Friday, May 22, 2009

Today's News-Friday, May 22, 2009


Two families were displaced in a fire in Shenandoah early Thursday, and investigators say it was intentionally set. Crews responded to 320 West Penn Street before 1am, and found the property full of smoke. The fire apparently started in the basement of that property, and two adjoining homes had minor damage. Police and fire officials are looking for the persons who set the fire.


A Dauphin County woman was flown to a hospital following a motorcycle crash on I-81 late last night. The crash happened just after 11 p.m. in Kline Township. Police say 22-year-old Jessica Swidinsky of Middletown, lost control of her motorcycle, left the roadway and overturned her motorcycle in the grassy median. She was flown to St. Luke's Hospital where she remains in fair condition.


County residents should be on the lookout for possible scam artists who are on the prowl. Earlier this week, Pottsville police say that two white men, possibly a father and son, stopped at an elderly woman's home, offering to seal her driveway. The woman indicated that other work was needed on the driveway, but the pair began sealing it anyway. The woman confronted the men and they packed up and left. The truck they were driving had the name Jim written on the side of it. If anyone had a similar experience, they should contact police.


A chain reaction crash in Pottsville leaves one person injured. The crash happened Wednesday afternoon. According to city police, 68 year old Gloria Shadle of Mechanicsville was driving east on West Market Street when her vehicle struck a car operated by Desiree' Muench who was stopped in the eastbound lane. The force of the impact pushed Muench's car into another stopped vehicle. A passenger in Shadle's car was taken to the hospital.


A Tamaqua man will spend months in prison for pushing another into a stripping pit last year. The Republican Herald reports that 24 year old Richard George was sentenced to 11 to 22 months in prison after on a plea deal on reckless endangerment, simple assault and obstructing emergency services. George pushed Nathan Bowman into a pit owned by Lehigh Coal and Navigation in April of last year, causing him to fall several hundred feet. An aggravated assault charge was dropped by prosecutors in the deal.


Schuylkill County leaders have been looking for a new home for an agency that has been busting at the seams. They may have found an ideal site near the county courthouse. Schuylkill County Children and Youth have been in desperate need of new facilities for some time, and appraisals are being considered for the former Empire Beauty School on North Centre Street and two parking lots on North Second Street, only a block or two away from the courthouse. A half million dollar grant is available to purchase the buildings.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) - It used to be Bethlehem Steel. But as of 9 this morning, it will be the Sands Casino Resort Bethlethem. It's the eighth Pennsylvania casino to open since the state legalized gambling in 2004. Sands debuts with 3,000 slot machines and four restaurants.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A Montgomery County math teacher is accused of having sex with one of her students and sending sexually explicit messages to another. Montgomery County prosecutors charged 36-year-old Heather Lynne Zeo with four counts of corruption of minors and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's job losses continue to mount. But the new figures for April show the loss rate has eased. Pennsylvania now has fewer jobs than it did in September 2004. Pennsylvania's unemployment rate remained unchanged in April at 7.8 percent, as fewer people appear to be looking for work.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell tells Temple University Law School grads new lawyers getting rich through law practice should not be a priority. Rendell, a lawyer, served as Philadelphia's mayor and later the state's governor. He gave the commencement address to graduates one of whom is his son, Jesse Rendell.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia City Council is counting on the state legislature to back its $3.8 billion budget that depends on a one-cent sales tax hike in the city. Without those tax hike
approvals, Mayor Michael Nutter says Philadelphia will have to make drastic service cuts.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has overwhelmingly backed President Barack Obama's efforts to step up the war in Afghanistan. Lawmakers passed a bill granting $91 billion for Afghanistan and Iraq, but stripped it of Obama's request for $80 million to close Guantanamo.
The legislation goes to congressional negotiators to work out a compromise with a similar measure the House passed.

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) - An ex-soldier has been sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of raping and killing an Iraqi teen and murdering her family. According to the jury verdict forms,
several panelists said combat stress was a mitigating factor against choosing a death sentence.

CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. (AP) - The Air Force says a military jet crash in Southern California has killed the pilot. A senior navigator on board the training flight was able to eject from the
craft. He's in stable condition at a hospital.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A bank that accidentally gave a New Zealand couple a more than $6 million credit limit says it has recovered less than a third of the money. Authorities are searching the globe for the couple who vanished shortly after the bank's

ARTESIA, N.M. (AP) - Former President George W. Bush says now that he's out of office he no longer feels "that great sense of responsibility." And, Bush says, it's a "liberating feeling."
Bush tells a graduating high school class in New Mexico after eight years in the White House, "life is returning back to normal."


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