Closing arguments were presented in a Columbia County murder trial yesterday. The jury in the trial of Maria Sanutti-Spencer could begin deliberating as early as this morning. Sanutti-Spencer is accused along with her father Rocco Franklin of gunning down her husband Frank Spencer outside his Millville home in 2012. Sanutti-Spencer’s defense says she was nowhere near the scene when the shooting happened. The prosecution believes they have enough evidence to convict the woman. Franklin Spencer remains in Argentina awaiting extradition back to the United States to face the charges.
Lock Haven city council last night was presented with a 2016 budget which does not contain a tax increase. The city had raised taxes this year by 16% in order to cover a deficit. City officials say that the increase has helped to allow for a $130,000 dollar reserve which will be carried over into next year’s $10.6 million dollar budget. If things go as planned, the city should have about $93,000 dollars to carry over into 2017. Among the expenses increasing in the 2016 budget is the cost of health care for city employees.
An ever increasing number of state governors are threatening to halt efforts to allow Syrian refugees into their states in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris. Here in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf says his administration will continue working with the federal government to resettle Syrian refugees in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services says 14 Syrian refugees have already arrived in the state.
President Obama heads out Saturday for the G-20 summit in Turkey. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said ISIS and Syria will be on the agenda, along with global economic issues and climate change. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend. Rice said no formal meeting is scheduled with President Obama, but the two leaders will have ample opportunity to chat on the sidelines of the summit. Obama and Putin have never enjoyed a warm relationship. Next week, President Obama will travel to the Philippines and Malaysia for summits on economic cooperation and trade.
Customers of the Montgomery Water Authority are reminded to continue to boil their water until further notice. Officials with the Authority say an issue at the reservoir serving the borough’s water supply caused a drop in pressure. That issue has since been fixed, but officials say that customers will have to boil their water until officials can make sure that everything is okay with water pressure. Fresh water is available for public use at the borough garage on Henry Hand Drive.
A 20 year old Lewisburg woman was ordered to stand trial yesterday in the scalding of her 2 year old son. Hayle Hans is accused of forcing her son into a bathtub filled with extremely hot water which caused second degree burns to the child’s body. The incident happened on August 25th when Hans reportedly became upset that the child had an accident while potty training. She allegedly filled the tub with hot scalding water and placed the boy in it, leaving for a couple of minutes and returning to find the skin on the boy’s legs peeling. She then together with her boyfriend game the boy a cooling bath and applied ointment but he had to be taken in for medical treatment six days later. Bail was set at $10,000 dollars.
A murder trial has begun in Columbia County. 50 year old Maria Sanutti-Spencer is charged with gunning down her former husband Frank Spencer outside his Millville home in 2012. The trial began yesterday with the defense disobeying a pretrial order. Several warnings along with two visitors were taken form the gallery for disrupting proceedings and the possibility of a mistrial. Spencer’s father is also charged in the murder but is in Argentina awaiting extradition. The trial is expected to take about two weeks.
Could a budget deal finally be in the works in the state of Pennsylvania? It looks like Governor Wolf will get his increase in school funding as well as an increase in the state sales tax, but will not get a new tax imposed on the gas drilling industry. The republican legislators are reportedly making headway to impose changes in the way the state pension plan is administered to future state and school employees, but their plans to privatize the state liquor industry is still up in the air. Officials say other budget details still need to be worked out.
The official vote count is underway in Lycoming County. Officials with the county’s office of voter registration began the task of officially counting the ballots from Tuesday’s election on Friday and say they should be finished up by this coming Friday. All votes will be counted including write-in votes that were cast across the county. The deadline for absentee ballots from the military and other overseas voters is tomorrow, and those votes will be counted as well. The official winners will be named at the end of this week.
An apparent school-shooting plot in Michigan has been stopped. Three teenagers were arrested and charged with allegedly planning to carry out mass shootings at a high school and middle school in Linden. Police received information about the possible plan on October 28th. The FBI joined in the investigation. The three teens are facing felony charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and false report or threat of terrorism.