Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Today's News-Tuesday, May 27th

A truck became wedged under the Cressona railroad bridge yesterday afternoon, snarling Memorial Day traffic. After 3pm, a box truck delivering Chinese food was caught under the 11 foot, 8 inch underpass on Route 183. State police report that the driver, Chao Jiang, had difficulty speaking English, and may have not understood the warning signs of the approaching underpass. No one was injured. Additional signage was placed in both directions last month to warn truckers of the impending bridge.

A Pottsville man is lodged in county prison after he made repeat calls to 9-1-1. Pottsville police were notified that 39-year-old Joseph Sadusky of Race Street was continuously calling the emergency number and Schuylkill Haven state police. He had no emergency, and was told to stop, but failed to do so. Sadusky was taken into custody at his home, and attempted to strike a Pottsville police officer and made threats to kill him. He was charged with making false alarms to public agencies, persistent disorderly conduct and making terroristic threats.

With 11 suspicious fires since April 9th, police and fire officials in one part of Schuylkill County have scheduled a town meeting to ask residents to keep an eye out for anyone or anything suspicious in their neighborhoods. Port Carbon police Chief Jon Bowman says the meeting will be at 7 p.m. today at borough hall. At the meeting, all the suspicious activity will be explained and a plan will be formulated to find those responsible. Bowman says all of the fires have been nuisance fires with the exception of a blaze at 8:25 a.m. Saturday that destroyed a garage and its contents on Spruce Street. The fire caused over $12-thousand dollars in damage. Authorities believe the fires can be the action of school-age children since the blazes occur after school hours and not too late in the night or early in the morning. Anyone with information on those responsible for setting the fires are asked to call police at 622-5411 or the Schuylkill County 9-1-1 Center.

Pottsville police arrested a city man Friday night for assaulting his girlfriend. Officers now say that a domestic disturbance took place on Peacock Street, where 31-year-old Carla Wolak and her boyfriend, 24-year-old Scott Sargent, were arguing. The fight escalated, and Sargent began hitting Wolak with his fists, choked and kicked her. He also threatened to burn her house down, and tried to light carpeting in the home on fire. Sargent fled the scene before police arrived, but was apprehended a short time later. He was arraigned on charges of simple assault and making terroristic threats. Sargent was taken to Schuylkill County Prison.

A Shamokin couple, driving an ATV, was injured when the vehicle crashed yesterday near Trevorton. Stonington state police report that Donna and Scott Fisher were riding in a stripping area in Zerbe Township around 4:30pm when the vehicle went over a steep embankment covered with large rocks. Donna Fisher, the driver, was life flighted to Geisinger Medical Center, while Scott Fisher was taken to the same hospital via ambulance. State police believe that the couple were not wearing helmets.

A Schuylkill Haven man suffered minor injuries when his car struck a stone wall yesterday in Wayne Township. 19-year-old Ryan Malone was westbound on Route 895, approaching a curve. Malone told Schuylkill Haven state police that a large group of motorcycles were approaching from an easterly direction on Fair Road, and several were in his lane. He swerved to avoid them, and struck a stone wall and utility pole. The crash happened around 6:45 Monday night. A New Jersey man and woman were injured in separate ATV accidents Sunday afternoon in Northumberland County. Stonington state police say that in the first accident, 48-year-old Robert Bishop Jr. of Asbury, New Jersey was riding on Reading Anthracite property, known as the Sand Pit in Zerbe Township round 3pm. Bishop was negotiating a steep downhill trail when he lost control and was thrown from the ATV. The second mishap occurred about a half hour later in the same area. 28-year-old Heather Cordes of Annandale, New Jersey, struck a rock with her ATV. She was thrown from the ATV. Bishop was life flighted to Geisinger Medical Center. Cordes was taken to the hospital for treatment of a knee injury.

Police: Church leader shot to death at fundraiser

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man is accused of fatally shooting the leader of a church over religious differences. Delaware State Police say 58-year-old Monir George of White Hall, Pa., shot 63-year-old Malak Michael of Bear, Del., once in the upper chest Sunday evening. It happened during a fundraiser to for building a new house of worship for St. Mary Coptic Church. Police say George had two handguns and 10 magazines consisting of 150 rounds of ammunition and he fired three shots before bystanders subdued him. Police say Michael was taken to Christiana Hospital, where he died. George was charged early Monday with first-degree murder and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was ordered held without bail.

Major changes urged in transracial adoption

NEW YORK (AP) - Several child welfare groups are urging an overhaul of federal laws dealing with transracial adoption. They argue that black children in foster care are ill-served by a "colorblind" approach meant to encourage their adoption by white families. A key recommendation in a new report from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute calls for amending the law so race could be considered as a factor in selecting parents for children from foster care. The change also would allow race-oriented pre-adoption training. John Mould and Margaret Geiger, an Ambler, Pa., couple, have two white biological children and five black adopted children. Mould says he worries about any changes that might make training and screening requirements too rigid. He says there are many children in need of homes and perfect matches aren't always out there.

Study aims to find health needs of troops from rural areas

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - Washington & Jefferson College researchers want to find out what behavioral health needs troops returning to rural areas in southwestern Pennsylvania may have. Mary Ann Lauffer is coordinating the Combat Stress Intervention Program, a three-year research project funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Lauffer says it's normal for troops returning from war to have transition difficulties. The project's first step is hearing from their family members or significant others. Researchers want adult family members or the significant others of National Guard or Reserve personnel who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom from January 2003 to December 2007 to share their opinions at four sessions in Cambria and Fayette counties this month and next month.

Cause of fire that killed 10 in Jefferson Co. still unknown

PITTSBURGH (AP) - State police fire marshals are waiting for laboratory results before they can determine the cause of a Jefferson County house fire that killed 10 people. Police spokesman Bruce Morris says it's unknown how long it will take for results to be made available to the fire marshals investigating the April 3 blaze in Brockway. Investigators say the fire, which began in the living room, isn't suspicious. Space heaters were being used and gas service had been shut off in 2005. Nine victims were from one family and most were children.

Young firebugs in central Pa. program get counseling, help

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - When Dan Soulier interviewed a girl suspected of starting a fire at a public housing complex, he found a chaotic home life that included violence and prostitution. Soulier, an assistant fire chief in Harrisburg, says the girl "was fighting for survival." He says he knew he didn't have the expertise to help her. Soulier helped organize a counseling program for potential firebugs that has enrolled more than 200 juveniles from several counties since 2005. Many suffer from anger, depression or other mental health problems. The South Central Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program works to educate and rehabilitate children who are prone to starting fires or playing with matches. The number of referrals is rising, from 56 in 2005 to 86 last year.

Andrew Wyeth granddaughter gives one-of-a-kind museum tours

CHADDS FORD, Pa. (AP) - Looking for the inside scoop on some famous American artists? Then head over to the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford. That's where Victoria Wyeth shares her insight on art by three generations of her relatives. The 29-year-old tour guide is the great-grandchild of N.C. Wyeth, only grandchild of Andrew Wyeth and the niece of Jamie Wyeth. The museum has hundreds of pieces by the Wyeths, who are often called the first family in American art. Victoria Wyeth gives her one-of-a-kind tours six days a week. She regales visitors with unscripted stories about what inspired the paintings and the unconventional ways they came to be. But don't look for any of her work on the walls. She doesn't paint.

High gas prices have more police officers back on bicycles

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Since even the long arm of the law can't rein in fuel prices, some police departments are dusting off their bikes and turning to pedal power. In the tiny western Pennsylvania borough of Hollidaysburg, police Chief Jeff Ketner says high gas prices prompted him to resume daily bike patrols several weeks ago. The department's regular bike patrol had fallen by the wayside and was mainly being used for special events. Ketner resurrected the program after realizing he was on pace to go $6,000 over budget on the department's four vehicles by the end of the year. Hollidaysburg Sgt. David Gehret says there's another advantage: It keeps officers in better shape.

Jazz, blues organist Jimmy McGriff dies at 72

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Longtime jazz and blues organist Jimmy McGriff has died. The Philadelphia native known for the 1960s recordings of "I've Got a Woman" and "All About My Girl" was 72. According to his Web site, McGriff was born in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood and started a music career in the late 1950s. He left the music business for a while and worked as a motorcycle policeman. But a friend, fellow organist Richard "Groove" Holmes, talked him into coming back to his music career. His recording of "I Got A Woman" on Sue Records became one of McGriff's greatest hits. McGriff's death on Saturday was confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday by his wife, Margaret McGriff. They lived in the Philadelphia suburb of Voorhees, N.J.

PHOENIX (AP) - President Bush will be headlining three different fundraisers in the Phoenix area today on behalf of Republican John McCain's presidential campaign. McCain himself will be at only one of them.

UNDATED (AP) - Barack Obama continues his swing through the southwest with a campaign stop in Nevada today. Yesterday he was in New Mexico. Hillary Clinton is back on the mainland from Puerto Rico and has a campaign event scheduled in Montana today.

LONDON (AP) - Hundreds of truckers plan to jam part of central London to protest the rising price of fuel. They want the government to compensate truck drivers for the soaring cost of gas, which is equal to about nine dollars a gallon.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A van ran a red light and smashed into a second van, causing a fiery six-vehicle collision that killed five people in Los Angeles. Several others were sent to the hospital in critical condition.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sydney Pollack is being remembered today not just as a Hollywood legend, but also for being what George Clooney calls a "class act." The Academy Award winning director succumbed to cancer at the age of 73 yesterday.


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