The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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September 24, 2012

ATV park closed due to booby trap

NEW BERLIN — SUNBURY — The Northumberland County commissioners attempted to hold an emergency meeting to reveal concerns that someone had placed a booby trap in the Anthracite Adventure Outdoor Area, but the session was abruptly cancelled at the last minute after commissioner Rick Shoch objected that the scheduling of the meeting violated open meetings laws.

Shoch said that he objected because he had not been informed in writing about the meeting, even though the session had been advertised in all three daily newspapers published in the county.

Commissioners Steve Bridy and Vinny Clausi said that fellow commissioner Shoch’s boycott of the meeting has put county residents at risk because one of the items on the agenda involved approving new signs to warn people that the county-owned tract of 600 acres of land is off-limits.

The county was getting to ready to vote on spending money to replace stolen or lost “no trespassing signs,” throughout the property.

A piece of wood with several nails and metal sticking out of it was discovered and turned over to the Coal Township Police Department for investigation, in late August, Commissioner Steve Bridy said.

Bridy said the reason the county took nearly a month to announce the discovery was because they didn’t want to interfere with a police investigation.

“Today was the day we chose to have this meeting,” Bridy said.

“As far as I know nothing else has been discovered on the land.”

“Shoch said he was not made aware the meeting was being held and he had no idea why the three commissioners were even meeting in the first place.

“I have received no notice, either written or oral, as to the nature of business to be conducted at this meeting,” Shoch wrote.

The county had decreed the property off-limits to anyone without special permission from the planning office. Trespassers can be cited and fined, but over the years, all of the signs warning trespassers have disappeared.  The county commissioners were planning to vote to post new signs.

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