High School standout Thomas Holley commits to Penn State

Penn State

UNDATED — Defensive tackle Thomas Holley is coming to Penn State.  The Lincoln High School standout in Brooklyn, New York said he was choosing between Penn State and Florida, and chose to become a Nittany Lion.  Holley becomes the 18th member of Penn State’s 2014 recruiting class.

RSV prompts child visitation restrictions at Geisinger hospitals

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DANVILLE — Three local hospitals have issued temporary restrictions on children under the age of 5 visiting the children’s and women’s inpatient units.  Geisinger Medical Center, Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital and Geisinger-Bloomsburg Hospital are making the decision due to an increase in pediatric Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV. Typically, the number of RSV cases in children rise this time of year and hospitals usually enact these type of restrictions until the end of the winter season.  RSV is a virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. (Sara Bartlett)

Homicide costs city $15,000 so far

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SUNBURY — The recent homicide in Sunbury has cost the city about $15,000 so far.  Sunbury Police Chief Stephen Mazzeo says the cost is typical for this type of crime. “Most of our homicides are not of this type, so they are a lot less costs.  This is a complicated investigation that consumes a lot of manpower and a lot of time; that is why this cost is higher.  For this type of investigation though, this is the normal cost.  It is usually between $20,000-$40,000 up front, plus costs associated with a longer term prosecution, which could take years.” Mazzeo says this investigation has consumed a lot of manpower and will continue to do so…

Smoke alarm distribution after fatal fire

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SHAMOKIN – Following a deadly fire in Shamokin last week, city officials are taking steps to ensure that residents have smoke detectors in their homes. Last Tuesday, fire claimed the life of 13-year-old Melissa Pangburn and destroyed five houses on South Rock Street. Craig Rhoades is Shamokin Public Safety Director.   Rhoades said, “It’s an initiative that Shamokin always pursued during Fire Prevention Week, trying to help people with installing smoke detectors. Since this tragic event that occurred, it certainly has come to the forefront. We are taking on this initiative to help as many people as we can.”   Hundreds of smoke alarms will be distributed to Shamokin residents that have been donated by…

Blight grant for Northumberland County

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SUNBURY – The Northumberland County Housing Authority will receive a $500,000 state grant to be used for blight remediation. The funds will be used to acquire and demolish blighted properties in Sunbury, Shamokin, Coal Township, Mount Carmel and Ralpho Township.   The Keystone Communities Public Improvement grant is issued by the state Department of Community and Economic Development. The Northumberland County Commissioners have appointed a task force to work with the county housing authority to address blighted properties.   The task force includes state Senator John Gordner (R-27th, Berwick) , State Representative Kurt Masser (R-107th, Elysburg) , State Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-108th, Sunbury) and representatives from both the public and private sectors.

Needy Family Fund total reaches $61,000

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UNDATED – The Needy Family Fund total continues to grow.  Today’s total is $61,000.  The goal this year is $75,000.  Some recent contributions include $400 from Ron and Faith Clark of Milton, $200 from Todd and Kimberly Brosius of Sunbury, $100 from Harold and Sondra Noecker of Northumberland, $100 from John and Nick Kreighbaum in memory of Heidi Kreighbaum of Middleburg and $1,000 from Sunbury Motors. There was also $1,100 in anonymous donations.  The Needy Family Fund provides food, toys and clothes to Valley families in need.  You can donate to any branch of Susquehanna Bank. (Sara Bartlett)

State to operate drug drop off sites; many in our area

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The state is trying to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse, and is encouraging people to empty their medicine cabinets of expired or unused pharmaceuticals by taking them to one of 250 new drop-off boxes in Pennsylvania. There are a number of locations in The Valley. The drug drop off boxes are under 24-hour surveillance in secure locations, such as police departments, sheriff’s offices or district attorneys’ offices.  The drugs collected are to be incinerated once a month. The idea is to keep teenagers from getting addicted to prescription drugs, which is considered the No. 1 gateway drug to heroin. Police say many home burglars are addicts looking for prescription drugs…

Needy Family Fund: Wife lost job two weeks before Christmas

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SELINSGROVE – It has been a year of ups and downs for Amanda Boyer and her family of Selinsgrove.  Boyer got married this year, and now raises two stepdaughters, ages 10 and 12, along with her 5-year-old daughter. The downside?  “I was working, but I lost my job just last week,” says Boyer.  Being hopeful, Boyer added, “But I have three job interviews coming up.”  Boyer’s husband works at a modular home building company.  “He works a lot.  Sometimes he works 12-15 hour days.” With one current income and three girls, money has been tight, especially around the holidays.  The Boyer family will get assistance this year from The Needy Family Fund.  Boyer says they…

Death of baby is not suspicious

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DANVILLE – Although autopsy results were inconclusive, the death of a 4-month-old baby from Danville is not suspicious according to state police. An autopsy was done Monday at Lehigh Valley Medical center on 4-month-old Mason Todack, who was found unresponsive in an apartment at 335 Mill Street on Saturday morning.   State police trooper Matt Burrows says further testing may be done to determine the cause of death, but the death is not suspicious.