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July 17, 2013

PORT TREVORTON – An Adams county man suffered what police called moderate injuries in a crash early this morning on Routes 11 and 15 in Snyder County. The crash happened around 3:30 this morning and shut down one lane in each direction of Routes 11 and 15 in Chapman Township. Police say 24-year-old Cody Smith of new Oxford fell asleep at the wheel  of his truck and hit the concrete median of the highway, his truck winding up on top of the median. Smith was taken to Sunbury Community Hospital.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

CASTENEA - A Mill Hall man was injured Monday morning when he crashed his motorcycle on Nittany Road in Clinton County. State police say 65-year-old Leonard Eisenhower, was wearing a helmet when his motorcycle slid out of control due to road conditions around seven a.m.

SUNBURY – A man accused of driving while intoxicated that caused a fatal crash that claimed the life of a father and his four-year-old son on the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge in Sunbury is headed to court. State Police say 25-year-old Brian Glass of Port Trevorton was drunk and high when he crossed the double-yellow line on the Bridge last July and slammed head-on into a vehicle killing Kirk Mahaffey and his son Mason.  Glass, of Port Trevorton, pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and related charges, which police filed after a nearly year-long investigation. However, the Daily item reports, District Judge Benjamin Apfelbaum of Sunbury ruled that there was enough evidence to send all charges to Northumberland County Court. Glass was returned to prison on $200,000 bail.

BELLEFONTE – A Howard man was sentenced in Centre County Court Monday on numerous felony sexual assault charges on children less than 13-years-old. Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller reports, 44-year-old Daniel Hanley was sentenced to nine to 23 years in state prison. Hanley was found guilty at a jury trial in April.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

LEWISTOWN - A two-day jury trial scheduled to start on Monday for a man charged with physically abusing an 11-month old boy was called off at the last minute after the defense and prosecution worked out a plea deal. 30-year-old Robert Grove will now plead guilty to one felony count of endangering the welfare of a child. The Sentinel reports, the remaining charges, including aggravated assault, were withdrawn under the agreement. Judge Rick Williams ordered a pre-sentence investigation to determine the sentencing guidelines for Grove's case. Meanwhile Grove’s co-defendant 22-year-old Brittany Marshall is expected to enter a similar plea deal. Police filed charges against the two last July after the child was taken to Geisinger Medical Center where doctors reported his injuries were the result of abuse. Police say the infant had skull fractures, and three old healing fractures around his collar bone, shoulder blade and shin, as well as a bite mark caused by an adult. The doctor also told police the child was bruised all over his body and had been struck with a rectangular object on some parts of his body. Both Grove and Marshall deny hurting the 11-month-old boy. Marshall and Grove both remain free on bail and are expected to appear in court in August.

BELLEFONTE – A Milesburg man was found guilty and sentenced to prison time for the starvation and death of a herd of cattle. 56-year-old Thomas Shawley failed to show for his trial on animal abuse charges on Monday in Centre County and was immediately sentenced to one year seven months to four years and nine months in prison. In February The Department of Agriculture and the Centre County SPCA were called to Shawley’s farm where they found a herd of 32 cattle starving to death and several animals had already died from starvation. District Attorney Stacey Parks-Miller says Shawley had admitted to animal authorities that he had difficulty keeping the animals fed and cared for. Many of the cattle were taken to area farms and nursed back to health.

BERWICK - Four people were arrested in Columbia County, accused of making methamphetamine. The drug bust happened Monday night at a home in Berwick on West Front Street. Officers say when they searched the home, they found items used in manufacturing methamphetamine. Fred Smith, Melissa Waldron, Jaide Benninger and Samuel Konrad of Berwick, were taken into custody and are now facing multiple drug charges. All four people are locked up in Columbia County prison.  

BENTON - A former manager of the Acorn Market in Benton stole nearly $32,000 in instant-lottery tickets over a five-month period in 2011. The Press Enterprise reports, 54-year-old Darla Force, of the Benton area admitted to the thefts. Force, who had a key to the lottery-ticket machine as the store’s manager, and told police she collected $2,500 from winning tickets. Police say Force allegedly began stealing tickets in March 2011.

LEWISTOWN - The Lewistown Police Department and other law enforcement in Mifflin County say if you think your bank issued Automatic Teller Machine cards are being misused, you’re not alone. Lewistown Police along with the Federal Trade Commission are investigating several cases where a Mifflin County Bank’s ATM cards are fraudulently being used across the country including place like California and Tennessee. Law enforcement in Mifflin County is working with the bank that issued the ATM cards to identify how the crimes occurred and do not believe the frauds started in Mifflin County, but are part of a larger organized ring. The illegal use of ATM and credit cards is a national problem that frequently involves organized and sometimes international criminals. In 2012, Lewistown Police working with Beverly Hills Police investigated and identified a group of criminals with international ties that compromised multiple persons’ accounts. If you have suspicious activity or charges on your ATM or credit cards you should immediately call the issuer, the bank, or credit card company to report the suspected fraud-the phone number is usually on the back of the card. If your account has been compromised, cancel the card. Also, notify the Federal Trade Commission and fill out a fraud report with them. And then make a police report with your local or state police depending on where you live.
Jim Diehl (WGRC)

SUNBURY - The discussion of open burning or recreational burning within the City of Sunbury will be the topic of discussion at a public meeting tonight in Sunbury. Building fires for cooking or grilling, or outdoor recreation has some residents for it other against it. Over the past few months Both City Council and Mayor David Persing have gotten an ear full about outside burning. The public meeting will be held tonight at seven p.m. in City Hall.

STATE COLLEGE - State Representative Scott Conklin will take comments from the public at a meeting tonight about his bill aimed at reforming Penn State’s board of trustees. The public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the State College Municipal Building, at 243 South Allen Street. Conklin will be joined by the board Chairman Keith Masser, Vice Chairman Paul Silvis and trustees Ted Brown, Keith Eckel and Anthony Lubrano. Conklin said he plans to discuss making Penn State applicable to the state’s Right-to-Know Law and reducing the size of the board of trustees to 22 members. Penn State’s board approved changes in May that took effect when the trustees convened last week for a meeting. For instance, the president does not have voting power. Conklin said his proposed legislation was designed to increase transparency and accountability among trustees.

STATE COLLEGE - Two Penn State trustees broke from the party line Tuesday in an interview with USA Today, with one saying he was surprised by the conclusions in the Freeh report and the other saying they were “speculation.” The comments by Keith Eckel and board Chairman Keith Masser, respectively, ignited a fresh round of anti-Freeh report sentiment, most namely from the family of the late coach Joe Paterno, who pounced on the comments and called the remarks “a critically important development.” Masser and Eckel told USA Today’s editorial board they do not endorse the key findings of the Freeh report that Paterno, former university President Graham Spanier and former administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz concealed abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky. Spanier, Curley and Schultz are facing obstruction of justice, perjury and related charges stemming from a grand jury’s investigation into Sandusky. For the Paterno family, Masser’s and Eckel’s reported comments apparently were music to their ears, as the family released a statement. “It is a step forward that members of the board are publicly backing away from Freeh’s central allegations,” the family’s statement said in part. “Unfortunately, the NCAA based their unprecedented penalties against Penn State entirely on the Freeh report. With the credibility of the report eroding on a daily basis, it is imperative that the NCAA revisit their actions.” The Paternos have filed a lawsuit against the NCAA to overturn the sanctions that include a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl game ban and scholarship reductions. They’re joined in the lawsuit by several trustees, former Nittany Lion players, coaches and professors.

DANVILLE – Geisinger Health System provided $336.6 million in community support in fiscal year 2012 in the form of free, uncompensated care to patients who could not afford to pay; the provision of care for the elderly and the poor not paid by Medicare or Medicaid; allied health, medical residency and fellowship educational programs; healthcare research; community health, education and outreach programs. The $336.6 million represents 14.9% of Geisinger’s total operating expenses and is nearly three times what is required to meet Pennsylvania’s standards as a charitable mission. Over the past ten years, Geisinger has provided community benefit totaling more than $2 billion.

DANVILLE - Geisinger Health System has been listed for the eleventh consecutive year among the country’s “Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems.” Overall, this is Geisinger’s eleventh selection to the “Most Wired” list, compiled by Hospitals&Health Networks Magazine. The annual “Most Wired” recognitions are the results of hundreds of surveys, which undergo a stringent, detailed scoring process. The survey that entrants fill out rates a health system’s performance in four categories: infrastructure; business and administration management; clinical quality and safety; and clinical integration. In 2013, a record number of hospitals – more than 280 – earned Most Wired status in the list’s fifteenth year. Those included in the Most Wired list are praised for excellence in information technology and achievements within their analytic structures. Currently, Geisinger is involved in several health information exchanges, including the Keystone Health Information Exchange, as well as partnerships with affiliated system and non-affiliated community hospitals to provide telehealth remote monitoring and consultation services for psychiatric, stroke, women’s health, radiation and intensive care patients. Geisinger also recently announced the expansion of its innovative OpenNotes program that allows patients to view doctor’s notes through an online portal.