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July 10, 2013

MIFFLINTOWN - A man seriously injured during a shootout with police nearly three years ago passed away at a residence in Juniata County recently. The Sentinel reports, Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook says 32-year-old Brian Janson, died last Wednesday, and the cause of death has yet to be determined. Snook did not want to speculate as to whether or not Janson succumbed to the injuries sustained during the shooting, or if some other factor caused his death. Snook said an autopsy was done on Janson and the Pennsylvania State Police are awaiting toxicology results. Snook said he will be filing a motion with the court to have Janson's charges dismissed. Janson was charged with several counts of attempted homicide, among other charges following the incident in August 2010 in a stand-off with state troopers along Cuba Mills Lane in Juniata County.
(WGRC)

POTTSVILLE – In Schuylkill County 26-year-old Daniel Dull has been ordered to spend three to six years in a state prison, plus an additional four years on probation, after admitting in Schuylkill County Court Tuesday, that he participated in the killing of Bryan Smith of Orwigsburg, who was tied to a tree in South Manheim Township. Judge Charles Miller ruled that under the terms of his plea agreement, Dull, who already has testified against his co-defendant, Keith Reber, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy. State police at Schuylkill Haven charged Reber and Dull with taking Smith from the Schuylkill Haven home of Reber's girlfriend, to Reber's home in May, 2012, then binding him to a tree where he later died.
(WPPA)

STATE COLLEGE - An accidental shooting in a parking lot sends a man to the hospital. Patton Township Police say a 45-year-old man accidentally discharged his firearm in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart off North Atherton Street in State College Tuesday afternoon. Police say the man's gun fell out of his holster while he was crossing the parking lot and after trying to pick it up, it went off, shooting his right hand. Police say he did have a valid permit to carry the gun. The man was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for injuries to his right hand. Nobody else was hurt.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – A Lycoming County man is facing aggravated assault charges by vehicle after his car plowed into another car in Williamsport injuring the other driver. State Police say the crash happened June 12th at the East Third Street entrance to the westbound lanes of Interstate 180. Troopers say 34-year-old Harold Stevens was going over 90 miles-per-hour when his car slammed into a car driven by 74-year-old John Sinclair. Sinclair was taken to Geisinger Medical Center with serious injuries but has since been released from the hospital. Stevens remains free on $50,000 bail after police filed those charges.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT – Another drug incident at a Williamsport studio has police and residents questioning, what really goes on at the property. The Sun Gazette reports, city police nabbed alleged heroin dealer 25-year-old Jamal Thomas on Monday night on an arrest warrant, charging him with allegedly assaulting another man with a hammer inside a studio at the Pajama Factory at Park Avenue and Cemetery Street. When police arrived on the scene they found one man had been struck with a hammer and another man running away but dropping a bag containing 10 bundles of heroin. Thomas is jailed on $75,000 bail. This latest drug incident involving the Pajama Factory comes just a little more than three months after a 21-year-old mother was found dead of a drug overdose in another studio inside the building.
(WGRC)

RICHFIELD - A Thompsontown man is charged with assault after police say he threatened to shoot a Richfield woman. Their children were in the residence at the time of the altercation. 33-year-old Jason Eby is accused of pushing the woman down on the bed and pointing a gun at her. After he let the woman go, she was injured as Eby was damaging property inside the home. State Police say the woman had a protection from abuse order against Eby.
(WGRC)

RED CROSS – State Police are investigating the break-in and theft of several truck parts from a business in lower Northumberland County. State Police say the break-in happened sometime overnight Monday at the Used Truck Parts of PA store located along Mandata Road near the village of Red Cross. Troopers say the bandits forced their way into the store owned by 69-year-old Roy Adams of Sunbury and took 15 large truck radiators and air changers.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

BELLEFONTE - Three Maryland residents have been charged in what State College police have called a “coordinated shoplifting ring” that allegedly included targets in Centre County and in several other states. Police have charged Davon Hurst, Naquan Williams and Julina Fogle, all of Edgewood, Maryland, with stealing more than $15,000 in merchandise from three stores in the State College area. The three face felony charges. According to a criminal complaint, the thefts occurred in July 2012 at the Verizon Wireless and Radio Shack stores in the Nittany Mall and Radio Shack on North Atherton Street. In each instance, the suspects allegedly used a coordinated approach. One person would distract workers, while the others would enter storage rooms and grab electronics. Police believe the suspects were involved in a series of similar thefts, including some in Ohio and Virginia.
(WGRC)

FRACKVILLE – A Schuylkill County man has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl and giving that same girl marijuana. State Police have charged 28-year-old James Kervitis of Seltzer for the incidents which happened between July 20th and August 10th in 2011. Kervitis is jailed in the Schuylkill County Prison.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

NEW COLUMBIA – Two months after a meeting proposing a tire burning facility in White Deer Township, Union County, a public comment period has ended and the Department of environmental Protection must prepare a response to questions and concerns raised by citizens about the proposed White Deer Energy Project. A timetable for a response has not been set. Many residents say the burning of tires to make electricity could be harmful for the environmental and the health of those living near the plant which is planned to make electricity for the National Gypsum plant near New Columbia and electricity for the regional electric grid.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY - The discussion of open burning or recreational burning within the City of Sunbury was a hot topic at Monday’s City Council meeting, and residents were loud in voicing their concerns. After a few weeks of residents complaining to the council and Mayor David Persing about outside burning, Persing has announced that a public meeting on the issue will be held at 7 p.m. July 17th in City Hall. Residents can’t burn any type of garbage or refuse under the existing city code, but nothing in the law says residents can’t have fire pits or campfires in their yards. Smoke from camp fires blowing into homes and forcing people to shut windows when it’s hot outside was one issue.
(WGRC)

DANVILLE - The borough council in Danville has approved a new rental registration law. That measure lowers fees for landlords who receive consecutive passing inspections. The ordinance also eliminates the $50 inspection fee in years when a unit does not require an inspection. A rental unit must have two consecutive checkups with no issues to bypass one the following year. But the $25 registration fee is still required for all units regardless of inspection status. The new law passed without dissent and without discussion. About 20 people attended the meeting.
(WPGM)

MUNCY - A former bowling alley in Lycoming County will be torn down by the end of the month after nearly 50 years in business. There has been no bowling at Cloverleaf Lanes near Muncy for about two months. Work to salvage anything worth saving continues before the bowling alley is knocked down. The property was sold last year to Muncy Valley Hospital and Susquehanna Health. Muncy Valley Hospital plans to expand its emergency room and increase the number of parking spaces. Demolition is set for July 19th at Cloverleaf Lanes near Muncy.
(WNEP)

MIDDLEBURG - The $1 million dispute over construction at Midd-West High School was back in Snyder County Court on Monday, with both sides arguing about where the disagreement should be decided. The Midd-West School District and IMC Construction, of Chester County, have been battling for about a year concerning Midd-West’s withholding of money from the project’s general contractor. School officials tell the Daily Item the work done by IMC Construction was incomplete and under the terms of the contract, Midd-West is permitted to withhold 5 percent due to IMC until everything is complete. While Midd-West would like the case handled by the county court, IMC wants the case to go to the American Arbitration Association. It filed a request for arbitration in April 2012 after Midd-West withheld more than $1 million from the company. In response, Midd-West filed a petition with the Snyder County Court to review the contract and determine who has jurisdiction in the case. The sides were in Snyder County Court in front of Judge Michael H. Hudock on Monday. Hudock made no immediate decisions on who should handle the case.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE - Girls on the Run of the Greater Susquehanna Valley has announced they are now expanding into Northumberland and Montour Counties. The program is currently found in school districts in Snyder and Union County, but will now be available in all seven school districts in Northumberland County and in the Danville School District. The next step for the program is finding volunteer coaches for all of the school districts. Fundraising is also an important aspect of the expansion of the program. Those wanting to sponsor the annual Girls on the Run program can visit the website girlsontherunsusquehannavalley.org. Girls on the Run, is a program that teaches girls in grades 3 to 5 important information about body image, self-esteem, bullying and friendships.  They also will complete a 5K race and a community service project.  During the spring session, more than 140 girls participated in the program and the 5K race at the Middlecreek Area Community Center in Beaver Springs. The fall session begins the week of September 9th and the 5K race will take place November 16th at Susquehanna University. Girls who cannot afford to participate in the Girls on the Run program can do so through a scholarship.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - One of the signature summer events in Central Pennsylvania, the Penn State Football Uplifting Athletes "Lift For Life," is set for 5-7 p.m. on Friday, July 12th on the University Park campus. The 11th Annual Penn State Lift For Life will again feature the Nittany Lion offense taking on the defense in a series of competitions to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association. The popular event will be held during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College and take place at the outdoor Penn State Lacrosse Field next to the multi-sport facility. More than 80 football squad members are expected participate in the Penn State Lift For Life and will be available for an autograph session immediately after the event on the Lacrosse Field. Over its initial 10 years, the Penn State Lift For Life has grown tremendously. Again last year, more than 80 Nittany Lion football student-athletes tested their strength and endurance in the challenge that raised a record total for kidney cancer awareness and assistance - more than $110,000. Founded by Penn State football teammates, the Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes has raised more than $700,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association since the first Penn State Lift For Life in 2003.
(WGRC)

ALLENTOWN - PPL Electric Utilities customers have already recycled more than 55,000 appliances as part of the utility’s E-power® appliance recycling program. But now, the bar is being set higher by PPL. Now that the E-power energy-efficiency programs have begun a three-year second phase, the utility has set a goal to increase that tally to at least 100,000 older appliances. Customers who recycle old, inefficient appliances get rid of electricity hogs while also helping the environment. The utility’s program recycles 95 percent of the materials for reuse in making new products, meaning those units don’t end up in landfills. PPL Electric Utilities’ customers receive $35 for recycling their old refrigerator or freezer. Units are picked up at no cost to the customer. Customers can schedule a time to have their appliance picked up by calling 1-877-270-3522 or by visiting pplelectric.com/recycle.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - Nine months after being indicted, three former Penn State administrators charged with obstruction of justice in the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case finally have a court date for a preliminary hearing. Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz will appear in Harrisburg on July 29th and 30th, and even August 1st if needed, for the long-delayed preliminary hearing during which prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office will present their evidence in attempt to have a district judge hold it over for possible trial. The scheduling order came Tuesday from Dauphin County District Judge William Wenner. The hearing will start at 9 a.m. each day in courtroom No. 1 of the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg. The preliminary hearing will pertain to the charges stemming from the grand jury presentment issued in the Sandusky investigation that accuses the three men of covering up abuse allegations against Sandusky more than a decade ago. The lawyers for Spanier, Curley and Schultz have vowed to fight the charges and maintained that their clients are innocent.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - State Education officials decided how much tuition's going up at State-Owned Universities. Starting in the Fall students will pay an extra $194 a year. That's an increase of about 3%. Education officials say they're getting a little less than $413 million in state funds this year. That's the same amount they got last year. That covers about a fourth of the cost of running the 14 state owned universities.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of 21 gay residents who wish to marry in Pennsylvania or want the commonwealth to recognize their out-of-state gay marriages. The lawsuit alleges that Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act and refusal to marry lesbian and gay couples or recognize their out-of-state marriages violates the fundamental right to marry as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Pennsylvania is the only Northeastern state that doesn’t allow gay marriage or civil unions. The Attorney filing the suit on behalf of the ACLU Mark Aronchick says Pennsylvania is treating some residents as strangers in their own state – and that the public has shown it’s ready to embrace same-sex marriage as a fundamental right. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett says that the Supreme Court has let the decision whether or not to recognize same sex marriages up to the states. And, Pennsylvania Family Institute President Michael Geer says the Pennsylvania Public has already made their voice heard through their legislators not to allow gay marriages to be recognized here in the Commonwealth through Pennsylvania’s defense of Marriage Act. The lawsuit comes in the wake of the ACLU’s victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor, which requires federal recognition for lesbian and gay couples who are married in their home states. A 1996 Pennsylvania law defines marriage as a civil contract in which a man and a woman take each other as husband and wife, and it says same-sex marriages, even if entered legally elsewhere, are void in Pennsylvania. State law does not allow civil unions.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s executive director has announced his plans to step down next year. Carl Roe made that announcement yesterday of his retirement in January. With his retirement Roe will have spent more than eight years heading the agency. Roe says it has been his pleasure to serve Pennsylvania’s hunters and outdoor enthusiasts while working to benefit the state’s wildlife. Roe joined the Game Commission in 2001 as the agency’s first-ever long-range strategic planner. The Game Commission’s strategic plan, which charts a course for present and future wildlife management statewide, is a product of his efforts.
(WGRC)

HERSHEY - Governor Tom Corbett, along with Department of Labor&Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway, yesterday announced the latest release of JobGateway.pa.gov, a website created to better connect people looking for work and local employers. The announcement took place at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Governor Tom Corbett was at the unveiling of the new tool for those looking for work in Pennsylvania. JobGateway is free to both job seekers and employers. After a simple registration process is completed, people looking for work have access to a number of features unique to JobGateway on their way to finding a new job in Pennsylvania.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – A new collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will allow snowmobile and ATV customers receive their vehicle registration renewals two to four weeks faster. Last Monday the partnership began using PennDOT’s state-of-the-art processing and mailing technology to process more quickly snowmobile and ATV registrations more quickly. Applicants will still mail applications to DCNR, but they will be opened, processed and fulfilled by PennDOT. Previously, registration quarterly renewals were issued and received by DCNR and took four- to six-weeks to process. Partnering with PennDOT by using its automated equipment provides a much shorter processing time for the almost 260,000 registered ATV owners and over 37,000 registered snowmobile owners across the state.
(WGRC)