Monday, January 29, 2007

Local News-Monday, Jan. 29th

A Friday meeting about the Schuylkill County MH/MR determined that some money will be refunded, but the exact amount and when it will be returned is still up in the air. The meeting of the affected parties, including ReDCo, the county and auditors, was held in Wilkes Barre Friday morning. While the amount, in excess of $300-thousand –dollars, was agreed upon, it is not certain when the money will come back. The 3-year-audit was undertaken due to overspending by the Mental Health and Mental Retardation program through several contractors, the largest being ReDCo of Pottsville, from 2002 to 2004. However, ReDCo officials say that the calls for the reimbursement are premature. In a release issued Sunday, ReDCo Chief Operating Officer Virginia Schenk said the amount in question represents actual expenses paid in the form of benefits to employees who worked in group homes across the county. The auditors say that part of that amount should be disallowed as exceeding state guidelines for MH/MR programs. The final report was expected to be released on Wednesday, January 31st.

Ashland police are looking for a thief who stole jewelry from a home on Friday night. A woman came to a home at 18th and Centre Street around 5pm, in what police describe as a “gypsy” type scam. A heavy set blond woman came to the home, bearing a gift to gain the woman’s trust. After entering the home, and using the bathroom, the thief took three diamond rings, valued at around $23-thousand-dollars from the home, then left quickly. The woman purported to be 8 months pregnant, but they are not sure if that’s true. If you have any information, call Ashland police at 462-1991.

A slick substance on Route 61 caused two simultaneous crashes Saturday afternoon. A car driven by Bernard Kondash of McAdoo lost control on the slick road while negotiating a curve on the road, rolling onto its side. Kondash and his passenger, Barbara Kondash were not hurt. At the same time, Theresa Lane of Frackville lost control of her car and rolled onto its roof. She had minor injuries. State police say that an oil-like substance was on the road at the time of the crashes. PennDOT applied anti skid material on the roadway, forcing the closure of Route 61 for about 2 hours. The mishaps occurred about three miles south of Frackville around noontime.

A slick film on Route 61 caused a two vehicle crash Saturday night leaving the Schuylkill Mall. Lois Hewes of St Clair was southbound on Route 61 and stopped in the right lane while merging into traffic. A car driven by Elizabeth Yocom of Auburn, traveling behind Hewes, slid on an unknown substance on the road and struck the rear of Hewes’ car. No one was hurt. Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts.

No one was hurt in a one car crash on the Frackville grade Saturday. Jill Gordon of Schuylkill Haven was southbound on Route 61 in Blythe Township when she lost control of her vehicle after running over an oil-like substance on the road. The car went up an embankment, then across the roadway, striking a guiderail. Gordon, nor her passenger, William Herrick of Paramus, New Jersey, were hurt. The car had heavy front end damage.

A Klingerstown woman is charged with assault following an incident in Upper Mahantongo Township early Sunday morning. Schuylkill Haven State Police say that 40-year-old Cheryl Klinger and some friends were at the Ridge Road Inn, but as the night wore on, the group apparently got out of hand and were asked to leave the premises. As Klinger and the group were leaving, she swung a beer bottle at Kristie Kocher, striking her in the head and causing a cut above her eye. Klinger will be charged in the incident.

Friday was a busy night for area police during DUI checkpoints. The North Central PA Regional Sobriety Checkpoint and Enforcement Program was in force at the beginning of the weekend and detained 68 vehicles. Four drivers were tested for DUI, with three adult arrests. Thirty five other traffic arrests resulted, including seat belt violations and 5 criminal arrests. Seven police departments participated.

An inmate at SCI Mahanoy is in more trouble following an incident earlier this month. Frackville state police were called to the prison after inmate Richard Goney threw a coup of liquid on a corrections officer when he approached his cell. Authorities don’ t know what was in the cup, so the officer’s uniform was sent to the state police crime lab in Bethlehem for analysis.

A Williamstown man’s car was broken into at a parking area off of Interstate 81 Sunday. Troopers report that Craig Clark’s car was parked on a dirt lot used for carpooling in Frailey Township, when someone smashed the driver’s side window and took a 5-gallon container of gas, jumper cable and the license plate. The investigation continues.


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