Today's News-Monday, March 31st
Girardville became the largest community in Schuylkill County on Saturday for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. The event normally draws more than 10-thousand-people, but the visit of former President Bill Clinton more than doubled that total. Clinton was a guest of Congressman Tim Holden, and is campaigning across the state for his wife, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. They came from all over the state to catch a glimpse of Bill Clinton, like Laura Nork of Danville:
Clinton had breakfast at a home in Girardville, sampling pierogies for the first time. He walked in the parade, accompanied by county Democratic party dignitaries, then stopped at St. Joseph's Church to make remarks. One of the key issues Clinton discussed was the need to increase the use of cleaner burning coal:
After marching in most of the parade, Clinton and his entourage left for an appearance in Williamsport at Lycoming College. Whatever your political persuasion, Saturday was a historic day for Girardville and the entire county.
That's Dave Holley, president of the Schuylkill Chapter, National Football Foundation, announcing the winner of the 2007-2008 Scholar Athlete at the 47th honors banquet last night. Travers Schmidt is a senior from Tamaqua High School, where he was a four-year starter at quarterback, linebacker and fullback. Schmidt received several all-star honors this year. He also lettered in football and swimming. In the classroom, Travers Schmidt ranked second in his class, and has committed to play football at Cornell University. Schmidt said that it takes hard work to receive such an honor:
Fourteen young men were nominated from schools all across the county for the award.
A Pottsville teenager escaped injury in a crash in Blythe Township Saturday night. State police say that a 17-year-old male was traveling north on Route 209 and attempted to make a right turn onto Trolley Road. He reportedly turned too soon and crashed his Jeep into an embankment. He will be cited by state police for a traffic violation. The crash happened before 11pm Saturday.
A Pottsville teenaged girl was injured in a crash in North Manheim Township Saturday morning. Schuylkill Haven state police say the 17-year-old was traveling east on Greenview Road and attempted to cross Route 61. Her car hit a Volkswagen Jetta operated by 36-year-old Dawn Shellhamer of Orwigsburg, which was southbound on 61. The teen's car came to rest on the grass shoulder. The girl was taken to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center for treatment. A 15-year-old female passenger was not injured, nor was Shellhamer. The crash happened around 10am Saturday morning.
The Great Pottsville Cruise unveiled this year's prize Corvette yesterday. The annual event was held at Pioneer Pole Buildings, Route 183, the car's sponsor. This year's prize vehicle is a 1995 admiral blue Corvette, one of only 1-thousand-six built. The Great Pottsville Cruise will be held on Sunday, August 10th. In a check presentation prior to the car's unveiling, the Cruise presented a $500-check to the Hillside SPCA, who are going through some tough times right now.
Harrassment charges are pending against a Frackville man after an incident in Ringtown Saturday night. 29-year-old Christopher Lawson came to the home of Lori Grohol at 2613 Melanie Manor and damaged the front door of the home with an unknown object. Lawson reportedly shouted obscenities at her. State police at Frackville are expected to charge Lawson with criminal mischief and harassment. The incident happened around 10pm Saturday.
Clinton, Obama in central and eastern Pennsylvania on Monday
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Both Democratic presidential candidates will be campaigning in central and eastern Pennsylvania today. Sen. Barack Obama begins the day with a town hall meeting at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster. He'll then travel to Muhlenberg College in Allentown for a rally. Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will host a roundtable discussion at the Capitol Diner in Harrisburg. She'll then head to Bucks County for a rally in Fairless Hills.
Obama draws thousands to rally on Penn State lawn
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Barack Obama told about 20,000 people at Penn State University yesterday that he can win the Democratic presidential nomination even if rival Hillary Rodham Clinton stays in the race. The Illinois senator also told the crowd in State College that the hard-fought, drawn-out race is not hurting the party's chances to win in November. Pennsylvania's primary on April 22 is the next contest in the Obama-Clinton fight for the nomination. The state, which will allocate 158 delegates, is the biggest single delegate prize remaining in the Democratic primaries. Before the rally, Obama visited a university-run dairy farm and fed a bottle to a slurping month-old calf. Later in Harrisburg, he delivered the same call for party unity and also took aim at Republican nominee-to-be John McCain. Obama says the Arizona senator undercut his own credibility by supporting the lengthening of Bush administration tax cuts he previously opposed.
Police await autopsies for 4 found dead in Pa. home
CHESTER, Pa. (AP) - The Delaware County Medical Examiner's office says autopsies will be completed today on the bodies of four people found dead in an apartment in Chester. Officials have not yet released the names of the victims -- a man, two women and a child. Chester Police Chief Floyd Lewis says police responded to the apartment at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday after getting a call from a relative. Once inside, police found the bodies of the adults, all of whom appeared to be in their 20s, and a toddler. Lewis says there was no sign of trauma on the victims, who were found in the living room and the bedroom. But authorities have classified the deaths as suspicious.
Trout season opens in southeastern Pa.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Get out those rods and reels - trout season is open in 18 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania. For the second straight year, trout season opened early in the region to provide the same amount of quality fishing time that the rest of the state enjoys. Waters tend to warm earlier in southeastern Pennsylvania, and trout are coldwater fish. The season, which opened Saturday, runs until Labor Day. Trout season will start April 12 in the rest of the state. About 2 million anglers fish in Pennsylvania, and about 1 million licenses are sold each year. Fishing has a more than $1.5 billion impact on the state's economy.
McCune Foundation loses $130 million in subprime mortgage crisis
PITTSBURGH (AP) - The McCune Foundation has lost $130 million in assets due to a drop in the value of National City's stock, highlighting how the subprime mortgage crisis has affected charitable organizations. The foundation is one of the largest in western Pennsylvania. Its losses have forced it to halt grant-giving until at least June. James Edwards, chairman of the foundation's distribution committee, says about $27.5 million will still be awarded this year. That's down $1.4 million from 2007. National City Corporation has lost almost two-thirds of its value in the subprime mortgage crisis. The McCune Foundation was established in 1979 by the will of Charles L. McCune, a banker and oilman.
State College mayor holds commitment ceremony for 4 gay couples
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - State College Mayor Bill Welch has presided over a commitment ceremony for four gay couples. The state does not legally recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions. But Welch led a ceremony Saturday at Penn State University for two gay and two lesbian couples. More than 500 people cheered for the couples after the event, which looked very much like a wedding. The couples exchanged vows and rings, and sealed their pledges with a kiss. A Penn State student group called Orthodox Christian Fellowship protested outside by singing softly and holding plaques depicting Jesus. The Pennsylvania Family Values Coalition, which is a conservative Christian group, held a rally elsewhere on campus to support traditional marriage.
Open treasurer's seat ignites 4-Democrat contest in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Four people are running for the Democratic nomination for state treasurer. But the race has been overshadowed by the high-profile presidential battle. Candidate John Cordisco, a Bucks County lawyer and former legislator, says it's been hard to get attention. But another hopeful, retired venture capitalist Rob McCord of Montgomery County, says high turnout for a presidential primary could boost votes in the treasurer's race. Candidate Jennifer Mann, a state representative from Lehigh County, says Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's candidacy could mean a large turnout by women. Mann says that could favor her, since the state treasurer has been a woman for 18 of the past 20 years. The fourth candidate is Dennis Morrison-Wesley of Harrisburg, an investment adviser who has recently worked as a salesman for cable company Comcast Corp. He could not be reached.
Crime in trendy Pittsburgh neighborhood brings police crackdown
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh will install surveillance cameras and increase police activity in a trendy area of the city after a wave of shootings made residents nervous. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Police Chief Nate Harper met Friday with about 50 residents, many of whom moved to the
Mexican War Streets area because they believe in the city's revitalization plan. But a string of crimes, including the shooting of a postal worker last week, made some residents wary. Ravenstahl says the neighborhood is key to the city's growth. As part of the effort to crack down on crime, the city will install surveillance cameras, increase police patrols and look for people with outstanding warrants.
Vandals paint swastikas on northeastern Pa. synagogue
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - Police in Wilkes-Barre are investigating after vandals spray-painted swastikas on a synagogue. Congregation members discovered the Nazi symbols and other graffiti when they showed up for services at Congregation Ohav Zedek on Saturday. Vandals marked one door with a swastika and a German slur. Another door had a swastika and a Star of David. Murray Ufberg is a member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Wilkes-Barre. He says the hurtful vandalism brings back terrible memories for his city. Police say they are searching for suspects and looking for any previous, similar vandalism.