Today's News-Tuesday, July 31st
State police in several counties are looking for a man that may be linked to several robberies.
As we reported to you yesterday, a young, white male is suspected of robbing the Hess Express market along Route 61. Now, state police feel that the same man may have held up the Comfort Inn, located near the Midway exit of Interstate 81. As the robber did in Orwigsburg, he reportedly brandished a semi-automatic handgun and demanded cash from the desk clerk. Jonestown State Police indicate that mid-morning, a man fitting a similar description entered the First National Bank of Fredericksburg office in Bethel Township. During that holdup, the man got away with several thousand dollars in cash. Reports indicate that one of the explosive dye packs went off after he left the bank. While it is not a certainty, troopers from Schuylkill Haven, Jonestown and Hamburg have a hunch that maybe the three robberies are related.
If anyone has any information, call Schuylkill Haven State Police at 593-2000.
A soaking thunderstorm failed to dampen the attendance and enthusiasm at the Schuylkill County Fair Monday. Family Day kicked into high gear by late afternoon, with a steady stream of people bringing their lawn chairs to the Summit Station grounds in preparation for the evening's entertainment and other activities. Discounted entrance fees helped to bolster the gate, thanks to M&T Bank. Fair officials estimate that about 3-thousand-people attended Monday's fair. A new Queen and her court were crowned in the early evening. By that time, a heavy thunderstorm rolled into the valley at the foothills of the Blue Mountain, sending people running for cover. But, within an hour, the skies cleared and visitors sat back to enjoytwo rocking-good shows by Pittston-native Shawn Klush, an Elvis –tribute artist. This was Klush's third consecutive appearance at the fair. Klush has been on a whirlwind tour of England and Canada within the recent weeks. Between shows, the top three winners of the Schuylkill County Senior Idol, Charles Tamburelli, Mary Wagner and David Watson performed for the crowd. Today is Kids Day at the Schuylkill County Fair. Performing on the M&T Bank stage this evening will be the Majestics at 7pm, followed by country artist Jeff Bates at 9pm.
If you missed an opportunity to help send some deserving kids back-to-school well prepared, you have another week to do so. The Schuylkill United Way's Stuff the Bus campaign has been extended another week, to August 6th. The three Schuylkill County malls have a mini-bus parked inside, and residents have been asked to donate backpacks, notebooks, pencils…anything for back to school. By stuffing the busses, the Schuylkill United Way will ensure that kids who may have not been able to get the supplies they need to start school well prepared, can do so. In addition, monetary donations are being accepted as well. Help the Schuylkill United Way to "Stuff the Bus" by calling 622-6421.
Pottsville resident Thomas Guastavino is Schuylkill County Idol Number 5. After a whirlwind four weeks, and some stiff competition from other young men and women, Guastavino received the winning nod with the most votes from fans who followed the competitors all the way through. The 18-year-old wowed the audience week after week with Broadway show tunes, and garnered the coveted title. He told WPPA/T102 News how he feels about winning:
GUASTAVINO. The final three Idol contestants included Brittany Verchick of Minersville and Francois Bessing of Brockton. Guastavino, who will attend college in the fall, majoring in marketing and theatre, wins a $1-thousand-dollar shopping package from the Schuylkill Mall, along with other goodies. He will perform at the Schuylkill County Fair at 8pm Saturday night, taking the stage before Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night.
A new family of royalty was crowned at the Schuylkill County Fair last night. Fourteen young ladies entered the contest, vying for Queen, Princess and Little Miss. The competition took the ladies through a question-and-answer phase and a speech about why they wanted to become Schuylkill County Fair royalty. When the votes were tallied, 17-year-old Jaclyn Hoffman of New Ringgold was crowned Queen of the Fair. Two sisters, 14-year-old Chelsea and 7-year-old Megan Dalton of Pottsville earned the title of Fair Princess and Little Miss, respectively.
Megan Dalton told WPPA/T102 News how she was feeling after winning: DALTON
These young ladies will represent the Schuylkill County Fair at various appearances and activities over the next year.
Pottsville police arrested a city woman and charged her with disorderly conduct early Monday.
Officers were called to the home of Crystal Siluk on West Market Street. When they arrived, they heard loud music blaring from the home. Siluk was told to turn it down, or face a citation. When she failed to do so, officers were cursed at by the woman. A very short time later, police were called back to the home for the same reason. Siluk was arraigned and taken to Schuylkill County Prison.
Schuylkill County's unemployment rate is down, according to statistics released by the state Labor and Industry Department. The measure dropped by 2 tenths of one percent from May to June, 2007 in the region, referred to as the Pottsville Micropolitan Statistical area. While month-to-month numbers are significant, year-to-year numbers may show a more significant trend of point-8-oh percent. According to L and I stats, the Pottsville region ranks 46th among the state’s 67 counties.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Chief Justice John Roberts is spending part of his summer vacation in a hospital bed after suffering an unexplained seizure in Maine. The 52-year-old had a similar episode in 1993. Doctors say after two seizures, the likelihood of another at some point is greater than 60 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush's pick to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- Admiral Mike Mullen -- is expected to testify before the Senate Armed Services committee today. The White House decided not to renominate General Peter Pace over fears his confirmation hearings would focus on Iraq.
GHAZNI, Afghanistan (AP) - Relatives of the remaining 21 South Korean hostages are pleading with the U-S to help resolve the crisis in Afghanistan. Police found the body of a second captive
killed by the Taliban yesterday. Meanwhile, another Taliban deadline for the release of its fighters has come and gone.
CAPITOL HILL (AP) - The House is scheduled to vote today on a comprehensive ethics reform bill that targets money raised by lobbyists and spending bills known as "earmarks." The bill
requires senators seeking earmarks to certify that they have no direct financial interest in them.
ROME (AP) - Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni has died at the age of 94. In 1995, Hollywood honored his career work with a lifetime achievement Oscar. His depiction of alienation made him a symbol of art-house cinema with movies such as "Blow-Up" and "L'Avventura ."
WASHINGTON (AP) - Two Pennsylvania congressmen are getting fresh criticism from Governor Ed Rendell over their tactics to prevent tolls on Insterstate 80. A Rendell spokesman says roads in Congressmen Phil English and John Peterson's districts will be rehabilitated with some of the I-80 toll money -- unless their federal excise tax takes effect.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia's largest transit agency plans to stop accepting transfers tomorrow -- but the mayor is challenging that in court. Mayor John Street contends that
eliminating transfers would have a dispropportionate impact on the city's poor and on high school students.
SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) - A Northumberland County man has been formally sentenced to death in the fatal beating of his four-year-old stepdaughter. Twenty-eight-year-old Brentt Sherwood
showed no emotion during sentencing yesterday. He was convicted of beating the girl, Marlee Reed, when she was left in his care in December 2004. She died at a hospital the next day.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Morgantown, West Virginia, is hosting a mine rescue competition this week that's expected to draw 19 teams from West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Post Five Mine Rescue Contest will be held Wednesday and Thursday. Teams will show their mine rescue skills in three events -- mine rescue, bench and pre-shift.
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - A graduate student from Gannon University in Erie is close to Key West, Florida, and nearing the end of a three-week bike ride for charity. Kevin Caffrey has been pedaling to Florida to raise money for cancer research. He's been on the road for 19 days and expects to ride another five before reaching Key West.