Local News 1/2/19


Firefighters continue to mop up at the scene this morning of a fire which struck a home in the Beaver Lake Area of Penn Township in Lycoming County.  Fire was reported in a house in the 100 block of Maple Lane just before 2am and when firefighters arrived, they found the house fully involved in flames.  At one point it was reported that ammunition was heard exploding inside the house and firefighters had to fight flames from the outside when a partial collapse occurred. That fire was not brought under control for more than an hour and not reported completely out until around 4:40 this morning.  Two persons are reportedly displaced.  A damage estimate has not been released and the cause of that Penn Township Fire is under investigation.


A Snyder County man died on Friday when his horse and buggy were hit from behind by a vehicle near Middleburg. The accident happened just after noon on Friday along Route 522 near Pinecrest Drive in McClure as a buggy operated by 62 year old Rufus Yoder of McClure was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by 84 year old Randall Bonnie of Middleburg.  Yoder was thrown from buggy, taken to the hospital and pronounced dead there.  Route 522 was closed for five hours and the accident continues to be under investigation.


A crash last night outside of Hughesville sent at least one person to the hospital.  The crash occurred just before 9pm in the 200 block of Wolf Run Road.  One vehicle was reported into a pole with the driver reported as unresponsive.  It’s not known if anyone else was involved or as to what hospital that person was taken to. Crews were on the scene for about 2 hours.   No other details are available regarding that Hughesville Area crash.


A Montgomery area woman was arrested over the weekend for neglect and abuse of her three children.   Following an investigation in which one infant child was taken to the hospital for severe malnutrition and signs of abuse, Police went to the Clinton Township home of 36 year old Sheketh Dyer and found both a 4 and 6 year old in a filthy home suffering from signs of abuse themselves.  An arrest warrant was issued for Dyer and U.S. Marshals were called in to help, finding Dyer concealed in the home in the 200 block of West Houston Avenue around 5pm on Saturday.  She has been charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children and was jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail.


A Williamsport man who had been found guilty in September of sexually abusing two 12 year olds as well as a 5 year old girl and videotaping some of the activity was sentenced late last week in Lycoming County Court.  37 year old Carlos Castro had been found guilty of some 40 counts and was sentenced on Thursday to 67 to 189 years in state prison. If he ever gets out, he will also have to register as a sex offender with the state for the rest of his life.


A former basketball teacher and basketball coach was sentenced last week to 1 to 2 years in county prison as well as 10 years of probation for the sexual assault of two minors.  38 year old Kelly Vasallo has pleaded guilty to two counts of institutional sexual assault as well as three counts of corruption of a minor.  She was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 13 year old girl who was on her basketball team that she coached back in 2013 and 2014 and then with another girl who was 17 at the time of that sexual relationship.  She had already been suspended from her job as a teacher in the Williamsport School District.


It was reported over the weekend, that the victim of a bear attack which occurred December 12th at her Muncy Creek Township home continues to improve.  Melinda Lebarron who originally was reported in critical condition following the attack which injured her ribs, collar bone and head has been upgraded to fair condition following multiple surgeries at Geisinger Medical Center.  The bear who attacked her has not been found.


Fire on Friday in the city of Williamsport damaged a home to the tune of $20,000 dollars and displaced five persons. That fire broke out late Friday morning in a six unit apartment building at 332 Campbell Street and was reportedly caused  by dog which jumped up on the stove, turning on one of the burners.  The flame then ignited items on the stove catching the kitchen in a unit occupied by Ronnie Schley and Betty Watson on fire.  Firefighters were able to bring that fire under control within minutes of arrival.  It’s not known how long the tenants will be displaced.


The New Year is almost here.  State and local police say will continue aggressive enforcement on roadways through the holiday looking for motorists who are driving aggressively and who may be drinking and driving.  Extra DUI patrols will be out during the overnight hours watching for New Year’s Eve revelers who may be behind the wheel after drinking and driving.  You are reminded to get a sober ride home if you are planning on celebrating.  There will also be patrols looking for drivers who may be speeding or committing other aggressive driving practices and as always, make sure you buckle up.