Here is the latest from Newsradio 1070 WKOK
   

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fatal crash near Jerseytown

JERSEYTOWN – One person was killed after a three-vehicle accident near Jerseytown in Columbia County.  The accident happened around 9:30a.m. on Route 254 and involved two cars and a Greenwood Friends School van.  Police have not identified the fatal victim, but say it was someone in a car.  Four students in the van were taken to a local hospital, as were two other passengers in the cars.  All sustained minor injuries.  Route 254 between Route 44 and Spruce Run Road was closed for several hours while police investigated the accident. (Sara Bartlett)

Fire heavily damages home in Shamokin

SHAMOKIN – Fire heavily damaged a home in Shamokin Monday afternoon.  The first call came in around 11:00a.m. at 623 East Dewart Street.  The News Item says the home is owned by Andrew Farrow, owner of Farrow Funeral Homes in Shamokin.  Initial reports said someone may have been trapped inside the building, but all were said to be okay, and there were no injuries reported.  Numerous volunteer fire and ambulance crews were on the scene for nearly two house battling the blaze.  No word on what started that fire in Shamokin.

2009 will bring some ‘budget efficiencies’ in Northumberland County

SUNBURY – It is going to be a tough budget year in Northumberland County, but some new ‘efficiencies’ should help the county commissioners make ends meet. Northumberland County Commissioner Chairman Frank Sawicki said they have three initiatives planned.

One is to consolidate some of the fiscal staff in human services. He said currently, nine people work in the various departments. Eventually, they can all be cross-trained and that number of fiscal staff could be reduced.

Additionally, Sawicki they will continue without anyone in the position of ‘budget director’ in Northumberland County. He said they will try to do fewer ‘budget amendments’ and that will mean they will save time and have better tracking of funds.

He said they will also use revenue from the county owned Mountain View Manor nursing home to avoid expensive ‘tax anticipation’ borrowing. He said he does not favor selling the home and is in favor of continuing its mission of quality, affordable nursing care for county residents who may be less fortunate.

They county is not raising taxes in 2009 and Sawicki said they’ll be identifying and implementing more ‘efficiencies’ in the year ahead.

Residents in the Valley celebrate Hanukkah

SUNBURY – Hanukkah is underway, and many from the Congregation Beth-El in Sunbury are celebrating.  The Dreidel game is a traditional favorite, as Sean Martz of Sunbury explains.  He says it’s a fun game using a spinning top with four sides, and it’s more fun when the spinner lands on “gimel,” which allows them to take all of the goodies in the pot.  

Hanukkah began Sunday night and ends Monday, a night Rachel Miller of Danville looks forward to.  She says on the 8th night is when typically the biggest present is given.

Hanukkah, which features the lighting of the menorah, is actually a fairly minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, but has taken on a higher profile because of its proximity to Christmas. (Matthew James) 

Three injured in crash outside Sunbury

SUNBURY – Three people were injured after a crash outside of Sunbury Sunday afternoon.  Around 3:00p.m. 23-year-old Kale English of Sunbury was traveling along Plum Creek Road when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the porch of a home.  English sustained minor injuries, as did a passenger, 24-year-old Nathan Neidig, of Sunbury.  Both were taken to Sunbury Community Hospital.  Another passenger, 36-year-old Vivian Catherman of Sunbury, sustained moderate injuries and was taken to Geisinger Medical Center.  Police say alcohol may have been a factor in the accident and charges may be filed. (Sara Bartlett)

Schools are delayed because of the cold

UNDATED – It is a very cold morning out there and as a result—some schools are delaying the start of their classes. 6a.m. temperature at the Penn Valley Airport in Selinsgrove was 9 degrees, 8 at the WKOK studios and 7 degrees at Bucknell.

Clear skies allowed temperatures to fall more sharply than anticipated overnight and those cold temperatures—will be colder tonight when our forecast overnight low is 8. The full AccuWeather forecast is coming up. There is ‘frozen precipitation’ in the forecast this week.

Some schools are delaying classes allowing students to wait for buses while the sun is up and temperatures are a degree-or-two warmer. The Winternet computer update is posted on the web and we’ll have the Winternet announcements momentarily.

NFF Family: Future education aide hopes to volunteer

LEWISBURG — Nicole Prator just finished her studies to become a nurses’ aide, and is also taking classes on-line to become an educational aide. The budget is very tight now and she has decided to accept Salvation Army’s offer for help. She says she hopes someday to be able to volunteer. Nicole believes she’ll be a good volunteer, since she’s been there and knows what it’s like.

However this year, Prator is asking for help from the Salvation Army to provide gifts for two of her children. She says, “My two-year-old has special needs, and he loves books. Anything with cars and trucks.” Nicole’s 14-year old daughter, a student at Lewisburg High School, loves music, so anything with music works for her.

She also hopes to get some new clothes for the children, something they can grow into. In addition to the younger children, she also has a 20-year-old who recently enlisted in the U.S. Navy. She says he’s back in New York with other family members.

Prator has been in Lewisburg for two years, and calls it a great place to get a fresh start and raise children. You can help the Salvation Army reach their $75,000 Needy Family Fund goal and help families such as Nicole’s, by sending or dropping off your donations to, The Needy Family Fund, C/O Susquehanna Bank, 400 Market Street, Sunbury, PA 17801. (Matt Farrand)

The Needy Family Fund now stands at over $65,000

SUNBURY – The Needy Family Fund has topped the $65,000 mark. The fund is inching closer to the $75,000 goal—thanks to a number of donations lately. There were three recent donations of $500 each from The Thomas Clark Law office and staff, from Stephen Bailey of Middleburg and from John and Lucille Moll, in memory of Chris Chester.

Additionally, over $500 in anonymous donations, and $102 from the employees at the Sunbury Animal Hospital, helped raise today’s total to $65,154.19. The fundraising will continue until Christmas and if the amount reaches $75,000—a $25,000 challenge grant from the Degenstein Foundation will be donated.

You can help raise money to offset the costs of the toys, food, clothing and gifts—which are in the process of being distributed by Salvation Army in Sunbury and Milton. If you wish to donate, drop off a contribution at any branch of Susquehanna Bank or mail a donation to 400 Market Street in Sunbury. You can read more at www.wkok.com and in The Daily Item.

State GOP selects candidate for special election

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania Republicans have chosen Dave Argall as their nominee for the upcoming special election to fill the seat of a state senator killed in an October car crash. Sen. James Rhoades died in October, but was elected to an eighth term last month.

A special election is scheduled March 3 to fill the remainder of his four-year term. Argall was selected in a meeting Saturday in Pottsville. Argall was among the six people who expressed interest. The others were Ed Balkiewicz, Willard Dellicker, Joseph Gattone Jr., Chris Hobbs and Gretchen Sterns.

Holiday CD showcases local musicians

SUNBURY – Frank DeLucca is the choral director at Sunbury Middle School. He’s also featured on a holiday CD that showcases local musicians. It’s called “A Susquehanna Valley Holiday” and contains music of the season recorded at studios in Lewisburg, Danville, or during live local performances.

DeLucca calls working on the project a thrill, and took a day during the Fall to record a couple of tunes with his brother-in-law L. Michael Dove on piano, and Rick Marcera on percussion. Frank says he got to sing, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and arrange it in a way rarely heard before, giving it almost a Latin beat.

Other performers include mountain dulcimer player AJ Bashore II of Danville, the Heart of Pennsylvania Women’s Chorus of Lewisburg, and L.R. Jason “X” Perez of Danville. The CD is available at cafés and other retailers throughout the Susquehanna Valley. (Matt Farrand)

Five injured after crash in Penn Township

PENN TWP – Several injuries were reported after a two-vehicle crash along Middlecreek Road in Penn Township, Snyder County Saturday afternoon. State Police say around 4:45p.m. 20-year-old Wyatt Knepp, of Beaver Springs was driving on Middlecreek Road attempting to cross Route 35 when he pulled into the path of 63-year-old Darlene Steese of Mt. Pleasant Mills. Knepp and his passenger were not injured.

Steese and another passenger, 64-year-old Robert Steese, sustained minor injuries. Three other passengers in Steese’s car, 70-year-old Wilma Botts, 72-year-old Edward Henry and 60-year-old Connie Henry, all of Mount Pleasant Mills, sustained moderate injuries. Police say all injured were taken to Evangelical Community Hospital or Sunbury Community Hospital. Knepp was cited in the crash for a stop sign violation. (Sara Bartlett)

Two injured in Route 405 crash

DELAWARE TWP – Two people were injured after a crash in Delaware Township, Northumberland County Saturday afternoon. 83-year-old Donald Baker of Montoursville was driving on Route 405 around 1:30p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and hit a utility pole, causing power lines to come down.

Baker sustained minor injuries in the crash. His passenger, 83-year-old Mary Baker, sustained moderate injuries. State Police say they were both transported by ambulance to a local hospital. (Sara Bartlett)

Latest Pennsylvania news, sports, business and entertainment:

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's highest court says a newspaper cannot obtain all the information in the cell phone records of two Pittsburgh City Council members. The state Supreme Court said in its ruling Thursday that there's a strong privacy interest in shielding the numbers of people the council members called and received calls from on their city-paid cell phones.  The decision upheld a 2005 Commonwealth Court ruling. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sought more than 18 months' worth of records for the city-paid cell phones issued to council members Leonard Bodack and Barbara Burns.  The newspaper wanted to know which calls were personal calls, and for which calls the council members reimbursed the city.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Terry Mutchler will need all the toughness she can muster as she leads the implementation of Pennsylvania's new Right-to-Know Law. It takes effect Jan. 1.  The 42-year-old Mutchler already has displayed a willingness to break ranks with her boss, Gov. Ed Rendell, on politically hot issues.  On both sides of the open-records debate, Mutchler has impressed people with her energy, work ethic and grasp of the legal complexities that confront her fledgling Office of Open Records.  Since last summer, she has led scores of workshops across the state to educate public officials, journalists, lawyers and others about the law.

LEHMAN, Pa. (AP) - Teachers in the Lake-Lehman School District in northeast Pennsylvania are on strike.  A posting on the Luzerne County district's Web site Monday says schools are closed due to a teachers strike.  The strike comes two days after the teachers' union and school district failed to reach an agreement during a last-minute negotiating session on Saturday.  The teachers have been without a deal since their last contract expired in 2006.

Pennsylvania Lottery numbers

Daily Number

4 6 9

Big 4

9 4 9 7

Quinto

0 3 9 0 5

Treasure Hunt

04 08 16 20 24

  (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

GUNS FOR MONEY

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - People on Long Island brought their guns to church over the weekend. But it was all part of the plan.  Authorities say 475 illegal guns were turned in at Long Island churches Saturday, in a cash for guns program. People in Nassau County, New York, got 200 bucks for shotguns and pistols, no questions asked. BB guns and air pistols were worth $20 cash. The cash for the program came from money seized in criminal investigations.

ANNOYING ORDINANCE

BRIGHTON, Mich. (AP) - Better not be a pest in public – at least not in Brighton, Michigan. The City Council has approved an ordinance that allows police to ticket anyone who is annoying in public. Forbidden annoying behavior can be by word of mouth, sign or motions. A local paper (Livingston County Daily Press & Argus) reports the pest ban takes effect Jan. 2. A city attorney says officials will review the annoying cases that involve potential freedom of speech issues.

  (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)