SECOND WORK SESSION
Williamsport City Council finished up the second of two budget work sessions last night, with discussion centering on the elimination of positions within the city. That includes cutting the police force back to 47 from the budgeted compliment of 51, of which retiring city police chief David Young says that 48 may be doable. The budget also included the elimination of the police secretary position as well as not filling two positions within the codes department. The city faces a $1.5 million dollar deficit in the 2019 budget of $27.2 million dollars. That deficit is expected to grow.
DEFENSE MAKES IT’S CASE
The defense got their turn yesterday in the Clinton County murder trial of Loyd Groves, accused of the 1991 murder of Kathy Heckel. Trying to cast doubt on DNA evidence of Heckel’s blood found in Grove’s vehicle, the defense presented evidence pointing towards Heckel being treated for a serious finger injury about a week before she disappeared in Lock Haven. The court also heard testimony from witnesses who testified to dumpster diving as kids at the National Guard Armory in Lockport when they were kids in 1991 and finding a purse and ID belonging to Kathy Heckel not long after her disappearance. Eariler her former husband had testified as to throwing a picture away in that dumpster but not a purse. Closing arguments are now scheduled today, with the jury possibly beginning deliberations later today.
TRUCK DRIVER ARRESTED
A truck driver from Houston Texas was jailed on Monday after running into a building in Muncy and then leaving the scene. 54 year old William Figueroa is accused of running his truck into the Fitness Center on South Main Street on Monday causing damage there and then driving off. His truck was later found in the Lewisburg area and he was taken into custody and charged with hit and run. He was arraigned and jailed in lieu of $15,000 dollars bail.
MONTGOMERY MAN ARRESTED IN SOUTH SIDE
A Montgomery man tried fleeing from police in South Williamsport early on Sunday morning. Police say they tried to pull over 24 year old Jack Reed Jr. in the borough and he took off, leading them on a brief police chase which ended in the 400 block of Lowe Street. He was then nabbed in the 1st block of East Southern Avenue. Police say he admitted to snorting heroin before getting behind the wheel. He was charged with fleeing and eluding, DUI and reckless driving and was jailed in Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.
TWO INJURED IN WOODWARD TOWNSHIP CRASH
Two were taken to UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center following a Monday Night crash in Woodward Township. State police say that around 10:15 a vehicle driven by 54 year old Duan Forsythe of Linden went out of control in the Southbound lane of Route 220 just south of the city line and struck guardrails. Both Forsythe and a passenger, 29 year old Kydeem Garner of Darby Pennsylvania were transported to the hospital. Their conditions were not released. Police say Forsythe is suspected of operating the vehicle while under the influence.
VEHICLE BREAK-INS IN SUNBURY
Sunbury police are investigating several vehicle break-ins which occurred over the Thanksgiving weekend. Police say that about a dozen cars were broken into in the area of the Hill neighborhood over the weekend. Items taken from those vehicles included recently purchased Christmas presents and a small box of cash. Anyone with information regarding those vehicle break-ins is asked to contact the Northumberland County Communications office at 570-988-4539.
FEMA MONEY DISTRIBUTION
Over the coming weeks, officials from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will be holding meetings with applicants looking at getting reimbursed for flood and storm damage repairs stemming from storms in August of this year in Lycoming and Tioga Counties. The Federal Government recently approved FEMA funding for the area counties as well as others across Pennsylvania affected by the storms. Applicants, including counties, municipalities and state agencies can receive up to 75% of costs incurred on eligible expenses. The money is expected to be targeted for restoration of damaged facilities, debris removal and other impacts.
SCHOOL THREAT IN DANVILLE
School officials in the Danville School District had to deal with a threat at one of it’s schools yesterday. A message was found written on the wall at the Danville Middle School earlier in the day yesterday. The school’s police officer was called in to investigate the threat and ruled it unsubstantiated. No word on if that threat caused any disruption to the school day there, and it’s not known if any arrests will be made due to that threat in Danville.
LOCAL ORGANIZATION RECEIVES GRANT FROM PHILLIES
A Lycoming County organization which helps families with children who are facing homelessness will be helped out by a major league baseball team. The Phillies Charities Inc., the charity arm of the Philadelphia Phillies has announced that they will be making a $15,000 dollar grant to Family Promise. The Phillies were notified of the work that Family Promise does in the area by officials with the Williamsport Crosscutters, an affiliate of the Major League Team. Representatives from Family Promise and the Crosscutters will be in Philadelphia on December 6th where they will be recognized and saluted along with other grant recipients.