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Today's News

Here's what is happening in 'Pennsylvania's Heartland'...
on Monday, April 21st:

A Montour County restaurant is heavily damaged by fire.  Flames sparked before 9 o'clock last night at the BJ's Steak and Ribs restaurant, on Mill Street in Danville.  Employees and customers inside at the time of the fire managed to escape the building safely.  A number of area residents were without power at the time of that firefight. 

Three area school districts have asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to add up their hours instead of their days in order to reach the required amount of instruction time in the school year. Act 80 requires all public schools to be open for at least 180 days of instruction for pupils. As of April 10, 130 school districts out of the state’s 500 have made an Act 80 request, including Mifflinburg, Selinsgrove and Southern Columbia. Other local school districts that made the request are Bloomsburg, Halifax, Millville, Newport and Upper Dauphin.

More camera's coming to Penn State campus. three downtown units operated by State College since 2003. Now the borough is expanding its public and internal surveillance systems, installing 71 new cameras in the municipal building, in parking garages and in selected downtown areas. The Borough Council approved a $450,000 contract to expand the downtown video surveillance system in October. With the additions, the system will go from wired to wireless.

Officials of the Danville Area School District and Danville Education Association confirmed Friday the teachers’ strike will continue through April 25. The 187 teachers, who have been working without a contract since June 2012, are scheduled to return to work April 28. Teachers went on strike Thursday.

An elderly man has died after a bicycle accident, State College police said Saturday. State College police said Duane Olson, 85, wrecked his bicycle Saturday afternoon in College Township. He had been taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment. Police did not know if the accident caused the injury, or if a medical problem was the cause of the accident.

Two Shamokin males were taken into custody following a car chase Friday night in Sunbury. According to Sunbury police, 27-year-old Andrew Beal and a 17-year-old male were apprehended after fleeing police. The incident started around 8:20p.m. Friday night, when officers attempted to stop a car for a traffic violation. The driver attempted to evade police, and a short chase ensued. On Snydertown Road, the two got out of their vehicle and tried to escape on foot.

State police are looking for the witness of a crash this month on the Veterans Memorial Bridge. According to state police in Selinsgrove, the minor crash occured just before 2:00p.m. on April 10, when a woman in a red Chevrolet car failed to stop for stopped traffic. The woman was found to be under the influence of prescription medication. Police are hoping to speak to the witness who reportedly stopped at the scene of the crash briefly to inform other motorists of what he had observed and then left.

After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom. That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking.

Friday, April 18th:

The Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts has resigned.  The announcement was made Thursday.  While no charges have been filed, reports say allegations have surfaced that Stephen Lukach took thousands of dollars from the office for his own personal use.  He had held the position for more than 20 years.  Governor Tom Corbett will need to appoint a new clerk.  The deputy clerk of courts will assume the duties during the interim.

A man is in critical condition and two horses were killed in a Snyder County crash Thursday. The crash happened around 11:15a.m. on Aqueduct Hollow Road just west of Jockey Road in Union Township. a horse drawn farm machine was stopped on Aqueduct Road, as the operator, 60-year-old Clarence Martin of Selinsgrove, was at the rear of the vehicle cleaning the manure spreader.  The crash occurred as 50-year-old Daniel Kantz of Mount Pleasant Mills was driving his car on Aqueduct Road, crested the top of a hill and failed to stop for the horses in the roadway.

State police are investigating after several cabins and cottages were broken into sometime in the last five months. The incidents occurred at Central Oak Heights Rental Cabins and Cottage community in West Milton. Copper plumbing was removed from cabins and items were stolen totaling $2,500. The investigation continues.

Sunbury police want to know who hit a teen riding their bike in the city on Wednesday evening. The teen boy was struck by a car on Packer Street at North Third Street around 7 p.m. It is not known if the teen was injured. The driver of the car fled the scene of the accident. The car is described as a silver Ford Focus hatchback with two other rear seat passengers. The car was last seen on North 3rd Street heading towards Reagan Street. The car may have minor passenger side front damage or a dented hood. Anyone with information is asked to call Sunbury Police.

A Bloomsburg man who led police on a high-speed chase in Selinsgrove and held two knives to his own throat is now in the Snyder County Prison. 44-year-old Charles Horrax Jr. was picked up by state police without incident along Route 522 in Middleburg on Tuesday morning. State police say Horrax had been released from a mental health ward in Bloomsburg. On April 4th, Horrax is accused of fleeing from police who tried to stop him on Route 522 in Penn Township.

The new CVS building in Danville will contain more unpaved space than the current property at 435 Mill St. Following a hearing Wednesday evening, the Danville Zoning Hearing Board approved variances for setbacks and for minimum parking requirements for the new CVS building which will replace the Hawkins Chevrolet building. The car dealership will relocate to Mahoning Township. CVS proposes a 13,225-square-foot building with a single drive-through window entry on the southern side and a loading area on the northern side.

After meeting for nearly four hours, the Danville Area School District school board negotiators and unionized teachers ended their negotiations without an agreement. The Danville Education Association, consisting of 187 Union teachers, will begin their strike today. Main issues teachers wanted to see changes with are salary, health care, tuition and reimbursements. The district has been without a contract since 2012.

News by:  Jim Miller