Tuesday, October 31, 2006

State News-Tuesday, Oct. 31st

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Closing arguments are scheduled today in the Philadelphia pier collapse trial. Yesterday, the operator of the pier testifed that it wasn't his fault the structure collapsed into the Delaware River more than six years ago, killing three nightclub patrons. Eli Karetny says he was never warned about the pier's condition. He testified that if he had been, he would have closed the pier and the three women would still be alive. Karetny and developer Michael Asbell are charged with conspiracy and risking a catastrophe. The proseucution says they let a
nightclub operate on the pier despite large cracks in the floor and warnings from a contractor that the pier would collapse at low tide.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A new horror-movie network called FearNet is starting today, just in time for Halloween. It's being run by Philadelphia-based Comcast in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment and Lionsgate. Fans will be able to watch movies through Comcast's video-on-demand service and on the Web at FearNet-dot-com. They can blog about, search and tag the spooky flicks. Cell phone users will get free ringtones and wallpaper and eventually be able to watch video clips. Sony and Lionsgate, the independent studio behind Oscar-winner
"Crash," will contribute their storehouse of a thousand horror movies.

EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Jury selection is expected to being today for a man accused of killing his long-time friend and wounding the friend's girlfriend in Johnstown. Omar Williams was ordered to stand trial on charges of first-and second-degree murder, aggravated assault and robbery at a preliminary hearing in February. If convicted of first-degree murder, Williams faces life in prison without parole.

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - A woman accused of bringing her 4-year-old daughter with her as she and her husband robbed churches has pleaded guilty to reduced charges. Kay Isenhart pleaded guilty yesterday to one count each of theft, criminal conspiracy to commit theft and corruption of minors before Erie County Judge Ernest DiSantis Junior. Isenhart was accused of participating in the burglaries of 12 churches and one parochial school. She faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison and a fine of 30-thousand dollars. Prosecutors say they dropped other charges after Isenhart gave investigators information that led her husband to plead guilty. James Lyle Isenhart was sentenced on October second to nine to 18 years in prison.

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A woman is suing an Altoona hospital and doctor for allegedly leaving a medical sponge eight inches long and four inches wide inside her head after an ear operation more than two years ago. After the procedure, Ellen Detwiler experienced painful headaches, swelling, nausea and hearing problems. That's according to a lawsuit filed in Blair County Court of Common Pleas. Failing to respond to treatment, Detwiler was transferred to Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh on September 3rd. There she underwent surgery and doctors discovered the sponge. Detwiler seeks compensation of at least 100-thousand dollars. Doctor Augusto Delerme and the Altoona Regional Health System's Altoona Hospital Campus are named as as defendants.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Hispanic groups and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing the city of Hazleton over its crackdown on illegal immigrants. The ordinance takes effect tomorrow, but plaintiffs are seeking a court order to stop it from being enforced while the lawsuit is in progress. The law imposes fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and denies business permits to companies that give them jobs. The law empowers the city's Code Enforcement Office to investigate written complaints about a person's immigration status, using a database operated by the federal government. Mayor Lou Barletta says he's convinced the law will be upheld by the courts.


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