The deceased victim of a weekend crash in Juniata County has been identified. Seventeen-year-old Madisen Smith of Burnham was a passenger in a Chevy Malibu that struck a bridge abutment early Sunday morning on Route 75 in Turbett Township. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Two other women, the 17-year-old driver from Lewistown, and a 17-year-old passenger from Milroy were injured in the collision.
A Huntingdon County woman has been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, and related offenses. According to State Police, a one-year-old Mapleton Depot girl was taken to Penn Highlands Huntingdon for a possible drug overdose on August 12th. The child’s mother, Bethany Witters, told hospital staff the child became unresponsive after ingesting apple cider vinegar. A drug screen showed fentanyl and xylazine in the child’s system. A search of Witters’ residence on Main Street in Mapleton Depot produced a large quantity of suspected heroin. The victim was flown to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment.
A Pennsylvania Social Security employee has been charged with conducting a pandemic fraud scheme. The Justice Department says 46-year-old Takiyah Gordon Austin of Wilkes Barre was charged in a 29-count Indictment on July 20th. The indictment charges Austin with 21 counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identify theft, and four counts of theft of government funds. The Indictment also alleges that from about May, 2020 to about May, 2021, Austin, who was a claims specialist with the Social Security Administration, filed PUA claims for ineligible recipients. As part of the scheme, she filed claims for ineligible individuals in exchange for payment. Through the scheme, Austin is alleged to have defrauded the government of over $288,000.
An area man was arrested for shooting a cat earlier this month in Mifflin County. On August 2nd, State Police charged 20-year-old Kyle Kline of Lewistown with cruelty to animals after he intentionally shot a cat with a rifle on Pine Glen Road in Bratton Township. Charges were filed through the District Magistrate.