The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 13, 2013

Prison yarn saves Snyder County thousands

SELINSGROVE - Snyder County’s female inmates have saved the county hundreds of thousands of dollars and helped local charities by picking up crochet hooks, officials say.

Started in 2009, the crochet program continues to keep inmates occupied as they create five to 10 blankets each month. The blankets are donated to hospitals, senior centers and churches.

An added bonus is the cost savings to the county, said Joe Kantz, chairman of the county commissioners.

He said the crochet program helped slash health care and related expenses by about $160,000 in the first two years due to the warning that yarn and plastic hooks would be taken away if the inmates engaged in fighting.

Warden Ruth Rush said prior to the program being introduced, corrections officers had to break up about one fight a month that often required outside medical attention and staff overtime.

In the four years since, she said, there have been no physical altercations among the women.

Instead, much of their spare time is spent making blankets, hats, mittens and other items using donated yarn.

One inmate recently spent two weeks crocheting a large afghan that will be raffled for charity at the 85th annual Beaver Community Fair in Beaver Springs that begins Sunday.

Blankets are donated monthly to newborns and seniors, and organizations also make special requests for items such as the slippers for cancer victims. Those were recently commissioned by a cancer survivor support group.

Commissioner Malcolm Derk said the inmates are often grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community.

“We’ve gotten some wonderful letters from former inmates,” he said, citing one note from a parent who said the program allowed her to reconnect with her children by giving her a chance to make something for them despite being locked up.

Prison clerk Beverly Foltz said more yarn is needed and asked that donations be brought to the jail at 600 Old Colony Road in Selinsgrove.

Text Only
  • 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

  • Penn State police: Three posed nude at Nittany shrine

    STATE COLLEGE — Penn State police say three male students who reportedly posed nude for a photo at the university’s Nittany Lion Shrine face school discipline.

    April 18, 2014

  • State unemployment rate drops to 6 percent in March

    HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s jobless rate has continued its steady decline. The state Department of Labor and Industry says unemployment fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 6 percent in March.

    April 18, 2014

  • Report: Pennsylvania forests impacted by drilling

    PITTSBURGH — A small portion of Pennsylvania state forest land has been impacted by shale gas drilling, but many questions remain about how to manage the politically sensitive issue that is opposed by many residents, according to a new report.

    April 18, 2014

  • TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Route 45 east of Montandon

    MONTANDON — A paving project is slowing traffic today on Route 45 east of Montandon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Accident victims remain in critical condition this morning

    DANVILLE - Victims from serious traffic accidents the past two days remain in critical condition this morning at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

    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.