The Daily Item
The dawning of a new year is the time to look back at the 12 months that have passed.
We've highlighted major events that affected Valley residents this year and decided another list might be in order.
While criminals aren't known for being the brightest in the bunch, some convicts and alleged offenders stood out in 2011.
• Douglas N. Sversko, a 44-year-old state police trooper from Lewisburg, pleaded guilty to exposing himself online to a 13-year-old girl who turned out to be an undercover investigator with the state Attorney General's Child Predator unit.
An 18-year veteran of the state police force, Sversko had to know state investigators are always on the hunt for child predators who use the Internet to engage minors in unlawful activity.
Apparently the impulse to dance naked on a webcam was too much for Sversko.
Following his arrest in February, Sversko resigned his $81,620-a-year position, pleaded guilty to felony unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication facility. He was sentenced in early December to five years of probation, with the first six months on house arrest, and must register as a sex offender for the next 10 years.
• Ronald James Dean O'Grady, 22, of Milton, is accused of trying to rob the Dollar Tree store, in Kelly Township, Union County, at knifepoint fewer than three weeks after he was fired from the same store.
During the holdup in early December, he allegedly grabbed $603 in cash receipts before being tackled by store employees Vickey Shope, Heidi Rothermel and Cathy Libby, who restrained him until police arrived.
Shope said O'Grady was employed at the store for about a year before being fired a few weeks ago for failing to show up for work.
• William G. Cowell allegedly took a cab to rob a bank in Shamokin Dam in November and nearly lost his getaway ride when the cabbie left, thinking he'd been stiffed for the fare.
Shamokin Dam police arrested Cowell, 31, of Marysville, several days after the Nov. 18 robbery at the North Susquehanna Trail bank when they linked him to the crime through a phone call he made to the cab driver from the McDonald's restaurant across the highway from the bank.
The driver had left and was headed back to the Harrisburg area because Cowell was gone for so long and he thought he had skipped out on the fare.
It turns out, Cowell may have just taken a little too long to rob the bank of a little more than $6,000. Charges are pending.
• Barbara Rose Somers, 32, of Shamokin, is facing felony retail theft for allegedly shoplifting from Walmart in Monroe Township in September.
It isn't the crime itself that makes Somers a stand out, but the way in which state police at Selinsgrove say she carried it out.
Her 10-year-old son told police that his mother used him as a lookout as she slipped a camera into her purse.
Somers allegedly returned to the store less than a week later and stole more items. Charges are pending in Snyder County court.
• Samuel R. Adams, 24, just can't seem to keep out of trouble.
The Sunbury man with a criminal history, including theft, drug use and contempt, went to the district court office in the city to pay a fine and ended up being pursued by police for violating a protection from abuse order.
Aware that Adams was on his way to District Judge Richard Cashman's office, Sunbury police arrived with a warrant for his arrest.
Adams allegedly resisted, scuffling with police as he tried to run out.
He's now facing charges of resisting arrest, aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment in Northumberland County court.