CAUSES OF THREE FIRES DETERMINED

The cause of three weekend Lycoming County fires have all been ruled accidental.  A Hillside Avenue fire in the city of Williamsport caused $5,000 dollars in damage on Saturday.  Investigators say the occupants were using a gopher pest control heating device under the porch when it ignited causing that fire.  A fire at a mobile home along Route 220 in Linden which left a man homeless on Friday and caused $80,000 dollars in damage, and a fire on Saturday at a barn along Furnace run Road in Watson Township which destroyed that barn have both been determined as accidental.

WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST OFFICER

A Williamsport woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a city officer stemming from her son’s death back in January.  Nancy Robinson Westbrooks is seeking in excess of $50,000 dollars alleging negligence on behalf of city officer Jonathon Deprenda and failure of the city police department to create and enforce policies and procedures pertaining to high speed chases.  The suit stems from the death of 42 year old James Robinson whose vehicle was clipped, by Deprenda’s police cruiser as he was speeding down East Third Street on January 12th on his way to assist another officer.  Robinson’s car struck a house and caught fire, killing him.  Deprenda also faces criminal charges.

TWO INJURED IN UNION COUNTY CRASH

Two were taken to Geisinger Medical Center on Monday suffering from moderate injuries following a crash on Route 15 in White Deer Township at the White Deer exit.  The crash occurred around 4:30am as a vehicle driven by 25 year old Hayle Caris of Milton went off the roadway and struck a guardrail then flipped several times.  Both Caris and her passengers, 31 year old Jonathon Swales of Danville were transported to Geisinger.  Their conditions have not been released and no one else was involved in that Union County crash.

ANOTHER CITY RENTAL UNIT SHUTTERED

The Williamsport Codes department has shut down another city rental property found to be in violation of the city’s rental ordinance.  Codes officers have shuttered a half a duplex at 424 Cemetery Street owned by James Livermore for various violations including repeated incidences of trash outside the structure.  The house also is not registered with the city and has not been inspected.  It’s believed it is also part of an ongoing drug investigation by city police.  The tenants were ordered to move out of the place which could be shuttered for up to three months.

8 YEAR FEDERAL SENTENCE

Its 8 years in federal prison for a South Williamsport man who entered into a plea agreement in December for possessing child porn.  Police found Jeramy Brashear with up to 1,900 still images and 100 videos of sexual acts and abuse involving children.  He pleaded guilty in U.S. middle district court to possession of pornography and in addition to serving 8 years will also have to spend 10 years on supervised released once he gets out of jail.

TWO HOMELESS AFTER MOBILE HOME FIRE

A mobile home along State Route 14 north of Trout Run was destroyed by fire over the weekend leaving a mother and her daughter homeless. The fire broke out on Saturday around 6pm at a mobile home occupied by Taylor Short and her daughter.  The two were not home at the time and no one was injured.  A damage estimate was not released and fire investigators say that the amount of damage is so extensive that they have not been able to determine a cause though they do not believe it was suspicious.

A PLAN TO HELP ALLEVIATE PRISON OVERCROWDING

In an effort to alleviate some overcrowding at the Lycoming County Prison, Commissioners tomorrow are expected to vote on an agreement with the Columbia County Prison to send some prisoners there.  The agreement would allow the county to send a minimum of five prisoners to the Columbia County facility at a cost of $65 dollars per day.  If less than five, the cost would be $75 per day.  The payments would be retroactive to last Thursday when five female prisoners were sent there.  County officials say they have been dealing with overcrowding at the local facility since the beginning of the year.

MAN ACCUSED OF MOLESTING TWO YOUNG GIRLS

Charges have been filed against a Jersey Shore man accused of molesting two minor girls in locations in the borough of Jersey Shore and in Mifflin Township between 2001 and 2008.  29 year old Nathan Shaffer has been charged with multiple counts including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and corrupting the morals of a minor.  It’s not been released as to how old the girls were at the time.  Shaffer has been jailed in Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $250,000 dollars bail.

AREA GENERATION PLANT TO CLOSE

New environmental regulations which go into effect next year will help result in the loss of some jobs in our area.  A coal powered electricity generation plant which has been in operation in the Hummels Wharf Areas of Snyder County since the 1940’s has announced that it will be closing its doors in June.  Around 60 Union employees at Sunbury Generation will lose their jobs as a result. Company officials say the new regulations will not make it cost effective to continue operations at the Snyder County plant.