Friday, May 30, 2008

Today's News-Friday, May 30th

Catholic churches in the Diocese of Allentown will learn more about structuring plans for their parishes this weekend. A press release issued by the church's headquarters yesterday indicates that letters will be read from Bishop Edward Cullen about the changes that congregations will undergo in the months to come. The restructuring plans were developed by committees of each regional Deanery and reviewed by the Diocesan Pastoral Council and the Council of Priests. The more than two year process addresses a growing shortage of priests, projected for the more than 151 parishes in the Diocese. The process is not yet finished, according to the press release from the Allentown Diocese. The plans will also be posted on the Diocese Web site, after noon on Sunday.

Two hot button issues were discussed last night in the North Schuylkill School District. A crowd of about 100 people attended the meeting, to discuss the closing of the Ringtown Elementary School. The board brought the issue up earlier this month, planning to move the 140 elementary students to the new school at the Fountain Springs campus. Four years ago, the district said that they wouldn't make the move. Now, the students will have a new home in August, according to the Republican and Herald. A proposed dress code for students was rejected by the North Schuylkill board last night, after public input was heard. A first reading of the policy had been ratified by the board earlier.

A St. Clair man was arrested earlier this week for possessing a concealed weapon in Minersville. Borough police say that 55-year-old Gregory Sharockman was involved in a disturbance after entering a home on North Street. When officers arrived, Sharockman was carrying a 9 millimeter pistol.
He was taken into custody and arraigned on charges of carrying a firearm without a license, disorderly conduct and harrassment. Sharockman posted bail and was released. Minersville police were assisted by officers from St. Clair and Cass/Foster Township.

Pottsville police arrested two men following an altercation in the city Wednesday night. A woman was injured. Officers were called to the 400 block of West Market Street, where the woman was lying unconscious in the street with a head injury. Witnesses say that two black men had been fighting, and one had punched the woman, knocking her to the ground. Police found the pair, 18 year old Iashe Thompson of Mahanoy City, and a juvenile male hiding in a house on West Race Street. Thompson was arraigned on a host of charges, including criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. He was taken to Schuylkill County Prison. The juvenile was arraigned on assault and related offenses, and was handed over to the custody of juvenile authorities. He was taken to the Berks County Juvenile Detention Facility. The woman was taken to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center for treatment of her injuries.

State police are investigating a case of theft by deception on line, affecting a Donaldson man. Schuylkill Haven state police report that a 53-year-old man, who is not being identified, applied for a loan to purchase a home via an online lender. The man reportedly had to send nine payments to an address in Ontario, Canada over the past month. He then realized that he had been ripped off for more than $83-hundred-dollars. The investigation is continuing.

The state House returns to Harrisburg Monday after the Memorial Day recess. One Schuylkill County legislator is concerned about the slow pace of the budget negotiations, as Mike Davies reports:

DAVIES (click to listen)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jurors in Philadelphia are considering the case against a former teenage skinhead accused of driving to North Philadelphia nearly 20 years ago to kill a random black person and "earn" a spiderweb tattoo. Several witnesses told federal authorities that 35-year-old defendant Thomas Gibison of Newark, Del., had bragged of such a slaying.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation says it will add 135 jobs in Pittsburgh to its treasury services group. The company pledged to create 1,000 to 2,000 new jobs in the Pittsburgh area after it was formed in January 2007. The corporation was formed when The Bank of New York acquired the Pittsburgh-based Mellon Financial Corporation.

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown has received a donation of $12 million from an anonymous alumnus for scholarships for commuter students. The estate gift was the largest in the school's 81-year history and will pay for tuition, books and fees for about 40 commuter students annually. Tuition and fees for commuter students at the university currently cost $11,300 per academic year.

PIPERSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain has canceled today's scheduled campaign event in Bucks County. McCain was to have visited Worth & Co., a mechanical contracting and maintenance company in Pipersille. But McCain's campaign says the candidate has a cold. Instead, he will campaign in Wisconsin today. He'll return to the Philadelphia area in the near future.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will open Mellon Arena for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals so fans can watch the team play the Detroit Red Wings on the Jumbotron. Game 5 will be played Monday at 8 p.m. in Detroit. The team says $5 general admission tickets will go on sale today at 10 a.m. Proceeds will go to the Mario Lemieux Foundation for cancer and neonatal research.

UNDATED (AP) - Another day. Another penny. Another record for soaring gasoline prices. Triple-A's daily Fuel Gauge report puts the average price of regular at $3.96 cents a gallon. That's a penny more than yesterday.

CHENGDU, China (AP) - China says it plans an evacuation drill tomorrow in the earthquake region, in case it needs to order the real thing. The government says more than one million people may have to leave due to a flood threat caused by a dammed-up lake.

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - The U.N. has a new complaint about Myanmar's response to cyclone victims. The U.N. says Myanmar is forcing people to leave refugee camps and dumping them back near their devastated villages with virtually no aid.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic party leaders say the presidential nominating campaign should end quickly after Tuesday's final primaries. They want uncommitted delegates to make up their minds. Hillary Clinton campaigns in Puerto Rico today. Barack Obama stops in Montana.

TOKYO (AP) - If it weren't for the disappearing food, a homeless woman living in a closet in Japan might still be there. Authorities say the woman sneaked into a man's house and lived undetected in his closet for a year. He got suspicious when his food started disappearing. The woman has been arrested.


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