Saturday, May 30, 2009

Today's News - Saturday May 30, 2009

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Ed Rendell wants the Justice Department to file federal charges against two Pennsylvania teenagers in the fatal beating of a Mexican immigrant. Rendell calls the 2008 attack on 25-year-old Luis Ramirez "senseless and cowardly." In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Rendell on Friday urged the Justice Department to pursue civil rights charges against the white teenagers from Shenandoah. Earlier this month, a Schuylkill County jury acquitted 17-year-old Brandon Piekarsky of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation and 19-year-old Derrick Donchak of aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation. Both were convicted of simple assault. Two other teens have pleaded guilty in connection with the attack.

One of the two co-defendants charged in an animal cruelty case in Pine Grove has petitioned for a bail hearing in order to move in with his fiance who is his also charged with 118 counts of cruelty to animals. Andrew Oxenrider was in Schuylkill County Court yesterday to make his case to be released from the County Prison in order to live with Virginia Justiniano before they are tried in the case. Judge Jaqueline Russell was not keen on the idea and the lack of home is what is keeping Oxenrider in custody. In April, Oxenrider stated that he would live in St. Clair, however now states that he cannot live at his former residence, instead would live in Enola with Justiniano. During his hearing yesterday, Oxenrider denied that the animals at the former Cats With No Name shelter were mistreated.

Today is the 2nd annual Kielbasy Festival in Shenandoah. The fun, food, and entertainment will run from 11 - 5 today in the borough with local favorites Kowalanek's, Lucky's and the Capitol Food Market providing their flare for the polish delights. Mrs. T's Pierogies will be on hand, as well as bleenies and bean soup and other traditional treats. There will also be a kilbo making contest judged by the proprietors of the three smokehouses and you can join WPPA's Step Up to the Mike Crew, J.Z., Deb Dougherty and Kerry Dowd will be in Shenandoah between 12 and 2.

WERNERSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Jon, Kate and their eight children have attracted a huge TV audience, screaming tabloid headlines and, now, a state labor investigation. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor says it's looking into whether the hit reality show "Jon & Kate Plus 8" is complying with child labor laws. The TLC series follows Jon and Kate Gosselin as they raise their eight young children, including 8-year-old twins and sextuplets who just turned 5. The show drew nearly 10 million viewers for its fifth-season premiere Monday following reports of trouble in the Gosselins' marriage. Labor Department spokesman Justin Fleming tells The Associated Press that the department is looking into a complaint against the show. TLC says it "fully complies" with state laws and regulations.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Bail is set at $1 million for a woman accused of staging an abduction hoax that began near Philadelphia and ended at Florida's Walt Disney World. A district judge in the Philadelphia suburb of Richboro said Friday night that he was concerned that 38-year-old Bonnie Sweeten of Feasterville would flee before her trial. She can be released if she posts 10 percent of the bail amount, or $100,000. Sweeten faces misdemeanor charges of false reports and identity theft. Police are also investigating whether Sweeten stole money from a family member or others, but no related charges have been filed.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A man charged in a Pennsylvania stabbing death has told police that he acted in self-defense. Court records show that 35-year-old Peter Rojas of Allentown told police that the 23-year-old man he killed before dawn Thursday hit him on the head and demanded money. Rojas told police that he used a box cutter to defend himself and stabbed the man multiple times. The body was found later Thursday morning by a child on his way to kindergarten. Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim said Friday that the body has been positively identified but the man's name wasn't being released because of difficulty in notifying the man's family.

PANMUNJOM, Korea (AP) - A South Korean defense official says spy satellite images suggest North Korea may be preparing to transport another long-range missile to a test launch site. South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports test preparations will take about two weeks.

SINGAPORE (AP) - A response to North Korea's nuclear test and other recent militaristic activities is a top topic today for military officials and diplomats at an annual security conference
in Singapore. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates calls North Korea's actions "reckless."

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's official news agency reports Iran has hanged three people convicted of involvement in a mosque bombing in southeastern Iran that killed 25. A statement from the judiciary says the three men supplied explosives to the perpetrators.

DETROIT (AP) - The board of directors of General Motors meets today to continue to mull its response to a Monday deadline for a reorganization plan. Bankruptcy appears more likely with two additional hurdles cleared. Chrysler learns Monday whether a judge approves its sale to Fiat.

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) - Jay Leno says goodbye to "Tonight" after 17 years. He also welcomed new host Conan O'Brien, who starts Monday. As the show drew to a close last night, Leno said, "now comes the hard part." He'll move to a prime time show on NBC.


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