Friday, September 21, 2007

Today's News-Friday, September 21st

Two Pottsville residents were hurt in a crash in Norwegian Township yesterday morning. Marcie Leonard, and her passenger Jamie Santai, were traveling northbound on Ann Street when she lost control, traveled up an embankment and hit a tree. The car then overturned, with the car sliding back down the embankment, coming to rest on its roof. Leonard suffered a facial injury. Santai complained of injuries to her hip, arm and head. Both were treated at the scene, then flown to Lehigh Valley Medical Center. According to state police, the crash scene evidence suggested that the incident was alcohol-related. The road was closed for about an hour for cleanup.

A routine traffic stop in Pottsville early this morning netted the arrest of a city man. Officers found a car blocking the road on East Market Street, and two people arguing. Police discovered a small amount of marijuana inside the car driven by 19-year-old Brandon Moyer.
A further investigation at Moyer’s home uncovered a quarter pound of pot and drug paraphernalia. He was taken into custody and arraigned before District Judge James Reiley.
The investigation continues, and additional arrests are possible, according to police.

A Tamaqua woman who set fire to her home was arraigned yesterday. 46-year-old Sue Ellen Smith is charged with setting the fire at her Van Gelder Street home in the borough earlier this month. That blaze destroyed the home. The Republican and Herald reports that Smith is charged with arson, disorderly conduct and other counts. She has been a patient at Pottsville Hospital since the fire, but after arraignment was taken to Schuylkill County Prison, in lieu of $25-thousand-dollars cash bail. According to officials, the fire was the third at the home in a three week period, but she has not been charged in the other two incidents.

A Berks County man is facing DUI charges stemming from an incident Wednesday. 26-year-old Stephen Simon of Shartlesville was found inside his pick-up truck at the jughandle of Routes 61 and 895 at Molino Wednesday night, in the middle of the road with the engine running. Troopers believe that he was drunk, and he was taken to Pottsville Hospital for a blood alcohol test. Charges are pending the results of the tests.

State police have charged a man for disorderly behavior at a casino in northeastern Pennsylvania earlier this week. 63-year-old Joseph Shamonsky was a patron at the Mohegan Sun casino at Pocono Downs Wednesday. Troopers indicate that Shamonsky was refused service of alcoholic beverages at the casino and was asked to leave. He refused, and became disorderly. Casino personnel called police. He faces charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct, and was taken to Luzerne County Prison for arraignment.

DETROIT (AP) - Negotiators for General Motors and the United Auto Workers union head back to the bargaining table in Detroit today. A strike has been on an hour-by-hour hold for the past week. GM is trying to get out from under the crushing burden of retiree health care. One source says other issues have been resolved.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite little prospect of success, Senate Democrats plan another vote today aimed at getting the U.S. out of Iraq. Two other anti-war measures this week have gone down to defeat. Majority Leader Harry Reid charges Republicans are walking "lockstep with the president."

BAGHDAD (AP) - American commanders in Iraq report another U.S. death. The soldier was killed in a blast north of Baghdad. An unofficial count by The Associated Press shows at least 3,792 American service members have died in Iraq since the war began.

JENA, La. (AP) - A court hearing today in Jena, Louisiana, could free the only member of the so-called Jena Six still in jail. An appeals court ruled the teen was wrongly tried as an adult. He and five others were charged in the beating of a white youth. Thousands of civil rights marchers converged on the town yesterday to support them.

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Public Library says it's going to repair a 19th century marble bust of Christ smashed by an unidentified woman last week. A companion sculpture of the devil
was not touched. The library has taken it off display too, figuring both busts need better protection.

YORK, Pa. (AP) - Police say shots were fired and a man was killed as officers arrived at a motel to serve warrants. York County Assistant District Attorney Bill Graff says a police officer was taken to a hospital after last night's shooting. But he declined to identify the officer or give details on how he was injured. Northern York County Regional Police Chief Carl Segatti said a
man burst from a room and started shooting when police went to the motel in Conewago Township to look for a runaway teenage girl and serve warrants on people believed to be staying there. Segatti said the gunman died of a gunshot wound, though he declined to discuss details. Graff said it was unclear whether police had returned fire.

MOUNT POCONO, Pa. (AP) - A dispute over who names an auditing panel for a casino in the Poconos could delay its scheduled October 15th opening. Mount Airy Casino Resort owner Louis DeNaples volunteered to name a five-member audit committee required as a condition of the resort's license. But DeNaples pleaded no contest to a felony in the 1970s, and is the subject of a grand jury investigation. Republican state Representatives Doug Reichley of Lehigh County
and Mike Vereb of Montgomery County are seeking signatures on a letter urging the Gaming Control Board to have the state attorney general name the audit committee. They say DeNaples' group should not be approved until the grand jury finishes work.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The state has ordered two centers for troubled youth to stop accepting residents after a string of injuries to inmates. State officials said staff restraining techniques caused seven injuries, including six broken bones, since March at the KidsPeace
centers in North Whitehall and Salisbury townships in Lehigh County. State juvenile justice services director Anne Marie Ambrose said the centers cannot accept new residents until they adopt methods to avoid such injuries. KidsPeace spokesman Mark Stubis said efforts to restrain outbursts by young people who may have serious emotional problems can sometimes cause an injury, but perhaps prevent worse violence or more serious injuries.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) - A woman working alone in the Williamsport office of Congressman Chris Carney was attacked by a man griping about taxes and communists. Police say a man upset about taxes entered the office yesterday morning and spoke briefly with 40-year-old Rebecca Brocious about taxes. When she stood up to end the conversation the man charged at
her, threw her against the wall, then apologized. Then he said something about communists in Congress, and about killing himself, and left. Brocious called police and locked herself in the office until they arrived. The attacker is described as a 6-foot-tall man in his late 30s
with heavily gelled short brown hair.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The state police commissioner is crediting his troopers with heroic actions at the scene of last year's West Nickel Mines Amish School massacre.
Commissioner Jeffrey Miller says the first trooper to breach the schoolhouse got inside by ripping out part of a window frame with his bare hands. Miller says the determined response his troopers exhibited once gunfire broke out probably helped save lives. Gunman Charlie Roberts was reloading when the first trooper got inside, and Miller thinks he planned to finish off the five girls who survived. Instead, Roberts turned the gun on himself. Five other girls
were killed in the attack. The one-year anniversary of the tragedy is October 2nd.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says U.S. police agencies need to understand the latest terrorist bomb-making techniques. In a visit to Philadelphia, Chertoff says his agency is training state and local police in several cities in the wake of terrorist bomb attacks in London, Glasgow and other cities. The Department of Homeland Security has also created a Web site on which they share information gleaned overseas with local bomb squad members and other law enforcement. Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, have caused many of the military and civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's top education official says that a performing-arts charter school will no longer allow its students to attend classes in other school districts.
It's part of an agreement to end a state investigation into the school's tuition billing and other practices. Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak says the deal resolves the state Education department's concerns and lets Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School continue enrolling students. Earlier this year, the Midland, Beaver County school was accused of violating state law because several students were going to other schools for some or all of their classes, among other concerns. Last night, the school's board of directors unanimously approved the agreement.

PARIS (AP) - Lancaster County native Floyd Landis has lost a split decision in his Tour de France doping case. The ruling by arbitrators means that Landis could become the first in Tour
history to forfeit his title and is subject to a two-year ban from competition. Lead arbitrator Patrice Brunet and Richard McLaren voted to uphold Landis' positive tests for a high testosterone level while winning the 2006 Tour, but Christopher Campbell dissented,
according to documents obtained by the Associated Press. The head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says the ruling "is a victory for all clean athletes and everyone who values fair and
honest competition." Landis calls the ruling "a blow to athletes and cyclists everywhere."
The ruling leaves Landis with only one more outlet to possibly salvage his title -- an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


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