Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Today's News-Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Pottsville man injured in motorcycle crash

A Pottsville man was injured in a motorcycle/car crash in West Brunswick Township Tuesday afternoon. 60 year old James Weyand was traveling north on Route 61, near the intersection of South Liberty Street, and 56-year-old Clyde Whipple of Brackney, PA was following behind. Whipple was distracted by a cell phone call and ran into the back of Weyand's motorcycle. Weyand was thrown onto the highway. He was life flighted to Geisinger Medical Center. Whipple will be charged with careless driving. There were no other injuries.

Vigil in Shenandoah

A candelight vigil to honor the memory of Luis Ramirez was held last night in Shenandoah. More than 150 people were on hand, with impassioned calls for unity in the community in light of the attack that claimed Ramirez' life earlier this month. At a press conference held at the Vine Street playground prior to the service, representatives from the Mexican Legal Defense and Education Fund expressed their concerns about the investigation surrounding Ramirez' death and the negative feelings about immigrants who come to this country. MALDEF attorney John Amaya explains:


MALDEF called for federal justice officials to monitor the investigation. Three men have been charged already in the case, and additional arrests are pending.

LC&N files for bankruptcy

An area coal company has been taken to bankruptcy court. Lehigh Coal and Navigation, owes more than $7-million-dollars to creditors, and they want to ensure that they are paid. According to the Republican and Herald, LC&N has several weeks to respond to the Chapter 11 petition. Those who are owed money have asked the federal court to put the company under a trustee. Company officials say they will contest the petition by its creditors.

Bechtel wants a trial

A Morea man who is accused of multiple murders wants to withdraw his guilty plea and have his case taken to trial. 32-year-old Michael Bechtel pleaded guilty to four counts of first degree murder and related charges in 2004. Bechtel's estranged wife Raiehna, their 3 year old son Jacob and two friends were shot in August, 2002. A hearing was scheduled for yesterday, but cancelled by Judge D. Michael Stine. However, Mahanoy City attorney Jeffrey Markosky was appointed to represent Bechtel. Bechtel had been sentenced to four life terms in prison, and is in state prison awaiting further court action.

Tamaqua man in jail following chase

A Tamaqua man is in county jail after he fled the scene of a crash earlier this week in Pine Grove Township. Jonestown state police now say that Joel Angel Ramirez-Santiso was driving south on Interstate 81 early Sunday when he swerved and hit a car driven by Shirin Lowlaver of Silver Spring, Maryland. Ramirez-Santiso took off, but was picked up a short time later. He's charged with drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident, and was jailed at Schuylkill County Prison.

Big loads leaving from Schuylkill Products

Oversized loads from Schuylkill Products, Cressona, bound for New York state, could slow traffic today and tomorrow. Routes 901, 183 and 61 are the affected routes. The loads will move out at 9 and 11am.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Allegheny County Council has approved a referendum question for the November election that will let voters choose between a 10 percent drink tax and increasing property taxes. County Executive Dan Onorato has said the drink tax is necessary to fund the county's subsidy of mass transit without raising property taxes.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A federal judge in Erie says a woman charged with plotting a bank robbery that left a pizza deliveryman dead has bipolar disorder and isn't mentally competent to stand trial. Judge Sean McLaughlin ordered Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong placed under the
federal government's custody for treatment. He wants an update on her in four months.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A homeless man will spend at between 15 to 30 years in prison for the stabbing death of a Pittsburgh man who let him stay in his home. Forty-one-year-old Clarence Turner was convicted in May of killing 54-year-old Glenn Smart.

CENTRAL CITY, Pa. (AP) - A New York City company is blaming the economy for its decision to halt plans on a $900 million waste coal-burning power plant in western Pennsylvania. Sithe Global Power LLC had announced plans for the plant in Somerset County in January. But it says plans are on hold until it finds a financial partner. The company had hoped the plant could be in production in 2013.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush is turning up the heat on congressional Democrats over offshore oil drilling, just as they get ready for a summer break. The president plans to blast Congress again today for not opening up more coastline and the Alaskan Arctic.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska Senator Ted Stevens could be facing the end of his political career. Already running against a tough Democratic challenger, an Alaskan political analyst says the seven-count federal indictment Stevens faces is "close to a political earthquake."

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Some broken water mains and minor gas leaks in homes make up some of the worst damage from yesterday's earthquake in Southern California. The 5.4 magnitude quake is the strongest to hit a heavily populated area of the state in more than a decade.

ATLANTA (AP) - A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals diabetic women who get pregnant are three to four times more likely to have a child with birth defects than other women. Nearly 40 types of birth defects were found to be significantly more common in the infants of diabetic mothers, more than first thought.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Cheech and Chong are getting back together. The duo, who broke up more than 20 years ago amid creative differences, will announce a new comedy tour today. It'll be called "Hey, What's That Smell."


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