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July 1, 2013

SHAMOKIN – Officials in Northumberland County tell us a state of emergency has been declared for a portion of the City of Shamokin. Officials with the city say the emergency declaration was made this morning due to a building collapse. Northumberland County 9-1-1- tells us the building collapse was located at 615 Spruce Street in the City and involved blighted properties. Now Northumberland County 9-1-1 tells us no one from Shamokin City hall has contacted them for assistance with the matter and that they get calls every day of buildings falling down within the City of Shamokin.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BEECH CREEK - The body of an elderly man who was swept into Little Sugar Run behind his home on Reams Road during Thursday night's violent storm in Clinton County was recovered Saturday afternoon on an island of Bald Eagle Creek. State Police say the body of 86-year-old Claude Rupert, was discovered by three kayakers on the island about 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Clinton County Coroner John Hanna pronounced Rupert dead at the scene.
(WGRC)

BEECH CREEK - State Representative Mike Hanna, of Lock Haven, has written a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett seeking a state disaster declaration for areas of Clinton County affected by last week's flooding. The declaration would bring assistance to flood victims. A public meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Beech Creek Borough Building to address concerns regarding the flash flooding in the area Thursday night after nearly six-and-a-half inches of rain fell within two hours damaging home , roads, car and more and left one person, 86-year-old Claude Rupert dead.
(WGRC)

ORANGEVILLE – Rescue crews rushed to the scene of a crash in Columbia County early this morning. The crash was reported right around three a.m. near the intersection of Routes 487 and Charmont Road in Orange Township. Reports are that a pick-up truck went off the roadway and down over an embankment into a creek. Two people were reportedly injured in that crash.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – A crash in Lycoming County over the weekend sent a man to the hospital. Police say 44-year-old James Dailey, of Williamsport, was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for treatment of "major injuries" he suffered in a one-vehicle crash at Warrensville and Starr roads just after eleven a.m. Friday. State police say Dailey, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered a serious head injury when he lost control of a pickup truck went off the road and struck a culvert.
(WGRC)

MIDDLEBURG – A 15-year-old Middleburg boy was taken to Geisinger Medical Center with what police called moderate injuries after he rode his bicycle into a car in Middleburg Borough. Police say the crash happened at the intersection of Furnace Road and Willow Avenue in Middleburg around noon Friday. Police say the teen didn’t stop at a stop sign at the intersection and hit the front end of a car driven by a McClure man.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

FISHING CREEK - A fire that destroyed a house Friday in Fishing Creek Township in Columbia County, also killed the family’s dog. The Press Enterprise reports, owners David Butz, wife Yvette and three children were not home at the time of the blaze, which started around 1:45 p.m. But the family’s 8-month-old Labrador retriever was trapped inside. A driver passing the single-story residence at 382 Old Tioga Turnpike saw flames coming from the windows and alerted a neighbor who called 9-1-1. It took crews from Benton and Orangeville only 15 minutes to extinguish the inferno. But since the fire had such a head start, they could not save the structure. A state police fire marshal was called to investigate.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE – A District Judge found enough evidence to send a Pottsville man to trial on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and arson charges after he allegedly attacked a woman with a machete inside his father’s home and then set fire to it. District Judge James Reiley presided over the hearing for 20-year-old Stephen Campion Jr. on Friday. Police say Campion attacked the woman with a machete while she slept in the basement of his father’s home, in Pottsville where he also lives. Police say Campion also soaked her with lighter or charcoal fluid and then poured it on the couch she was on and then lit the couch on fire. The fire caused about $10,000 in damage. Campion remains jailed on $250,000 bail.
(WPPA)

SAINT CLAIR - An armed robber is on the run after police in Schuylkill County said someone robbed a mini mart. According to authorities, the crime happened late Sunday night at Exxon Uni-Mart on Route 61 and West Russel Street in Saint Clair. Police said the thief walked up to the clerk behind the counter, flashed a gun and got away with an unknown amount of cash.  He then ran away. The clerk described the robber as a man with a handkerchief covering his face. No one was hurt.  Anyone with information is asked to call Saint Clair Police.
(WNEP)

BELLEFONTE - A Bellefonte man was arrested after allegedly breaking into the Bellefonte Wok and taking the cash register and attempting to break into Governors Pub just before three a.m. Sunday. State police at Rockview say 38-year-old Duane Ishler, caused around $1,800 in damages during the incidents. Ishler is charged with two counts of felony burglary, and related charges. He’s jailed in the Centre County Prison on $25,000 bail.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

TREMONT – In Schuylkill County police continue to look for a masked man that robbed the clerk of a convenience store and gas station in Tremont. The robbery happened just after midnight Saturday at the Quick Stop Kreisers Fuel Station on South Tremont Street. Police say the man is described as standing six foot to six foot-two inches tall with a thin build entered the store with a knife and stole cash from the clerk behind the counter. The 22-year-old clerk was not hurt. Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call state police, Schuylkill Haven.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – State Police are investigating a break-in at an apartment in Loyalsock Township, Lycoming County. The break-in happened just before midnight Saturday at the apartment along Bloomingrove Road. Police say the thieves tried to remove a safe from the apartment but were not successful in doing so, but the bandits did take a bag of tools. Another theft happened sometime between December 2010 and Saturday at another home along Bloomingrove Road. Police say there several rare and collectible coins were taken from a 75-year-old man’s home, as well as a stolen generator.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A former case manager at the Lycoming-Clinton County Mental Health-Intellectually Disabled Program has been charged with Medicaid fraud after allegedly submitting false documentation regarding the hours he worked and the clients he visited. Agents with the state Attorney General's Office filed charges against 42-year-old Bryan Williams, of Williamsport, for the alleged misappropriations between mid-February 2011 and early March 2012. The Sun Gazette reports, in April, Williams admitted that he inflated the amount of times he provided services to his clients in order to meet workload requirements. He is free on bail.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - A man convicted of possessing over two dozen images of child pornography begged a judge on Friday to be lenient in sentencing him. 58-year-old George Reynolds, was convicted following a two day jury trial in March. Police say Reynolds had pictures of a now-14-year-old female and a now-13-year-old male. Reynolds was sentenced to serve a minimum of 25 months and a maximum of 8 years and 4 months at a state prison.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - A safety-improvement project on the Route 61 Veterans’ Memorial Bridge connecting Shamokin Dam and Sunbury is scheduled to begin Monday, July 1. Traffic patterns will be modified, with the goal of making them more forgiving of driver error by reducing the potential for crossover or head-on crashes. PennDOT contractor Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. will eradicate the existing traffic-lane patterns and create four 11’-wide lanes, two in each direction across the bridge, allowing for a wider median on the roadway crossing the bridge, making it safer for the motoring public. The contractor will remove traffic lines starting on the eastbound lanes and will continue until completed. Traffic will be maintained throughout the project using daylight signing patterns, and ramps will be placed under temporary stop conditions. Traffic will be shifted into lanes using cones; be alert for daily traffic changes. Motorists are also strongly advised to plan plenty of extra time for their travels during this project. No work will be scheduled from the afternoon of July 3, through Friday, July 5 for the Independence Day holiday period. All work is scheduled for completion by August 9.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Some water line repairs in downtown State College may cause some traffic this week. The State College Water Authority will have one lane of East College Avenue closed from McAllister Street to Pugh Street Monday, July 1 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for repairs to the water line on College Ave. Drivers in the area should expect delays and use caution while driving.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Realizing students needed safer walking and biking conditions when going to and from school, the Williamsport Area School District will perform updates to sidewalks and street crossings this summer. As part of the "Safe Routes to School" program and funded by a federal grant authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act, the work will target the areas around the district's in-town schools. The district worked closely with contractors and the state Department of Transportation throughout the process. Starting this summer, sidewalks will be updated or in some instances paved, new signage will be installed warning drivers of upcoming higher pedestrian traffic and new "bold" crosswalks will be painted. The Sun Gazette reports, another piece to making students safer when walking or biking to school is educating as both students and parents must learn safe ways to cross the street and get to school. To help them get there, the district is looking at creating a walking school bus program.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Some citizens in Williamsport want Mayor Gabriel Campana to put the hoops back up at the basketball courts in Memorial Park. Campana ordered the rims removed from the basketball court at the park on West Fourth Street on June 24, he said he did it to educate the public and urged those using it to be better stewards or he would permanently remove the rims, after drug items, trash and questionable activities were reported at the park. On Saturday, Memorial Park was the host site of a picnic where many aired their views about how to keep it free of litter and crime. Nearby the courts, a group calling itself "Rise Above" held a picnic beneath a pavilion, cooking up hot dogs, hamburgers and offering refreshments, as well as a discussion about how to "take the city back" and open more lines of communication so park amenities aren't closing in the future. The Sun Gazette reports, Campana said he didn't want to do it, but he refuses to allow drug activity to emerge and abhors the shootings have claimed lives in another park in the city. Meanwhile, "Rise Above" won't limit itself to the causes at Memorial Park. The Sun Gazette reports, the group is planning another picnic/festival in Brandon Park on August 31.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - Historic local theaters will be the focus of a new mural that will grace the walls at 13 East Market Street, in Lewistown. The Sentinel reports a local businessman has offered the walls of his store for the art project. Work on the mural is set to begin on July 8th. The Embassy Theatre is the official sponsor of the project which will host a “Big Screen,” theme. Workers on the mural hope to have it finished in three weeks.
(WGRC)

NORTHUMBERLAND - The 14th annual Soapbox Derby was held Saturday morning which officially kicks off Pineknotter Days in Northumberland. Dozens of children participated in the event, racing soap box cars down King Street at Fourth Street. The Northumberland Police Department hosts the event each year. Today’s events include entertainment by Re-Creation at 7 p.m. and a presentation of the Pineknotter Good Citizenship Award at 7 p.m. and the Pineknotter of the Year award at 8 p.m. The week-long event continues through Friday in Northumberland County.
(WGRC)
 
CENTRE HALL - The Relay for Life of Happy Valley was held over the weekend at the Grange fairgrounds in Centre County. Relay for Life is a 24-hour nationwide event that spreads awareness and raises money for the American Cancer Society. Relay for Life of Happy Valley, in its ninth year, has raised $1 million overall. On Saturday, the event included an opening ceremony, live entertainment, survivor bingo and other activities for the “Wipeout Cancer” beach theme. Organizers hoped to raise $225,000 this year. As of Saturday afternoon, the count was already over $161,000 and rising.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - Thousands saluted our veterans Saturday morning in Union County during the annual Fourth of July parade. Like a blast from the past, a World War II era B-25 flew over downtown Lewisburg, signaling the start of another Veterans Fourth of July parade. The streets were lined with people who made a point to join in the celebration and enjoy the marching bands, watch the floats, and honor the men and women who served this country in times of war and times of peace. The parade coincided with Union County’s bicentennial celebration. 200 years of history was represented with costumes from a bygone era.
(WNEP)

HARRISBURG - Governor Tom Corbett last night signed the 2013-14 budget. Corbett’s third pro-growth budget helps our children receive the best education possible, helps those who need it most, and helps employers grow jobs-without raising taxes for working families. Surrounded by members of the legislature, Corbett signed the $28.3 billion budget Sunday evening in the Governor’s Reception Room. For the third consecutive year, Corbett increased funding for education and early childhood development, investing 41 percent of the budget or the most state dollars in the history of Pennsylvania. The budget promises more than $5.5 billion for basic education funding and $1.6 billion for higher education. Corbett also successfully fought for increased funding for people with intellectual disabilities, domestic violence and rape victims, as well as the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) helping provide insurance for more of Pennsylvania’s neediest children. Continuing to create a better business climate for Pennsylvania, Corbett’s budget eliminates the inheritance tax on small businesses, similar to last year’s elimination of the family farm inheritance tax. During this administration, the governor’s efforts have helped create more than 110,000 private sector jobs without raising taxes for working families or small businesses. Corbett’s enacted budget focuses on five key areas: education, health and human services, agriculture, public safety and jobs.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The state Senate has passed legislation that will implement Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania. The legislation passed 40 to 10 with bipartisan support. The language for expanding Medicaid was included in the welfare code bill, which also contains several provisions key to Governor Corbett’s proposed budget. The legislation will now be sent to the House of Representatives for final passage and, if approved, sent to Governor Corbett for his signature. Pennsylvania is eligible for $4 billion annually in federal funds to provide insurance to low-income working individuals as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Multiple independent studies have found that expansion will have a positive impact on the state budget, including $154 million net savings in the next fiscal year. It will also create between 35,000 and 40,000 jobs in the health-care industry by increasing the number of people who can pay for care.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – Legislation requiring natural gas companies operating in Pennsylvania to standardize all deductions on royalty check payment stubs has passed both chambers of the General Assembly and now heads to Governor Corbett’s desk. Senate Bill 259 would require companies producing natural gas to show on each royalty check stub, attachment to a payment form, or other remittance advice a detailed itemization of all royalty deductions from royalties paid to a leaseholder. Currently, the state of Pennsylvania does not require gas companies to list deductions in any standardized form from royalties paid to a landowner. Governor Corbett is expected to sign it.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's House of Representatives has adjourned for the day without acting on a state transportation bill, as Republican majority leaders acknowledge they do not have the 102 votes to pass it. The House was widely expected Saturday to debate amendments to the transportation bill, which would boost annual spending for highways, bridges and mass transit by almost $2 billion a year. But lawmakers never took up the bill. Majority Leader Mike Turzai sought to pin blame on the Democratic minority for withholding votes. The Associated Press reports, Minority Whip Mike Hanna says Republicans have just 43 votes for the plan and haven't engaged Democrats on discussing it. He says Democrats prefer the $2.5 billion plan that passed the Senate overwhelmingly more than three weeks ago.
(WGRC)