Backyard Broadcasting News


A Williamsport man saw a homicide conviction against him thrown out in court last week and will now be able to plead to a lesser charged.  Da’Ran Sears was serving a 21-50 year sentence in the July 2013 shooting death of Donte Marks in Williamsport.  Sears contended he did not know the gun was loaded when he pulled the trigger.  His current counsel successfully argued that Sears was ready to plead to involuntary manslaughter, but his former counsel was trying to get a lesser charged dismissed, taking too much time, with homicide charges filed against the man.  A hearing will be held on March 1st for Sears to plead to a lesser charge.


Firefighters in Jersey Shore as well as surrounding companies were alled out over the weekend to a home there.  Fire officials say it’s believed that a fire which broke out around 6:30 on Saturday morning at the home on Wilson Street started in the vicinity of a wood burning stove in the dining room area.  Police arrived first and were able to keep things from gong totally out of control with extinguishers.  The fire still heavily damaged the home.  No one was injured.  It’s not been reported as to how many persons were displaced.


A safe house in Shamokin which provides temporary housing for people fleeing domestic violence or other family crises was damaged by fire yesterday morning.  The fire broke out at the Transitions Center in Shamokin bringing in firefighters from several Northumberland County companies.  Both staff and residents were able to make it out without injury.  The place was extensively damaged though and estimate was not released. The cause is under investigation. Those who were staying the facility have been placed elsewhere.


A fire in Nisbet on Friday late last week could have been much worse if not for the help of two men. Fire broke out in a four wheeler at the home along First Avenue in Nisbet.  Len Schenk of Mill Hall was traveling along Route 654 when he noticed the smoke and stopped to see what was going on.  With the help of a neighbor’s truck, Schenk was able to attach a strap to the four wheeler and pull it away from the house.  The homeowner was not named.  There was some damage to the siding of the home, but no major damage reported.


It looks like Williamsport City Council will get to review the bids for a brand new scoreboard at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field during their meeting this Thursday night.  Bids were opened for the new scoreboard last week.  There were five of them ranging from $520,000 to $675,000 dollars.  They are under review to determined technical details, to meet specifications and intent.  It’s believed the scoreboard will be installed and operational by the beginning of the Crosscutters season in June.


A crash in Tioga County late last week cost a Middlebury Center woman her life. The crash happened on Route 414 in Liberty Township as 76 year old Herbert Harrison Jr. of Middlebury Center lost control of his vehicle on a curve which struck a sign, and went down over an embankment striking a tree.  His wife, 77 year old Darlene Harrison was flown to Geisinger Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead from her injuries.  Mr. Harrison was treated for minor injuries.


The Lycoming County United Way is into the critical stage of their fundraising efforts. A  campaign that was kicked off several months ago is lagging behind last year’s total by about $200,000 and according officials the next thirty days is critical as they need to know how much will be in the budget to help the program partners.  Officials say they began the campaign hoping to serve 55,000 people in Lycoming and well as Tioga and Sullivan Counties in coming year.  More information is available online at


It was announced on Friday that 23rd District State Senator Gene Yaw of Loyalsock will serve on five standing senate committees in Harrisburg during this legislative session.  Yaw who already was announced as chairman for the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will also serve on the Senate Appropriations, Banking and Insurance, Judiciary and Law and Justice Committees.  He also will continue serving as vice chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee.