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PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - It's an iconic place to visit on Penn State's main campus, serving thousands of customers each year.

This year, the Berkey Creamery is celebrating a big milestone, as it turns 150 years old.

"I come to the creamery every day, nearly," State College resident Terry Stambaugh said. "I do a walk on campus and this is always my endpoint."

It's a place Stambaugh loves to bring his grandchildren.

"We have a picture of us all sitting around the table eating ice cream cones," he said. "You know, they always have a flavor you like."

Since 1865, Berkey Creamery has brought families together and has even welcomed some famous faces, like President Clinton, Sarah Palin and Governor Tom Wolf.

In its 150 years, this place has become an iconic part of the community.

"It has been a part of the community, not just of the Penn State community, but of the State College and Centre County community for all these years," Creamery Manager Thomas Palchak said.

Palchak gave us an inside look at what happens behind the scenes, how the ice cream comes to be.

In a year's time, Palchak said they'll use between 300,000 and 320,000 gallons of ice cream. Their busiest times are July, during the Festival of the Arts, football season and April, when students are moving out and their families are in town.

"The creamery has an academic support unit in Food Science, emphasizes the importance of agriculture in our local towns, in our society, as well as in our health and nutrition," Palchak said. "We feel it has an important role to play."
Things continue to heat up in republican presidential race. The latest polls so voters aren't set on just one candidate yet.
 
There are still some big names out there expected to throw their hats in the race, but things are pretty tight right now.
 
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is upset, though. Fox News a days announced their rules for their debate later in the year.
 
They said they only are able to take the top 10 candidates, 11 if there's a tie.
 
A Quinnipiac Poll, if that August was held right now, Santorum wouldn't even be in the top ten.
 
According to this poll, 20% of registered GOP voters are undecided, and nearly half are split between five candidates. Santorum doesn't even bring in 1%.
 
It's very early in the race, but last election cycle, Santorum finished second to the eventual winner, Mitt Romney.
 
According to Santorum, the way Fox News wants to hold their debates isn't right. He says voters need to hear from each candidate.
 
"This race is about hard-working men and women in the country who feel like this country is not there for them anymore, that no one in political office cares about them and the plight that they're going through. No one's talking about the issues important in their lives, and no one is giving them a chance to climb that ladder and live the American Dream again."
 
CNN, though, is holding their debate in September. Their plans are to divide it into two: the top 10 according to a public polling, the other will be the candidates outside that group.

STATE COLLEGE - The 2015 Coaches vs. Cancer golf tournament has some extra meaning for Penn State men's basketball head coach Pat Chambers as a member of his program battles the disease.

“We're fighting for Mitch Stover right now who was in surgery for 10 hours the other day,” Chambers said during the 19th annual golf tournament at Penn State. “He's been our equipment manager for forever. It's really starting to hit home that we've got to continue to do this. And some how, some way, we gotta make it bigger and better.”

The nearly 300 golfers include Penn State coaches both past and present as well as ex-Nittany Lion and current NBA guard Tim Frazier.

“And everybody's just so dialed in to fighting this thing and raising as much funds as we can,” Chambers says. “The generosity is out there.”

Even non-golfer James Franklin is in the mix.

Penn State’s head football coach says he lacks the patience for golf, but still stops by to offer his support.

“Cancer seems like it's affected everybody,” Franklin says. “I lost both my parents to cancer. So it seems like this disease has had an effect on everybody. So it's awesome that the Penn State community comes together to try to raise some money. Hopefully it has a positive impact.”

With the money gathered at this tournament, Penn State Coaches vs. Cancer is closing in on the $2.5 million raised mark in almost two decades of existence.
BELLEFONTE, CENTRE COUNTY - A project, years in the making, is finally breaking ground Friday.

The Bush House Hotel in Bellefonte burned down in 2006. Since then, the property it once occupied has sat vacant, until now.

"It's a big relief," Frank Halderman, President of the Bellefonte Borough Council, said.

Halderman said it's a day he wasn't sure would come.

"The fact that we have people willing to give their time and energy and to see this project through, it's a big thing," he said. "I wasn't ever sure I'd see it during my term on council."

Leaders of the Bellefonte community broke ground on the long-anticipated Waterfront Project. Borough Manager Ralph Stewart hopes it will revitalize the historic town.

"We are anticipating new development, which will help the tax base and help strengthen the borough financially and add more foot traffic to help the other businesses in town," Stewart said.

As part of the project, crews will construct a pedestrian walkway along Spring Creek from the High Street bridge to the Lamb Street bridge. They will also put up a flood wall and will fill in the land behind it, priming it for private development.

"The plan has always been to put in a hotel close to where the Bush House was," Stewart said. "Then other multi-use buildings would also accompany the hotel."

The project has about a $6 million price tag and with state grants and financing, Halderman said it likely won't cost local tax payers upfront. Once developed, he's also confident it will generate jobs and will be a nice compliment to other construction projects in the area.

"The county's renovating the Temple Court Building," Halderman said. "The Bellefonte Muse is supposed to start here within another month or so and the renovation of the Cadillac building."

Construction on the project is expected to begin in a couple of weeks and Phase One of the project should take about a year to complete.
ALTOONA – It's been about three years since the old Bon Secours Hospital was closed down, and it still sits empty.
 
Local leaders all agree they want the old hospital to be redeveloped, but how they're going to do that is still up in the air.
 
Inside Al's Tavern, co-owner Thaddeus McDonough remembers what it was like the day the hospital closed.
 
"We were a little concerned -- concerned about what was going to happen to the property -- what was going to happen to the people,” said McDonough.
 
About three years later, some of those same questions remain
 
UPMC Altoona has it on the market for $2.5 million dollars, and the chief operating officer says they want the 14 acres to be put to good use, but they understand a buyer can be tough to find. The building has asbestos that has to be removed.
 
Ron McConnell, Chief Operating Officer, UPMC Altoona, said, "What we really need is a little bit of funding to help us tear down the building."
 
They applied for a state grant a year ago to cover the $2 million in demolition costs -- but they were denied.
 
The Altoona Blair County Development Corporation says no one has stepped up to redevelop the site, so it can be a tough sell to the state.
 
Pat Miller, Altoona Blair County Development Corporation, said, "It's a statewide competition for the funding and those projects which can show private investment and new job creation are probably going to be the ones getting funding. "
 
UPMC Altoona did not give up -- they already reapplied.
 
"We don't have a plan B at this time,” McConnell said. “But we're hopeful that the state sees this as a viable important project."

BLAIR COUNTY - There have been 14 drug overdose deaths in Blair County so far this year. All of last year, there was 21. In May alone, officials have blamed nine deaths on overdoses.
 
Community leaders and first responders are pushing for more of the drug Narcan, a drug that can revive someone who has overdosed, throughout the area.
 
First responders say overdoses are a big concern in the county, so much so that Judy Rosser, of Blair Drug and Alcohol Partnerships, called a meeting this week, to get the anti-overdose drug Narcan into the hands of even more first responders.
 
"We had a real spike over a three-week period where we lost numerous people.”
 
And that's more than enough reason for Rosser to take action.
 
“What we're looking at is locally what our local police departments are doing, so we're trying to work with some of our local ones to get them trained."
 
Act 139 allowed State Police and other first responders to be trained to use the drug. Now, there's a community effort to get them in the hands of local officers.
 
AMED has been carrying it for years. They respond to nearly a hundred overdose calls a year, but not all are for illegal activity.
 
They're ready to work with police departments to help them.
 
"We've vetted through the whole system,” said Gary Watters, Executive Director of AMED. “It’s a good program, it works, and we just need to get it a little bit proactive locally."
 
Watters said the number of overdoses is more when you look at the ones they've treated.
 
"The number the coroner gives you, is not actually how many overdoses we're seeing because there are many who are treated and released.”
 
Rosser and Watters both agree that it's about getting more people educated on the drug, and access to it.
 
"Obviously they're not going to use it that often, but when they do it's going to be a significant impact," said Watters.
 
"Making sure who are of culture who are using, that they have it because they're the ones really that are gong to be there that could probably save a life, too," said Rosser.
 
The Physician General of Pennsylvania is promising to write a prescription for the state.
That means any family member could walk into any pharmacy and get the Narcan. That's expected to happen next month.
 
There are a lot of positives for Narcan, but there are groups opposed to making this drug readily available.
 
They say it could give some drug users a false sense of security.  Allegheny County just enacted a similar program. Advocates say this is about saving lives.  They also add that the only way this works in the long run is if they see a decline in the demand for Narcan. 

BROOKVILLE, JEFFERSON COUNTY - Troopers say a Knox Dale murder suspect says she thought her husband was an intruder and shot him on March 15. She also claims he was organizing a conspiracy against her.

We have more from today's preliminary hearing.

In court, District Attorney Jeff Burkett said that the suspect's stories keep changing, but that he believes the physical evidence shows exactly what happened that night.

Burkett told District Judge David Inzana that the downward angle of the bullet and blood on the first step shows Trista Zickefoose, 31, Knox Dale, fired down from the landing at Gregory Zickefoose, 40.

Defense attorney Blair Hindman says there's holes in the prosecution's case.

"I was disappointed to see they didn't do any forensic testing or gunpowder testing to where she says she turned and shot and didn't look," says Hindman.

Police say Gregory was dead at the bottom of the stairs inside, the wound centered in his chest.

Trooper Seth Rupp testified Trista's first story was that she was hiding behind a dishwasher, then ran, and shot without looking.

Rupp said in her second written statement, she wrote that the more she thought back, she was on the first step and got spun around somehow.

She claimed her husband was abusing her, and that others could verify that.

Trista cried in court as Burkett played her 9-1-1 call.

Rupp says she admited to sprinkling meth on her marijuana around 8 p.m. that night to try to stay awake and catch her husband being unfaithful, saying on the stand: "She was convinced that people had been in her house. She related that she felt maybe her husband was spearheading this."

"The thing about methamphetamine too is she and her husband -- obviously her husband was a much much bigger user -- but paranoia is one of those things that go with it. It's what she thought was going on though," says Hindman.

Inzana held the homicide charge for court and Trista Zickefoose was taken back to jail.

Rupp testified that Trista reported that she thought people had been moving things in her house, and that she also said she had fired a "warning shot" to "show she was serious."

She wrote out an 11-page statement for troopers, then a second statement. Gregory Zickefoose was shot once in the chest and died at the scene. Rupp testified that tests showed both of them had meth in their systems.

There were also two children and a mentally challenged adult man living in the home.
SNYDER TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY - A stretch of Interstate 99 in Blair County remains closed after a terrible accident.
 
Emergency officials believe a man's truck broke down near the Bald Eagle Exit.  They said he was outside of the vehicle, working to repair it when he was struck and killed by a tractor trailer.

The truck belonged to the On Time Delivery Company out of Pittsburgh. State police say a tractor trailer hit him while he was working around 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
 
He was killed instantly.
 
Police are now questioning the driver of that semi. 
 
The State Police accident reconstruction team is mapping out the this part of the interstate to figure if they should file charges against the driver.

"Me and my coworker on our way back from work just happened to see the tractor trailer go past all I saw were parts flying, didn't see anybody at first,” said James Thomas, who witnessed the crash. “I turned around saw he was on the ground, pulled off and went back."
 
The coroner isn’t releasing the man's name because they haven’t told the man’s family yet.

LOGAN TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY - Multiple crews are working to put out a fire that engulfed a home.
 
Firefighters got the call just before four o'clock and rushed the home in Logan Township.
 
It's on the 900 block of Jade Avenue.  That's a few blocks from Lakemont Park and PNG Field.
 
We do not know if anyone was inside the home when this fire broke out.
 
Stick with WTAJ News for the latest on this developing story.

PINE CREEK TOWNSHIP, JEFFERSON COUNTY - PennDOT is considering changes to a Y-shaped intersection near Brookville.

Township secretary Tina Bernarduci says the plan presented at a public meeting on Apr. 30 would direct westbound traffic on Highway 322 to turn on a short road called the Gerald Conner Bypass.

The plan includes widening the intersection, putting in new arrows, and possibly removing two homes. Eastbound traffic could still go on either fork of the "Y."

The changes would not go into effect until 2018.

Sergeant is a ten year old Labrador Retriever Mix looking for his forever home. Sergeant was found at the Grazierville Exit. Sergeant is a happy dog and is very laid back. He is free to adopt to an approved family or person. He would make a wonderful companion and is good with children. 


The Central Pennsylvania Humane Society is holding their annual golf outing Mulligan's Mutts on June 12th. To learn more about this event or Sergeant you can call 942-5402 or click here. 

CLYMER BOROUGH, INDIANA COUNTY - State Police in Indiana are investigating a case of burglary at a local little league field.

Almost $500 was stolen from the Clymer Little League Concession Stand sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday evening.

The suspect also took $100 from the cash register and threw it into a nearby creek.

Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at 724-357-1960 or a representative from the Clymer Little League.

BENNER TOWNSHIP, CENTRE COUNTY - A person was hospitalized with serious, life threatening injuries after a one vehicle crash in Benner Township overnight.

According to State Police at Rockview, the crash happened around 2:30 on Warden Dr.  The victim was driving at a high rate of speed, when his car went off the roadway and struck a utility pole.  The vehicle rolled over several times and the victim was ejected from the car.

The driver was flown to UPMC Altoona.

Rt. 150 was shut down for a period of time while crews cleaned up.


STATE COLLEGE - A Penn State Professor invented a wireless seismometer to track the ground movement from places that are sometimes hard to track.

It's called the GeoPebble and it's about the diameter of an average dinner plate. Inside sit hundreds of microchips.

"Even if we can't feel it, there are sensors inside that are very small vibrations in the ground," says Sridhar Anandakrishnan, the GeoPebbles inventor.

Before the GeoPebbles, Anandakrishnan and other scientists had to travel about a mile or two out with all their gear and use wires connected between the instruments and their campsite to collect data. Now, with these GeoPebbles, it's completely different.

"You can carry this out onto the glacier, drop it down and it starts recording," says Dr. Anandakrishnan.

The GeoPebbles send the data back to a lab anywhere in the world. They also are equipped with GPS so scientists can analyze how and where the glacier is moving and melting.

Dr. Anandakrishnan says studying glaciers and their movements is becoming even more critical as part of climate studies. He says having the ability to collect data all the time is very helpful.

Right now there are 150 GeoPebbles but Dr. Anandakrishnan says they plan on making more as needed.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP, CAMBRIA COUNTY - One local community gets some great news after years fighting with the DEP over a fishing pond.

Thursday morning Jackson Township supervisors got the call saying their plans to build a new fishing pond were finally approved. The township supervisors made the announcement at their meeting Thursday night.

Ed Westrick is the former president of the Jackson Township Community Rod and Gun Club. He was there when the township started talking about digging a new fishing pond years ago, and has been following the progress even after he stepped down as president.

Township supervisor john wallet has been sending paperwork back and forth to the DEP for years now. There's still a lot of work to day to clear some of this forest and dig the two acre pond off of Loraine Road. But the township is asking for money and labor donations to use as little tax dollars as possible

The Rod and Gun Club plans to hold their annual fishing tournament there and their group will maintain the grounds. The current president feels like this will help them get more kids interested in the outdoors.

The township will start surveying the grounds right away so they can start digging.
The New York Times has ranked every county in the nation to find the best and worst places to grow up.
In our region, one place that stands out is Blair County. The Times says it's not a good spot to grow up in if you're in a poor family. The article estimates by age 26, a Blair County resident would make just under the national average salary. Centre County is also interesting. It's better for poor kids than it is for rich kids. Click here to see the article and look up every county in the U.S.

We have had one of our warmest Mays on record and we still have warmth to close out this week. A front will slip through over the weekend and depending on where it stalls, we may have a couple of much cooler days early next week before summerlike air makes a return. The summer looks like it will start on a warm note overall, but then end comfortable. 
BOGGS TOWNSHIP, CLEARFIELD COUNTY -- Police say her Mitsubishi Outlander crossed the center line on Route 322 and hit a dump truck in the other lane.

It happened around 1:30 Thursday afternoon in Boggs Township at the intersection of Laurel Run Road.

We're told Hummel was trapped in her vehicle and died while first responders were trying to rescue her.

The driver of the truck had minor injuries.
JOHNSTOWN - After the tragic accident that killed West End paramedic Janice Keen Livingston, groups of first responders decided to build a memorial.  The idea started as a statue, but then grew into a memorial park.

Director of the West End Ambulance Station, Ira Hart, says his idea was to make something good out of a terrible situation. 

The park will be located about a block away from the West End Ambulance Station.

It will honor all three public safety agencies, police, fire, and EMS.  Organizers say there are many people in the community who have dedicated years to these services and they want them to be recognized.

Erin Kabler is an organizer for the park.  He says he believes that this will be one of the first parks built that honors these heroes.

"Our mission whether police, fire, or EMS is saving lives.  We always come together when there's any type of emergency.  We always work very well together in this community, so we thought it was important to do something for all of us, not just one entity."

Hart says he is humbled by the support to remember Janice.  Now the community can remember all of their fallen heroes.

It will take at least two years to build the memorial park.

If you would like to get involved you can donate to the fund on the Community Foundation website.  There will also be fundraisers coming up in the next few months. 
NEW PARIS, BEDFORD COUNTY - Investigators in Bedford County say a charade went on for more than five years, a tax collector stole thousands of dollars.  Now, that woman is behind bars.
 
Kerri Mickel was the tax collector in New Paris. Between 2010 and 2015, police say she stole more than $45,000 in earned income tax from people who live and work in the borough. 
 
It's bringing to light issues with how taxes are collected in Pennsylvania.
 
In the county, District Attorney, Bill Higgins, has prosecuted three tax collectors in the last year and a half. He said this problem is bigger than Bedford County and it needs to be fixed.
 
"It was a recipe for disaster and she proved it. The lady just returned from a trip to Las Vegas last week. So what does that tell you about the situation?"
 
"We think its common-sense reform that needs to take place," said Rep. Jesse Topper, (R) 78th District.
 
Here is the problem.  When you pay your taxes you write your check directly to the tax collector.  This can lead to some shotty record keeping.
 
Representative Jesse Topper, (R) 78th District, said it's an issue across the state -- and there is a bill making its way through the state legislature.
 
"We're trying to protect two groups of people here: the tax collectors that are collecting the money and the taxpayers that are trying to collect the money."
 
The bill would require all money to be paid directly to your municipality, not the elected tax collector.
 
"To me it's kind of a no brainer,” said Rep. Topper. “It's a common sense issue."
 
All in an effort to make sure that places like New Paris don't give too much power to one person.
 
"The moral of the story is here don't give one person that much control without oversight," said Higgins.
 
Rep. Topper says he voted for the bill and it passed with an overwhelming majority in the house.  It could head to the governor's desk as soon as next month.