The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 13, 2013

Cheers and jeers


Daily Item

---- — Cheers: To Rebecca Haines, an 11-year-old who in her first appearance at the Pennsylvania Farm Show won the state High School Rodeo breakaway roping title. Unfazed by performing before a crowd of 7,000, and by riding atop a horse borrowed after her trusted JayLo came up lame, the Mifflinburg sixth-grader won the championship in 5.1 seconds on Jan. 5. Rebecca also finished first and third in goat-tying.

Cheers: To Libby Beiler, of Liberty Township, Montour County; Jeff Johnstonbaugh, of Northumberland; and the rest of the six-member Time Warp squad that Wednesday night won its sixth grand championship in nine years in the sheep-to-shawl competition at the Farm Show.

Jeers: To Brandi Lyn Baumgardner, the Beaver Springs mother who admitted Tuesday in Snyder County Court that she gave her preteen daughter drugs and continued to feed the girl's habit for four years. Baumgardner gave her daughter Fentanyl patches, crack cocaine and marijuana from the age of 12 in 2007 through July 2011. The 39-year-old pleaded guilty to a felony endangering the welfare of children charge and, when sentenced in mid-March, will face six to 16 months in jail.

Cheers: To 1990 Bucknell University graduate Bill Westenhofer, who Thursday was nominated for an Academy Award for his special effects work on the movie, "Life of Pi."

Westenhofer, who earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering from Bucknell, won an Oscar in 2008 for his visual effects work on the movie, "The Golden Compass."

Jeers: To Randy Lee Noll, the 27-year-old Snyder County Prison guard whose response to a nurse's prank was to allegedly shock her with a Taser inside the jailhouse. Noll, of Middleburg, is appealing his firing from the job he held for about three years.

Cheers: To City Councilman Todd Snyder, whose price-comparing and window-shopping enabled Sunbury to get the most for its money when spending a $200,000 grant on crime-fighting surveillance video cameras. Boxes containing the cameras arrived in the city last week, three years after Sunbury learned from former U.S. Rep. Chris Carney that the federal government would pick up the tab for the technology, which Snyder bought from a Germany company called MOBOTIX AG.

Jeers: To Northumberland County, which lacked oversight in dispersing 2009 federal funds intended to help homeless residents or those on the cusp of losing their homes, according to a state official. The county participated in a federal Housing and Urban Development program called Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing, and received $365,361 through the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Of that amount, $215,150 may have been improperly used, charges Beverly Hutzel, DCED grant manager.