WHP580 Newsroom

WHP580 Newsroom

Top headlines from Central PA's Newsroom


Top Stories for 1/12

>>Electric Energy Costs Increasing As Much As 50%  

(Harrisburg, PA) -- Eight Pennsylvania electric utilities have now increased their energy prices, reflecting what they say is the higher cost to produce electricity. Energy charges account for about half of a residential bill. If you're serviced by PPL Electric Utilities, expect to see your costs increase about $40 a month for an electric heating customer. Energy executives say their costs are increasing because fuel prices for power generators are going up and that's driven mostly by natural gas. The change is also pushing up electricity prices in wholesale power markets.

>>Penn State Extends Masking Ordinance

(State College, PA) -- The State College Borough Council has unanimously passed an agreement to extend the masking ordinance at Penn State. The vote passed Monday will remain in place until the coronavirus transmission rate drops below the "substantial" spread threshold in Centre County. The county's board of health met last week and also recommended the masking ordinance. Its leaders say they will continue to reassess it and take into consideration any new information on new CDC guidelines and on variants.

>>Former County Prosecutor Admits Stealing Thousands From Law Clients

(Harrisburg, PA) -- Even though authorities said he eventually repaid the money after securing personal loans, John William Eddy has signed a plea agreement with the U.S. attorney's office in Harrisburg to be charged with several offenses. Under that arrangement, he will waive indictment by a grand jury and enter a plea to a criminal information charging him with wire fraud for misappropriating funds between 2016 and 2020. In 2019, he was also charged with state drug offenses.

>>Harrisburg PD's New On-Line Reporting System Now Active

(Harrisburg, PA) -- Harrisburg police are now offering a new way to help citizens report non-violent crimes online. The new Desktop Officer Reporting System, or DORS, began Wednesday and lets Harrisburg residents file their own police reports without speaking directly to an officer. Officials say the system has several advantages including officers responding to incidents in progress and citizens being able to get a report initiated at their own convenience. A release on the department's website says reporting can be done from a phone, computer, iPad, or any other device at any time of day. The program is accessible on the department's Crimewatch website, under the tab "Online Reporting." 

>>Sens. Toomey, Blumenthal Introduce Legislation to Increase Food Donations

(Washington, DC) -- U.S. Senators Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania and Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut are introducing a bill that would expand food donation efforts for manufacturers, restaurants and grocers. The Food Donation Improvement Act would encourage donations by extending liability protections to food donors when food is either given directly to a person in need or when a recipient pays a deeply reduced cost. They say restaurants and retailers are hesitant to donate their leftover and unused food because of potential lawsuits. The senators say nearly 40 percent of the country's food goes to waste.

>>Man With Shaved Head Wanted in Several Area Robberies

(Perry County, PA) -- Police are searching for a man involved in a series of robberies over the past three month. The suspect, as shown on the Granville Township Police Department's website, has a clean-shaven head and a thin gray beard. He's likely driving a dark maroon or dark purple crossover SUV that might be a Ford Edge. Two robberies in particular stand out among his alleged crimes; one at the Pilot Truck Stop, in Reed Township, and one at Snappy's Convenience Store in Lewistown. Cash rewards are being offered by Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers for information that leads to an arrest.

>>Ex-Fiancé Arrested For Stalking, Lurking At Woman's Home And Texting Hundreds Of Times

(Elizabethtown, PA) -- Prosecutors say the ex-fiancé of a Lancaster County woman stalked her for a month and threatened to kill anyone seen with her after she broke up with him. Andrew T. Fellenbaum was charged Monday with burglary, stalking, loitering and harassment because of his alleged actions since the couple ended their engagement in early December. Elizabethtown police said in an affidavit that the ex-fiancée provided investigators with 750 screenshots of text messages Fellenbaum sent her. He allegedly said he would kill anyone else he saw with her, because "no one could have her if he could not," according to the affidavit.

>>Woman Wanted for Allegedly Stealing from Weis Market in Lancaster

( Manheim Township, PA) -- Police have issued an arrest warrant for a 44-year-old woman from Lancaster who they say stole multiple items from the Weis Market store on Millersville Pike. They say Desiree M. McDonnell was observed stealing nearly $235 worth of merchandise from the store after she used a self-checkout lane and failed to pay for several items. When confronted, she reportedly argued with store employees and fled. 

>>Reading Council Hears Plan for Parking Authority During Snow Events

(Reading, PA) -- The Reading City Council has introduced a proposed ordinance that outlines a plan of action for the Reading Parking Authority to follow during every snowstorm. Nathan Matz, the RPA's executive director, says the change will codify a plan for the parking authority to offer free parking in designated parking garages during snow events. He says the idea is to keep parking spaces open in places like downtown where people will still be able to get to stores to shop. Residents would be required to move their cars off the streets to a designated parking garage until the snow has been removed from the street and the no-parking signs are removed.

>>First Energy Stadium to See Repairs Stemming from Use of Federal Funds

(Reading, PA) -- The Reading City Council has approved an ordinance that will help provide renovations to First Energy Stadium. The plan allocates three-million-dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act funds for renovations at the ten-thousand seat facility. The stadium is home to the Reading Fightin' Phils of the Double-A Northeast League. In 2006, it was voted the second-best place to see a baseball game by "Minor League News."  

>>Hospitals Ask School Districts to Require Mask-Wearing

(Bethlehem, PA) -- Officials at St. Luke's University Health Network are calling on local school districts to require facial masks. That request comes as the number of COVID-19 patients being cared for at their 12 area hospitals continues to climb. Infectious Disease expert Dr. Jeffrey Jahre said in a statement that the hospitals are experiencing their biggest COVID surge yet. He adds that there's never been a better time for school boards, administrators and parents to get behind the idea of wearing face masks.

>>Man Involved in the U.S. Capitol Riots Evades Jail Time

(South Whitehall, PA) -- A South Whitehall Township man who scaled the walls of the U.S Capitol last Jan. 6, 2021 as part of the rioting has received a sentence of probation and house arrest. Jackson Kostolsky spent only a few seconds in the Capitol before responding to police orders to leave, but prosecutors argued his lack of remorse and effort to hide his warranted time behind bars. Judge Dabney Friedrich sentenced Kostolsky to three years of probation and ordered him to pay $500 toward the $1.4-million in damages allegedly caused by January 6th rioters to the Capitol. The charge to which Kostolsky pleaded guilty -- parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol -- carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

>>Teen To Spend Time In Jail For Capitol Rioting Involvement 

(Levittown, PA) -- A 19-year-old Feasterville man will spend 14 days behind bars for his involvement with riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th of last year. Prosecutors were seeking a 45-day sentence for Leonard Pearso Ridge, but his lawyers had asked the d U.S. District Judge in the case to give Ridge probation only. The judge instead handed Ridge a two-week prison sentence, a hundred hours of community service and a thousand-dollar fine. He says it was the young man's age that kept him from serving a full sentence, but his text messages before and after the riots made some jail time appropriate.

>>Chopper Crashes In Del Co

(Drexel Hill, PA) -- An investigation is underway after a helicopter crashed in Delaware County. Authorities learned the chopper went down yesterday afternoon and it ended-up in the front yard of a church. An infant and three-crew members suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash, but they did survive. The chopper was headed to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia when it went down, and the National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate. There were no damages to the church or any of the houses in the vicinity. 

Officials say the baby was being transported to Philadelphia from Wellspan Chambersburg Hospital.

>>Update On Deadly Row House Fire

(Philadelphia, PA) -- Authorities have learned new information surrounding last week's row house fire that claimed the lives of nine-children and three-adults. Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said yesterday that investigators believe that a Christmas tree was ignited by a lighter which sparked the blaze. It all happened on January 5th in Fairmount along North 23rd Street. Investigators say that a five-year-old told authorities that he started the fire, yet they continue to investigate. The identities of each victim were also released on Tuesday.

>>Traveling Harriet Tubman Monument Makes Stop In Philly

(Philadelphia, PA) -- Philadelphians only have a short time to check out a new Harriet Tubman sculpture in the City. The traveling monument sits nine-feet tall and is currently at City Hall. It's called "Harriet Tubman: The Journey to Freedom" and it represents her work done to help free hundreds of enslaved people. Several events will happen throughout the city to honor her legacy until the monument leaves at the end of March.

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