The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Valley

March 12, 2014

March's Names in the News Today

Here are some local people you might recognize who are in the news today:

Dr. Douglas Spotts

Dr. Douglas A. Spotts was recently named president of  The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians for 2014-2015. As president, Dr. Spotts’ duties will include presiding at all board of directors meetings, appointing commissions and committees, and making media appearances, performing interviews, and acting as spokesman. The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians and its foundation provides continuing medical education, advocacy on the state government level, practice management, and a host of other services to help Pennsylvania’s family physicians better treat their patients. In addition to his medical practice, he serves as the chief medical information officer at Evangelical Community Hospital. He practices family medicine for people of all ages at Family Medical Care located at 45 Forestwood Drive, Lewisburg.

Jacob Shaffer

Midd-West senior Jacob Shaffer, son of Jeff and Cindy Shaffer, of Beavertown, recently was elected to serve as the 2014-15 president of the Pennsylvania Junior Holstein Association. The association is comprised of 1,650 youth members up to the age of 21 who have an interest in Holstein dairy cattle. Shaffer will serve as a delegate to the National Holstein Convention in Dubuque, Iowa, in June and will also participate in the prepared public speaking contest at the National Holstein Convention after taking first-place honors in the state contest with a speech titled “Feeding the World in 2050.” Shaffer will attend Cornell University to major in animal science.


Joy Hoke

Joy Hoke will be retiring at the end of April after more than three decades as one of the most recognizable faces at the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA. Hoke, who serves as the YMCA associate executive director, graduated from Selinsgrove High School and then Indiana University of Pennsylvania before landing a job at the YMCA in 1984. She began as a preschool teacher before starting the YMCA day care center in 1985. “She is so well versed and has had such a huge impact here,” Chief Executive Officer Bonnie Wassmer said. “She has just played such a huge part in what we do. She has been the greatest asset to this organization.”

Dennis "The Menace" Bermudez

Riding a five-fight win streak, Bloomsburg University alum Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez returns to the octagon Saturday night at UFC 171 in Dallas. Bermudez (12-3) will face another featherweight with a Pennsylvania connection, Swoyersville’s Jimy “The Kid” Hettes. Bermudez’s fight will air on Fox Sports 2 sometime between 8 and 10 p.m. Eastern Bermudez was an accomplished wrestler for the Huskies from 2007 to 2008. Bermudez, who grew up in upstate New York and now lives and trains on Long Island, lost his UFC debut back in 2011 to Diego Brandao — in a fight in which he staggered the Brazilian star with some heavy hands — via an armbar. But he’s 5-0 since, and he’s gained a reputation as an exciting fighter who always puts on a show.

Ruth Cochran

102-year-old Ruth Cochran is loves her public transportation in Montour County, where she prefers the front seat. Cochran is the oldest rider in the county and one of the oldest riders in Pennsylvania, routinely using buses and vans operated by Montour County Transit. “The bus really helps me. It helps me be independent,” said Cochran, of Danville, who still cooks, cleans, bakes and does laundry in her apartment. She pays 50 cents for a ride to a grocery store in the county twice a month and 50 cents for each ride to doctors in Columbia and Montour counties. Research found that Perry and Montgomery counties have riders who are 103, Chester County has a 102-year-old rider and Centre County has a rider who is 108, according to Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association statistics from December.

Dwayne Pepper

Shikellamy 220-pound senior Dwayne Pepper became the school’s first Class AAA wrestling state medalist since 2011 on Saturday when he finished fifth. He beat Antonio Pelusi of LaSalle 8-5 Saturday night to finish fifth in the PIAA championships in the Giant Center. “I feel accomplished. That was my goal. I not only qualified, but I placed, so I feel accomplished,” Pepper said. The previous medalist for the Braves, who now have 57, was Dominick Wolfe, who was eighth at 189 in 2011.

Caroline Eberhart

Mifflinburg High School senior Caroline Eberhart advanced to Regional Orchestra after her performance at PMEA District Orchestra Festival at Bloomsburg High School on Jan. 23-25. The festival concert was conducted by Dr. Mark Jelinek, orchestra director at Bloomsburg University. The daughter of Tom and Brenda Eberhart of Mifflinburg, Caroline will take part in Region Orchestra at Kennard-Dale High School later this month.

Laura Steininger

Midd-West senior Laura Steininger was named a Young American recently by the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce. The daughter of John and Kelly Steininger, Laura is captain of the cross country team and is involved in musicals, band and reading. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and Class Congress and plans to attend South Hills School of Business and Technology to study diagnostic medical sonography

Matt Lysiak

Matt Lysiak will discuss his book, “Newtown: An American Tragedy,” on Wednesday at Danville High School, his alma mater, as part of an ongoing dialogue about school safety across the nation. Students, faculty, staff and administration have been invited to participate in the event and a follow-up discussion, according to teacher Annick Helbig. “Newtown: An American Tragedy” is “an essential examination of the facts — not only of that horrific day but the perfect storm of mental instability and obsession that preceded it and, in the aftermath of unspeakable heartbreak, the controversy that continues to play out on the national stage,” according to Lysiak’s website. Lysiak spent six months in Newtown covering the shooting for the New York Daily News.

Katy Swartz

Katy Swartz, of Montandon, was recently named the Central Susquehanna LPN Career Center Student of the Month for February. Students are recognized for exhibiting leadership qualities, showing exceptional nursing care in the clinical setting and for achievement in the classroom. A 2013 graduate of Warrior Run High School, Swartz is expected to complete training in August, at which point she will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam to become a licensed practical nurse.

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