Friday, September 28, 2007

Today's News-Friday, September 28th


Two vehicles crashed, but no one was injured in Tremont Township yesterday. An SUV driven by Ray Witmer of Muir was stopped on Molleystown Road, attempting to turn into the Raceway Truck Stop. Lindsay Wagner of Elizabethville, whose vehicle was behind Witmer's, failed to stop in time and rear ended it. Wagner, her two passengers, and Witmer were not hurt, but both vehicles were disabled. The crash happened at 3:30pm.

A crash at an all too familiar spot happened last night in North Manheim Township. Schuylkill Haven State Police say that Steve Miller of Pottsville was traveling north on Route 61 at the intersection with Manheim Road under a green light. A car driven by Paul Daubert Jr. of Pine Grove crossed at the intersection at Rita’s Italian Ice and failed to stop at the red light. Miller's car hit Daubert's. After the collision, Daubert continued on into the parking lot at Lehigh Valley Dairy, where he struck a parked trailer. He fled the scene onto Sunnyside Drive where his car got stuck in a wooded area.

A four-month drug investigation has led to the arrest of a Minersville man. 51-year-old Claude Taylor Jr. is charged with delivery of a controlled substance and related counts for selling heroin from his Carbon Street home. Undercover drug buys were made on several occasions during the investigation. According to the Republican and Herald, Taylor was arrested Wednesday and arraigned on both felony and misdemeanor counts, and was taken to county prison after he couldn't post bail. Police believed that Daubert was driving under the influence and he was taken to Pottsville Hospital for a blood test. Charges are pending.

State police at Schuylkill Haven are investigating a burglary at a North Manheim Township business. Sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, someone broke into the Altered Egos Tattoo parlor on Route 61. They gained entry by forcing open a front door. Once inside, money and several art designs were stolen. The investigation continues.

The County will soon have an actuarial study done to learn the full cost of its liabilities to its employee benefits programs. At Wednesday's County Commissioners meeting, County Controller Gary Hornberger said while actuarial studies are done for retirements funds, a new requirement by the federal government directs that they must now done for benefit programs as well. Five firms have submitted proposals to do the work. Hornberger said his staff will study the proposals and make a recommendation to the commissioners at a future meeting.
In other business, the Commissioners approved retaining Attorney Alvin Marshall to represent the county in upcoming binding arbitration hearings at the rate of $175.00 per hour. At last week's work session, Assistant County Solicitor Jay Jones said contract talks with the Teamsters Union representing prison corrections officers at the county prison have reached an impasse, resulting in binding arbitration. The contract expires at the end of the year. The Commissioners also approved extending the bid award date for asbestos removal at the 1912 building until the October 17th meeting.

A program of ethnic music and heritage opens the Schuylkill Symphony Orchestra season Saturday night. "Celebrating Our Eastern European Heritage", a concert of polkas, waltzes and other favorites will be presented at Lakeside Ballroom in Barnesville Saturday night. Jennifer Bowen, President of the Schuylkill Symphony, outlines the program:


Special guest artists include the Kazka Ukranian Folk Ensemble, with guest musicians Denny Hardock, Gary MacCready and John Stanky. The celebration of Eastern European traditions will also feature ethnic foods, and a Polka Dance with the music of local favorite Stanky and the Coalminers. Tickets are still available for the performance by calling the Symphony office at 628-2632.

It's a big day in the Little Town That Could tomorrow. The 19th edition of Schuylkill Haven Borough Day kicks off bright and early throughout the downtown area, with music, magic, arts and some of the tastiest food imaginable. The day begins with breakfast at St. Ambrose Church, and then moves downtown on Main and St. John Street. Whether you'd like to take a carriage ride, jump in a bounce house, or take a picturesque ride on the Blue Mountain and Reading Railroad, there is no shortage of things to do at Borough Day. New this year is a Geocaching GPS treasure hunt, where you use your navigation device to find hidden items throughout Schuylkill Haven. Parking is available at several locations away from downtown, with free shuttle service to all the fun. For a complete list of Borough Day activities, log on to, or check the link on wpparadio-dot-com (t102radio-dot-com).

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush promises a veto of a bill that would expand a children's health-care program. The measure has cleared both houses of Congress, but not by a veto-proof margin. The White House says it would switch funding from poor families to those with higher incomes. Backers say it would help millions more children who can't afford insurance.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush is calling for global action on climate change, but without setting mandates. He says regulations could slow economic growth and cost jobs. European officials want mandates, saying vague goals won't do much in fighting global warming.

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. (AP) - A woman who had been missing for eight days is in critical condition after being found in her car at the bottom of a steep ravine in Washington state. Tanya Rider is suffering from kidney failure and sores from being trapped so long
in the car, according to her husband.

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - First a ban on public assembly, now an embargo on the Internet. The government of Myanmar appears to have cut public access to the Web as part of its effort
to end anti-government demonstrations by monks and pro-democracy activists. Troops have also occupied key Buddhist monasteries, seen as flashpoints of protests.

MIAMI (AP) - A five-year-old Cuban girl is at the center of a custody dispute in Miami. The child has been in foster care since her mother attempted suicide, but a judge has ruled that her
father, who lives in Cuba, should get her back unless the state can show that would cause her extreme harm.

VERSAILLES, Pa. (AP) - The Associated Press has learned that highly toxic gas is lurking under a small western Pennsylvania town, yet the federal agency that found the danger never told local officials about it. The U.S. Department of Energy found high levels of hydrogen
sulfide during a survey conducted over the past two years at Versailles, where they were
searching for the source of -- and solution to -- a persistent methane problem.
Hydrogen sulfide is a naturally occurring gas often found in gas wells and in some coal mines. It can cause eye irritation and breathing difficulties at low levels and death in high concentrations.
Experts say its discovery should have immediately been reported to borough officials.
Town officials say they haven't been informed of the recent findings.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The state Supreme Court handed a victory to the state pension system by ruling that a retired judge can't get additional credit for his years in the state Senate.
The case centers on Commonwealth Court Senior Judge James Kelley, who won a lower-court decision to convert more than 14 years in the legislature to a higher pension bracket.
In the unanimous majority opinion, Justice Cynthia Baldwin wrote that if Kelley's efforts succeeded and others become eligible for higher pensions, it would have a substantial financial impact on the pension system. Justice Thomas Saylor, a Republican and the only court member to face the voters in November, didn't participate in the case.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Irish rocker and activist Bono was awarded the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia for his humanitarian work in Africa. During the event last night at the National Constitution Center, he exhorted Americans to keep working to solve the world's problems
and spoke of those who are without freedom. They range from people who continue to be trapped by poverty to the Burmese monks marching in protest against their government this
week. Bono and the organization he co-founded -- Debt AIDS Trade Africa -- received the award from former Liberty Medal recipient President George H.W. Bush. Bono, who fronts the band U2, co-founded the group in 2002 to work with religious groups on global disease and hunger issues.

INDIANA, Pa. (AP) - Authorities have charged a state trooper in the slaying of an Indiana County dentist, whose estranged wife was involved with the trooper. Kevin Foley, of Indiana, is charged with homicide in the death of John Yelenic, who was found slain in his Blairsville home on April 13th, 2006. Attorney General Tom Corbett says Yelenic died of blood loss
from multiple cuts to his body. He says a grand jury found that Foley had a well-known hatred for Yelenic that he voiced daily. Foley was in a romantic relationship with Yelenic's estranged
wife, Michele, while the Yelenics were going through a bitter divorce.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Little League Baseball president Stephen Keener says he can't remember a single player using a wooden bat during a quarter century of watching the organization's World Series games. Aluminum bats are so prevalent that Keener says he's worried participation in youth baseball and softball will plummet if a bill to ban them for players under age 18 becomes law. Critics say the bats are dangerous, since balls can fly off of
them at high speeds that can injure younger, less experienced fielders with little time to react.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A dispute between a billionaire newspaper publisher and a rival paper over sealed court documents detailing his acrimonious divorce and family fortune has drawn to a close -- for now. On Wednesday, a judge denied a request by Richard Scaife that
the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette return the documents, which were obtained by the paper after they were posted online by the court apparently in error for several days last month.
The newspaper reported information contained in the filings, including details about monthly temporary support payments of 725-thousand-dollars awarded to Scaife's wife, Margaret Ritchie Battle Scaife.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - An Allentown police officer who caused a crash that killed a 4-year-old pedestrian has been suspended without pay. Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski also recommended the rookie officer's termination as the city offered 500-thousand-dollars to
settle claims arising from the accident. Thirty-one-year-old Officer Brett Guth ran a red light while responding to a police call and collided with another cruiser at an Allentown intersection on May 30th. The crash killed Daviay Legrand and seriously injured his mother's boyfriend.


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