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CDT=Centre Daily Times,
PCT=Perry County Times,
MC Commissioners votes 1st pay increase in 8 years (12-12-2013)
[LS] - After an 8-yr. freeze on raises, the Mifflin Co. Commissioners voted to increase the salaries of elected officials. The increase will not affect current elected officials but will go into effect when a county official leaves office or wins re-election. The move was questioned by Lewistown resident Lisa Nancollas who asked why they are getting a raise when people are getting laid off and taxes are increasing throughout the county. Commissioner Kevin Kodish replied that based on population, Mifflin Co. is last in salary of similar counties. It was also discussed that other officials within county government are doing more work & cost of living expenses should also be considered.
Former Centre Co. DA to give up practicing law (12-12-2013)
[CDT] - Yesterday, former Centre County DA, Michael Madeira, announced that he is hanging up his law license. Madeira will ask to have his license placed on inactive status, which means he will not be able to practice law and does not have to keep up with certain educational requirements. Instead, Madeira is focusing on a second career at Penn State, where he’s doing work unrelated to the legal profession. The decision comes as he’s facing suspension from the bar because he has not yet fulfilled 10 credits toward the educational requirements. According to an order from the state Supreme Court, Madeira has until Jan. 6 to take the credits or be suspended. Madeira said he had not yet received word of the court’s order and that his decision had nothing to do with the court order.
Madeira, who was the county’s top prosecutor from 2006 to 2009, said he has not practiced law for years and that’s why it did not make sense for him to stay current with the continuing education requirements.
State Police alert residents of threatening actions (12-12-2013)
State Police have released 2 bulletins notifying residents of 2 scams that have been identified in the region. The "hostage phone scam" involves calls claiming that a relative of a victim is in danger, having been taken hostage or involved in a minor accident. The victim is told to pay $2,000 or their relative will be harmed. The other, called "the knockout game", has been sweeping the nation & has reportedly caused deaths in NY, NJ, & MO. Young people prey upon unsuspecting adults & try to randomly knock out strangers with 1 punch, calling it the "one hit quitter". If the suspect is unsuccessful in knocking out the victim, the assault continues until the victim loses consciousness or the suspects escape. For recommendations on confronting these threats, contact the Lewistown State Police.
Midd-West School Board ease visitor participation requirements (12-12-2013)
[DI] - The Midd-West school board’s public meetings will be conducted in a new way to allow more visitor participation. Board President Victor Abate said he will initiate some changes at the next meeting, to be held at 7:30pm Monday in the Middleburg Elementary School, to “hopefully stir more community involvement.” Visitors who want to speak or ask questions of the board about agenda items will no longer be required to call the district office hours before the meeting and asked to be recognized. And, instead of starting off the meeting with reports & presentations that often take an hour or more, the meeting will begin with the student report, guest speakers & action items. The length of school board meetings in recent years has ranged from 1-4 hours. Also scheduled for Monday’s meeting, a vote on 1 of 5 candidates seeking the interim superintendent position. One of the applicants is Assistant Superintendent Daphne Snook, who was tapped in October to serve as substitute superintendent until Dec. 31 when Wesley Knapp’s resignation takes effect.
Knapp stepped down suddenly from the $118,400-a-year job after the board filed a notice of charges against him.
Neither Knapp nor Abate will divulge the nature of the charges.
Accused counterfeiters to be prosecuted at Federal level (12-11-2013)
[LS] - Federal investigators will likely assume the lead in prosecuting 25-y/o Stacy Lynn Miller & 29-y/o Mohammed Abughaniyeh, both of Northhampton, who were arrested last month for passing counterfeit $100 bills in the area. Currently they are incarcerated at the Mifflin County Correctional Facility but according to Mifflin County District Attorney Dave Molek & Defense Attorney Matt McClenahen, both are expected to have their cases bumped up into the US Middle District Court. After it was discovered the pair returned to the area, the Mifflin County Regional Police Department and state police apprehended them through a joint investigation.
Accused co-conspirator pleads guilty to Sunoco armed robbery (12-11-2013)
[LS] - Yesterday the 19-y/o man who rode his bike to the South Main St. Sunoco station to scout out any hidden cameras prior to a July armed robbery has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit terroristic threats. The robbers only made off with $72 from the convenience store after a black semiautomatic handgun was pointed at the clerk when the demand was made. Charles Zeiders, who cased the building, testified against the 18-y/o who held the gun in the trial last month & pled guilty & was given a time-served sentence.
Gun threat charges cleared against accused New Berlin woman (12-11-2013)
[DI] - A 32-y/o New Berlin woman who allegedly placed a round in the chamber of a pistol then pointed the .380 Taurus automatic handgun near her husband has been cleared of all charges related to the Nov. 23 incident at their home. Tara Lloyd appeared before Mifflinburg District Judge Jeffrey Mensch yesterday on charges that she pulled the pistol from her jacket pocket and pointed it in the direction of Zach Lloyd inside the couple’s home. Zach Lloyd was made aware of Tuesday’s hearing but never showed. After about 20 minutes of all inside the courtroom waiting for his arrival, the Union County district attorney’s office decided to withdraw the charges because, they said, Zach Lloyd had been unable to be reached since the alleged Nov. 23 incident.
Snyder Co. Commissioners adopt 2014 budget with $1M shortfall (12-11-2013)
[DI] - Vowing to trim a nearly $1 million budget shortfall, the Snyder County commissioners unanimously adopted a tentative $17.33 million spending plan for 2014. Board Chairman Joe Kantz said it was "the largest gap we’ve had since I’ve been here. We have a lot of work to do." Though the county is on track to have $1 million to carry over into the new year, the commissioners said the financial projection isn’t certain and any unspent funds will be needed to fund services that must await state reimbursements. Otherwise, the board said, the county must take out a loan to cover the costs. Kantz and Commissioners Malcolm Derk and Peggy Chamberlain Roup said they will be working with department leaders to pare spending before approving a final budget on Dec. 31.
Romanic domestic dispute claims life of Mifflin man (12-10-2013)
[LS] - A romantic dispute leaves a 39-y/o man dead after a shooting in Mifflin. Lewistown state police were on the scene yesterday at a McKinley Road residence in Tuscarora Twp. after the unidentified man, with a shotgun, fired a single round at the front tire of a truck parked outside the home. The man confronted his 40-y/o estranged wife and her 51-y/0 romantic partner & found his wife's lover & her father in the truck when he fired the weapon. After firing the shotgun, the 2 men ran from the truck into the house with the estranged husband in pursuit. The man fired the shotgun once more at the front door of the home & struck his father-in-law in the legs. The man then turned the gun on himself & took his own life in the driveway of the residence. No names have been released by police, who are still acively investigating the case.
Lewistown Boro council passes 2014 budget with no tax increase (12-10-2013)
[LS] - Other than in increase in the cost of the waste water treatment, Lewistown Borough residents will not see a tax increase for the next year after the Borough Council passed their 2014 budget. The waste water treatment costs will rise by only 6.5%, a move that was expected since there are improvements planned for the treatment plant. Lewistown Police will have lower allotments because payout compensations to officers were no longer needed. Borough residents may view the budget while it is on display at the borough administrative office. Final vote on the budget will come Dec. 30 before a final passage comes on Feb. 1 next year.
More snow and frigid temps on the way today (12-10-2013)
After missing a snowstorm over the past weekend, the Juniata Valley will see some accumulation today. More snow is on tap but mostly in the form of flurries. The National Weather Service was forecasting 1-3 inches of snow could accumulate this morning into the early afternoon. The next chapter in the weather story is the upcoming frigid blast, as highs on Tuesday are expected to reach only 29 degrees. Tomorrow’s low will be 17 degrees. Midweek highs are expected in the 20s with lows in single-digits overnight Thursday.
Pedestrian struck & injured Sunday near Belleville (12-9-2013)
Lewistown State Police repored 82-y/o Joyce Dunkle of Allensville sustained major injuries on Sunday afternoon when she was struck by a motorist as she attempted to cross W. Main St. Police say the driver of the vehicle, 18-y/o Aaron King of Mill Creek, was unable to avoid hitting her when she stepped into the path of his vehicle near the Short Lane intersection. According to the police report, Dunkle crossed the road mid-block & not in a crosswalk. She was life-flighted to Hershey Medical Center with serious injuries. King, who also had 3 other juvenile pasengers in his vehicle was not hurt & all of the vehicle's occupants were wearing seatbelts. There has been no further word on the condition of Dunkle.
Mother Nature plays havoc with weekend activities (12-9-2013)
Mixed precipitation caused some cancellation over the weekend during the annual Festival of Ice events. After causing the cancellation of the Star Country Carraige Rides last week, the annual Kiwanis Christmas Parade had to to be scrubbed as well. Today more frozen precipitation is causing the cancellation of classes in the Mifflin County School District & 2 hour delays for Juniata County, Mount Union and Greenwood school districts as well as Sacred Heart of Jesus and Belleville Mennonite schools. A winter weather advisory went into effect and will last until 10am this morning & includes Huntingdon, Mifflin, Juniata Snyder and Perry counties. The National Weather Service says freezing rain will continue through this morning before tapering off. An arctic front will drop temperatures well below normal through the middle and end of the week.
Lewistown man dies after being hit by vehicle (12-9-2013)
Lewistown Police Department reported that 55-y/o Richard Fryer of Lewistown died after being struck by a Chevrolet on Fourth Street in Lewistown last night around 9:45pm. He was taken to Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital, where he later died but police did not provide further information and said more details will be released when the investigation is complete.
Accidental death in Mt. Union investigated by police (12-9-2013)
Huntingdon State Police released a report this morning detailing the accidental death of 22-y/o Tyler J.A. Snyder of Mt. Union. Police say Snyder died at a private residence along Elm Dr. in Shirley Twp., Huntingdon Co. sometime between mid-morning & early afternoon last Wednesday, Dec. 4th. According to his obituary published in the Huntingdon Daily News, Snyder was born in Lewistown & was the son of Jason and Tammy Woods of Allenport, Mount Union, and Ron and April (Snyder) Matthews of Pinewood Acres, Mount Union. There is a current ongoing investigation into his death by the state police.
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