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July 15, 2013

PITMAN – Fire Crews in Schuylkill County were called out this morning to fight a house fire near Pitman. The fire was reported just after five a.m. at 138 Smith Road in Eldred Township.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

ELYSBURG – Route 54 in Northumberland County was closed down for around five-and-a-half hours yesterday following a deadly, multi-vehicle crash. The crash happened around 11:30 a.m. Police say 27-year-old Brian Stanley of Elysburg was killed in the crash and 49-year-old Christopher Long of Shamokin along with a 13-year-old boy suffered major injuries in the crash. Police say no one in the crash was wearing seatbelts at the time. Trooper say Long drifted across the center of the highway and slammed head-on into Stanley. Stanley died at the scene. Both Long and the boy were taken to Geisinger Medical Center. Long remains in critical condition at Geisinger.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN – A Mifflintown woman was taken to Lewistown Hospital following a crash late yesterday afternoon. The crash happened on Cedar Grove Road in Walker Township just after five p.m. Police say 54-year-old Shirley Bell suffered moderate injuries when she drove off the roadway and hit a tree.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MILTON – A Mifflinburg man remains in serious condition after being taken to Geisinger Medical Center following a crash Friday night on Interstate 80. Police say 41-year-old Chad Smith lost control of his pick-up truck on the wet highway and ended up spinning out of control, hitting an embankment, and flipping the vehicle for about 300 yards. Police say Smith was thrown from the vehicle during the crash which happened just before nine p.m.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

RENOVO - A motorcycle crash injured a biker early Sunday morning in Clinton County. Police say 49-year-old Daniel Rhoads, of Renovo, was heading north along Kettle Creek Road in Leidy Township, around 5:30 a.m. Police say Rhodes’ cycle went off the roadway, flipped and then fell on top of Rhodes. Police say Rhodes was not wearing a helmet and suffered moderate to serious injuries. He remains in critical condition at Geisinger.
(WGRC)

MONTANDON – A Milton man riding a motorcycle was hurt and taken to Evangelical Community Hospital with what police call moderate injuries yesterday afternoon. The crash happened on route 45 in West Chillisquaque Township around 4:30 p.m. Police say 35-year-old Rodney Dieffenbach tried to make a turn onto Covered Bridge road when he slid on the loose gravel and laid the motorbike down.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

DANVILLE – A Muncy motorcyclist was taken to Geisinger Medical Center following a crash in Montour County. That happened around 10:30 Friday morning on Montour Boulevard outside Danville. Police say 62-year-old Leon Johnson laid his motorcycle down on the pavement when he tried to avoid hitting the rear of another vehicle. Johnson was thrown from the cycle. He was treated and released from Geisinger.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

NEW PHILADELPHIA – An Orwigsburg man was taken to Schuylkill Medical Center following a crash in Schuylkill County. The crash happened around seven Sunday morning on New Philadelphia Road in West Brunswick Township. Police say 21-year-old Cory Lawson suffered injuries when his car went off the roadway down over an embankment and into a tree. A passenger in his vehicle wasn’t hurt.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SPRING TOWNSHIP — A Tannersville man was flown to the Altoona Regional Medical Center after a late-night crash Saturday on Interstate 99 in Centre County. The man remains in critical condition at the hospital. State Police say the crash happened just before mid-night when the man lost control of his car on the highway hit guard rails and then flipped his car onto its roof. The man was thrown from the vehicle which then burst into flames. Police believe alcohol to be a factor in the crash.
(WGRC)

KISSAMMEE- Police are investigating a case of robbery and attempted rape in Snyder County. Police say sometime between 1:30 and two a.m. Sunday a woman was attempting to make a fire along Kissammee Road in Adams Township. The woman told police a truck stopped and a man got out of the vehicle and made advances towards her and then took money and medication from the woman’s purse. Police say they believe the man was driving a full sized Chevy Silverado. A scuffle broke out between the man and woman before the man took off. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call state police, Selinsgrove.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SELINSGROVE - A Selinsgrove man is in jail after breaking into a local pizza shop. State Police say 22-year-old George Botticher was arrested after breaking into the restaurant at the corner of Fisher and App Road in Monroe Township just after one Thursday morning. Police say Botticher entered the business through a side window, but his plans were foiled when he encountered someone inside of the business who held him at bay until police arrived. Botticher admitted to breaking into the business both that day and the day before. He is locked up in the Snyder County Prison on $100,000 bail.
(WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN - A Port Royal man involved in a brutal assault and robbery on October 14, 2011, at the Swarey Saw Shop on Billyville Road in Juniata County was sentenced on Friday in the County Court of Common Pleas. 45-year-old Tracey Scott previously pleaded guilty to a simple assault charge and on Friday he was sentenced to serve four to 11 years in a state prison. In addition, the Sentinel reports, Scott had a slew of bad check charges in several unrelated cases for which he must pay restitution in the amount of over $7,000.
(WGRC)

CEDAR RUN – Police have arrested three teens responsible for a break-in and vandalism of a country store in Lycoming County. The break-in happened last Monday, July 8th around 1:30 a.m. at Wolfe’s general Store along Route 414 in Cedar Run. Police say 19-year-old Thomas Ceraso, 18-year-old Tyler Riddler, and a 17-year-old boy, broke into a second floor apartment above the store by pushing in an air conditioner. The three then went downstairs and entered the store knocking over numerous products from the shelves and stole two gallons of milk. All three have been charged with burglary and related counts.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

MIFFLINTOWN – A Mifflintown man is jailed on burglary and theft charges. Police say 39-year-old Eric Coldren is accused of breaking into a home on Orchard road in Fermanagh Township sometime between July first and the eighth. He’s jailed in the Mifflin County Prison.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

FRACKVILLE – A father and son have been arrested and placed in the Schuylkill County jail on theft charges. Police say around 2:30 Saturday morning both 66-year-old Thomas G. and 45-year-old Thomas T Reabold were caught entering the Bear Ridge Manufacturing and fabrication plant near Frackville. Police say the two were caught on surveillance cameras stealing around $2,500 in scrap metal from the business. Both are now jailed on $25,000 bail.
(WGRC)

PORT TREVORTON – Police are investigating a church break-in in Snyder County the break-in happened sometime between 2:30 Tuesday afternoon and seven Wednesday evening at Chapman Community Chapel in Port Trevorton. Police say the bandit entered the church through a basement window but didn’t find anything of value to steal and left the church.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

WILLIAMSPORT - In Williamsport, officials said heroin has led to an increase in crime and violence. Officials in Lycoming County laid out plans Friday to make the streets safer. Several security cameras watch over the Timberland Apartments in Williamsport. Officials in Lycoming County say soon there will be more. District Attorney Eric Linhardt has announced plans for 36 new cameras outside the Timberland Apartments, paid for using drug forfeiture money. Linhardt says Lycoming County has recently seen an increase in violent crime because of heroin. Police said a shooting in May was one of many heroin-related crimes. The D.A. and other officials announced new programs to fight drugs and crime in the county. The drug forfeiture money will also be used to pay Williamsport Police officers overtime to do extra patrolling at the city’s parks. Williamsport police said there may be as many as ten additional officers patrolling parks. Officials expect the new crime fighting initiatives in Williamsport and surrounding communities to take effect within the next month.
(WNEP)

LEMONT FURNACE - Penn State on Friday authorized university lawyers to extend settlement offers to some of the men claiming they were abused by convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky. Penn State said the offers were recommended by the board’s legal subcommittee of the legal and compliance committee. The subcommittee’s recommendations came after discussions June 25 and Friday morning during confidential meetings. Penn State will not say exactly how much the settlement offers will be, and the university did not say how many claimants would be offered settlements.
(WGRC)

UNIONTOWN - Penn State’s Board of Trustees has approved a $4.42 billion budget and tuition increases averaging about 2.8 percent for all students. The board made the decision at Penn State’s Fayette campus in Uniontown. In-state students at the main campus can expect the largest increase, 3.4 percent, which would raise tuition about $264 per semester for freshmen and sophomores. Out-of-state main campus students will pay $400 more per semester, although their increase is smaller by percentage. Satellite campus students will see smaller increases. President Rodney Erickson plans to retire by June 2014 and the trustees are expected to update the status on a search for his replacement. He took over in November 2011 after Graham Spanier left under pressure just days after the arrest of retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on child molestation charges.
(WGRC)

SUNBURY – Congressman Lou Barletta visited Sunbury in Northumberland County Friday morning to announce an $800,000 grant to help with improvements for the city’s storm water system.  Barletta made the announcement at the Sunbury Textile Mill Friday. The money will go toward a pipe, which will be installed for storm water along with sewerage upgrades. Sunbury mayor David Persing says the upgrades are needed for the city’s Spring Run Pump Station. The improvements will help pump additional storm water into Shamokin Creek and make Sunbury more resistant to flooding. The total cost of the project is about $1.3 million.
(WGRC)

STATE COLLEGE - Penn State has shown the Borough of State College it’s a good neighbor. The university will absorb the $9.6 million extra it will cost to run a natural gas pipeline through campus to a steam plant and avoid a shorter, but controversial, route through State College’s Highlands neighborhood. Columbia Gas will supply the fuel as the university plans to transition the West Campus steam plant, at the corner of Burrowes Road and West College Avenue, from coal to natural gas. The university’s board of trustees approved the cost during a meeting Friday at the university’s Fayette branch campus. The Centre daily Times reports, the original plan called for the pipeline to follow a route from Porter Road to Bellaire Avenue through the streets of the Highlands neighborhood. But residents, worried over the safety of having a pipeline in their neighborhood, railed against the proposed project and voiced their concerns to the Borough Council in April. The council listened to the concerns and denied Columbia Gas a permit for the project. In response, the gas company sued. It’s not known now what will happen with that lawsuit now that Penn State has decided to cover the cost of the longer route.
(WGRC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - Muscles bulged, faces turned bright red and veins popped as Penn State players pushed weighted sleds and turned 100-pound sandbags and a giant rope into weapons in the fight against kidney cancer. In the end, Penn State football players helped raise nearly $117,000 as of Friday afternoon for the Kidney Cancer Association at the 11th annual Lift for Life event, surpassing last year’s total of $110,000 in front of fans at the Penn State Lacrosse Field on Friday. Fans packed the bleachers and stood two people deep along the fence that bordered the field.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE – The new Wal-Mart superstore in Selinsgrove will be unveiled with a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m. The expansion not only provides a wider selection of merchandise, but also an additional 80 jobs.
(WGRC)

SELINSGROVE – Motorists in Snyder County are advised that a lane switch will go into effect today at the $1.9 million truss bridge rehabilitation project on Route 522 over Penns Creek at Selinsgrove in Snyder County. Southbound traffic will be switched from the southbound lane to the northbound lane. Northbound traffic must continue to use the designated detour. The detour for through traffic will follow Market Street, Route 35, and Routes 11/15 northbound. The local traffic detour will use Airport Road, Mill Road, Route 204 and Route 522. There will be paint removal and repainting on Monday, so motorists should expect traffic delays while the contractor is doing the work.
(WGRC)

MONTOURSVILLE - A PennDOT contractor will begin work on a bridge preservation project on I-180 in Montoursville Borough on Monday, July 15. The work will involve concrete bridge deck repairs and placing an epoxy deck overlay on both the eastbound and westbound bridges over Loyalsock Creek. Roadway work will also be done on the approaches at both bridges. This work will require temporary concrete barrier to be placed, with traffic in a single-lane condition in each direction. A detour will be in place. The $763,000 project will be completed by the end of October.
(WGRC)

SHAMOKIN – Motorists in Northumberland County, who travel Route 54 in Mount Carmel Township, are advised that the Shamokin Valley Railroad plans to replace its crossing located approximately two-tenths of a mile south of Brennan’s Farm Road. The crossing replacement southeast of Kulpmont is scheduled to start today. A detour will be in effect using Routes 901 and 61.  The project is expected to be completed by July 19th.  
(WGRC)

WATSONTOWN - Preservation work continues on the Route 44 Bridge over Warrior Run just south of Watsontown in Northumberland County. PennDOT contractors will implement the next phase of construction, which includes a 30-day detour, beginning today. The signed detour will follow Route 405, Susquehanna Trail and Main Street, McEwensville. The rehabilitation work is scheduled to be completed and the bridge reopened to unrestricted traffic by August 14th.
(WGRC)

HARRISBURG – PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are seeking the public’s input on traveler information through a brief online survey, accessible at 511PA.com and paturnpike.com. The anonymous survey includes questions on the types of traffic information travelers find valuable, how they access and utilize that information, and how traffic information affects their driving habits. It also asks for feedback on PennDOT’s 511PA traveler information service and the Turnpike’s Roadway Information Program. PennDOT’s 511PA service provides traffic-delay warnings, weather forecasts, average traffic speeds on urban interstates, and access to more than 679 traffic cameras. The Turnpike’s program provides real-time traffic conditions, weather alerts, and travel information online, on the road, and on your phone or mobile device for the 552 miles of turnpike roadway.
(WGRC)