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May 13, 2013

POTTSVILLE - Six people, four of them children, were killed in a deadly blaze in Schuylkill County. Fire crews said flames started at a home in the 200 block of Pierce Street in Pottsville late last night.  Seven people lived in the home. Firefighters said the floors and roof of the home collapsed making it difficult to fight the blaze. The Schuylkill County Coroner’s office reports, two-year-old Elijah Brown, three-year-old Emily Brown, seven-year-old Jeremiah Brown, and eight-year-old Joy Brown, their father, 30-year-old Eric Brown was also killed. Flames also claimed the life of the family’s sister-in-law, 26-year-old Kristina Thomas. Authorities said the mother, Kelly Brown, was not home at the time. The fire chief said that five firefighters were injured battling the flames. The injuries were minor. A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause.
(WNEP)

WILLIAMSPORT – Police in Williamsport are investigating a shooting, Saturday in the city. Police say a 23-year-old man was taken to a trauma center with a gunshot wound to his leg. Police say they found a handgun lying near-by. Police say they also found a blood trail leading to a vehicle in front of 931 Park Avenue.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LAPORTE – Police in Sullivan County are continuing their investigation into a fight that ended up with one man being shot and flown to a hospital and two other men suffering cuts and bruises Saturday night. The incident happened just before midnight when police say one man broke into a private business and began to harass his girlfriend and two other men. A fight broke out and while one of the victims was trying to intervene in a fight between two other men, his gun discharged and one man was hit. Police have not released the names of those involved at this time.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MAHANOY CITY – Nineteen-year-old Jarvin Huggins, is now serving a life sentence behind bars following his sentence last week in Schuylkill County. Huggins was convicted in March at the Schuylkill County Courthouse for the murder of 48-year-old Gene Slavinksy, in Mahanoy City. The murder happened in April of 2012 inside Slavinsky’s home. After his arrest, Huggins confessed to the crime. He said he broke into Slavinsky’s basement, cut off the power to lure him down there and that’s where he beat him to death. Huggins was also found guilty of robbery, burglary and several other charges in connection to the murder.
(WNEP)

DANVILLE - A Danville man remains in condition following a crash on Route 11 Saturday morning, in Montour County. Police say the crash happened just before eleven a.m. in Mahoning Township. Police say Howard Knapp was a passenger in an SUV driven by Timothy Wintersteen, of Danville. Police say Wintersteen hit the rear of another vehicle which had to stop abruptly for another car in front of it. Knapp was taken to Geisinger following the crash.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - A Danville driver was in critical condition after a wreck on Route 54 just north of the Interstate 80 exchange Saturday evening in Montour County. State Police say 74-year-old Kenneth Enterline, was stopped on McCracken Road in his van when he tried to cross the highway and pulled out in front of an approaching car driven by 20-year-old Jaclin Hoffner, also of the Danville area. Hoffner was not hurt. Enterline was taken to Geisinger Medical Center.
(WGRC)

MILL HALL – A Clinton County man was taken to Williamsport Hospital with what police called major injuries in a crash Thursday in Mill Hall. The crash happened around ten p.m. on Route 150. Police say an SUV driven by 19 year-old Sheana Englert of Mill Hall made a turn off Route 150 into the path of a car driven by 22-year-old James Courturiaux also of Mill Hall. Police say Englert suffered minor injuries.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - A Bellefonte man was jailed after he allegedly led police on a chase before crashing into a road sign. That happened around seven Friday evening. Police were called to a disturbance on Gorton Road in Snow Shoe Township involving a man and woman in a car. Police said 55-year-old Richard Swope, ignored commands to stop the car and fled. He eventually lost control of the car and crashed into a road sign and was caught. Police later determined that Swope had been involved in an earlier hit-and-run crash involving two vehicles on Gorton Road. He remains locked-up in the Centre County Prison.
(WGRC)

NEWPORT – A State College woman is facing hit and run, fleeing police DUI and reckless endangerment charges following a high-speed chase which began in Newport. Troopers say just before six Friday night 35-year-old Karen Reitz struck an unoccupied vehicle in the parking lot of the McDonalds Restaurant in the Newport Plaza. Police caught up with Reitz on Routes 22/322 when she took off leading police on a high speed chase that eventually ended on Mountain Road in Middle Paxton Township, Dauphin County. Two people, including a one-year-old child were in the car with her at the time of the chase. She’s now locked up on $25,000 bail.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SHAMOKIN DAM – A $2.4 million roadway resurfacing and bridge rehabilitation project on a three-mile section of Route 15 in Snyder County is scheduled to start this week. The work will be done on Route 15 from the intersection with Route 11 at Shamokin Dam, north to the Union-Snyder county line. The resurfacing of the roadway will provide a smoother ride and skid resistance. Drivers are being advised that long-term lane closures will be in place causing traffic delays. The roadway project is expected to be complete by September 27th.
(WGRC)

MILLVILLE - Two Benton-area brothers accused of hoarding Chihuahuas for the second time in less than a year saw most of their charges dropped Friday. Animal officers raided 59-year-old Thomas and 54-year-old Albert Ambrosia’s 474 Ridge Road home in December, the second such raid in six months. The first raid last July turned up nearly 200 Chihuahuas; 185 animals were confiscated then and the brothers were found to have 32 dogs in their home in December. On Friday the men had all but four of 32 charges withdrawn from them.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The city of Williamsport got about $212,000 more than it expected Thursday when officials received a check from unused healthcare premiums. Mayor Gabriel Campana tells the Sun Gazette, the unused money from the Pennsylvania Municipal Healthcare Consortium will be put in next year's general fund. The mayor stopped short of saying the infusion of unexpected cash would avert a future tax increase. But, the Mayor did say it would soften the blow in regards to expenses for next year. The city could see even more surplus money coming in from the arrangement - up to $150,000 because the check received represents only 75 percent of the claim year.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - Originally scheduled to be completed at the end of this year, Williamsport Regional Airport Authority officials said Thursday that plans for a new terminal building have been pushed back more than 2 1/2 years due to mandated Federal Aviation Administration environmental reviews. A new $13.6 million airport terminal building still is on the drawing board, but the project received a setback when the FAA required environmental studies on the proposed site. The Sun Gazette reports, a new time line indicates that a new terminal would be open by October 2016.Airport officials, Lycoming County commissioners, state legislators, local elected officials and business leaders were present last June for the announcement of a new terminal building. They said the need was clear for a more modern and efficient terminal building to replace the 66-year-old structure. The actual design of the new facility cannot be finalized until the environmental assessment is done. Transportation officials say construction now is planned to start at the beginning of October 2015 and finish a year later.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – The Mater Dolorosa church in Williamsport is being looked at to be used as a day reporting center for prison inmates by Lycoming County officials. On Friday, Lycoming County Judge Nancy Butts made that announcement during the County’s prison board meeting. The former Catholic Church at 634 Hepburn St. was closed in October 2011, and its final mass was celebrated July 8. Father Brian Van Fossen of St. Joseph the Worker Parish tells the Sun Gazette, an exploratory committee was formed in February to look over ways the church building may be used "to do outreach to those in need. The county has been exploring the creation of a day reporting center since last year. Officials also have toured a four-story building at 301 W. Third St., among other sites, but no bids have been made on any site. A day reporting center likely will include offices for adult probation and supervised bail, increasing the ease of reporting for those nonviolent offenders who may be heavily monitored without committing them to a crowded county prison. Other programs that have been mentioned as possibilities by officials for such a center include counseling for substance abuse, job training and GED classes.
(WGRC)

BOALSBURG - The rain held off Saturday morning for the annual Bridge of Hope Mother’s Day 5K in Boalsburg in Centre County. The Centre Daily Times reports, about 100 people took part in the event to raise money for homeless and at-risk single mothers in Centre County. Organizers hoped to raise $25,000 this year and in the past have hit that goal. Bridge of Hope is a Centre County-based organization that helps fund a handful of single mothers in need over an 18- to 24-month period. The organization started five years ago, but the run is in its fourth year as a fundraiser for the program. The 5K started on the front lawn at the Pennsylvania Military Museum, looped around a nearby neighborhood and park and ended back at the museum.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE – The Danville Ferry Street Growers Market will reopen May 18. The market next to Cole’s Hardware on Ferry Street will be open from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays through November 23rd, will sell locally grown and produced goods. There will be a variety of activities throughout the season including musicians, a guest chef, customer surveys, basket giveaways, and nutritional programs, canning demonstrations, a master gardener demonstration, a corn roast and chicken barbecue.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - All 14 state-owned universities in Pennsylvania were asked to review their weapons policies after students complained they weren’t allowed to carry firearms on campus. The Associated Press reports, Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, a spokesman for the governor’s Office of General Counsel, says the statewide review was launched last year after students with concealed-carry permits questioned the constitutionality of blanket weapons bans at state-owned universities. Lawyers at the State System of Higher Education then concluded that an outright ban was unenforceable. Kutztown University has now changed its policy to allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry weapons on campus. It’s not clear how many others have followed suit. On Friday, the state system’s chairman said he’s asking all the state schools to keep their existing weapons policies in place while a task force reviews the issue.
(WGRC)