Local News 4-22-14

SAFE DIGGING

Columbia Gas is urging Pennsylvania residents to call 811 to check for underground utilities before planting new trees or plants this spring. The service aims to protect both utilities and those digging. The free call connects homeowners and contractors with the Pennsylvania One Call System. According to a release, the network sends professional locators to the digging site within three days to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and spray pain. Columbia officials say an underground utility line is damaged every six minutes.

STATE COLLEGE MAN FACES CHARGES

A 38-year-old State College man is facing dozens of child sexual abuse charges for alleged crimes occurring between 2009 and 2013 in the boy’s College Township home. Police charged Stephen Lucas with more than 80 felony offenses and 40 misdemeanor counts. Lucas is being held in the Centre County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing set for May 7th.

SCHOOL WINS PLASTIC BAG COLLECTION

Park Forest Elementary and Gray’s Woods Elementary topped the local Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge. According to the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority, roughly 4,000 students from 16 State College Area schools competed in the 8 week challenge recycling a total of 5,631 pounds of plastic bags. Park Forest collected the most bags overall and Gray’s Woods collected the most per students.

TURNPIKE ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING STATIONS

Electric-vehicle charging stations are open for customers at two Pennsylvania Turnpike service plazas. The stations provide 220 volts with 32 amps of power. One is located at eastbound milepost 290 in the Bowmansville Service Plaza in Lancaster County. The other is at the King of Prussia Service Plaza in Montgomery County at westbound milepost 328. Charging costs $1 per hour for Blink members and $2 per hour for credit card customers. Within the next two weeks, two more service plazas will open charging stations in western Pennsylvania.

BIKE CRASH VICTIM

An 85-year-old State College man died Saturday afternoon after crashing his bike into a chain link fence and brick wall along the 100 block of Rolling Ridge Drive in College Township. Police say, Duane Olson was transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center where he was pronounced dead due to severe head trauma. The cause of the crash remains unknown.