The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


December 29, 2012

2012: The Valley in Review


Susquehanna has drug problem

Chemical amounts near city among highest in state

Aug. 3. Sunbury. New data from a federal analysis of water quality in Pennsylvania rivers show that the Susquehanna River near Sunbury had levels of pharmaceuticals, hormones and antibiotics higher than most other waterways in the state, and a sample site near Danville found higher concentrations of cholesterol than any other location in the commonwealth.

The study found caffeine, acetaminophen, an anti-convulsion medicine and antibiotics, none of which are removed in conventional drinking water treatment processes.

Andrew G. Reif, project manager for the U.S. Geological Survey team said that its research was commissioned by the Department of Environmental Protection after similar national studies revealed worrisome pharmaceutical levels nationwide.

Kin flee toxic cloud

Drilling tanker leaks 250 gallons of hydrochloric acid, stops in Union

Aug. 11. New Columbia. Amanda Friend and her family were among five households evacuated from their homes late Thursday after a Halliburton truck hauling 4,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid began spewing the toxic chemical on Interstate 80 and pulled into a neighboring convenience store.

“There was a huge plume in the air and it was just getting bigger and bigger,” Friend said Friday, several hours after the incident at the Short Stop Mart parking lot in White Deer Township, Union County.

It was about 10:20 p.m. Thursday when Gregory Pellicer Jr., 28, of Lawton, Okla., noticed a cloud billowing behind the Halliburton Energy Services tanker he was driving east on Interstate 80 as he and co-driver Nicklaus Cunningham, 38, of Semmes, Ala., were headed from Homer City, Indiana County, to Montrose, Susquehanna County, state police at Milton said.

Pellicer pulled off the highway and into the Short Stop Mart parking lot off Route 15, and he and Cunningham immediately began working to contain the leak, troopers said.

Ex-firefighters admit arsons

They face decades in prison

Aug. 14. Danville. Two former Potts Grove firefighters pleaded guilty Monday to torching a barn, two vacant homes and a field under plea agreements that will keep them in state prison for decades.

Zane Patrick Snyder, 19, of 948 Sodom Road, Milton, faces a maximum sentence of 52 years and $135,000 in fines. In Pennsylvania, defendants typically serve half of the maximum. Snyder’s co-defendent, Charles William Jacobs, 35, of 118 N. Fifth St., Lewisburg, agreed to a plea deal with a 66-year maximum sentence and $145,000 in fines.

Snyder received a better deal because “he was the first to come forward to police and implicated Mr. Jacobs,” Montour County District Attorney Rebecca Warren said following the pleas Monday.

Each pleaded guilty to several arson counts and conspiracy to commit arson, risking a catastrophe, recklessly endangering others and making false reports.

Other charges, including burglary, will be dismissed.

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • Bad Year in Washington: Mitt Romney//

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

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    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.

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  • Armstrong, Houston Among Notable Deaths of 2012//

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

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  • 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.

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  • Top 10 books of 2012

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

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