Monday, September 22, 2008

Today's News-Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Precisionaire fire update

The cause of a major fire at Precisionaire Industries in Auburn is still undetermined, and the plant will remain closed for several days. After 1am Saturday, a fire broke out in the back of the plant, which makes air filters. It took firefighters from more than 50 companies almost a whole day to fully extinguish the blaze. The business, a subsidiary of Flanders Corporation, North Carolina, employs more than 100 people, none of whom were in the building at the time. Employees are urged to call 252-946-8081 and ask for the Pennsylvania helpline to get an update on the plant's status.

Harrassment in Pine Grove Township

A Pine Grove man was taken into custody Saturday afternoon following an incident where he hit two people and damaged a car. 41-year-old Kyle Madison got into an argument with Randi Spell and James Zuppert, which turned physical. Madison allegedly hit both victims several times, and they fled to a vehicle to escape. Madison smashed the driver's side rear window with his fist. He is charged with harrassment and criminal mischief. Police took Madison into custody, since the crime violated his parole.

Items missing from Walker Township company

State police are investigating a theft at a Walker Township business. Frackville troopers say that between mid-July and last week, two 25-pound hydromite blasting agents, described as 4 and a half inch tubes, were taken from Mauree and Scott Sales Incorporated. The company reports that the missing items may be an inventory problem, but police are treating it as a theft until proven otherwise. Officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were notified,according to state police.

Fire retardants could harm children

Protecting Pennsylvania children from fire could be hazardous to their health. A recent nationwide study finds high levels of chemical fire retardants in the systems of toddlers and preschoolers. Eric Mack explains:


McCain to visit Scranton on Monday
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - Republican presidential nominee John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin are appearing at a rally in suburban Philadelphia on Monday afternoon. McCain will be in northeastern Pennsylvania on Monday morning for an Irish-American town hall meeting at the Scranton Cultural Center. He and Palin will hold a rally on the steps of the Delaware County Courthouse in Media on Monday afternoon. WPPA/T102 News Kerry Dowd will be in Scranton to cover the visit live.

3 children killed in eastern Pa. house fire

COATESVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A two-alarm fire tore through an eastern Pennsylvania home over the weekend, killing three children only hours after a birthday celebration. Coatesville police say the blaze started shortly before midnight Saturday and the home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Authorities say two adults were rescued but three children died. They were identified as 11-year-old Brian Westmoreland, 4-year-old Tyrone Hill, and 3-year-old Tyzhier Hill. Three adults were treated for injuries. Neighbors say a party to celebrate the recent birthdays of Brian and Tyzhier had been held the afternoon before the flames broke
out. About 100 fire, police and medical personnel from around the county responded to the scene, officials said. The blaze was extinguished shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday. The cause has not been determined. Coatesville is about 30 miles west of Philadelphia.

W.Pa. town sues church for housing the homeless

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A quaint western Pennsylvania town and one of its churches are throwing the books at each other. For the town of Brookville, the book is the law. Solicitor
Stephen French has taken the church to court for housing the homeless in a commercial district. He says that violates borough zoning regulations. But the Rev. Jack Wisor, who heads the First Apostles Doctrine Church, says the book he follows - the Bible - requires him to help the needy.
A district judge fined Wisor $500 in August for allowing three homeless men to live in the 111-year-old church parsonage. Wisor appealed to the Jefferson County Common Pleas Court. A hearing is scheduled for November. Brookville is about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Pa. treasurer's race pits lawyer vs. finance pro

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A bond lawyer and a venture capitalist are competing to be the next state treasurer. Republican Tom Ellis and Democrat Rob McCord would be first-timers in Harrisburg, having never served in office at the state level. Both are Ivy League products who live in Montgomery County. Ellis is a former county commissioner and McCord once worked as an aide in Congress. Also running is Libertarian candidate Berlie Etzel, a retired college mathematics and science professor and elected constable from Clarion County. The person who wins on Nov. 4 will oversee a department with a budget of $60 million and more than 500 employees responsible for managing the state's cash and cutting checks. Incumbent Treasurer Robin Wiessmann did not seek re-election.

Fire destroys century-old church in western Pa. shortly after Sunday morning Mass

COUPON, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in western Pennsylvania say fire destroyed a century-old church shortly after Sunday morning mass. Ashville fire chief Rick Zupon says crews from a dozen stations in Cambria and Blair counties battled the blaze at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Coupon, near Altoona. Five firefighters were injured when a brick chimney attached to the church collapsed, but Zupon says the injuries are not believed to be serious. Deacon Steve Luke says Mass ended at about 11 a.m. Sunday, and choir members reported smelling smoke about 45 minutes later. Zupon says heavy flames were coming from under the roof and steeple by the time fire crews arrived. A service marking the churchs 100th anniversary was held last
month, although Luke says the cornerstone was dedicated Sept. 30, 1908. Father Brian Saylor, the pastor, says the blaze is devastating for parishioners. He says any decision about rebuilding will have to come from the Altoona-Johnstown diocese.

1,205 fugitives surrender at Philly church

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - More than 1,200 fugitives have turned themselves in at a Philadelphia church over the past four days. They started coming to True Gospel Tabernacle on Wednesday as part of a national program called "Fugitive Safe Surrender." The initiative is designed to clear up some of the 38,000 misdemeanor warrants outstanding in the city. Authorities picked a church as a surrender point because many consider it less intimidating than a police station or courthouse. Judges and lawyers were on hand to process paperwork. Most fugitives were able to surrender, arrange a new court date and go home. When the program ended Saturday night, 1,205 fugitives had turned themselves in.

Scranton man held for trial in triple slaying

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A man has been held for trial in a triple slaying in northeastern Pennsylvania. Twenty-five-year-old Randall Rushing faces three counts of first- and third-degree murder in the July killings in Scranton. He was in Lackawanna County Court for a preliminary hearing last week. Authorities say the victims were found bludgeoned to death in a
home on July 17. They have been identified as 20-year-old Justin Berrios, 22-year-old Dustin Hintz and 16-year-old Leslie Collier. Investigators say Rushing used a knife and a hammer in the fatal attacks. Four other people were found inside the home unhurt. Authorities say one of them had recently ended a relationship with Rushing. Rushing, a Scranton resident, was captured in nearby Wilkes-Barre several hours after the murders.

Mall in suburban Philly reopens after evacuation due to suspicious odor

SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia mall has reopened after being evacuated the day before due to a suspicious smell. The Springfield Mall in Springfield was evacuated around 12:30 p.m. Saturday and was closed for the rest of the day. Mall officials say they made the decision after getting a report of a foul smell coming from the lower level. They say they believe it was related to the sewer. Officials say three people went to the hospital, but it wasn't
immediately clear what their symptoms were. The mall reopened Sunday at 11 a.m.

Owner of defunct Pa. diner offers it for free

HUNTINGDON, Pa. (AP) - Anyone want a diner? Jerry Grubb is offering to give away his beloved former eatery in central Pennsylvania for free. There's only one catch: The new owner must transport the 1950s-style restaurant to a new location and reopen it. Grubb's Diner was a 24-hour institution in Huntingdon until it closed last year to make way for a new pharmacy.
Grubb then had the 68-foot-long silver landmark hauled to a temporary storage area while awaiting a buyer. The diner was recently appraised for $100,000. But Grubb is willing to negotiate a lower price or donate it to the right person.

HONG KONG (AP) - The financial bailout plan being worked on in Washington appears to have brightened the mood of Asian investors. China's main stock index has shot up almost eight percent, while markets in Japan and Hong Kong climbed more than one percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration and the Federal Reserve are moving on multiple fronts to calm financial markets ahead of the day on Wall Street. Last night, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the country's last two major investment banks, were granted approval from the Fed to change their status to bank holding companies.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional leaders have endorsed the proposal to allow the government to buy up a mountain of bad mortgage loans that have been weighing down financial companies. But Democrats say the plan must be expanded to include more protections for homeowners and limits on executive payouts.

ANAHUAC, Texas (AP) - Power is coming back, cell phone service is improving and businesses are starting to re-open along the hurricane-battered Texas Gulf Coast. Worshippers took time out from the clean-up for Sunday services on a basketball court outside a damaged church.

ATLANTA (AP) - The man accused of killing four people in a rampage that started in an Atlanta courthouse more than three years ago goes on trial today. Lawyers for Brian Nichols concede he
fatally shot a judge, a court reporter, a sheriff's deputy and a federal agent. But they say he didn't know right from wrong.


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