Monday, October 27, 2008

Today's News-Monday, October 27, 2008

Fire burning in Tamaqua

Crews in Tamaqua were called to a fire at a garage at 225 Cedar Street in the borough before 6am. Original reports had the blaze in the 100 block of Broad Street in Tamaqua. The extent of the damages is not yet known, but cleanup is pretty well complete.

McCain coming to Pottsville

With just over a week to go until the general election, John McCain is heading to the heartland of the battleground state of Pennsylvania...Pottsville. The event, announced last week, will bring the Road to Victory Rally to Martz Hall. Doors are scheduled to open at 4pm, with the rally scheduled to get underway at 4:30pm. Senator McCain is slated to speak around 6:30pm. Tickets have been going quickly, but campaign organizers say that tickets are still available at their campaign headquarters at 217 North Centre Street in Pottsville from 9am this morning.

Forestville fire company destroyed

Fire destroyed a firehouse in Forestville this morning. The blaze broke out around 12:30 a.m. at One Line Avenue at the building in which the Forestville Fire Company's equipment is stored. Company officials report that several vehicles, including an antique truck, were destroyed, as well as fire gear. One truck was saved from the blazing structure when a volunteer was able to ram it through a garage door. The adjoining social hall suffered some smoke damage as well. One firefighter suffered minor injuries. The state police fire marshal will investigate the cause.

Theft from motor vehicle at Schuylkill Country Club

State police at Schuylkill Haven are looking for the vandals who robbed an Auburn couple's vehicle at the Schuylkill Country Club. Sometime between 12:45 and 6pm Sunday, jewelry, cash and credit cards were removed from a vehicle owned by Wayne and Kathleen Haas. Anyone with information should call state police at 593-2000.

Bernville man dies in northern Berks crash

A Bernville man is dead following a Saturday evening crash in northern Berks County. A truck driven by 40-year-old Corey Kissinger was exiting Interstate 78 in Upper Tulpehocken Township and ran into the rear of a tractor trailer stopped on the shoulder of the road. Kissinger's vehicle burst into flames, trapping him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The tractor trailer driver, 39-year-old John Hoover of Reading, was not injured. Exit 19 was closed for about 4 hours following the accident Saturday night.

Obama, McCain return to Pennsylvania to open final full week of presidential campaign

POTTSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Candidates Barack Obama and John McCain will both be in the battleground state of Pennsylvania to open the final full week of the long presidential campaign. Obama, the Democratic nominee, will speak at Mellon Arena in
Pittsburgh on Monday evening. He'll then cross the state to speak at Widener University in Chester on Tuesday morning. McCain, the Republican nominee, will attend a rally at the
Pottsville School District in eastern Pennsylvania on Monday night. On Tuesday morning, he and running mate Sarah Palin will be at a rally at the Giant Center in Hershey. Palin, the Alaska governor, will then be at an event in Shippensburg on Tuesday afternoon and
in State College for another rally on Tuesday night.

Key informant with a shady history to take the stand in Fort Dix terror plot trial

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - A shadowy ex-convict who secretly recorded five men charged with planning to kill soldiers on Fort Dix is expected to testify at their trial this week. Prosecutors say paid informant Mahmoud Omar is likely to take the stand Monday or Tuesday for several days of testimony. While the government will portray his infiltration as key to arresting the men, defense attorneys will attack his credibility. In opening statements, defense lawyers suggested that Omar was a professional scam artist conning the government. The five defendants are all foreign-born Muslim men in their 20s who have spent much of their lives in the southern New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia. They were arrested in May 2007 and accused of plotting to sneak onto Fort Dix to attack soldiers. The Army base primarily trains reservists for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. No attack was carried out and lawyers for the men say there was no plot. The men face charges of attempted murder, conspiracy and weapons offenses. They could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on all counts.

Guantanamo prosecutor who quit in protest still watching over war crimes cases

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - A former prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay who roiled America's war-crimes trials with accusations that the Pentagon withheld evidence from detainees says he will continue to monitor his old cases for any wrongdoing. Army Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld quit as prosecutor of a half-dozen cases at Guantanamo last month. He accused the government of keeping material from defense teams that could have helped their clients. The U.S. military then dropped charges against five Guantanamo prisoners who Vandeveld had been prosecuting but says it plans to charge at least some of the men again. The reservist told The Associated Press that military prosecutors named to take over his cases are honest, dedicated professionals. But he says he will be watching and would testify if subpoenaed about any missteps. Vandeveld, a 48-year-old Iraq war veteran from the Erie area, is returning to his civilian job as a deputy Pennsylvania state attorney general. He is the fourth Guantanamo prosecutor to resign.

Former Pa. police officer convicted in sex case; was accused of molesting girls while on duty

NEW BLOOMFIELD, Pa. (AP) - A former central Pennsylvania police officer accused of molesting or propositioning more than a dozen teenage girls while on duty was convicted of several sex offenses. A jury deliberated for about 10 hours Saturday before finding
Robert Pavlovich Jr. guilty of charges including corruption of minors, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and bribery in official matters. The 40-year-old Camp Hill resident denied the charges during the three-day trial. He says he had never had sex with any of the accusers, touched them improperly or asked them to sneak out of their homes. Pavlovich says he did ask three teenage girls to meet him late at night at locations in Marysville as part of an investigation into drug activity and underage drinking. Pavlovich remains free on $250,000 bail. A pre-sentencing investigation will be done before a sentencing date is set.

Trial to resume for northeastern Pa. man in baby's death; prosecutors seeking death penalty

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A northeastern Pennsylvania man accused of beating a 7-month-old child to death is expected to take the stand in his own defense when trial resumes this week. Lackawanna County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against 30-year-old Michael Blakey, who is charged with first- and third-degree murder. He is accused of slamming Khayr Cash into a concrete floor in June 2007 at a Scranton apartment. The baby later died in a hospital. Prosecutors wrapped up their case last week as expert witnesses presented conflicting testimony. A pathologist called by the prosecution said there were at least six blows to the infant's head. But a defense witness said all of the damage was due to a single impact.

Mass remembers state Sen. James Rhoades, who died of injuries in car crash

MAHANOY CITY, Pa. (AP) - Longtime Pennsylvania senator James Rhoades is being remembered as a man dedicated to faith, family and his constituents. Hundreds attended a funeral Mass over the weekend for the 66-year-old lawmaker in the Mahanoy Area School District auditorium. Rhoades, who served 28 years in the Senate, was critically injured in a car accident Oct. 17 and died the following day. His wife, Mary Edith, was hospitalized for several days and required surgery to repair a crushed knee. She attended the service in a wheelchair, but did not speak publicly. Those who knew Rhoades say holding the funeral service in a school auditorium was fitting. He was a teacher, principal and football coach and also served as chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Rhoades, a Republican, was being challenged by Democrat Peter J. Symons and independent Dennis Baylor in the Nov. 4 general election. His name remains on the ballot; if he wins, the seat will be filled in a special election.

R. Crumb gets 'kicked upstairs' from 1960s underground comic scene to fine art museums

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A sojurn in drug-laced San Francisco of the 1960s turned Robert Crumb into the father of underground comics. Crumb's satiric, surreal and sometimes sexually explicit images helped illustrate the emerging counterculture. They also chronicled what he has called the "seamy side of America's subconscious." Compared to Brueghel and Goya and denounced as a pornographic misogynist, Crumb finds his work popping up in fine art museums these days. Now the 65-year-old Philadelphia-born artist is having a homecoming of sorts in "R. Crumb's Underground." The career-spanning exhibition of more than 100 works is on view at the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Contemporary Art through Dec. 7. Curator Todd Hignite says it was just a matter of the art world catching up to Crumb.

CHICAGO (AP) - Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is intensifying his campaign with a speech and rally this afternoon in Canton, Ohio. In remarks released in advance, Obama urges voters to end divisiveness and turn away from fear he says is being sowed by Republicans. He'll also be in Pennsylvania.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Republican John McCain is in Ohio and Pennsylvania today, where he'll try to rally voters in a campaign heavily disdainful of rival Barack Obama. McCain hammers his theme that Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are "tax and spend" Democrats.

LONDON (AP) - Stocks around the world are sliding dramatically. Japan's Nikkei index hit the lowest point in 26 years. European markets are losing ground. The Dow futures are heavily in negative territory. The surging Japanese currency along with fears of a lurch into serious recession are driving the markets.

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) - The University of Central Arkansas is reeling from last night's deadly shooting. Witnesses say as many as five gunshots rang out. Two students were killed and a third person was wounded. Classes are canceled for today. Grief counselors are being brought in. The motive is not known. A person of interest is being questioned.

CHICAGO (AP) -A New York hospital study suggests no harm is caused by moving emergency room patients to hallways when they're ready for admission. The study was done by the Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York. That hospital says other medical facilities should consider hallway medicine as a way to ease crowding in emergency rooms. The findings are being presented this week in Chicago.


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