Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Today's news - Wednesday, June 25, 2008

NE Pa. man sentenced: took sexual photos of girl

POTTSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A Tamaqua man who admitted taking videos and photographs of a girl sexually exposed and engaged in sex acts has been sentenced to state prison. Thirty-seven-year-old Timothy Dunstan was sentenced to 12 to 24 months Monday on charges of indecent assault, corruption of minors and sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty to the counts in March, after charges of sexual exploitation of a child and aggravated indecent assault were dropped. Dunstan told Schuylkill County President Judge William Baldwin, "I know my actions were wrong." He asked the judge to let him stay in the county prison to continue attending weekly group therapy sessions for sex offenders. Dunstan cried as he finished his statement. Dunstan's ex-wife had reported him to police.

MedEvac to resume flights from Pottsville-rewrite

The MedEvac helicopter, based at the Mazzuca helipad in Pottsville, is expected to resume operations again next week. WPPA/T102 News first reported the announcement yesterday morning, in a press release from Lehigh Valley Hospital MedEvac and Mazzuca spokesman, Attorney Sud Patel. A helicopter crashed right after takeoff on May 30th, near the helipad in the west end of Pottsville. Crew members suffered minor injuries. The parties involved have determined that based on preliminary findings from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration into the crash, they have decided to re-establish flights from the site. Patel said that they based their decision on the "tremendous reputation" and experience of Lehigh Valley and the MedEvac program and the lives that have been saved. Hospital officials believe that the crash was an isolated incident. Residents in the Mount Hope section of Pottsville, near the helipad, raised concerns at this month's Pottsville city council meeting about resuming the flights after the crash.

New IU chief named

An area educator has been named the new Executive Director of the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit. Dr. Diane Niederriter (need-ur-writer), Superintendent of the Williams Valley School District, has been named to replace Dr. Gerald Achenbach, who is retiring. Niederriter has been with the district for 12 years. She will also be the Chief School Administrator for the Schuylkill Technology Center. She was chosen for the position based on the fact that she knows the needs of the IU 29 school districts and the operation of its programs, considering that she has been a Schuylkill County educator. She holds a Doctorate Degree from Temple University, and undergraduate degrees from Slippery Rock and Edinboro Universities. The Intermediate Unit provides services to the county's 12 school districts and private schools, along with pre-school and adult programs.

Pottsville Hospital earns 5 stars for maternity care

The Pottsville Hospital and Warne Clinic has earned a 5 star rating for its maternity care by an independent healthcare ratings company. HealthGrades announced the award yesterday. Michael Peckman, Public Relations and Marketing Director at the hospital explains:


Hospitals submit statistical data to the rating agency about their maternity operations as part of the ranking process. In addition, the hospital was ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation for its maternity operations. This is the third year in a row for that award. Pottsville Hospital also received the HealthGrades Maternity Care Service Excellence Award, the only hospital in our region to be given that honor. Peckman said that these accolades are a reflection of the staff's hard work:


HealthGrades analyzed over 12 million hospital delivery and neonatal records for the years 2004-2006. For a complete look at the ratings, log on to www.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Legislation to force Pennsylvania'smassive public sector pension funds to unload investments inforeign companies tied to Iran and Sudan has won a key House vote.The teachers' pension fund and state government employee pensionfund would have 16 months to sell the holdings.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The AFL-CIO is on the verge of endorsingBarack Obama for president. The leaders of the nation's largestlabor organization started voting Tuesday on whether to endorseObama's presidential nomination. The voting is being done by fax.It is expected to end on Thursday.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - A Penn State University forecast saysnatural gas royalties earned by Pennsylvania landowners will ripplethrough the broader state economy. Energy companies are rushing tolock up rights to suddenly valuable deposits of natural gas.

BREINIGSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Lehigh County Executive Don Cunninghamis offering 12 acres of county-owned land to lure the U.S.Bicycling Hall of Fame. The hall of fame collection was located forseveral years in a Somerville, N.J., storefront. The countycommissioners plan to vote on the proposal today.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The FBI says a 19th century painting worthtens of thousands of dollars is missing from the Philadelphia ParkSystems office. The John Woodside painting "Fairmount WaterWorks" is gone. It is believed to have been made around 1842. TheFBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information.

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) - Police say a worker at a plastics plant in Henderson, Kentucky, argued with a supervisor early today beforefatally shooting four people, then killing himself. Two otherpeople were injured. Police say the shooter used a handgun he gotfrom home on a break.

WINFIELD, Mo. (AP) - The Mississippi River may crest today at Winfield, Missouri, where officials hope a fragile levee will holdback floodwaters. Volunteers have been filling tens of thousands ofsandbags to shore up the waterlogged berm.

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - A foreclosure rescue bill is on track topass the Senate, despite President Bush's threat to veto it.Democrats are fighting over key details that could delay a finaldeal on cheaper loans for 400,000 struggling homeowners.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Obama's campaign could be givingHillary Clinton some debt relief. Obama's asking key fundraisers tohelp Clinton erase at least 10 million dollars in debt from thebruising primary season. She's more than 22 million dollars in thered.

SINGAPORE (AP) - Oil has been above $137 a barrel in Europeantrading today, amid concerns that demand for gasoline in the U.S isweakening. Several recent reports have offered evidence thatAmericans are driving less because of prices topping $4 a gallon.


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