Backyard Broadcasting Local News


Williamsport police say a fire in a city apartment early yesterday morning is a case of arson. Firefighters were called to 661 Rose Street in the city around 4am yesterday morning, finding fire in a first floor apartment. They were able to bring it under control within ten minutes.  Upwards of a dozen people lived in the 3 story, six unit apartment house and most are expected to be able to move back in within a day or two, except the unidentified female occupant in that unit.  Heavy fire damage was contained to that apartment with smoke and heat damage to the rest of the building.  Anyone with information is asked to contact city police agent Trent Peacock.


The two candidates running for the 12th congressional district seat vacated by Tom Marino squared off in a televised debate onWVIA TV last night.  Republican Fred Keller an Democrat Marc Friedenberg battled over health care, 2nd amendment rights and other issues that were put to them during the session.  Health care was a big sticking point with the two as Freidenberg continues to be in favor of the affordable care act, while his opponent is in favor of other health care options.  The two will square off in a special election on primary day, May 21st with the winner headed to Washington right away to represent the district.


With the primary elections in less than three weeks, political signs are popping up all over the place.  Some of those signs in the city of Williamsport have been removed this week due to them being oversized and illegally placed on city property.  By order of the codes department, streets and parks department employees have been removing the illegal signs and placing them in the city hall basement.  Private property owners are allowed to have the signs placed in their yards as long as they are not over the size limit and don’t block the line of sight for motorists.


Police in the city of Shamokin were extremely busy yesterday.  Six officers fanned out across the city and served close to 400 warrants for various violations and crimes.  District Judge John Gembic launched the idea with police in order to clean up the outstanding citations.  In addition, Gembic says his office will launch a social media page that will list the names of those who have outstanding warrants a suggestion by the chief’s of police in Shamokin and Coal township.


With Prom time here, the Lycoming County DUI Task Force will be ramping up enforcement, with targeted enforcement on underage drinking and driving.  Task Force officials remind that no one under 21 shall have any alcohol in their system.  If they are caught drinking and driving, the .02% blood alcohol limit as well as other related offenses will be enforced.  Adults are also reminded that furnishing alcohol to minors is a misdemeanor offense and that they can be charged for each person they provide alcohol to.


Another phone scam is making its way around Northumberland County.  The DA’s office says that callers are falsely identifying themselves as a representative with publisher’s clearing house telling the person on the phone that they have won a large amount of money and other prizes with the prize patrol delivering the winnings to their home, but that they would have to pay a registration fee, and go to the bank and get the funds without telling anyone what it is for.  Publisher’s Clearing House does not charge anything to enter the sweepstakes and the DA’s office is warning residents about that and other similar types of phone scams.


State police in Milton say they will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint at a specific location at some point this month.  The checkpoint could be set up somewhere in Union, Montour or Northumberland Counties and motorists over the .08% blood alcohol limit will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  In addition, the checkpoint will be looking for those who are driving under the influence of drugs


As if the traffic problems in the area of Sunbury and Northumberland are not enough with the Duke Street Reconstruction project, PennDOT now reports that beginning on Monday, contractors will begin work on replacing a Railroad Crossing along Shikellamy Avenue in Upper Augusta Township just north of Sunbury.  Detours will be set up using Fourth Street, Market Street and Front Street while the work takes place.  Work is expected to be finished up by Friday of next week.