Habitat for Humanity providing affordable housing

LEWISBURG – Habitat for Humanity continues to grow and will have a busy 2015, providing housing for people in need.  Tina McDowell is executive director of the Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity Chapter, “We are not emergency housing and we don’t give houses away.  We are proponents of safe, affordable and decent housing.  We build homes, we sell them to families in need who qualify as homeowners and we also advocate for safe affordable housing in our communities.”   McDowell and her program director, Arion Moser, were recent guests on WKOK talking about the importance of Habitat for Humanity, “Typically if families are struggling with a safe affordable place to live, they are moving multiple…

Two bills protect natural gas leaseholders

HARRISBURG — The state Senate has unanimously approved two bills protecting natural gas leaseholders across the state.  Senator Gene Yaw (R-23rd,Williamsport) sponsored both legislative measures.   Senate Bill 147 would allow a royalty landowner the opportunity to inspect records of a gas company to verify proper payment.  The legislation also requires that proceeds from production of oil and gas shall be paid within 90-days of production, to ensure monthly royalty payments.   Senate Bill 148 would prohibit a gas company from retaliating against a landowner by terminating the lease agreement or ceasing development, because a landowner questions the accuracy of the royalty payments.   Both bills will now move to the House of Representatives for…

Update on Lewisburg High School construction

LEWISBURG — Big news from Lewisburg–a new, and even more energy efficient high school is now being built. Excavation work is now underway at the site for the new Lewisburg High School.   Superintentent Dr. Mark DiRocco said in a newsletter to parents and others, the district received final approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education in December to proceed with construction of the new high school.   The $30 million school is being built in Kelly Township, Union County.  The school district says several trucks and heavy equipment vehicles are now working to prepare the site for the actual construction of the school, which will begin in the spring.   Additionally, he said the…

Report on Danville contract dispute to be released

DANVILLE – A report on a contract dispute between teachers and the Danville School District will be released on Monday.  The Daily Item reports the report by a state-appointed arbitrator will contain a recommendation on the dispute that has lasted since summer of 2012.   Once the report is released, the Danville School Board and the Danville Education Association will have 10 days to accept or reject the non-binding report.  If both parties accept the contract, it becomes the new agreement for the district, but if either side rejects it, negotiations will start over again.  (Ali Stevens)

Derek Hicks selected as Selinsgrove football coach

SELINSGROVE – The Selinsgrove School Board voted 9 to 0 in favor of hiring Derek Hicks as the new head football coach for Selinsgrove.  Hicks will replace Dave Hess, who stepped down in November after seven seasons as head coach.   Hicks played football for Selinsgrove under head coach Bill Scott and graduated in 1993. Hicks became an assistant coach for Selinsgrove in 1997 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2007.  Hicks is also a 6th grade science teacher at Selinsgrove Middle School. He will be paid $9,298 as head coach. (Ali Stevens)

Snyder County DA seeks another term

SELINSGROVE — Snyder County’s District Attorney will run for reelection.  D.A. Mike Piecuch announced Tuesday that he will seek a second term as the county’s top prosecutor.   Piecuch has served since February 2010 when he was appointed to the post.  He was elected to a full four-year term in 2011.   Piecuch said, “Every day I feel privileged to serve as district attorney… I love my work helping crime victims, partnering with law enforcement, and keeping Snyder County a safe place to work, live and raise families.”   Along with his courtroom duties, Piecuch also works to address youth issues by speaking to students on topics like cybersafety and bullying.  He is an advocate…

Jeans donation to help local families

SUNBURY – Have a pair of jeans you don’t wear?  The Shikellamy Middle School National Junior Honors Society wants them.  They are collecting the clothing as part of the national Teens for Jeans initiative.  They will be collecting jeans until February 15, with the first big collection to be held Wednesday at the Shikellamy/Selinsgrove basketball game at Shikellamy High School. Bring the jeans to the varsity game, which starts at 7:30p.m.  The jeans will be collected and will be donated right here throughout The Valley to those in need. (Sara Bartlett)

Task Force cracking down on collections

SUNBURY – About $1.3 million worth of restitution, fines and court costs have been collected in Northumberland County, but there is still a long way to go. The Cost Collections Task Force has been taking a proactive approach to get the money, especially what is owed to victims, says Chief of Probation Jim Cortelyou, “Most of the money we are collecting is restitution; I would say three-quarters of it.  The more we have, the more we can collect, the more we are helping people.  That is what it is really for.  While it does help the county to collect, and some of the money goes to the state, our real goal is the restitution for…

Prosecutor seeking death penalty for Frein

MILFORD, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania prosecutor is formally notifying the court he’s seeking the death penalty for a man accused of killing one state trooper and wounding another in a barracks ambush. Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin filed a document Tuesday listing aggravating circumstances that could send Eric Frein  to the state’s death row. Frein’s formal arraignment is scheduled for Thursday at the courthouse in Milford, but Tonkin says he expects Frein to participate by video from the Pike County Correctional Facility. Defense attorney Michael Weinstein is declining to comment on the death penalty filing and says his client intends to plead not guilty at the arraignment. Frein is charged with first-degree murder…

Shamokin man still in critical condition

LEWISBURG — A Shamokin man remains in critical condition, following a crash on Interstate 80 Friday.  31-year-old Clinton Geist was injured when he lost control of his vehicle while traveling north on the ramp from Route 15 to I-80 Friday morning.   His car entered the path of a UPS tractor-trailer truck.  The truck driver was not injured.  Hundreds of UPS packages were said to be damaged in the crash.  Geist was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition.  (Codi Jade)