Health expert: Prep for ‘spring forward’

SUNBURY — Get ready for a groggy Monday and maybe a sleepy Sunday.  Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, and Weis Markets Registered Dietitians Beth Stark and Kathryn Long  say there are things you can do now to prepare yourself for the adjustment.   “If you can start setting your clock about 15 minutes sooner, to train your body to lose an hour.  That’s a good thing to do, so that on Sunday morning you’re not waking up to losing a full hour.  Small little increments over the next few days can really make a difference.  Then on Sunday morning, even though we are tempted to sleep in, try to wake up at your normal time…

Freeburg man pleads guilty to assault

FREEBURG – A Snyder County criminal trial was underway Wednesday, when a Freeburg man decided to plead guilty.  According to Snyder-Union President Judge Michael Hudock, 56-year-old Gregory Keister pleaded guilty to burglary and aggravated assault, as well as a no contest plea for stalking.   Keister is accused of using an aluminum baseball bat to assault a Sunbury man, and raping a Freeburg woman.  The aggravated assault victim, Sean Purdy, was reportedly sleeping with a woman in her Freeburg apartment when Keister attacked him and then  raped the woman.   District Attorney Mike Piecuch says Keister was in a relationship with the woman and she had ended it.  He claims Keister was “obsessed” with the…

Senior judge resigns after being suspended

MIDDLEBURG – Union/Snyder County Senior Judge Harold Woelfel Jr. has resigned from hearing cases in those two counties.  This change comes after he was suspended by Union/Snyder President Judge Michael Hudock last weekend. All this happens about three months after Woelfel revealed that he was an alcoholic.  He disclosed the information at a DUI Treatment Court session in Snyder County.  Woelfel, who has served as judge in the two counties for 19 years, oversaw the treatment courts in both Union and Snyder County.  In his candid admission December 4, Woelfel told the treatment court that he had been sober for six months. More recently, February 25, Woelfel was issued a traffic citation from the Selinsgrove…

Masser concerned about state budget proposal

HARRISBURG – Republican members of the state House of Representatives are expressing concerns about Governor Tom Wolf’s $33.8-billion state budget proposal.  State house member Kurt Masser (R-107th, Elysburg) says the budget gives him cause for concern.   Masser said, “He is projecting historic spending in the state of Pennsylvania and historic tax increases on the backs of all Pennsylvanians.  I’m not sure it’s a great way to start.  He campaigned on restoring a lot of funding for different programs, but what he didn’t campaign on was a 20 percent increase in the personal income tax and a 10 percent increase on the sales tax, on the backs of working families.”   Masser said the Governor’s…

Proposed budget doesn’t benefit Valley residents

SUNBURY – The biggest losers will be Valley residents–under the proposed budget from Governor Tom Wolf–so says state house member Fred Keller (R-85th, Kreamer). On WKOK Sunrise Wednesday, Keller called the budget a redistribution of tax dollars, “I just look at this as a way to take more money out of  my district, rural Pennsylvania, and redistribute it to other parts of the Commonwealth.” According to Keller, the proposed reduction in property taxes won’t fully offset the increase in personal income tax–he says valley residents will end up paying more, “It really hits this area disproportionately because we rely on a higher earned income tax at the local level.” How much money will Pennsylvanians lose,…

Route 11 crash kills Berwick woman

DANVILLE – June Hutton, 58, of Berwick was killed Tuesday in a crash along Route 11 in Mahoning Township, Montour County.  The accident took place around 3:50 p.m. in the area of Bald Top Road and the Danville Boat Club.   Police say Hutton was riding in a car driven by 71-year-old Edward Hutton also of Berwick. He lost control and  collided with an oncoming vehicle driven by Jack Pehowic of Sunbury.   June Hutton was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.   Route 11 was closed for several hours in both directions following that accident.  (Jennifer Wakeman)

Attempted homicide trial begins

FREEBURG – Trial is underway for a Freeburg man charged with attempted homicide.  56-year-old Gregory Keister is accused of using an aluminum baseball bat to assault a Sunbury man.  He’s also charged with raping a Freeburg woman.   The Daily Item reports the male victim, Sean Purdy, testified at the trial yesterday saying he thought he was going to die when Keister attacked him.  Purdy was sleeping with a woman in her Freeburg apartment when he was attacked.  Purdy was then allowed to leave the apartment to go to a hospital.  That’s when Keister allegedly raped the woman.   District Attorney Mike Piecuch says Keister was in a relationship with the woman and she had…

Route 54 open, following fire

TURBOTVILLE  — Route 54 was shut down for a time in the area of a building fire. According to Union County Communications, the fire was at 8150 Route 54 in Delaware Township, Northumberland County.   Witnesses say heavy smoke could be seen coming from the building.  Responders were controlling traffic in the area of Hickory Grove Road — just north of Interstate-180.  The fire was reported around 4:15p.m.  Volunteers were on the scene until around 6:30p.m.  (Codi Jade)

Drug Take Back day is coming soon

SUNBURY – In an effort to keep prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands, a Drug Take Back Day is planned.  Northumberland County District Attorney Ann Targonski says Drug Take Back Day is planned for March 21.   In addition to prescription drugs polluting water systems if they aren’t disposed of properly, Targonski says prescription drugs are often stolen from medicine cabinets, “We’ve had several instances in our county where we’ve had people wake up and had people in their house and all they are doing is riffling through their medicine cabinets.”   Targonski says prescription drugs should be stored in a safe place and disposed of properly, “The statistics are that one out…

Wolf seeks billions in higher taxes for schools, tax revamp

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf is asking Pennsylvania lawmakers to approve $4 billion in higher taxes and new taxes to help boost school aid and shift education funding away from local property taxes. In an address to a joint session of the Legislature Tuesday morning, the new governor is proposing raising the sales tax for the first time in nearly 50 years, to 6.6 percent from the current 6 percent.  Overall, the Democrat wants to increase state spending from $29 billion to $33.7 billion – an increase of 16 percent. The governor says the proposed tax hikes and a simultaneous cut in property taxes would reduce the tax burden on the average middle-class…