The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 8, 2013

Lightning chases 240 Envirothon students

— SUNBURY — When Lexie Danilowicz, a senior at Mount Carmel Area High School, saw that it would be raining during the Envirothon on Wednesday, she didn’t think much of it, since it had rained during the event before.

“We’re used to it,” she said. “As long as they provide us with a shelter, we’re OK.”

But shortly after Danilowicz and the other nearly 240 students finished their first round of testing, lightning caused the event to be postponed for the first time in the Envirothon’s more than 20-year history.

“If it’s just rain, that’s one thing, but with the lightning, it’s not safe,” said Craig Bingman, one of the event’s organizers.

The competition, held at the Shikellamy State Park overlook, was offered to ninth- through 12th-graders in Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. This year, 46 teams from 17 schools are competing.

The students huddled in groups during the early morning rain, taking shelter under one of the park’s pavilion before heading to their first of six rotations. But when lightning and thunder kicked in, organizers decided to call the event off. Students will now complete the tests in class and return them to the Envirothon committee by a certain date to determine a winner, who will attend the state competition, Bingman said.

The Envirothon normally is an event that brings students together to experience nature while testing their skills, but Wednesday’s rain was too up-close-and-personal, Bingman said.

“With the lightning, we just don’t trust it,” he said.

And organizers had good reason to worry.

A fire at an apartment building Wednesday morning in Shamokin Dam was blamed on a lightning strike, and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for most of the Valley at midday Wednesday.

The Valley was in a “sweet spot” that received anywhere from 1 to 2.5 inches of rain from Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon, said meteorologist Erik Pindrock.

At the Selinsgrove airport, 2.38 inches of rain in 15 hours was recorded, and in Milton, 1.5 inches fell, Pindrock said.

“That’s certainly quite a lot of rain,” he said.

The average amount of rain in Selisngrove is 3.70 inches for the entire month of May, Pindrock said. Getting more than half of that in 15 hours can be dangerous, he said.

“In terms of the Susquehanna River, since we haven’t had a whole lot of rain recently, there’s no immediate concerns,” he said. “It’s mostly with smaller creeks and streams that are going to rise above their banks.”

The rain this week is not over yet, with more expected this morning, though not “as rainy as (Wednesday),” Pindrock said.

Friday evening, another storm system will be rolling into the area, Pindrock said.

“I think ‘unsettled’ would be a good word for (this week’s weather),” he said.

Wednesday’s rainfall brings the year-to-date precipitation total to more than 11 inches, with the average being more than 13 inches.

Text Only
  • xfire20b.jpg Firefighters battle blaze at BJ's in Danville

    DANVILLE — A fire Sunday damaged BJ’s Steak & Rib House, 291 Mill St., and endangered a neighboring shop and apartment building.

    April 20, 2014 6 Photos

  • Chase leads to jail

    MILTON — Charges were pending Sunday against a man allegedly tied to a rash of recent burglaries in Milton borough who ran from Milton Police on Saturday.

    April 20, 2014

  • Police: 3 steal debit cards, $10G in jewelry for drug trip to NY

    NEW BERLIN — Three Valley teenagers are under investigation for allegedly stealing debit cards and roughly $10,000 in jewelry from three parked vehicles in Union County earlier this month to fund a trip to New York to buy drugs.

    April 20, 2014

  • Valley farmers keep eye out for deadly pig virus

    CAMP HILL — Pork producers across the commonwealth — and in the Valley — are on the alert for a still existing virus that last year killed 12 piglets in Pennsylvania and a million piglets around the country.

    April 20, 2014

  • 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

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.