Danville motorists advised to expect delays

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DANVILLE – Following complaints from motorists, PennDOT is reminding people to expect delays in the Danville area.   The Danville Floodgate project now underway includes turn restrictions, modified traffic patterns and detours.  Construction at the intersection of Routes 11 and 54, and near the bridge over Mahoning Creek is continuing to snag traffic.   The detour is expected to last around 100 days and the project should be completed by early December.   Motorists have been complaining for the past several days about slow traffic on Northbound Route 11.  The northbound left lane has been changed to an exclusive left-turn lane, while the right lane has become a shared lane for straight through and right-turn traffic….

Criminal caught Wednesday by U.S. Marshals

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SCRANTON — A long sought state parole violator was caught by U.S. Marshals Wednesday.  According to the U.S. Marshals Service, 48-year-old Thomas McCarty was busted in Tunkhannock. McCarty was being sought by the PA Board of Probation and Parole for violating conditions of his state parole.  His criminal history dates back as far as the 1980s, when he was arrested for rape-related offenses in LycomingCounty.  He was later convicted for assaulting a minor and theft in Northumberland and LycomingCounties in the 90s. In 2005 McCarty stopped reporting to state parole authorities and disappeared.  An arrest warrant was issued.  He remained a fugitive-from-justice for the past 8 years.   On Wednesday, U.S. Marshals from Scranton and Williamsport,…

Statistical duel marks Pa. voter ID trial

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The trial of Pennsylvania’s tough new voter identification law is on hold until next week. On Thursday, lawyers renewed their debate in Commonwealth Court over conflicting estimates of how many voters lack the mandatory photo ID that the law would require before recessing for a four-day weekend. William Wecker, a statistician hired by the state, criticized the methodology of the plaintiffs’ expert who estimated that hundreds of thousands of voter lack proper IDs. Wecker, who’s from Wyoming, testified that Philadelphia statistician Bernard Siskin overstated the number by failing to adequately consider voters who have died, moved out of state or are barred from voting because they are incarcerated felons. On cross…

Fiscal conservation stalls plans for change in PA

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SUNBURY–Plans for a bypass connecting Selinsgrove to Northumberland have once again been stalled. The long-awaited Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project was struck down by the House of Representatives.  State Representative Fred Keller said fiscal conservation and an aversion to raising revenue taxes could be the cause. He said proposals to fund state improvements using vehicle sales taxes would not cover the necessary costs. “It doesn’t do the trick—it doesn’t do all of it. But I think it’s something we can look at and say ‘how do we do this.’ You know, I just think there are some people that think ‘I’ll just cut other areas of the budget,’ which I don’t know that we can…

Toomey urges Senate to abide by law

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) asked his fellow senators to abide by the law Thursday afternoon.  Toomey took the Senate floor to urge that the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development bill be returned to the Appropriations Committee.   Toomey said, “In the Budget Control Act — which again has been signed into law — it established spending caps.  Limits on discretionary spending in a modest effort to try to bring out of control spending somewhat under control.”   Toomey said it is important to keep promises and follow the law that was voted on in 2011.  “The bill that we are considering right now, the Transportation-HUD bill, puts us on a direct…

Pedestrian injured in accident

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MARION HEIGHTS — Crews from Northumberland County are responding to a pedestrian accident this afternoon.  According to Emergency Services, a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle at East   North Street and Mornington Street in Marion Heights.   An injury has been reported in that accident.  No word on the severity of the injury.  The accident was reported around 1:30p.m. Thursday afternoon.  We will update you with more details as they become available.  (Codi Jade)

Police investigating “bad batch” of heroin

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SUNBURY – Sunbury Police Chief Stephen Mazzeo says they are currently investigating the deaths of at least five people recently in the area that they believe have overdosed on heroin. Mazzeo said, “Our street sources are giving us information that there is a bad batch of heroin in the Central Susquehanna Valley and that is creating some issues for us.”   Mazzeo added, “We are trying to get our officers to address this and see if we can come up with a solution.” Mazzeo said they noticed the increase in overdoses in the Central Susquehanna Valley in the last 40 to 50 days.   He’s not sure exactly where the drugs are coming from. Mazzeo said, “There…

River enthusiast says transparency is needed for river health

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SELINSGROVE — The state of the Susquehanna River is still up in the air.  So says Jim Charles, co-owner of Isle of Que River Guides.  Charles says the river is as beautiful as always, but that is only skin-deep. “We still have a very serious problem with smallmouth bass and other fish.  Young of the year fish, bass and others have developed lesions and within 24 hours, they are dead.”  Charles says those lesions affect about 70% of young of the year fish. However, Charles says it’s not all gloom and doom with the Susquehanna River.  Improvements can happen, and he believes it starts with transparency.  “If you ask the question, ‘Is the river safe?’…

Recent drug overdoses have local officials concerned

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MIDDLEBURG – Following recent drug overdoses in the region, some local officials are investigating whether there is a bad batch of heroin that is causing the problems. Snyder County District Attorney Mike Piecuch says they are looking into that as a possibility.   Piecuch said, “Well, I can’t speak to the specifics of any of the current cases, but it’s surprising that doesn’t happen more often, given the lack of any sort of quality control when it comes to illegal drugs. Any consumption of illegal drugs puts everyone at risk, even if it’s not a ‘bad batch’. There is nothing good that can happen from it.”   Piecuch tried to explain why people would still…

City to help fund SRI position

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SUNBURY – The city has agreed to help fund a Keystone Community Coordinator position for the next 5-years, in order to help Sunbury Revitalization Incorporated qualify for grants from the Department of Community and Economic Development. Meghan Beck, president of SRI says the position is mandatory in order to qualify for high profile DCED grants including streetscape and fascade improvement projects.   SRI is looking to make upgrades for biking and pedestrian traffic on North 4th Street in the city, and the grant money would help them accomplish that. They also are interested in upgrades at Chestnut and Front Streets. Sunbury Mayor David Persing says the city committed to pay for the Keystone Community Coordinator…