The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 10, 2012

Cheers and jeers

Daily Item

---- — Jeers: To the state Department of Public Welfare, led by Secretary Gary Alexander, which has failed to come up with a solution to cope with the fact that a move to consolidate payroll functions left the few remaining service providers overwhelmed by work. The debacle has left more than 1,700 aides for disabled individuals working without pay for close to two months.

By the end of last week, state lawmakers were saying that they have been unable to get a clear answer from DPW about what will be done to solve the problem or prevent it from happening again.

Cheers: To Sunbury Mayor David Persing for having the perspicacity to recognize that the athletic complex on North Fourth Street might be an inviting target for criminals. The mayor, months ago, suggested that the complex be among the areas covered by the city's federally funded surveillance cameras. His predictions came true last week when thieves attempted to make disassemble bleachers in a bid to sell the metal for scrap. Unfortunately, the cameras were not in place yet.

Cheers: To police in Colorado who apprehended the Valley's most wanted fugitive: Kurt Keiper, who fled Snyder County earlier this year before sentencing on charges that he had swindled numerous victims out of $340,000.

Jeers: To the Teamsters Union and others involved in pushing to get a labor board to reverse a decision to eliminate one of the assistant district attorney positions in Northumberland County.

The union had appealed the decision on behalf of former ADA John Muncer. The only problem: Muncer no longer wants the job. After the board ordered the county to give Muncer his old job back, Muncer declined the position, saying he'd rather keep the assistant solicitor position -- also with the county.

Cheers: To the members of the Penn State football team who reacted with laudable equanimity after kicker Sam Ficken muffed four field goals, including an effort that went wide left as time expired in the Nittany Lions' 17-16 loss to the University of Virginia.

"We just told (Ficken) to hold his heads up, we're all going through the same thing," said cornerback Stephon Morris.

The 2012 season is going to be one struggle after another for the Nittany Lions, and their best hope is to remain committed to working as a team to get better.