Monday, February 25, 2008

Today's News-Monday, February 25th

A Mahanoy City man was injured in a crash in Ryan Township Saturday afternoon. Frackville state police report that a 17-year-old male, from Mahanoy City was driving north on State Route 1013 and lost control rounding a right curve. In trying to correct his vehicle, his car struck a tree on the passenger's side. 18-year-old Stephen Hair was in the front seat and suffered major injuries. He was flown to Lehigh Valley Medical Center for treatment. The driver had minor injuries. A 17-year-old male in the back seat was not hurt. The crash happened around 1:40pm Saturday.

It was a night to honor the 16th President Saturday, as county Republicans gathered for the annual Lincoln Day Dinner. More than 150 people were in attendance for the 50th celebration. Among the speakers were incumbent state Senator Jim Rhoades and 124th District Representative Dave Argall, who are seeking re-election. The Republican slate also got a little bigger for state office, with the announcement of James "Jamie" McGovern as a candidate for the 125th District. McGovern formerly worked for the state Treasury department, but is now operating two businesses on his own. He said that politics are in his blood:
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His mother, Jackie McGovern, is Schuylkill County Treasurer. Democrat Tim Seip is the incumbent in the 125th. Also in attendance were several state-wide candidates, including Tom Ellis, who is running for state Treasurer, Chet Beiler, candidate for Auditor General, and Toni Gillhooley, who is seeking the 17th Congressional seat, held by St. Clair Democrat Tim Holden.

A Cressona man was jailed following an incident Friday night. Schuylkill Haven state police say that 32-year-old Paul Dembinsky was reportedly standing in the middle of Railroad Street in the borough around 10pm, shouting obscenities. He was warned several times to stop, but failed to do so. He was arrested for persistent disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and criminal mischief. In addition, Dembinsky is alleged to have damaged a fence on a neighbor's property. He was arraigned before District Judge Jim Ferrier and was lodged in the county prison, being unable to post bail.

Charges have been filed against a Port Clinton man for an accident in December, 2007. State police at Schuylkill Haven now say that Elmer Steinbrunn was over the legal limit when he was driving his car at a high rate of speed on Main Street in Landingville, December 12th. He lost control of the vehicle and struck Kathleen Kline's car head-on. Steinbrunn, his passengers Glenn Widel and Samuel Aregood were hurt, as well as Kline. Steinbrunn is charged with DUI, aggravated assault with a vehicle while under the influence and other charges.

A Tamaqua man required hospitalization for a head injury as the result of a crash on Interstate 81 last night. State police at Frackville indicate that 38-year-old Joseph DiBonifazio exited the interstate at Exit 138 when his car left the road and ran on to the shoulder, striking a parked tractor trailer in the rear end. DiBonifazio was taken to Hazleton General Hospital. Police believe he was intoxicated. Chemical blood tests were done, and charges of driving under the influence are pending the outcome of the tests. The crash happened around 11pm Sunday.

State police are investigating a burglary at a home in East Union Township over the weekend. Between Friday and Saturday, someone broke into Zella Brooks’ home on Walden Drive in the Eagle Rock development. Three TV sets, a computer, stereo equipment, jewelry, tools and other items were taken. The investigation continues. If anyone has any information, please call Frackville state police at 874-5300.

A Pine Grove woman and her two passengers escaped injury from a crash in Wayne Township Friday afternoon on the snow and ice covered road. 38-year-old Linda Bushold was driving north on Route 183 when she lost control on the slick road. Her van left the road, struck an embankment and flipped over onto its roof. Bushold, Mark Bushold and an 11 year old child were not hurt. However, Bushold will be cited for driving at an unsafe speed for conditions, according to Schuylkill Haven state police. The crash happened before 4pm.
Appeals court overturns woman's cruelty conviction in dog's death.

JIM THORPE, Pa. (AP) - A state appeals court has overturned a woman's conviction in the shooting death of her pet dog. Thirty-four-year-old Wendy Kneller of East Penn Township was convicted in October 2006 of criminal conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals. She was sentenced to six months to a year in jail. Prosecutors say she told her boyfriend to shoot their 6-year-old pit bull-chow mix named Bouta. But a three-judge state Superior Court panel says Pennsylvania law allows a dog owner to kill a pet with a firearm. The court says the state's law on killing animals is confusing. It is a misdemeanor to willfully and maliciously kill, mutilate or torture a dog or cat. But a subsection allows owners of a dog or cat to kill it, as long as the killing is not malicious. The judges say another part of the state code lets humane societies use a gun to destroy animals.

Penn State dance marathon raises more than $6.6 million
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Hundreds of Penn State students have raised more than $6.6 million for charity in the annual dance marathon. The 708 dancers went without sleeping or sitting for 46 hours beginning at 6 p.m. Friday in Bryce Jordan Center. They paused hourly to do a line dance loaded with pop culture references. Marathon spokesman Mike Petrasek says the center "just went nuts" when the total was posted at the end of the event Sunday. The amount is almost $1.4 million more than last year's total. Participants at the event known as "Thon" raise money for a charity that benefits pediatric cancer research and care at Penn State Children's Hospital in Hershey.

Greyhound bus flips over on Pa. interstate; 41 injured
MOSCOW, Pa. (AP) - Two people are hospitalized after a Greyhound bus flipped over on Interstate 380 in northeastern Pennsylvania, injuring more than 40 people. State police say the bus was headed north when it went off the road and rolled over on the median around 4:15 a.m. in Covington Township. Authorities say 41 people were taken to nearby hospitals. Two are listed in stable condition at Community Medical Center in Scranton. State police say other passengers were treated and released. Emergency personnel took the remaining passengers to a fire hall. Investigators say bus was headed from New York City to Syracuse. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Deloitte Consulting gets $414M in Pa. contracts over 5 years
HARRISBURG, PA. (AP) - Deloitte Consulting, which has strong ties to Gov. Ed Rendell's administration, has gotten more than $400 million in state contracts over the last five years. State Department records show campaign contributions by Deloitte employees total $77,625 to Republicans and Democrats in state races over that period. That's according to a report in The Patriot-News of Harrisburg. Deloitte received more state money last year than the auditor general's office, the Department of Banking and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Art Stephens, Rendell's deputy chief of staff and a former Deloitte partner, says the contracts were obtained through competitive bids. Deloitte says it has lost more bids for state contracts than it has won.

Rendell: Race comment shows he would be liability as running mate
HARRISBURG (AP) - Gov. Ed Rendell says he would be a "terrible liability" as a presidential running mate. Rendell supports Democrat Hillary Clinton for president. But he reiterated yesterday that he has no interest in being a vice presidential candidate. He says controversial comments like ones he made earlier this month show he could hurt a presidential candidate's chances. He was criticized after saying that some rural whites in Pennsylvania probably would not vote for Barack Obama because he is black. Rendell also says he would not leave the governor's mansion early to join a presidential cabinet. His term ends in 2011.

Police: Boy, 5, shoots self with stolen gun as dad sleeps
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Police say a 5-year-old Allentown boy found a stolen gun in his father's bedroom and shot himself in the shoulder. Police say Derrick Victorian was sleeping Saturday morning when the gun went off. The 33-year-old Victorian has been charged with child endangerment, illegally possessing a weapon and other charges. Officials say he is barred from owning a gun because of a prior conviction. Police believe the boy, Tahlik, was playing with the gun when it went off. The child was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital.

$17K paid for hair thought to have come from George Washington
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - It might not even really be George Washington's hair - but it still sold for $17,000. Four strands reportedly clipped from the first president were sold at auction Friday night to a Richmond man who declined to give his name. Colorado resident Christa Allen says she was given the hair by her father, a Philadelphia attorney. It was pressed under glass in a locket and accompanied by a watch. Jamie Bates, owner of auctioner Thompson & Riley, had hoped it would bring at least $75,000. The hair is believed to have been snipped from Washington when he was briefly disinterred in 1837.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The stars are gearing up for Hollywood's biggest night, the Academy Awards show. Jon Stewart will host. "No Country for Old Men" is the heavy favorite with eight nominations, including Best Picture.

HAVANA (AP) - Fidel Castro's younger brother, Raul, is widely expected to formally take over as Cuba's president today. The 76-year-old Raul Castro has been running the country since July 2006 when Fidel Castro fell ill. He's 81 and announced his retirement last week after 49 years in power.

CINCINNATI (AP) - Hillary Clinton campaigns in New England today after angrily refuting claims by Democratic rival Barack Obama in mass mailings to voters in Ohio. Clinton says the fliers distort her positions on health care and NAFTA, giving aid and comfort to Republicans. Obama says the mailings are accurate.

BREA, Calif. (AP) - Police in Orange County, California, say five people are dead, including three children, in what appears to be a murder-suicide at a condo. Officers were called by a 14-year-old boy who had been wounded. They found the bodies of a woman, three children under ten, and a man with a shotgun beneath him.
LONDON (AP) - It's said to be the world's first commercial flight powered by biofuel. A Virgin Atlantic jumbo jet took off from London today on a short flight to the Netherlands. Airline president Richard Branson says it's a step toward dramatically reducing aviation's carbon footprint.

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