Saturday, September 27, 2008

Today's News - Saturday Sept. 27

A woman dies in a Cressona crash

Troopers say 27-year old Amanda Reifsnyder of Schuylkill Haven was driving along Route 183 in Wayne Township just North of Schuylkill Mountain Road when she lost control of her pick-up in a turn on the wet road and was hit by a pick-up towing a trailer driven by 37-year old Robert Heaps, also of Schuylkill Haven. The collision happened just before 11 Friday morning. Reifsnyder was pronounced dead at the scene. Heaps and one of his passengers, 36-year old Sharon Heaps, suffered moderate injuries. His other passengers, 30-year old Shawn Kondafh of Orwigsburg and a 5-year old girl, who was in a car seat, suffered what police say were minor injuries. Reifsnyder was not wearing a seatbelt. Heaps and his adult passengers were belted.

Lock on police station changed

PINE GROVE - The Mayor of Pine Grove said Friday a lock to the police station has been changed in absence of the department’s chief who, according to the Republican and Herald, was the only person with the key to the station. Reager has not been on the job since early September after a group of business owners made issue with the conduct of the Borough Police Department on WPPA’s step up to the mic program. Pine Grove Area School District Superintendent Terence Maher said Sept. 18 he wrote a letter to the borough this month asking that the chief not respond to calls on school grounds after a profile on the social networking site containing images of scantily clad females linked to his Lebanon business surfaced in late August. Business owners are meeting again at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Lion’s Den on Birds Hill Road, Pine Grove, to discuss a future association.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Ed Rendell has nominated a senior adviser to become Pennsylvania's top public health official. Everette James would succeed Dr. Calvin Johnson as state health secretary if confirmed by the Senate. James will become the department's secretary-designee on Monday. The 46-year-old James has advised Rendell on public health, insurance and pension matters since March 2007. James previously practiced health-care and regulatory law and served in the U.S. Commerce as a deputy assistant secretary for service industries and finance in the Clinton administration. Johnson had been health department secretary since April 2003. He is leaving the Rendell administration for an executive post at Temple University Health System in Philadelphia.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's highest court says a state judge can't refuse her 11 percent pay raise. The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that said it's illegal for Superior Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin to reject the salary increase. The raise was part of a legislative pay hike enacted in July 2005, but repealed in November 2005, after public criticism. The Supreme Court reinstated the raises for 1,100 state judges in September 2006. Melvin's annual salary increased from $145,658 to $162,100. Commonwealth Court has said Melvin can donate her raise to charity.

BEIJING (AP) - China has completed its first-ever spacewalk, and showed it on live television. Mission commander Zhai Zhigang (zheye zhu-dawng) waved a Chinese flag for the cameras. The walk paves the way for China's next goal, assembling a space station from orbital modules.

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - The presidential candidates now take the themes from an intense first debate on the road, looking for traction in a tight race. Republican John McCain played the battle-tested elder while Barack Obama claimed his opponent made wrong policy choices.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior lawmakers from both parties have yet to sit down with one another for final haggling over a 700 billion dollar financial bailout. Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts says he's "convinced" tomorrow's the day for the big bailout of Wall Street bankers. Lawmakers say there's progress and they'd like to see a deal before Asian markets open Monday.

UNDATED (AP) - Wall Street's meltdown is having a chilling effect on Main Street where people trying to get credit are running into a deep freeze. Credit markets are seizing up, meaning fewer and smaller loans at higher rates, if they're available at all.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that homeless people in Orlando, Florida, can eat at the park. The judge yesterday struck down a city ordinance that barred large group feedings for homeless at downtown parks. Activists who did the meals sued the city.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Iraq's foreign minister says he hopes the global financial crisis won't lead to an immediate pullout of U.S. troops from his country. He says the financial meltdown means "there is a new world now." But he says a pullout could be bad for Iraq.

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - A rare car bomb attack in Syria has killed 17 people and injured 14. Syrian state TV says the blast occurred at an intersection leading to a holy shrine for Shiite Muslims in the capital, Damascus.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghan laborers held hostage for nearly a week in Western Afghanistan are free today. Afghan officials say that militants today released the last 30 or so of the 150 kidnapped last Sunday. Police say no ransom was paid.

LONDON (AP) - Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggests there'll be no British bailout like the one for the U.S. financial meltdown. Brown, who was in Washington to meet President Bush, tells the BBC that the best thing for Britain is to increase liquidity.

MIAMI (AP) - Another tropical weather system could become a hurricane today. Tropical Storm Kyle is the 11th named storm of the season. It's currently west-southwest of Bermuda with winds near 70 miles an hour.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal prosecutors have introduced a note that reads "No paper trail" in the corruption trial of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Prosecutors say it was part of a scheme by Stevens and an oil contractor to conceal more than $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts from the contractor.

BOSTON (AP) - Senator Edward Kennedy, who has brain cancer, is back at his Cape Cod vacation home after a brief trip to the hospital. He complained of feeling ill and a statement from his office attributed the episode to a change in medications.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - This dodger wasn't very artful. In fact, he wasn't a Dodger at all, Los Angeles Dodger, that is. Ronald Higgins has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges for allegedly stealing a uniform from Dodger Stadium and posing as one of the team's players.


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