Monday, July 28, 2008

Today's News-Monday, July 28, 2008

Trucker dies in crash on I-81

A fiery crash claims the life of an Alabama trucker. Sunday afternoon around 1pm, 38-year-old Robert Poth of Tuscaloosa, Alabama was southbound on Interstate 81 at mile marker 106 when he lost control and crossed the northbound lanes, flipping his tractor. The truck caught fire and killed him. Traffic in the northbound lanes of I-81 were closed for several hours for cleanup. Jonestown State Police handled the investigation.

Pottsville man seriously hurt in crash

A Pottsville man is seriously injured in a crash in Washington Township Sunday night. 55-year-old Gregory Wagner was eastbound on Route 443 before 6pm when his car crossed the center line. He swerved to avoid oncoming traffic and struck a utility pole. Wagner became trapped and had to be removed by emergency personnel. He was flown to Hershey Medical Center, where he is in serious condition this morning. Schuylkill Haven state police are investigating.

Schuylkill County Fair opens

The cake was cut to open the 25th Schuylkill County Fair Sunday night. What began as a 4-H fair at Penn State Schuylkill in 1983 has become a destination for people of all ages the last week of July in Summit Station. County and state officials joined current and former board members to welcome visitors to Preview Day. Dan and Galla (gah-lah), a variety duo from Huntington County entertained the crowd of about 2-thousand opening night. Today is Family Day at the Schuylkill County Fair, with gates opening at 4pm, with country band Abilene on the M&T Bank stage at 7 and 9pm. Admission is just $6. The crew from Step Up To the Mike and the Pulse will broadcast live from the fair, beginning at 10am, on WPPA.

Cancer warning adds wrinkle to parenting debate

NEW YORK (AP) - A warning from the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute has struck a nerve among some parents. Dr. Ronald Herberman says people should limit cell phone use because of a possible cancer risk - especially when it comes to children, whose brains are still developing. Herberman's warning was based on early, unpublished data -- and came despite numerous studies that haven't found a link between increased tumors and cell phone use. Nonetheless, some parents are adding it to other reasons to resist their children's entreaties for their own cell phones. Statistics from the Pew Research Center show just how deeply
ingrained in our daily lives cell phones have become. Fully 78 percent of all adults own them, including 86 percent of 18-29 year-olds and 55 percent of Americans 65 and older. Pew doesn't
compile statistics on those under 18. Text messaging, on the other hand, is the province of the young: 74 percent of 18-29 year-olds do it but only 6 percent of the 65-plus crowd.

4 shot in tavern near Pittsburgh

McKEES ROCKS, Pa. (AP) - Police are seeking a 28-year-old man charged in a weekend shooting at a tavern near Pittsburgh. Two men and two women were shot early Sunday at Becker's Cafe in McKees Rocks. Police say Marlin Jackson is charged with four counts of
aggravated assault, four counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of carrying a firearm without a license. There was no immediate word on what prompted the shooting.

Woman dies in Philadelphia house fire

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia woman died in a fire that broke out in her home in the city's Olney neighborhood. Witnesses say the woman's boyfriend stood on the roof Sunday
morning holding their baby, scared to throw the 3-month-old girl to people below. Once he did so, he tried to save his girlfriend. She died at a hospital. There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire.

Pa. nonprofit director's pay raises concerns

WYNNEWOOD, Pa. (AP) - Several communities have dropped out of the National Night Out program and the federal government has cut off support in reaction to the executive director's salary. Matt Peskin gets more than $300,000 a year in pay and benefits for running the National Association of Town Watch, based in the Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood. Some communities in Minnesota are going ahead with block parties on the same night as National Night Out. But they're not part of the national program, so they call it Minnesota's Night to Unite. The National Association of Town Watch mostly promotes the National Night Out event and provides awards to communities judged to run the best events. It provides little assistance for neighborhood watch programs.

Philly skyscraper's huge HD screen wowing visitors

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia has a new tourist attraction -- its newest and tallest skyscraper. The Comcast Center has a huge atrium wall where a cast of dancers and acrobats seem to come to life. Mostly by word of mouth, the enormous video installation has been drawing a growing stream of visitors to the 975-foot tower. The video wall has thousands of hours of content to offer at five times the resolution of a typical HD television. City tourism officials said they added the Comcast Center to their Web site after both residents and tourists began asking for more information about the attraction.

N.J. man dies when swimming at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

DELAWARE WATER GAP, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say a man drowned after deciding to take a swim in the Delaware River. The body of Michael Salazar of Hillside, N.J., was recovered Saturday after a search that took about two hours. A family friend, 18-year-old Kimberly Delacruz of Belleville, N.J., says Salazar began splashing and calling for help. She says his wife thought he was joking for a minute before the group realized what was happening. Salazar was at Kittatinny Point for a picnic with his wife, their 8-year-old son and friends. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area spokeswoman Kathleen Sandt says nobody should swim at Kittatinny without wearing a personal flotation device.

Pa. motorcyclist dies in crash with Amish buggy

MEADVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Police say an accident involving an Amish buggy in northwestern Pennsylvania claimed the life of a motorcylist. Police say a group of Amish people fishing at Pymatuning State Park had their horse tied up on Friday night. But the horse broke loose and pulled the buggy onto Route 6 east of Linesville, in Crawford County. The unlighted buggy collided with a motorcycle operated by 42-year-old Duane Forsythe of Beaver Falls, who was killed. His passenger, 44-year-old Catherine Fosnaught, also of Beaver Falls, was injured. The horse wasn't hurt.

Funeral Monday for Ohio St. pres.'s son-in-law

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A private funeral is planned Monday in Virginia for the son-in-law of Ohio State University President Gordon Gee. Thirty-one-year-old Dr. Allan Moore died Thursday from injuries he suffered in a motor scooter crash in suburban Philadelphia two
weeks ago. Family members are to attend his funeral in Danville, Va., where Moore grew up.
A memorial service will come later in Boston, where Moore met his wife, Dr. Rebekah Gee, while the two were medical residents at Massachusetts General Hospital. Gordon Gee's daughter was with her husband on a Vespa scooter that collided with a sport utility vehicle in Bryn Mawr. She
sustained broken bones and head injuries and is undergoing rehab at Ohio State University Medical Center.

Fragments found on jet, perhaps from oxygen tank

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Authorities have found what may be key evidence in the investigation of last week's mid-air explosion aboard a Qantas jumbo jet. A valve and other fragments that could be from a missing oxygen tank have been found inside the jet. An Australian safety investigator says the pieces were found close to where the missing tank was stored beneath the passenger cabin. Neville Blyth says they will be tested to see if they came
from the tank, which is designed to provide passengers emergency oxygen. The missing tank has become the focus of the probe into what tore open a car-sized hole in the plane's fuselage at 29,000 feet and forced an emergency landing in the Philippines.

Death toll rising

BAGHDAD (AP) - Police say they believe three suicide bombers who struck in quick succession Monday in Baghdad were women. At least 26 people have been killed and 85 wounded in a series of attacks on people streaming toward a Shiite shrine. They're making an annual pilgrimage to mark the death of an eighth-century saint. The attacks came despite heavy security measures. Hundreds of women have been assigned to conduct body searches of female
pilgrims. Yesterday, gunmen ambushed pilgrims south of Baghdad, killing at least seven.

Vacant prison becomes symbol of waste

BAGHDAD (AP) - A vacant prison north of Baghdad is being held up as a symbol of waste and contractor shortcomings in rebuilding Iraq. Some 40 million dollars was spent building the prison at Khan Bani Saad, which was supposed to provide more than 1,000 jobs in volatile Diyala province. But the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction says it's been a failure. Stuart Bowen says only a couple of buildings are useful. And they will never be used to hold prisoners.
Bowen estimates that about 4 billion dollars spent in the U.S.-bankrolled Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund has been wasted. That's around 20 percent of the total. The head of the local municipal council calls the empty prison compound "a big monster that's swallowed money and hopes."

Bush to meet with Pakistan PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - The situation in Afghanistan will be among the topics addressed today when President Bush sits down at the White House with Pakistan's prime minister. The U.S. is growing increasingly frustrated over Taliban militants using bases in Pakistan to launch attacks in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani's government has preferred to strike bargains with the region's tribal leaders. Pakistan has also been hesitant to allow U.S. or other forces to strike at militant camps on its soil. U.S. and Afghan officials complain those safe havens are a major factor in a recent deadly surge in Taliban attacks. An arms deal will also be talked about. Bush wants Congress to let Pakistan take two-thirds of the money given for anti-terrorism programs and use it to upgrade its aging fleet of F-16s. Critics say the refurbished warplanes could be used by Pakistan against rival India.

Neighbor says suspect 'really nice guy'

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - One neighbor says the man charged with murder in Sunday's church shooting in Knoxville, Tennessee, is "just a really, really nice guy" who often worked on his motorcycle and would take long weekend trips. Police have been searching Jim Adkisson's suburban duplex but are not commenting on anything they found. Two people were killed in the attack including church usher Greg McKendry who's being praised as a hero for shielding others. Linda Kraeger died a few hours later. Seven other people were injured; five remain hospitalized in serious or critical condition. Witnesses say the gunman started firing as children were performing a play at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. No kids were hurt. The FBI is assisting in the investigation for any possibility of a hate crime. One witness says the gunman shouted "hateful" words before opening fire.

Fire destroys 12 homes

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) - An out-of-control wildfire is still burning near an entrance to Yosemite National Park in California. So far it's destroyed 12 homes and 27 other buildings. Officials
have ordered the evacuation of nearly 200 homes that are in immediate danger. About 2,000 face some threat. But some people have decided not to leave and hope to fend off any flames approaching their property. One homeowner says he's freaking out because flames are within 100 yards of his home. A state spokeswoman says the fire was started by someone doing
some target shooting. A different wildfire forced 4,000 people to evacuate the Los Angeles zoo yesterday. It's since been contained, but some California condors and two vultures had to be relocated after flames came within about 1,000 feet of their enclosure.

Search for people reportedly swept away

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) - Authorities in New Mexico are searching the Rio Ruidoso after reports of two people being swept away. Flooding has hit the resort area of Ruidoso after the remnants
of Hurricane Dolly dumped up to 6 inches of rain and forced the evacuation of about 300 people.
Residents and tourists were evacuated from homes, campgrounds and a recreational vehicle park.

'Several fatalities' reported in Kentucky wreck

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - State police say a fiery crash in central Kentucky has caused "several fatalities." They're not being more specific than that yet. A state police news release says a passenger vehicle heading south on Interstate 71 crossed the median and struck a
tractor-trailer in a northbound lane Sunday night. Both vehicles burst into flames. The driver of the tractor-trailer wasn't hurt, according to state police.

Banks to reopen today

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - As of today, customers of 1st National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank N.A. will be doing business at Mutual of Omaha Bank. The latest two banks to fail were shut down by federal regulators Friday. They were owned by the Scottsdale, Arizona-based First National Bank Holding Company. First Heritage operates in California. First National has branches in Nevada and Arizona. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation says all depositors will still have access to their money, including funds in excess of FDIC insurance limits. The FDIC also says account holders can write checks, and use ATMs and debit cards to get their money. The FDIC says the takeover of the failed banks is the least costly resolution of the situation.


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