The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 12, 2013

Vandals cause $4,000 in damages at New Columbia church

NEW COLUMBIA — Vandals twice broke into a New Columbia church this week, busting their way through a door, trashing the sanctuary, then ruining electronics by urinating on them and writing graffiti on the walls, authorities said.

State police at Milton are investigating the entries at God’s Missionary Church on Ridge Road, which are believed to have occurred late Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Pastor Matthew Ellison discovered the first break-in Wednesday when he found a door had been damaged and was “just shocked” when he found Thursday the church had been broken into again.

“I thought surely, they wouldn’t be so stupid as to come back to the scene and do it again,” Ellison said Thursday. “But sure enough, this morning I found the door and window had been pushed in again.”

The first invasion saw the whole worship area trashed. Services were held in the church Wednesday night after the mess was cleaned up. The second time, the vandals focused exclusively on Ellison’s study, he said.

“Soda, Windex, water, anything liquid, they emptied it on the carpet,” Ellison said. Books and the American flag were thrown about. Water was poured over laptops, the copier, a paper shredder and other electronic equipment.

At one point, the culprits crawled into the ceiling and fell through into Ellison’s office, where they urinated all over the place. The ceiling fan was ripped down as well.

There were derogatory remarks written on walls and chalkboards, Ellison said.

Nothing was stolen, which leads Ellison to believe the perpetrators may be young, inexperienced criminals. “They walked right past musical instruments, a jar of money, things of good value,” he said. “We have bookcases galore, but hardly any of that was touched.”

He said he has no idea who would do such a thing to the church, which has been on Ridge Road for about 16 years. Neighbors are keeping an eye on the church while officials await the insurance adjuster and a security systems company to outfit the place.

After the first invasion, Ellison estimated the damage to be more than $4,000. Now with the second incident, “We’re waiting for the insurance adjuster to come tell us what we’re looking at,” he said.

But these incidents won’t stop worship in the church. “We’ll carry on this Sunday, and we begin our vacation Bible school next week,” Ellison said.

State police are studying fingerprints found at the scene. They ask anyone with information to call the barracks at (570) 524-2662.

Text Only
  • Loaded language

    Sometimes it’s the offhand remark that’s the most telling. Indeed, the way we Americans casually, often unthinkingly, incorporate gun metaphors into our everyday slang says a lot about how deeply embedded guns are in our culture and our politics, and how difficult it is to control or extract them. Consider this list, presented as bullet points — which are themselves so conventional, so central to the typography of mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations, that you can forget what their shape represents.

    April 20, 2014

  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website ( is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.

    April 19, 2014

  • Danville parents hope strike ends quickly

    DANVILLE ““ First-grader Madison Wild was sad she missed school Thursday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Schools ask state to waive 180-day rule

    Three area school districts have asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to add up their hours instead of their days in order to reach the required amount of instruction time in the school year.

    April 19, 2014

  • Former Bucknell star in NBA playoffs

    ATLANTA — It really hit Mike Muscala a few days ago when he was listening to the Nets’ starting lineup at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

    April 19, 2014

  • State: Discard raw milk from Greenfield Dairy

    MIDDLEBURG — Consumers should discard raw milk purchased recently from the Greenfield Dairy of Middleburg, which also has temporarily suspended production after Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in the product following routine testing, the state Department of Agriculture announced today.

    April 18, 2014

The Daily Marquee

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.