Local News 12/14/18


A woman was reported in stable condition at Geisinger Medical Center following that bear attack in Muncy Creek Township on Wednesday evening.  Melinda Lebarron stepped outside her Peach Orchard Road home around 6 on Wednesday evening and was reportedly attacked by a bear which dragged her across the road into a thicket. The woman was able to get away but suffered multiple injuries in the attack.  The game commission has set up a bear trap, and they have also called in a dog specially trained in tracking bears.  Residents in that area are on alert.


A Sunbury man is dead and two other unidentified persons injured following a fatal crash in Bloomsburg in Columbia County yesterday.  The crash happened on Route 11 outside the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds just past 3pm as a northbound car crossed over into the southbound lane crashing head on into a car driven by 59 year old Dean Yeager of Sunbury.  Yeager ws pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.  The other two were taken to the hospital, their conditions not released.  The roadway was shut down for about four hours as crews cleaned up at the scene and police investigated.


It’s official, Williamsport City Taxpayers will see an extra .75 mills on their tax bill for the upcoming year.  Council last night passed the 2019 budget of 27.2 million dollars with the tax increase.  City officials say that pensions  will rise by a half million dollars and healthcare by 7%.  They say 87% of the budget is personnel oriented and the other 13% for other expenses.  Council was able to make some cuts in order to bolster the reserve fund.  During their meeting council warned that there could be more tax increases in the future.


Despite one Lycoming County Commissioner’s insistence that they wait for 15 days in order to review an early intervention report into county finances, Commissioners Jack McKernan and Tony Mussare went ahead and voted to pass the 2019 budget which will not contain a tax increase.  Commissioner Rick Mirabito voted against the budget saying that he would like the commissioners to review potential staff reorganization and make other changes.  The almost $103.5 million dollar budget currently leave the county with a $6.5 million dollar deficit which county officials say will be balanced out once the county received the proceeds of a bond they are applying for.


Following passing of the 2019, budget, Lycoming County Commissioners took up a couple of other issues during their meeting yesterday.  Commissioners voted 2-1 to approve a three year contract with Billy Casper Golf to manage the county owned White Deer Golf course despite protests from Commissioner Rick Mirabito who says the county does not have a plan to pay for the course, and they heard from more supporters of Linda Sosniak who was passed over for appointment to the county planning board when commissioners instead decided to appoint Joseph Reighard.


A crash on Interstate 180 yesterday afternoon resulted in multiple injuries. The crash happened around 12:45 in the Westbound lanes of I-180 in the 17,000 block near the Muncy On-Ramp.  Entrapment was reported.  The crash involved two vehicles. It’s not currently known how many were injured, and as ot the extent of their injuries.  No other details were available and that crash remains under investigation.


State police have announced the arrest of a Carlisle Pennsyvlania man accused of breaking into residences in Northumberland County, with more than $30,000 dollars in items taken back in 2015.  An investigating led police first to a Sunbury area man who they found had died from a drug overdose, and then more investigation led them to 35 year old Cory Fischer of Carlisle.  Fischer was taken into custody yesterday and arraigned on several counts and jailed in lieu of $200,000 dollars bail.


Area lawmakers are applauding the release of federal flood relief money to help residents in both Lycoming and Union Counties affected by flooding this past year.  The US. Small Business Administration has made low interest disaster loans available. The loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.  Loans of up to $40,000 are available to repair or replace personal property.  Businesses or non-profits can borrow up to $2 million dollars.  An SBA office is currently open at the Warrior Run Area Fire Department in Watsontown to talk with representatives and submit an application.


A local legislator has received an important appointment in Harrisburg. It was announced this week that 83rd district representative Jeff Wheeland from Williamsport has been appointed to serve as a deputy policy Committee chairman on the House Majority Policy Committee for the upcoming legislative season.  The committee conducts hearings and roundtable discussions about important statewide and regional issues that matter most to Pennsylvania citizens, gathers testimony and information and works with the House Republican Causus to devleope policies to address those issues.