December 2013 news
Dec. 2 - Christopher Powell, 25, of Coal Township, was airlifted for treatment after he jumped from a moving vehicle following an argument along Upper Road, near Gowen City.
Dec. 2 - Dr. Raymond Kraynak was sentenced to 30 days of house arrest and had his driver's license suspended for one year as part of his sentencing on a driving under the influence of alcohol conviction.
Dec. 3 - Sunbury City Police charged Miranda K. Barbour, 18, of Selinsgrove, with homicide after arresting her in the Nov. 11 death of Troy LaFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton. Barbour told police, after turning herself in, that she was paid for female companionship after meeting men on the Internet, and stabbed LaFerrara when he allegedly groped her and grabbed her by the neck.
Dec. 3 - Northumberland County passed its $72.7 million budget for 2014 that includes a 1.5-mill tax increase to help pay for federally-mandated upgrades to the 911 system.
Dec. 4 - State Sen. John Gordner announced the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area will receive a $788,000 grant for further development from the Community Conservation Partnership Program. The Arch Street Playground, Coal Township will receive a $100,500 grant and $250,000 will go to Shamokin for the Claude Kehler Park.
Dec. 5 - Locust Township Police charged Matthew J. Sacks, 25, of Numidia, with assaulting his two-month old son, who suffered multiple fractures and bruises in October at Sacks' residence.
Dec. 6 - Sunbury City Police arrested Elyett Barbour, 22, the husband of accused murderer Miranda Barbour for his involvement in the homicide of Troy LaFerrara, of Port Trevorton. Police said that Barbour admitted he and his wife did the killing for fun and that he strangled LaFerrara while his wife stabbed him.
Dec. 7 - Letters that Gen. George S. Patton sent to Shamokin High School graduate Mary Jane Krieger in 1944 and 1945 were sold online for $54,810 through a New Hampshire-based auction house.
Dec. 10 - Melissa "Missy" Pangburn, 13, of Shamokin, died in a three-alarm fire that destroyed five row homes on South Rock Street. Investigators said Pangburn died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The blaze was caused by a discarded cigarette, and ruled accidental.
Dec. 10 - Kulpmont Borough announced a 4.5-mill property tax increase coming for residents, partially to pay bills, including a $1.47 million loan for the construction of a new borough complex.
Dec. 12 - A Northumberland County judge gave permission for the city of Shamokin to apply for an $800,000 loan for the city to pay bills due by the end of the year. To help trim a $600,000 deficit for 2014, health insurance benefits for all elected and administrative officials were eliminated.
Dec. 12 - Citing rising health care costs, Coal Township became the latest municipality to announce a tax increase, announcing that property taxes would be going up 3.5 mills and occupational taxes could go up 85 percent.
Dec. 14 - Northumberland County Prison officials were forced to shuffle around inmates after fire broke out on a prep table in the kitchen.
Dec. 16 - Residents against a large-scale animal feeding operation operating in Cleveland Township got a chance to sound off against owner Joel Knoebel during a public hearing for a renewal of his permit by the State Department of Environmental Protection. As he awaited the decision, DEP announced they were citing him for five more violations, including failure to fully pay previous civil penalties.
Dec. 19 - Mount Carmel Borough Council announced the closing of the borough's community pool and that a civil asset forfeiture would close a $81,000 hole in the budget with no tax increase planned.
Dec. 20 - Following their preliminary hearings, Miranda and Elytte Barbour, the couple accused of killing Troy LaFerrera, saw criminal homicide charges against them bound to court in Northumberland County. District Attorney Tony Rosini said he was mulling over the death penalty for the couple and must make a decision by Jan. 21.
Dec. 20 - Shamokin Police Chief Ed Griffiths that the city would experience a public safety nightmare if city council continued with its plan to cut six positions in the police department ato balance the city's budget in 2014.
Dec. 23 - Shamokin City Council chambers were filled with citizens and police officers, all supporting the police department which was facing cuts in 2014. In the end, council passed a $2.5 million spending plan that furloughed five employees, including two full-time police officers, the two special officers in the department and a street department employee.
Dec. 26 - A small plane crash near Gettysburg claimed the lives of Miranda Rose, 17, and Michael Bronzburg, 46, of Catawissa. Rose was a junior in the Southern Columbia Area School District.
Dec. 27 - It was a day for raising taxes in the area as Coal Township announced a 3.5-mill tax increase plus a change in the occupation tax assessment to help balance the budget. Northumberland County introduced a 1.5-mill tax increase to balance its $68.5 million budget.
Dec. 30 - The area was mourning the loss of former state Rep. Merle Phillips, who passed away at the age of 85. He served for 30 years in the State House of Representatives and then served as an appointed Northumberland County commissioner.