Local man speaks up for gun violence prevention

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SUNBURY — It has been over a year since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and a local man believes there hasn’t been enough dialogue on trying to reduce gun violence.  John Deppen of Northumberland is an advocate for universal background checks.  He believes mass shootings could be prevented if we keep the guns out of the hands of people with mental illness.   “You really need to look at all three of these particular topics: mental health, gun violence prevention and school safety, if you are going to be effective in addressing any of these issues,” Deppen said.  “We’ve had 25 school shootings in the year since Sandy Hook… we have to…

Police dispute in Northumberland

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NORTHUMBERLAND – A dispute over the number of full-time officers in Northumberland Borough continues. A proposed budget has been adopted that includes an increase in funding for part-time officers. However some feel another full-time officer is needed.   In recent meetings, Chief Butch Kriner felt adding a fifth full-time officer would be necessary in 2014, but some council members don’t agree, saying part-time officers could be utilized without hiring a full-timer.   A last vote on the 2014 budget is expected at Tuesday evening’s council meeting and more discussion on the hiring of full or part-time officers is expected. Currently, the borough is advertising openings for part-time police officers on the borough website. Candidates have…

Chaplain selected at Susquehanna University

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  SELINSGROVE – A new chaplain has been selected at Susquehanna University. The Reverend Scott Kershner will join Susquehanna in January. He fills the position left vacant after the retirement of Chaplain Mark Radecke at the end of the summer.   Pastor Kershner currently is the pastor at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in the North Cascade wilderness of Washington state. He has also served as pastor of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, New York and headmaster of their Pre-K through 8th grade parochial school. He said, “I am very honored and excited to serve as Susquehanna’s next chaplain.” Follow

Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority on trail expansion

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LEWISBURG – The Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority has a big project to look forward to in 2014, which is the expansion of the existing Rail Trail. Katie Davis is executive director of the recreation authority and was a guest on WKOK Sunrise.   Davis said, “We are expanding into downtown Lewisburg. That construction is going to be happening in 2014. We are very excited about that. We don’t know the timeline on that, but the trail will expand from 8th Street to 5th Street and then to Market Street. It’s on the north side on Market Street in downtown Lewisburg. There’s going to be a trail that kind of goes behind all those businesses and…

Needy Family Fund total continues to rise

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UNDATED — The Needy Family Fund has exceeded $55,000.  Today’s total is $55,893.  Recent contributions include $1,500 from Glenn and Mary Miller of Lewisburg, $250 from Fred and Anne Meckley of Herndon, $50 from Evelyn Scholvin of Sunbury and $50 in memory of Betty and Charles Fisher of Milton. There were also anonymous contributions of $286.  The Needy Family Fund provides toys, clothes, food and more to Valley families.  It is a joint effort between the Milton and Sunbury Salvation Army, Susquehanna Bank, The Daily Item and the radio stations of Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation. You can donate at any branch of Susquehanna Bank. (Sara Bartlett) Follow

Needy Family Fund: Mom wants to put gifts under the tree for three children

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UNDATED — Just a few toys for her three children would be a Christmas morning blessing for a 26-year-old single mother in Snyder County.  Jill says, “I’ve been running around all stressed out about how I was going to get them something.” Contributions to the Needy Family Fund will help alleviate that stress for many Valley residents, including Jill, who will be able to pick up a few gifts from the Salvation Army in time for the holiday. “I can’t find a job,” she said, noting that she doesn’t own or have access to a car. Jill has worked as a waitress, but the lack of transportation makes it nearly impossible to get work. Online…

Needy Family Fund: Holidays are tough on disabled widow

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MILTON – A 62-year-old woman from Milton will receive a basket of food during the Christmas holiday, thanks to donations made to The Needy Family Fund. “It means a lot. It really helps. It really does,” said the disabled woman, whose husband died about six years ago. Now, she does what she can to help support her daughter and son-in-law, but there is no additional money for holiday gifts. “There just isn’t a whole lot left. The holidays really get me down,” she said, noting that she lost her husband in late October and the holiday season that follows has been difficult for the past several years. But she does enjoy spending time with her…

State police investigate death of a baby

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DANVILLE – State police are investigating after a 4-month-old baby boy was found dead Saturday at a Mill Street apartment. The death was reported just after 5 a.m. at 335 Mill Street. The baby has not yet been identified. An autopsy will be done this week according to Montour County Coroner Scott Lynn.   This is the second death investigation in Montour County. On Wednesday afternoon, a 51-year-old woman was found dead in her apartment in Mahoning Township. The woman’s name has not been disclosed. An autopsy was done and toxicology tests could take several weeks, so the cause of death is not yet known. (Ali Stevens) Follow

Local group records song for Sandy Hook

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SUNBURY — Saturday marked the one year anniversary of the tragic shooting in Newtown Connecticut, and a local group marked the occasion with a video dedicated to the victims.  Valerie Flamini Caldwell is director of the Susquehanna Valley Youth Chorale.  She composed the song, “Where All is Possible, I Am.” Flamini Caldwell said the song was written, performed and recorded in remembrance of those lives taken at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  “We recorded a memorial video of our singers singing a song that I composed.  It is basically something we are hoping to share with the parents of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary, as a gift of peace.  We’d like to help them process…