Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today's News-Wednesday, April 30th

A New Ringgold man is jailed after being accused of shaking his 6 week old son. Frackville state police arrested 22-year-old Kyle Bluge, after investigating injuries to his son Friday morning. Troopers say that Bluge admitted to shaking the baby, after initially saying that the injuries were caused by a toy falling on him. Bluge is charged with counts of aggravated and simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and related offenses. He was arraigned Tuesday at the office of District Judge James Ferrier,and was sent to Schuylkill County Prison, in lieu of $15-thousand-dollars bail.

Three people from St. Clair were injured in a crash in Berks County Monday evening. According to Hamburg state police, a vehicle driven by 76-year-old Thomas McDonagh of Naples, Florida was stopped at the off ramp of Interstate 78 at Route 183 in Upper Tulpehocken Township. McDonagh pulled his vehicle onto 183 and into the path of a Chevy Cavalier operated by Peter Kessock of St. Clair, which was southbound. McDonagh's car hit the rear end of Kessock’s auto, forcing it to spin out. McDonagh suffered minor injuries. A passenger in his car was not hurt. Kessock, George Brozana and Joe Rollman, all of St. Clair, were hurt. Rollman had to be taken to Reading Hospital for treatment. The crash happened around 6:30 Monday evening.

A couple of county school districts are looking to implement dress codes for their students. Meetings are scheduled to discuss the matter. Minersville school district officials approved a dress and grooming policy that will take effect in August. Blue Mountain school district announced a similar measure at their meeting last week. The Republican and Herald indicate that the policies will help to reduce taunting of students and create a more positive environment for learning. Blue Mountain officials will hold a public forum Thursday night to discuss the matter at the high school auditorium at 7pm. Minersville is planning two sessions. On Monday night at 7pm in the high school auditorium, parents of high school students can ask questions and learn more about the dress and grooming policy. Elementary parents can learn more on Wednesday, May 7th at 7pm in the elementary school. Tamaqua was the first area school district to adopt such a policy in 2005.

Governor Ed Rendell will be making a stop in Schuylkill County Friday as part of the Cover the Uninsured Week. Rendell will meet with officials from the Schuylkill Alliance for Healthcare Access to discuss the need for funding to help those who don't have health insurance, or who cannot afford premiums. The agency is in business to help hundreds of county residents to get access to doctors and health services at a reduced cost. A number of physicians participate in the county program. Governor Rendell has been an ardent supporter of getting affordable healthcare to those who don't have it across the Commonwealth.

Schuylkill County Controller Melinda Kantner has issued a response to a suit filed by County Adminstrator Darlene Dolzani. The suit, filed in March, claims that Kantner made comments about Dolzani's work as a banking executive to a Republican and Herald reporter. Dolzani claims that Kantner told the reporter that she was fired from her job at Schuylkill Savings and Loan. The institution was acquired by First Federal, and Dolzani remained on as a consultant after the merger. The issue reportedly centers around the county's finances. Kantner says that she never made the statement about Dolzani. Dolzani's suit is seeking $1 in punitive damages, plus attorney's costs.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's public welfare chief says the state could save up to $95 million annually by directly managing prescription drug benefits for Medicaid recipients covered by managed-care health plans. But health plan officials argue that the change would hurt consumers. The two sides presented their arguments Tuesday during a Senate committee hearing in Harrisburg.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Pennsylvania Legislature is considering whether to increase pension benefits for a quarter million state government and public school retirees. Some say the multibillion-dollar proposal will boost the state's economy. Others worry about the cost. The State Government Committee voted unanimously to send to the House floor a bill that would provide pension increases.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A law group is asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to nullify decisions in hundreds of Luzerne County juvenile cases. The Juvenile Law Center says more than half of about 1,100 juvenile defendants who appeared in Luzerne County courtrooms in 2005 and 2006 weren't represented by lawyers. The group says nearly 60 percent of those children were removed from their homes.

MEADVILLE, Pa. (AP) - In the coming days, more than 260 military vehicles will roll through Meadville as the Northwest Pennsylvania National Guard prepares to deploy abroad. The impressive display of Humvees, Hemetts and about 70 high-tech Stryker combat vehicles are being sent by train from Meadville to a site in Camp Shelby, Miss. Some 100 Crawford County troops will also go to Mississippi for training.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Barack Obama's brash former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, plans to preach next month in his native Philadelphia. Wright is scheduled to preach May 28 and 29 at a revival called "Remember the Journey; Rejoice in the Blessings" at St. Thomas African Episcopal Church. Wright will also preach June 1 at Canaan Baptist Church, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A quarter-point rate cut expected from the Fed today could be the last one for a while. The central bank is concerned about inflation following six cuts since September.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Obama is looking to get his campaign back on track after publicly denouncing the remarks of his former pastor Jeremiah Wright as "divisive and destructive." Obama will hold a major rally tonight at Indiana University, six days before the state's critical primary.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Seven people are dead following a raid by Afghan security forces on militants with suspected links to a weekend attack on President Hamid Karzai. Today's fighting in Kabul lasted several hours as the two sides traded gun and rocket fire.

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) - A surfer from San Francisco bled to death following a shark attack off Mexico's southern Pacific coast. Mexican officials say the gray shark bit the man's right thigh in the Monday attack, leaving a fatal 15-inch gash.

DORR, Mich. (AP) - An 11-year-old Michigan Boy Scout's good deed has netted him a big reward. The boy returned a wallet he found with $800 inside. After losing his own wallet and the $45 in it a few weeks ago he says he knew how the owner must have felt. She showed up to thank him personally at a pizza party that police threw for the boy and his Scout troop.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today's News-Tuesday, April 29th

A man who survived a 500-foot fall into a Tamaqua area coal mine says he doesn't remember much about what happened. But, police do, and have made an arrest. A friend of 23-year-old Nathan Bowman, the man who survived a
500-foot plunge into the Springdale Pit, is accused of pushing the victim over the edge. Authorities say 23-year-old Richard D. George of Tamaqua confessed to police that he pushed 23-year-old Nathan Bowman, also of Tamaqua. George was sent to Schuylkill County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail. He's charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and other offenses. Authorities says the two got into an argument before George pushed Bowman.

Even though the Schuylkill County Commissioners have sold the 1912 building and land at Rest Haven, one of the other suitors wants it stopped. The North Manheim Township Board of Supervisors have issued a letter to the county, saying the deal to sell the property to Penn State Schuylkill's Advisory Board be nullified, according to the Republican and Herald. The Township Supervisors, who made an offer for the property, said there was a lack of communication leading up to the sale, and that there were many close ties between Penn State and county officials. North Manheim's letter went on to say that Penn State was allowed to submit a different bid after the appraisal amount was announced and the deadline passed. A number of other issues were outlined in the letter, disputing circumstances about the sale. County Commissioner Chairwoman Mantura Gallagher indicates that as far as the county is concerned, the matter is closed and the deal will go through.

A Mahanoy Township man, already in prison on burglary charges, is facing more time in jail. 23-year-old Kyle Crouch was sentenced to 1 and a half to five additional years for receiving stolen property by Judge Jacqueline Russell. The Republican and Herald reports that Crouch was found guilty of the stolen property charges, but not guilty on arson, criminal mischief and charges of risking a catastrophe. That court proceeding took place in March, in connection with the fire at C&R Emporium and adjoining businesses in Shenandoah. Crouch was already in state prison for burglarizing several homes and a business in the borough in 2006. Judge Russell tacked the sentence onto the original ones handed down.

A Hamburg man's vehicle was broken into Sunday afternoon. Darryl Pettigrew's car was vandalized and a GPS unit stolen near Port Clinton. The state police at Schuylkill Haven are investigating.

A Pine Grove man was injured in a two vehicle crash yesterday morning in Pine Grove Township. 29-year-old Zachary Reinoehl of Williamstown was eastbound on the Sweet Arrow Lake Road around 6:40am when he failed to negotiate a right curve in the roadway. His vehicle crossed into the path of Lee Madenford's car, which was headed in the opposite direction. Madenford suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center for treatment. Reinoehl, and his passenger, were not hurt.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania welfare officials are disputing a national report about child abuse and neglect. The report says the state fails to release adequate information about fatal and life-threatening cases. The state was among 10 given failing grades in the report being released by two child advocacy groups. The survey says Pennsylvania lacks a public disclosure
policy. The state disputes that.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania election officials have revised their unofficial vote count for the presidential primary. They've determined that a clerical error had kept about 26,000 Northampton County votes out of the state tally. After the numbers were corrected Monday, about 21,000 votes were added to the Democratic presidential race and about 5,300 to the Republican
presidential race.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - It's been a year since a federal judge issued a scathing order over conditions at Philadelphia's crowded jails. Now civil rights lawyers say in court papers that the problem has only worsened. A spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter, who took office in January, says the new administration is actively working on the problem.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The search for a new chancellor of Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities has narrowed to three finalists. State System of Higher Education spokesman Kenn Marshall says the candidates will be interviewed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Chancellor Judy Hample is leaving to take a new job in July as president of the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A bill unanimously approved by state senators would allow more people to remove minor offenses from their record. Under the bill, a person who has remained crime free for five years would be able to ask the court to get a past summary offense expunged. The idea is to give people with no other criminal history an opportunity to present a clean background when seeking employment.

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia Governor Tim Kaine will be touring areas in the southern part of the state ravaged by a trio of tornadoes yesterday. In one Suffolk neighborhood, homes on one side of the street were barely damaged, while some on the other side were wiped off their foundations.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve Board is poised to slash interest rates for what could be the final time for the foreseeable future. The Fed today begins a two-day meeting at which it's expected to cut rates by a quarter point.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Paying for gas tops the list of economic worries facing American families, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That beats out getting a good-paying job or a raise, paying for health care and insurance and covering the rent or mortgage.

BAGHDAD (AP) - Former Iraqi deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and Saddam Hussein's cousin known as "Chemical Ali" are slated to go on trial today for the 1992 execution of 42 merchants. An Iraqi government official says Saddam's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, is too sick to attend the proceeding. The military says he suffered a heart attack this month.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The honeymoon may be over for a pair of Pennsylvania newlyweds. The couple spent Saturday night in jail after police say they brawled with each other following a reception at a suburban Pittsburgh hotel. She was released Sunday morning, still dressed in her white gown. He sported a swollen eye and a bloody T-shirt.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Today's News-Monday, April 28th

No one was hurt when a heating unit in a nursing home caught fire early Saturday morning in Schuylkill County. The Republican Herald reports, a small fire broke out in a heating unit about seven a.m. at Broad Mountain Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. A large amount of smoke poured from the unit as patients on the wing where the unit was located were moved to another part of the facility until the smoke was cleared and the area cleaned. Residents were back in their rooms later that day.

A 16-year-old girl was injured Saturday night when the sport-utility vehicle she was riding in flipped over on Route 54. Mount Carmel Township Police said 19-year-old Luke Reber of Schuylkill Haven, was driving east on 54 at the Strong connector around 7:30 p.m. and tried to beat the light as it turned red. The Daily Item reports, a 17-year-old Kulpmont girl coming off Brennans Farm Road got the green light and drove her S-U-V into the intersection, clipping the back end of Reber's vehicle. The 16-year-old girl from Locust Gap, was thrown from her vehicle as it flipped onto it's roof. The girl, broke her foot and injured her spine and was taken to Geisinger Medical Center where she's listed in fair condition. Reber and another passenger, 19-year-old Kevin Peiffer, received minor injuries. Peiffer was charged with underage drinking, and charges are pending against Reber for driving under the influence.

State police at Schuylkill Haven are investigating reports of underage drinking in Pine Grove Township last night. Troopers report that they received information about minors being provided alcohol at a party at 14 Short Lane, between 8 and 10pm Sunday night. No additional information has been released as yet. The investigation is continuing.

Two area men escaped injury in a crash in Landingville Saturday night. According to state police, 18-year-old Zachary Leeper of Pottsville was driving south on Canal Street when he lost control on the wet roadway and his vehicle struck a tree. After impact, the car came to rest on the shoulder of the road. Leeper's car was heavily damaged and had to be towed from the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt, and will be cited in the crash. Leeper's passenger, Aaron Foster of Schuylkill Haven, escaped injury. The crash happened around 10:20pm Saturday.

A Paxinos man was injured in a two vehicle crash in Cass Township Sunday morning. Robert Devitz of Ashland was driving south on State Route 4007 when he failed to stop for a red light. 19-year-old Christopher Jones of Paxinos was attempting to pull onto the road from Interstate 81 when the cars collided. Devitz avoided injury. Jones, who was not wearing his seatbelt, suffered a hip injury and was taken to St. Catherine's Medical Center for treatment. Both vehicles were heavily damaged. Frackville state police are continuing their investigation.

A big crowd gathered yesterday for the annual Avenues Rubber Duck race. The event, held at the Coal Creek Commerce Center, St. Clair, raises money for the organization, formerly known as United Cerebral Palsy. More than 5-thousand-ducks were adopted, then dumped into the Mill Creek to race to the finish line. A host of prizes were available for participants. The carnival-like atmosphere was the 20th edition of the Duck Race. Monies raised help people with developmental disabilities or handicaps that participate in numerous Avenues programs.

Inflation for breakfast, lunch and dinner isn't very nutritious for Pennsylvania families. Egg prices are up 35 percent, chicken is up 10 percent. Deborah Smith reports.

SMITH (click to listen)

The third graders at John S. Clarke Elementary have cast their votes. No, not for President. For 5 deserving charities. The Karen's Heroes program, in memory of teacher Karen Chattin Ney, recently concluded its 9th edition. Ney died of cancer nearly a decade ago. The students heard presentations from 5 different charities, and then cast their votes, worth $5 dollars each. A total of $15-hundred-dollars were awarded in this year's competition. The Pottsville Free Public Library received $455 dollars, The Schuylkill Conservancy, $385 dollars, the Schuylkill County Diabetes Organization, $345 dollars, the Pottsville Soup Kitchen, $170 dollars, and the Literacy Council of Schuylkill County, $145 dollars.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A group of truck drivers is planning to caravan past the White House and the Capitol before a rally to protest high gas prices. The group Truckers and Citizens Unite says it has organized hundreds of truckers to participate in the event today. The activities are expected to start about 9 a.m. A rally is scheduled at the Capitol at 11 a.m.

NEW YORK(AP) - Scientists for the first time have used gene therapy to dramatically improve sight in people with a rare form of blindness. Teams of researchers in the United States and Britain report that some vision was restored in four of the six young people who got the treatment. The Foundation Fighting Blindness helped pay for one study done at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - Two siblings of a Luzerne County man believed to have killed and dismembered a man before committing suicide say their brother was abused as a child. Police believe 38-year-old John Ryan killed 51-year-old John O'Brien of Wilkes-Barre this year, then cut up the body and put the parts in two bags found on an embankment near his home.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - State liquor officials are seeking proposals for a contractor to operate up to 100 wine kiosks throughout the state. The kiosks would be similar to a temperature-controlled vending machine capable of holding 500 bottles of wine. They would be placed in grocery stores and other places. They would offer about a dozen different types of wine.

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A lawsuit accusing the former president of a bicycle club of misappropriating some $370,000 is being allowed to proceed. The Altoona Bicycle Club sponsors the annual International Tour de 'Toona race. The club says ex-president Kirk Leidy wrote himself 120 checks and used club equipment for his own benefit from 1990 to 2002. Leidy says he's done nothing wrong.

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Oil prices have hit another all-time high, this time near $120 a barrel. Analysts say a confluence of events are disrupting oil supplies and driving prices up. They include a weekend labor strike that closed a North Sea oil pipeline in Scotland, and attacks on pipelines in Nigeria.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The U.S. military says a dozen insurgents have been killed in eastern Afghanistan. It says fighting erupted after the militants launched coordinated attacks on five U.S. and Afghan military outposts. No U.S. or Afghan soldiers were hurt.

BEIJING (AP) - Chinese authorities are blaming human error for a deadly train crash. A high-speed passenger train jumped the tracks in eastern Shandong province, then slammed into a second train. The official Xinhua News Agency says at least 70 people were killed. Some 420 people were injured, with 70 in critical condition.

AMSTETTEN, Austria (AP) - Austrian police say a 73-year-old man has confessed to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years and fathering seven children with her. Now 42, the daughter was held captive in a basement along with three of the children. Police describe the woman as appearing "greatly disturbed."

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Seventeen miles of coastline in Southern California are expected to reopen today, but many beachgoers say they'll be cautious about going in the water. The beaches were closed for the weekend after a deadly shark attack near San Diego. David Martin bled to death Friday after being bitten across both legs by what is believed to have been a 15-foot-long great white.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Today's News-Saturday April, 26th

COALDALE - A Tamaqua man has survived a 500-footfall into an inactive strip mine. Police say 23-year-old Nathan Bowman of Tamaqua was trespassing on coal-company property when he slipped and fell into the massive Springdale Pit overnight Friday. Coaldale Police Chief Timothy Delaney says Bowman survived a sheer drop onto a rock ledge hundreds of feet down. Rescuers used a basket to lift Bowman out. He's in serious condition at Saint Luke's Hospital. Delaney says Bowman is obviously extremely lucky to be alive. He says, "It wasn't his time."

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey has launched new airstrikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. The Turkish military says it's targeting rebels who were trying to infiltrate the country. The strikes took place yesterday and early this morning.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - The suspected mastermind behind the 9-11 terror attacks has met with a defense attorney for the first time ahead of his death-penalty trial. The 2 and-1-2-half-hour meeting came at Guantanamo Bay, where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (HAH'-leed shayk moh-HAH'-med) is being held.

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Another earthquake has rattled Reno, Nevada. The 4.7 magnitude quake knocked pictures off walls and sent rocks off hillsides last night. There are no reports of injuries or major damage. It hit an area where a swarm of more than 100 quakes were felt Thursday.

CHICAGO (AP) - The driver of a tractor-trailer has been treated and released from a Chicago hospital after his semi slammed into a bus stop and train station, killing two. Police are questioning the driver, but he hasn't been arrested.

NEW YORK (AP) - The Justice Department is considering whether to bring a federal case against three New York City police officers acquitted in state court of the 50-shot killing of an unarmed man in 2006. The Reverend Al Sharpton has planned a rally in protest of the verdict today.

NAGANO, Japan (AP) - Demonstrators for and against China met the Olympic torch in Japan during today's run through the streets of Nagano. Two people were arrested for trying to charge the flame, while a third was arrested for throwing eggs at it. The flame now moves to South Korea on the international relay ahead of the Beijing Games.

NEW YORK (AP) - The Reverend Al Sharpton has planned a rally today to keep the pressure on three New York City police officers acquitted in the 2006 50-shot killing of an unarmed man. The Justice Department says it's considering whether to bring a federal case against the officers.

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - A Texas court has rejected an effort by the mothers of a polygamous sect to keep their children out of foster care. The more than 460 children were seized in a raid on the compound earlier this month amid allegations of abuse.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic party leaders will consider a plan next month to award half-delegates for the disputed Michigan and Florida presidential primaries. The states were stripped of their delegates because they held their elections too early.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia gas station has offered some brotherly love to drivers. For 76 minutes starting at noon yesterday, the station offered gas for just 76 cents a gallon in a promotion tied to the Philadelphia 76ers playoff run. Drivers began lining up around 6:30 in the morning and about 100 made it through before the line was cut off.

TORONTO (AP) - A strike has put the brakes on public transportation in Canada's largest city. The Ontario government has asked the Toronto Transit Commission and its workers to return to the bargaining table this afternoon.

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii (AP) - An Army sergeant says his acquittal of murder in the killing of an unarmed Iraqi last year "was a long time coming." Trey Corrales claimed the shooting fell under the rules of engagement during a raid on a suspected insurgent hideout.

GAZA CTIY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Heavy fire has broken out between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in northern Gaza. Medics say one Palestinian has been killed. The clashes began Saturday when an Israeli undercover force entered a border area.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - An appeals court has upheld a civil verdict finding actor Robert Blake liable for his wife's 2001 death. However, the court cut a 30 million-dollar jury award in half. A criminal court had acquitted Blake of the killing of Bonny Lee Bakley in 2005.

OLANA BEACH, Calif. (AP) - A shark believed to be a great white has killed a 66-year-old swimmer with a single, giant bite across both legs. Witnesses say the victim had been training with a group of triathletes off a Southern California beach. One of the group says the seal-hunting shark may have confused the wet-suited swimmers with his prey.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Rescuers marvel that a man survived a 500-foot fall into a Pennsylvania strip mine Friday. But Nathan Bowman's troubles aren't over yet. He's in serious condition and facing charges, including trespassing.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Today's News-Friday, April 25th

The County Commissioners imposed a 30-day temporary county-wide burn ban because of the dry conditions in the woodlands. Emergency Management Coordinator Art Kaplan requested the ban based on the recommendation of the state Bureau of Forestry. Kaplan explains:

KAPLAN (click to listen)

Violators are subject to a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for the second and $300 for the third. Kaplan said the ban is for 30 days but the Commissioners could extend the ban for an additional 30-days upon recommendation of the District Forester.

Overtime costs at the Schuylkill County Prison continue to be a problem. County Commissioner Mantura Gallagher, who heads the prison board’s personnel committee said during Thursday's meeting that since the beginning of the year, overtime costs have reached almost $71-thousand-450-dollars. At the present rate, they could exceed the overtime budget of $140,000. She suggested the board consider talking to the guards union about a swing shift proposal and hiring two more correctional officers to fill-in at the warden's discretion. She said that her suggestion is not a permanent fix but it would at least get them through the end of the year. Warden Eugene Berdanier said the main reason for the overtime is correction officers on extended leave. He also said that the prison is under staffed by state guidelines. He said the prison has 43 officers and using an inmate population figure of 280 said state guidelines suggest they should have 55 or 56 officers. Chairman Judge William Baldwin said a committee will be formed to study the overtime issue and try to come up with a resolution.

An Orwigsburg bicyclist was injured in a crash with a car yesterday afternoon.
Schuylkill Haven state police say that a teenaged boy and a car operated by Logan Farr, both of Orwigsburg, were traveling on RedDale Road around 5pm when Farr went around the boy, into the oncoming lane of traffic. The bicyclist turned directly into the path of Farr's car as he attempted to turn into his driveway. The teen was thrown onto the car. He had to be life flighted to Lehigh Valley Hospital.

Cass Foster Township police arrested a 17 year old girl on drug charges last night. The girl was found inside a Jeep parked in the woods in the area of High Road and Pine Hill. She was reportedly smoking marijuana. A search by police found the drugs and paraphernalia. Officers impounded the vehicle. The girl was released to the custody of her parents. She faces drug related charges. Cass Foster Township police have stepped up patrols in the area after recent plaints of ATV riding and drug and alcohol related incidents in that area. Officers made arrests earlier this week in that same area.

A McAdoo man was killed in a crash Thursday afternoon in Luzerne County.
69-year-old Joseph Gigliotti was traveling east on the Freeland-Drums highway, and collided with a vehicle driven by Kevin Prussock of Freeland. The Standard Speaker reports that Prussock was flown to the Lehigh Valley Hospital for treatment. Gigliotti was prounounced dead at the scene by a Luzerne County deputy Coroner. The fatal crash happened around 2pm Thursday.

A Trevorton woman is charged with stealing money from the community fire company. State police at Stonington have charged 30-year-old Heather Foulds of writing checks in her own name from the accounts of the Trevorton Fire Company. She served as treasurer of the company from January, 2004 until July, 2007. Investigators estimate that the thefts exceeded $50-thousand-dollars from the fire company. Theft and related charges were filed against Foulds in District Court.

A Pottsville woman was involved in a crash in Berks County earlier this week.
State police from the Hamburg barracks say that 29-year-old Catherine Frankenberg was traveling behind a tractor trailer on Route 61 at Jetson Drive. She apparently was unable to stop in time and struck the trailer. Frankberg's Hyundai had to be towed from the scene. State troopers are still looking for the tractor trailer.

Penn DOT is advising motorists of lane restrictions on Interstate 81 Monday.
The work, including milling and resurfacing the roadway and painting, will take place between mile marker 108, near the Tremont/Tower City exit, exit 100, Route 443/Pine Grove. Single lane conditions will be in effect from 6:30am until 6pm, Monday through Friday for about 8 weeks. That section of Interstate 81 averages about 29-thousand-five hundred vehicles daily.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - What happens in Atlantic City may stay there. That includes a ban on lighting up a cigarette in the New Jersey seaside resort's casinos, which takes effect in October. Pennsylvania's casinos that have actively opposed a statewide ban on smoking on gambling floors say they are not budging from their stance, regardless of Atlantic City's law.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The state's student loan agency is offering voluntary buyouts to its nonunion employees as a cost-cutting measure. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency says the agency hopes to save about $12 million annually through the buyouts. PHEAA says its earnings from student loans have been hurt by turmoil in the credit markets, and it's looking for ways to reduce its costs.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The former director of accounting for the now-defunct bottled drinks maker Le-Nature's Incorporated has pleaded guilty to fraud, conspiracy and tax charges. The charges against 40-year-old Tammy Andreycak are related to the operation of the Latrobe-based company between 2003 and late 2006, when it was forced to seek bankruptcy protection.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A lengthy class-action lawsuit over the Continental Business Center fire in Montgomery County has come to a close with a $1 million settlement by the remaining plaintiff. The May 2001 fire destroyed 15 businesses in the complex in a century-old former fiber mill along the Schuylkill River. Fifteen defendants in the lawsuit had already agreed to pay off $34 million in liabilities.

LINESVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A Crawford County man accused of setting fire at an amusement park and a church has been ordered to stand trial. Prosecutors accuse 19-year-old Nickolas Pope of Hartstown of igniting cooking-oil soaked rags and debris to set the Feb. 1 fire that destroyed the 99-year-old Dreamland Ballroom at the 116-year-old Conneaut Lake Park. Damages are estimated at $1.5 million.

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - U.N. Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is calling skyrocketing food prices a "real global crisis." Ban says the U.N. and the rest of the international community is very concerned and adds that immediate action is needed.

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The U.N.'s top nuclear official is slamming the U.S. for keeping him out of the loop about what the White House claims was a nuclear reactor in Syria being built secretly by North Korea. The White House is urging Syria to "come clean" about the facility that the Israelis bombed last year.

SINGAPORE (AP) - Oil prices have rebounded after a steep drop yesterday. The price of crude is back up over $116 a barrel. There are new supply concerns after a Nigerian militant group reported it sabotaged another oil pipeline.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Prosecutors say a 16-year-old Indiana boy asked for help obtaining a 9 millimeter pistol, saying it would be "awesome" to use the same weapon as the Columbine killers. They allege he wanted to carry out mass killings in two states. The boy has a hearing in juvenile court today.

GRAYLING, Mich. (AP) - A wildfire in northern Michigan has burned six homes and shut down part of an interstate. About 50 homes have been evacuated. But no injuries have been reported.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Today's News- Thursday, April 24th

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton won 60 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties in a comfortable primary victory Tuesday, including Schuylkill County. The New York senator had a nearly 10-thousand vote margin of victory in the county. Only a 130-thousand-vote margin for Barack Obama in Philadelphia kept the state race from turning into a rout. Unofficial results showed the New York senator ended the night with a 55-45 margin, but in the state outside of Philadelphia, Obama ran nearly 19 percentage points behind. Obama won in two suburban Philadelphia counties - Chester and Delaware. In central Pennsylvania, he won Dauphin County, which includes Harrisburg; and Lancaster County, in the heart of Amish country. The Illinois senator took Centre County, with Penn State University; and tiny Union County, home to Bucknell University, where just 4,400 Democratic votes were cast.

A section of Pottsville was without power last night. PPL Electric Utilities reported that about 19-hundred customers lost power around 8:30pm due to some downed lines in the 18th Street area. The cause of the outage is not yet known. Power was disrupted at the Pottsville High and Middle Schools, in addition to residential customers. Crews were immediately dispatched to restore service.

A Pottsville man is charged with various counts following an incident in North Manheim Township yesterday. Kenneth Killian and Michael Scholek were involved in verbal argument at 155 Seven Stars Road just before 6pm Wednesday. Killian reportedly pointed a gun at Scholek. State police at Schuylkill Haven took him into custody and charged him with assault and reckless endangerment.

A crash in McAdoo borough last night injures one. 52-year-old Joseph Phillips Jr. of Kelayres was traveling west on Blaine Street when 19-year-old Cassandra Gomez of McAdoo pulled out in front of Phillips' pickup truck. Gomez's car spun out upon impact and came to rest facing east on Blaine Street. Gomez had minor injuries. Three juveniles in her Ford Explorer were seatbelted and not hurt. Phillips was okay after the crash. The fender bender happened just before 6pm Wednesday.

A Tower City man escaped injury in a crash in Porter Township Tuesday afternoon. State police at Schuylkill Haven indicate that 18-year-old Thomas Savage was driving south on Route 209 behind a car operated by an elderly female. The woman's car was headed onto Porter Road, then swerved back onto Route 209. Savage lost control of his vehicle and hit a utility pole, shearing it off. His Chevy Suburban then spun across the road, 30 feet from the pole. Savage, and his passenger, Devon Doyle, also of Tower City, were not hurt. State police are looking for the woman who was driving the Hyundai sedan.

Three people escaped injury in an early morning crash Wednesday in Norwegian Township. 21-year-old Nicholas Smith of Tremont was stopped at the intersection of Routes 209 and 901 before 7am. 74-year-old Muriel Bettinger was stopped in front of Smith's Nissan Sentra. Bettinger drifted forward, but Smith was unable to stop and rear-ended Bettinger's car. Both vehicles had minor damage. The drivers, and a passenger in Bettinger's car all walked away without injury.

State lawmakers take aim at employers who claim their workers are independent contractors, just so they can skip on workers comp and unemployment taxes. Lauren Rooney has more from Harrisburg:

ROONEY (click to listen)

Retired Pa. trooper charged with assaulting estranged wife

NEWPORT, Pa. (AP) - A retired Pennsylvania State Police trooper has been charged with assaulting his estranged wife outside their Perry County home last year. State police say 39-year-old Steven Seaforth pulled his 33-year-old wife out of her car, slammed her on the ground, and tried to choke her during a confrontation in May. Police say Desiree Seaforth was locked out of the couple's Oliver Township house overnight after going out with a friend and was waiting in her car for her husband to leave for work when the attack occurred. State police spokesman Jack Lewis says the agency's internal-affairs division learned of the alleged assault in October. Steven Seaforth joined the state police in 1991 and retired in February. Seaforth has been released on an unsecured bond.

Clinton wins most delegates in Pennsylvania primary

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won the most delegates in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary. She gets at least 80 of the 158 delegates up for grabs in Tuesday's contest, according to an analysis of election returns by The Associated Press. Sen. Barack Obama won at least 66, with 12 still to be awarded. The final delegate count is delayed because many of Pennsylvania's counties are split into multiple congressional districts. Pennsylvania awards delegates according to the statewide vote as well as the vote in individual congressional districts. In the overall race for the nomination, Obama leads with 1,714.5 delegates, including so-called superdelegates. Clinton has 1,589.5 delegates, according to the AP tally. It will take 2,025 delegates to secure the Democratic nomination.

Democratic turnout in Pennsylvania primary to top record

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Unofficial returns show the percentage of Democrats who voted in Tuesday's primary in Pennsylvania will at least narrowly break the modern record set 18 years ago. Ballots were cast by about 55 percent of the state's 4.2 million registered Democrats, a fraction above the previous mark. A small number of the state's precincts and untold numbers of provisional ballots have yet to be tallied. The old record of just under 55 percent was set in 1980, when 1.6 million of more than 2.9 million Democrats voted. That's when Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy narrowly defeated then-President Carter in Pennsylvania - a victory that came too late to help him overcome Carter's advantage in delegates. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton beat Sen. Barack Obama in Tuesday's election.

Stakes were high for Rendell, Casey, in presidential primary

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The presidential primary had Ed Rendell and Bob Casey on opposite sides of a statewide campaign for the first time since 2002. That was when both men were seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for governor of Pennsylvania. rendell was on the winning side both times. This year, Rendell was backing his old friend, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. Casey was supporting his Senate colleague, Barack Obama of Illinois. Rendell seemed omnipresent in Clinton's campaign, serving as strategist, organizer and master of ceremonies at her rallies around the state. Casey's role was more subordinate, but he was highly visible through the final weeks.

Pa. likely to have competitive races across state

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pennsylvania proved to be the most fruitful state for Democrats in 2006 when the party gained control of the U.S. House. But Republicans are now putting forth a slate of daunting candidates in the state as they try to retake the chamber. The GOP candidates were finalized in Tuesday's primaries. They include a small-town mayor who garnered national headlines for fighting illegal immigration, a father who lost his son in the Iraq war, a business owner that survived a tough primary and a former congresswoman trying to win back her seat. The party expresses confidence that it has found the right candidates. Ken Spain, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, says, "Pennsylvania has been a keystone for Republican recruitment."

Constable, apartment manager shot near Philadelphia

YEADON, Pa. (AP) - A constable and an apartment manager are recovering after being shot while trying to evict a tenant. Police in the Philadelphia suburb of Yeadon say Parkview Court manager Ted Hicks and the constable were trying to evict 21-year-old tenant Tamarr Minor. A heated argument ensued and the two were shot. The gunman fled in a car. Minor was arrested a few hours later in Philadephia. Police say the Parkview Court apartments have several evictions weekly at the 960-unit community. Police say none had ever resulted in gunfire before.

Suburban Philadelphia bank sues robbery suspect

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A bank is suing the Bucks County man charged in a Dec. 26 robbery in which he is accused of stealing $38,000. Huntingdon Valley Bank is seeking the stolen money plus nearly $1,100 for lost employee wages, management hours and other costs incurred. The lawyer for 48-year-old Richard Boyle of Plumstead says he can't understand why his client is being sued, since records show his client has no assets. Defense lawyer Craig Penglase says he would expect that his client would be ordered to pay restitution when he is sentenced. Margot Mohsberg of the American Bankers Association says she has never seen a similar suit.

CHICAGO (AP) - Authorities on Chicago's South Side have discovered the bodies of five young people who appear to have been shot. Police don't have anyone in custody, but they say they don't believe a killer is on the loose. They're not saying, though, whether it was a murder-suicide.

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - Extended unemployment benefits and new education funding for vets are two provisions House Democrats want added to President Bush's war spending bill. Democrats are backing off plans to tack on funding for infrastructure improvements and other domestic programs amid a White House veto threat.

WHITE HOUSE (AP) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to ask President Bush to put more pressure on the Israelis to stop settlement expansion in the West Bank during a White House meeting today. Abbas says the settlements are the biggest obstacle to a U.S.-backed peace deal with Israel.

CAPITOL HILL - Congress will take a closer look at the proposed merger deal between Delta and Northwest Airlines today. Some lawmakers have concerns over job cuts and fare hikes that could come if the deal goes through.

SINGAPORE (AP) - Oil prices are falling so far today, as the U.S. dollar gets stronger. The drop in oil prices also comes after a U.S. government report showing a buildup in crude supplies.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Primary Election Results and Today's News-Wednesday, April 23rd

Unofficial Totals:
Schuylkill County

President: Democratic

Hillary Clinton 15,355
Barack Obama 5,517
Write Ins 197

President: Republican

John McCain 9,760
Ron Paul 1,833
Mike Huckabee 1,478
Write Ins 1,049

State Totals:

Hillary Clinton 1,236,399
Barack Obama 1,022,377

John Mc Cain 572,234
Ron Paul 125,558
Mike Huckabee 89,644

State Representative


Neal Goodman 9079
Write Ins 42


Dave Argall 3845
John Schickram 1353
Write Ins 12

Bill Mackey 3694
Write Ins 125


Tim Seip 6039
Write Ins 53

Gary Hornberger 2969
James McGovern 2071
Write Ins 45

Senate 29th District

Jim Rhoades 12971 (R)
PJ Symons 17264 (D)

Hillary Clinton will press on in the Democratic presidential sweepstakes after a convincing win in Pennsylvania yesterday. The eyes of the world were on the Keystone State yesterday as the former First Lady carried Schuylkill County and the majority of the state's 67 counties. In unofficial totals, Clinton picked up more than 15-thousand votes, compared to just over 55-hundred for Barack Obama. Statewide, Clinton’s margin of victory was just over 210-thousand-votes, or about 10 percent. Pre-election polling pegged her margin of victory at just over 7 percent. On the Republican side, John McCain continued to build momentum with an overwhelming victory over Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. Huckabee dropped out of the race earlier this year.
(Chaz Hepler)

Schuylkill County voters have spoken for their respective party's representatives in Harrisburg in yesterday’s primary election. In the 123rd District, incumbent Neal Goodman ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary. There were no Republican opponents on the ballot. In the 124th District, Democrat Bill Mackey was unopposed, however on the Republican ticket, incumbent Dave Argall was challenged by John Schickram. Argall getting his parties nod, by about 25-hundred-votes in Schuylkill County. He will face Mackey in the November Election. In the 125th, Democrat Tim Seip ran unopposed. He will face former County Controller Gary Hornberger who trimmed political newcomer James McGovern in the Republican Primary. In the race for State Senator in Schuylkill County, both parties candidates ran unopposed meaning Democrat Peter "PJ" Symons will seek the seat held by incumbent Republican Senator James Rhoades in the November election.
(Chaz Hepler)

A record 36-thousand-voters took part in Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary in Schuylkill County. Forty-three percent turnout is a record, according to Betty Dries, County Election Bureau Director. But the long lines that were predicted did not materialize, and the unofficial final results were posted just after 11pm. The first machines were brought to the STS building in St. Clair just after 8:20pm, from Palo Alto's Second Ward.
(Jay Levan)

Incumbent Congressman Tim Holden will face Toni Gihooley in November. Both ran unopposed on their respective party tickets yesterday. Holden, a St. Clair Democrat, is looking to return to Washington for another two year term. Gilhooley, of Dauphin County, is a retired state police trooper and a human resources consultant. The Republican is a newcomer on the state political scene.
(Jay Levan)

Two men and two women were elected to the Republican State Committee in Tuesday's primary. Mary Beth Dougherty, a Councilwoman from Girardville, was the top vote getter. Scott Thomas of Pottsville, Maria Casey of Minersville and George Moyer rounded out the slate. Republican voters had to pick two men and two women from the field of eight candidates.
(Chaz Hepler)

Diane Bowman was the top vote getter for delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Bowman was followed by Brad Koplinsky, Peggy Grove and Barry Bogarde for the opportunity to represent the 17th District at the Democratic National Convention. Stephen Dorko defeated Dwight Green as the alternate on the Democratic side, both are committed to Hillary Clinton. On the Republican Ticket, Schuylkill County Treasurer Jackie McGovern will join John McNalley the Third and Dan Daub for the 17th District at the Republican National Convention. Jeanne C. Noll will represent as the alternate.
(Chaz Hepler)

An unidentified body that was found near Goody's Mini Golf in West Mahanoy Township in April of 2006 has now been identified. State police report that Marianne DeMartin of Marlton, New Jersey was reported missing by her parents on September 25, 2005 after she returned from a business trip in Baltimore on September 23rd. In January of this year, troopers from Frackville and New Jersey authorities had a suspect in custody with ties to the disappearance in Schuylkill County. Dental records were obtained and lead to the positive identification of the body. Yesterday, the Burlington County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office arrested and charged Alex James Crow of Medford, New Jersey with the murder of Marianne DeMartin. Schuylkill County Coroner Joseph Lipsett has issued a death certificate ruling the death a homicide based on the joint investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police, Evesham Township Police Department, and the Burlington County Prosecutors Office. Members of the Schuylkill County District Attorney's Office also assisted in this investigation.
(Chaz Hepler)

Cass Foster Township police raided an underage drinking party last night in Black Heath. Around 9pm, officers responded to a complaint of ATV riding and underage drinking in the area of High Road and Pine Hill. Three underage drinkers were arrested. A female fled on an ATV. Charges of corrupting the morals of minors and related offenses are pending against an adult that was present at the party. Additional charges will be made as the investigation continues.

A world renowned expert on the environment spoke at Penn State Schuylkill last night. Allie Raring has more:

DR RICHARD ALLEY (click to listen)

Three statewide cabinet positions garnered minimal attention during Tuesday's election. Incumbent Attorney General Tom Corbett, a Republican, was uncontested. He will face off against John Morganelli of Northhampton County in November. Democratic Auditor General Jack Wagner had no challengers in the primary. His opponent will be Chet Beiler of Lancaster County. incumbent state Treasurer Robin Weismann is not seeking election. Tom Ellis, a Republican from Montgomery County will be challenged by venture capitalist Rob McCord of Montgomery County. He defeated three challengers by an overwhelming margin, and spent a significant amount of money to gain face recognition among Pennsylvania's voters.

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A 60-year-old man who fled a halfway house in Cambria County has turned himself in. State police had been looking for Jerome Wilson Slacum after he signed out of the Community Corrections Center in Johnstown around noon on Friday and failed to return. Slacum is being held at Cambria County Prison.

INDIANA, Pa. (AP) - S&T Bank has named Todd Brice as its new chief executive. Brice had been president and chief operating officer and replaces James Miller, who is retiring. The regional bank's parent company, S&T Bancorp, says the bank also named Ed Hauck chief operating officer in addition to his current role as senior executive vice president of retail banking.

EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A volunteer firefighter has pleaded guilty to setting five fires in Cambria County. Charles Edward Shenego was serving with the Lower Yoder Volunteer Fire Company when the fires broke out at a vacant house, in trash and recycling bins and near a garage last spring and summer.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton hangs on in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. After her 10-point win over Barack Obama in Pennsylvania, Clinton told supporters that Americans "deserve a president who doesn't quit." The contest now goes on to North Carolina, where Obama is favored, and Indiana, where the race is close.

WASHINGTON (AP) - What were the keys to Hillary Rodham Clinton's Pennsylvania victory? She won the votes of blue-collar workers, women and white men in an election where the economy was the dominant concern. Barack Obama was favored by blacks, the affluent and voters who recently switched to the Democratic Party.

SINGAPORE (AP) - The price of oil has steadied a bit in overnight trading after nearly reaching the $120 a barrel mark yesterday. It's been hovering around $118.

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - By week's end, more than 400 children from the polygamist ranch in Texas could be scattered across the state in foster care facilities. Adults who are fighting accusations of abuse within the sect are giving DNA samples to untangle complicated family trees.

MIAMI (AP) - Doctors say a Vietnamese girl with a 16-pound tumor on her face could suffocate unless it's removed. They plan to excise it in an operation next week in Miami. The tumor's been growing for 12 years and the girl has never been able to attend school.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Today's News-Wednesday, April 22nd-EARTH DAY

Voters in today's primary will get to select candidates in several races for seats in the state capitol. Longtime Republican Senator Jim Rhoades is up for re-election, but unchallenged in the primary. Democrat PJ Symons, current Schuylkill County Prothonotary, is on the ballot in the 29th District. In the 123rd Legislative District, incumbent Democrat Neal Goodman is the only candidate on the ticket, with no Republican challengers. 124th District incumbent, Republican Dave Argall is being challenged by Tamaqua Businessman John Schickram. Bill Mackey, a Democrat, is seeking a spot on the November ballot as well. In the 125th, freshman Democrat Tim Seip is alone on his party's ticket. Republicans Jamie McGovern and Gary Hornberger are vying to challenge Seip in November. Voters will also get to choose who will be delegates to the National Conventions, and to the Republican state committee. Turnout at the polls is expected to be heavy, so be prepared to wait in line at the polls. All voters are reminded to have valid identification ready when going to vote. The polls close at 8pm. Listen to Election night coverage on WPPA and T102 News.
(Jay Levan)

Its not just a day for tree huggers. Earth Day has everyone in the mood to GO GREEN. From more energy efficient homes and cars, to green food, the effort has taken the nation by storm. WPPA and T102 News caught up with Randall Fulling of Brokhoff Road, just outside of Pottsville. For more than a decade, Randall has mobilized his neighbors to keep his little slice of his neighborhood looking good:

FULLING (click to listen)

To learn more about Earth Day and what you can do to participate, log on to
(Kerry Dowd/Jay Levan)

A Pottsville man is charged with assaulting a Palo Alto woman early Sunday morning. Schuylkill Haven state police now say that 21-year-old Steven Platts drove 19-year-old Candice Sisko to a wooded area in Norwegian Township and seriously injured her. Platts was charged with aggravated assault and related counts. Following arraignment, he was lodged in Schuylkill County Prison, in lieu of $20-thousand-dollars bail.
(Jay Levan)

Today is Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania. Registered Republicans and Democrats will get to cast their votes for candidates on the national, state and local levels. The polls will be open until 8pm, and turnout is expected to be high, so get there early. The Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and their supporters, have spent significant time and dollars in the Keystone State. Recent polls have Clinton leading Obama by seven percentage points. She needs to win in Pennsylvania to stay in the race. John McCain is the apparent Republican nominee for President. US Congressman Tim Holden is seeking re-election, but unchallenged on the Democratic ticket. Statewide, voters will have the opportunity to choose candidates for Auditor General, Attorney General and state Treasurer. Listen for election coverage tonight on WPPA and T102 News.
(Jay Levan)

A former Schuylkill County woman has been sentenced in the death of her infant in 2005. 24-year-old Amanda Trindle, Levittown, was sentenced to 33-months to 8 years in prison in the death of her daughter, Jade Leonard. The Republican and Herald reports that Trindle pleaded guilty in February to involuntary manslaughter, and child endangerment counts. Her sentence was handed down by Schuylkill County Judge D Michael Stine. The baby's father, Donald Leonard the Third, was sentenced earlier to 10 years in prison in connection with the case. The baby, who was 14 months old when she died in 2005, was living with her family in Girardville. Trindle and Leonard, also neglected their son Leland. His grandmother, Denise Trindle, expects to be granted custody of the boy shortly.
(Jay Levan/Republican and Herald)

An area company is using a natural resource to generate energy, 100 percent of it! World Resources Corporation, with operations in the Pottsville area, is purchasing renewable wind energy for its electrical needs. WRC Senior Vice President and director of North American operations Tom Drogalis explains the process:

(click to listen)

The company, based in McLean, Virginia, recycles non renewable metals and mineral resources. For their efforts, World Resources Corporation has been designated as a leader of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership Drogalis said its more than a business decision:

DROGALIS (click to listen)
(Jay Levan)

How many of the 4.2 million Pa. Democrats will vote?

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - There are 4.2 million registered Democrats in Pennsylvania, but it's unclear how many will turn out to vote in the primary election. Terry Madonna is a professor and pollster at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster. He says he believes flaws in the state's voter-registration process have inflated the number of party members. Madonna says many registered voters have moved or died, yet remain on the rolls because the process for purging the lists is so complicated and expensive. Democratic enrollment began to soar earlier this year when it became apparent that neither Hillary Rodham Clinton nor Barack Obama would clinch the nomination before Pennsylvania's primary.

Clinton reaches for Pa. win; Obama says he'll be close
BLUE BELL, Pa. (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton is invoking Pearl Harbor, the Berlin Wall and Osama bin Laden as she reaches for a victory in Pennsylvania's Democratic presidential primary. Barack Obama says she will probably win but he hopes to keep it close in Tuesday's voting. The state's demographics favor Clinton because she tends to draw support from older, white voters without bachelor's degrees. Obama is leaving the negative talk to aides. He didn't criticize his rival as he spoke with voters at an outdoor plaza in suburban Philadelphia, where tulips and daffodils bloomed and children played in the background. Pennsylvania is the largest of the 10 contests remaining, with about 4 million registered Democrats and 158 delegates up for grabs in the primary.

Looking for votes in Pa.'s demographics
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pennsylvania looks like Hillary Rodham Clinton country. Residents generally are older, whiter and more female than the nation as a whole. Wealthier, better educated and more African-American than the rest of the state, Pennsylvania's thickly settled southeast corner could belong to Barack Obama. For six weeks, the two Democratic presidential rivals have courted their political bases and sought to carve up each other's support with an increasingly strident tone. At stake in Pennsylvania's primary are 158 delegates, with 103 apportioned by how each candidate fares in each of Pennsylvania's 19 congressional districts. The remainder are distributed based on the statewide vote. The state has 29 superdelegates - party officials and elected officials who can support whomever they chose. Fifteen have endorsed Clinton and five have endorsed Obama.

State officials offer voting tips
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - State election officials are offering tips for people unfamiliar with the voting process. Anyone who doesn't know where to vote or how the machine works can log on to . That's where the state provides information on how each of the 67 counties conducts elections. They caution that different counties use different methods. Also, anyone who moved since the last election or who is newly registered to vote needs to present ID at the polling place. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver's license, state ID card, current utility bill, current paycheck or current government check. The state's top election official says lines tend to be shortest
around mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Scranton businesses offer discounts to registered voters
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - In Scranton, voting is a civic duty, a cornerstone of democracy ... and a chance to save 10 percent on qualified purchases. A University of Scranton freshman has persuaded several downtown businesses to offer the discount to anyone with a valid voter registration card. Joseph Maddalone says he hopes the program will encourage more people to participate in the political process. The 19-year-old political science major from Long Island, N.Y., founded a group called Vote Your Choice. He says he hopes to establish networks of restaurants, retailers, hotels and other businesses in every state. Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty calls Voice Your Choice "a novel
idea" and wrote a letter of recommendation for Maddalone.

Charges filed in state trooper's death
AVONDALE, Pa. (AP) - State police plan to answer questions Tuesday about charges being filed in the off-duty death of a state trooper. Trooper Kenton Iwaniec of Lancaster died March 28, the day after he was hit by a wrong-way driver. No one else was injured. Iwaniec died about three months after graduating from the state police academy. He was assigned to the Avondale station in Chester County.

Rohm and Haas reports 10 percent drop in 1Q earnings
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Specialty chemicals maker Rohm and Haas reports a 10 percent drop in first-quarter earnings despite an uptick in sales as higher costs eroded profits. The Philadelphia-based company is a pre-World War I business
with products as varied as plastics additives and table salt. It posted a net income of $172 million, or 87 cents per share, in the quarter. In the same quarter in 2007, Rohm and Haas earned $192 million, or 87 cents per share.
Sales rose by 16 percent to $2.51 billion, driven by strong results in electronic technologies and salt. The company said business in fast-growing developing countries offset a weaker U.S. market, and results were also boosted by acquisitions, price increases and a weak dollar.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama will make the rounds of the morning talk shows, as voting begins in the crucial Pennsylvania primary. Late polling shows Clinton with a single digit lead, after being ahead by 20 points or more in earlier surveys.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The presidential candidates made personal pitches to wrestling fans last night. They all taped messages for the World Wrestling Entertainment's "Monday Night Raw" program on the eve of the Pennsylvania vote. "Raw" is one of cable TV's top-rated shows, with more than 5 million viewers each week.

ELDORADO, Texas (AP) - An attorney for a Texas polygamist sect worries that authorities have another motive for taking DNA samples from adult church members. He's concerned they could be used to prosecute them for abuse. A state child welfare official says that's not their objective. Officials say the sampling was ordered to sort out tangled family relationships.

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Church leaders in Zimbabwe are appealing for international help to settle the country's election crisis. Leaders say people are being tortured and some have been murdered in a campaign of political retribution that they fear could turn to genocide.

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel says Barbra Streisand has pulled out of a celebration of the country's 60th anniversary next month. No reason has been given for the sudden cancellation.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Today's News-Monday, April 21st

State police at Frackville are looking for arsonists who set fire to a building in Schuylkill Township late last week. Troopers now report that between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, burglars threw a log threw a window at 329 Old Route 209 and dumped diesel fuel onto the floor and furnishings, then set it on fire. The arson determination was made by Fire Marshal John Burns and Trooper Robert Wessner of the forensic services unit. Anonymous tips are being accepted by Frackville state police by calling 874-5300. The property is owned by Reading Anthracite Company.
(Jay Levan)

County residents took advantage of opportunities to help the environment over the weekend, as Kerry Dowd reports:

WEINER EARTH DAY (click to listen)
(Kerry Dowd)

State and local police were busy during a Friday night DUI checkpoint near Coaldale. The North Central Highway Safety Network reports that 387 vehicles were detained and 6 operators tested for DUI. Officers made one adult DUI arrest. During the sweep, there were 9 other traffic arrests, 2 seat belt citations and two warnings issued. Five police departments and 12 officers participated Friday night. Checkpoints are scheduled again this week, on Route 61, 183, 901, 209 and other main roadways in Schuylkill County.
(Jay Levan)

If you are 55 years or older, and a good speller, Diakon Community Services for Seniors is looking for you. The 2008 Older Adult Spelling Championship is scheduled for May 12th at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pottsville. The competition gets underway at 6:30 for the Schuylkill County championship.
Interested competitors must register by calling Susan Long at Diakon at 624-3018, or toll free at 800-621-6325. The Schuylkill County winner will travel to York for the state championship on May 28th.
(Jay Levan)

PA sportsmen want presidential candidates to sharpen their aim. Deborah Smith has the story:

SMITH (click to listen)
(Keystone State News Connection)

Clinton, Obama trade negative attacks days before Pa. vote
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama swapped some of the most negative attacks of the campaign two days before the Pennsylvania primary. Each unleashed television ads yesterday that accused the other of maintaining ties to special interests they both claim to reject. Pre-primary polls show Clinton with a lead in the state she must win to sustain her candidacy. She plans appearances in Scranton, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia today. Only seven other states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico, have yet to hold primaries.

5 men die in separate weekend shootings in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Five men died in separate shootings in Philadelphia over the weekend, and police have no suspects in any of the cases. The men died between Saturday morning and yesterday morning in northwestern and southwestern sections of the city. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says authorities must try to figure out "anything that we can do to maybe make the situation less likely" to happen again. He says police will look at whether the killings occurred in any of the city's designated high-crime areas. If so, Ramsey says he will assess whether enough officers are deployed there.

Obama says McCain would be better than Bush
READING, Pa. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama often argues that electing John McCain would be like giving President Bush a third term. But he said yesterday that the Republican presidential candidate would be better for the country than Bush has been. Obama made the remark at a rally in Reading. But he also said that he and opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton would be better leaders than McCain. The McCain comment could undercut Obama's efforts to portray the future GOP nominee as an extension of Bush's unpopular tenure. Clinton chided Obama for the remark, saying, "We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain." McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds says Obama's comment "underscores that John McCain has the strength to change America and move this nation forward."

Mayor to meet slots developer about revitalization promise
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is adamant a slots parlor developer keeps a promise to revitalize a city neighborhood. Ravenstahl says he plans to meet with Majestic Star developer Don Barden. Barden's company asked the Pennsylvania Gaming Board for permission to eliminate a $3 million commitment to redevelop the city's Hill District. Barden offered the money in 2006 as part of his bid to win the Pittsburgh slots license. Barden says his company changed course because the city and Allegheny County gave the Pittsburgh Penguins authority to develop land once the team's new arena is built in the Hill District. Barden's slots parlor is being built elsewhere in the city. It is scheduled to open in May 2009.

Bill Clinton: Hillary qualified to be commander-in-chief
MILFORD, Pa. (AP) - Former President Clinton is playing up his wife's Pennsylvania roots two days before the state's crucial presidential primary. Clinton appeared yesterday at a private home in the quaint Pocono Mountains town of Milford. He noted Hillary Rodham Clinton's father grew up about 50 miles away in Scranton and is buried there. He said her father and brother played football at Penn State. And he said - in his words - "We've all drunk beer at Cooper's." That's a Scranton seafood joint. Bill Clinton campaigned earlier yesterday outside Pittsburgh, where he said tomorrow's primary between his wife and Sen. Barack Obama is about "who wants it the most." He also addressed a small crowd at an airplane hangar in Tobyhanna, then set out for the Philadelphia suburb of Essington for his final stop of the day.

Pennsylvania pols tout Clinton, Obama on Sunday talk shows
Pennsylvania politicians hit the airwaves in force yesterday to tout their respective presidential candidates. Gov. Ed Rendell says he thinks New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will win Pennsylvania's presidential primary by single digits over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Rendell, a Clinton supporter, appeared yesterday on CBS' "Face the Nation." He appeared with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, who supports Obama. Rendell says the race has tightened because of Obama's "almost obscene" spending. Casey says Obama has made "tremendous progress" over the last six or seven weeks. Two politicians from Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, appeared on CNN's "Late Edition." Fattah supports Obama, while Nutter is backing Clinton.

HD enthusiasts crying foul over cable TV's crunched signals
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Comcast Corp. and other cable TV companies are packing more HD channels than ever into limited bandwidth. But some owners of the pricey plasma, projector and LCD TVs are complaining that they're not getting the high-def quality they paid for. They blame the increased signal compression being used to squeeze three digital HD signals into the bandwidth of one analog station. Compressing the signal is cheaper than costly infrastructure upgrades to increase capacity. Information is nearly always lost when signals are compressed and then uncompressed. But Philadelphia-based Comcast says the process should be made unnoticeable to the eyes and ears. Comcast says it constantly monitors its network and makes adjustments for the best picture quality.

Other Pa. contests compete with Dems' presidential primary
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Democratic presidential candidates aren't the only ones on the ballot in tomorrow's Pennsylvania primary election. The drawn-out battle between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois has spurred a voter-registration surge. But voters will also decide nominations for dozens of other elective offices - from state treasurer to the Legislature to Congress. Four candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination for state treasurer. Three Democrats are also battling to succeed state Sen. Vincent Fumo. He bowed out of the race as he prepares for trial on federal corruption charges. None of Pennsylvania's 19 members of the U.S. House of Representatives faces a primary challenge this year.

JERUSALEM (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter says the militant group Hamas is prepared to accept the right of Israel to "live as a neighbor next door in peace." Carter's comments in Jerusalem came after he met last week with the top Hamas leaders in Syria.

SELMA, Ala. (AP) - John McCain is in Selma, Alabama, to recall the courage of civil rights marchers who were beaten bloody in 1965. The presumed GOP nominee is launching a weeklong tour of communities he says are suffering from poverty and inattention from presidential candidates.

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have been trading some of the most negative attacks of the campaign ahead of Pennsylvania's Democratic primary. Meanwhile, campaign finance records show Obama began the month with a 5-to-1 cash advantage over Clinton, who's saddled with debt.

NEW YORK (AP) - Pope Benedict's just-completed trip to America is being called an "enormous success" in the short term by Catholic writer Russell Shaw. But the former spokesman for the U.S. bishops' conference says it's anyone's guess if the papal visit will have a significant long-term impact.

SUPREME COURT (AP) - The Supreme Court hears arguments this week in the case of a man who says his former girlfriend's statements should not have been used against him at his murder trial. Dwayne Giles says he was deprived of his right to have the woman cross-examined -- even though he was the one who killed her.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Today's News- Saturday,April 19th


Author David Fleming emphasizes a point during his closing statement at the Great Maroons Debate last night. He went on to win the debate, 254- 218. Before a capacity crowd at the Sovereign Majestic Theatre, the Breaker Boys author and NFL Hall of Fame Vice President Joe Horrigan answered questions about the Pottsville Maroons 1925 stolen championship. Fleming pressed for reconsideration of the football championship by NFL ownership. Horrigan said that the team and its ownership violated territorial rights. There were a number of matters that the two agreed on during the two hour debate. A three judge panel decided the scoring. The outcome was cheered by the largely pro-Maroons crowd. The debate was carried live on Pottsville's Lasting Legacy Foundation organized the event. The future of the Pottsville Maroons 1925 NFL hampionship lies in the hands of NFL team owners.

A member of one of America's most respected families made a campaign stop on behalf of Barack Obama in Pottsville yesterday. 80-year-old Ethel Kennedy, her daughter in law and two grandchildren came to the Pottsville city Democratic headquarters. She greeted a crowd of more than 50, shook hands and posed for pictures. But her mission was to ask Schuylkill countians to vote for Barack Obama. Ethel Kennedy stood in for her son, Max, who was unable to visit as planned. Among her soft spoken remarks, Mrs. Kennedy said that her family was grateful for the friendship of Bill and Hillary Clinton, but she felt that Barack Obama could better lead the nation. Kennedy told WPPA News when she knew that she wanted to support Obama:


Since her husband Robert's assassination in 1968, Ethel Kennedy has worked tirelessly on various human rights issues.

Brush fires continue to plague area firefighters. Two fires scorched acreage in Mahanoy and North Manheim Townships Friday. Early Friday afternoon, more than 10 acres were singed near Mahanoy City. The fire required a number of community fire companies to battle it before bringing it under control. The second fire was called in after 1:30pm, on Sharp Mountain. Rough terrain made the firefighters work more difficult. More than 80 brush fires have burned in Schuylkill County already this year, and we haven't even reached peak season yet. The cause of both fires are under investigation.

Pottsville native Pat Flannery is hanging up his whistle as Bucknell men's basketball coach. In an announcement yesterday in Lewisburg, Flannery said that he was stepping down from the post to spend more time with his family. The Bucknell alum and his teams rose to prominence during his tenure by appearing in the NCAA tournament twice. His 2005 squad defeated Kansas. They also appeared in the AP Top 25, among the nation’s elite basketball programs. Flannery experienced some health problems this past season, but rebounded from them. He has accepted a position in Bucknell's Development office, as a fundraiser. Flannery said that he’ll be able to put his Bucknell degree to good use.

Clinton, Obama complain about complaining
RADNOR, Pa. (AP) - Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are complaining about which candidate is the biggest complainer. The issue is their treatment in debates. Obama is objecting to the questions posed this week in one moderated by ABC News. Many of the toughest questions were targeted at Obama, the front-runner for the nomination, and he's said too much time was spent on political divisions instead of issues that matter to Americans. Clinton said Friday in suburban Philadelphia that if Obama thinks the debate was tough, it pales in comparison to the pressures a president faces. But it wasn't so long ago that Clinton was the front-runner and complaining about her treatment in debates. Obama greeted by largest crowd of his campaign

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Barack Obama was greeted by the largest crowd of his campaign at his Philadelphia rally. Some 35,000 people jammed into Independence Park to see the Democratic presidential candidate, four days before Tuesday's crucial Pennsylvania primary. The crowd estimate was made by Frank Friel, director of security at the Independence Visitor Center. The crowd exceeded the 30,000 who greeted Obama and Oprah Winfrey in December in Columbia, S.C. Obama called Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton a "tenacious" opponent but said it was time to move beyond the politics of the 1990s.

Pa. judge tells candidate to stop distributing fliers

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A Montgomery County judge has ordered a state Senate candidate to stop distributing a flier that allegedly confuses voters. Now an emergency hearing is scheduled Saturday over a similar dispute in Delaware County over Lisa Paolino's campaign materials. She's running against Lance Rogers in the 17th Senate District, which includes parts of both counties. The flyer the Montgomery County case is marked "Official Republican Ballot." It is the same size and color as the list of endorsed candidates distributed by the Montgomery County Republican Committee. The judge says voters looking at it would think Paolino is the party-endorsed candidate, when Rogers really is. The Montgomery County judge ordered the Paolino campaign to turn over the handbills until a full hearing can be held Monday.

House candidate charged with burglary vows to stay in race

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - A congressional candidate is voing to stay in a closely contested House race after being charged with felony burglary and criminal trespass. Republican Derek Walker maintains that Clearfield County prosecutors are politically motivated -- an allegation the district attorney denies. Walker says his campaign has gotten a big boost of support with people requesting yard signs. He says he believes rival Republican Matt Shaner was meeting with District Attorney William Shaw Jr. and influenced Shaw. Shaner says Walker is desperate and making ridiculous accusations. Shaw says he couldn't even pick Shaner out of a lineup. Walker and Shaner are among nine Republicans seeking their party's nomination. Three Democrats are also running.

Police investigating dismembered body find second man's body

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - Police have identified the dismembered body found near Wilkes-Barre. The disembered body found Thursday is that of John O'Brien, who had been missing since Dec. 28. Police believe his case is connected to the discovery of 38-year-old John Ryan, who the Luzerne County coroner says committed suicide. Ryan's body was found in his Hanover Township home by police investigating O'Brien's death. O'Brien's sister, Mary, says her brother had occasionally lived with Ryan in recent months. She says investigators were given her brother's medical and dental records. State police say they don't think there is any continuing threat to the community.

'Body of Evidence' exhibit spotlights human evolution

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A new exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania about human evolution gives a new meaning to the expression "nobody's perfect." Scientists say we have evolution to thank for our survival. But it's also where we can point the finger when we experience backaches, impacted wisdom teeth or difficulty giving birth. The remarkable yet imperfect process that has brought homo sapiens to where we are now, and where it might take us down the road, is the theme of "Surviving: The Body of Evidence." The exhibit five years in the making is now at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. It uses fossils and interactive multimedia displays to tell the story about how the human race adapted, thrived and continues to evolve. It leaves Penn in May 2009 for a multi-city tour.

Philadelphia Parking Authority under fire for patronage, lack of school funding

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Parking Authority has an army of proudly ruthless officers ready to slap tickets on double-parked cars. The PPA also has its own reality show on cable's A&E network, "Parking Wars." But a growing number of critics say the PPA is shortchanging the city's long- struggling schools. The parking authority, once controlled by city Democrats, was taken over by the state in 2001. That was engineered by Republicans in Harrisburg who pledged to sweep away PPA's reputation of scandal and mismanagement and provide a funding source for city schools. Under a 2004 compromise, the PPA, which is run by a seven-member board, would send its first $25 million in profits to the city and any amount beyond that to the schools. But the authority has made only one payment to the school district - $4 million in 2004. Two audits of the PPA are under way on both sides of the political aisle.

NEW YORK (AP) - Pope Benedict is celebrating Mass this morning with priests from around the United States at New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral. Benedict was greeted this morning by hundreds of screaming well-wishers outside the church on Fifth Avenue. The pope could again address the clergy sex abuse crisis, which he has mentioned in most of his public appearances this week.

BAGHDAD (AP) - Police and hospital officials in Iraq are reporting nearly 20 deaths across the country, including at least 12 from clashes in Baghdad's Sadr City district. In northern Iraq, at least five people were killed separate roadside bombings in the city of Mosul and the town of Kirkuk.

KEREM SHALOM, Israel (AP) - A top army commander in Israel says 13 soldiers were wounded by Hamas suicide bombers, who drove into an Israeli border crossing and detonated two booby-trapped military-style jeeps. The commander says four Hamas assailants were killed in the attack, which came hours before the start of Passover.

MOSCOW (AP) - A Russian space capsule carrying South Korea's first astronaut is back on Earth, but nowhere near where it was supposed to end up. Officials say the capsule landed about 260 miles off target in northern Kazakhstan. The crew, which was subjected to severe G-forces, is said to be in satisfactory condition.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking into the possible health hazards of lead in artificial turf. Two fields in New Jersey were closed this week after health officials detected what they said were unexpectedly high levels of lead in the turf.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Today's News- Friday, April 18th

All the planning and preparations are finished. Its time for a debate. The long-awaited Maroons Debate will take place tonight at the Sovereign Majestic Theatre at 8pm. Maroons author David Fleming and NFL Hall of Fame Executive Joe Horrigan will square off to argue whether the 1925 NFL Championship was indeed stolen away from the Maroons. The event will be moderated by WNEP sports director Jim Coles. The debate will be judged by Rod Eyer, a correspondent for Newsday, former New York Giants GM Ernie Accorsi and Federal Judge and Pottsville native John E Jones the Third. The thirteen question format is expected to last just over an hour. The final result will not determine whether the Pottsville Maroons will get their title back. But, the discussion should provide some interesting fodder for the NFL's 32 team owners something to consider when they hopefully look at the matter in the future. You can hear the debate live on, and a rebroadcast Saturday morning at 10am.

The subject of domestic violence and sexual assault is not your average luncheon conversation. But for one survivor, it's the only way to heal wounds. That was the message offered by author and film maker Angela Shelton, who was the guest speaker at an event sponsored by the Rape and Victim Assistance Center of Schuylkill County. From the time she was three years old, Shelton, of Asheville, North Carolina, was sexually abused by her father. As she grew older, Shelton found that laughter, honesty and determination were the keys to dealing with her problems. She has produced an award winning documentary "Inside Angela Shelton", written books, and is a screenwriter and actress. For Shelton, confronting the issues are the only way to resolve them. And, it takes time:

SHELTON (click to listen)

Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22nd. For one Schuylkill County recycler, they are making it a family event…tomorrow. Weiner Iron and Metal, Pottsville, is holding an Earth Day celebration at their facility along Route 61. In business for more than 50 years, they are a wholesale and retail metals brokerage that is helping to clean up the environment. Company controller Michael Brennan explains the benefits of bringing aluminum cans into their site tomorrow:

BRENNAN (click to listen)

There will be activities, fun, and games for all. The event begins at 9am. Sharon Mullin, a metals buyer for Weiner Iron and Metal, said the day can be a learning experience:

MULLIN (click to listen)

A Schuylkill Haven man is the victim of theft and vandalism in Dauphin County. Lykens state police say that sometime yesterday, thieves broke into a property owned by Jay Reigel at 9557 Route 209 in Williams Township. Copper tubing was cut from throughout the establishment, and windows were smashed and other damage done. Estimated damages are in excess of $15-thousand-dollars. Anyone with information should call state police at Lykens at 717-362-8700.

Schuylkill Haven state police are investigating a burglary at a fire company in Tower City. Sometime over the past two days, unidentified persons broke into the Tower City fire company clubhouse on East Grande Avenue by forcing a rear door open. The thieves stole a cash register and a bottle of alcohol. Total amount of the cash taken is undetermined. State troopers are continuing their investigation. Call them if you have information about it at 593-2000.

The County Child Development office will again be seeking federal funding for its Head Start services in the county. Mary Ann Devlin of Child Development asked the commissioners during Wednesday's work session to approve an application for just over $2-Million-700-Thousand dollars in federal and state funding to provide services for 437 eligible children and families in the county.
In other business, Bill Liptok of the Public Works Office asked the Commissioners to approve a three-year contract for solid waste removal at six county facilities with Waste Management of Camp Hill. The cost of the service is just over $156-Thousand-700-Dollars. Approval is also being sought for safety and energy savings upgrades at a traffic signal at the intersection of Route 61 and University Drive in North Manheim Township. The upgrades include the installation of two crosswalks and changing the signal lamps to ED. The county is also expected to approve at next week's board meeting a ban on smoking in all county facilities by all employees and visitors as of June 1st. The Commissioners announced that the courthouse will be closed next Tuesday for Election Day and next week's public meeting will be held on Thursday in the Commissioners board room. The prison board meeting will be held next Thursday at 11am.

Man's dismembered body found in 2 bags near school

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - A dismembered body has been found near an elementary school in suburban Wilkes-Barre. A man's torso was found Thursday in a zippered bag in Hanover Township. The remaining body parts were found in another bag nearby. The body was not immediately identified.

Days before primary, US House candidate accused of felonies

CLEARFIELD, Pa. (AP) - A congressional candidate is facing felony charges in Clearfield County. Derek Walker, who has touted his Eagle Scout background in TV ads, is accused of sneaking into an ex-girlfriend's apartment in August when she'd left the door open. Police say he held up a cell phone in front of her and a man she was with and said a video would end her job. Police say the ex-girlfriend and the man believed Walker was shooting a video clip with the phone's camera. Walker says the charges are false and politicially motivated.
The district attorney says the investigation began long before Walker's campaign and charges were just now filed because he just got the last of the evidence he needs. The charges came five days before the primary in which Walker is one of nine candidates seeking the Republican nomination for an
open seat. Three Democrats are also running.

Senate GOP says Rendell should withdraw judicial nominees

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Senate are sending Gov. Ed Rendell signals that his nominees to fill temporary openings on the state's appellate courts aren't acceptable. In a letter Thursday, the Senate's top two Republicans recommended that Rendell consider withdrawing the four nominees. The GOP leaders were dissatisfied with Rendell's picks when he made them in January, and complained that he had not taken their advice on whom to nominate. Senators Joe Scarnati of Jefferson County and Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County say Rendell's nominations of four white men, including three from Rendell's home city of Philadelphia, are not diverse enough. They also pointed out that one Superior Court nominee, Robert Daniels, recently turned 70, the court's mandatory retirement age.

Clinton brings 3 generations to win over female voters

HAVERFORD, Pa. (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton stood between her 88-year-old mother and 28-year-old daughter. It was to personalize issues for the "sandwich generation" facing the demands of parents and children. She's renewing a push for the female voters who have drifted away from her campaign in recent weeks. The New York senator said
the three generations of women in her family give her "firsthand experience of all the challenges and changes that we face in our lives because different stages of life do present different questions." A recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll shows women are no longer so overwhelmingly convinced that Clinton would make the best president. Clinton owes many of her victories so far in the race to
support from women. But that backing has receded in recent weeks to about even with rival Barack Obama.

Pa. volunteer fireman accused of serial arson

EXCHANGE, Pa. (AP) - A 52-year-old volunteer firefighter from rural Danville is accused of setting several fires, including one in Montour County that seriously injured a firefighter. Authorities say troopers arrested Chester Cyphers on Wednesday afternoon after watching him start a fire in Lycoming County. Court papers say Cyphers told police he believes he set between 20 and 25 fires including two barn fires using long candle lighters. Warrior Run Fire Department Capt. Wayne Hawley Jr. is now paralyzed from a spinal injury he got fighting one of those fires. Cyphers is in the Montour County Prison on $400,000 bail. There's no word on whether the Washingtonville Fire Company
volunteer has a lawyer.

Pa. reports loss of 3,000 jobs in March

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania is reporting a loss of 2,900 jobs in March, the second straight monthly decline in the state. The loss represents less than a tenth of a percent of the state's seasonally adjusted count of 5.8 million nonfarm jobs. That's a similar proportion to the 80,000 jobs that the federal
government said were shed by employers in March. The state Department of Labor and Industry says construction, manufacturing and tourism lost jobs.
Meanwhile, education and health services and the trade, transportation and utilities sector added jobs. The state's unemployment rate, a gauge of how many people are looking for work, remained stable at 4.9 percent, but is above the
rate of 4.3 percent a year ago. The national rate was 5.1 percent in March.

Judge blocks Philadelphia from enforcing local gun-control laws

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A judge has temporarily blocked Philadelphia from enforcing its new gun-control laws. Common Pleas Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan says her temporary restraining order will maintain the status quo until the case is argued. The National Rifle Association says that state law specifically prevents municipalities from regulating guns. City lawyers argue that Philadelphia can pass supplemental laws. The new ordinances include a requirement to report theft or loss of a gun within 24 hours. They also ban the possession or sale of assault weapons and limit purchases to one firearm per month. Cutler Greenspan will hold a hearing on the case on April 28. Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham says the state Supreme Court has already made it clear that Philadelphia can't make its own gun laws.

WASHINGTON (AP) - After a dramatic three days in Washington, Pope Benedict heads to New York this morning. The second half of his visit to America begins with an address to the U.N. A Seton Hall expert on the papacy looks for the pope to urge member states to put aside self interests in pursuit of the global good.

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - A judge in Texas hears more testimony today in the state's largest-ever child custody case. It involves 416 children taken from a polygamist ranch. Welfare officials, arguing abuse, say some of the minor girls are pregnant.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Something more to worry about, the jet stream. The vital weather-maker is creeping northward and getting weaker. Researchers say the result for the U.S. could be more drought conditions in the South and storms in the North.

JERUSALEM (AP) - A holiday in Israel is going to mean more hardships for Palestinians. The military today sealed off the West Bank and Gaza Strip for Passover. Palestinians will be barred from entering Israel until next weekend, except for doctors, lawyers and people with emergency needs.

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Baseball fans got their money's worth overnight in San Diego. The visiting Colorado Rockies beat the hometown Padres but it took them 22 innings and six-hours, 16 minutes to do it. It was the longest game ever for the Rockies or the Padres and the longest in the majors in nearly 15 years.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Today's News- Thursday, April 17th

The Auditor General has finished its year-long investigation of the county's MH/MR program provider, the REDCO Group. The findings clear the way for the county to cash a check it received from REDCO for just over $400-thousand-dollars. County Commissioner Chairwomen Mantura Gallagher, who revealed the outcome at the end of Wednesday's Commissioners work session, said the county is satisfied with the Auditor General's findings:

Gallagher (click to listen)

Gallagher said the county will cash the check just as soon as the county can verify that it is still valid. The letter to the county indicates the investigation did not find sufficient evidence of overbilling in connection with REDCO's services to the MH/MR Program beyond the cost adjustments previously reported in the Parente Randolph Report. The letter also indicated that no clear evidence has been found of other waste, fraud or abuse in the program attributable to REDCO or its subcontractors and affiliates. The Auditor General's Office of Special Investigations was joined by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Auditor General's office now considers the case closed.

A Pottsville man was stabbed early yesterday after an altercation with a neighbor. City police say they were called to 521 South Centre Street before 6am. They found 18 year old Joseph Ford bleed in his apartment. Ford told officers that he was stabbed by Justin Kline during a fight in Kline's apartment.
Witnesses indicate that Kline and Ford began arguing, which escalated into a physical confrontation and led to the stabbing. Police found Kline on Hotel Street, covered in blood. He was arraigned on charges. Ford was taken to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, where he had to undergo surgery.

Three men have been charged in the explosion at a Tremont Township mine in October, 2006. The state Attorney General's office reported yesterday that a grand jury investigation determined that David Zimmerman, Steven Zimmerman and Jeffrey Klinger were charged with involuntary manslaughter and other offenses in the death of Dale Reightler. Reightler died in the explosion at the Buck Mountain Slope mine on October 23, 2006. David Zimmerman was an owner and operator of the mine. Steven Zimmerman was the mine foreman and Jeffrey Klinger was a miner at the operation, according to the Republican and Herald. The grand jury stated that a build up of methane gas due to poor ventilation caused the explosion. They determined that proper procedures were not followed, leading to the explosion and Reightler's death. The men were arraigned on Tuesday. They face a preliminary hearing on the charges next week.

The Schuylkill County Commissioners received three checks totaling just over $429-thousand-600-dollars during their Wednesday work session. Two of the checks, totaling just over $397-Thousand Dollars were presented by President Judge William Baldwin, representing money collected by the court system from people who commit crime. Baldwin said that since 2005 the court system has collected almost $1.4-Million Dollars which is expected to be used towards the proposed prison pre-release center. The third check, for just over $32-thousand-100-dollars, was presented by Eileen Kuperavage of the Schuylkill Area Community Foundation. That check represents earnings from a fund the county started in 2001 for future environmental projects by monies contributed by county landfills to the post-closure trusts.

State police at Schuylkill Haven are looking for a thief who stole computer equipment at Staples yesterday. After 3pm, an unknown male removed a Dell Desktop computer from the store at the Cressona Mall, valued at more than $700 dollars. The thief was seen leaving the scene in a white Jeep Wrangler. The license plate was missing from the vehicle. If you have any information, please call the Schuylkill Haven state police at 593-2000.

A former Reading police officer is going to prison for corrupting the morals of a minor in Montgomery County. He was also convicted of similar crimes more than a decade ago in Schuylkill County. 39 year old Marc Pontician was sentenced Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to showing an 8 year old girl a pornographic movie in 2006 at a home in Limerick Township. Pontician had sexually assaulted two girls, ages 9 and 13 between August, 1990 and September, 1991 at a Port Clinton apartment. Pontician served two months in county prison, and was paroled in 1999. He was a Reading police officer for 5 years, having been dismissed in 1996. His sentence will run for one year to 23 months, plus additional probation after the sentence is served.

A Mahanoy City man was injured in a two vehicle crash in East Union Township Wednesday. Charles Labella was traveling south on Route 924 near Sheppton when he lost control of his Dodge Neon. The car went into the northbound lane, and crashed into a van driven by Daniel Grow of Ringtown.
Labella's car rolled over and struck a tree. Labella had minor injuries, but refused medical treatment. The crash happened at 5pm yesterday.

There are several jobs available for Tuesday' primary election. That plea was made by Schuylkill County Election Bureau Director Betty Dries yesterday. She tells WPPA/T102 News that several of the election boards in the county's167 precincts are not fully staffed. Interested persons can still contact her to apply and be trained before the April 22nd primary. She can be reached at 628-1471. Dries also said that the county is considering some future changes to polling sites. A study was done in 2006 and 2007 by Bondata of Hummelstown to see where some smaller polling sites could be combined, and possibly to break up some of the larger locations. The study considered geographical boundaries, legislative district lines and other factors. Dries said that the changes would have to be beneficial to voters. Any changes must be approved by Schuylkill County Court.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have found something to agree on in the opening moments of a campaign debate. Neither is willing to pledge to put the loser on their ticket as the Democratic vice presidential candidate. Clinton said she will do everything she "possibly can" to make sure that she or Obama takes the oath of office in January. She said that has to be the "overriding goal." Obama was similarly noncommittal, saying he thinks very highly of Sen. Clinton's record but that it is premature to talk about
vice presidential candidate when the identity of the presidential nominee remains up in the air. The two presidential rivals were in Philadelphia for a 90-minute debate, less than a week before the Pennsylvania primary.

President Clinton campaigns for his wife in western Pa.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) - Former President Bill Clinton says his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, will be the best president for rural America. Campaigning throughout western Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Clinton was enthusiastically welcomed by hundreds of small town Americans who appeared to agree. At his last stop of the day in Cranberry Township, Clinton said he would be watching his wife's debate with Sen. Barack Obama in Pittsburgh. On Thursday, he will be campaigning in northwestern part of the state. Earlier in the day, at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Clinton acknowledged a sign that read "Rural CountryClinton Country." The sign apparently referred to Obama's recent comments that small town folks are bitter over job losses. Referring to that sign, Clinton said his wife has been focusing on small towns because that is America. Clinton also visited Indiana, Kittanning and Clarion.

Murtha says McCain too old to be president

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. John McCain says he admires and respects Rep. Jack Murtha - but he says Murtha is wrong that a man in his 70s is too old to be president. Murtha is 75, four years older than McCain. He says they are nearly the same age, and the rigors and stress of running the country is too much for guys their age. In an interview on CNN, McCain responded: "Speak for yourself, Jack. I'm doing fine. Thanks." Murtha is a Democrat from western Pennsylvania. He made the comments while introducing the candidate he has endorsed, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, to a union group in Washington. Clinton didn't mention Murtha's comments on McCain's age, and the campaign sought to distance itself from the comments.

Arlen Specter says cancer recurrence won't slow him down

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Arlen Specter says his recurrence of cancer is "a great unifier." The Pennsylvania Republican says it's "one thing everyone can agree on" and that he's gotten hugs from both Democratic and Republican colleagues. President Bush phoned Specter and told him: "You beat it once,
and you'll beat it again." The five-term senator says he learned of the early recurrence of Hodgkin's disease on Tuesday and will begin chemotherapy next week. Hodgkins is a cancer of the lymphatic system. Specter says he still plans to run for a sixth term in 2010.

Pa. governor outlines terms of turnpike privatization bids

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Ed Rendell's administration has released a privatization plan for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Under the plan, toll increases on the Pennsylvania Turnpike would be capped and some of the turnpike's 2,240 employees would eventually lose their jobs. The governor's office is telling interested groups that bids are due in a couple of weeks. Rendell wants the Legislature to consider the deal by mid-June. The plan is to lease nearly all of the 530-mile system for 75 years as a way to generate billions of dollars to repair roads and bridges and subsidize mass transit. If it's approved, a proposal to add tolls to Interstate 80 would be scrapped.

Pa. bankruptcies rise as risky mortgages pile on debt

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Bankruptcy filings rose by one-fourth in Pennsylvania last year, as rising monthly payments on adjustable-rate mortgages overwhelmed already shaky household finances. New statistics from the federal bankruptcy courts show nearly 30,000 Pennsylvania residents and businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2007. With 2.4 filings per 1,000 residents, Pennsylvania's bankruptcy rate was below the national average and 26th overall. Of Pennsylvania's three federal districts, the western district registered the most filings, with nearly 12,300. The district for central and northeastern Pennsylvania registered the biggest percentage increase, at nearly 39 percent.

Open letter to Mukasey asks for end to Wecht case

PITTSBURGH (AP) - An open letter signed by 33 prominent western Pennsylvanians is asking U.S. Attorney Michael Mukasey to dismiss a 41-count fraud indictment against celebrity pathologist Cyril Wecht. The letter was signed by politicians and other dignitaries, including former mayor Tom Murphy and former U.S. Attorney J. Alan Johnson. The letter echoes arguments by Wecht's defense which notes that the jury that deadlocked last week included several members who wanted to acquit Wecht. Wecht remains charged with using his former Allegheny County coroner's staff to do work for his lucrative private practice. Mukasey's office did not immediately comment because a spokesman says the attorney general hasn't seen the letter. A judge has scheduled a retrial to begin May 27, though that will likely be delayed by defense motions.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Pope Benedict goes to the ballpark today, but it's as a doer not a spectator. Some 46,000 people are expected to fill Washington's new major-league stadium as the visiting pope celebrates Mass.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - In a 90-minute debate, both Democratic presidential hopefuls have pledged not to raise taxes on people making less than $200,000 a year. They also said they would respond forcefully if Iran gets nuclear weapons and uses them against Israel. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama faced off in Philadelphia last night ahead of next week's primary.

WHITE HOUSE (AP) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown meets with President Bush at the White House this afternoon. Iraq is expected to be high on the agenda. Brown has put his country's troop withdrawal on hold because of turmoil in the south, which is Britain's area of responsibility.

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - A judge in Texas today will hear the largest child custody case in state history. The court has to decide whether 416 children removed from a polygamist ranch should be sent back or placed in state care.

SINGAPORE (AP) - Oil prices have hit a record $115 a barrel this morning amid concerns about the effect shrinking gasoline supplies will have on the summer driving season. The Energy Department reported yesterday that U.S. inventories dropped five-and-a-half million barrels last week.