Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Today's News-Tuesday, September 25th

The war on drugs in Pottsville and Schuylkill County got a financial shot in the arm Monday, thanks to a federal grant. US Congressman Tim Holden, along with County DA Jim Goodman and officials from the City of Pottsville gathered at City Hall to receive a check for $449-thousand, 993 dollars from the COPS 2007 Methamphetamine Initiative. The monies will be divided between the two entities in fighting drugs. Goodman explains what his department’s portion will be used for:


The DA's office portion is estimated to be about $260-thousand dollars, $190-thousand is earmarked for salary and benefits for a full-time Assistant District Attorney. The City of Pottsville will use the grant money for equipment and police overtime in fighting drug cases. Murton elaborates:


Last year, a $50-thousand-dollar grant was received for drug fighting efforts.

Traffic was shut down for a time yesterday due to a crash on Route 61. A tractor-trailer operated by Sergey Taranovich and a car driven by Lorraine Breiner were both northbound in the right lane on Route 61 near Renninger's Market. The truck was intending to turn onto Builtwell Road to deliver a load of fruit when it swung into the left lane. Breiner attempted to pass the truck, but was hit when the truck turned. The car slid across the shoulder and hit a concrete curb. Both drivers were not hurt. Breiner's car had to be towed.

America's Funniest Mom has come home to share a few laughs this week. Rubi Wahhab Nicholas, who earned the title on Nick at Nite, will be showcasing her talents on the Sovereign Majestic Theatre stage later this week. The 1987 Pottsville High graduate, who came home for her 20th class reunion, is a working mom, donning her business suit during the day, and lets her hair down doing standup comedy at night. The daughter of Dr. Abdul and Zarina Wahhab, she uses her life as the base for her act, and she has plenty of experiences, both as a child of Pakistani descent and as a working mom with a stay at home husband for her two children.
She entered the Funniest Mom contest after her daughter saw it on Nick at Nite. Nicholas said that the contest was a daunting challenge, going up against some very funny women. But, she made it all the way to the finals, and walked away with the top prize. Nicholas stopped by the WPPA/T102 studios yesterday to talk about her love for Pottsville, and what makes her tick. She tells us what people might expect when they see her show at the Majestic:


A warm-up show is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7pm, Thursday at 7 and 9pm, Friday at 9 and Saturday at 8:30pm. For tickets, call the Sovereign Majestic at 628-4647.

Firefighters battled a blaze at a Tamaqua home yesterday afternoon. A passerby saw smoke coming from the home at 100 Gay Street just after the noon hour. According to reports, there was no one home at the time of the blaze. The property incurred heavy smoke and water damage. No word yet as to what caused the Tamaqua fire.

A Pottsville man was convicted of driving an unregistered vehicle on the highway in Schuylkill County Court yesterday. Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin heard the non-jury case, where 29-year-old C. Eugene Kutz was charged with driving a forklift on the highway, according to the Republican and Herald. Kutz was charged with driving the vehicle on Route 183 in July. He was reportedly taking food and equipment to his cattle, using heavy equipment. The forklift is not licensed for highway traffic. Judge Dolbin heard testimony from state police and Kutz, but decided that Kutz's argument was without merit. Court records say that Kutz requested a jury trial, but the judge denied that as well. He was found guilty and fined $75.

A group of door to door sales people canvassing Pottsville got more than they bargained for when they were arrested yesterday. The six out-of-staters were in the area of West Norwegian Street Monday afternoon, when Jeremy Blair of Washington, Ohio, was observed trying to break into a car. Upon arrest, they found a small amount of marijuana on him. The remainder of the group was stopped about an hour later on 16th Street. Katy Lynn Gregory, who was driving the van was charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Another passenger, Jeremy Pierce of Lubbock, Texas, was also charged with possession of pot and being under its influence. Gregory, Pierce and Blair were all arraigned and taken to the county prison. The investigation into the legitimacy of the subscription sales is also continuing.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - President Bush is expected to announce new sanctions on Myanmar's military rulers today when he speaks at the United Nations. The country once known as Burma has been the scene of massive pro-democracy rallies in recent days. Bush's U.N. speech promoting freedom will mention Iran only briefly.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A businessman and peace activist from California has been freed from a Tehran prison. Ali Shakeri is one of four Iranian-Americans accused of trying to stir up a revolution in Iran. Word of his release comes hours before Iran's leader speaks at the United Nations.

DETROIT (AP) - After getting a night's rest, bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers resume talks this morning, trying to end a strike by 73,000 workers. Some industry experts say a short strike could improve GM's inventory situation but one lasting more than two weeks could cost it billions of dollars.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Episcopal leaders meeting in New Orleans have an important vote today. They're weighing their response to Anglican demands that they bar any more gays from becoming bishops. An American bishops' committee has been working on a statement that
could determine whether the global Anglican fellowship splits apart.

MIAMI (AP) - Meet the newest tropical storm. Karen is the 12th storm of the season. It's far out in the Atlantic, more than 1,500 miles east of the Windward Islands.

GREENVILLE, Pa. (AP) - The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined an aluminum manufacturing company in Mercer County more than $155,000 for alleged health and safety violations. Signature Aluminum of Greenville says it "strongly disputes" many of OSHA's findings.

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - A psychologist says a man scheduled to be tried for a second time in the shooting deaths of two Ohio college students eight years ago is mildly mentally retarded. Ohio psychologist David Hammer says that 27-year-old Terrell Yarbrough has an IQ ranging from 65 to 75. Washington County prosecutors say they want to seek the death penalty.

CREIGHTON, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say a man dismantling a storm-damaged radio tower fell about 100 feet to his death yesterday in East Deer Township. Officials say the man was wearing
some sort of safety belt or harness, but they don't know how if or how it was attached.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A University of Pittsburgh lab designed to develop vaccines to counter bioterror attacks and deadly pathogens is opening today. The Center for Vaccine Research will be one of 13 in the country that will research methods to fight lethal microbes.

WARREN, Pa. (AP) - The state is working to plug abandoned gas and oil wells in Pennsylvania's drilling areas. The Department of Environmental Protection says the wells can be dangerous if people or wildlife step in them. They also present a contamination risk.


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