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June 25, 2013

TROUT RUN – A crash last evening on Route 14 near Trout Run in Lycoming County sends two 17-year-olds to Geisinger Medical Center. The crash happened just before seven last evening. Police say a 17-year-old girl was driving the vehicle and a 17-year-old boy was the passenger in the SUV. Police say both suffered major injuries and both were flown to the hospital. Police say the driver lost control of the vehicle and rolled the SUV several times on the roadway then down over an embankment. Police have not released the names of the teens involved in the crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

TURBOTVILLE – A Milton man was taken to the hospital following a crash yesterday in Northumberland County. The crash happened just before eight last evening on Route 54 in Lewis Township. Police say 68-year-old Barry Laubscher suffered moderate injuries when he fell asleep at the wheel of his pick-up truck which went off the roadway hit a speed limit sign and then went down over an embankment and landed in a creek.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MCADOO – A six-year-old girl has died after being rescued from her burning home in Schuylkill County. Madison Arner was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital after being pulled from her burning home Saturday night in McAdoo. Arner’s sister, their mother and another man were also taken to the hospital but have since been released. The home was located right across South Kennedy Boulevard from the fire company. Fire company officials say a dryer inside the home caused the blaze. Friends and neighbors are doing everything they possibly can to help the family heal from tragedy.
(WNEP)

HUGHESVILLE – A strong thunderstorm blew through Hughesville yesterday afternoon causing trees to be blown down over on power lines and knocking out power to some as well as two roofs blown off buildings on Main Street in Hughesville. The storms rolled through the area around three yesterday afternoon. Those pop-up thunderstorms could be a part of our weather pattern today as it will be much like yesterday, hot and humid with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MOUNT PLEASANT MILLS - Fire destroyed a century-old livestock barn and killed several animals, including a calf, Sunday morning in Snyder County. The fire was reported around ten a.m. at the Nelson Gingerich farm along Ridge Road in West Perry Township. Firefighters from Snyder, Juniata and Union Counties battled the blaze for about five hours, but the barn was a total loss. The fire also claimed the lives of numerous animals, including a calf, sheep, dog, chickens and rabbits. The Daily Item reports, the cause of Sunday’s fire appears to have been electrical. And losses are estimated at about $200,000.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE – State College Police are looking for the man that tried to rob and assaulted a clerk with a heavy metal key. The incident happened just before two Monday morning at the Hotel State College, located at 100 West College Avenue. Police say the on-duty night desk clerk was assaulted by an unknown man described as standing around 5 feet 10 to 6 feet tall with heavy muscular build. The suspect was wearing all black clothing with a black Spiderman mask. The clerk was repeatedly struck with a large skeleton key, which was left behind. The key, which appears to be a replica of an heirloom, is 12 inches long. It is believed that the intended purpose for this key is that of a decoration or a paperweight. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call State College Police at 814-234-7150.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A New York man suspected in a car theft fought with Bloomsburg police early Saturday as they tried to arrest him at a bar. 30-year-old Maurques Harris is now also facing cocaine charges. Harris of the Bronx, New York, broke free of an officer’s grip before running away but was later captured hiding near Bloom’n Thai restaurant on East Street shortly after midnight. The Press Enterprise reports, Harris was jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.  
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - Authorities have released more information in connection to the drug-related shooting that took place late last month in Montoursville. 22-year-old Dontel Jones, of the Philadelphia area, and his co-defendant, 22-year-old Billy Golden, of Williamsport, have both been charged with felony counts for attempted murder, and related counts. Gunshots rang out on the early morning of May 28th at 324 Jordon Avenue in Montoursville. Numerous police departments responded to the scene, where they discovered that the rear door of the residence had been kicked in and bullet holes littered the home. Victim Chad Stutzman, an admitted heroin addict, told Montoursville police that he believed the shooting occurred due to some money and drugs he had previously stolen from two drug dealers. Both are jailed and awaiting court action.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

HERNDON – A business in Northumberland County was broken into and around $6,400 in items taken from it earlier this month. State Police say sometime overnight June 17th someone broke into the TL Adams shop along Mandata Road near Herndon and stole numerous items including $250.00 in cash, a rifle, a motorcycle, and numerous electric and gas power and gardening tools. Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call state police, Stonington.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIDDLEPORT – A van stranded in the woods on Sunday in Blythe Township, Schuylkill County was torched by an arsonist. State Police say the van operated by 35-year-old Tonya Kerns of Middleport became stuck in that wooded area around three Sunday morning near Middleport. When she went back to the van around eleven a.m. she found the Chevy Ventura had been set on fire and completely burn out. Anyone with information on the arson is asked to call state police, Frackville.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG - Defense attorneys for Snyder County homicide suspect 28-year-old Joshua Snook want a psychiatrist to evaluate Snook’s competency to stand trial on charges of fatally slashing his grandmother’s throat and wounding his grandfather in their Beaver Township home in February. The Daily Item reports, a motion has been field by Snook’s attorneys to have Dr. Clarence Watson, a Philadelphia psychiatrist, to examine Snook, of Sunbury, who they claim has a “significant” history of mental health and substance abuse issues. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for September 10th. Snook is being held without bail on charges of criminal homicide, burglary, and related charges in connection with the February 17th fatal stabbing of his grandmother, 71-year-old Bonnie Snook, and assault on his grandfather, 72-year-old Dale Snook, inside their Creek Road home. Snook’s wife, 29-year-old Jennifer, is being held in lieu of $85,000 bail on charges of second-degree homicide, and related counts for her part. State investigators allege the pair went to the Snook’s home to get a gun to shoot a man that had been in a confrontation with Joshua Snook at a bar in Sunbury. An alleged struggle broke out between Snook’s grandparents and himself when he allegedly killed his grandmother and injured his grandfather.
 (WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - A homicide trial began in Schuylkill County Court Monday for a man accused of tying another man to a tree where he was later found dead. Keith Reber is on trial for the death of Bryan Smith in May of 2012. Prosecutors say Reber led Smith at gunpoint to a wooded area near Schuylkill Haven. He then tied the victim to a tree, where he was found dead 20 hours later. The defense attorney says Reber gave Smith water, and checked on him several times. Smith had a large amount of methamphetamine in his system. The defense says that’s what killed him, not being tied to the tree. Investigators believe Reber tied Smith to the tree near Schuylkill Haven because Smith had ransacked the home of Reber’s girlfriend, apparently looking for prescription pills and cash. Daniel Dull was also there when Smith was tied up. He testified he was scared of Reber and that’s why he didn’t immediately call police. Dull’s testimony is part of a plea agreement with prosecutors that will have him spend three to six years in state prison. Reber is expected to testify in his own defense as that trial continues today in Schuylkill County.
(WNEP)

NEW BERLIN – In Union County, state and county officials are looking to tear down a 218 year-old dam on Penn Creek at New Berlin. The Borough has received a $70,000 grant from the state to stabilize the creek banks along the New Berlin Commons. But the state DEP suggests tearing down the dam which they say leads to warmer water, more algae growth, less oxygen in the water, and a greater flooding hazard. But a majority of Borough residents and even those living on the Snyder County side of the Creek aren’t keen on the plan. At least they had a chance to air their concerns at a meeting at one yesterday afternoon at the New Berlin Legion pavilion along the creek. Residents say not only the historic value of the dam will be lost but also all the recreational activities from swimming, fishing and boating to annual holiday activities and the scenic aspect of the creek at the Commons will be lost. If Borough Council decides not to remove the dam, the DEP says the grant will be used less efficiently than if the dam were removed. No word on when the Council will take a vote on the dam.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG - The Midd-West school board voted Monday night to adopt a $32.8 million budget for 2013-14. In a separate action, the members voted to approve a tax increase of 3.6 mills, which will mean over $84.00 a year for the average homeowner in the district. The Daily item reports, the increase covers rising expenses, particularly retirement benefits, health insurance and debt service.
(WGRC)

MUNCY – In Lycoming County, Muncy's school board approved its 2013-14 budget on Monday night. The $15.6 million budget raises property taxes by 2.2 percent. That is the most the district could raise taxes without going to a referendum. The Sun Gazette reports, the tax hike will cost the average home owner about $31 more a year.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - Motorists accessing the eastbound on-ramp to Interstate 180 at Route 87 that’s Exit 21 in Montoursville are advised to be alert for road work scheduled for today. Starting after 9 a.m., contractor HRI, Inc. will be making some repairs to the epoxy overlay on the bridge deck. Ramp traffic will be shifted in the area where the work is taking place. This operation is expected to be completed in one day, and should be wrapped up by early evening tomorrow. This is part of a bridge preservation contract, with the majority of the work not scheduled to start until after July 4.
(WGRC)

LINDEN - PennDOT will host a public meeting for the Route 220 Access Management Study at the Woodward Township Volunteer Fire Company in Lycoming County on Tuesday, June 25th, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The fire company is located at 4147 North Route 220 Highway, Linden. The access management study is being conducted for the Route 220 corridor in Piatt and Woodward townships from just west of Route 287 to the Jersey Shore, West Fourth Street Interchange. All residents, business owners, and other interested parties are encouraged to participate. The meeting will be an open house format, with informational displays and opportunities to talk one-on-one with study representatives. Serving approximately 22,000 vehicles a day, the Route 220 corridor is a vital connection between Interstate 80 and Williamsport. The access management study seeks to identify access issues within the corridor and identify short-, medium-, and long-term access changes that can be made to improve the safety of the Route 220 corridor. The public will also be encouraged to offer comments on existing access points along the corridor.  
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Volunteers are still needed to help build a playground in Centre County. Volunteers will start today building a playground at Orchard Park in State College. Kids from across the area worked to design the playground, sponsored by a nonprofit group called KaBoom! Organizers say the playground will benefit more than 1,500 children. At least 175 volunteers are needed to finish building the park.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Amateur and professional photographers are invited to enter a photography contest for a chance to have their photo featured on the Connect Williamsport community calendar homepage at www.connectwilliamsport.com. The pictures must be taken in Lycoming County. Photographs should highlight the best of local events in activities in Arts, Music and Entertainment, Special Events, Family Fun, Downtown Nightlife, Community and Local Government, Business and Education, Games and sports, Health and wellness. The judges will select one winner and one honorable mention in each category. The winners in each category will win a $100 Visa gift card and have their photo used on the sliders on the Connect Williamsport homepage. The photos may also be used in other Connect Williamsport marketing materials. Winners and honorable mentions will be displayed at the First Friday celebration at the James V. Brown Library in September, and at the Pajama Factory. Contest entries will be accepted until August 1 and the winners will be announced August 23rd. For more information, visit connectwilliamsport.com/contact-us.
(WGRC)