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April 19, 2013

WATERTOWN, Mass. - Heavily armed tactical police are searching a 20-block area of Watertown Massachusetts for one of the suspects in the deadly Boston Marathon terror bomb attacks. The Boston Globe reports, the search comes after a chaotic, violent night in which a second suspect died in a firefight with police, and one police officer was killed and another was seriously wounded. Local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, including the Secret Service, are searching. K-9 teams, explosives experts, and SWAT officers are involved. Authorities are searching for 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, a government official told the Globe this morning. The dead suspect is his brother. Tsarnaev is a native of Kyrgyzstan, the Kyrgyz state news agency has confirmed. He was studying at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

NEW COLUMBIA – The White Deer elementary School in New Columbia was on
lock down for a short period of time this morning. The school’s website
reported that the school was on lock-down just before ten this morning
due to an external threat. Reports to us were that a suspicious man was
seen riding a bike dressed in a suit near the school grounds. Union
county 9-1-1 did confirm that report however law enforcement officials
say nothing was found when they inspected the area around the school and
the lock-down was lifted around 10:30 a.m.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HARRISBURG - A second man has avoided the possibility of the death penalty by admitting he killed a fellow inmate at the Allenwood Federal Penitentiary in 2005. 32-year-old Ritz Williams, of Arizona, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. Middle District Court to a charge of first-degree murder. His plea agreement requires a sentence of life in prison without parole. A co-defendant, 33-year-old Shawn Cooya, formerly of White River, Arizona, entered the same plea agreement with the government earlier this year and has been sentenced to life in prison. The two admitted they murdered Alvin Allery by stabbing and kicking him in a corridor at the maximum-security prison in September 2005. The attack was caught on video. Williams is to be sentenced on the murder charge on May 15th.

BELLEFONTE – A man found guilty on arson charges in the Borough of Bellefonte in Centre County will spend the next four to 30 years in prison for setting a fire back in September. That sentence was handed down yesterday in Centre county Court to 23-year-old Jeffrey Karg. Karg was also ordered to pay more than $130,000 in restitution for setting fire to a storage facility behind Mattress World on South Spring Street in Bellefonte. Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks-Miller tells WGRC the lengthy sentence is appropriate as Karg showed a lack of remorse throughout the legal process.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILLVILLE - A 27-year-old Shamokin man has been arrested for breaking into a Millville area man’s home to allegedly steal his prescription drugs. State police have charged Andrew Brown with the break-in in February. Police say Brown climbed through the window of the man’s home thinking the man wasn’t home when the man’s pet dog awakened him catching Brown in the act.  Brown is jailed on $25,000.

JERSEY SHORE - Police in Lycoming County have arrested a man they believe may be connected to recent burglaries at storage units in the Jersey Shore area. Thomas Smith of Jersey Shore was arrested Wednesday and charged with trespassing. Investigators are looking into whether or not Smith was behind burglaries at Bulldog Self Storage in Jersey Shore one week ago when 19 storage containers were broken into.

LOCK HAVEN - Aaron Fisher, the teen who as Victim 1 and blew the whistle on former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky's serial pedophile, has found legal trouble of his own. The 19-year-old Fisher is the defendant in a protection from abuse petition filed in Clinton County. The plaintiff is a woman who alleges Fisher and her 15-year-old daughter had consensual sex, after the girl snuck out of her grandmother's home on February 24th. The woman launched the PFA action on behalf of her daughter, who is legally still a minor. State Police have confirmed that an investigation into the matter is ongoing. The Patriot News reports, the PFA order against Fisher is being pursued in Clinton County, as that is the home county of the girl's family. The criminal investigation is centered in Centre County, since that's where the alleged act occurred. Fisher went public with his identity last year and co-wrote a book, "Silent No More," that detailed his experiences both as Sandusky's last known victim and as a star witness in the state's investigation.

STATE COLLEGE - A new report written by a professor of law in Arkansas says a Pennsylvania state grand jury crossed a line by even mentioning Joe Paterno in their investigation of Jerry Sandusky. University of Arkansas Professor Brian Gallini wrote that regardless of how Paterno handled information about Sandusky his name should not have been part of the public document, because it was only an investigation of Sandusky, not Paterno or the university. He says this grand jury report named witnesses and other people who were not being investigated, and didn't give them a chance to defend themselves.
BLOOMSBURG – By 2016 Autoneum and Windsor Foods, in Bloomsburg, hope to have a flood wall built around them protecting the factory and some nearly 900 jobs. But residents of that area told the project’s organizers last night they want assurances the $30 million protection for industry doesn’t mean their homes will be flooded. The Press Enterprise reports, SEDA-COG officials say the County will have to make sure that doesn’t happen. Columbia Commissioner Chris Young told the crowd of about 70 that the county would draw up maps based on that study to show what that would mean for surrounding neighborhoods. The floodwater discussion was part of a larger presentation by officials from SEDA-COG, the county and town about the floodwall. The county will be opening bids next week from engineering companies who want to design the project. Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2015.

WILLIAMSPORT - Revision may be in store for engineers working on a parking garage and transit facility in downtown Williamsport. The Sun Gazette reports, City Council Thursday approved L. Robert Kimball and Associates, of Ebensburg, to proceed with the final design phase of the proposed $9 million Trade and Transit Centre II at West Third and Laurel streets, but requested the chance for revising final design elements. At their meeting Council review artists’ renderings of the facility which led some council members to suggest it would not fit into the landscape of the downtown business district. The reason given by some council representatives is that often modern designs become dated while classic designs are timeless.

STATE COLLEGE - Penn State is requesting that Columbia Gas re-evaluate alternate routes through campus for the natural gas pipeline that will service the university’s West Campus steam plant conversion from coal. The Centre Daily Times reports, Columbia’s plan proposed the new pipeline connect to an existing line off Porter Road travel under Bellaire and Prospect avenues and South Burrowes Street, and to the plant, at Burrowes and College Avenue. Residents along the route have spent hours strongly opposing the line to the State College Borough Council, Columbia and Penn State. Russell Bedell, a spokesman for Columbia, says the company received Penn State’s request for an alternate route and that the project designers will need several weeks to address it.

LEWISBURG - A manhole rehabilitation project at the intersection of Route 15 and Route 45 in Lewisburg is set for next week. The work is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Monday, April 22nd, with completion on or before 7 p.m. Monday, April 29th. The work will be performed with a detour in place. Motorists should anticipate delays through this area and plan extra time for their travels.

UNIVERSITY PARK - The fourth annual Special Olympics PA Beaver Stadium Run on Sunday will raise money and honor a Penn State football great. Franco Harris will receive the first-ever Special Olympics Pennsylvania Community Hero Award and welcome more than 3,000 participants at the race that begins at 11:10 a.m. outside Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Registration for the event begins at 7:30 a.m. and runs through 10:45 a.m. The race ends at the Beaver Stadium 50 yard line.

HARRISBURG – As is common with any large tragedy, scammers are looking to prey upon the emotional aftermath and those wanting to help. Yesterday Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele warned Pennsylvanians to beware of phony charities asking for donations to help victims of the Boston Marathon explosions. Any organization soliciting donations in Pennsylvania is required to register with the Department of State, with the exception of religious organizations. You can check to see if an organization is registered by going to www.dos.state.pa.us, clicking on “Charities”, then clicking on "Searchable Database", and typing in the organizations name.  You can also call 800-732-0999 to ask if a group is registered.

WEST CHESTER - The developers of a planned 120-mile natural gas pipeline that would tranverse portions of Lycoming, Columbia, Montour and Northumberland counties say the project is being suspended indefinitely. The Associated press reports, the proposed Commonwealth Pipeline would carry natural gas from a deposit in the Marcellus Shale in Lycoming County. It would travel through Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill and Berks counties on its way to Chester County. The groups behind the project have announced on their website that the project is being suspended. No reason is being given, but the group says it will provide updates at a later time. The developers had said they hoped to have the pipeline in service by 2015.