Fiscal cliff agreement reached

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WASHINGTON (AP) – A Democratic aide says the White House and congressional Republicans have reached an agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. The measure would extend Bush-era tax cuts for family incomes below $450,000 and briefly avert across-the-board spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic agencies this week. Vice President Joe Biden was set to sell the agreement to Senate Democrats at a meeting at the Capitol on Monday night. The aide required anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. Follow

House to miss ‘fiscal cliff’ deadline

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The House will miss the midnight Monday deadline lawmakers set for voting to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” House Republicans notified lawmakers that the chamber will vote Monday evening on other bills. They say that will be their only votes of the day. President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Monday they are near a deal to avoid wide-ranging tax increases and spending cuts – the fiscal cliff – that take effect with the new year. Both men said they were still bargaining over whether – and how – to avoid $109 billion in cuts to defense and domestic programs that take effect on Wednesday. It remained unclear whether the…

Church congregation “heartbroken” by fire

MT. PLEASANT MILLS —  A fire left a 100-member congregation without a church on Sunday morning.  The fire caused heavy damage to the Arbogast Church in Perry Township, Snyder County around 9a.m., just an hour before church was set to begin. While the cause of the fire is still being investigated, parish member Bill Smith said he believes the fire can be attributed to a furnace malfunction.  “We haven’t got an official cause on it yet, but that’s what it looks to be,” he said. The church that was built in 1860 is now 152 years old. Smith said while the community has been supportive, the congregation is still devastated. “We are feeling a lot…

Union County passes another budget without a tax increase

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LEWISBURG – For the 5th year in a row, Union County Commissioners have passed a budget with no tax increase for residents. Commissioner John Mathias says the budget is a total of $19.4-million and includes 1 to 3.5 percent salary increases for employees. There are more expenses than revenue in 2013, but revenue from 2012 will allowing the 2013 budget to be balanced with no increase in real estate or other taxes. Some of the increases in spending in the county include the new Day Reporting Center, where offenders can avoid jail time through this program, and a county funded drug treatment court. (Ali Stevens) Follow

Marino closes some offices and opens others

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WILLIAMSPORT — A congressman is closing some offices and opening some new ones in our area. Due to congressional redistricting, Congressman Tom Marino (R-10th, Cogan Station) has announced some transitions for his Constituent Service Centers for the 10th District. The 10th District will no longer include Montour, Wyoming or Luzerne Counties and will lose parts of Northumberland and Lackawanna Counties.   Marino says he will close his Sunbury Constituent Service Center in Sunbury and open a new Selinsgrove Constituent Service Center at 35 Market Street in Selinsgrove. The Selinsgrove office number is 374-9469 beginning on January 4th. Marino is also closing an office in Tunkhannock, Wyoming County and opening an office in Wayne County in…

Keller talks about changes to prevailing wage

Official Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Portrait

SUNBURY — As 2012 comes to an end, a state representative says he is pleased at work he has done to change the laws regarding prevailing wage in the state. He explained what prevailing wage is.   Keller said, “It’s the wages that are paid to people who work a public works project. When it was set, there were certain projects that were exempt. In 1963, when the threshold was adjusted, it was set at $25,000. With my bill, all I wanted to do is adjust that threshold for inflation. You can’t complete the same scope of work in 2012 that you could in 1963 for $25,000.”   And Keller says it’s not just about…

Home destroyed by fire near Washingtonville

WASHINGTONVILLE – A home near Washingtonville was destroyed by fire last night. The fire started around 9 p.m. on 2194 Washingtonville Road in Derry Township, Montour County. Crews were on the scene until about 2:30 this morning. No injuries were reported. Fire departments from Upper Northumberland County and Columbia County assisted Montour County crews on the scene. The two alarm fire remains under investigation. (Ali Stevens) Follow

Too young driver causes Trevorton wreck

accident

TREVORTON – A 14-year-old boy faces numerous charges after state police say he crashed a vehicle along Route 225 near Trevorton on Thursday. State police say the boy was traveling north and drove off the road and struck an embankment and rolled onto its side. After an investigation, troopers discovered the driver of the vehicle was 14-years-old. There were several passengers in the vehicle and it wasn’t immediately clear who was the driver. The boy will be cited for numerous traffic violations. The owner of the vehicle was cited with filing false reports and allowing an unauthorized person to drive his vehicle. (Ali Stevens) Follow

New Year’s Eve party in Sunbury this evening

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SUNBURY – There is plenty to do for the whole family in Sunbury tonight to help ring in the new year. Sunbury Revitalization Incorporated has organized the event starting with children’s activities in Cameron Park. From 6 to 8 p.m. there will be a puppet show, a magic show and carriage rides around the park.   For kids ages 12 to 18, there will be free ice skating all night at the Sunbury Ice Rink. They can skate from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. free of charge.   And for the adults, starting at 9 p.m., there will be live music in front of the Hotel Edison, featuring the band Separate Ways. There will be…

Charges filed after a pedestrian is struck by a pickup

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  WATSONTOWN – State police are still searching for the driver of a red pick-up truck who struck a 17-year-old boy from Watsontown. Troopers say Marshall Straub was walking along Albatross Drove in Delaware Township on December 17th when he was struck by the pickup and knocked to the ground.   State police say the driver stopped, yelled at Straub and then drove away. Straub sustained moderate injuries in the incident. The driver of the truck has not identified. The truck was described as a small red pickup truck with shiny rims. (Ali Stevens)   Follow