Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today's news - Thursday, June 26, 2008

Truck crash in Gordon

A runaway truck on the Gordon Mountain road nearly misses a home at the bottom of the hill. A rig loaded with canned goods, driven by Otis Frazier of South Carolina, lost control of the truck and hit a utility pole, coming to rest on its side in the yard of Harry and Carol Cheeseman, only a few feet from the home. Frazier was removed from the vehicle and flown to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment.

Netchel will go to trial

A Mount Carmel man, accused of taking his elderly mother from a Pottsville nursing home, will face trial on all counts. 58-year-old Robert Netchel took his 83-year-old mother Ruthann, from Schuylkill Nursing Center on April 30th. She died the next day. Employees at the nursing home attempted to stop Netchel during the incident. A hearing was held yesterday at the office of District Judge Charles Moran, and he determined that Netchel will go to trial on counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, kidnapping and related counts. Netchel is free on bail, awaiting trial.

Haven man injured in motorcycle crash

A Schuylkill Haven man was injured in a motorcycle crash in Pottsville Wednesday morning. 32-year-old Kenneth Schultz was headed north on Route 90, and 71-year-old John Hester of Auburn was attempting to turn south on 901 from Sharp Mountain Plaza when the two collided. Schultz was taken to Pottsville Hospital, then flown to Geisinger Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. An unidentified passenger was on Schultz's motorcycle. The crash happened around 11am.

Spot appeals legislation moving forward

The issue of spot tax assessment appeals continues to be a focus of two Schuylkill County lawmakers in Harrisburg. The practice, where taxing authorities reassess properties when they are sold to increase property tax revenue, has been an ongoing problem. Representative Tim Seip and Senator Jim Rhoades are pressing Harrisburg to limit when the reassessments can take place. Rhoades explains:


The Senate Finance Committee yesterday approved legislation to close the "spot" assessment appeal. House Bill 1438, introduced by Representative Seip, addresses the same problem. Taxpayers have presented testimony in hearings in the county in recent months about spikes in their property tax bills because of the "spot" assessments. If approved, the legislation would set specific limits when a reassessment can take place. Local taxing authorities could only appeal an assessment if a property is subdivided or when improvements are added or removed.

Rock removal going on in northern Schuylkill

Motorists traveling on Route 924 have been experiencing traffic delays as work continues to shore up rock facing. Delays of up to 20 minutes at a time are in place as a Penn DOT contractor is working to prevent rocks from falling on the road. Traffic stoppages are expected through the early part of July, in Gilberton and Frackville and West Mahanoy Township.

Prison Kitchen improvements approved

The Schuylkill County Commissioners approved the purchase of new kitchen equipment for the county prison during their Wednesday meeting held at Shenandoah Borough Hall. The equipment will be purchased from Singer Equipment Company of Elverson. Because the county received Singer’s quote as part of a state contract, the equipment did not have to be put out to bid. The equipment will be paid for with funds from DUI fines. In other business, the Commissioners approved a contract for the installation of ductless air conditioning systems for the offices of Judge Jacqueline Russell at a cost of $6,300.00. They also approved the advertisement for bids for Americans with Disabilities Act improvements at the William Penn Fire Company. Also approved was a contract for a sanitary sewer extension project East Norwegian Township to B&R Construction, Harrisburg for just over $21,500.00. This was the third time this year the Commissioners meeting was held outside the courthouse.

Commissioners on road trip

For the third time this year, the Schuylkill County Commissioners convened their Wednesday meeting outside of the courthouse. Wednesday’s session was held at Shenandoah Borough hall. Commissioner Chairwoman Mantura Gallagher said it’s an opportunity to bring county government to the people:


Previously this year the commissioners met in Schuylkill Haven and Tamaqua. The Commissioners heard from Doug Fallon, who spoke from the audience in favor of keeping coal as the heating source for the courthouse and prison. Commissioner Gallagher said the county is only accepting proposals and have not made a decision on a heating source. She said the bottom line is money. She said they are looking to lower the burden on the long suffering taxpayers. Other proposals have been received to keep coal as the primary heating source.

UNDATED (AP) - Republican John McCain will be in the swing stateof Ohio again today. Democrat Barack Obama takes his presidentialcampaign to Pittsburgh, before heading to Washington, wherevanquished rival Hillary Clinton plans to introduce him to some ofher best fundraisers.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A state House vote has movedPennsylvania's system of collecting local wage taxes closer to anoverhaul. The House voted 171-to-29 on Wednesday to amend the LocalTax Enabling Act to streamline the state's system of collectingearned income taxes. The measure still requires approval by thestate Senate.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A state investigation has found that two girls living in a Saylorsburg group home were on their way to aNarcotics Anonymous meeting when they overdosed on more than twodozen methadone pills that were stolen from a counselor. One of thegirls died. The other girl faces what a relative says will be alifetime of care.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A beer company is drawing fire for puttingup malt liquor ads in graffiti-style paintings that mimic themurals that Philadelphia uses to fight blight. The Colt 45 maltliquor ads show comic-book-style characters clutching bottles andcans of beer. Jane Golden, the director of the city's Mural ArtsProgram, calls them "distasteful."

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh's Roman Catholic bishop iscanceling some appointments over the next few days so he can serveas a juror in a criminal trial. Bishop David Zubik will be known asJuror Number 9 in a home invasion and sex assault trial scheduledto start today in Allegheny County court.

SUPREME COURT (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court wraps up its termtoday with a major case still pending. The court is to rule on theconstitutionality of Washington D.C.'s handgun ban. The decisioncould spell out for the first time whether individuals have a rightto own guns.

BAGHDAD (AP) - There's been another attack on a municipalgovernment building in Iraq. Police say at least 12 people died inan attack today in a town outside Baghdad. Four Americans wereamong 10 people killed Tuesday in a bombing at a government officein Baghdad.

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - A forecast of more lightning could meanmore problems for hard-pressed firefighters in California. Oneblaze spanning nearly 30 square miles is threatening thepicturesque coastal town of Big Sur.

UNDATED (AP) - Republican John McCain campaigns again today in
Ohio. Democrat Barack Obama is in Pittsburgh looking for votes, before heading to Washington in search of dollars. Former rival Hillary Clinton will be introducing him to her top fundraisers.

PARMA, Ohio (AP) - TV host Drew Carey is sending out for pizzato celebrate Saturday's season finale of his Price-is-Rightgameshow. And putting a whole new spin on "takeout," He's having45 pies flown to Los Angeles from his favorite pizzeria back inParma, Ohio. That's $450 for the pizzas, plus delivery and tip.


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