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Local
Curwensville woman waives hearing on drug charges

A Curwensville woman caught with a large amount of methamphetamines had all charges bound over to court following a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Jerome Nevling yesterday at Centralized Court held at the Clearfield County Jail.

Joanne C. Greendoner, 45, is charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-methamphetamine, an ungraded felony; intentional possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia, both of which are ungraded misdemeanors.

Tpr. Jonathan Uren testified that on Oct. 26, at 4:18 p.m. he and Tpr. Brian Elensky were on patrol in an unmarked car at the intersection of US-322 and the Allport Cutoff when they ran the license plate of a Jeep Wrangler and discovered it was an expired plate for a Dodge. A traffic stop was initiated and Uren said they could smell alcohol inside the vehicle.

Greendoner was a passenger in the vehicle and she appeared to be nervous and was putting items in her pockets and appeared to be using her feet to push something under the seat.

And when the driver opened the glove box to get her information, Elensky said he saw what he thought was a pipe commonly used for smoking methamphetamines.

When Elensky opened the glove box its contents spilled onto the floor. While going through the items, Elensky found a wallet and a bag underneath Greendoner’s seat.

Inside the wallet was a bag of suspected methamphetamine weighing 45 grams, nine syringes, one of which was marked as being used and empty baggies commonly used for the packaging of illicit drugs. Greendoner was searched and two one-gram baggies of methamphetamine werefound on her person.

During closing arguments, Greendoner’s attorney Leanne Nedza of the public defender’s office asked the charges be thrown out because the suspected methamphetamine was never tested therefore there isn’t any evidence she committed a crime. She also noted that Tpr. Elensky should have testified at the hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Trudy Lumadue argued that hearsay testimony is admissible at a preliminary hearing and there is ample circumstantial evidence that the substance is methamphetamine including the syringes, and baggies.

Nevling bound over all charges to court and kept bail at $50,000 monetary.


Crime
Two men accused of animal cruelty waive hearings

Two men accused of aggravated cruelty to animals for killing two dogs waived their right to preliminary hearings before Magisterial District Judge Michael Morris yesterday at Centralized Court held at the Clearfield County Jail.

William Benjamin Cochran, 33, of Coalport and Joseph Isiah Brown, 23, of Fallentimber are each charged two counts of conspiracy-aggravated cruelty of animals-torture, felonies of the third degree; conspiracy-terroristic threats, misdemeanor of the first degree; conspiracy-simple assault, conspiracy, recklessly endangering another person and refrain from report, all of which are misdemeanor of the second degree.

According to police, on Sept. 5 state police responded to Oak Ridge Road in Jordan Township. Upon arrival they found two pitbull-type dogs. A male dog was deceased lying on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to its head, the female dog had a severe injury to its jaw.

The victim said at approximately midnight she was awakened by people arguing outside. She heard her boyfriend was arguing outside with Cochran, two unknown males and a female. Eventually, the visitors left. At approximately 1 a.m. she heard a loud pickup truck stop at her house. The victim said she went outside and saw two males wearing bandannas over their faces, get out of the pickup, one of whom she believed was Cochran. The other male pointed a shotgun at her and told her to get on the ground. The victim said she was scared so she let her dogs out for protection and the male shot both dogs. She said the female dog was shot first and ran off injured.

After the dogs were shot the males got back inside the pickup truck and left. The victim said she recognized a female inside the truck as Harley Davis.

The female dog had to be put down due to her injuries.

On Oct. 2, troopers interviewed Davis, who said she knows the victim. Davis said she was out with some friends and was standing outside when Cochran, James Potts and a male driver stopped in a pickup truck and asked her if she wanted a ride home. She said she did and got inside. She said she didn’t know the male driver but Cochran said his name was Joe.

When they were near Belsena they did a U-turn and the men started putting masks on. She said she started crying and asked to be let out but they refused. She said Potts and Cochran told her to stop and said, ‘We have some stuff we have to handle.’

She said they then pulled up to the victim’s house and the three men got out and Potts got something out of the bed of the truck, which she thought was a bat. She said the victim came outside and told the men to leave them alone. Davis said Potts told the victim to get on the ground. She said the victim then opened the door to let her dogs defend her. Davis then said she heard a gunshot and the dogs howling and then another gunshot.

She then heard the victim say, ‘Harley what the ...’

Davis said she believes their intentions were to scare the victim’s boyfriend. Davis identified Brown from a photo lineup as the driver that evening.

Cochran is incarcerated in the CCJ in lieu of $120,000 monetary bail; Brown is incarcerated in lieu of $5,000 monetary bail.


CIU 10 employees give back to districts

The Central Intermediate Unit 10 has awarded three districts with funds that are raised by CIU Employees. The E.D.U.C.A.T.E. Funds are awarded bi-annually to projects with a maximum award up to $1,000. These funds comes from CIU 10 employee contributions allowing them to wear jeans on Fridays. The goal of the E.D.U.C.A.T.E. Program is to provide a monetary award directly to schools in Centre, Clearfield, and Clinton Counties.

This round of funds were awarded to three projects:

  • Ms. Shaina Franson from Curwensville Area School District’s project titled “Fine Motor ‘FUN’damentals” has been awarded $500.
  • Ms. Ashley White from West Branch Area School District’s project titled “It’s Time to Get W.E.I.R.D. with Scholastic Books” has been awarded $361.
  • Ms. Kaysey Beury from Bellefonte Area School District’s project titled “To Kill a Mockingbird and the Civil Rights Unit”has been awarded $960.

News
Coalport council denies proposed millage reduction, fire service tax

COALPORT — Coalport Borough Council on Monday denied a proposed resolution that would have reduced millage rates but would have added an individual eligible resident tax for fire service.

Councilman the Rev. Gerald Spaid introduced the resolution that would have rolled back the milage rate from 28 to 26 mills, but levied a $25 fire service tax for all residents over the age of 18.

Spaid told council he believed the resolution presented provided some relief for property tax owners and a more uniform means of acquiring financial support for the Glendale Vol. Fire Dept. as all borough residents meeting the age criteria would be assessed the new tax, regardless of whether they own property in the borough.

He said there are a number of property owners who are exempt and do not pay property taxes, or renters who live in the borough but do not pay property taxes, who would be assessed the proposed fire service levy. He also said he believed council and fire company representatives need to negotiate a new price for the fire protection contract and that negotiations should take place annually, taking the borough’s most current finances into account.

Council President Barby Trent told council she was anxious about reducing the borough’s millage rate by two mills in the same year, and whether council would be able to manage if the borough’s revenue were reduced by the approximately $4,000 two mills would bring in.

“If we are going to do this, I would ask that we cut it one mill this year and one next year,” she noted.

Trent said the proposed 2020 budget contains both an annual stipend for the fire company and small raises for the borough’s employees.

“I am concerned if we cut mills, that the stipend (in the proposed 2020 budget) for the fire company and the pay increases for borough employees would have to be eliminated.” Trent also said later in the meeting she was concerned if council were to adopt a fire service tax, residents may not donate to the company’s annual fundraising campaign, believing they don’t need to contribute because the department is getting enough funds through the tax.

Councilman Jack Rupp was strongly opposed to the resolution proposed by Spaid.

“I am 100 percent against reducing millage. We don’t have to spend all the money the borough takes in. We could put some of it in a rainy day fund so if something bad happens the money will be there. There is no way council can reduce millage this year. We would have to increase it next year. Seventy percent of people living in the borough are on fixed income. (If council would adopt the resolution), it would mean $25 for me and $25 for my wife. That is no reduction for us,” Rupp said.

He said the borough used to have a reserve and he believes council needs to return to the practice of setting aside some funding each year and establish a reserve fund.

“We have many (possible expenses) pending. What the cost will be, we don’t know,” he stated alluding to the possible fines and costs the borough would have to pay because federal and state reports and employee’s tax payments were not made or not made on time since 2015.

Councilman Kevin Swauger agreed.

“Council struggles every year to know where the money will come from. If we make cuts and something happens, we are really going to be in trouble.” He also noted there is no guarantee residents would pay the fire service tax.

Councilman Robert Lee said he believed the proposed fire service tax could create a reality where some residents would be paying more taxes than they currently are.

“My concern is that we are taking people who own businesses and nailing them three or four times (with the tentative fire service tax).”

Spaid made a motion for council to approve the resolution. The motion died for a lack of a second.

Council did approve notifying Solicitor Ryan Sayers that the proposed resolution was not approved.