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July 3, 2013

MUNCY – State Troopers in Lycoming County are mourning one of their own. 50-year-old State Police Sergeant John LaRose, stationed at a barracks in Cameron County, was on his way home Monday when authorities said he lost control of his car and crashed into a SUV. The crash happened Monday on Route 120 near Emporium. LaRose was a 22 year veteran of the state police and served with troopers at the Montoursville barracks, and had flown plane for the state police Williamsport Aviation division before it was moved to Hazelton. LaRose leaves behind a wife and four children.
(WNEP)

SUNBURY – State Police have finally filed charges against a Snyder County man who caused a crash on the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge heading into Sunbury in 2012 that claimed the life of a father and his young son. Police have filed charges against 26-year-old Brian Glass, of Port Trevorton, for the July 17 crash which claimed the life of 23-year-old Kirk MaHaffey and his four-year-old son Mason. Charges were filed yesterday by state police against Glass. Glass faces homicide by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI and many more charges. He’s currently locked up in the Northumberland County Prison on a quarter of a million dollars bail.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MUNCY – A man who police say suffered major injuries in a crash on Sunday June 23rd was driving drunk at the time of the crash. Police are anticipating charges against 61-year-old Michael Bird of Muncy. Police say Bird exited Interstate 180 and slammed into 18-year-old Logan Rucker of Hughesville at the intersection of I-180 and the Susquehanna Trail. Police say Rucker wasn’t hurt. Bird was taken to Geisinger Medical Center where he was treated and has since been released.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BERWICK - A 7-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital after he ran into Market Street in Berwick and was hit by a car. Police say Owen Wright, of Berwick, was running with a little girl on the east side of Market at Ninth Street around 5:30 p.m. when he darted out into traffic. The driver of the car tried to avoid the boy. Wright was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, where he remains in fair condition.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - The second of two Bucknell University students accused of stealing high-end electronics, cash and assorted items from fellow fraternity brothers in February pleaded guilty to one charge Tuesday in Union County Court, hoping to serve any penalties through probation. 21-year-old Carter Wells, of Branford, Connecticut, entered a guilty plea to a felony criminal trespass in burglaries back in February at rooms of Delta Upsilon Fraternity at Bucknell. The Daily Item reports, Judge Michael Hudock accepted Wells’ plea, which the court may accept or reject in final sentencing. On Monday his co-defendant 21-year-old Jeffery Finegan of Phillipsburg, New Jersey pleaded guilty to similar charges. Both expect to be sentenced in August.
(WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - Two Centre County men will spend the next several years behind bars for beating up a high school student and robbing him of money so they could buy beer for a party. The Centre Daily Times reports, 24-year-old Zachariah Johnson, of Boalsburg, and 25-year-old Joseph Jenkins, of Bellefonte, were handed state prison sentences on Tuesday for that early morning July 2011 robbery and assault near Parkway Plaza Apartments in State College. The two men were convicted on robbery, conspiracy, simple assault and other charges during a one-day trial in May. Judge Pamela Ruest put away Johnson for the next 5 ½ to 11 years and Jenkins’ was sentenced to 3 1/2 to seven years.
(WGRC)

BEECH CREEK - After being hit twice in a matter of days with heavy down pours and flooding, people in several communities in Clinton and Centre Counties are now trying to recover. At the social hall in Beech Creek near Mill Hall in Clinton County last night, dozens came out looking for answers. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency has yet to declare an emergency and ask for federal funding to help residents. Dozens of residents came out last night to meet with local, county and state officials looking for help. Officials here say in order for federal government to declare this a disaster area, damage costs state wide must clear a threshold of $17 million which many County and local officials believe will.
(WNEP)

WILLIAMSPORT – They’re up and running, keeping an eye on three Williamsport parks. Surveillance cameras have been recently installed at Memorial Park, Roy Flanigan Park, and Newberry Park in the City. The Sun Gazette reports, cameras were part of a $450,000 grant given to the Williamsport Police department to help deter crime. And City Council hope they work as last week Memorial Park became a center of controversy when Mayor Gabriel Campana had the basketball court rims removed after drug items, litter and trash-talking by players was observed on the ball courts. The hoops have since been put back up but Campana warned the rims will come down again if the bad behavior continues.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN – In Clinton County the public is invited to visit Lock Haven City Hall and sign a petition that might help prevent fatal drug overdoses. The Express reports, the petition would change state law and offer criminal immunity to anyone who reports an overdose. Lock Haven Mayor Richard Vilello brought the petition to City Council on Monday, saying the mother of Bobby Wise who died of a drug overdose is involved in this effort to change legislation. The state already has a "911 Good Samaritan Law" giving immunity to people reporting an alcohol overdose. This petition would take the law one step further. When someone overdoses in the company of friends, chances are those friends will face arrest if they call for help. If immunity is available and the friends know about it, they might be more willing to make the 9-1-1 call and ultimately save a life. Mayor Vilello hopes that through the petition, legislation would be drafted that would protect those who call during a drug overdose from receiving drug charges.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - Mifflin County School District employees are encouraging healthier living by setting an example for their students. The Sentinel reports, The Mifflin County School District Wellness Team met for the first time and launched its inaugural initiative - The Summer Bucket List 2013 Wellness Kick-Off Project. In their months off from school, district employees are promoting all-around wellness by asking their peers to go swimming, try a new recipe, take a hike, play tennis, join a walking group and more. In return, participants can earn a variety of prizes and incentives donated by local businesses. District officials and employees hope the initiative trickles down to the kids in the district. For more information, visit the school district’s website at mcsdk12.org and click "The Summer Bucket List."
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN - Toady, weather permitting, the contractor working on the Route 61 Bridge at Tharptown, near Shamokin, will switch southbound traffic onto the rehabilitated portion of the bridge. The switch is dependent on line painting and guiderail work as well as favorable weather. Only the southbound lane is scheduled to be switched. The northbound lane is scheduled to be switched onto the rehabilitated section sometime next week, again pending favorable weather. Motorists are advised to stay alert to the changing traffic patterns in this work zone. Be alert for the possibility of slow-moving or stopped traffic ahead of the work zone during these operations.
(WGRC)

LEWISBURG - Holiday travelers may have more than July 4th to celebrate, according to AAA East Central as Susquehanna Valley gas prices fell more than three cents this week to $3.46. On the National Front the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.47 per gallon. This is 8 cents less expensive than one week ago and 14 cents less than one month ago, but it remains 15 cents higher than the same day last year. Regional supply disruptions in May and early June propelled gas prices sharply higher in some parts of the country. Gas prices across the country are finally moving lower in lockstep, leading up to the Fourth of July, which is welcome news for the 34.4 million travelers that AAA expects to travel by automobile this holiday period.
(WGRC)

ELYSBURG – If your July 4th travel plans include a trip to Knoebels Grove Amusement Resort in Northumberland County, then you are heading to one of the best Amusement Parks in the nation. That’s according to a new survey by the Travel Channel. The Travel Channel released its list of the top 10 amusement parks in the nation and Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg was ranked the No. 2 - ahead of Hersheypark, which came in at No. 9, and the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, ranked No. 3. Cedar Point in Ohio topped the list. The Travel Channel noted Knoebels’ affordability, saying “this old-fashioned amusement park is a must for nostalgic types as well as the budget-conscious.”
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - A bald eagle soaring high on the Fourth of July. It’s about as American an image as one could imagine. And for Pennsylvanians this Independence Day, the opportunity to witness such a sight firsthand is greater than at any other time in recent history. In the 30th anniversary year of efforts to restore bald-eagle populations in the Commonwealth, the bird – a national symbol of strength and freedom – not only is continuing its remarkable comeback, but is taking it to new heights. The Pennsylvania Game Commission this week released its preliminary count of bald eagle nests statewide, and the numbers chart yet another high point in an impressive upward trend. So far this year, 252 eagle nests have been confirmed throughout the state, with nesting eagles present in 56 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. That’s a sharp increase from the previous mid-year report, in which there were 206 confirmed eagle nests in 51 counties. While the bald eagle population grows stronger each year in Pennsylvania, the birds remain classified as a threatened species statewide. Their rebound, however, continues to astonish and provide those who love wildlife with reason to celebrate. In Pennsylvania, and the nation as a whole, this magnificent raptor truly is living up to its iconic image of enduring American strength and freedom.  
(WGRC)