MAN INDICTED       

A Federal Grand Jury in Williamsport last week handed down an indictment for a Columbia County man accused of distributing a lethal dosage of drugs which killed a man last July.  NothcentralPA.com reports that 36 year old Jeffery Jones of Orangeville sold the lethal dosage of heroin and fentanyl to a person who died from that dosage.  An investigation was conducted by police in Scott Township as well as state police and the FBI.  He has been charged with drug trafficking resulting in a person’s death and could face up to 20 years in prison as well as a million dollar fine if found guilty.

TWO INJURED IN AREA CRASH

A one vehicle crash on Saturday morning in Northern Lycoming County sent two persons to the hospital with injuries.  An unidentified man was driving on Route 15 near Powy’s Curve in Lewis Township around 11am on Saturday when he hydroplaned on the roadway during a downpour with the car going out of control and overturn. The driver and his unidentified female passenger were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Their conditions were not released.  No one else was involved in that crash. 

FIRE IN NIPPENOSE TOWNSHIP

Firefighters were called out to what was termed a working house fire in Nippenose Township early yesterday morning. The fire was reported around 12:30 at a house in the 200 block of Nippenose Road.  Firefighters arrived at the scene and were there for about an hour.  No word on if there were any injuries and an amount of damage was not released.  The cause of that Nippenose Township fire is unknown at this time and no other details are available. 

TWO JAILED FOLLOWING BURGLARY ATTEMPT

A burglary attempt in South Williamsport on Thursday night resulted in the arrest of two teens.  Police say that 19 year old Lanner Boyce of Williamsport was helping 18 year old Galen Smith of South Williamsport try and enter an apartment at a building at 815 West Southern Avenue sometime past 9:30 on Thursday night to recover $800 in cash,. The two were caught and though Smith got away, Boyce was detained by the apartment occupant and taken into custody by police   Smith was later taken into custody as well and the two have been charged with burglary, trespass, and other counts and are jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.

UNIVERSITIES IN DANGER OF CLOSING

Consolidation of degree programs, revamping the way they do marketing and even the possibility of closing schools are on the table for the State System of Higher Education which has seen enrollment at many of its 14 state owned universities decrease due to a number of factors.  Officials with the system were before the state senate appropriations committed during a budget hearing last week, looking for more state funding, and saying that amongst the options for the system which is losing money is the closing of some of its schools including Mansfield, Clarion, Edinboro and Cheyney Universities.

TORNADO TOUCHES DOWN IN OUR REGION

It has been confirmed that it was an EF-2 tornado with wind speeds of up to 120mph that roared through sections of Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties on Saturday evening.  Hardest hit was a section of the Pittston Area where homes and other buildings were destroyed, trees were uprooted and other damage was done by the twister.  No one was reported injured, and an amount of damage has not yet been totaled up as clean up and evaluation continues there. 

PROTESTORS WANT TOWN MEETING

Some fifty protestors made their way to U.S. Representative Tom Marino’s office on Friday demanding a town hall meeting with the congressman.  Following Thursday evening’s demonstration on health care outside UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center while Marino was inside speaking to doctors, demonstrators gathered outside Marino’s office along Commerce Park Drive calling on the congressman to attend a town hall meeting on March 16th.  Marino was not in the office at the time, and following a talk with staffers there, it was not clear whether he would agree to attend a meeting.

STATE POLICE ASK FOR FUNDING 

The State Senate Appropriations Committee was busy last week with various budget hearings.  On Thursday they heard from State Police officials asking that the legislature pass the governor’s proposal to levy a $25 dollar per person fee for each individual affected by full-time state police coverage.  It’s hoped the fee which would be levied through the various municipalities would raise about $63 million dollars, some of which would be used to train new state police offices.  State Police Colonel Tyree Blocker told senators that it cos $600 million dollars annually for full-time state police coverage which would come out to $234 dollars per person.