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April 22, 2013

UNDATED – Folks across the region are still cleaning up after a strong line of thunderstorms swept through Friday evening. In Union County about 3,500 square feet of roofing blew off a Mifflinburg Lumber shed during a storm Friday night and against the company’s retail building, causing up to $25,000 in damage. Four employees were inside Mifflinburg Lumber’s retail building when a huge gust blew through, opening the building’s doors and sending debris from the shed roof hurtling against the store. The business is located just east of Mifflinburg along Router 45. No one was injured. The business was closed Saturday as employees and volunteers cleaned up the mess. Owner Nate Seigel tells the Daily Item the business received support from numerous customers and random passersby. Seigel says the business is so blessed to be living in a community that cares. Meanwhile a tornado watch was posted for the region and while, statewide, there were several areas of heavy damage, the Central Susquehanna Valley was spared heavy damage. Trees were downed on roadways and across power lines with power outages recorded in the thousands. One of the hardest hit areas was Schuylkill County where the National Weather Service was in Tremont looking to see if a tornado touched down. But further inspection by national Weather Service scientists determined the damage was caused by straight line winds which sent trees into homes and lifted siding and shingles as well as parts of roofs off homes. In all 26 properties in the borough were damaged.
(WGRC)

MILESBURG - A Moshannon man was killed in a two-vehicle crash just before four p.m. Sunday near Milesburg in Centre County. Police say 76-year-old David Rockey, of Bellefonte, pulled out in front of a motorcycle driven by 27-year-old Travis Tumbleson at the intersection of Route 8008 and Route 150. After impact, Tumbleson was thrown into the windshield of Rockey’s vehicle then flew about 12 feet and landed on the roadway. Tumbleson was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Rockey and a passenger in his vehicle were not hurt.
(WGRC)

MANSFIELD - A 40-year-old man was killed early Saturday morning when his pickup truck crashed on Canoe Camp Creek Road in Covington Township, Tioga County. State police say Stephen Jayne, of Mansfield lost control on a curve and overturned in a grassy area several times. Police say Jayne was not wearing a seat belt, and died at the scene.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LEWISBURG — A Lewisburg home suffered major damage after a vehicle plowed into it and caught fire Saturday afternoon. Police say around two p.m. a 75-year-old woman had a medical episode and crashed into the home on St. Paul Street. The car catching fire which also spread to the house. The driver of the vehicle was taken to a hospital for treatment no one in the home was hurt. Four people are homeless after the incident.
(WGRC)

NUMIDIA – Fire crews rushed out to a fire around 3:30 this morning in Columbia County. The fire was first reported as a possible brush fire, but when crews arrived on the scene they discovered that fire had totally destroyed the unoccupied home and it was burned completely to the ground. The fire was located at 238 Center School Road in Cleveland Township. No injuries were reported. An investigation is underway in Columbia County.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN – An investigation into a fire last night in Lewistown that destroyed a home is underway. Firefighters were called out around eleven p.m. to that fire at a two-story-wood frame home at 124 Chestnut Street. Flames were shooting from the second floor and roof of the home when crews arrived.  No one was injured in the fire in Mifflin County.
(WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE – An accidental fire at a business in Lycoming County Sunday afternoon was put out causing around five thousand dollars in damages. Quick work by firefighters saved Guerra Goldsmith, located in the 1000 block of Allegheny Street in Jersey shore. The Sun gazette reports the fire broke out in a work room where either a hot plate or a light on a bench overheated and caught fire.
(WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE – A fire and explosion leveled a home early Sunday morning in Lycoming County. The Sun Gazette reports, 69-year-old Sharon Fisher was awakened by her cat and went downstairs to find her living room on Fisher Mountain Road ablaze. The fire around 3:30 a.m. totally destroyed the two-story home in Piatt Township. Her husband 71-year-old Ronald Fisher heard the woman’s screams and kicked out a bedroom window and escaped the fire by sliding down a carport roof to safely. The woman was able to flee the home through the front door of the home. It’s unknown if the cat escaped the fire. When fire crews arrived on scene the structure was fully engulfed in flames and explosion believed to be oxygen tanks inside the home knocked fire victims and rescue personnel to the ground. The couple was taken to Jersey Shore hospital as a precaution. A state police fire marshal will investigate a cause.
(WGRC)

NEW COLUMIBA- A family of seven is homeless after fire destroyed their double-wide home in Union County Saturday night. Fire crews rushed out around eight p.m. to the home at 1645 Pleasant View Road. Jim Messinger, White Deer Township fire chief, tells the Daily item the fire destroyed two bedrooms and was licking at the living room of the home when his crews first arrived. All members of the family got out of the house safely. Messinger says the fire was accidental and was caused by a space heater which ignited the blaze under a dresser in one of the bedrooms.  The American Red Cross is helping the family.
(WGRC)

WESTFIELD - Moments after he allegedly gunned down his former girlfriend in her Westfield apartment Friday night, in Tioga County, a 51-year-old man was shot dead by police after refusing repeated orders to drop his firearm, according to state police. State Police at Mansfield say 51-year-old Barry Mead Sr. forced his way into Vicki Copp's apartment around 7 p.m., "a physical struggle ensued" between the two, when Mead then shot Copp. Police stormed inside the home and demanded Mead to drop his shotgun and when he failed to do so, they shot and killed him.  The shootings remain under investigation by the state police, the Westfield Borough police and the Tioga County District Attorney's Office.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG – It was block party weekend in Bloomsburg and a storm of bottles, rocks and cans twice bombarded an armored vehicle as police tried to break up an unruly party crowd that spilled into Fetterman Avenue Saturday. After ignoring several calls to disperse, police first discharged smoke and then pepper spray that wafted over remnants of a crowd of about 300 revelers. Some of them already appeared drunk and rowdy, and it wasn’t yet even 2 p.m. The Press Enterprise reports, three hours later, the crowds returned, again blocking off access to Fetterman Avenue. And the Bearcat was back, again shooting pepper spray into gusting winds and supported by dozens of officers in riot gear. A short time earlier, an ambulance was sent to East Street several blocks away where someone reportedly fell off a rooftop in the area of another large gathering on Chestnut Avenue. A dozen or so officers and sheriff’s deputies on bicycles helped patrol, including several from Union and Schuylkill counties. They joined local law enforcement in the party area, which extended over a dozen blocks from Iron and Ridge to East and Fourth streets, along with Lightstreet Road. No word at this time on how many may have been arrested.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - A 36-year-old Lewistown man was arrested Friday and charged with multiple counts of possession of child pornography. State Police said they found 63 videos depicting the sexual abuse of children on a computer at Gerald Woodring's apartment on Valley Street. Several hard drives were seized from Woodring's home and taken to the Computer Crime office at the state police barracks in Hollidaysburg. Woodring is jailed in the Mifflin County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE – A Centre County man was found guilty by a jury Thursday of numerous sex charges in a case involving minors. 44-year-old Daniel Hanley, of Milesburg, was found guilty of the incidents which happened between the spring of 2010 and April 2011, against a total of three victims. Hanley was found guilty of three charges. He remains jailed awaiting sentencing in July.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - Pottsville police took one man into custody Sunday afternoon after responding to a report of shots fired in the city. Police received a report of a man with a gun on a roof in the area of Third and Norwegian streets. WNEP TV reports 40-year-old Anthony Iacovitti was taken into custody. He was questioned and released, although police say charges are pending.  Police determined the gun was a BB gun. No one was hurt.
(WNEP)

SELINSGROVE – State Police are investigating a break-in at a nursery in Snyder County. It happened sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning at Hawks Nursery along Route 204 just north of Selinsgrove. Police say the bandit broke into a building and took some cash. Anyone with information on the break-in is asked to call state police Selinsgrove.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SELINSGROVE – Police are investigating a break-in in Snyder County. That happened sometime between noon Friday and 11:30 Sunday night at a trailer located at Country Side Village off the Old Trail in Monroe Township. Police say a lock-box containing a small amount of cash was taken from the mobile home. Anyone with information is asked to call state police, Selinsgrove.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY – A PennDOT maintenance crew in Northumberland County will close a section of Mile Post Road in Upper Augusta Township for the replacement of five pipes to improve drainage. The work will be done between Mile Hill Road and Mount Pleasant Road. Mile Post Road will be closed daily, weekdays, from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. starting Monday, April 22, for approximately two weeks.
(WGRC)

PAXINOS – Motorists should expect delays today on Route 61 between Route 487 and Stonington in Shamokin Township, Northumberland County. The road will be restricted to one lane while a hazardous materials crew cleans up fuel spills on both sides of the road at the scene of a prior vehicle crash. Flaggers will be on site to direct traffic but delays of up to a half hour are expected. Work is set to begin at 8 a.m. and should be finished at about 5 p.m.
(WGRC)

BUCKHORN - The Columbia Mall near Buckhorn in Columbia County has a new owner, and property managers are optimistic they can turn things around at the struggling shopping center. Larry Zipf, president of Philadelphia-based Fameco Realty, tells the Press Enterprise it won’t happen overnight. Fameco Realty is managing the property for new owner Empire Columbia L.P., also of Philadelphia. Over the past several years, many retail firms had nixed expansion plans, opting to ride out the slow economy by focusing on key markets and conservatively banking cash. But now, the purse strings are starting to loosen.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State has selected its next executive vice president and provost. Nicholas Jones will begin his position at University Park beginning July 1, assuming the board of trustees approves the measure at its May 3 meeting. Jones is dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins. Jones would be the university’s chief academic officer, which was President Rodney Erickson’s post before replacing Graham Spanier. The position has been held by Robert Pangborn on an interim basis since November 2011. Jones would report to Erickson and serve as chief executive officer in his absence.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK —The fourth annual Special Olympics Pennsylvania Beaver Stadium Run — the largest single fundraising event in the organization’s history generated over $360,000 for Special Olympics yesterday in Centre County. The race had an estimated 3,700 participants to help fund Special Olympics projects around the state and provide support for the athletes to attend competitions.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - Global Warming-fact or fiction? That’s the title of the controversial topic to be addressed by Joe Lundberg, AccuWeather Meteorologist in State College, at the next Susquehanna Valley Conservatives meeting. The meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7:00PM in the Baylor East Conference Room at the Best Western Country Cupboard Inn, Lewisburg. Lundburg graduated from Penn State University in 1983 with a B.S. in Meteorology and has been employed by AccuWeather since 1990. His presentation will include a variety of graphs demonstrating some of the many variables involved in studying climate change. Such things as sunspots, volcanic activity and ocean conditions such as El Nino are factors as well as human activities. Mr. Lundberg is a dedicated Christian and an avid cyclist. The meeting is free and open to the public.
(WGRC)

MILL HALL - In the aftermath of fatal drug overdoses by youth in the area, a forum will be held this coming Tuesday evening at the Central Mountain Middle School auditorium. The public is encouraged to attend. Sponsored by drug treatment and prevention advocates, the session will start at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and feature a panel discussion and public participation. Doors to the auditorium will open to the public at 6 p.m. to submit questions for discussion.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - A former Penn State administrator accused of covering up complaints about Jerry Sandusky is appealing a judge's recent decision that allowed the case to continue. Retired university vice president Gary Schultz filed a notice with the county court on Friday that says he's appealing to the Superior Court in Harrisburg. He's asking the appellate court to review the February 9th ruling by a judge who supervised the grand jury that investigated him, Sandusky, and two other university officials. Schultz's attorney Tom Farrell says the brief notice of appeal will be followed by a document that lays out the basis for it. Schultz's co-defendants are former Penn State president Graham Spanier and former athletic director Tim Curley. Sandusky, the school's former assistant coach, is serving a lengthy child molestation prison sentence.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The Department of Environmental Protection will begin its annual black fly control aerial spray program today. The department will be using a naturally occurring bacterium, to target the larval stage of four specific human pest black fly species. This bacterium degrades quickly in the environment and does not harm the aquatic ecosystem, fish, birds or other insects. This effort greatly reduces the black fly population, making it easier for Pennsylvanians to enjoy outdoor activities during the warmer months of the year. From now through August, 45 rivers and streams spanning more than 1,500 miles in 32 counties will be monitored and treated as needed. Spraying activities will be performed by helicopter and the frequency will depend on black fly surveillance results and weather conditions.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials will participate in a free, web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension on Marcellus Shale issues in the Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County, on Thursday, April 25. “Information on Potential Loyalsock State Forest Natural Gas Development” is being offered from 1 to 2 p.m. as part of a series of one-hour webinars conducted by Penn State on natural gas drilling. DCNR Secretary Richard Allan says, “DCNR has heard from numerous individuals and organizations on this issue through letters, phone calls and in a meeting this month with local stakeholders.”  “The webinar gives us an additional opportunity to exchange information and respond to questions about potential gas development in the Loyalsock, where the state does not own the subsurface gas rights.” Allan added that DCNR is in the process of planning an upcoming public meeting. Details will be shared in the coming weeks. To participate in the webinar, log in to meeting.psu.edu/marcelluswebinar/.
(WGRC)