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May 9, 2013

UNDATED – The skies opened up and did it pour. The region was under a flash flood warning yesterday but with the down-pours no major flooding was reported. Some area roadways had pounding water and two underpasses in Sunbury prone to flooding were closed until the water receded. The gushers of rain sent 240 students of the Central Pennsylvania Envirothon home early. The competition, held at the Shikellamy State Park overlook, hosted 46 teams from 17 schools throughout Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. Anywhere from about an inch of rain in Williamsport to over two-and-a-half inches in Beaver Springs was reported. The heavy rain soaked the ground causing a rock slide along Route 11 in Point Township last night which closed the southbound lane for about 45 minutes until crews could clean-up the mess. And fire crews were called out to fight a fire in an attic of a home after a lightning strike in Shamokin Dam. A flash flood watch is in effect until this evening for our region.
(WGRC)

MAZE – Police are investigating an armed robbery late last night in Juniata County. State Police say a man armed with a hand gun went to the back door of a home along route 235 in Delaware Township and asked a woman living there if there was anyone that could help him as he had car trouble. The woman said no and at that time the man barged into the home holding the woman at gunpoint and stealing a purse, medications and four diamond rings. The bandit is described as standing about six feet tall with a medium build, brown hair and brown goatee. Anyone with information on the home invasion is asked to call state police, Lewistown.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Fire crews were called out to battle a fire at an apartment building in Williamsport late yesterday afternoon. The fire was reported just after five p.m. at 1209 Park Avenue in Williamsport. The fire reportedly started in a bedroom of one of the apartments. Six families remain without a home due to the fire and the American Red Cross is assisting them. Crews remained on the scene fighting the blaze until around nine last night. No injuries were reported and a cause is under investigation.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG – Jurors in the Donald Seebold murder trial in Snyder County will begin deliberations this morning. The trial is wrapping up after almost two weeks of testimony in the case which has been under investigation for almost 16 years. The 22-year-old Seebold was allegedly beaten to death at a party in July 1997 near Port Ann. 37-year-old Robert Reich, 39-year-old Christopher Aucker, and 37-year-old Ryan Sprenkel are accused of beating the 22-year-old Seebold to death. The three could face a conviction of first or third degree murder or voluntary man slaughter. The three’s defense attorneys have asked the jury to acquit the three for a lack of evidence.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Police in Lycoming County say they found discarded meth lab materials in Lycoming Township. Old Lycoming Township Police are trying to locate those responsible for dumping a methamphetamine lab in a wooded area. On Tuesday police say a suspicious backpack and drug making items were found lying along Hoagland’s Run Road in Lycoming Township. The Pennsylvania State Police certified clan lab team responded to clean up the items. Anyone with information concerning methamphetamine manufacturing or who might have dumped the items is asked to contact Old Lycoming Township Police at 570-329-4060.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LIVERPOOL – A Selinsgrove man is behind bars in Perry County after police find him carry a large quantity of drugs. State Police say on Sunday afternoon they pulled over 22-year-old Chase Harpster for speeding on Routes 11 and 15 at Liverpool. A search of Harpster’s vehicle turned up a large amount of marijuana, hashish and other drugs.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - Bellefonte police say three people were taken into custody and more than 50 bags of heroin were discovered in a drug bust in a municipal parking lot. Police said they encountered three people engaged in illegal drug activity in the parking lot Saturday. Police said they obtained a search warrant of two vehicles and discovered 50 bags of heroin, several packets of suspected bath salts and suspected drug money. Police said Wednesday that three people were placed in the Centre County Correctional Facility and that charges are pending.
(WGRC)

WHITE DEER – Three men have been charged with possession and transportation of unstamped cigarette cartons following a traffic stop Tuesday morning on Interstate 80 in Union County. Police have charged 27-year-old Reginald Jacques and 25-year-old Dexter Priester both of New York and 25-year-old Dwight Sumpter of Maryland with possession of 75 cartons of unstamped cigarettes. Under state law cigarettes must be stamped with the current state tax stamp in order to be legal. Police say the men bought the cigarettes in Ohio and were traveling to New York to sell the untaxed cigarettes.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

TROUT RUN – Police in Lycoming County are investigating a break-in at an unoccupied home near trout run. Police say sometime between Sunday and Tuesday someone broke into the home along Route 287 in Cogan House Township. The bandits got away with $60 in cash, over a dozen cans of beer and a dozen fireworks. Anyone with information on the break-in is asked to call State Police, Montoursville.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY – The seven member Northumberland County Prison Board yesterday unanimously agreed that a new prison is needed sending into motion work to develop a plan to build a new facility. The Daily Item reports, the County will be assisted in the process by the National Institute of Corrections. The Board also plans to look at Day Reporting Centers, and pre-release centers top lessen the crowded Northumberland County Prison population which averages around 200 inmates a day. Also during the Prison Board Meeting a motion to have Prison Guards also searched before entering the prison was accepted. The measure was enacted after a guard was caught last week trying to smuggle drugs into the County Lock-up.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - At least 16 of the 27 Danville High School students cited with underage drinking at a post-prom party Sunday are set to graduate in June. Those 16 students may face discipline from the school, but they won’t be barred from graduating or the commencement ceremony itself. State Police on Wednesday released the names of those cited who are 18 and older. Danville Area Superintendent Cheryl Latorre tells the Press Enterprise, under district policy, school officials can’t keep the students from attending graduation because the drinking did not occur on school property.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - Mifflin and Juniata County School Districts have finally settled their differences regarding ownership of the Mifflin-Juniata Career and Technology Center. Following on the heels of the Juniata County School Board's decision on Tuesday to agree to an amended settlement, the Mifflin County School Board unanimously approved the same settlement during a special meeting last night. The Sentinel reports, Mifflin County will take control of the operations of the facility at the end of the current agreement, which ends June 30. Juniata County shall have the right to send its students to the center for their career and technical education; and Juniata County shall pay tuition on an annual basis to Mifflin County at a rate equal to the actual per pupil cost incurred by Mifflin County for its students who attend the center.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG – A Lewisburg manufacturer of playground equipment will be featured on the Science Channel’s “How It’s Made,” program today. Playworld Systems reports its Spring Mates® Duck will be featured on the Science Channel’s “How It’s Made” program tonight at nine p.m. The upcoming segment will provide an exclusive look at the quality manufacturing process and craftsmanship behind the motion play product. From aluminum sand casting to the oven-baked coating and airbrushed painting, viewers will be taken behind-the-scenes to see the making of one of Playworld Systems’ popular products. Thursday’s episode will be the first time “How It’s Made” focuses on playground equipment.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A company has reached a verbal agreement to place its corporate name on Bowman Field, paying the city $30,000 a year for five years, but the deal must be reviewed by several government bodies before it's inked. The Sun Gazette reports, Mayor Gabriel Campana negotiated the deal after receiving assistance from former Harrisburg Mayor Steve Reed. Campana has declined to identify the company, although he said he informed the Williamsport Crosscutters' management of the name. The proposal must be reviewed and approved by City Council, which will see the details before it meets on June 13th.
(WGRC)

REEDSVILLE – A request by Glenn O. Hawbaker Incorporated to build an asphalt plant near Reedsville in Mifflin County has been denied. The Zoning Hearing Board of Brown Township denied Hawbaker a special exception permit for the construction of the plant. Hawbaker planned the plant on a 12 acre site in Brown Township. The special exemption was requested because the plant would be classified as a heavy manufacturing facility and the property is zoned as light manufacturing. Brown Township Zoning Hearing Board rejected the request because Hawbaker’s traffic information submitted to the Board was insufficient. Many area residents voiced displeasure with the idea of an asphalt plant near their homes. Hawbaker has 30 days to file an appeal.
(WGRC)

BERWICK - Operators at PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant disconnected Unit 1 from the regional power grid early Thursday at the start of a scheduled outage to install turbine modifications. The modifications are the first phase of a long-term plan that is expected to resolve the turbine blade issues that have affected plant operations in recent years. Workers made the same modifications to Unit 2 during its regularly scheduled refueling outage, which is still ongoing. Both units are expected back in service by the start of summer.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - Clinton County will lose Democratic State Senator John Wozniak in 2014 and Republican State Senator Joseph Scarnati will replace him as a result of a new redistricting plan upheld by the state Supreme Court on Wednesday. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected numerous legal challenges to the state's revised redistricting plan and that means Senator Wozniak is moving on to another region. Senator Scarnati, of Brockway, will represent Clinton County's citizens in 2014.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Several municipalities in Union County will now fall under representation of Senator Eugene Yaw. The State Supreme Court Wednesday affirmed Pennsylvania's Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s 2012 Revised Final Plan that redraws legislative boundaries based on the 2010 U.S. Census. In a 6-0 decision, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille, and his fellow Justices, affirmed that the LRC’s 2012 Final Plan does not contradict current law and dismissed all appeals. While much of Senator Yaw’s District remains unaffected, the plan adds Hartleton Borough, Hartley Township, Lewis Township, Limestone Township and New Berlin Borough in Union County to the 23rd Senatorial District, giving Yaw representation for all of Union County.  These municipalities were previously in the 34th Senatorial District, represented by State Senator Jake Corman. Yaw will represent five counties in Central Pennsylvania. Yaw will give up portions of Susquehanna County to Senator Lisa Baker. The new legislative districts become effective in 2014.  
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will co-host a public meeting with local legislators in Spring Mills, Centre County, on May 16 to discuss dam safety issues at Colyer Lake. The meeting will be held from 6 - 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Penns Valley High School. The meeting is open to the public. The Commission announced on March 21 that it would begin to drain the lake because of deficiencies in the lake’s dam. This was done after routine inspections by Commission engineers and the state Department of Environmental Protection found that existing undermining beneath the dam’s spillway had become more severe. New analysis now shows the lake can be partially lowered by approximately 17 feet as a temporary solution while the PFBC seeks funding to rebuild the dam. Colyer Lake is a 77-acre reservoir located in Potter Township in Centre County.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Hunting is safe and getting safer. That’s the conclusion of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s newly released report on hunting-related shooting incidents in 2012. For the first time since the commission began tracking such incidents in 1915, a year came and went without a single human fatality related to gun handling in hunting and trapping. There were 33 non-fatal incidents, which also is a decrease from the previous year, and extends a continuing trend of increased hunter safety statewide. Hunting-related shooting incidents have declined by nearly 80 percent in Pennsylvania since hunter-education training began in 1959.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HARRISBURG - More than 1,000 people attended the funeral in Harrisburg for Roman Catholic Bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese Joseph McFadden. The Associated Press reports the funeral mass was held at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. The 65-year-old McFadden died of a heart attack last Thursday after feeling ill while attending a meeting of the Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The service capped several days of memorial services while the bishop’s body lay in state at St. Patrick Cathedral in downtown Harrisburg. He’ll was then interred at Holy Cross Cemetery. McFadden, who oversaw parishes in 15 counties, had been Harrisburg’s bishop for about three years. A new Bishop will be picked for the Diocese by Pope Francis.
(WGRC)