Saturday, September 22, 2007

Today's News-Saturday, September 22nd

GIRARDVILLE - A major community revitalization project to benefit several communities in our area was announced yesterday. Senator Jim Rhoades introduced the $1.6 million dollar Schuylkill County Revitalization Initiative at a press conference in Girardville. It will help reduce blight by developing residential housing on blighted sites. Rhoades said the new homes will be offered for sale to low-to-moderate income individuals and families to promote home ownership in Schuylkill County communities. The new homeownership sites will be located in Girardville, Mahanoy City, Schuylkill Haven and Shenandoah. Eight to ten blighted structures will be demolished in order to make room for seven residential housing units at the sites. Rhoades said that the revitalization plans would strengthen the local tax base of the communities and will provide enhancements to the neighborhood. Rhoades helped to secure $1 million in funding for the project from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

GREENWICH TOWNSHIP - A Pottsville man escaped injury in a three vehicle crash in Berks County Friday afternoon. A tractor trailer driven by Randy Gross of Sorrento, Florida, a vehicle driven by Leigh Smith of Trumbull, Connecticut and James King of Pottsville were all westbound on Interstate 78 in Greenwich Township when Gross's truck rear ended Smith's auto, then ran into the rear of King's truck. No one was injured, but Gross will be cited for a traffic violation. The crash happened after 1pm yesterday afternoon.

WEST BRUNSWICK TOWNSHIP - A Wisconsin man was hurt in a crash Wednesday afternoon in West Brunswick Township. A motorcycle driven by Eric Modrynski of New Berlin, Wisconsin, and a truck driven by Gary Zohn of Enola, were both northbound on Route 61. Zohn was stopping for a school bus. Modrynski was unable to stop and swerved to the right, striking the truck. The cycle rolled to the ground and slid across the road, striking a building. Modyrnski's injuries were minor, and he was treated at the scene.

More Pennsylvanians than ever before are recognizing the life-saving effect a seat belt can have and they are buckling up when they get in a vehicle. PennDOT announced Friday that the 2007 seat belt rate has hit 86.7 percent, which is an increase over the previous high of 86.3 percent reported in 2006. Pennsylvania started tracking seat belt use in 1988. PennDOT estimates that with every percentage-point increase in seat belt use, eight to 12 lives will be saved. In 2006, 611 people lost their lives on Pennsylvania highways because they were not properly belted. In an effort to reduce the number of lives lost, PennDOT invested more than $1.7 million in seat belt enforcement this year. Pennsylvania State and local police conducted enforcement activities in May as part of "Click It or Ticket," under which unbelted drivers who were stopped and cited for a traffic violation received a second citation for failure to wear a seat belt. Under Pennsylvania law, all front seat passengers are required to buckle up. Failure to comply with the seat belt law can result in a penalty of $60, including the fine and other costs. PennDOT reminds motorists that children ages 4 to 8 must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat when riding anywhere in a motor vehicle. In addition, children ages 8 to 18 must be in a seat belt when riding anywhere in the vehicle. Both of these laws are secondary, which means drivers can be ticketed only when cited for another traffic violation such as speeding. Children under the age of four must be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat.

DETROIT (AP) - Talks resume today between General Motors and the United Auto Workers. The union is now in its second week without a contract but the two sides are reportedly close to an agreement. It would include a historic deal transferring the automaker's retiree health-care costs to a trust managed by the union.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran is showing off its military might today with a parade of missiles and other weapons. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says threats and economic sanctions won't stop its technological progress. Ahmadinejad arrives in the U.S. tomorrow to address the U.N and to speak at Columbia University.

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - Another defeat for Democrats in the Senate looking to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. The Senate rejected legislation yesterday that would have ordered most troops home within nine months. The measure fell 13 votes short of the 60 needed to pass. Republicans say a pullout would have dire consequences.

WHITE HOUSE (AP) - President Bush uses his radio talk today to further explain his promise to veto a congressional plan to expand health insurance for children. Bush considers the 35-billion-dollar plan too expensive and a step toward federalized health care.

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Some called it a bridge to the future. Others called it the bridge to nowhere. And yesterday, the state of Alaska decided the bridge really was going nowhere and abandoned the project. The 398-million-dollar bridge between two islands became a national symbol of federal pork-barrel spending.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Police in Delaware have questioned two people described as "persons of interest" in the shooting of two students yesterday at Delaware State University. One of the victims, a 17-year-old girl, is in serious condition. Mindful of the Virginia Tech shootings, school officials quickly shut down the campus.

ATLANTIS, Fla. (AP) - "He was the ultimate role model in showing love and caring about other people over and above himself," is how Rex Humbard's grandson remembers him. The televangelist died yesterday at a hospital near his home in Florida. The 88-year-old Humbard died of natural causes.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - People in the Florida panhandle are seeing some rain and strong winds from a tropical depression. It came ashore Friday and forecasters say it should weaken further as it heads over land. That comes as a relief to people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, still skittish from Hurricane Katrina.

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) - Some 40 people are now dead in Pakistan apparently after drinking a toxic liquor Thursday. Some of the 15 other people who got sick are in critical condition. Drinking is illegal for Muslims in the predominantly Muslim country, but some resort to black-market booze that's sometimes tainted.

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - With the release of more than 200 doves, a memorial to the Columbine shootings has been dedicated in a park adjoining the Colorado high school. It's a broad sunken oval with walls built of red stone and sheltered from mountain breezes. Twelve students and a teacher were killed in the 1999 shooting.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A San Francisco supervisor accused of attempting to extort money from a group of fast-food business owners has pleaded not guilty to a federal mail-fraud charge. Ed Jew has acknowledged taking $40,000 but says the money was for a consulting fee over a permit problem. Prosecutors say he was supposed to be paid another $40,000 later.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some one million Simplicity and Graco cribs are being recalled after three children became entrapped and suffocated. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says in all three deaths, consumers had installed the drop-rail upside down, creating a gap for the child to slide into and suffocate.

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. (AP) - Hollywood heart-throb George Clooney and a female companion are recovering from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. Clooney collided with a car on a narrow road in New Jersey. Clooney has a broken rib and scrapes. His lady friend broke her foot.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The San Francisco Giants have told home-run king Barry Bonds that he's not going to be brought back for the 2008 season. The 43-year-old Bonds broke Hank Aaron's all-time record with his 756th home run August 7th. Bonds says he has more baseball in him and will continue his quest for a World Series ring.


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