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July 12, 2013

ORANGEVILLE – In Columbia County a tri-axle dump truck hauling stone and a skid steer aboard an attached flatbed trailer sped out of control down Route 93 Thursday in Orangeville, crashing into concrete barriers at the intersection with Route 487 and then plowed through a yard between two homes damaging two vehicles and a swing set before slamming into a tree. The driver from Delaware was not hurt in the crash and told police he had lost his brakes on the truck. Police continue to investigate. No other injuries were reported.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A 61-year-old Williamsport man remains in serious condition at Geisinger Medical Center after being struck by a car in the city late on Wednesday night. James Dennis was crossing in the 700 block of West Fourth Street around 11:30 on Wednesday when he was struck by a car driven by Collin Howley of Montoursville. He was eventually flown to Geisinger Medical Center. Howley was not hurt and Williamsport police continue their investigation into that accident.
(WGRC)

NEW RINGGOLD – A Coaldale man was flown to the Lehigh Valley Medical Center following a crash yesterday morning in Schuylkill County. The crash happened just after six a.m. on East Rail Road Avenue in New Ringgold. Police say 27-year-old Braemar Parrish went off the roadway and slammed into a utility pole before his car traveled back across the roadway and hit some guard rails.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - Police arrested a man for a Fourth of July shooting in Lycoming County. 19-year-old Derrick Moyer, of Williamsport is now charged with attempted homicide in connection with a shooting. Police think Moyer and another man shot into a crowd of people on Elmira Street. Police say Moyer hit a 16-year-old boy in the upper torso sending that teen to Geisinger for surgery. Police say Moyer then shot himself by accident in the leg and was taken to Williamsport Hospital. Both Moyer and the 16-year-old are on the mend.
(WGRC/wWNEP)

SUNBURY – A man wanted for a Sunday scuffle that led to another man being slashed with a knife and having emergency room treatment for two gashes to his knees turned himself into police yesterday. Sunbury Police say 23-year-old Joseph rice of Sunbury surrendered to police around 5:30 Thursday morning. Rice was wanted by police for injuring the man during a home invasion and scuffle at a Susquehanna Avenue home Sunday in the city. Rice is now jailed in the Northumberland County Prison on $50,000 bail. Police are continuing their investigation into the incident.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A Williamsport couple were arrested this week for selling heroin. On Wednesday Old Lycoming Township Police and Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police, through the Lycoming County Drug Task Force, arrested 32-year-old Emily Alexander and 30-year-old Robert Harer. The arrests of the couple at their home on Thomas Avenue in Williamsport culminated a two month investigation into heroin trafficking. Both police departments had received information indicating that Harer and Alexander were selling heroin to individuals and allowing them to use the heroin inside their home. When police searched their home they found heroin on Alexander and suspected drug money in the home. Both are jailed on various drug possession and delivery charges.
(WGRC)

BLOOMSBURG - A mother who police say exposed her infant daughter to a meth-making operation inside a Berwick home has pleaded guilty to felony child endangerment in Columbia County Court. The Press Enterprise reports, 32-year-old Diane Fink also pleaded guilty to possessing items used to make methamphetamine. She could receive up to seven years on the endangerment count alone when sentenced. Prosecutors say Fink allowed her 3-month-old girl to live in an apartment house at 911 North Mulberry Street in Berwick where her boyfriend 27-year-old Jason Musselman, and 33-year-old Mike Mitchell cooked the drug at least five or six times before police discovered the drug making operation in December. Mitchell is awaiting court action after being released on bail in late April. Musselman is locked up at the state prison in Camp Hill, where he was sent to await sentencing. He pleaded guilty in May to storing and disposing of meth waste materials as well as recklessly endangering others.
(WGRC)

BERWICK - A man is behind bars in Columbia County accused of theft. Police said John Antonelli broke into a home along West Second Street in Berwick around 10 a.m. Tuesday. Officers claim he removed an air conditioner from a window and crawled into the home. Authorities said Antonelli admitted he was there to steal things in order to support his drug habit.  He is charged with burglary and criminal trespass.
(WNEP)

COAL TOWNSHIP - An inmate is in trouble after authorities said he attacked a corrections officer at the state prison in Northumberland County. Prison officials said prisoner Michael Lassiter entered the dining hall just before noon Wednesday and struck an officer in the head. The victim was treated at Shamokin Hospital for his injuries.
(WNEP)

POTTSVILLE - A Girardville man is headed to state prison after being sentenced in Schuylkill County Court for breaking into a Pottsville home in September 2011 and stealing guns, money and a video game console. Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin sentenced 23-year-old Frank Vannicolo to 18 months to four years in a state prison and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation. Vannicolo pleaded guilty to charges against him on May 23, 2012, after Police charged him with breaking into the 757 Walnut Street home.
(WPPA)

BELLEFONTE - Attorneys for former Penn State president Graham Spanier have filed notice of their intent to bring a defamation lawsuit against former FBI director Louis Freeh. Spanier’s attorney filed the paperwork Thursday in the Centre County Courthouse, a day before the one-year anniversary of the release of the Freeh report. Penn State’s internal investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, the Freeh report implicated Spanier, former football coach Joe Paterno and former top administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz in what was called a cover-up of Sandusky’s actions. Spanier, has denied the allegations in the report. The Centre Daily Times reports, Freeh responded to the lawsuit Thursday evening by saying he would have no comment due to the pending felony charges against Spanier.
(WGRC)

SCRANTON - The American Red Cross urgently needs donors to help boost the blood supply following the Independence Day holiday. The Red Cross says blood donations are hitting a summer-time slump. The organization has issued an emergency appeal for blood donors of all blood types, and those with O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give. There is a critical need for platelet donors as well. It’s the blood on the shelves that can save lives when a disaster strikes. For more information, and locations where you can donate, please visit redcross.org.  
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - After a competitive application process for grants in four categories, more than 30 nonprofit organizations received funds totaling more than $400,000 Thursday during the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania's grant reception. The Sun Gazette reports, the grants were presented to 35 nonprofit organizations during the reception at the Williamsport Country Club. Organizations received their funds through four grant categories - Ralph and Josephine Smith Fund, which provides for upper Northumberland County; Margaret W. Waldron Memorial Fund, providing for the Muncy area; Tree House Fund for children's projects and programs in Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga counties; and the Williamsport Lycoming Community Fund Minigrant Program, which gives funds for the county. The foundation awards grants and scholarships throughout the year. It is expected to award more than $3 million in 2013.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - The Lycoming County Commissioners have approved an Act 13 funded grant for the Pennsylvania College of Technology in the amount of $50,000. Tuition scholarship funds of $1,000 per student will allow Pennsylvania College of Technology to provide tuition-free training to 50 veterans, unemployed, and under-employed individuals in Lycoming County. This training will provide the basic skills and certifications required to gain entry-level employment in the oil and natural gas industries. Classes will lead to employment in the occupations of Roustabout, Floorhand, Production Technician, and Welder Helper. This effort will reduce unemployment and increase opportunities for Lycoming County residents to gain employment in the oil and natural gas industries.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - The Clinton County commissioners approved $500,000 in loans Thursday to help expand a meat-packing facility nearly destroyed by fire about seven years ago in Sugar Valley. The Clinton County Revolving Loan funds are expected to complete a $2.8 million financial package put together for the Nicholas Meat Packing facility in Loganton. Under the terms of the agreement the loan is for the purchase of machinery and capital, and working capital. After the fire, the company's former force of 100 or so employees was reduced to just 20 workers, but the owners have since invested in restoration and expansion projects to bring the facility back to its former days. The Nicholas Meat Packing Company was destroyed by a fire in July of 2005.
(WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - A city police records management system, Reach Road repaving and reconstruction and completion of the River Valley Transit natural gas fueling facility are projects to be paid for after passage of an ordinance Thursday by Williamsport City Council. The Sun Gazette reports, the ordinance amended a prior ordinance that authorized and secured a general obligation note of $3 million. The previous ordinance included financing for 25 City streets but those streets, at a cost of about one million dollars, will be funded through natural gas impact fees.
(WGRC)

LOCK HAVEN - More than 100 job seekers turned out to a job fair in Clinton County Thursday afternoon. Nearly all of them were former employees of two Lock Haven businesses laid off without warning last month. The job fair was held at the Lock Haven Hospital. Inside were nearly two dozen employers that state employment officials hope will help get the unemployed back on the job. More than 100 people found themselves without a job last month when Fenco and Lock Haven Distribution up and closed without notice. The PA CareerLink office organized the job fair for everyone but especially the former auto parts employees. In addition to all the other folks out there looking for work, the people at Fenco and Lock Haven Distribution were laid off without notice last month. To boot, they were not paid their final paychecks. So in addition to losing that paycheck, their bills are starting to pile up, those folks say they need work and soon.
(WNEP)

LEWISBURG – Low Level hazardous waste has been found at the former Pennsylvania House site in Lewisburg, but published reports say that the remediation of the site will not delay the groundbreaking for the Penn House Commons, a multi-purpose residential-commercial development to be built there beginning this fall. The Daily Item reports, volatile organic compounds, probably the result of paints, lacquers, or cleaning agents left behind by the former furniture manufacturing facility, were found at a portion of the site. The finding resulted in minimal impact on the surrounding soil and groundwater. It’s unknown at this time though what measures will be taken to clean-up the site before work can begin but the developers say the finding won’t impede their start to build a Giant Supermarket, the anchor store at the site.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

JERSEY SHORE – State Department of Environmental officials along with the Pennsylvania Game Commission are warning anglers and those who use the waters of Pine Creek in Lycoming County to wash off their gear in hot soapy water to prevent the spread of an invasive species. The two state agencies made the announcement after confirming the presence of the invasive aquatic algae known as didymo, or “rock snot,” in Pine Creek, in Lycoming County. While the algae does not present a public health risk, there is an ecological concern in terms of its future potential impact on the health of the waterway by choking out other native aquatic life. In late June, DEP biologists were conducting routine stream monitoring in Pine Creek upstream of Waterville in the vicinity of the Hamilton Bottom Canoe Access Area, a popular recreational destination. Laboratory analysis of a sample collected detected the presence of didymo in the form of microscopic diatoms, a finding confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) continued to urge anglers and boaters to take steps to prevent the spread of the algae.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – While we all know it’s not a good idea to walk out into moving traffic, PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch yesterday announced that the department has produced four new videos aimed at educating children, motorists and parents about pedestrian safety. The videos can be viewed on the department’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/pennsylvaniaDOT. Each video targets different audiences at various stages of learning pedestrian safety or driving near pedestrians. The videos are intended primarily for parents of elementary school children and their students, middle-school students and young or first-time drivers. PennDOT data shows that in the past five years, there were over 4,500 pedestrian injuries and 743 pedestrians lost their lives in Pennsylvania traffic crashes. Of the pedestrians killed in crashes in the past five years, 86 were 18 years old or younger.
(WGRC)

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania’s attorney general said Thursday that she will not defend a 17-year-old state law effectively banning same-sex marriage from a legal challenge in federal court, meaning the task will be left up to Governor Tom Corbett. In a brief statement to reporters and a small crowd of supporters at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Attorney General Kathleen Kane said she cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s marriage law, and that she believes it to be unconstitutional. Kane, a Democrat who supports same-sex marriage, said the state and U.S. Constitution each stress equal protection under the law. The job of defending the law now falls to Corbett, a Republican who opposes same-sex marriage. He and Kane were both named in a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday seeking to overturn the law and legalize same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.
(WGRC)