itself in an uncommon situation with the Clarence Moore Lands because the state owns surface rights, while subsurface rights are owned and equally divided between Anadarko and Southwestern Energy Corporation. Dan Alters, president of the Lycoming County Audubon Society, said that environmental groups like his didn't have much of a chance to make an impact at the meeting. Kevin Heatley, an ecologist and scientific advisor to the Responsible Drilling Alliance, said that discussions should have included a broader segment of the community in the “conversation.”
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN – Bids were opened for the re-modeling and construction of the new Clinton County 9-1-1 center at the former Flemington Elementary School building. Clinton County commissioners and other county officials associated with the project went through the bids and plans in anticipation for a vote on final bid awards as early as next week. The hopes are that the estimated $1.9 million dollar project could get underway as soon as May and to have it fully operational by November.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - Danville is getting another mural this summer, and the public will again be asked for input. The second mural will be on the wall facing Route 11 of the Royal Nails building along Mill Street. Danville Business Alliance Director Jim Wilson tells the Press Enterprise an artist and funding have been secured, and there’s been talk of including elements of Danville’s history in the design. But Wilson wants to keep the concept open to all ideas before a decision on content is made. A public meeting on the project will be held the week of April 22 in the borough building. The exact date and time will be announced later.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN – While the apartments are already filled or have already been leased out at the Mann Edge Terrace building located adjacent at the corner of South Dorcas and East Water Streets, in Lewistown, that didn’t stop dignitaries and supporters for the project to hold an official ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday. Among those cutting the ribbon for the 31 unit apartment complex for the elderly were Marcie Barber, center, president and CEO of the Juniata Valley Bank, Mike Fisher, chief of housing programs from SEDA-Council of Governments; Deb Bargo, Lewistown mayor; Brian Hudson, executive director of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency; and state Senator Jake Corman, and the Perry and Mifflin County Commissioners.  Representatives say the apartments for residents 61-years–old and older are filled and there is a waiting list with 83 people signed on. The $5.9 million apartment building is located at the site of the former Mann Edge Tool Company.  
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - The demolition of 10 houses in the flood-ravaged 900 block of West Main Street in Bloomsburg may begin today. The Press Enterprise reports, PPL disconnected the last of the houses from electrical service on Thursday, one of the last hurdles before Penn Earthworks of Beaver Meadows can begin knocking down buildings. The town is paying the company nearly $75,000 to remove the houses and fill the land with soil to grade. The funding comes from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and flood-insurance payouts. The town bought out 11 properties and has promised the state and federal government that it will keep the land as open ground.
(WGRC)

RICHFIELD – For the second year in a row a race will be held in Snyder County to raise money for a good cause. The Second Annual Roger Snyder Memorial race will get underway this Saturday morning at Basom Park in Richfield. The race raises money to help parents of young children who are having a rough time sending their kids to pre-school. Organizer Beth Young of Selinsgrove says she was amazed at last years’ turn-out and expects more for this years’ race. Registration for the race gets underway at seven a.m. Saturday at Basom Park with the race underway at nine a.m.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BERWICK – Beginning today road work on Route 11 northbound which is Front Street in Berwick between will get underway. Reconstruction of all lanes of Route 11 in this area is expected to be completed by the first week of May, with the exception of the final Coat of blacktop, which will be placed through the entire project before the end of May. Traffic will be restricted to a single lane through this area and parking will be restricted. Also, Mulberry Street will be closed at the intersection of Front and Mulberry while this work is being performed. This is part of the $4 million reconstruction and resurfacing of Route 11 through Berwick. The project should be completed by the end of June.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A hazy cloud stretched from Shamokin to Bloomsburg as a northbound wind sent clouds of smoke here from a large controlled burn at Fort Indiantown Gap on Thursday evening. After traveling some 36 miles, it left a thick haze that forced drivers traveling on Route 11 between Danville and Bloomsburg to turn on their headlights before dusk and permeated the air with the scent of wood fire. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs’ Forestry division has begun a series of springtime burns to reduce the risk of wildfire by setting ablaze 3,000 to 4,000 acres over several weeks. Yesterday’s burn covered at least 500 acres. The haze seemed to dissipate by 7 p.m.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Wildfire season is upon us in Pennsylvania. According to statistics from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 85 percent of wild land fires occur during the spring wildfire season, which stretches from March to May. Last year, about 142 acres were burned in wildfires in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources District 12, which includes Lycoming, Clinton Union and Sullivan counties. District foresters say of those fires, one was caused by careless debris burning, one was caused by children playing with matches, one incendiary, and one by electrical lines, two from equipment use and one was from lightning. As an average nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by humans. As recently as this week the National Weather service had also issued a ”Red Flag” warning for our region. A “Red Flag” warning, warns of dry and less humid conditions which allow for rapid wildfire growth. In Pennsylvania, the woods become the driest between March, April and May. This is before the springtime when leaves develop, come out and fully protect the surface from drying out. Then, of course, we have another fire season later on in the year, in the fall, which usually is in September, October and November. That is due to the drying of fallen leaves, twigs and pine needles creating a rapid fire fuel source. At this time of year open fires are not permitted on State forest land and open burning near dry brushy areas is not suggested.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)