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.