$86 MILLION IN TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS IMPROVED

Four years worth of transportation projects were approved yesterday by the Williamsport Area Transportation Study executive Commission as part of a two year cycle. The projects which includes the replacement or repair of some 43 state owned bridges across the county which are or will be in poor condition will cost a total of $86 million dollars and will be funded through local, state and federal funding.  Included in the projects are 6 miles of safety improvements on Route 220 between Williamsport and Jersey Shore, and the beginning of the Basin Street widening project in the city of Williamsport which will turn a section of the street into a two way.

CRASH CLAIMS SECOND VICTIM

Geisinger Medical Center officials have confirmed a second death stemming from a Sunday crash in Clinton County.  Vehicles driven by Robert Keefer of Lock Haven and Richard Kodish of Oxford collided head on around noon on Sunday on the Renovo Road.  Keefer was pronounced dead at the scene.  Kodish, his wife, Nancy and their son Raymond were all taken to Geisinger Medical Center where Nancy has been pronounced dead from her injuries.  The other two are still in critical condition.  A passenger in Keefer’s car, Amber Baker is also still in critical condition.  No word on the condition of a three year old also riding in that car.

ROUTE 54 HAZMAT CLEANUP

Motorists travelling Route 54 in Montour County are advised that a lane will be closed between Washingtonville and Sugar Camp Road during daylight hours today. A Hazmat clean up will take place between the hours of 8am and 4pm which means the road will be down to one lane.  Flag persons will be on hand to direct traffic and motorists on Route 54 are reminded to be alert and drive with caution through the work zone. 

TRIAL BEGINS

A Sunbury businessman who was arrested back in February of 2015 following an assault on his wife in which a gun went off in the home went on trial yesterday.  Robert Snyder Jr. is accused of attempted homicide, as well as other counts stemming from the incident in which he and his wife Kimberly got into an altercation at their Sunbury area home.  Kimberly suffered minor injuries.  She was in the stand to testify yesterday.  Mr. Snyder’s defense is trying to prove that Mrs. Snyder was as much at fault during the argument.  Testimony will continue today.

TRIAL CONTINUED

A man who was arrested in January of 2015 in the 1991 disappearance f a woman in Clinton County was supposed to go on trial yesterday with the beginning of jury selection, but a continuance has not been granted.  68 year old Lloyd Groves is accused of the murder and disposal of the body of Katherine Heckel in which her body has never been found and she was pronounced dead 7 years later.  Groves has been charged with her murder and the trial was continued due to his ex-wife coming forward last Friday to talk to police about the case. 

EMERGENCY FUNDING APPROVED

Emergency funding from the State Department of Transportation has been granted to help in repair of a Lycoming County Roadway damaged by a rockslide. Word was received from the state yesterday that they will provide money to help fix Route 44 in Cummings Township north of Waterville which suffered damage and caused officials to shut down the southbound lane.  The money will not come until bids are opened to fix the road and the embankment which is still unstable.  It’s estimated that the cost could be up to $3 million dollars for repairs there. 

VINEYARD APPROVED, BUT NOT EVENT VENUE

Residents in the Rose Valley area were happy following a decision by the Lycoming County Zoning Hearing Board yesterday.  William and Krtistie Smedley who own a 33 acre property in Gamble Township had applied to create a vineyard and winery there, and also wanted to have an event venue as well.  Residents of the area are against the event venue citing the noise it would bring, as well as other issues.  Yesterday, the board granted approval for the winery, but denied approval for the event venue.  The couple plans on appealing. 

HOME RULE COMMISSION UPDATE

A second charter commission within the city of Williamsport continues to fine tune their government draft.  Seven elected commission members reported yesterday that they continue to work on a draft charter which would allow for a home rule type of government to be put on the ballot for city voters to decide.  The Williamsport Study Comission has already advocated the hiring of a city manager or administrator to handle daily operations.  They are now deciding what roles and responsibilities city council will have, and then move onto city departments.  The role of the mayor would be diminished. 

MILTON MAN INJURED IN CRASH

A Northumberland County crash on Saturday sent a person to Geisinger Medical Center with unspecified injuries.  State police report that 60 year old Brett Meckley of Milton was driving riding his motorcycle on State Route 405 in Delaware Township on Saturday round 5:30am when he struck a deer.  He was thrown from the bike. His condition not released.