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Sunday, July 4th, 2010
Fire closes Danville's Beaver apartments overnight
DANVILLE -- Residents of Danville's Beaver Apartments will be spending the night in the ballroom of the borough building after a smoky fire Sunday morning. One Beaver Place in Danville was initially evacuated after smoke tripped an automatic alarm at about 8:10 a.m.
Smoke on the third floor was confirmed by arriving firefighters, though the exact cause of the fire behind it is still not known. Danville Assistant Fire Chief Chris Dickinson says the fire itself was quickly put out.
State police fire Marshal Norman Fedder says the fire was confined to room 311. Fedder believes the fire may have started in a couch, and did about $25,000 worth of damage to the unit.
One person was burned by the fire, but her name was not made available. She was first taken for treatment to Geisinger Medical Center, then to the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Smoke inhalation was apparently a common complaint, and EMS units from areas surrounding Danville were called to help out the overflow of those who showed symptoms.
Danville, Mahoning Township, Valley Township, Liberty Township and Riverside fire crews responded, as did the Columbia County's Rapid Intervention Team.
5K run a prelude to Mifflinburg's big show today
MIFFLINBURG-- There was plenty of cheering and applause offered to runners at the 27th Annual Mifflinburg 5K road race on Saturday. Supporters and athletes agree that the race serves as an annual reunion of friends, family, and embodies the sprit of the 4th of July holiday.
There were 457 registered runners involved, along with countless spectators, both in Mifflinburg's Community Park and along the race route. Shorter distance children's races also attracted scores of kids and their parents.
This 2010 edition of the race was run the day before the Independence Day holiday , as the 4th of July fell on a Sunday this year. There is a full day of activities planned for today, including a pet parade, music and firework's at Mifflinburg's Community Park.
Millmont man dies in Friday night crash
MIFFLINBURG – State troopers say 51-year-old Wayne Pierson of Millmont died in a Friday night one vehicle crash, which also injured his passenger, 48-year-old Lisa Pierson of Millmont.
Troopers say Pierson was driving at a high rate of speed, just before 8:00 p.m. on Paddy Mountain Road near Laurelton. He apparently lost control of the car, which then hit an embankment, broke a utility pole, and rolled onto its roof.
Pierson was not using a seatbelt, although his passenger was. Lisa Pierson was released Saturday from Geisinger Medical Center after being airlifted there Friday night. (Matt Farrand)
Fireworks complaints, brush fire prior to holiday
SHAMOKIN -- Local county communications desks reported fireworks complaints Saturday, though no major related incidents were logged. Nor were any reports of fires related to fireworks reported, despite dry conditions.
However, a brush fire near Shamokin is under investigation. Northumberland County 9-1-1 says an undetermined number of acres were blackened near Saigon, east of Shamokin.
Firefighters from as far away as Sunbury took care of the fire in Coal Township, with no reported injuries. The cause of the 2:00 p.m. fire was not immediately determined. (Matt Farrand)
Weis Markets pulls bison from stores
HENDERSON, Colo. (AP) - Weis Markets is among retailers pulling its share of about 66,000 pounds of bison meat from its shelves. It was processed by a Colorado company, and federal agriculture officials linked it to E. coli sicknesses.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Rocky Mountain Natural Meats in Henderson recalled the ground and tenderized bison after it was linked to sickening five people in Colorado and one in New York.
The USDA says the meat was sold to stores nationwide between May 21 and May 27. The sicknesses were reported between June 1 and June 4. All the products included in the recall have the establishment number "EST. 20247" inside the USDA mark of inspection. Weis is also reprogramming its scanners so the bad bison can't be sold.
Sunbury motorcyclist killed in crash
LAPORTE -- A Sunbury man was killed in an accident in Sullivan County Friday. Police say 43-year-old Edward Eichner Jr. was driving a motorcycle on Route 154 in Laporte Township when he lost control on a curve and crashed into a tree. Eichner died at the scene follow that crash just before 6:00p.m. Eichner was wearing a helmet and the investigation into the crash continues.
Nearly 40 arrests made during Sunbury saturation patrol
SUNBURY -- A saturation patrol by the Northumberland-Montour County Drug Task Force took place Friday night. The patrol took place in the greater Sunbury area and officers were in contact with over 100 people.
Among the arrests include four illegal drug violations, where nearly thirty grams of both cocaine and marijuana were seized, five probation violations, sending four of them to Northumberland County Prison, three disorderly conducts and nine traffic violations.
In addition, there were two foot pursuits with both individuals now in custody, one wanted person placed in Northumberland County Prison, one illegal immigration violation and one prohibited weapon violation. There were nearly forty arrests in all. Officers from Sunbury, Northumberland, Point Township, Ralpho Township, Mount Carmel, as well as the Northumberland County Adult Probation assisted with the patrol. (Sara Bartlett)
Major fire devastated a section of downtown Milton
MILTON – A business celebrating their 85th year was destroyed by a fast moving fire in downtown Milton Friday afternoon. Three buildings were damaged and about a dozen people are homeless because of the blaze. The fire apparently broke out next to the Vogel’s Cleaners building at 140 South Front Street. The Vogel’s building and two adjoining buildings were destroyed.
Fire fighters were able to keep the fire from spreading further. The cause of the fire is not known and a state police fire marshal will help investigate. The American Red Cross, Upper Northumberland County chapter, is assisting the families. The Milton-Standard reports that Richard Agler owns the adjoining apartment buildings.
The owner of Vogel’s, Jim Vogel said the business started with his grandfather and was handed down to him. He did not know if they planned to rebuild. Among the people homeless, six people in the Terry Guisewhite family, and at least three other families.
The fire started around 3pm and volunteer companies responding to the scene, serving in a standby capacity or providing assistance at the scene included Milton, Turbot Township, Sunbury, Middleburg, Warrior Run, Mifflinburg, White Deer Township, Lewisburg and Montoursville. A fire earlier in the week destroyed one of the main buildings at the H. Warshow and Son’s complex. That fire started from workers using a torch.
Investigation yields charges after mid-April fatality
SUNBURY -- An Elizabethville man now faces a host of charges following a mid-April accident that claimed the life of a Dalmatia woman. State troopers spent more than two months investigating the incident, and now say 29-year old Thomas Schorr had a suspended license and violated more than half a dozen driving regulations that day.
19-year-old Bethany Harris was injured after jumping from Schorr's vehicle as he was driving recklessly along McKees Road and Lenker Lane in Lower Mahanoy Township. She died several days later at Geisinger Medical Center. A front seat passenger at the time is also being charged. 23-year-old Jessica Beers lives with Schorr and let him drive her car knowing he was not properly licensed and the vehicle was uninsured. (Matt Farrand)
Man hit by car in Shamokin
SHAMOKIN -- A Shamokin man was killed after being hit by a car Friday. The News Item reports 86-year-old Paul Bogdan was walking near Market and Chestnut Street around 11:50a.m. when a vehicle driven by 75-year-old Robert Hine of Coal Township struck him. Bogdan was taken to Shamokin Area Community Hospital and then transferred to Geisinger where he died. The accident is still under investigation.
Marino enjoys freedom to vote, pray and travel
UNDATED -- Republican congressional candidate Tom Marino says Independence Day is among his favorite holidays. The former Lycoming County and federal prosecutor says freedom enjoyed during day-to-day life is the reason, including freedom to travel vote and go to church.
Marino will spend much of the holiday weekend campaigning, but says veterans and current members of the military are in his prayers. He says former and current soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines need to be taken care of. Marino will face incumbent Democrat Chris Carney (D-10th, Dimock) in the general election. We'll have remarks from Carney in upcoming newscasts. (Matt Farrand)
CSVT gets boost in House
WASHINGTON – The long planned Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project is getting a legislative boost. So says Congressman Chris Carney (D-10th, Dimock), who tells us the House passed a measure late Thursday.
That bill makes it possible for the 13-mile highway bypass to be eligible for Appalachian Regional Commission money. Carney added language to the bill that now goes to the Senate, which that removes the corridor designation from a proposed project in Centre County. (Matt Farrand)
Boat rental business booming for holiday weekend
SUNBURY -- With perfect weather forecast for the 4th of July weekend, one local business expects to be extra busy. Angela Troutman, owner of Lake Augusta Outfitters at the Shikellamy Marina, says she's seen a lot of interest already in rental equipment, and the pontoon boats are sold out. But, Troutman says there are still plenty of water rentals available, along with single and tandem bikes.
Troutman says since the business opened last month, the turnout and feedback have been great. She says the community has been very supportive of the business, and she has been getting a lot of spontaneous renters who have come to the park for the day. In addition to rentals, the shop offers refreshments, as well as fishing and boat equipment. They also have a gas pump, where all boaters are welcome to fill up. (Sara Bartlett)
Roundtable this weekend is an update on the CSVT
SUNBURY – This weekend on our Roundtable program, you’ll find out why some of the people pushing for the CSVT are optimistic the highway will be built. Joe McGranaghan—the mayor Shamokin Dam and the chair of the CSVT task force tells us, the project has many allies at the local, state and federal level. He said he is optimistic because the US House and Senate have pledged support.
Joe McGranaghan, along with Charlie Ross of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Ryan Unger of SEDA-COG, are on Roundtable this weekend talking about the so-called Routes 11 & 15 bypass.
You can hear Roundtable (Sunday) on, Eagle 107 (107.3FM) at 6a.m., 100.9 (100.9FM), The Valley, at 6a.m., Newsradio 1070 WKOK (1070AM) at 9a.m., Talkradio 1380 WMLP (1380AM), 11a.m., 94KX WQKX (94.1FM) at 11p.m. and anytime, at www.wkok.com.
Open lewdness charges against Montandon man
MONTANDON -- A Montandon man is being charged with open lewdness after watching pornographic material in front of an open window. Police say 28-year-old Shawn Kelson intentionally positioned a large screen television in his home so that it was visible to the public from the main roadway.
On June 20th, Kelson was observed watching pornographic material at the home along Atlantic Avenue in Montandon. District Judge William Kear charged kelson on counts of open lewdness and viewing obscene and sexual material. (Sara Bartlett)
Northumberland County democratic committee names officials
SUNBURY -- The Northumberland County Democratic Party held a reorganization meeting Thursday, and new officials were named. The new Democratic Chairman is Rodger Babnew of Sunbury. He replaces Paul Niglio of Kulpmont. The Vice Chairperson is Peggy Ferrari of Shamokin. Debbie Howe was named as secretary and Norm Gessner was named as treasurer. They are both from Sunbury.
Testing for tree-killing insect in Union County
UNDATED -- The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is working to stop the spread of a tree-killing beetle after a suspect sample of the bug was found in Union County. A sample from Gregg Township is being tested for confirmation of the emerald ash borer beetle.
The invasive beetle can kill an ash tree within three years of infestation. The Ag Department says they pose a serious threat to the hardwoods industry. The beetle has now been found in 15 Pennsylvania counties.
Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, lottery, business and entertainment
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania lawmakers are finished passing the set of bills that make up the new $28 billion state government budget. The budget work wrapped up Saturday in a rare weekend session, three days into the new fiscal year. The final votes included a promise to work on a Marcellus Shale natural gas tax and a fiscal office and $600 million in capital projects borrowing. Gov. Ed Rendell's office says he plans to sign the budget bills on Tuesday and Wednesday, in the Harrisburg area and at other locations across the state.
TYRONE, Pa. (AP) - Military authorities have identified the remains of a western Pennsylvania man and six other servicemen missing in action since their cargo plane went down in Burma during World War II. Officials say the remains of 24-year-old Clarence Frantz of Tyrone and the other airmen will be buried with full military honors July 15 at Arlington National Cemetery. The men were aboard a C-47A Skytrain that left India May 23, 1944 to re-supply Allied forces near Myitkyina, Burma. Clarence Frantz was a member of Tyrone's Troop B, 104th Cavalry, before he transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was posthumously awarded 14 medals in 1949, including the Purple Heart and Silver Star. In 2002, a missionary told officials about a C-47 crash site in Burma, and a resident later turned over remains and ID tags for three crewmen.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Electronic signs along Pennsylvania highways that warn drivers of accidents, traffic jams and construction could be pitching them products if state officials get their way. Pennsylvania has joined California and Florida in asking the federal government to allow the sale of advertising on electronic highway signs to generate money to fix roads and bridges. The Patriot-News of Harrisburg says it has obtained an application indicating that states would contract with private companies to upgrade and maintain the electronic signs. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says the advertising could generate $150 million annually for each state. But traffic safety advocates argue that the ads could distract drivers and pose a road hazard.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The politically divided Pennsylvania Legislature could wrap up the state's budget package and send it to Gov. Ed Rendell's desk within 24 hours. The state House of Representatives and Senate have shuffled a series of budget-related bills into position for votes that appear to have a majority behind them. The chambers will reconvene this morning to begin voting. The movement came after top lawmakers resolved a late-developing dispute over whether to set up a new state office to analyze state revenue and spending. Pennsylvania's fiscal year began Thursday. On Wednesday, lawmakers passed a $28 billion appropriations bill. However, an assortment of other bills, such as one authorizing money transfers, are necessary before Rendell can sign the spending bill.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Legislature is poised to approve a new cabinet-level agency to deal with drug and alcohol addiction. The Senate approved a bill 43-to-7 yesterday to create the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The bill was sent to the House for approval. The sponsor, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, says the agency's creation will improve the state's ability to pursue federal grants and foster communication in the various governmental bodies that are affected by substance abuse. Critics such as Sen. Jane Earll say the expansion of the state bureaucracy is bound to cost more money. Plus, Earll says the agency will be essentially powerless because it won't have control over the money that pays for the programs.
BIG FLATS, N.Y. (AP) - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. says it is shutting down a commercial helicopter factory in upstate New York and moving production to Pennsylvania. The Stratford, Conn.-based helicopter maker and military contractor says subsidiary Schweizer Aircraft Corp. plans to shift most of the 400 employees to a nearby military helicopter factory it also operates in Big Flats, N.Y., a small town near Elmira. Spokesman Peter Jackson says the manufacturing of Schweizer's light utility commercial helicopters will shift to Sikorsky's Global Helicopters plant in Coatesville, Pa., 45 miles west of Philadelphia. Jackson says Schweizer employs about 1,250 people at its plants in Big Flats, but some jobs will likely be eliminated during the transition.
Update on the latest in business:
Hopes ride on giant oil skimmer in Gulf of Mexico
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The latest hopes are riding on a massive new skimmer to clean oil from near the spewing well in the Gulf of Mexico, while a local Louisiana parish's plan to block the slick has been rejected by federal officials. A 48-hour test of the Taiwanese vessel dubbed "A Whale" began Saturday and was to continue through Sunday. TMT Shipping created what is billed as the world's largest oil skimmer by converting an oil tanker after the April 20 explosion sent millions of gallons of crude spilling into the Gulf. The vessel was expected to cruise a 25-square-mile test site just north of the Macondo Deepwater well site, company officials said.
French Bank Stress Tests
AIX-EN-PROVENCE (AP) - France's finance minister says stress tests will show European banks are "solid and healthy." European Union leaders have promised to disclose the results of "stress tests" designed to show how banks would do if circumstances worsen. The U.S. published stress tests in 2009 to show how much capital the country's 19 biggest banks needed to raise to cope with more losses. Finance Minister Christine Lagarde told reporters on Sunday that the European banks that will be subjected to the EU tests and the exact criteria will soon be known. The results will be published around July 23, she said. She added that she is not "worried" about French banks.
Pennsylvania Lottery Numbers:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - These Pennsylvania lotteries were drawn Saturday:
Midday Big 4
03-10-14-52-53, Powerball: 3, Power Play: 3
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Jimmy Smits hosts DC's July 4th celebration
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jimmy Smits is a die-hard New Yorker, but even he has to admit that the July Fourth celebration in Washington chokes him up more. Smits is hosting tonight's "A Capitol Fourth." He says the
combination of the National Symphony and the fireworks over the monuments make him proud to be an American. Reba McEntire, Gladys Knight and Darius Rucker will be among the performers. "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta will sing the national anthem and another song. The event will air on PBS.
Ilene Woods, voice of Cinderella, dies at 81
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ilene Woods, the voice of Cinderella in Disney's animated classic, has died. She was 81. Woods died Thursday of causes related to Alzheimer's disease at a nursing home in Canoga Park, her husband, Ed Shaughnessy, tells the Los Angeles Times. Woods was an 18-year-old radio singer in 1948 when she recorded a demo for an upcoming Disney feature. Two days later, Walt Disney himself auditioned her and she went on to voice the title character's speaking and singing parts for 1950's "Cinderella," about a mistreated stepdaughter who finds her Prince Charming. Woods sang on the Perry Como and Arthur Godfrey shows in the 1950s before retiring from show business in the early 1970s. In addition to her husband of 47 years, she is survived by their son, a daughter from her first marriage, and three grandchildren.
Singer Carole King puts Idaho ranch back on market
STANLEY, Idaho (AP) - Songwriter and singer Carole King has put her 128-acre central Idaho ranch back on the market with a reduced asking price of $16 million. The Robinson Bar Ranch compound near Stanley includes a 7,300-square-foot lodge, a private residence, a caretaker's home, a professional recording studio, guest cabins and horse barns. King put the ranch up for sale in 2006 for $19 million. A listing agent says the ranch was taken off the market because of problems with a bridge on a U.S. Forest Service road that has since been repaired. King retains a condominium in the central Idaho resort town of Ketchum, where she is scheduled to perform with James Taylor on July 12 as part of their "Troubadour Reunion" tour. King's signature album is 1971's "Tapestry."