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June 19, 2013

MOUNT CARMEL - A large search effort continues for a missing teenager in Northumberland County.  Police say the teen didn’t come home after going for a run Monday night near Mount Carmel. Around 50 volunteers and rescue workers searched a wooded area behind Mount Carmel Area High School yesterday. Investigators believe that is where 17-year-old Mackenzie Greco, went running Monday.  Police call the wooded area dangerous and say there are steep hills and rocky terrain. According to police, Greco of Marion Heights, went for a run and never came home. Police say his image showed up on a surveillance camera outside a building and that he was walking toward the high school, which is why investigators are focusing their search efforts there. Police say Greco was last seen wearing a red shirt, dark shorts and carrying a black and red backpack.
(WNEP)

WESTFIELD – A man in Tioga County died after he was hit by a fallen tree and died yesterday. State Police investigated the accidental death which happened around 6:30 last evening along Crance Brook road in Westfield Township. Police say 29-year-old Robert Burd of Westfield was trimming a tree limb when another person was cutting another tree down. The tree fell on top of Burd killing him instantly.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

REEDSVILLE – Mifflin County regional Police say a woman was distracted by a child having a medical emergency in her vehicle drifted across a roadway and slammed into a horse and buggy last evening near Reedsville. The crash happened around eight p.m. on Woodland Road. Police say Jodi Kuhns was driving the vehicle which struck the horse and buggy operated by Dorothy Yoder. Three children in the buggy and the child in Kuhns vehicle were taken to Lewistown Hospital for treatment. Kuhns wasn’t seriously hurt, but Dorothy Yoder was flown to Hershey Medical Center where she remains in fair condition.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

EAST WATERFORD - A building at 5366 state Route 75 in Juniata County is a total loss after a fire gutted the home around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. The first units arriving on the scene found flames shooting from all sides of the two-story log home with an attachment owned by Bill Ganoe. No one was injured in the fire. A cause is under investigation by a state police fire marshal.
(WGRC)

SCOTT TOWNSHIP - A wanted man allegedly ran from police and probation officers Tuesday, injuring a Scott Township police officer during a struggle and later kicking out a police car’s window. The Press Enterprise reports, 24-year-old Kevin Smith Jr., of Schuylkill Haven, was riding in a car that Columbia County Adult Probation officers stopped in the Sheetz parking lot along Route 11 in Scott Township. That’s when Smith took off and a foot chase ensured. Smith was caught at the near-by Taco Bell but he continued to fight officers injuring one officer’s arm.  Smith also kicked out the rear driver’s-side window of the police car he was in. Smith was taken to Columbia County Prison on the warrants and is being held on charges of felony aggravated assault for injuring the police officer.  
(WGRC)

BURNHAM – Police in Mifflin County are looking for a black man that used a counterfeit $100.00 traveler’s check to pay for $16.00 dollars’ worth of items at the Burnham K-mart. That happened Saturday at eh store. Mifflin County regional Police say the man is also suspected of doing a similar scam at a store in Mill Hall. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call Mifflin County Regional Police.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LEWISBURG - A Milton man is facing felony forgery and theft charges after taking a stolen debit card and stealing nearly $700 dollars out of the account. Police have charged 20-year-old Hakeem Jefferson after police say he found the lost debit card at the Sheetz store in Lewisburg in January. Police say Jefferson made ATM withdrawals on the debit card but he also made a $4,200 deposit in the account as well. Milton Police identified Jefferson as the man making the ATM withdrawals after he was caught on surveillance video. Jefferson is jailed in the Northumberland County Prison on other charges.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - State College Police are investigating a rash of phone scams in recent weeks. An unidentified caller will claim the victim’s computer is infected with a virus and needs to be repaired. The caller claims to be from a computer company such as Microsoft and instructs the victim to open a website to enter a credit card number for repair payment. Police say yesterday, a scam call came from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. State College Police reminds the public to never give personal information such as social security or credit card numbers to callers over the phone. In addition, ensure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus and malware software installed.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN -Juniata County saved more than $1 million on inmate housing costs for the first fiscal quarter of 2013, according to a report issued Tuesday by the county commissioners. The Sentinel reports the estimated savings of $1.15 million dollars over the 2011 costs. The Juniata County Commissioner voted in 2012 to close the Juniata County prison and house prisoners in the Mifflin County facility.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - Seniors and people with disabilities will soon have to dig deeper into their pockets as the Union-Snyder Transportation Alliance seeks approval to raise rates up to 50 cents per trip. USTA has submitted its request for an 8 percent rate increase to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in a move to bring in $100,000 more in revenue to cover increasing costs. The daily item reports, the last fare increase was in June 2009.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Work on the I-180 eastbound passing lane in Williamsport will be underway today. Highway maintenance crews will be in the right lane between the Market Street and Faxon exits. There will also be a crew doing guiderail repairs on I-180 westbound in the left lane east of the Basin Street off-ramp. Drivers are reminded to stay alert to these lane restrictions on I-180.
(WGRC)

NORTHUMBERLAND - Motorists who travel Route 147 just north of Northumberland Borough in Northumberland County are advised to be alert for a lane shift tomorrow. The northbound lane will be closed and northbound traffic will be directed to use the center lane while additional hazmat cleanup work takes place along the northbound shoulder following a recent truck crash. This is in the vicinity of 13th Street in Point Township. The northbound lane shift is expected to be in place from approximately 7:30 a.m. until late afternoon. The southbound lane is not affected.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - A contract to rebuild the Loyalsock Creek Bridge, between Montoursville and Williamsport has been awarded to Glenn O. Hawbaker, a heavy construction company headquartered in State College. The contract award was approved by PennDOT's Bureau of Rail Freight Assistance. The bid of $9.1 million was the lowest of nine bids to rebuild the bridge, which was demolished after being severely damaged in floods resulting from Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. The SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority awarded the bid at its June 12 meeting. The new bridge will be built to allow more water to flow underneath it during flooding and is higher and over 100 feet longer than the previous bridge.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - Empire Kosher Poultry in Mifflintown has been fined $99,000 by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for repeated violations involving liquid and solid waste. The Sentinel reports, the violations date back to 2008 and included the discharge of industrial wastewater into the Juniata River, in addition to chemical spills and improper storage of solid waste. Empire Kosher agreed to the DEP findings and agreed to take corrective action, in addition to paying the fine. The money from the fine will be directed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Clean Water Fund.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - A recent report by The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania indicates Geisinger Health System has an annual $6.1 billion positive impact on the local, regional and Pennsylvania economy. The impact includes data from Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital, Geisinger-Bloomsburg Hospital, and Geisinger-Community Medical Center in Scranton and affiliates that became part of Geisinger Health System last year. As a major employer of more than 19,000 people and through the ripple effect utilization of Pennsylvania suppliers and other businesses, Geisinger Health System, including its new facilities in Shamokin, Bloomsburg and Scranton, supports more than 30,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. Overall, Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems support nearly 586,000 jobs and have a total economic impact of nearly $98 billion. In 2011, Pennsylvania’s 255 hospitals admitted more than 1.6 million patients, cared for nearly 39 million outpatients, evaluated six million patients in emergency departments and delivered over 124,000 babies.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport Area School Board unanimously voted Dr. Don Adams, assistant superintendent, as its newest superintendent starting this summer. The announcement of Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Kelley's successor was made at Tuesday's board meeting. The three-year term will be effective July 1st.  Adams has worked in the district for the past 15 years. The Sun Gazette also reports, the board also approved its 2013-14 budget, which will include a real-estate tax increase.  For a property assessed at $100,000, the increase will be nearly $35.00. The district also would use fund balance to make up some of its deficit.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINBURG - Camp Mount Luther, located in Mifflinburg, recently sent a team of senior high students to Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York and New Jersey. The campers arrived on Sunday, June 16th, and will be gone for over a week returning Tuesday night, June 25th. The mission work will be involving clean-up from last year’s Superstorm Sandy. About 40 participants are taking part in the mission’s event.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINBURG - Camp Mount Luther of Mifflinburg is pleased to announce the hiring of a new Food Service Manager.  Ed Connolly of New Berlin began his duties recently. Connolly is a retired US Marine First Sergeant with a combined 25 years on active duty and in the active reserves. He recently retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a Food Service Administrator with almost 21 years of service.  Connolly earned a Masters in Theology degree from Trinity School of Divinity and has been involved in ministry for over 25 years. The camp’s search committee who hired Connolly felt that he will be a great asset to the camp, especially with his long term experience in food service. Connolly replaces Cathleen Stenglein, who resigned in December.  
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way Board voted Tuesday not to release funding to the Susquehanna Council of Boy Scouts of America. These dollars were being held while the national Boy Scouts of America organization reviewed its policy of not granting membership to open homosexuals. The Daily Item reports the local United Way chapter will hold over $11,000 in funding for the scouts. The United Way board action to not release discretionary funding was in response to the recent decision at the national Scouting level to partly change its long-standing membership policy. The new policy states that youth members will not be excluded based on sexual orientation, but maintains a membership ban on open homosexual adults. The United Way has a Diversity&Inclusion policy that means resources will support and fund partners that provide programs to individuals regardless of sexual orientation, among other factors. The majority of the United Way Board did not feel the local Council’s policy met United Way’s standards and mission.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - A lasting tribute is planned for four children killed in a Mother’s Day fire in Schuylkill County. The terrible fire broke out late on Mother’s Day on Pierce Street in Pottsville. Officials say there were no working smoke alarms which could have saved some lives. When it was over Eric Brown, his sister-in-law and Brown’s four children were dead. Now, a memorial is planned for the children Elijah, 2, Emily, 3, Jeremiah, 7, and Joy, 8. It will be at the Bunker Hill playground where some of the victims used to visit.  Organizers hope kids will use their imagination when seeing the memorial. The idea for the memorial came from three mothers. They’ve raised about $1,000 so far. The city is supporting the idea. The women hope to unveil the memorial next month. There are a lot of sad memories there but on a positive note, the next fundraiser will be held at the Schuylkill Racquetball Club in Orwigsburg on June 30th.
(WNEP)

HARRISBURG - The state’s Superior Court denied on Tuesday appeals by the lawyers for two former Penn State administrators facing obstruction of justice charges from the grand jury investigation into Jerry Sandusky. The lawyers for former athletic director Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz appealed the decision of Barry Feudale, the judge overseeing the grand jury, to throw out the presentment that outlines the allegations against the two men. Feudale said in his order in April that he did not have that jurisdiction. Attorney General Kathleen Kane moved to have the Superior Court appeal thrown out; arguing that the appeal of a matter related a grand jury must be made to the state’s Supreme Court. The Superior Court’s order agreed with Kane, saying the Supreme Court is “exclusive jurisdiction” for appeals of grand jury matters. The lawyers for Curley and Schultz did appeal to the Supreme Court, but their appeal was denied earlier this month.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The state’s Commonwealth Court will hear arguments today on Senator Jake Corman’s lawsuit to prevent the NCAA from spending money from the $60 million fine imposed on Penn State outside Pennsylvania. The NCAA is challenging the lawsuit brought by both state Senator Jake Corman, and state Treasurer Rob McCord. Corman sued in January and is asking the court to order that the money be spent on child abuse awareness and prevention programs in the state. Corman and McCord asked for court-ordered mediation last week.
(WGRC)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of representatives took a major step at ending abortion in the United States yesterday by passing a bill titled the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would limit abortions to women who have only been pregnant 20 weeks or less, thus stopping late term abortions. U.S. Representative Tom Marino of Williamsport says he voted to protect all women and children from the dangerous and heinous crimes like those committed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell in his Philadelphia abortion clinics. Just last month, Gosnell was found guilty of 237 crimes, including first-degree murder of infants who were born and then murdered after failed late-term abortions. This legislation we passed earlier tonight in the House will prevent such crimes from happening again.  Marino says he will “continue to support the basic human right of life for everyone, including those precious children yet to be born.”
(WGRC)