Friday, October 27, 2006

Local News-Friday, Oct. 27th

A four-car crash involving 12 people occurred yesterday afternoon on Route 61 north of St. Clair. State police report that Peter Keretski of Mount Carmel was southbound on Route 61 near Darkwater Road in New Castle Township when he failed to slow down, and rear-ended a car operated by Manjit Singh of Schuylkill Haven. The impact forced Singh's car into the northbound lanes of Route 61, and into the car driven by Theodore Bobarsky of Pottsville. A piece of the tire rim from his car flew into the path of Earl Davenport's car, who tried to avoid it. Davenport's car ended up in the Gasway parking lot. All totaled, nine people were moderately injured in the chain reaction crash. Keretski and his four passengers, a passenger in Singh's car, and three passengers in Davenport's car were taken to local hospitals for treatment. The crash happened just after 3:30pm Thursday.

A large throng of mourners paid their final respects to a Donaldson man who died in Monday's mining accident in Tremont Township. Dale Reightler's funeral took place at the Snyder Funeral Home in Pine Grove Thursday morning. Reightler was killed during an accident at the R and D Coal Company Monday morning. Federal and state mining officials are still investigating the incident at the Buck Mountain Slope.

A former bank teller pleaded guilty to taking money from her former employer in US District Court. Mary Heaton, who worked at the Ashland branch of M&T Bank, admitted to stealing more than $44-thousand-dollars from her teller drawer and the bank's ATM machine over a year's time, according to the Pottsville Republican. In court filings, investigators say that Heaton began taking money from her drawer, then replacing it on payday. After being given responsibility for servicing the branch ATM, she started taking cash from the machine. She reportedly kept close control of the shortages away from other bank personnel, but was finally caught. Heaton, whose address is unknown, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and up to $250-thousand-dollars in fines. She is expected to be sentenced at a later date.

A Wellsboro man was picked up on an outstanding warrant by Ashland borough police during a traffic stop. 26-year-old Christopher Holleran was stopped by Ashland police last Saturday for a vehicle violation. While running a license check, officers discovered that he was wanted by Wellsboro police on an outstanding warrant. Holleran took off, but was found a short time later in the borough. He held a knife to his throat, threatening to kill himself, but police were able to take him into custody without incident. He is charged with escape, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and driving with a suspended license. Holleran was taken to Schuylkill County Prison, awaiting extradition.

The Schuylkill County salary board approved the creation of three new fulltime corrections officer positions at the County Prison during their Wednesday meeting. The new officers will be paid at the rate of $18.61 per hour after completing a probationary period. At last week's County Prison board meeting, Chairman, President Judge William Baldwin said the new officers are needed to help alleviate overtime issues at the prison. Judge Baldwin also said that a fourth officer may be needed to replace one who was resigning. The resignation of corrections officer Adam Bernodin of Ashland was announced at the commissioners meeting prior to the salary board meeting. In other salary board action, two new case workers were approved for the Children and Youth Agency and one resignation announced from the same agency. Funding for the new case workers was budgeted for in the 2006 County budget.

The Schuylkill County Commissioners awarded a bid for construction and repairs to a West Penn Township bridge during their board meeting Wednesday. The contract was awarded to Barletta Materials and Construction of Tamaqua as the lowest, most responsive bidder in the amount of just under $138-thousand-500 dollars. A bid from Mar-Allen Concrete Products, Inc. was over $58-thousand-dollars less than Barletta's bid, but was rejected because its proposal did not include certain documents that were specified in the bid package. Bids received for the St. Clair Storm Water Improvement Project were rejected as being higher than the amount budgeted. The work was to be funded under the CDBG program. The County Office of Economic Development will seek supplemental sources of funding for the project. In other business, the Commissioners authorized the advertisement for bids for the construction of facilities at the fish and boat launch area at the County owned Sweet Arrow Lake Park with bids to be opened December 6th. December 13th is the tentative bid award date.


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