Saturday, November 22, 2008

Today's News-Saturday, November 22, 2008

Boscov's deal approved by bankruptcy court

The former CEO of Boscov's and his brother in law will be back at the helm of the retail chain next week. Albert Boscov and Edward Lakin have been scrambling to gather financing to buy the company back out of bankruptcy after it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August. The financing package, from personal, public and private financing, totals more than $300-million-dollars, saved the company from liquidation. One of the final pieces of the puzzle came in the form of federal monies committed by Governor Ed Rendell. Reports indicate that the deal will settle on Wednesday, just in time for the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and that the company will begin hiring additional staff.

Officer gets sick, crashes vehicle

An area police officer was involved in a crash last night at the Cressona Mall when he took ill. Schuylkill Haven state police report that Port Carbon Police Chief Jon Bowman was heading south on Route 61 around 11pm when he felt ill. He pulled into the mall parking lot and the vehicle hit a concrete parking lane pole. Bowman was taken to Schuylkill Medical Center East for treatment. His condition is not known.

Deer causes accident on Route 61

A deer crossing the highway caused an accident last evening in West Brunswick Township. Schuylkill Haven state police say that 31-year-old Jason Clark of Orwigsburg was northbound when the deer jumped the concrete barrier into the path of his car. The deer was killed. Clark was not injured. The accident happened after 6pm Friday.

Snow covered road causes accident on I-81

A New York man suffered minor injuries in a crash on Interstate 81 Thursday night. David Donahue of Middle Grove New York was headed north in Butler Township, apparently traveling too fast for conditions on the snow covered road.

The car crossed both lanes and rolled onto its roof. Donahue was not injured, but his passenger, Bryan McMorris of Malta, New York suffered minor injuries. Donahue will be charged with driving too fast for road conditions by state police at Frackville.

AOH to honor Irishman of the Year

Local Hibernians will be honoring the Irishman of the Year during ceremonies tomorrow. The John F Kennedy Division Number 2 will hold their annual Mass for deceased members of the unit and Ladies Division Sunday at 8am at St. Stephen’s Church in Port Carbon. Following the mass, the Communion Breakfast will be held, where Joseph “Hap” Anthony will be honored as Irishman of the Year.

Boeing shuts down Pa. plant production after foreign object found in aircraft being built

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Production at Boeing's helicopter plant in suburban Philadelphia has been shut down after what officials are calling a "foreign object" was found in an aircraft under production. Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak says a Boeing executive told him that that a plastic cap was found in the fuel line of a V-22 Osprey fuselage. Sestak, whose district includes the Delaware County plant, says Boeing cannot immediately rule out the possibility that it was a deliberate act. Boeing spokesman John Williamson says production at the plant was shut down at 1 p.m. Friday after the problem was found during a quality inspection. While authorities investigate, the plant will not be producing aircraft, although workers are being told to report as usual. Production was also shut down in May after a disgruntled ex-Boeing worker cut wires running from the cockpit to the main body of an H-47 Chinook.

Pa. lieutenant governor remembered by Rendell, Sen. Clinton, Murtha at Capitol memorial

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The flag-draped casket of the late Catherine Baker Knoll, Pennsylvania's first female lieutenant governor, will remain on display in the state Capitol Rotunda through Saturday afternoon.
State officials say they believe Knoll is only the second person to receive such an honor in the current Capitol building. Hundreds attended a memorial service Friday in which Knoll was remembered in tributes by Gov. Ed Rendell, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, incoming Lt. Gov. Joe Scarnati and Rep. John Murtha. Clinton called Knoll a pioneer in Pennsylvania politics. She drew laughter and applause when she kidded that Knoll would be organizing heaven and encouraging St. Peter to let women have more of a role. The 78-year-old Knoll died Nov. 12 after a four-month battle with neuroendocrine cancer. Knoll's casket will be on display at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh from 1 p.m to 5 p.m. Sunday and a funeral Mass will be
held there Tuesday.

Funeral arrangements set for slain Pa. FBI agent

PITTSBURGH (AP) - An FBI agent slain in a drug raid near Pittsburgh will be laid to rest in Baltimore, his wife's hometown. Funeral arrangements for 33-year-old Special Agent Sam Hicks are being handled by the Schimunek Funeral Home, with visitation on Sunday and Monday. Hicks' funeral will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, with burial in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. Hicks was killed after he and other law enforcement officers went to a home as part of a drug sweep. Forty-year-old Christina
Korbe has been charged with homicide. She told investigators that she thought her home was being burglarized and that she was shooting at an intruder.

Lawyer: Reputed Pa. mobster William D'Elia cooperates in probe of casino owner Louis DeNaples

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - An attorney representing the reputed boss of a northeastern Pennsylvania crime family says his client has cooperated with authorities in their probe of a Poconos casino owner under indictment for perjury. William D'Elia, the alleged boss of the Bufalino crime family, is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday for witness tampering and conspiracy to launder money. Attorney James Swetz says in a sentencing memorandum that D'Elia has assisted Dauphin County authorities in their prosecution of
Mount Airy Resort Casino owner Louis DeNaples. A grand jury says the Scranton-area businessman lied to state Gaming Control Board investigators about his relationships with D'Elia and others in order to win a $50 million slot-machine license. D'Elia's sentencing memorandum asks for a sentence of less than nine years. Sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of between nine years and slightly more than 11 years.

Manager convicted of killing company intern in Pa.; death-penalty phase of trial starts Monday

MEDIA, Pa. (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia businessman who hosted gay sex parties at his house could face the death penalty following his conviction in the drugging and strangulation death of a company
intern. William Smithson of Glen Mills was convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of 23-year-old Jason Kyle Shephard of Cavalier, N.D. The verdict Friday came after a weeklong trial. The penalty phase begins Monday in Delaware County. The college student's body was found in the 43-year-old
Smithson's home in suburban Philadelphia in September 2006. Defense lawyer G. Guy Smith blamed another man who supplied drugs to Smithson and later lied to police about the night of the death.

Former Pa. state trooper gets 8 years for tipping off pimps in truck stop prostitution ring

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A former Pennsylvania state trooper has been sentenced to about eight years in prison for his role in tipping off a prostitution ring that operated at truck stops. Kevin Judas Coleman Sr. of Harrisburg was sentenced Friday in federal court for obstructing and impeding the due administration
of justice. The 42-year-old had been assigned to patrol the Gables Truck Stop in Harrisburg. Prosecutors say he warned those involved in prostitution about undercover work, wiretaps, sweeps and arrests in
exchange for sexual favors. His sentence is 97 months, along with a fine and two years of probation.
Coleman's lawyer Royce Morris didn't immediately return a phone message late Friday.

New mad-cow rule poses health dangers of its own; FDA fears thousands of rotting carcasses

LITITZ, Pa. (AP) - A federal regulation aimed at protecting the food supply from mad cow disease could leave thousands of cattle carcasses rotting on farms -- and creating health risks. At issue is a Food and Drug Administration rule that will prohibit the use of the brains and spinal cords of older cattle as
ingredients in livestock feed and pet food. The rule is set to take effect in April. Some of the rendering plants that grind up carcasses for use in feed say they will stop accepting dead cattle from farms because it
would be too costly to remove the banned organs. Other renderers are likely to raise the prices they charge farmers. As a result, industry officials and regulators say, many farmers may simply bury dead cattle on their property or let them rot in the open. Officials say that could spread germs, attract vermin and
pollute soil and water.

Poconos ski resorts opening early in eastern Pa.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Some ski resorts in eastern Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains are opening early due to the recent cold weather and snow. Big Boulder opened its Freedom Park, a terrain park, on Thursday night. Bear Creek Resort in Berks County plans to open additional ski runs Saturday, two weeks earlier than ever before. Blue Mountain Ski Resort general manager Dennis Krell says snowmaking requires temperatures that are at or around the freezing mark depending on humidity. But he says things are best with temperatures of 27 to 28 degrees or lower. The colder it gets, Krell says, the more efficient the snowmaking machines. Blue Mountain hopes to open the Friday after Thanksgiving. Krell says it's never opened before Dec. 1. A spokesman says Camelback is planning a Nov. 28 opening.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Barack Obama is outlining his plan to create 2.5 million jobs by 2011. His proposal seeks to rebuild roads and bridges and modernize schools. Developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars is also part of the deal.

WASHINGTON (AP) - This week's lame-duck session of Congress wasn't exactly full of sunshine. Lawmakers had to deal with a stalled auto bailout, an airing of grievances aimed at Sen. Joe
Lieberman, and a goodbye from Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who lost his re-election bid. At least some gloom was lifted for millions of laid-off workers when unemployment benefits were extended.

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's parliament is again debating a proposed security pact that would keep American troops there for up to three more years. Today's session is being shown live on TV and so far has been orderly. Earlier this week, the session was steeped in chaos when opposition lawmakers disrupted it.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter says he and others planning a humanitarian mission have been refused entry into Zimbabwe. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
Annan, who was among them, says no official reason has been given.

BEIJING (AP) - A college student in southern China has been bitten by a panda after he broke into its enclosure to get a hug. According to the official Xinhua News Agency, the student said "Yang Yang was so cute" that he "just wanted to cuddle him." The student says he "didn't expect he would attack."


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