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No tax increase for MCSD after much discussion by board (5-24-2013)
LEWISTOWN - Following extensive discussion on the pros and cons of raising taxes again this year, the Mifflin County School District Board of Directors on Thursday narrowly voted to adopt a tentative 2013-14 general fund budget that will not raise taxes.
Chief Financial Officer Sean Daubert said the spending plan totals $67,255,515, which includes $62,434,983 for the operating budget with the rest coming from federal program grants, accountability block grant funds and other program budgets.
In other business, the board voted by a 6-2 margin to reject a fact finder's report with regard to contract negotiations with the district's maintenance, custodial and cafeteria workers. Superintendent James Estep said he received the fact finder's report on May 20 and the board was required by law to accept or reject the recommendations contained within, which weren't disclosed during the meeting.
Steam Locomotive Leads Memorial Day Weekend Trips (5-24-2013)
LEWISTOWN - Residents of the Juniata River Valley may remember the steam locomotive that passed through this past August on its way to Harrisburg.
That same locomotive, the 1944 era Nickel Plate No. 765, from the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, will head-up three train excursions leaving from the Lewistown Junction Station each morning during the upcoming holiday for a trip to the Horseshoe Curve, a stop in Altoona to visit the Railroaders Memorial Museum, returning to the junction in late afternoon. These steam powered rail trips, where 700 passengers each day will be riding in vintage rail cars, sold out in record time.
Police advise motorists to expect traffic congestion in the areas of the train station and roads leading to the Helen Street area each morning beginning at 6 am and lasting until 10 am or so with similar congestion in late afternoon on its return. Members said that due to the restrictive parking and circulation arrangements at the station, motorists should avoid the area entirely during the weekend stating that only ticketed passengers, persons dropping off individuals, Amtrak passengers, or residents of the Junction will be permitted near the train station.
Hospital Anniversary Celebrated (5-24-2013)
LEWISTOWN - Dr. Harry Gardner and Dr. Daniel Creighton cut a cake helping the staff at Geisinger-Lewistown celebrate their 30th Anniversary of serving the local community. Gardner and Creighton, along with Dr. Reid Leopold, and Dr. William Ayoub joined together formed Geisinger-Lewistown in 1983. The anniversary was marked Thursday at the Geisinger-Lewistown clinic in Lewistown.
Mt. Union men charged in a drug overdose (5-23-2013)
MOUNT UNION - Three Mount Union men have been charged in connection with a reported drug overdose on May 16 at a South Shaver Street residence, Mount Union Police Department said.
Richard L. Hollibaugh Jr., 26, was charged with criminal conspiracy to commit possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, recklessly endangering another person and corruption of minors.
Logan C. Kyle, 21, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and corruption of minors.
David J. Babcock, 21, was charged with criminal conspiracy to commit possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and recklessly endangering another person.
Belleville man struck from behind & thrown from cycle (5-23-2013)
MASSEYBURG - A 29-year-old Belleville man sustained major injuries after a three-vehicle crash early Wednesday morning in Huntingdon County.
Police said a 1998 Toyota Camry driven by Nolan Hess, 21, of Huntingdon, a 1999 Yamaha R1YZF, driven by a 29-year-old Belleville man, and a 1999 BMW M3 driven by James Dixon, 52, of Huntingdon, were traveling north on state Route 26 when the Camry struck the motorcycle from behind.
According to the report, the 29-year-old was thrown from the motorcycle and was struck by the Camry.
Police said the the motorcycle, after it was struck by the Camry, traveled forward and hit the BMW.
Police said the 29-year-old was flown to Altoona Hospital for treatment of major injuries.
Police said the crash remains under investigation at this time. Police has not released the name of the 29-year-old.
Burnham refuse collection dates changed for holiday weekend (5-23-2013)
Burnham – The Borough of Lewistown is notifying Borough garbage customers that the Monday, may 27th garbage routes will be picked up Tuesday May 28th. This will include the Tuesday commercial cardboard route. All only routes will remain as scheduled. Mondays recycling customers are reminded that their recyclables are to be held until their next regularly scheduled recycling day. Monday June, 10th.
Man featured on national crime TV show caught in State College (5-23-2013)
BELLEFONTE — The local case proceeded Wednesday against a man wanted on homicide charges by federal authorities in Washington, D.C., and has been featured on the TV show “American’s Most Wanted.”
Reynard Cook, who was arrested last week by Patton Township police, had charges of providing false identification to law enforcement and disorderly conduct bound for trial Wednesday.
Cook, who remains in the Centre County Correctional Facility, was not at his preliminary hearing Wednesday. Court officials said Cook refused to show for the hearing, which was held in his absence.
It wasn’t clear Wednesday when Cook will have to answer to homicide charges he faces in Washington, D.C., where the U.S. Marshals Service has been looking for him since February 2012, when he allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife.
Woman in State College crash charged with heroin possession (5-23-2013)
BELLEFONTE — A Bellefonte woman who was seriously injured in a car crash on North Atherton Street testified Wednesday that the 16 bags of heroin found in her purse after the wreck were put there by the driver of the vehicle.
Alicia Gardner, 29, and the driver, Stacy Henry, 37, of Mill Hall, were charged with felony drug counts last week stemming from the crash, which authorities said happened when Henry fled from police at high speeds.
Police said they found 16 bags of heroin, a digital scale, a small amount of marijuana and $8,000 in Gardner’s purse.
Henry remains in the Centre County Correctional Facility on $100,000 bail. Gardner is free on $10,000 unsecured bail.
Centre Co. men convicted in robbery & assault case (5-23-2013)
Two Centre County men were found guilty Tuesday in a 2011 robbery and assault that left a high school student with a broken jaw.
A jury convicted Joseph Jenkins, 24, of Bellefonte, and Zachariah Johnson, 24, of Boalsburg, on four felony counts and a misdemeanor and summary charge stemming from the robbery at an apartment complex on Westerly Parkway.
Prosecutors said Jenkins and Johnson jumped and viciously beat a high school student for the contents of his wallet outside a party. Police said the man suffered a broken jaw in the assault and was treated at Mount Nittany Medical Center.
Alleged Fountain Park vandals caught & arrested by police (5-22-2013)
LEWISTOWN - Lewistown Police arrested two local men Tuesday accused of spray-painting racial slurs and other obscenities at Fountain Square Park early Monday morning.
Police said Adam Joseph Troup, 24, and John Richard Lohman II, 28, both of Lewistown, were charged with ethnic intimidation, a felony and other related charges.
A swastika and various racial slurs were spray-painted at Fountain Square Park at the Five Points intersection of Lewistown and more than 15 vehicles were vandalized in the area.
Police said Troup and Lohman were stopped early Monday morning by an officer near Logan Street and were found in possession of spray paint cans.
Troup and Lohman were also charged with criminal conspiracy, criminal mischief which caused more than $5,000 of damage and loitering and prowling at night. Police said the two men were lodged in the Mifflin County Correctional Facility pending arraignment.
School of Nursing prepares for hospital name change (5-22-2013)
LEWISTOWN - As the extended merger deadline approaches, Lewistown Hospital's School of Nursing is preparing for new Geisinger Health System ownership, said Kay Hamilton, hospital president and CEO, Tuesday at the Lewistown Rotary Meeting.
Because the hospital's name will officially change from Lewistown Hospital to Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital, the school must reapply for all certifications and federal funding. However, nothing within the school's program will be altered.
For more information on Lewistown Hospital's School of Nursing, visit their website and click on the School of Nursing link.
Apparent electrical fire consumes Winfield home yesterday (5-22-2013)
WINFIELD — A fire swept through a Winfield home while its occupants were at work Tuesday.
Union Township Fire Chief Rick Wetzel said the 8:53 am blaze destroyed the summer cottage on South River Breeze Avenue owned by Greg and Patty Hess.
The couple moved into the summer home about three weeks ago and were at work when the fire broke out.
“The neighbor heard some popping or cracking noise and looked outside and saw smoke,” Wetzel said.
A state police fire marshal was unable to determine the cause, but Wetzel said it appears to have been electrical in nature and is not suspicious.
The loss was estimated at about $60,000.
Cars vandalized in Fountain Square & Five Points (5-21-2013)
LEWISTOWN - Fountain Square Park at the Five Points intersection and a number of cars in the East End neighborhood of Lewistown were spray-painted with graffiti early Monday morning, according to a report from the Lewistown Police Department.
At the park, a swastika and various racial slurs were spray-painted on the side of one of the adjacent buildings.
LPD Chief William Herkert said various vehicles were found to have been vandalized in the area of Valley and Chestnut Street as well as Shaw Avenue.
The investigation is continuing and potential charges are being determined against people who police believe are involved. The grafitti at the park, which is owned by Downtown Lewistown Inc., has already been covered by a fresh coat of red paint.
DLI, in conjunction with the Lewistown Police Department and Mifflin County Communities That Care will hold a Downtown-East End Neighborhood Community Watch Meeting at 6 pm today in the Regional Business Center Conference Room, located at 152 East Market St.
Anyone with any information about the graffiti incident is asked to call Lewistown Police Department at 248-6716.
Burnham sewer rates to gradually increase for customers (5-21-2013)
BURNHAM - Burnham Borough Council passed an ordinance at its regular Monday meeting that will lead to a gradual increase in sewage rates to help repay a loan for updates to the wastewater treatment plant.
The exact rates will be determined by the council at its next meeting, scheduled for 7 pm June 3 at the Burnham Borough Building.
According to the ordinance, sewage rates will increase gradually for customers, rather than at once. The frequency of rate hikes has yet to be announced.
Relay For Life approved for Kish Park on June 8 (5-21-2013)
YEAGERTOWN - The Mifflin-Juniata Relay For Life was approved Monday by the Derry Township Board of Supervisors to use Kish Park for the annual event on June 8 and 9.
The Board also listened to Phil Gingerich who spoke about liability insurance quotes. He talked about Pennsylvania's change in workers compensation for volunteer firefighters and what is to come in the near future for Derry Township.
The Board voted to authorize the chairman and secretary to execute the proper documents for the engineering services agreement for the Old Stagecoach and Parkview Paving project.
Stabbing at Rockview SCI (5-21-2013)
BENNER TOWNSHIP — State police at Rockview say an argument Sunday between two inmates at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview led to one of the men stabbing the other with an ink pen.
Police said the altercation occurred at 5:10 pm in the dining hall, where a 49-year-old inmate got into a argument with a 35-year-old inmate.
The older man then stabbed the younger man “several times upon the head and body with an ink pen, causing injury,” police said.
The incident was reported as a case of simple assault, and an investigation continues.
Police stand-off closes streets in Plesant Gap yesterday (5-21-2013)
PLEASANT GAP — A man was taken into police custody Monday after barricading himself in his family’s South Main Street home for about two hours, prompting a large-scale police response and the lockdown of a nearby elementary school.
Pleasant Gap Elementary School and the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology were locked down Monday afternoon, and traffic was halted along busy South Main Street as police negotiated the man’s surrender.
Spring Township police Sgt. Michael Danneker said a family member called 911 after an apparent incident inside the home. Danneker said there was mention of a weapon, prompting the intense police and school response.
Police were deployed to the home, and a mobile command center and the region’s armored police truck were set up. The man, who has not been identified, surrendered peacefully at about 2:30 pm after communicating with police negotiators.
Woman flown to Geisinger after crash on US 15 in Lewisburg (5-21-2013)
LEWISBURG — A 61-year-old Milton woman and a 6-year-old boy were hurt Monday night when their vehicle hit a guide rail and a concrete barrier before overturning on Route 15, state police at Milton said.
The driver, Marilyn Poust, was flown by helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, with moderate injuries, troopers said. She was reported in serious condition at 10:20 pm She was thrown through the windshield when the vehicle overturned. Police said she was not wearing a seat belt.
Her passenger suffered minor injuries and was taken to Geisinger by ambulance. The boy, whose name was not released, was in a child’s seat.
Police said Poust will be cited in the crash. The vehicle was towed.
Stand-off at Belleville Bachelor Party-Marine arrested (5-20-2013)
[LS] An active duty U.S. Marine was arrested early yesterday morning at a bachelor party in Belleville, after he pointed 2 handguns at police and a 2-hr. standoff ensued, officials said. Mifflin County Regional Police said Benjamin Steele, of Falls Creek, was charged with aggravated assault on police, recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats and numerous other charges after the incident, which began at 2:50am Sunday while Steele was a guest at a bachelor party held at a residence on N. Kishacoquillas St. Police said other party guests removed a .45-caliber handgun from Steele and when he discovered that someone had taken the gun, Steele attacked and choked another guest until the weapon was returned to him. MCRPD said it received assistance from both the Lewistown & Huntingdon-based State Police. MCRPD officers kept talking with Steele and were able to convince him to put down the firearms and surrender. Steele was taken into custody at 5:08am & was later arraigned before District Judge Aaron Gingrich and lodged at the Mifflin County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Energy Use studied among Penns Valley Residents (5-20-2013)
[CDT] Officials in Gregg Twp. & Millheim in Centre Co., could soon know just how to reduce energy costs thanks to a project through the Susquehanna Economic Development Association-Council of Governments. Comprehensive energy audits are underway in 4 communities across the region, through the SEDA-COG Energy Resource Center & funded by the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund. The analysis will give the communities detailed figures on the cost of energy upgrades & estimated savings that would result from the recommended upgrades. Gregg Twp. & Millheim were among 10 communities that underwent bill analyses last year as part of the project. Specific municipally owned properties were picked for detailed energy assessments.
Altoona welcomed thousands of Sci-Fi fans to convention (5-20-2013)
[WJAC] Super heroes, super villains, and everything in between. This creative crew is taking over the Jaffa Shrine in Altoona. It's all a part of the 2nd annual Sci-Fi Valley Con. The event draws thousands of people from our area and beyond to show off their sci-fi stuff. And these guys don't take it lightly. Many spend weeks, even months perfecting their outfits and preparing for the convention. It's being a super hero for a day--a celebrity for the moment. A unique and energetic event that brings a community of comic-coners together--costumes and all. The convention ran through Sunday.
Fallen soldiers honored in Boalsburg yesterday by fabulous crowd (5-20-2013)
Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo served as the guest speaker yesterday at the annual “Celebration of Service: Honoring PA Veterans” at the PA Military Museum, which featured a 21-gun salute, military band, 105 mm howitzer battery salute and the reading of the names of deceased members of the National Guard’s 28th Infantry Division. The ceremony for the PA-based division dates back nearly 100 years. Though the day was cloudy and overcast with some spitting rain, Brig. Gen. John Gronski said the turnout of veterans, families who have lost members to war casualties, and spectators was fabulous nevertheless. Cucolo said that responsibility, guilt and a reinforced resolve to continue the mission would flood through his head when would lose a soldier in his company. But, most of all—even if he didn’t personally know the soldier—he felt as if he lost a family member.
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