Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Local News-Wednesday, Oct. 25th

Inspectors from state and federal mining agencies descended into the Buck Mountain slope yesterday as the investigation continues in a deadly mining accident. The exact cause of the accident which claimed the life of Dale Reightler of Donaldson is still unknown, but authorities are still focusing on some sort of explosive event as the culprit at the R & D Coal Company in Tremont Township. Inspectors got their first real opportunity to examine the mine closely Tuesday because ventilation systems in the shaft were inoperable Monday, when the accident happened. Officials also say that there were 7 men in the mine at the time of the accident, not six as previously stated.

Five people were arrested in a drug bust in Shamokin Monday. Shamokin City Police say that Heather Pickering, Phillip Shaffer, and Dave Payne, all of Shamokin, and 17-year-old-males from Trevorton and Kulpmont were picked up Monday night for various drug related offenses. Authorities say Pickering was making a delivery of marijuana to a confidential informant Monday night in downtown Shamokin. She is also charged with stealing a vehicle in the city Sunday. The five are charged with numerous felony counts of possession and intent to deliver pot and heroin and related charges. Pickering and Shaffer were arraigned and taken to Northumberland County Prison. Payne was charged by a court summons. One of the juveniles was released to the custody of his grandparents, and the other taken to a juvenile detention facility in Bellefonte.

A controversial landfill proposal in Blythe Township will come to the public stage in December. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a public hearing to consider the permit request to build the Blythe Township Recycling and Demolition Site Landfill. The hearing is scheduled for December 5th at 7pm at the DHH Lengel Middle School. The proposed landfill has raised the ire of residents who are concerned about the environmental impact of the dump. The site is located very close to the Wolf Creek Reservoir, which provides water to several regional communities.

Revisions to Schuylkill County's Municipal Waste Management Plans will net the county some reimbursement dollars from the state. Pennsylvania DEP officials announced the release of $189-thousand-dollars to Berks, Elk and Schuylkill counties for 80 percent of the costs to change those plans. Schuylkill County will receive $20,770-dollars. Each county in Pennsylvania is required to submit municipal waste plans for refuse generated in the county.

The state is stepping up with funds to help rail transportation providers, including some in the region. Governor Ed Rendell announced the investment of $20 million to help 11 railroads and 10 businesses undergo rail-freight improvement projects, stimulate economic development and reduce traffic congestion. Through the investment in these projects, nearly 13-hundred jobs will be created, over 13-thousand jobs will be maintained and required truck trips will be reduced by over 589-thousand-annually. In Schuylkill County, Green Renewable Energy, Ethanol & Nutrition Holding, LLC will receive $1.61 million for the first phase of a project to construct track and switches to connect the plant to the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern's Good Springs Branch to allow for the inbound shipment of ethanol and future shipments of bulk agriculture products used to produce ethanol. Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad will receive $600-thousand-dollars in support of the same project. Track improvements will be placed on the Tremont Branch to allow the railroad to handle inbound traffic more efficiently.

A Lost Creek man will be charged with supplying alcohol to minors. Rush Township police report that 23-year-old Joseph Treshock faces charges of supplying alcohol to minors and possessing drug paraphernalia after an incident at a Marian High School football game Friday. Police discovered Treshock, 18-year-old Nichole Treshock of Lost Creek and 19-year-old Lawrence Frantz Jr. of Shenandoah in a car drinking and smoking pot. They will have to answer to charges in District Court.

No one was hurt following a crash on Interstate 81 yesterday afternoon. 52-year-old David Cowhig of Alexandria, Virginia and his passenger were southbound on the Interstate when he fell asleep at the wheel. His car drifted off the side of the road and hit the guiderail. Cowhig's car had to be towed from the scene. He will be cited by State Police for careless driving.


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