The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


December 29, 2012

2012: The Valley in Review

A look at the Valley's top stories each month in 2012. Compiled by Jim Birt and Stacy Hinck of The Daily Item.


Bickhart ousted as Selinsgrove manager

Jan. 4. Selinsgrove. Borough Council voted longtime borough manager John Bickhart out of office Tuesday night at their 2012 reorganization meeting.

There was no open discussion on the issue — only a quick 4-to-3 vote, a brief executive session and a very short private meeting between Bickhart and Brian Farrell, the newly appointed council president.

Shortly after the meeting, assistant borough manager and treasurer Sharon Badman was appointed the interim borough manager, after which Bickhart simply put on his coat and exited the building.

Massage turned to grope

Jan. 5. Milton. A 27-year-old Warrior Run High athletic trainer groped a member of the school’s state championship girls soccer team while other students were nearby, and sent photos of his genitals and had sex with another female student at his house while his wife wasn’t home, according to testimony at a tense preliminary hearing for Matthew M. Godfrey on Wednesday.

Godfrey, of 39 Jasper Lane, Watsontown, has been free on $75,000 bail since his Dec. 29 arrest. He appeared Wednesday before District Judge Robert Bolton on felony charges of dissemination of explicit sexual materials to a minor, corruption of minors and two counts of unlawful contact with a minor; and misdemeanor counts of corruption of minors and indecent assault.

The two teens testified in graphic terms that Godfrey, who also served for a time as the school’s assistant athletic director, engaged in “sexting,” fondled one of the girls and had consensual sex with the other at school and at his residence — while his wife wasn’t at home.

O’Brien to coach Lions

Jan. 7. Sunbury. The hiring of New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien — expected to be announced by Penn State today as the replacement for iconic head football coach Joe Paterno — has prompted heated reaction, particularly from former players who had organized a petition in support of interim coach Tom Bradley and against O’Brien.

But to those in the Boston media who know O’Brien personally and speak with him daily, he’s perceived as an honorable man, fiery and someone who won’t back down from anyone.

Ian R. Rapoport, a reporter who covers the Patriots for the Boston Herald, said O’Brien is “a great guy. You’ll love him.”

Text Only
  • 2012: The Valley in Review

    A look at the Valley's top stories each month in 2012. Compiled by Jim Birt and Stacy Hinck of The Daily Item.

    December 29, 2012

  • 2012: Voter ID law motivated Valley Dems

    A controversial Voter ID law, the splitting of the Valley into two congressional districts and Mitt Romney’s victories in all Valley counties in the race for the presidency highlighted a topsy-turvy year in Pennsylvania politics.

    December 29, 2012

  • Paterno_Joe Paterno family challenges Louis Freeh's conclusions

    STATE COLLEGE — Joe Paterno's family released its response to Penn State's report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal Sunday, attacking Louis Freeh's conclusion that the coach hid sex abuse allegations against his longtime assistant.

    February 11, 2013 1 Photo

  • Bad Year in Washington: Mitt Romney//

    Remember Mitt Romney? Tall guy, slightly awkward. Looks like a 1950s matinee idol.

    December 29, 2012

  • Bad Year in Washington: David Petraeus

    At the start of the year, retired Gen. David Petraeus was flying high. He was the director of the CIA and was often mentioned as a prospective presidential candidate.

    December 29, 2012

  • The Worst Year in Washington: The Tea Party

    The Gadsden flag, which flew proudly over the 2010 midterm elections, now lies in tatters — rent by internal disagreements, losses among its most visible standard-bearers and a growing sense that the tea party movement, which once looked like it could transform American politics, will soon be nothing more than a blip in the country's collective memory.

    December 29, 2012

  • Armstrong, Houston Among Notable Deaths of 2012//

    The first man on the moon, the first U.S. woman in space and the first black Federal Reserve member were among the notable deaths in 2012.

    December 29, 2012

  • The year in TV - from bad to worse

    Let’s get the bad news out of the way first as we recap the year in TV.

    December 29, 2012

  • Top music of 2012


    Maybe it was all the destruction from superstorm Sandy, the ugliness of the lengthy presidential campaign, or all the senseless killings, like the ones in Newtown, Conn., but so much of the music that people sought out in 2012 was fun and escapist.

    December 29, 2012

  • Top 10 books of 2012

    The year 2012 was memorable for the literary world in many ways.

    December 29, 2012

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