Thursday, August 28, 2008

Today's News-Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Shenandoah man charged in rape

A Schuylkill County man is charged with allegedly raping a Bloomsburg University student. Campus police responded to Luzerne Hall for a possible suicide attempt, and found 21-year-old Raymond Searfoss Jr. of Shenandoah with cuts on his arms. Further investigation found that Searfoss had reportedly raped a girl in the dorm. The unnamed victim had scratches and bruises from the attack and was treated at a local hospital. Searfoss is charged with rape, indecent assault and other counts and is in Columbia County Prison on $100-thousand-dollars bail.

Woman locked up, man to be charged with assault in Cass Township

A Cass Township man will be charged after he assaulted a woman and locked her in the basement of his home on Monday. Scott Sargent, 61 High Road assaulted Carla Wolak, but she managed to escape from the basement. Wolak had minor injuries. Assault and related counts against Sargent will be filed in District Court.

One last fling for PA travelers

Pennsylvania travelers are expected to hit the roads this holiday weekend. And with gas prices down for the 39th day in a row, keeping expenses to a minimum is a priority for many families. One local agency wants you to keep them in mind as you plan your holiday getaway. C-E-O of Triple A Schuylkill County Bob Wachter explains why they're more than just the guys who come out and change your flat tire:


Wachter says besides all the benefits and savings of being a member, they're one of few agencies who still offer live, personal customer service.

Molds go to the dump..they're a health hazard

Relics from Rest Haven's 1912 building will be dumped, not donated. The ceramic molds uncovered at the abandoned building by County Controller Melinda Kantner were presented to the county Commissioners last week with the idea to clean them up and donate them to various organizations for use in craft projects. However, County Engineer Lisa Mahall said Wednesday that the items had been stored in a room containing peeling, lead based paint, and they were covered with pigeon droppings. Even if they were cleaned up, there's no guarantee they are safe according to Mahall. The Commissioners directed the molds to be disposed of.

Two charged with trying to deliver drugs to inmate at SCI Coal Township

Officials at the state prison at Coal Township stopped an attempt by two women to bring drugs to an inmate. 40-year-old Patricia Ann Paradeisis of Philadelphia and a teenaged girl tried to bring several bags of pot and other drugs to a relative jailed there. Prison authorities nabbed the pair before they could hand the drugs off. Paradeisis is in Northumberland County Prison and the teen in the custody of juvenile authorities.

Biden's Scranton childhood left lasting impression

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - Joe Biden left blue-collar, bare-knuckles Scranton for the greener pastures of Delaware when he was only 10 years old. But Scranton, it turns out, left an indelible impression on him. Barack Obama's running mate has returned again and again to the city of his youth. It's where he attended grammar school at St. Paul's, learned politics at his Irish-Catholic grandfather's knee, and made friendships that have lasted 60 years. That may be one reason Biden's on the Democratic ticket. In choosing a lunch-bucket Democrat, Obama hopes to capitalize on Biden's appeal to the socially conservative, working-class voters who populate Scranton and many other regions of Pennsylvania. They largely spurned Obama in the primary, handing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a 10-point victory.

Obama and Biden on board for post-Denver bus tour

DENVER (AP) - Barack Obama and Joe Biden will campaign by bus in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio after wrapping up the Democratic National Convention. They'll be following a familiar route. Republicans George Bush and Dick Cheney took a whistlestop tour by train of Ohio, Michigan and Illinois after leaving their national convention in 2000. And Democrats Bill Clinton and Al Gore launched a 1,000-mile post-convention bus tour in 1992 that took them to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. The point of these trips is to build momentum in battleground states after the conventions. Obama and Biden will be accompanied by their wives, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden. The candidates hope to build support in the three critical industrial states and take away some of the attention focused on
Republicans as they gather in Minneapolis-St. Paul to nominate their candidate, John McCain, and his yet-unnamed running mate.

More people in Pa. are filing for bankruptcy

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Bankruptcies in Pennsylvania shot up more than 10 percent, reflecting the financial struggles of more people. Federal figures released Wednesday showed that 31,494 Pennsylvania residents and businesses sought bankruptcy protection in the 12 months ending June 30. That is a 12 percent jump over the bankruptcy filings during the
12 months prior to that. Nationally, bankruptcies surged 29 percent, and Samuel Gerdano
of the American Bankruptcy Institute said he expects the rate of filings to increase through the end of the year. Of Pennsylvania's three federal districts, the 25-county western district registered the most filings, with 12,471. The 33-county district covering central and northeastern Pennsylvania registered the biggest percentage increase, at nearly 21 percent.

USW authorizes strike against ArcelorMittal

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The United Steelworkers union says its members have voted to give it the authority to launch a nationwide strike against ArcelorMittal. The Pitttsburgh-based union has been negotiating with Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal since April. The talks are about a
new labor contract that would cover more than 14,000 workers and tens of thousands of retirees. The current contract expires Monday. On Tuesday, the union distributed a notice to workers at 14 plants operated by ArcelorMittal saying there had been a "lack of progress" in the talks and asking for the authority to call a strike if the negotiations fail. ArcelorMittal says it remains committed to working with the union to reach a settlement before Monday. Employees work at plants in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, South Carolina, West Virginia and Minnesota.

Pa. humane officer: PSPCA flouts jurisdiction laws

PITTSBURGH (AP) - An animal control officer being sued for taking six kittens from a couple admits she overstepped her legal authority. But Tammy Kerr says she was just following orders from her employer, the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Kerr says she has been sent to 27 counties since she was hired for her $17-an-hour job in June. But Kerr says she isn't sworn in as a humane police officer to enforce the state's animal cruelty
statute in 20 of them. A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Thursday and Kerr said she is looking forward to talking about the agency's policies under oath. Kerr and former PSPCA officers claim they were routinely forced to take police action outside their jurisdiction. The PSPCA says it never asks for police action outside officers' jurisdiction - just for officers to try to talk people into giving up animals.

Panel on Pa. health reform focuses on price tag

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A panel discussion in Harrisburg on the state's health care system found consensus that it has serious problems, but little agreement about what to do to fix it.
The panelists repeatedly turned to questions of how much it'll cost to expand insurance coverage - and who'll end up paying for it. The chief executive of the Geisinger Health System says he's concerned that health care reform could, if done incorrectly, wind up pushing more patients into emergency rooms. Business groups say they'd like to see more done to contain the
burgeoning cost of medical care.

Settlement could add Hispanics to Pa. school board

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A federal judge has approved a legal settlement aimed at adding Hispanic representation to a school board in northeastern Pennsylvania. U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis in Philadelphia approved the agreement Wednesday. It settles a lawsuit filed by a former school board candidate in Bethlehem. All nine board members in the Bethlehem Area School District are currently elected at-large. The agreement will create three geographic seats, including one in an area where voting-age Hispanics make up nearly 40 percent of the population. Hispanics make up about 30 percent of the student body. Plaintiffs in the 2006 lawsuit said the previous methods of electing the board were keeping Hispanics from being elected. They sued after the district sidestepped two Hispanic candidates and instead appointed a white man to fill a vacancy.

W.Pa man charged in pregnant motorcyclist shooting

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Police have charged a suburban Pittsburgh man with firing a bullet at a shooting range that struck a pregnant woman as she rode on a motorcycle more than a mile away. Police say 47-year-old Martin Patterson, of Ambridge, shot over a hillside instead of at the target on Aug. 2. The bullet struck 26-year-old Aliza Musser, of Mount Oliver, in the abdomen, as she rode on the back of a motorcycle. Musser wasn't seriously hurt and her four-month-old fetus was unharmed. Police traced the .223-caliber bullet removed from Musser to
Patterson's rifle. He's charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. Patterson told the Beaver County Times that it was an accident and he's very sorry.

Camp counselor from Del. faces child porn charges

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Wilmington man who recently worked as a camp counselor has been indicted by a federal grand jury on child pornography charges. The grand jury returned a 14-count indictment charging 22-year-old Brian Briggs with transportation, receipt and
possession of child pornography and related offenses. During an online chat with an FBI agent in Arizona posing as the mother of a 13-year-old girl, prosecutors say Briggs transmitted a
number of images of child pornography and asked to see naked pictures of the girl. Prosecutors say Briggs recently worked at the Friends Central School's Trailblazer Summer Camp in Wynnewood, Pa. and worked as a counselor at the school's aftercare program last school year.

Pa. man who ran down Pitt grad student sentenced

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A man who ran down a University of Pittsburgh graduate student in a stolen car last year has been sentenced to four to eight years in prison, but could serve time in a state prison boot camp instead. Twenty-year-old Christopher Titus of Pittsburgh already spent 14 months in jail. Allegheny County Judge Jill Rangos is recommending Titus serve the remainder of his sentence in a boot camp to give him a chance to change his life. Titus pleaded guilty in June to aggravated assault and other charges. Police say Titus was driving about 70 mph on June 28, 2007, when the car struck 26-year-old Jennifer Burroughs and dragged her for 50 feet under the chassis. She underwent 15 surgeries and spent 182 days in hospitals.
Titus apologized to Burroughs on Wednesday.

Pittsburgh redevelopment boss Pat Ford resigns

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment chief Pat Ford has resigned. Ford issued a strongly worded resignation letter Wednesday, alleging a "culture of deception and corruption" and saying he will no longer support what he believes "to be a failed administration."
The letter comes nearly five months after Ford went on paid leave following revelations that he had accepted Christmas gifts from an executive for Lamar Advertising, which has substantial
dealings with the city. Those included a lease and permit application for a controversial electronic billboard downtown. The revelation prompted a state Ethics Commission investigation but the commission determined Ford did nothing wrong. Ford's resignation is effective at the end of this year, when his contract runs out.


Post a Comment

<< Home