Monday, August 25, 2008

Today's News-Monday, August 25th, 2008

Back to School for many today

Today signals the end of summer for many area students as schools open for classes. PennDOT reminds drivers to watch for children crossing streets and school busses loading and unloading kids. Pennsylvania's school bus stopping law requires motorists to stop at least 10 feet away from busses with flashing red lights. School zone speed limits are 15 miles per hour before and after school. Stiff penalities are in store for violators.

Investigation into helicopter crash continues

Two men remain hospitalized following a helicopter crash Friday night at Mountain Valley Golf Course. Al Roman of Hazleton was piloting the chopper dropping golf balls for an Access Services charity outing when it crashed on the course. Roman is in fair condition at Reading Hospital and co-pilot Joseph Matteo remains in critical condition at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville this morning. Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration spent the weekend at the crash scene, and have released the mangled helicopter back to its owner. It may be some time until a final report is released as to what caused the Friday evening crash.

Maryland man injured in interstate crash

A Maryland man suffered moderate injuries in a crash on Interstate 81 Saturday night. 61 year old Gilbert Vosburgh Jr. of Bowie, Maryland was driving south in Butler Township when his vehicle hit construction signs and struck a tree head on. Vosburgh was taked to Schuylkill Medical Center-South Jackson for treatment.

Police busy with DUI checkpoints over the weekend

Area police were busy with DUI checkpoints over the weekend. 819 cars were stopped in Shenandoah Friday night, with 4 adults charged with driving under the influence and 12 traffic arrests. During roving DUI patrols Saturday, three adults were charged with drunk driving and 11 with traffic citations. Sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols continue this week on area roadways.

Steel cross installed near Flight 93 site in Pa.

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A cross made out of steel beams from the World Trade Center now stands near the site where Flight 93 crashed in western Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. undreds prayed and sang at a dedication service next to a volunteer fire company on Sunday morning. The 2-ton, 14-foot high beam is sitting on a base shaped like the Pentagon. Scores of current and retired FDNY firefighters traveled to Shanksville from Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field to deliver the beam on Saturday. The memorial is not part of the official $58 million Flight 93 National Memorial. United Airlines Flight 93 was brought down by hijackers just outside Shanksville, about 40 minutes into its flight from Newark, N.J.

AFL-CIO, Change to Win, other unions reunite to urge members to vote for Obama

DENVER (AP) - After years of hard feelings following a difficult split, the nation's organized labor movement is joining forces to urge its members to vote for Barack Obama in hopes of changing the nations labor policies. Leaders from the AFL-CIO and Change to Win shared a stage together at a labor rally for Obama at the Democratic National Convention. The AFL-CIO is the nation's largest labor organization, with 56 member unions. Change to Win is made up of seven former AFL-CIO unions who defected in 2005. The AFL-CIO has mailed out a million flyers to voters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin touting Obama. Union members made up 12.1 percent of the working population in 2007. They members made up 20 percent of the work force in 1983. But union members still have major clout inside the Democratic Party. Union delegates represent one fourth of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, and labor is expected to pump more than $200 million into Democratic coffers by Election Day.

Pa. teen charged in beating death seeks bail

POTTSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A bail hearing is scheduled Tuesday for a 16-year-old northeastern Pennsylvania boy charged in the beating death of a Mexican man is seeking bail. Brandon Piekarsky is charged as an adult with third-degree murder, ethnic intimidation and other offenses. Prosecutors allege that the July 12 attack on Luis Ramirez was racially motivated.
Another teen, 17-year-old Colin Walsh, is also facing a murder charge. Assistant District Attorney A.J. Serina says prosecutors haven't seen a petition from Walsh requesting a bail hearing. Another defendant, 18-year-old Derrick Donchak, is charged with aggravated assault and other offenses. Prosecutors allege that a fourth teen was involved, but plan to charge him as a juvenile.

Pa. bans restraint technique that can cause death

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania officials are banning a restraint technique from being used in youth treatment centers. The "prone restraint," in which the child is held face down
and immobilized, has been blamed for the deaths of more than 70 children nationwide since 1993. Deputy Secretary for Children Youth and Families Richard Gold says the ban will make youth treatment centers safer - both for the youths and the employees. But some say the new state policy will leave workers unable to deal effectively with violent children. Jennifer Gray is a former counselor at KidsPeace near Allentown who quit last year after being assaulted by a 15-year-old girl there. She says the problem isn't the restraint, but its use by people who haven't been trained properly.

Pittsburgh school support workers join clerical workers in threatening to strike

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Hundreds of custodians, food-service workers, truck drivers and others in Pitsburgh's school district have joined clerical workers in threatening to go on strike. Members of two locals of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have been working under terms of contracts that expired in December 2006. Negotiations are scheduled
to resume Monday. The first day of school for students is Aug. 28. AFSCME Local 297 represents custodians, food-service workers, repairmen, truck drivers and other workers. Union members voted Saturday to authorize a strike. Clerical workers in AFSCME Local
2924 had previously voted to authorize a strike. The votes by the members authorize union leaders to call a strike at any time. The union must give 48 hours' notice to the schools before a walkout begins. The district, the second largest in the state, has about 28,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Mobile home fire kills south-central Pa. man, critically injures mother

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (AP) - State and local authorities in south-central Pennsylvania are trying to find out what caused a fire in a mobile home that killed a man and critically injured his
mother. Authorities say Anthony Archer died in the 11:15 a.m. Saturday fire in Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County. Katherine Archer was taken to the burn center at Lehigh Valley Hospital. The state police fire marshal, township police and the coroner's office are investigating.

Man in custody after hit-run kills Philadelphia boy, 5, and critically injures mother

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia police say they have a man in custody in connection with the hit-and-run accident that killed a 5-year-old boy and critically injured his mother. Police say a taxi struck the two victims at 1:48 a.m. Sunday in the Logan section of north Philadelphia. The boy was killed and his 23-year-old mother was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center,
where officials say she was listed in critical condition. Officers found the taxi a few blocks away but the driver was gone. Police say a 62-year-old man from the Olney section of the city turned himself in to authorities Sunday evening.

Pa. town appeals ruling on former officer's pension

EASTON, Pa. (AP) - Easton officials are appealing a judge's ruling that allowed a former police officer who shot and killed a colleague to get a disability pension. A Northampton County judge earlier this month denied the city's request to bar Matthew Renninger from receiving a disability pension worth more than $10,000 a year. He was also granted medical coverage for life. The city is appealing to Commonwealth Court. The police pension committee approved those benefits last year. Renninger resigned from the force in May 2006, more than a year
after he shot and killed Officer Jesse Sollman in the police station. A grand jury later found that Renninger was negligent in handling his gun but that the shooting did not justify charges.

DENVER (AP) - Democrats are directing their message at middle class women on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention. Barack Obama's wife, Michelle, will deliver tonight's
keynote address. A video tribute will honor Senator Ted Kennedy.

DENVER (AP) - Police in Denver have been working with some protest groups in an effort to minimize the number of arrests and disruptions outside of the Democratic National Convention. Daily anti-war demonstrations are planned. One such march drew about 1,000 people yesterday.

MIAMI (AP) - The remnants of Tropical Storm Fay are expected to bring several inches of rain to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee all week long. As much as seven inches of rain could fall in some areas between now and Friday but a forecaster doesn't expect major flooding.

BAGHDAD (AP) - An Iraqi soccer match drew tens of thousands of fans to Baghdad stadium yesterday. It was the largest sports crowd the city has seen since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The taunt of choice at the visitors, who came from Iraq's dairy region, was a rhyme that translates to "You know how to make yogurt, but you don't know anything about football."

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) - An anti-crime group in Naperville, Illinois, is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of a concrete piece of the Pentagon stolen from a September 11th memorial. The
city installed a surveillance camera after a similar theft in 2005, but it wasn't working at the time of the theft last week.


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