Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Today's News-Tuesday, August 28th

An ongoing battle between the Mayor and borough council is spilling over into county court.
Shenandoah Mayor Thomas O'Neill filed suit against borough council, citing conflicts between the two parties that interferes with O'Neill’s ability to run the police force. According to the Republican and Herald, the lawsuit alleges that members of the police department are ignoring O’Neill's direction, and that the council are backing the department. In the filing, O'Neill asks the court to bar the council from bargaining his authority over the police department away, and protecting his legal authority to oversee the department. The battle between Mayor O'Neill and Police Chief Matthew Nestor has been ongoing for some time. Nestor has filed several grievances against the Mayor over administering the department. The suit, which does not seek monetary damages, was filed Monday.

Two New Philadelphia men are facing charges following an incident early Sunday in the borough. Frackville troopers say that Kenneth Neifert and John Potter were outside of an apartment on Water Street about 3am Sunday and were pounding on the door and shouting, creating a disturbance. During the investigation, state police found a pipe with drug residue inside of it on John Potter. He will be charged with possessing drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct. Neifert faces charges of disorderly conduct.

Legislators from Harrisburg will be in Coaldale Thursday to discuss property taxes. Representative Dave Argall announced that the House Finance Committee will be in Coaldale to hear testimony about a bill sponsored by him to address the unfair property tax increase imposed on Coaldale homeowners. Argall said that his bill is intended to offer some relief to taxpayers in Coaldale and other communities that are being "squeezed" by unfair tax increases in school districts that encompass residents from more than one county. Schuylkill County residents in the Panther Valley school district were hit with a 28 percent tax increase in 2006.

A Shenandoah man is charged with making terroristic threats and related offenses after an incident Sunday night. Borough police say that 62-year-old Randall Tyson began yelling obscenities and made an obscene gesture against Roger Heidlebaugh while the two were on North Union Street. Heidlebaugh told police that Tyson threatened to cut his head off with a machete'. Police also say that Tyson was on the victim's porch, and threw an unknown liquid on his car. When officers attempted to take Tyson into custody, he fought them before being subdued. He continued to fight police, attempting to kick them. Officers had to spray him with pepper spray. Tyson is charged with disorderly conduct, making terroristic threats, harassment and resisting arrest.

Two men escaped injury following a crash early Monday morning in Berks County, including one from Pine Grove. 20-year-old Derek Fidler of Pine Grove was southbound on Route 419 in Tulpehocken Township when he came upon the car driven by Kyle Batz of Womelsdorf, who was traveling north. Batz attempted to make a turn onto Summer Mountain Road and was struck by Fidler's truck. Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene, but neither was injured.

State police are looking for a hit and run driver involved in a crash yesterday in Cressona. A gold colored car was northbound on Route 183, near Elmer Avenue around 3:30 yesterday. The vehicle struck a parked Chevy van, which was unattended alongside the road, then took off without reporting the crash. Schuylkill Haven state police are investigating.

The condition of the state's 25-thousand plus bridges is now available on the world-wide-web.
PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler announced that the sufficiency and condition ratings of all state-maintained bridges can be accessed at www-dot.state.pa.us. The release of the list follows the August 14th release of condition ratings of steel deck truss bridges that are similar in design to the collapsed Minnesota bridge. The state inspects each bridge in the system at least every two years or more frequently if the bridge is deteriorating. In Schuylkill County, there are approximately 70 bridges deemed to be structurally deficient, according to information on the website.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Michael Vick won't be answering questions on a national radio show today after all. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback who pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges yesterday canceled a morning appearance on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show." Joyner says there were concerns Vick's words would be taken out of context.

BAGHDAD (AP) - American and Iraqi troops, backed by helicopters and jets, have attacked and killed 33 Sunni insurgents in Iraq. The military says the insurgents were holding back the water supply from a Shiite town in Iraq.

RENO, Nev. (AP) - President Bush plans to urge patience with the Iraq war today as he speaks to thousands of veterans at the American Legion convention. His second major speech in a week
soliciting war support will portray Iraq as a global crossroads, vulnerable to terrorism.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Whoever replaces Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should be prepared to face a tough confirmation. Experts say filling his job could lead to a new standoff between White House Republicans and the Democratic-led Congress. Gonzales resigned yesterday, effective September 17th.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A man suspected of killing five people in Texas has been linked to a woman found slain in Pennsylvania. Police say license plates on a car found at the New York home where the suspect was arrested have been traced back to the Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller expects to present the governor with options today on upgrading the computer system for background checks. The system is scheduled to be down for maintenance from Sunday through next Thursday --
preventing anyone from buying guns over that period. Miller says it's possible that the computer work could be pushed back.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - Luzerne County officials say a 7-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother have drowned in a neighbor's backyard pool. District Attorney David Lupas says the
county coroner's office will perform autopsies on the children today. The sister and brother's names have not been released pending notification of relatives. Lupas says there is no
indication of foul play.

UNDATED (AP) - A suspect in the slaying of four people in Texas and a Franklin County (Pennsylvania) woman is due in court today. He is 43-year-old Paul Devoe III, and he was arrested Monday in Shirley, New York. The Franklin County victim is 81-year-old Betty
Jane Dehart of Greencastle. Her car was found at the home where Devoe was arrested.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has been awarded a 16 million dollar federal grant to learn more about the virus that causes AIDS and help develop new drugs to fight the disease. The money will be used to establish the Pittsburgh Center for HIV Protein Interactions. It is one of three centers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

TYRONE, Pa. (AP) - Tyrone Hospital finished the latest fiscal year with a $600,000 loss, but that was a marked improvement over 2006. The Blair County hospital filed for bankruptcy in September 2006 after finishing that fiscal year with a nearly four million dollar loss. A hearing is scheduled October 5th in federal Bankruptcy Court on the hospital's proposed plan for emerging from bankruptcy.


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