Corbett forces out 2nd education chief in 3 months

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett has dismissed another education secretary, the second in three months.  Corbett’s office said Monday that the governor has asked for and received the resignation of his nominee for the job, William Harner, less than three months after he started. Corbett’s office did not explain the move. Harner told an Associated Press reporter earlier Monday as he was walking into the Capitol that he knew nothing about his nomination potentially being withdrawn and that he expected to be confirmed by the Senate next month.   The upheaval at a major agency comes as Corbett gears up for re-election. Harner, a retired Army officer, had previously served as the superintendent of…

Sunbury woman talks about water rescue


SUNBURY — It was a scary situation, but a good outcome Sunday when a near-drowning occurred at the Shikellamy Marina.  Around 5:00p.m. 33-year-old Lydia Ross of Sunbury was running at the marina when she noticed two young girls playing by the water. Ross tells us she thought she heard one of the girls yell help me, so Ross ran over.  “One girl was in the water and the other girl was on land.  The girl kept slipping underwater.  At first I thought it was a joke, but then she yelled again, ‘Help me,’” says Ross. Ross says at that point she tried to grab for the girl but slipped and ended up in the water. …

Coal Township police investigate milk tanker crash


COAL TOWNSHIP – Coal Township police are investigating after a tanker truck hauling milk plunged off a bridge along Route 901 late Sunday night. The News Item reports the tractor-trailer fell 50 feet off a bridge abutment and landed on railroad tracks between Ranshaw and Excelsior.   The driver of the milk tanker sustained minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The tanker had to be removed using heavy-duty tow trucks. (Ali Stevens) Follow

Selinsgrove and Sunbury WIC offices close


  SUNBURY — The Selinsgrove and Sunbury WIC Program offices will be closed until further notice due to a funding freeze brought about by a statewide audit of the WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children and is a short-term public health nutrition program where low-income mothers and children can receive nutritious foods through vouchers provided to them.   Lisa Weir of Family Planning Plus, which administers the program, explains what happened. She said, “Evidently they are auditing at the state level. The way it works is WIC is allocated by federal funds, which then stream down to the state, through the Pennsylvania Department of Health. And then from the Department of Health,…

Danville debacle traffic ‘horrendous’ today

Danville traffic delays road construction

DANVILLE —As students headed back to school in the Danville School District Monday, many feared the worst, because of construction involving restricted lanes and turning at the intersection of Route 11 and Route 54. Facebook posts indicated traffic was ‘horrendous’ for Route 11 north. Other motorists said it was, ‘the usual delays.’ Danville Police Chief Eric Gill was pleasantly surprised. Gill said, “I thought today the traffic was backed up on Route 11 traveling north, but it appears that the students and parents that could drive to the middle school heeded what we said and there wasn’t a lot of student traffic going in and out of the middle school.” The Danville Middle School is…

Inmate death ruled a suicide

SCI Coal Township

    COAL TOWNSHIP – Following an investigation into the death of a 33-year-old prisoner at SCI Coal Township, the Northumberland County Coroner says the inmate committed suicide. Coroner James Kelley says Andrew Howard of the Philadelphia area hung himself in his cell around 3:30 in the morning on Saturday.   He was pronounced dead at the prison by the Deputy Coroner. Howard was at SCI Coal Township serving time for robbery and a parole violation. (Ali Stevens) Follow

AP: Health issues clear from drilling

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PITTSBURGH — A project examining the local health impacts from natural gas drilling is providing some of the first preliminary numbers about people who may be affected, and the results challenge the industry position that no one suffers but also suggest the problems may not be as widespread as some critics claim. The Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project has been trying to help people who feel they’ve been sickened by natural gas drilling or processing for about 18 months in one county south of Pittsburgh. The work is potentially important because it’s one of the first long-term attempts to monitor drilling-related health impacts, and it could help other groups identify possible symptoms. The project found…