Saturday, November 18, 2006

WPPA/T102 NEWS Saturday November, 18 2006


Court date set for Shields

One of Schuylkill County's most prominent high school sports coaches will be going to trial in February on three sets of sex-related charges. According to the Pottsville Republican and Herald, Daniel M. Shields Jr., of Pottsville, must appear in Schuylkill County Court at 9 a.m. Dec. 1 for jury selection and Feb. 12 for the beginning of his trial, Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin ordered late Thursday afternoon. While Dolbin denied Shields's request that the case be postponed from December until the March term of criminal court, he allowed it to begin in February in order to accommodate the schedule of his attorney, Emmanuel H. Dimitriou, Reading. Dolbin also ruled four alternate jurors, instead of the usual two, should be selected by prosecutors and Shields’s defense. An alternate juror sits through the entire case, and would replace a juror who is unable to continue to serve, but otherwise is dismissed once the judge delivers his charge to the jury. Dimitriou said Friday he was satisfied with Dolbin's order. He also said he did not know how long it would take him to present his case and that it was too early to say whether Shields would testify. First Assistant District Attorney Karen Noon, who will be prosecuting the cases, said she did not know how long it would take. Shields faces charges of aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors, sexual abuse of minors and invasion of privacy. He is free pending trial after posting 10 percent, $5,000, of $50,000 bail. Pottsville police have alleged that from November 2004 through May 2005 Shields secretly videotaped members of Nativity BVM High School's girls' track team dressing and undressing in the school locker room.

Saint Catherine Medical and employees reach deal

Saint Catherine Medical Center and OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union) HEALTHCARE Pennsylvania have reached an agreement on a three-year labor contract. As reported by the Pottsville Republican and Herald, the new contract becomes effective Jan. 1, 2007. Union members overwhelmingly approved the new contract during meetings held Wednesday. Employees represented by the union include registered nurses, occupational, physical and speech therapists, laboratory medical technologists and registered respiratory therapists. The hospital was purchased by Saint Catherine Healthcare of Pennsylvania, LLC on May 1, 2006, with an extension of the present contract through the end of the year, negotiated by the new ownership.

Click it or ticket

State and local police will be out in full force this Thanksgiving holiday week. As part of the national Click It or Ticket campaign, officers will be checking vehicles to make sure not only the driver is buckled up, but also all passengers as well. The two ticket, two fine process is simple…everyone needs to be buckled up! In addition, state police will be offering free child passenger safety seat inspections at Heritage Ford, Route 61 Orwigsburg, on Tuesday from 9am to 2pm and Wednesday from 2pm to 7pm.

IRS looking for refund recipients

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking for nearly 25-hundred Pennsylvania taxpayers who are due more than $2.43 million-dollars in refunds. In Schuylkill County, two dozen taxpayers are entitled to nearly $26-thousand dollars in refunds, an average of $1-thousand-77 dollars. The IRS is holding the refunds because the taxpayer addresses may be incorrect, making check delivery impossible. In some cases, a taxpayer has more than one refund waiting. Taxpayers can receive this refund after taxpayers correct or update their addresses with the IRS. The process for checking to see if you are entitled to an unclaimed refund is simple. Check with your tax preparer, or call the IRS toll-free assistance line at 1-800-829-1040.

PA Preferred Chefs offering recipes for Thanksgiving

If your are looking for alternatives to your traditional Thanksgiving recipes, why not look to Pennsylvania's Best Chefs? Four culinary experts from across the Commonwealth offer their own recipes for potatoes, stuffing, vegetables and dessert, each using fresh Pennsylvania products under the PA Preferred logo. By using PA Preferred products in your holiday feast, your guests will enjoy a meal made with foods that are grown and processed in Pennsylvania, meeting the world's highest quality and safety standards. From potatoes to cream puffs, there is a recipe just for you. If you enjoy these Thanksgiving recipes and would like more tips from the masters, all four chefs will vie for the PA Preferred Best Chef of Pennsylvania title on Jan. 11 at the 2007 Pennsylvania Farm Show. The recipes are available by logging on to slash-agriculture.

United Way Campaign Ends

The Schuylkill United Way 2007 fund raising Campaign came to a successful conclusion with an appreciation breakfast meeting Friday at the Quality Inn & Suites in Pottsville. The Campaign collected $980,079, seven percent above its goal of $915-thousand-dollars. The Tamaqua portion of the campaign also exceeded its goal raising $121,576. General Campaign Chairman Matt Tacelosky said it has been an amazing Campaign. Tacelosky thanked all those involved in the successful campaign. Tacelosky said the 16-member agencies will begin appearing before the United Way board during the first week in December with their requests for funding their programs.


Allentown shoe seller leaves $20 million for nursing program

A man who spent years outfitting nurses with their first pair of white shoes has left his (m) millions to the profession. The late Harvey Farr ran Farr Brothers Shoes Stores in Allentown, long a beacon for nurses looking for comfortable working shoes. He and his wife Elsa, who died in June, developed an appreciation for nurses that's led to a 20 (m) million-dollar gift from her estate to Lehigh Valley Hospital. The money will go to support professional development for nurses. Hospital President Elliot Sussman says the gift will enable nurses to return to school or attend professional conferences. Harvey Farr died last year. Both he and his wife were 96 when they died.

Philly's top cop vows action against drag racing in police car

An Internet video that appears to show a Philadelphia police cruiser in a drag race on city streets has Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson angry. He says he will find out who was behind the wheel of that police car and take action against the officer. Johnson says drag racers aren't just risking their own lives but those of people on the streets. He says officers should be breaking up drag races, not participating in them. This isn't the first video of Philadelphia police officers to draw attention on the Internet. Just last week, a video showing officers covering another officer's car with toilet paper got widespread viewing. Internal Affairs concluded that one was a harmless prank.

Penn State room and board rates, minority enrollment, on the rise

Penn State University will raise room and board rates by 4.8 percent for the coming academic year. The university's Board of Trustees approved the rate increases today at the main campus in State College. The increases cover
students who live at all nine residential campuses in the Penn State system. On average, charges for an undergraduate living on-campus in a double room will increase by 100-dollars per semester, to 19-hundred-ten-dollars. The price of the most popular meal plan, the 12- or 13-meal option, will rise by 65-dollars, to 16-hundred-80 dollars per semester. Penn State operates the second-largest housing and dining system in the country. The university has 74 dorms and five apartment complexes housing more than 18-thousand students.

ACLU says child sex-abuse bill has major loophole

The American Civil Liberties Union says a bill that would make several changes to Pennsylvania's child sex-abuse laws contains a "dangerous loophole" that will allow a wider range of people to avoid reporting suspected child abuse. The bill was passed by the House on Wednesday and awaits Senate approval. It includes changes recommended by a grand jury that investigated alleged abuse by Philadelphia priests -- such as allowing victims of child-sex crimes to file criminal complaints up until their 50th birthday. The word "ordained" was deleted from a section of the bill that exempts confidential communications to ordained clergy members - a concept similar to attorney-client privilege - from mandatory child-abuse reporting requirements. Larry Frankel of the A-C-L-U's Pennsylvania chapter says the change would allow people who claim to be clergy, but are not ordained, to avoid reporting suspected abuse. But Representative Dennis O'Brien contends the change was minor and intended to make the bill conform to current law.

Justice Sandra Schultz Newman to resign from Pa. Supreme Court

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman says she will step down at the end of the year. Newman won a new ten-year term on last year despite voter backlash over judicial pay raises that doomed a colleague. Newman says she plans to head the appellate practice group at the Philadelphia-based Cozen O'Connor law firm. She also plans to run a dispute-resolution unit that she intends to create. Her brother is a partner in the firm. Newman, who is 68, would have been forced off the bench when she reaches the mandatory retirement age in two years. The Legal Intelligencer, a law journal based in Philadelphia, first reported her plans to leave the bench on its Web site today.

Lawmakers, others to see 2 percent pay raise

State lawmakers, top executive-branch officials and judges are expected to get cost-of-living pay increases of roughly two percent for 2007, based on inflation statistics released by the federal government. House and Senate officials certified a one-point-nine-eight percent increase that state lawmakers will begin receiving December First. That will increase lawmakers' base pay from 72-thousand, 187 dollars to 73-thousand, 614 dollars. Governor Ed Rendell, his Cabinet secretaries and other top state officials are expected to receive a two percent increase effective January First along with state judges. The increase is the lowest cost-of-living adjustment for state officials since 2002, when salaries increased one-point-six percent.

Pa. teenager robbed of PlayStation 3 in mall parking lot

Police say a gunman robbed a teenager of his new Sony PlayStation 3 game system in a the parking lot of a mall near Allentown. The 17-year-old victim told police said he was in the back seat of a car at the Lehigh Valley Mall when he was robbed today. The PlayStation 3 went on sale today, but tight supplies and strong demand led to long lines at stores around the nation. Police reported several incidents of violence surrounding the debut of the P-S-3. In Connecticut, authorities said two armed men tried to rob a line of people waiting for the game system to go on sale. Police say a man who refused to give up his money was shot. Also, B-B pellets were fired at people waiting outside a Best Buy store in Lexington, Kentucky.

Jury returns death sentence for man who killed Newtown officer

A jury sentenced Robert Flor to death today for the shooting death of a Newtown police officer inside the emergency room at Saint Mary Medical Center. The jury had to decide whether Flor should face the death penalty or life in prison after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Newtown police Officer Brian Gregg and no contest to 30 other charges, including the attempted murder of Officer James Warunek and emergency room technician Joseph Epp. The jury took less than 90 minutes to return a verdict. As he was being led out of the courtroom, Flor cursed at Bucks County District attorney Diane Gibbons and then invited her to give him the needle.


HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - Condoleezza Rice says the people of Iraq must face up to their differences -- because they have no future unless they get together. Speaking in Vietnam, the secretary of state said Iraqis should make good, tough decisions like Vietnam did.

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - The White House is applauding a statement by 21 Pacific Rim leaders expressing concern about North Korea's nuclear ambitions. At a summit in Vietnam, President Bush is calling for strong enforcement of U-N sanctions imposed after North Korea tested a nuclear bomb last month.

SINGAPORE (AP) - President Bush says the U-S and Asia have common interests and face common threats. In his weekly radio address, he says they must work together to combat terrorism and to discourage North Korea from proceeding with its nuclear program.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A search is on for hostages in Iraq. Iraqi soldiers backed by U-S helicopters swept through a Baghdad neighborhood, looking for dozens of Iraqi men kidnapped Tuesday. In southern Iraq, coalition forces are searching for four Americans and an Austrian missing since their convoy was attacked Thursday.

TOKYO (AP) - A tornado hit a U-S military base in Japan today injuring three Marines. None of the injuries is believed to be life-threatening. The wind damaged cars and knocked out power as it blew across Camp Schwab on the island of Okinawa. Tornadoes are rare in Japan though one just last week killed nine people.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Three detainees held at the U-S Guantanamo Bay prison camp for terror suspects have been released. Officials determined they are no longer "enemy combatants." And the State Department says the government of Albania has agreed to accept the three.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A decision is finally in over who won the House seat in New Mexico's first congressional district. Republican incumbent Heather Wilson has narrowly defeated Patricia Madrid. Wilson won by just 879 votes out of more than 210-thousand cast.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Democrats will soon by ruling Congress but Vice President Cheney says that won't change the way President Bush selects federal judges. Cheney has told a group of conservative lawyers Bush will continue to select judges who interpret the law rather than make it.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Responding to student anger, U-C-L-A is ordering an investigation of a campus police officer's use of a Taser on an Iranian-American student. The university says an attorney who was part of a review of the Rodney King beating will investigate. The student plans to sue.

BOSTON (AP) - It's time for Leonid to make its seasonal appearance, if the weather cooperates. Stargazers in New England, New York and Western Europe could see an "outburst" of hundreds of meteors this weekend during the annual Leonid meteor shower. The display could be even better than usual.

VISALIA, Calif. (AP) - A 29-year-old California man is being held without bail in a small wildfire that led to a deadly plane crash. The crash killed a Department of Forestry battalion chief and his pilot. Authorities say Patrick Courtney has been arrested on charges of homicide and arson.

HURLEYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - A New York man's efforts to fry a turkey have destroyed his mobile home. It happened yesterday in the town of Hurleyville. Fire officials say the vat filled with hot oil overturned while Steven Devito was loading his turkey into it.

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Many people who've left California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration have gotten plum state jobs with his help, including some the governor once said were wasteful. An A-P investigation finds at least half of those saw their taxpayer-funded salaries go up as a result.

HURLEYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - A turkey dinner cost one New York man his home. Steven Devito of Hurleyville was trying to fry a turkey yesterday when he knocked over the vat of cooking oil, sparking a blaze that destroyed his mobile home.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senator Barack Obama says he's considering a run for the White House -- but he won't be pushed into it. The Illinois Democrat says there are many considerations -- including whether he thinks he can win.

BRACCIANO, Italy (AP) - The rain has stopped, and the groom has arrived. Tom Cruise waved to fans in the town where he's marrying Katie Holmes. It was raining earlier as the bride arrived with their baby girl.

PARIS (AP) - Authorities in France say a man is suspected of setting a teenage girl on fire last year after she rejected his marriage proposal. The victim has had multiple operations and skin grafts after being burned over 60 percent of her body.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City's Secret Santa is no longer a secret. Larry Stewart has revealed his identity because he's battling cancer and may have to curtail his tradition of handing out money. He's urging others to take up similar acts of charity.


Post a Comment

<< Home