Saturday, February 21, 2009

Today's News-Saturday, February 21, 2009


Several people had to be life flighted from the scene of a multi-vehicle crash at the entrance to Cressona Mall Friday afternoon. While state police have not yet released the exact details of the crash as yet, WPPA News was on the scene of the accident where two vans collided, one ending up on its side on the concrete culvert. Crews from Schuylkill Haven and Cressona worked to extricate the passengers. Several passengers were flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital, and others taken by ambulance for treatment. A full report is expected from Schuylkill Haven state police today.


Citing declining enrollment and financial issues, another area parochial school is set to close at the end of the school year. The Diocese of Allentown has announced that Good Shepherd School in Minersville is closing its doors. The number of students enrolled there has declined by more than half over the past decade. Good Shepherd offers a Catholic education to children in pre K through 8th grade.


Pottsville police have closed the investigation into an incident in the parking lot at Martz Hall following the Schuylkill League championships last Friday. Initial reports indicated that David Plachko, a referee and District Judge, and another individual after the North Schuylkill/ Williams Valley game. According to today's Republican and Herald, the other person asked city police to drop the investigation. A letter to the editor from Plachko in the paper addressed the "minor" matter, and called for tougher laws pertaining to harrassment of sports officials.


A Pottsville woman is jailed on charges of aggravated assault and related counts following an incident between a brother and sister at a city home Thursday. Pottsville PD reports that 20 year old India Miller and her teenaged brother were arguing about the use of a bathroom. Miller stabbed her brother with a knife in the arm and hand. Police found a bloody knife at the Race Street home, and Miller was taken into custody without incident. She was unable to post bail after arraignment and was jailed.


A city businessman's effort to help those less fortunate led to a SOUPER outcome. Patrick J. Murphy, owner of Murphy's Jewelers, collected canned goods during a store promotion prior to the Super Bowl, with great results. Friday, he took to the streets of Pottsville to collect more items for the Pottsville Soup Kitchen. Murphy was a guest on WPPA's Step Up To The Mic Friday and said that helping others, especially during these economic times, is the right thing to do. Four cart loads were delivered on foot to the soup kitchen Friday afternoon.

Feds: Pa. arson suspect wanted to be firefighter

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Federal prosecutors say an arson suspect from West Chester had quite an interest in fire. Prosecutors say police found accelerants, firefighting equipment and a newspaper article about the arsons plaguing Coatesville in 19-year-old Mark Gilliam's home.
Gilliam applied this month to join the West Bradford Fire Co., in Chester County, but was rejected. Prosecutors say Gilliam nonetheless bought firefighting gear and drove a car illegally
equipped with strobe lights to make it appear he was a firefighter. Defense lawyer Richard Meanix said only that Gilliam is presumed innocent. Another teen, Roger Barlow Jr., was charged with setting nine fires in Coatesville in a five-week period this year. Gilliam and
Barlow were classmates in vocational school.

Pa. will seek loan to tide over joblessness fund

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A state official says Pennsylvania will seek a short-term loan from the federal government to cover the cost of unemployment benefits. Department of Labor and Industry spokesman Troy Thompson said Friday this will be the third time in the last six years that Pennsylvania has had to seek such a loan. The problem is that more people are seeking benefits after being laid off, while shrinking payrolls mean less is being paid into Pennsylvania's unemployment compensation trust fund. Thompson says Pennsylvania is not alone in having the troubles or in needing to borrow. He says it is not clear yet how much the state will borrow. But Pennsylvania expects to pay it back shortly after money from employers and workers pours into the fund when the first quarter ends.

4th charged in corruption probe at Pa. courthouse

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A Luzerne County probation official is suspended without pay now that she's accused of tampering with juvenile court records. Sandra Brulo is charged with obstruction of justice. She had no comment as she left the federal courthouse in Scranton. Brulo is the fourth person to be charged in a widening corruption scandal in the courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.
Brulo's lawyer, Joseph Sklarosky Sr., says prosecutors believe she tampered with court records to evade liability in a civil suit. That suit was filed on behalf of hundreds of children who passed
through the Luzerne County juvenile court system. Her co-defendants are judges accused of taking kickbacks to send juvenile offenders to private detention centers. Another court employee is accused of embezzlement.

Pa. man guilty of killing step-grandfather

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A suburban Pittsburgh man faces life in prison for killing his step-grandfather. An Allegheny County jury found 31-year-old Timothy Large Jr., of Forward Township, guilty Friday of first-degree murder and related offenses in the Dec. 2007 beating and shooting death of 71-year-old Vernon Hayden Sr. Police found Hayden's body more than a month later in woods near the Somerset-Bedford county line. Large's attorney asked for a voluntary manslaughter conviction, saying he acted in a fit of passion. Large testified Hayden sexually abused him as a child and that Hayden made a sexual advance toward him the night he killed him. Prosecutors say Large never told police he'd been abused and say Large planned to steal Hayden's truck and killed him when Hayden caught him.

Body of missing Pittsburgh teen found in W.Va.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The body of a 17-year-old Pittsburgh boy missing since November has been found in the Ohio River in Hancock County, W.Va. Pittsburgh police say the body of Joseph Harris was identified Friday using dental records. The body was found Feb. 13 by workers on a barge. The medical examiner's office couldn't obtain fingerprints at the time of the
autopsy, so the Hancock County sheriff's office sought the public's help. A friend of the Harris family saw information on the news and informed the sheriff's office that the body might be that of Harris. No ruling was immediately made on how Harris died. Police say there were no obvious signs of trauma and investigators are awaiting a toxicology report.

Police: W.Pa. pregnant woman shot to death

WAMPUM, Pa. (AP) - State police say a pregnant woman was found shot to death in her western Pennsylvania farmhouse. State Police Lt. Steve Ignatz is telling KDKA-TV that a
26-year-old woman was found shot to death Friday morning in a bedroom of her Wampum home by her 5-year-old daughter. Trooper Ronald Kesten says the child alerted tree cutters
working nearby. The woman's name was not immediately released. Officials say the
investigation into the shooting is continuing. Wampum is in Lawrence County, about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

State agency says Philadelphia has 45 days to close budget gap

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority has warned the city of Philadelphia that it must fix its $47 million deficit. The state agency has told the city that it must come up with a solution within 45 days. The agency created in 1991 has only sent such a notice to the city once before. Mayor Michael Nutter's finance director, Rob DuBow, says the mayor will explain the plan March 19. That's when he presents his budget to the City Council.

W.Pa. man charged in fatal shooting outside bar

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania man has been charged with killing one man and wounding two other people in a shooting outside a bar. Washington police charged 26-year-old Phillip Whitlock Jr., of Washington, with homicide and attempted homicide on Friday at
Canonsburg General Hospital. Police wouldn't say why he was being treated. Police say Whitlock shot and killed 23-year-old Troy Saunders, of Washington, and wounded 24-year-old Marquis Taylor and 23-year-old Lindsay Jolly about 2:10 a.m. Monday in a parking lot next to Cabaret West. Police gave no motive for the shootings, but say Whitlock and Saunders had previous disagreements. Whitlock's attorney, Dan Chunko, called police and arranged the surrender.

Philly officer remembered as thrilled father-to-be

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - As mourners filed silently by the casket of slain Philadelphia Police Officer John Pawlowski, they saw in his hand the promise of a new beginning: a sonogram of
his unborn son. It was one of many mementos from the 25-year-old newlywed's life that was tucked into his coffin: a ticket to a rock concert, a deck of cards, a favorite cap. Surrounding him were photo collages, pictures from his honeymoon, and sprays of blue and orange flowers that matched the University of Florida apparel also placed in the casket. Though Pawlowski's life was unique, the rite for his funeral was painfully familiar in Philadelphia. He is the fifth Philadelphia officer killed in the line of duty in less than a year. In all, seven have died in less than three years. Pawlowski was fatally shot last week while responding to a fight in the city's Logan section.

Hershey Co. closing Peppermint Patty plant in Pa.

READING, Pa. (AP) - Production of York Peppermint Patties and other candy brands is coming to an end at The Hershey Co. plant in Reading. After 23 years in Reading, the chocolate maker is moving production to a new factory it has built in Monterey, Mexico. Hershey says it will mean the loss of about 260 jobs. The plant also makes 5th Avenue and Zagnut candy bars and Jolly Rancher hard candies. The nation's largest candy manufacturer announced two years ago
that the plant would close as part of a wider move by Hershey to eliminate 1,500 jobs and one-third of its existing production lines, shifting more manufacturing to contractors in the United
States. Some workers will stay on for a few more weeks to close the plant.

Flight 93 memorial planners: 2011 deadline makable

SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) - Sen. Arlen Specter says he and other members of Congress may well owe their lives to those who brought down a plane in a rural Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001. Those who hijacked United Flight 93 that day may have been planning to crash the plane into the Capitol or the White House. Government officials and representatives of the passengers and crew killed that day have pledged to dedicate a memorial there by the attacks' 10th anniversary. In nearby Somerset, they signed a "letter of commitment" that they said reaffirms their goal of having the first phase of a memorial built by Sept. 11, 2011. Specter called the site as important to 21st century America as memorials to Valley Forge, Gettysburg and Pearl Harbor are to the nation's history in previous centuries.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Governors from across the country will meet this morning in Washington to discuss the fiscal crisis. Many are debating whether the billions of dollars offered by the economic stimulus package can help salvage their economies.

CHICAGO (AP) - Sen. Roland Burris has been laying low as Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn joined in with Democrats calling for his resignation. Burris ducked the press, but his office repeated pleas to "stop the rush to judgment." The White House is urging him to consider his future over the weekend.

DALLAS (AP) - Texas officials say the company at the center of the national salmonella outbreak hasn't carried out a recall of its products manufactured in the state. The state is asking
manufacturers, distributors and retailers to keep products from the Peanut Corp. of America's Plainview plant away from the public.

BEIJING (AP) - A human rights group says some Chinese dissidents have been confined to their homes during Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's visit. China Human Rights Defenders says one constitutional scholar was told he would not be able to leave or meet visitors for several days. Clinton is in China on the final stop of her Asian tour.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Ten Hours of negotiations with a man suspected of shooting two Indiana police officers proved futile. The man fatally shot himself in a Louisville, Ky. home. Both
officers are listed in stable condition at a hospital.


Post a Comment

<< Home