A Walmart Asset Protection Associate was the key to Rebecca Austin, 40, of Illion, N.Y. getting charged for her role in a retail theft operation. Austin, charged with a third-degree felony of retail theft, when at the Walmart in Athens, she attempted to push a cart of merchandise, valued at $1,058.84, out of the store. According to Northcentralpa.com a video was provided to Athens Township police. Austin was stopped and questioned by the Walmart associate. She provided a McDonald’s receipt and left without the merchandise. Court records show Austin entered a guilty plea on April 12 and is currently awaiting sentencing.
Approximately $300,000 of COVID-19 relief funding involved in a money laundering scheme landed charges for two Bloomsburg residents. Darryl Corradini, 63, and Vicki Hackenberg, 57, were charged on April 13, 2021, by a federal grand jury. The two were charged with perpetrating a bank fraud and money laundering scheme.The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, reported the money was relief dollars which were guaranteed by the Small Business Administration through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). According to a news outlet, the case was investigated by the IRS, Criminal Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo is prosecuting the case.
An employee who tested positive for COVID-19 closed the library Thursday afternoon. The Herr Memorial Library in Mifflinburg, to open on Thursday, April 22.All library staff who were potentially exposed will be screened and monitored before returning to work and the building will undergo a thorough cleaning during its closure, according to an online media source. Visit the library’s website for updates and online services available
CHILD ENDANGERMENT AND ASSAULT
Seven felonies, stemming from an incident April 1, were charged by the Hemlock Township Police on a 22-year-old man from Haverford. Matthew Burnham Abraham is charged with fleeing from police and allegedly assaulting a 13-year-old juvenille. The short lived pursuit ended when Abraham’s vehicle struck a curb that caused significant damage. Officers reported to Northcentralpa.com, the 13-year-old juvenile admitted to having sex with Abraham, who was held on $150,000 monetary bail that was set on April 1. His bail was posted on April 6 by Surety Bonds.
STATUTORY SEXUAL ASSAULT
A preliminary hearing on charges of rape of a child, statutory sexual assault and other charges was bound over trial for a Hughesville man. Aaron L. Clark, of Boak Avenue, Hughesville, is alleged, on three occasions in 2016 in Porter Township, to have had sexually assaulted a 9-year-old female child, according to the office of Clinton County District Attorney Dave Strouse. The victim, now 15, testified at the preliminary hearing. Clark was originally released on unsecured bail in the amount of $50,000. According to a media outlet, the DA’s office has a pending motion filed with the Clinton County Court of Common Pleas to amend bail to a monetary amount, describing the current bail as “ridiculous.” A bail modification hearing is anticipated to occur in the coming days, the DA’s office said.
MILL HALL ELEMENTARY REMOTE LEARNING TODAY
Due to the number of COVID cases in the student population, the Mill Hall Elementary is remote learning for today, according to an online media source. Keystone Central School District Superintendent Jacquelyn Martin made the announcement yesterday afternoon. She continued by saying, the building will be closed for sanitation and deep cleaning. We expect to return to regular instruction on Monday, April 19, 2021 and will make updates if additional closure days are necessary.
COVID-19 NUMBERS FOR TODAY
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has provided updated COVID-19 numbers and locally Lycoming 53; Clinton 30; Tioga 5; Sullivan 1 and Northumberland 24. At Bucknell University, 57 have active cases on campus (55 students and two faculty/staff and 47% of the university’s isolation space is in use.) At Susquehanna University, there are 12 active cases overall, 11 among students and one among faculty/staff.
JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE PAUSE
Pennsylvania on Thursday extended its “pause” on use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by another four days after federal government health advisers said they need more time to investigate reports of rare blood clots. The state Health Department told vaccine providers to refrain from using J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine until April 24, or until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration issues new guidance.The CDC said Wednesday that one of the cases involved a 26-year-old Pennsylvania woman who has since recovered.Vaccine providers in Pennsylvania had administered more than 6.7 million vaccine doses to date, of which a small fraction, about 247,000 doses, were supplied by J&J, according to the Health Department.
FELONY CHARGES ON EX-POLICE OFFICER BOUND OVER FOR COURT
All felony charges filed against ex-Williamsport Police officer Eric B. Derr are now bound over for court. The case went before Union County Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Rowe yesterday. Derr, 36, a former police officer, is accused by the Pa. Attorney General’s Office of running unauthorized JNET searches between 2015 and 2020 on approximately 26 different women. According to a media outlet, the Pa. Attorney General’s Office re-filed the charges, previously dismissed by Lycoming County Magisterial District Judge Allen P Page III on Feb 9, against Derr in a new criminal complaint on Feb. 25. Judge Rowe determined that the Commonwealth established their prima facie case against Derr and his case now advances to the Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas. Derr is scheduled for a formal arraignment on May 3.
911 MEMORIAL RIDE
State Rep. Joe Hamm, visited the Muncy Township Supervisors’ meeting to address the rescinded motorcycle ride in memory of the September 11 attacks. According to Hamm, PennDOT discovered a regulation requiring each municipality the memorial ride travelled through to approve and carry insurance and also hold harmless PennDOT during the event. According to the SUN Gazette, when the host municipalities failed to accomplish this, the memorial ride could not continue last year. So, Hamm said the general assembly is trying to fast-track a bill to override these requirements before May.
The death of a gas drilling company worker is under investigation by both state and federal authorities. Cabot Oil & Gas reported a contract worker required an ambulance on Monday night, shortly after midnight in Rush Township, Susquehanna County. The company released a report, saying the person was transported to Montrose Hospital and was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN FROM THE BOARDER
About 150 unaccompanied children found at the southern border of the U.S. have arrived in northwestern Pennsylvania and will be housed at a dormitory at the Pennsylvania International Academy. The Pennsylvania International Academy is designated as an emergency intake site by the department. Six children were assigned to each room in the 648-capacity dormitory, with more children expected in the future, the department said. Governors of two states, Iowa and Nebraska, are refusing to house the children.
LOYALSOCK TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT DRIVER SHORTAGE
The Loyalsock Township School District is suffering from a driver shortage. According to Dan Egly, business manager, the district lost four drivers this year and has even used other methods, such as double-shifting and taking students out of school early to accommodate. The district currently has nine bus drivers and this creates problems for daily bus runs, field trips and extracurricular activities. The answer could be in staggering starting and dismissal times for the high school-middle school students and those at Schick Elementary. According to the SUN Gazette, in order to inform residents of the district about the proposed plan and to get community input, the district is holding a meeting at 6 p.m., April 21 at the High School/Middle School Auditorium. Limited seating of about 100 is available for public attendance. The meeting will also use a virtual format with the link available on the district’s website prior to the start of the meeting.
OLD LYCOMING TOWNSHIP TO SWEAR IN NEW POLICE CHIEF
The Old Lycoming Township Supervisors, set to swear in the next township police chief at their May 7 meeting according to the SUN Gazette. The new chief will replace Joe Hope, who retired at the end of March. In other township news, the township extended its COVID-19 emergency declaration by 90 days to July 2, 2021.The supervisors will next meet May 7 at 7 p.m.
ACCIDENT FIRE RULINGS
The early-morning fire Monday at 1605 Scott St. has been ruled accidental, according to city Platoon Chief Sam Aungst. A media outlet reported the fire, originated around a humidifier in the basement and spread on all three floors, Aungst said. Two porch fires that broke out on April 8 in the city’s Newberry neighborhood have been ruled accidental, Aungst said. The fires at 2500 W. Fourth St. and 2116 Newberry St. were both caused by smoking materials
JULY 2016 ATTACK ARREST
Recently there has been another arrest for the alleged involvement in a burglary and subsequent attack on a couple that occurred nearly five years ago in the 300 block of Yeagle Road in Wolf Township. Convicted felon Ronald Shoop Jr., 31, was arraigned before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on numerous felony charges in connection with the attack that occurred on July 7, 2016. The SUN Gazette reported the kidnapping charge stems from him and co-defendant Sheldon Spotts, tying up the couple with electric cords and duct tape in the basement.