Friday, January 26, 2007

State News-Friday, Jan. 26th

For the first time this winter, we are in an icy grip. Snow squalls overspread the area last night, with a dusting to around an inch in some places and gusty winds have pushed the temperatures to single digits this morning. We are under a weather watch due to the cold temperatures. A number of area schools are operating under delays today. Make sure to bundle up when going out this morning.

A Mount Carmel man has been formally charged, and his case bound for court. Steven Wolfgang was arraigned yesterday for arson and related offenses for burning his wife’s car in a remote area of Eldred Township earlier this month. The search for his missing wife, Sherry,continues. Wolfgang torched his wife’s SUV in what appeared to be a suicide attempt on January 8th. Wolfgang and his wife were apparently drinking on Friday, January 5th and got into an argument. Sherry Wolfgang said she was leaving him, and has not been seen since. Steven Wolfgang was burned in the incident, and while under treatment, allegedly reported that he killed his wife and disposed of her body. A massive search has not uncovered her whereabouts. The Pottsville Republican indicates that Wolfgang waived his preliminary hearing, and will face the charges in county court. A throng of family and friends were stationed outside the hearing at District Judge Carol Pankake’s office yesterday, questioning Wolfgang as to his wife’s disappearance.

A meeting to discuss the audit report pertaining to the Schuylkill County MH/MR program is today, and one attendee has been added to the list. Schuylkill County Commissioner Mantura Gallagher will accompany County Administrator Bill Reppy, MH/MR official Dan McGrory and solicitor Paul Datte to the meeting with Parente Randolph in Wilkes Barre. They will meet with representatives of the firm, who conducted the audit, and with ReDCo officials, the county’s largest mental health provider, and officials from the state Department of Welfare’s Bureau of Financial Operations to discuss preliminary findings. According to the Pottsville Republican, Gallagher is attending due to suspicions that not all of the requested documentation was provided to the auditors by ReDCo during the three year long process. The company defends accusations that they dragged their feet in complying with requests for information during the audit. The county had requested that ReDCo be prepared to respond to the preliminary cost adjustment report by last week. The county commissioners have hoped to have a final report issued to the public by next Wednesday.

A Schuylkill Haven woman was struck crossing a borough street yesterday afternoon. Fern Miller was crossing Columbia Street around 2:30pm when she was struck by a pickup truck driven by a 17-year-old male. Miller suffered head trauma. Following treatment at the scene, she was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital via MedEvac.

The Pottsville Lions Club Charities and Lions Club Cruise Committee presented checks to two non-profit groups Thursday. The checks were presented to the Schuylkill County Make-A-Wish Foundation and the MarLin Playground Association from proceeds of the annual Great Pottsville Cruise weekend and its sponsors. Cruise Committee Chair Jerry Enders said $15-thousand-dollars has been distributed to local non-profit groups from the event. Enders said the sponsor of the 2007 Cruise car, to be given away at the 14th annual event, will be sponsored by Pioneer Pole Buildings.

The Schuylkill County Commissioners tabled a request at their board meeting Wednesday from two Municipalities that would ask their constituents in the May Primary Election if they want to change their number of Supervisors. Assistant County Solicitor, J. Jones suggested the move saying both Townships might want to place the question on the General Election ballot instead of the Primary ballot because of the separate ballots for the major party’s and for people of other party affiliations that have no ballot to vote on. Voters in Pine Grove Township would be asked to approve a resolution to return to a three member board from the present five members, and West Penn Township would ask its voters to approve a petition to add two Supervisors to it present three member board. Jones will contact both Townships on the matter.


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