Area rescue crews receive funds

SUNBURY – Area fire and ambulance companies will receive over $300,000 through state grants.   The funds will benefit 24 companies in Northumberland and Snyder Counties.  The grants are part of the Pennsylvania Fire Company and Ambulance Service Grant Program.   State Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-108TH, Sunbury) made the announcement Thursday.  She said, “Our community was recently reminded how essential and valuable our volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel are to maintaining safety and order during unfortunate times when the Northumberland County prison caught fire a few weeks ago.”   Recipients can use the funding to build, repair or renovate a company’s primary structure; purchase or repair equipment; participate in training seminars and workshops; or pay…

Frein pleads ‘not guilty’

MILFORD, Pa. (AP) — A survivalist accused of killing one Pennsylvania state trooper and wounding another in a police barracks ambush has pleaded not guilty. Eric Frein was arraigned Thursday at the Pike County Courthouse in Milford. The 31-year-old Frein participated by video from the county jail and answered yes-or-no questions from his lawyer, who entered the not-guilty plea on his behalf. Frein is charged with first-degree murder, terrorism and related charges in the September ambush that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson and severely wounded Trooper Alex Douglass outside the police barracks in Blooming Grove. Frein was captured Oct. 30 after a 48-day manhunt in the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania. Prosecutors are seeking the death…

D.A. Warren: Low rating ‘expected’

DANVILLE – The Mountour County D.A. has received a negative rating from the state bar, and she says it was expected.  Montour County District Attorney Rebecca Warren was ‘not recommended’ as a candidate for state Supreme Court.   She says, “As a prosecutor, I have earned a reputation for being a champion of victims’ rights and for not being swayed by others. The PBA is a liberal organization that has a history of supporting criminals and opposing prosecutors.”   The Pennsylvania Bar Association annually scrutinizes candidates for statewide offices and the vast majority receive at least a ‘recommended’ statement.  Warren was the only candidate to receive the “not recommended” rating.  The commission stated they are…

Medical marijuana legislation has more support

HARRISBURG – With a new governor in the state, medical marijuana legislation may be successfully passed in 2015. Last year’s bill passed the Senate in September, but did not move to the House, where Republican leadership was hesitant to pass it.  Now, the new House Republican leader, Dave Reed (R-62nd, Blairsville) supports medical marijuana along with new Governor Tom Wolf.   State representative Lynda Schlegel-Culver (R-108th,Sunbury) says there is a good argument for its passage, “We have been using it medicinally for 2,000 years.  This has merit.  I think we definitely need to look at it.  If we can help somebody overcome an illness or help them with their daily life, without endangering their welfare…

Vehicular homicide trial postponed again

SUNBURY – Trial for a Mount Carmel man charged with vehicular homicide has been postponed for the second time in two weeks.  The News Item reports 21-year-old Hasan Abuomar’s trial was scheduled to begin today and has been delayed until March 12 before Judge Charles Saylor.   District Attorney Ann Targonski is unable to prosecute the case due to illness.  Abuomar was initially scheduled for trial January 13, but that was postponed at Targonski’s request due to the fire at the Northumberland County Prison on January 14, since Targonski is also a prison board member.   Abuomar was 19 when he is accused of grabbing the steering wheel of a car driven by 18-year-old Marcelle…

Thieves caught on video surveillance

LEWISBURG — State police need the public’s help in identifying two men who stole jugs of diesel engine motor oil from the WalMart in Lewisburg.  Video surveillance shows the two men entering the store and then loading a shopping cart with the oil, valued at $140.   A male in a dark jacket pushes the cart out of the store without paying for the oil.  The men fled the scene in a white, older model four-door Ford Explorer.  The theft happened on Wednesday just before 3 p.m. Video surveillance captured the faces of both men.   Anyone with information is asked to contact state police at Milton.  (Ali Stevens)

UPDATE: Route 11 now open near Bloom

Montoursville – A multi-vehicle crash blocked traffic for several hours on Route 11 Thursday.  The road was closed between Shaffer Road and Bissets Lane in Scott Township until about 3:00p.m. Thursday afternoon.    

PA Bar: D.A. Warren ‘Not Recommended’

DANVILLE – A local D-A might have trouble getting elected to the state’s high court, as she is “not recommended,” according to the state bar association. Montour County District Attorney Rebecca Warren is ‘not recommended’ as a candidate for state Supreme Court.   The Pennsylvania Bar Association annually scrutinizes candidates for statewide offices and the vast majority receive at least a ‘recommended’ statement.  The association’s Judicial Evaluation Committee released its ratings of potential judicial candidates seeking election in November.  The candidates received a rating of “highly recommended,” “recommended,” or “not recommended.”   Warren was the only candidate to receive the “not recommended” rating.  The commission stated they are concerned with the lack of depth of…

Worker struck by a car

PAXINOS – A Tamaqua man collecting cones in a work zone was struck by a car Wednesday along Irish Valley Road in Shamokin Township.  State police say James Fredericks was working on Irish Valley Road at Badmans Hill Road when he was struck around 4:45 p.m.   The driver who struck him, Ann Benedict of Shamokin, says she was temporarily blinded by the sun, which caused her to hit Fredericks.  He was taken to Geisinger Medical Center and treated for a broken leg.  Benedict was not injured.  (Ali Stevens)

One displaced by Beavertown fire

BEAVERTOWN –  One person was displaced and a home was destroyed by fire in Snyder County Wednesday afternoon.  The fire started around 1:00p.m. at 6537 Middle Road in Beavertown, at the home of 85-year-old Sterril Knepp.  Officials say Knepp was able to escape the home unharmed.   The two-story home was gutted by the blaze.  Volunteer firefighters from Beavertown, Beaver Springs, Middleburg, and Penns Creek were on the scene for about two hours.  The cause of the fire is not yet known. (Codi Jade)