Senator Gene Yaw to Hold Telephone Town Hall Discussion About Opioid Addiction June 13

13412973_1065897653501804_5276507098264104434_nPennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw (R-23)  announced that there will be a town hall discussion via telephone regarding opioid and heroin addiction in Pennsylvania on Monday, June 13th, 2016.

Residents of Lycoming, Bradford, Union, Susquehanna, and Sullivan counties, and any other Pennsylvania resident, is invited to the special town hall discussion. The one hour telephone discussion will be held from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Those who attend the discussion will have the opportunity to ask questions. You may sign up for the telephone discussion at senatorgeneyaw.com. The call in number for the discussion is (877) 229-8493, and the PIN is 111880.

Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania Barry Denk and Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board Member and Professor of Nursing at Clarion University Dr. Nancy Falvo will be guests at the discussion. There will be a live audio stream that people on computers, tablets, and smartphones can listen to as well as ask Yaw questions. Right before the event begins, there will be a link to the event at senatorgeneyaw.com.

The 10th public hearing about the opioid and heroin problem in Pennsylvania was held on Thursday, June 2nd, by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bicameral and bipartisan legislative research agency, and it is a part of the General Assembly. The hearings started in 2014. Yaw was the chairman of the hearings. Two reports were produced in 2014 and 2015 as a result of the hearings. The reports outline legislative recommendations and include testimony. A third report is expected to be released in 2016.

Williamsport Man Faces Weapon, Drug Charges Stemming From 2015 Shooting Death of Woman

A Williamsport man is now facing charges in connection with a fatal shooting in which a Williamsport woman was killed.

Keith K. Freeman Jr., who is currently on parole, was allegedly involved in drug activity. According to a Sun-Gazette report, Williamsport police Agent Trent Peacock said that the alleged drug activity may have had something to do with the fatal shooting of Carolyn Barr. Barr, who is Freeman Jr.’s aunt, was fatally shot outside of Freeman Jr.’s home on Brandon Avenue on October 13th, 2015. Knowledge D. Frierson, 23, is facing homicide and weapon charges in connection with that fatal shooting.

According to Peacock, Freeman was arrested and charged with carrying a firearm without a license, possession of heroin, tampering with evidence, and reckless endangering. According to what Peacock stated in court papers, Freeman allegedly “engag[ed] in the sale of narcotics out of his home which recklessly endangered his family and resulted in the shooting death of Barr”.

According to police, Freeman escorted Barr from his 421 Brandon Avenue residence at approximately 9:50 p.m. on October 13th of last year. Then, Freeman and Frierson allegedly both fired shots. A bullet allegedly hit Barr’s abdomen. She was taken to Williamsport Regional Medical Center and she passed away after about an hour. It was Barr’s 56th birthday. Freeman allegedly fired a shot that hit Frierson’s pelvis. Frierson was also taken to Williamsport Regional Medical Center and he allegedly would not answer questions by police. According to police, the gun which Frierson allegedly fired was a stolen gun. The gun was recovered by police, and it was located close to the scene.

According to Peacock, police searched Freeman’s home and allegedly discovered heroin, 13 bags in all, at the top of a bathroom cabinet. According to Peacock in an affidavit, Freeman allegedly admitted to police that he had a concealed revolver on his person and that he allegedly fired at Frierson when he started to flee the scene. After the shooting, Freeman allegedly left the home. A day later, he showed up at police headquarters in order to be questioned.

Two days after the death of Barr, Freeman showed police the steps he allegedly took when he allegedly pursued Frierson. He pointed out the area where he allegedly tossed the gun. According to Peacock in an affidavit, police looked in the bushes but did not find gun. According to Peacock, Freeman allegedly admitted to ditching the gun due to his probation.

Freeman had called Barr so she could pick up his fiancee Karina Washington from work. According to Peacock, Freeman did not want Washington to have to walk home because a man allegedly came to his door and asked for someone unknown to Freeman. Freeman believed the man could have been armed as one hand was in his pants pocket.

During questioning last month, Freeman allegedly admitted that he sold marijuana from the home. He was allegedly afraid that Frierson was going to “rob him”, according to what Peacock stated in court papers. Freeman allegedly believed Frierson was going to rob him because there were other robberies in Williamsport.

After Freeman’s arraignment in front of District Judge Allen P. Page III, he met his $12,500 bail. Freeman waived his preliminary hearing. Frierson is currently in Lycoming County Prison. At this time, Frierson is not eligible for bail. His preliminary hearing is on Friday, June 10th, in front of Page. Please remember that the accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Two Vehicle Williamsport Collision Injures Two

Two people were injured when a Jeep collided with a car in Williamsport on Monday, June 6th.

35-year-old Nicole Caputo of Williamsport was driving a Jeep Liberty in the area of Mulberry Street and Washington Boulevard. Donald Karaffa of Loyalsock Township was driving a car in the same area when the two vehicles collided at approximately 10:15 a.m. After the vehicles collided, the Jeep Liberty rolled over.

According to police, Caputo and her passenger, a 2-year-old girl, had minor injuries. They were both taken to Williamsport Regional Medical Center for treatment. Karaffa is not believed to have been injured.

Southern Tioga School Board to Vote on 2016-2017 Budget June 9

Southern Tioga School District logoOn Thursday, June 9th, the Southern Tioga School District school board will vote on a budget for the 2016-2017 school year.

The $29.8 million budget includes a 3.1 percent tax increase for Tioga County property owners, as well as a 2.75 tax increase for Lycoming County property owners that live within the Southern Tioga School District. On Monday, May 9th, the school board voted 6-3 on the proposed final budget. Director John Ritter, who has spoken against a real estate tax increase, along with Ivan Erway and Michele McDermott, voted against the budget due to the real estate tax increase. President Stephen Guillaume along with Directors John Martin, James Kreger, Julie Miller, Sandra Olson, and Sean Bartlett voted for the budget. The 3.1 percent tax increase is the maximum amount that is allowed under Act 1.

There is still a projected deficit of $571,000 with the real estate tax increase. Ritter proposed keeping the tax increase at 1.55 percent. The deficit would be increased by around $150,000 with that tax rate.

The increase in salaries and benefits will be approximately $72,000. Business manager Kathy Ciaciulli said that the increase is because of a board approved part-time paraprofessional position being created as well as more game managers. Ciaciulli also said that the board expects to spend around $4 million more by the end of the year. She also explained that there was a revenue decrease of $37,000. However, local revenues increased by $28,000 because of delinquent taxes being collected.

Tioga County’s millage rate will increase to 16.51 mills. In Lycoming County, the millage rate will increase to 16.06 mills.

The school board also talked about demolishing the old North Penn High School building. District Superintendent Sam Rotella recommended demolishing it over closing it, selling it, or renting it. He recommended hiring McClure to carry out the project. Kreger agreed with Rotella on hiring McClure for the project while Martin did not. Ritter recommended bidding out the project. Guiliaume did not want to bid out the project because someone would have to be hired in order to supervise the demolition. The school board will decide the fate of the old North Penn High School building at its meeting on Thursday, June 9th.

 

Stolen Handgun Allegedly Found After Williamsport Traffic Stop, Three Charged

A traffic stop in Williamsport on Friday, June 3rd, resulted in theft and drug charges for three people.

The car was pulled over when a city patrolman noticed that its brake light was out. The police officer searched the trunk and found a handgun that was allegedly stolen from an Elizabethtown store.

According to an affidavit, Patrolman Jason Dockey was headed north on Campbell Street’s 600 block in a marked patrol car. Dockey observed a purple Honda Accord which was parked in a south direction. The people in the vehicle were allegedly smoking, according to Dockey in the affidavit. Dockey drove north to Louisa Street before making a U-turn and returning to Campbell Street. The car drove off and traveled to Park Avenue. Then, Dockey noticed that the car’s brake lights were not working.

Later, Dockey located the car parked in the back of West Fourth Street’s 700 block. At that time, it looked like there was just one person in the right front passenger seat. According to Dockey in the affidavit, he left before driving by a few times. Dockey observed people standing near the car. After awhile, Dockey saw the vehicle headed east on Edwin Street. A traffic stop was conducted due to the brake lights not working at approximately 11:40 a.m. on Edwin Street’s 400 block.

According to what 24-year-old Jasmine K. Alston of Edgewood, MD, told police, the car was hers. Alston explained that she and 19-year-old Tydric L. Richardson, also of Edgewood, MD, were in the area in order to pick up 25-year-old Parrise M. Valentine, also of Edgewood, MD. Alston also allegedly told police that “roaches”, or already used marijuana cigarettes, were located in the center console area within a portable ashtray. Alston handed the ashtray to Williamsport Patrolman Eric Derr. In addition, police allegedly discovered two empty plastic bags containing marijuana. Police conducted a search of the vehicle and found an additional marijuana cigarette. A field test showed that the substance found in the vehicle tested positive for marijuana. When police searched the trunk, they found a black handgun containing serial numbers. According to police, the handgun was in a green bag that also had size 32 shorts in it. There was also women’s shoes and clothing in the trunk, according to police. Neither Alston, Richardson, or Valentine said that they owned the handgun.

When police checked the serial number on the handgun, they discovered that it had allegedly been stolen from the Trop Gun Shop in Elizabethtown. According to police, the handgun was reported to be stolen on Sunday, May 29th. The Northwest Regional Lancaster County Police filed the stolen gun report, and they were able to confirm that the handgun was stolen after police talked with a detective.

According to an affidavit, Alston, Richardson, and Valentine each face the following charges: receiving stolen property, possession of a small amount of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. They are currently in Lycoming County Prison and their bail was set at $120,000 a piece by District Judge Christian D. Frey. Their preliminary hearings are on June 14th at 9:30 a.m. Please remember that the accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

According to what Richardson told Frey, he had a previous juvenile court charge that has to do with marijuana. According to what Alston told Frey, she currently has a pending charge for resisting arrest in Edgewood, Maryland. Alston also said that was previously on probation for possession of marijuana. According to what Valentine told Frey, she was previously on probation for possession of marijuana and unlawful use of a credit card. Valentine said that she had been found guilty of those two charges.

 

Van Crashes into Williamsport Home, One Injured

A van crashed into a Williamsport residence on Saturday, June 4th.

According to the Old Lycoming Township Police Department, a 17-year-old female was driving the van which crashed into a home located at 64 Grimesville Road at around half past 11:00 p.m. Corey and Drema Hall are the owners of the home. The foundation and front porch were both damaged in the crash.

According to a Sun-Gazette report, some pipes that carry water to the home were broken in the crash. Corey Hall told the Sun-Gazette that he swiftly turned the water off. The girl, who was injured, was taken to Williamsport Regional Medical Center via ambulance. Her injuries are not considered to be life threatening.

Williamsport Woman May Be Missing

Stephanie Embick
Stephanie Embick

A Williamsport woman has not been seen for three weeks, and her family is worried about her.

According to the Williamsport Bureau of Police, Stephanie Embick has not contacted her family in three weeks. The last time Embick was seen, she was in the area of Williamsport. If you have any information about where Embick is, you are asked to call police at (570) 433-3166 or (570) 327-7560. When you call, refer to incident number 16-04908.

Wrong Way Ramp Sign Project Starts on Route 15 June 6th, Ramp Shoulder Closures Expected

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, a wrong way ramp sign project begins on Monday, June 6th, on Route 15.

The project will affect several locations on Route 15 from the Third Street Interchange in Williamsport to the Route 49 Interchange located in Tioga County. The following work will be done: signing, pavement markings, delineators, and other construction work. There will be ramp shoulder closures in effect throughout the duration of the project. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of July.

The project costs $180,000. The prime contractor is Morgan Rail, Inc. As always, drivers should be extra aware when driving in work zone areas.

 

Linden Man Allegedly Said He Would Shoot Caseworkers and Police, Arrested

According to the Pennsylvania State Police in an affidavit, a Linden man is facing assault charges after he allegedly said he would shoot two Lycoming County Children and Youth caseworkers who visited his home on Wednesday, June 1st.

Two caseworkers from Lycoming County Children and Youth visited 25-year-old Joshua E. Harer’s home at about 10:55 a.m. in order to check on a male child, according to police. The mother of the child is Kayla Hockenberry-Soloman. The caseworkers noticed that a shotgun was allegedly leaning against a wall and shells for the gun were allegedly on a nightstand located close to the gun.

The caseworkers believed that the home was not suitable due to the gun and the condition the home was in. Harer allegedly got mad when the caseworkers began discussing emergency custody for the boy, according to police. The police record states that Harer allegedly said, “I’m going to f*****g shoot you if you don’t leave my property.” Harer also allegedly stated that he would shoot the police once they responded.

According to what the caseworkers told police, Harer allegedly yelled “I’m going to shoot you” around thirty times when they ran from the residence. State police were on scene at about 11:15 a.m. Harer was taken into custody and the child was recovered. Arrest reports state that police also took the gun, which was a Remington model 870 shotgun. According to an affidavit, someone at the scene told police that Harer allegedly attempted to hide the shotgun by placing it in a different room.

According to police, Harer’s mother Gloria Harer allegedly removed a glass marijuana pipe from her son’s pocket when he was being handcuffed. Gloria allegedly hid the pipe beneath the car.

Harer is facing charges including terroristic threats, interference with child custody, aggravated assault, simple assault, harassment, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is currently in jail, and his bail is set at $50,000. Please remember that the accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.