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July 5, 2013

WILLIAMSPORT – Williamsport Police are busy investigating an overnight shooting in the city. Police say one man was shot in the back and upper torso in the 300 block of Elmira Street while another shooting victim was discovered with a gunshot wound to the leg at the intersection of Locust and West Third Streets. Both victims were taken to Geisinger Medical Center. Police say the victim with the gunshot wound to his upper torso was undergoing surgery at Geisinger. Police say they’ve discovered several pieces of evidence at the scene of the shooting however a suspect is not in custody.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE – Forty people are homeless after fire destroys an apartment building in State College. Firefighters rescued two people from an outside balcony of the burning Waupelani Heights apartment building last night, throwing up a ladder as flames poured from structure. The three-alarm blaze, reported around eight p.m., destroyed the 19-unit apartment complex. No injuries had been reported, but not all residents were accounted for. The American Red Cross is working to find places for the displaced residents to stay, and may need to open a shelter. A state police fire marshal will investigate.
(WGRC)

COAL TOWNSHIP - Fire crews in Northumberland County were called out Thursday morning to fight a fire in Coal Township. The fire was reported just after six a.m. on Chemung Street. Five people are homeless following the blaze and the American Red Cross is helping the family with their housing needs. Three firemen were examined after a roof collapsed on them during the blaze, but all three were ok. No injuries were reported. A state police fire marshal will investigate.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE - It has been confirmed that the Mother’s Day fire in Pottsville that took the lives of 6 people, was accidental. With extensive investigation from the Fire Department since the tragedy occurred, there were no signs that anything intentional was done to start the fire. The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen area of the home. The victims all died from carbon monoxide poison and smoke inhalation. Fire officials say their deaths could have been prevented if they had a smoke detector in their home.
(WPPA)

SUNBURY - Three swimmers in the WGRC listening area lost their lives during the holiday. Two people drowned in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River near Lock Haven, while a New York State man died in a stripping pit known as Big Blue Lake in Locust Gap, Northumberland County. Officials in Clinton County say 50-year-old Alecia Frey, and 58-year-old Roland Richmond, both of Lock Haven, were pronounced dead just after three p.m. Thursday after being swept over the Grant Street dam while floating on the rain swollen Susquehanna River. Helen Solt, who was rafting with them, was pulled from the river near Lock Haven’s Veterans Park, across from Piper Memorial Airport. She appeared in good condition and was transported to Lock Haven Hospital for treatment. In Locust Gap, officials say 24-year-old Benjamin Taus, of West Babylon, New York, died after jumping from a rock ledge into a water-filled abandoned stripping pit. The accident was reported by the victim’s brother just before 3 p.m. Scuba diving teams recovered Taus’ body around 5 p.m. Meanwhile a boat and its passengers were rescue from the Susquehanna River at Sunbury yesterday near the Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam, also known as the Fabridam. Authorities say the boat’s motor quit the boat’s anchor became stuck at the base of a pier of the Veterans Memorial Bridge between Sunbury and Shamokin Dam. Rescue crews towed the disabled boat and its passengers to safety.
(WGRC)

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN - State police in Schuylkill County are looking for whoever fired shots at a gas station Wednesday morning. Troopers said it happened at Economy Gas on Route 61 in Schuylkill Haven around 3:30 a.m. According to authorities, the vandals shot out six lights and a gas pump before taking off. The damage is worth around $3,300. Anyone with information is asked to call state police.
(WNEP)

NEW BERLIN - The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission dashed the dreams of 19 turtle racers Thursday by banning wood and Eastern box turtles from competing at New Berlin’s annual Turtle Derby. Just days ago, the Boy Scouts of Troop 508 were notified by the state commission that box and wood turtle species are now on the state’s protected list and would not be allowed to race at the annual event, which has been held for more than four decades. That Daily Item reports, the edict caused a few frowns and even tears from one young participant, when organizers informed 19 of the 38 children who arrived at the derby with turtles that their entries were banned.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY – Cody Glass, the brother of a Port Trevorton man who is charged in a fatal traffic accident told police they were snorting Vicodin, smoking marijuana and drinking vodka right before the head-on collision on the Veterans Memorial Bridge last July that claimed the life of a Northumberland man and his 4-year-old son. 25-year-old Brian Glass Jr. was arrested Tuesday and charged by state police with vehicular homicide, after a nearly year-long investigation. 22-year-old Kirk Mahaffey, of Northumberland, and his 4-year-old son, Mayson, were killed in the head-on crash.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A man fired a gun inside a home in Bloomsburg during a domestic argument, and was cuffed in his front yard last night. The Press Enterprise reports, the man and his girlfriend were having an argument around 8 p.m. at 212 Wirt Street, when the man fired the gun. Police say since the man did not threaten anyone with the gun and he fired it in a different room than where his girlfriend was, police have not filed charges, and they did not release the names of those involved.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - Montour and Columbia counties will begin a study to look at ways of combining, merging or coordinating services to become more efficient and save money. The Daily Item reports, the Columbia County commissioners approved a resolution Wednesday to seek requests for proposals for the study. Montour County’s commissioners plan to approve the resolution when they meet Tuesday. The state Department of Transportation already is doing a study of Montour’s transit system. Another study is being done of 911 systems in a five-county area. The counties have received a $100,000 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development for the analysis. Each county will contribute $6,500 toward the study. The counties expect to award a contract by early September for a consultant to begin the study.
(WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - Even after closing two branch locations earlier this year, the financially struggling Mifflin County Library is projecting a 2013 budget deficit of around $16,000. On Wednesday, Mifflin County came to the rescue. During their weekly business meeting, the Mifflin County Commissioners unanimously voted to dip into the county's general fund and appropriated $16,000 to the library in an effort to continue the services the facility provides. Library officials tell the Sentinel, declining state support over the years has led to challenging financial times for the Mifflin County Library.
(WGRC)

MILL HALL – In Clinton County a bank is closing up shop come September. The Express reports, First National Bank is permanently closing its Mill Hall bank building at 349 Main Street after business is concluded on Friday, September 20th. The bank decided to close the branch after an evaluation of its business in Mill Hall. The bank had provided a special service to the borough, collecting sewer-bill payments from customers. Mill Hall Borough council must now decide how to handle those payments.
(WGRC)

MUNCY - A family run restaurant in Lycoming County will serve its final meal this weekend. Fox’s Family Restaurant has been around for a half a century. But now the family run restaurant will close its doors tomorrow. Owner Tim Fox says the restaurant is not getting the business it once did. Fox said the decision to close was a difficult one to make but claims these days, the younger generation is choosing to eat at chain restaurants.
(WNEP)

MILTON - In Northumberland County folks looking to take a cool dip during the scorching heat over the next couple days will have to wait. Folks looking to go swimming at the Milton Community Pool will have to go elsewhere this weekend as emergency repairs need to be made. The Milton Community Pool is closed over the 4th of July weekend. Officials say the Milton Community Pool was losing around 25,000 gallons of water per day. Had they stayed open for the rest of the summer without fixing this pipe, the extra water would have cost the borough around $35,000. Officials in Milton expect the pool to open again on Monday.
(WNEP)

BLOOMSBURG - The new Kidsburg will have pirate ships, a tree house and lots of spinning and climbing equipment if built. The Press Enterprise reports, the committee organizing the playground rebuild gave the public its first glimpse at the design at Bloomsburg’s fireworks show. It still has some hurdles to clear: Town Council must give its approval, and the state Department of Environmental Protection must also sign-off on the project since it will be built on flood-prone land. But playground organizers say they’re still hoping to build Kidsburg 2.0 in the fall, and they have the final $250,000 of their fundraising campaign in sight.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE – Several Indy car drivers will be visiting children at the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville today. The drivers will participate in the Race for Kids program. Race for Kids focuses on public awareness and funding for the healthcare needs of children. The drivers are in the area to compete in the Pocono IndyCar 400 at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond Sunday. They will visit the kids on the Geisinger Medical Center campus at 10:00 this morning.
(WGRC)

MIFFLIONTOWN – A bridge replacement project begins Monday in Juniata County. The bridge spans Stony Run along Route 2017 in Monroe Township. There will be a three-week detour during the time of construction. Work is scheduled to last through August 2nd.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania doe licenses go on sale Monday. Pennsylvania deer hunters who want to better their chances of obtaining an antlerless license will want to send in applications during the first round of sales. During the first three weeks applications are accepted, only Pennsylvania residents may apply. Non-residents may apply starting Monday, July 29th.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - A spokesman says state House Republican leaders will decide when to bring rank-and-file members back to Harrisburg after senators stripped a provision from a budget-related bill that they say the House inserted without their approval. The Senate has voted unanimously to send the bill back to the House after stripping out a provision that suggests House and Senate Republican leaders support the legalization of high-interest "payday" loans in Pennsylvania. The Associated Press reports, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says the statement is simply inaccurate and doesn't belong in legislation. Many consumer groups oppose payday lending. House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin says he doesn't know who inserted the provision. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports a lobbyist for one payday lender organized a golf-outing fundraiser in February for House Speaker Sam Smith in Pebble Beach, California.
(WGRC)