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June 24, 2013

MOUNT PLEASANT MILLS - Fire crews from Snyder and Juniata Counties rushed out to battle a barn fire yesterday morning. The fire was located between Mount Pleasant Mills and Richfield along Route 35. Crews tried to save the barn but to no avail. The barn is a total loss. The fire is under investigation.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MCADOO - A young girl remains in critical condition at the Lehigh Valley Hospital following a fire Saturday night in Schuylkill County. Madison Arner was taken to the hospital after being pulled from her burning home in McAdoo. Arner’s sister, 16-year-old Savana Searfoss, their mother 45-year-old Lorraine Searfoss and 21-year-old Dylan Danko were also taken to hospitals after being rescued. The home was located right across South Kennedy Boulevard from the fire company. Fire company officials say they were able to make the rescues quickly, and that if they had not been so nearby, they might have been dealing with multiple fatalities. Fire officials believe a dryer inside the home caused the blaze.
(WNEP)

UNIVERSITY PARK - The quick thinking of a Penn State graduate student may have helped prevent serious damage when an apparent chemical fire started around noon Friday in the Sackett Building on campus. Several students, working in the building at the time, smelled something burning and saw flames inside a chemical storage room. One of the students used a fire extinguisher, and put the flames out. Penn State police and Alpha Fire Company personnel arrived on the scene as well. The building was evacuated while firefighters assessed the situation. Officials were still determining the extent of the damage Friday, but initial reports suggested the building sustained only smoke damage.
(WGRC)

DUSHORE - A Sullivan County couple faces felony charges after allegedly keeping a 12-year-old girl diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy locked inside a small closet and in what police have called a "make-shift cage." 49-year-old Mary Beth Frankenfield, and her husband 55-year-old Richard Frankenfield, have been charged with felony endangering the welfare of a child and related counts. Charges come following an investigation during which police discovered that the girl had allegedly been kept in a crib which had been lined with plywood for extended periods of time over the last two years. Police say the confinement began when the victim turned 10 years old. The couple also allegedly made the child spend extended periods of time in the couple's bedroom closet. The couple has stated that they kept the child confined because the wanted to keep her from "getting into things."
(WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE - A Jersey Shore man has been accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in August of 2012. 38-year-old Donald Guthrie has been charged. He is currently jailed and awaiting trial for 2012 charges of allegedly robbing the First National Bank in Hughesville. Guthrie has been convicted of sending sexually explicit text messages to a 15 year old girl in 2008, 2009 and 2011. When captured in Illinois about a month after the robbery, Guthrie was allegedly travelling with a 14 year old girl who had run away from her Punxsutawney home. Guthrie's current accuser met him while she was visiting relatives in Jersey Shore. Guthrie was brought before District Judge Jerry Lepley on Friday. Bail on the new charges was set at $50,000.
(WGRC)

SPRING MILLS - A 20-year-old Spring Mills man assaulted two victims early Saturday morning at a Potter Township home. State Police have charged Ashton Koval with aggravated assault after he shoved a 52-year-old woman’s head into a wall, and bit a 50-year-old man in the face and wrist. The victims were treated at Mount Nittany Medical Center.
(WGRC)

TREMONT – State Police are continuing their investigation after a man assaulted six people, two of which he hit with a vehicle. That happened Friday night around eight p.m. at the home along East Center Street in Tremont. Police have charged 41-year-old Steve Lucas of Hegins with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and a list of other charges. Police say an argument broke out into a fight where Lucas physically assaulted four people at the home and then got into a car and hit the two others throwing them up against the home before trying to run over them again. Lucas took off and was caught by police in Hegins. He’s now jailed on $25,000 bail.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

POTTSVILLE – A Schuylkill Haven man goes on trial today for the homicide of 26-year-old Bryan Smith of Orwigsburg, who police say was tied to a tree in in a secluded wooded area in Schuylkill County in May 2012 and died there. 49-year-old Keith Reber goes on trial today in Schuylkill County Court. The Republican Herald reports, co-conspirator 26-year-old Daniel Dull will testify for the prosecution against Reber.
(WGRC)

BUCKHORN - A truck-stop worker who said she needed money to pay bills stole thousands of dollars from her employer, in Columbia County. The Press Enterprise reports, 20-year-old Jennifer McAndrew was working as a gift-shop clerk at the Travel Centers of America when managers at the truck stop noticed discrepancies on her sales report in May. An investigation led to the alleged theft of nearly $14,000 dollars over a four month period. McAndrew, of Nescopeck, allegedly admitted to the thefts.
(WGRC)

ALLENWOOD – State police are investigating the  desecration of several graves of veteran soldiers in Union County. Someone removed flags from the graves of veteran soldiers and burned them, causing damage to the grave markers. That happened at the Uniontown Cemetery in Allenwood sometime between May 26th and June 4th. Anyone with information is asked to call state police, Milton.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - The town of Bloomsburg has fired Patrolman Shawn Hill for “immoral conduct” and “insubordination,” months after a woman won a protection-from-abuse order against him. The Press Enterprise reports, the 36-year-old Hill, says the PFA was lifted earlier this month, and he and the police union plan to appeal his termination. Outgoing Mayor Dan Knorr said the town had been investigating Hill for some matters unrelated to the PFA. Council terminated Hill in a 5-1 vote June 10 for violating police regulations governing “unbecoming conduct,” “immoral conduct,” “conformance with laws,” “following orders,” “insubordination,” and “discrimination or harassment.” Hill said neither he nor his Teamsters representatives had received any specifics from council about how he violated those standards.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Lock Haven Mayor Richard Vilello Jr. will be receiving an award for his service with the Pennsylvania Municipal League. As mayor and president of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, his time hasn't been his own as he has lobbied for communities across Pennsylvania. It's that devotion that has prompted his colleagues at the PML, which represents many of Pennsylvania's cities, townships, towns, boroughs and home-rule communities, to honor Vilello for "distinguished service." The Express reports, the award will come during a breakfast this coming Thursday morning at the Pennsylvania Municipal League's 114th annual convention at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel near State College. The Pennsylvania Municipal League board officers and members are recognizing Vilello for his exemplary years of service to the City of Lock Haven as a council member from 1998 through 1999, and as mayor since 2000, as well as his leadership to the Pennsylvania Municipal League as a board member since 2003 and as its president since January 2012.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE – In Centre County, the owners of a College Township mobile home park have agreed to settle a lawsuit the state attorney general filed last month to recover relocation expenses owed to some tenants when the park closed. Hilltop Mobile Home Park owners and siblings Kenneth Mayes and Sharon Mayes have been ordered to pay nearly $27,000, according to the agreement that was dated Wednesday. The Centre Daily Times reports, the sides were set for a hearing in Centre County court on Friday in front of Judge Bradley Lunsford. A spokesman for Attorney General Kathleen Kane said eight tenants will receive $2,500 and another tenant will receive $1,700. The agreement also calls for $5,000 to go toward the tenants’ legal costs .In addition, another $10,000 will be set aside in case other residents make claims in the next 30 days.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - Residents of Juniata County may lose access to Skills of Central Pennsylvania's services due to lack of funding and a $70,000 yearly deficit. Skills is a nonprofit organization that provides job training, education and opportunities to people living with a disability. Officials say the decrease in state reimbursement has hit the organization hard. Officials tell the Sentinel, without a dramatic increase in funding, which is not expected; Juniata County Skills will close the Vocational Training Workshop in October and move the Adult Training Services to a smaller location in Mifflintown. The 15 participants currently working in the Juniata program will likely commute to the Lewistown location if the center closes. Officials at the organization urge area residents to contact local representatives and legislatures to discuss financial assistance options that may be able to keep the vocational workshop in Juniata County.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A private contractor will begin a local-bridge replacement project on Sheridan Street in Loyalsock Township, Lycoming County today. The existing, 38’-long township-owned bridge on Sheridan Street was built in 1935 and is currently classified as structurally deficient. It carries Sheridan Street over Millers Run, just west of Northway Road. This work will include removing the existing bridge, constructing a new pre-stressed concrete beam bridge, realigning Miller Avenue west of the bridge, pouring new curbs/sidewalks, installing guiderail, replacing drainage and paving both roadway approaches. While the work is under way, the road will be closed and traffic detoured. The new bridge is scheduled to be open to traffic by mid-November.
 (WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG – Beginning today, PennDOT contractors will begin road construction on Iron Street in Bloomsburg. The project will take place between Route 11, which is Main Street, and Mall Boulevard. Work will consist of milling, roadway base repairs, ADA-compliant curb cut ramps, bridge-deck waterproofing, and paving. Traffic will be restricted to a single lane and controlled by flagging personnel. The traveling public is reminded to please use caution while driving through this construction area and to also expect some delays. All work under this $793,000 contract is scheduled to be completed by mid-September.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE – Suit-Kote Corporation will start a $588,239 multi-route microsurfacing project in Northumberland, Montour and Columbia counties this week. The work will seal coat existing pavements to improve traction and extend the life of the roadways. The work will start today in Liberty Township, Montour County on Route 45 from the intersection with Voris Road to the intersection with Route 642. The work will take approximately two days. The work will then move to Route 11 in Point Township, Northumberland County starting at the oil-tank farm outside of Northumberland Borough and ending at Danville in Montour County. This work will take approximately three days. Next, the contractor will then move to Kaseville Road in Mahoning and Valley townships, Montour County. The work will go from the intersection with Bloom Road and run to Frosty Valley Road. This work will take approximately two days. Then the operation moves to Route 44 in Anthony Township, Montour County. The work will start at the intersection with Route 54 in Limestone Township and go east to the intersection with Strawberry Ridge Road in Madison Township, Columbia County. This work will take approximately two days. The work will be done in progression as stated above but is subject to change due to weather conditions. The contractor does not plan on working Saturdays at this time and there will be no Sunday work. The contractor will implement lane closures during the day but open at night to unrestricted traffic.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - SEDA-COG’s Lake Augusta Gateway Corridor Plan has received a 2013 Community Transportation Excellence Award from 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania.  10,000 Friends is among the state’s leading advocates for responsible and efficient land use within Pennsylvania communities.  Completed one year ago, SEDA-COG's Plan addressed Lake-related opportunities and challenges associated with transportation, recreation, environmental enhancement, community revitalization, and economic development.  Lake Augusta actually sits in the middle of the Susquehanna River where the River’s two branches meet.  It is formed by the world’s largest inflatable dam, extending from Sunbury to Shamokin Dam. The Transportation Excellence Award was one of eight presented by 10,000 Friends in recognition of transportation’s role in creating healthy, sustainable communities.  Other recipients include Jersey Shore Borough and the Lycoming County Planning Commission for the Pine Creek Trail Connector in the Borough. Founded in southeastern Pennsylvania in 1998, 10,000 Friends has aligned and supported organizations and individuals from across the state committed to land use policies and actions that enable Pennsylvania to strengthen its communities while reducing irresponsible and inefficient land consumption.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch Friday unveiled a new website, www.DOTDecade.pa.gov, that illustrates where and how additional transportation funding would be invested across Pennsylvania if a long-term funding solution is put into place. PennDOT released the website after some criticism from Pennsylvania residents and lawmakers that taxpayers were not allowed to look at the site when tax payer dollars fund PennDOT activities. The Decade of Investment website shows projects that could be funded over the next decade through three scenarios – no additional funding, Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed level of funding and Senate Bill 1’s funding-level proposal. On the website, the public can view projects in their region sorted by county, transportation planning partner, or state Senate and House districts. Also included on the website is a page explaining how inaction on transportation funding will impact public safety, the economy and jobs. Visitors to the site will also find a page outlining Corbett’s transportation funding plan.
(WGRC)