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April 10, 2013

BLOOMSBURG – Police say they now know who the suspect is in a hit and run pedestrian accident in Bloomsburg last Friday. Bloomsburg Police say they are looking for 20-year-Randall Francis, of the Bloomsburg area. Police say Francis struck 35-year-old Paula Brooking, as she crossed East Main at Iron Street around 4:30 p.m. The Press Enterprise reports, she was taken to Geisinger following the crash. Police say they have the crash on surveillance video. Police also say Francis has a history of driving violations. There is a warrant for Francis’ arrest. Anyone knowing of his whereabouts is asked to call Bloomsburg Police.
(WGRC)

COOPER TOWNSHIP - A Danville man remains in serious condition at Geisinger Medical Center following a motorcycle crash yesterday in Cooper Township, Montour County. Police say 28-year-old Luke Hunsinger suffered “major injuries” when he lost control of his motorcycle on Ridge Drive near River Drive, just after five p.m. report. Police say Hunsinger lost control of his cycle which tipped over and slammed into some guard rails.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

EVANSVILLE —A man was flown to Geisinger Medical Center following a motorcycle crash yesterday in Columbia County. The Press enterprise reports, a passer-by found 49-year-old Gerald Vezendy along Bogarts Hill Road on Tuesday afternoon, with road rash and injuries to his head. Police say he wasn’t wearing a helmet when he lost control of his cycle and crashed near Evansville in Briar Creek Township. He was found by another driver just after one p.m. He remains at Geisinger in fair condition.
(WGRC)

SHENANDOAH HEIGHTS - Firefighters were called out just before eleven last night for a reported structure fire with possible entrapment, at a home at 189 Ohio Avenue in Shenandoah Heights, in Schuylkill County. Police on the scene confirmed that everyone was able to exit the home as well as an adjoining home at 191 Ohio Avenue. Six adults and one child are homeless. Crews were able to contain the fire to a garage area but the remainder of the home sustained smoke damage. No injuries were reported and a state police fire marshal is expected to be at the scene later today to try and determine the cause of that fire.
(WPPA)

MIDDLEBURG - Jury selection for the homicide trial of three men accused of killing Donald E. Seebold III in 1997 is stretching into its third day in Snyder County Court. District Attorney Michael Piecuch and the attorneys for defendants 37-year-old Robert Reich, and 38-year-old Christopher Auker, both of Beavertown, and37-year-old Ryan Sprenkel, of Middleburg, began choosing 12 jurors and four alternates from a pool of 200 on Monday morning. The Daily Item reports, by Tuesday night, a full panel hadn’t been seated, and jury selection resumes this morning. The three defendants will be tried together on charges of criminal homicide and conspiracy in the fatal beating of 22-year-old Seebold of New Berlin on July 13, 1997. They also are charged with perjury for allegedly lying to a statewide grand jury about the events surrounding the slaying. A two-week trial is scheduled to begin April 29th.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - A second alleged victim has come forward and accused a Perry County man of sexual abuse. 51-year-old Dennis Walton, 51, was charged on Tuesday with multiple abuse counts, after a now-32-year-old woman told police Walton assaulted her over a period of several years, which began when she was seven years old. The latest charges come on the heels of another case involving Walton in which a now-11-year-old girl alleges he sexually abused her as well. Walton remains jailed in the Mifflin County Prison on $100,000 bail.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - A former policeman followed another driver to a convenience store and beat him bloody after a road-rage incident near Danville on Monday. 36-year-old Robert Weisman, who worked as an officer in Catawissa and Locust Township, ended up spending the night in jail and now faces a felony assault count. Police were called to a fight at the Penn Jersey Mart, where they saw Weisman with blood smeared on his hands and arms. Police found 57-year-old John Tloczynski, of Mount Carmel, inside the store, bleeding about the face. The Press Enterprise reports, the incident happened just after seven p.m. Monday when an argument between the two men escalated following a traffic related dispute.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – A Lewisburg man is facing felony hindering apprehension and felony providing false information to Sheriff’s deputies after they tried to serve an arrest warrant on the man’s wife. Charges have been filed against 35-year-old Travis Grobes following the incident on March 28th. Sheriff’s deputies went to the Grobes home looking for Jamie Grobes when Travis answered the door and kept the deputies at bay, while texting his wife telling her not to come home. Mrs. Grobes was eventually picked up on the warrant and now her husband is also facing charges.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LEWISBURG – A Sunbury woman is facing felony retail-theft charges. State Police filed the charges against 28-year-old Melissa Raup. Police say Raup went into the Wal-Mart Super Store in Kelly Township and grabbed a comforter and sheet set from the shelves of the store and took it to the customer service center. Troopers say she tried to return the items worth $120 even though she didn’t purchase the items. Police say this isn’t the first time Raup has been charged with retail-theft and that she had two prior convictions of retail-theft in the past.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

DANVILLE - Two men accused of operating a heroin ring from Danville-area motels pleaded guilty Tuesday moments before a jury was to be selected for their trial. 33-year-old Jahmad Hall, of Morristown, New Jersey, now faces a mandatory five years in state prison. He was arrested at the Danville Days Inn in February 2012. Co-defendant 35-year-old Tyshawn Smith, also from northern New Jersey but more recently living in Florida, was sentenced to time served and paroled. The Press Enterprise reports, Hall is also facing similar drug-dealing charges in Northumberland County. Both men have been locked up for nearly 14 months under high bail amounts after officers seized more than 400 packets of heroin. Arrest papers say they used rooms at the Days Inn and Red Roof Inn to deal drugs during the winter of 2012.
(WGRC)

MILESBURG – In Centre County, a Milesburg man faces drug charges and police said three others will be charged following the search of a home at 115 Canal Street on Monday. Police have arrested 35-year-old Wilmer Smith III, after Rockview state police searched his home. Troopers searched the home and seized three bags of marijuana, other drug items and over $740 in suspected drug money. Police said charges are pending against a 21-year-old Bellefonte man, an 18-year-old Julian man and a 28-year-old Milesburg woman.
(WGRC)

NORTHUMBERLAND –A civil suit which was filed yesterday in Northumberland County Court against Point Township, its police department, Joshua Van Kirk and Wade Lytle by Benjamin Scheller. Scheller is seeking $100,000 dollars in damages for the handling of rape charges by Point Township and its police department. Charges against Scheller stemmed from an alleged sexual assault filed by his ex-girlfriend in November, 2011. Scheller claims he was arrested by Officer Lytle because Sheller’s ex-girlfriend was in a relationship with Lytle. Point Township Supervisors terminated Lytle in November for ethical issues tied to the relationship with the alleged victim.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY – Residents in Northumberland County will have the opportunity to attend a Northumberland County Commissioners meeting tonight. The Northumberland County Commissioners are holding a rare night meeting to allow people who work during the day to attend a meeting. The meeting is an opportunity to allow Northumberland county residents who normally don’t have a chance due to work responsibilities, an opportunity to address the Commissioners. But remember the public must keep their comment to under two minutes or be cut off according to new rules instituted by the Commissioners. The meeting will be held at the Northumberland County Administration Building beginning at 7 p.m. and the public is encouraged to attend.
(WGRC)

MONTGOMERY – The Montgomery Borough Council, in Lycoming County, took action Tuesday that brings a regional sewer service another step closer to reality. Council co-signed with West Branch Regional Authority, the authority that is planning the construction and will oversee operation of a $25 million regional wastewater treatment plant in Clinton Township. The sewer treatment plant will provide treatment for Montgomery borough, Clinton Township, Muncy Creek Township and the Borough of Muncy. The Sun Gazette reports, each municipality's respective councils and supervisors have signed guarantees that they will pay the debt on the $23 million PennVEST loan the authority was awarded at 1 percent interest over 30 years.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A gas company's proposal to withdraw up to 250,000 gallons of well water a day in Old Lycoming Township is back on the table after it rescinded its application to supervisors in February. A conditional use hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 30th at the Old Lycoming Township Volunteer Fire Company. Centura Development Company's plan is to take the water from the Lycoming Creek watershed basin from a site behind the former BiLo building at 3231 Lycoming Creek Road for use in the natural gas drilling industry. Centura Development was granted permission from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission in December. The Sun Gazette reports, the company has decided to use a parking lot it owns to use it for water withdrawals instead of its original plan of using Colvin Road. Several residents have opposed the plans, and a petition has been circulated, because they rely on their own private wells for water. In addition, Bimbo Bakeries has expressed concerns because it uses well water for its manufacturing process.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Lycoming County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve applying for a $617,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for the county's substance abuse treatment court. Commissioners also are expected to review a $19,690 grant application at their Thursday meeting to support the county's Pre-Release Center's intermediate punishment program. The Sun Gazette reports, if approved by the state, the funding would be used for services related to the program and not employee salaries.  
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - The opportunity for local singers to perform in front of thousands of fans this summer at a State College Spikes home game is just one audition away. The Spikes will be holding free auditions for local performers interested in singing the National Anthem prior to a 2013 home game on Saturday, April 13th at The State Theatre in Downtown State College. Registration will be held from 10 a.m. to Noon and performers will audition in the order of registration. All tryouts will be a cappella and the anthem can be done solo, with a chorus, or as an instrumental. The State Theatre, located at 130 West College Avenue in Downtown State College.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - A Centre County judge has ruled Mifflin County School District was not in breach of a contract with the Juniata County School District when the board of directors voted not to renew an agreement regarding the shared use of the Career and Technology Center. Mifflin County School District terminated a long-standing agreement with the Juniata County School District regarding the Career and Technology Center during a school board meeting on July 2012. Shortly thereafter Mifflin County School District filed a lawsuit asking the court to award ownership of the land to Mifflin County School District. The most recent ruling from visiting Senior Judge David E. Grine addressed arguments brought by the attorney representing Juniata County School District during a hearing in March. In Grine's ruling he states Mifflin County School District is seeking to terminate their membership at the expiration of the current agreement. The Lewistown Sentinel reports, Mifflin County Superintendent James Estep says the most important thing he wants people to know is the district's goal was to take over management of the Tech Center, not to oust Juniata County vocational students. The current agreement between the two districts is set to expire June 30. Estep said he thinks there will be an attempt to get back together with Juniata County and work something out between now and the next scheduled hearing on May 9th.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - When thousands of Penn State alumni members woke up Wednesday morning, they would have found an email directing them to vote in the alumni trustee election. The Centre Daily Times reports, they can select up to three candidates from a crowded field of 39. Among them: lawyers, accountants, a few of the twenty-something crowd, a bunch who ran last year and some newcomers this year. Wednesday started the first day for voting in the highly competitive and much-anticipated race, and alumni can vote as late as the morning of May 2nd. The seats that are up for election belong to incumbents Paul Suhey and Stephanie Deviney, both of whom sought re-election amid continued alumni furor over the trustees’ decision-making on issues such as the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno or the acceptance of the Freeh report.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The judge who presided over the grand jury investigation of Jerry Sandusky and senior Penn State officials denied Tuesday motions to throw out pieces of evidence against the men before a preliminary hearing, saying their lawyers are using stall tactics to delay the case. Judge Barry Feudale denied motions from the defense attorneys for Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who are seeking to throw out the grand jury presentment that outlined the accusations of what the former attorney general labeled a “conspiracy of silence” by the men to hide abuse allegations against Sandusky more than a decade ago. In a 16-page ruling, Feudale also denied a motion to throw out the grand jury testimonies of Spanier and former university general counsel Cynthia Baldwin as well as to bar Baldwin from taking the stand during a yet-unscheduled preliminary hearing. The Associated Press reports, the  judge’s ruling would appear to give the Curley, Schultz and Spanier cases the green light to proceed to a preliminary hearing in a case that has been on hold since the men were arraigned in suburban Harrisburg in November.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The Paterno family will be guest speakers at the PA Family Support Alliance’s third-annual breakfast in Harrisburg, today. The Paternos will be joined by legislators, child advocates, policy makers and family support and child welfare workers as April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The breakfast is designed to raise awareness for child abuse prevention in Pennsylvania. The event will be held at the Hilton Harrisburg from 8 to 9:30 a.m.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Governor Tom Corbett is leading a team that's promoting Pennsylvania in Brazil, hoping to spur tourism and trade in one of the world's biggest economies. The Associated Press reports, the delegation started with a tourism luncheon in Sao Paulo, where dozens of tour operators and travel agents were pitched the state's historical and cultural attractions. Susan Corbett, the governor's wife, drew laughter when she told them "Pennsylvania is a place for bargain hunters." The delegation attended a Monday evening event at the U.S. consulate in Sao Paulo. The governor is leading a group of about 50 people that includes his own aides and business people. The 10-day trip also includes a stop in Chile. Corbett went to France and Germany last year.
(WGRC)