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April 9, 2013

LECK KILL – Seven people, including two parents and their five children were rushed to Evangelical Hospital in Lewisburg this morning after a close call with carbon monoxide poisoning. Northumberland County 9-1-1 center tells us around 2:30 this morning medics were called to the home at 26 Line Mountain Road near Leck Kill in Upper Mahanoy Township. Those in the home reported severe headaches, and vomiting due to a carbon monoxide leak in their home. Crews on the scene reported testing the air and found carbon monoxide levels very high at 700 parts-per-million inside the home. It’s not know what caused the carbon monoxide build-up or if the family had carbon monoxide detectors in their home.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

ELIMSPORT - A Lycoming County teen, seriously injured in a one vehicle accident near Elimsport on Friday has had his condition upgraded. 18-year-old Cody Klees was driving on Elimsport Road in Brady Township around 2:45 Friday afternoon, when he lost control of his vehicle which struck a utility pole and then overturned. Klees was flown to Geisinger Medical Center and originally admitted in critical condition. He has since had his condition upgraded to serious.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - We now know the name of the teen killed in a motorcycle crash over the weekend in Schuylkill County. Authorities tell us the body of 17-year-old John Kramer, was found around 9:30 a.m. Saturday just off Skidmore Street in Pottsville. The Schuylkill County Coroner’s office says Kramer died as a result of an off-road injury during a motorcycle accident.
(WNEP)

DANVILLE - A man on his way to jury duty was injured when struck by a car Monday on Mill Street. The Daily Item reports, 64-year-old Ronald Green, of Danville, told Danville police he was headed to the Montour County Courthouse to report for jury duty shortly before 9 a.m. The driver of the car 44-year-old Gary Mordan of Danville told police Green walked out in front of his vehicle. Green was taken to Geisinger Medical Center. Assisting at the scene were county deputy sheriffs and other drivers who had seen the accident.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE – Police in State College have charged one man with felony criminal mischief and several others were caught as well after several electrical meters at homes in State College were damaged and power interrupted. Police say around 11:30 Sunday night they were sent to six homes where their electrical meters were damaged. The homes were located on the 300-400 blocks of East Fairmount Avenue, 300 Block of Fraternity Row, and the 500 block of South Garner Street. Witnesses saw three men running from the homes and police were able to catch up to the perpetrators. Police have charged 22-year-old Bryan Wolf, of Randolph, New Jersey, with felony Criminal Mischief and Criminal Conspiracy.  Wolf is free on his own merit. Two other men have been detained but have not yet been charged. The investigation is ongoing and police are waiting on damage repair costs from West Penn Power. Anyone who had similar damage or any information is asked to call State College Police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SHENANDOAH - The state attorney general is encouraging anyone who has made funeral arrangements already and provided insurance information to funeral directors to make sure there have been no changes to those policies. It comes after charges against a funeral director in Schuylkill County accused of forging a life insurance policy so that his business becomes the beneficiary of the policy. Steve Oravitz runs a funeral home in Shenandoah. He now finds himself in trouble with the law. The attorney general’s office charged him with forging a name on an insurance policy naming his business as the beneficiary of a $10,000 policy. Oravitz admits to the forgery. If Steve Oravitz is convicted, he could face some jail time.  
(WNEP)

DANVILLE - One of the three men who steered Montour County through the 1972 Agnes flooding, that devastated the borough of Danville, has died. James Connolley was 82-years-old. Connolley died Sunday at his home. Connolley served two non-consecutive stints as commissioner, first in the early 1970's and then again in the mid 90's. Connolley was a Korean War era veteran and a founding member of the Geisinger authority.  The Press-Enterprise reports services will be held Wednesday from St. Joseph church in Danville.
(WPGM)

BLOOMSBURG – Demolition continues on the 900 block of West Main Street in Bloomsburg this week as crews tear down homes bought out from the flooding of 2011. Eleven properties were bought out by the town last year. Officials in Bloomsburg say no structures will be built on the land.  It is going to be a green space, and the town is even looking into possibly putting walking trails there. Most of the homeowners who participated in the buyout in Bloomsburg say they are now living in elevated areas, away from the flood zone. Demolition is scheduled to be finished on West Main Street by the end of the week.
(WNEP)

WILLIAMSPORT - Now that spring weather has arrived, police in Williamsport have resumed mandatory foot patrols. During Winter, officers typically stay in their cruisers to patrol neighborhoods. But with the arrival of Spring, police begin patrol on foot. Williamsport police walk the beat for thirty minutes during their shift which might not seem like a lot to some, but both police and the public think foot patrols have a positive impact.
(WNEP)

LEWISTOWN - Lewistown Police Department Chief Bill Herkert recognized members of the department at Monday's Lewistown Borough Council who "gave all their efforts" to the investigation of an armed robbery last July. Herkert recognized Sargent Travis Sheaffer, Detective Charles Miller, Officer Jeromy Poff and Investigator Craig Snyder for their efforts which ended with three arrests. The incindet involved the armed robbery at the Sunoco gas station on South Main Street where the robbers threatened a clerk with a gun and demanded money. Three men have been arrested in the case thanks to the hard work of the officers.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Those living near Lycoming College should not get alarmed as today the college will be testing its emergency sirens. The testing will be done around 4:15 p.m. The system which is a cooperative effort between officials with the college, the city of Williamsport and Lycoming County is used to alert the campus and area to a school wide emergency on campus, or of a situation in the city such as a hazardous material accident or weather emergency.  Officials say they run the periodic tests to make sure the system is operating properly.
(WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE - The Jersey Shore Area School Board, Monday, approved the issuance of a second bond to help fund its elementary school construction project. The board unanimously voted to approve a second bond of $4.4 million for its construction project on Jersey Shore Elementary School. The first bond was issued in 2012. The two bonds total $14.4 million. The Sun Gazette reports, school officials say the real estate millage of 0.14 needed to fund the bonds already is in place. The Board also approved the next phase of the construction project. Engineers associated with the project expect work to get underway in May.
(WGRC)

BENTON – Program cuts are being looked at the Benton School District to reduce a $1.2 million dollar deficit for the 2013-14 school year. A crowd of about 90 turned out for Benton’s school board meeting Monday, many of them pleading with directors to spare the agriculture program. The Press Enterprise reports, Superintendent Penny Lenig-Zerby presented ideas for erasing some of the shortfall, including the elimination of one teaching position to save $71,000 in pay and benefits. Lenig-Zerby said as she tries to balance next year’s $10 million spending plan, she is looking to cut in areas where it will be felt by students the least. Also being looked at is a teacher pay freeze next year to save $203,000. Employees may also be asked to pay a deductible for health insurance to save about $178,000. Also targeted for possible cuts are the junior high athletics program to save $27,000, elementary band at $38,000 and summer band at $730.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State’s costs associated with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal have surpassed $42 million, according to information posted Monday by the university on its progress website. The total is through the month of January and represents the most recent data available. The latest data includes the Freeh reports and the first 12 million dollars of the 60 million dollars paid to the NCAA in fines.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State and Ohio State have always had a strong rivalry. That rivalry continued Monday not on the field or court but during an annual blood drive between the two Universities to benefit the American Red Cross. Penn State Students came out in droves to take part in the third annual Fight for Life battle with Ohio State this month. Each school hopes to collect about 1,080 units. Penn State is the defending champion. The Centre Daily Times reports, overall, Ohio State planned 39 drives, compared to Penn State’s 13. But Penn State set higher goals for its drives and, so far, has an 84 percent collection rate, only a bit behind its competitor. More than 30,000 units of blood are needed daily nationwide.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - The state Attorney General’s Office filed in county court Monday against the owners of the Hilltop Mobile Home Park in State College, alleging they violated their former tenants’ rights by not helping them with relocation costs after closing the park. Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Kenneth Mayes and his sister, Sharon Mayes, violated the Manufactured Home Community Rights Act and the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. The Centre daily Times reports, the lawsuit, in part, says the owners of the park should have paid up to $4,000 to each resident for the relocation of their mobile homes. Hilltop closed in February, after the owners first sent notice by letter last August those tenants would have to find new places to live. The owners of the park have since entered into a conditional sales agreement with Lafayette, Indiana-based Trinitas Ventures- a student housing developer.
(WGRC)

ALLENTOWN - An upgraded PPL Electric Utilities mobile website is now available, with features that allow customers to use their smartphones to view their account summaries and make payments. The utility first rolled out a mobile website in March 2012 that allowed customers to report an outage, check on the status of an outage, or view outage information. PPL officials say their customers wanted the convenience of being able to do business anytime, anywhere. These recent mobile website improvements help meet customer expectations. Go to pplelectric.com on your smartphone and you’ll automatically land at the mobile website.
(WGRC)

CATAWISSA - The 46th annual Agricultural Banquet, a celebration of the farming community and its accomplishments, will take place Thursday, April 11th in Columbia County. It will be held at Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech, starting at 6 p.m. The Columbia County Conservation District along with USDA Farm Services Agency and the Penn State Cooperative Extension will sponsor the evening, which will include awards. Entertainment will be provided by a select group of students from Bloomsburg High School.
(WGRC)

ELYSBURG - When Knoebels Amusement Resort in Northumberland County opens later this month, there will be a brand new ride…a very tall one! Crews this week began raising the 148 foot tower on “The Stratosfear”. “It’s a drop tower; it will take you up 148 feet. 12 people at a time, and then drops riders at 47 miles-per-hour. Knoebels expects to have the ride ready to go when the park opens on April 27th.
(WNEP)

HARRISBURG - Democratic and Republican state Senators are teaming up in Harrisburg to propose nine government reform bills that would hold elected officials more open and accountable to taxpayers. Senator Mike Stack who along with Republican Senator John Eichelberger says their legislative package would make even the appearance of impropriety a thing of the past. The Philadelphia lawmaker also wants to penalize lawmakers should they fail to adopt a state budget by the June 30th deadline. Their legislation would also inhibit the executive branch and agency employees from accepting gifts or favors.  
(WGRC)