Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today's News-Tuesday, May 26, 2009


A case of swine flu has been confirmed in Schuylkill County. Emergency Management Director Art Kaplan, says the Department of Health has confirmed a case of the disease. Kaplan says county officials were told of the case of swine flu Thursday and it was confirmed Saturday. Kaplan says officials do not know the location or status of the infected person. There have been nine U.S. swine flu deaths. That's low compared with the seasonal flu. The problem is the virus is new and the medical world does not yet have any immunities. The single case of swine flu, the first in the county, brings the total number of Pennsylvania counties with confirmed cases to


A Pottsville man is dead following a crash of his ATV in Cass Township late Saturday. 23 year old David Frey was traveling west on High Road when his ATV left the road and struck a tree. State police say Frey wasn’t wearing a helmet and was thrown from the vehicle, struck a tree and suffered a fatal head injury. The incident happened before 11pm Saturday.


State police are continuing their investigation of a hit and run crash in Wayne Township Sunday night. A Ford van was parked in the Sovereign Bank parking lot along Route 183, and attempted to enter traffic when his vehicle was struck by a car operated by 21 year old Samantha Thompson of Summit Station. The unknown driver and three passengers in the van fled the scene. Two of the passengers in the van and Thompson were taken to Reading Hospital for treatment. A juvenile passenger in Thompson’s car was taken to Schuylkill Medical Center East. Troopers are continuing their investigation.


State police have charged a Schuylkill Haven man with drunk driving following a crash in East Brunswick Township early Sunday morning. 19 year old Wayne Jordan Jr was operating a Jeep on Route 443 when he lost control, struck a utility pole and flipped onto the driver’s side. Troopers ordered a blood alcohol test, believing that he was intoxicated. Jordan faces charges. A 17 year old teenager was cited for underage drinking.


A long running dispute about building storage sheds in a floodplain in Schuylkill Haven and been ruled a no go by a state court. In a filing from Commonwealth Court, the three judge panel said that Paul and Deborah Becker cannot build 92 storage sheds because they didn’t get all of the necessary variances. The Beckers wanted to build the sheds in a low lying area of the borough on St Charles Street, and had received some, but not all of the necessary approvals. The Republican Herald reports that the ruling, which was fostered by an appeal from neighbor Richard Sterner and the borough of Schuylkill Haven last summer, overturned the county court ruling. The area proposed is prone to flooding.

Trial to begin for Philly gun shop protesters
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An interfaith group plans to gather at a downtown Philadelphia church for prayer before 12 people go on trial following their arrests in a gun shop. The activists from the group Heeding God's Call were arrested at Colosimo's Gun Center because they wouldn't leave the store when asked. They are to go on trial today on charges including conspiracy, obstruction and disorderly conduct. They wanted the store owner to sign a 10-point code of conduct for gun sales. But owner James Colosimo says he objects to a stipulation that involves purchase monitoring, saying it invades customers' privacy. He says he follows all laws. The activists say they targeted Colosimo's because hundreds of guns sold there ended up being used in crimes. Colosimo says that's because he runs a high-volume business.

Allegheny County to conduct energy audit
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Allegheny County plans to conduct an energy audit of its cars and buildings in hopes of saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. County Executive Dan Onorato says he's committed to operating an efficient and sustainable government. Recently, the county replaced hundreds of incandescent lights at its jail with energy-efficient
LED lights. The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives-Local Governments will conduct the audit next month. The county has more than 1,000 vehicles and 138 buildings and facilities. Angela Vincent, a regional director for the Oakland, Calif., group, says the audit will provide a benchmark of the county's energy use and emissions. The information can help the county decide how to reduce energy use.

Pastor reported missing in central Pennsylvania
LEWISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A pastor in central Pennsylvania has been reported missing after witnesses last saw him headed out for a walk. State police say the Rev. Jose Rosa was reported missing Sunday. But they say the 52-year-old may have been missing since Thursday. That's when witnesses saw him walking through a housing development in Lewisburg, wearing shorts, sneakers and a backpack. Rosa is pastor of Congregacion Menonita Shalom in New Columbia.
Rosa and his wife, Maggie, are both pastors. They moved to the area about seven years ago to open their church.

Baltimore boy killed in Pa. hit-run
GLEN ROCK, Pa. (AP) - Police say an 11-year-old boy from Baltimore has been killed in a hit-run crash in south-central Pennsylvania. York County Deputy Coroner Onalee Gilbert says an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. Police say Derek Johnson II was riding a bicycle Sunday night when he was struck by a vehicle in Springfield Township, York County, and the driver kept going. Police say the victim was in the area visiting family.

Swimming in Pa. quarry kills 19-year-old man
SLATINGTON, Pa. (AP) - In Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, divers have recovered the body of a young man who jumped into a quarry while swimming with friends. State police have identified him as 19-year-old Dwayne Sommers of Whitehall. Slatington Fire Chief Keith Weaver says a friend who jumped into the quarry to try to save Sommers was hospitalized with a cut on
his foot. The call reporting the emergency came just before 4 p.m. Monday. The quarry is just outside Slatington, which is about 60 miles north-northwest of Philadelphia.

Pa. man dies of burns suffered in mower accident
JERSEY SHORE, Pa. (AP) - A central Pennsylvania man has died after being seriously burned in a lawnmower accident. Officials say 73-year-old Kenneth Fisher died Sunday at Lehigh Valley Hospital. That was two days after he was hurt when the mower flipped upside-down in the town of Jersey Shore. He was trapped underneath the machine and then caught fire. He suffered serious burns and was flown to the hospital. Authorities say they don't know how it happened. A woman driving by spotted the accident and called for help.

Pa. hunter's 2007 death still a mystery
LONG POND, Pa. (AP) - The mother of a hunter killed more than a year ago in a shootout in northeastern Pennsylvania is pleading for justice. Lee Van Luvender was killed Dec. 4, 2007, near state game lands in Tunkhannock Township, Monroe County. No arrests have been made.
His mother, Charlene Sebring, recently wrote an open letter to Van Luvender's killer saying, "He will haunt you for the rest of your life unless you turn yourself in." She notes that the 22-year-old Bartonsville man left behind a son, Sean, who is now 3 and only knows his father from photos and stories. Billboards publicizing a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Van Luvender's killer haven't yielded any information so far.

Motorcycle hits bear in western Pa.
BUTLER, Pa. (AP) - A motorcyclist has been taken to a western Pennsylvania hospital after crashing into a bear. Butler County dispatchers say it happened Monday evening on Route 422 in Butler Township, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. It was not immediately clear how serious the motorcyclist's injuries were. The bear couldn't be found after the accident and
was presumed to have run off.

Pa. parade features men in women's shoes
CAMP HILL, Pa. (AP) - A Memorial Day parade in south-central Pennsylvania featured about 40 men wearing women's shoes. Frank Baird is the founder of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes march. He says it's an international men's movement that aims to stop violence against women. Monday's fund-raiser in Camp Hill generated about $5,000 for Rape Crisis of Cumberland County and Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry counties.

Pa. Hiking Week runs through Sunday
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The annual Pennsylvania Hiking Week has four events planned Tuesday around the state. The first two are held during hours when most people are at
work. At French Creek State Park in Berks and Chester counties, there's a morning three-mile hike that's rated easy to moderate. At Parker Dam State Park in Clearfield County, a hike that's a mile and a half long starts after the lunch hour and is rated as moderate to strenuous. The other two begin at this evening. In Dauphin County, there's a scenic hike of moderate difficulty up Peter's Mountain from Clark's Ferry using the Appalachian and Susquehanna trails. And in
Monroe County, there's a five-mile moderate to strenuous hike up Mount Minsi via the Appalachian Trail. Pennsylvania Hiking Week continues through Sunday.

NE Pa. school labor dispute settled
MOUNTAIN TOP, Pa. (AP) - A labor dispute at a northeastern Pennsylvania school district has been resolved. Luzerne County's Crestwood School District has agreed to give its support staff higher pay in exchange for union members paying part of their health premiums. The agreement reached Sunday night must be ratified by the school board and the full membership of the Crestwood Education Support Professionals Association. The agreement follows a strike last week involving 118 workers including custodians, secretaries and cafeteria workers. On Friday, a judge ordered both sides to keep negotiating until they'd worked out a deal. Union members had been working under the terms of a contract that expired in 2001, though agreements including pay raises were reached through June 30, 2004.

Sun Ra exhibit shows jazz pioneer's spacy imagery
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Sun Ra told of having a mystical experience in his youth in which he was transported to Saturn and instructed to speak to the world in troubled times to come. For the rest of his life, Sun Ra's avant garde jazz, outlandish dress and sometimes obscure pronouncements confounded the music establishment and many listeners. A decade and a half after his death, he is credited with having been a forerunner of the Afrofuturist movement that uses technology and science fiction to re-imagine the black experience. Sun Ra's work is being celebrated in "Pathways to Unknown Worlds" at the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of
Contemporary Art. The exhibit, which runs through Aug. 2, was first shown at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. It has now come to the city where Sun Ra lived for the last quarter-century of his career.

Sanofi wins swine flu vaccine order
PARIS (AP) - Sanofi Pasteur says it has won a $190 million order from the United States government to make a swine flu vaccine. The company is a unit of French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA. It says in a statement that it is the first of what is expected to be a series of orders from the U.S. Sanofi Pasteur operates influenza vaccine production facilities at Swiftwater, Pa., in the U.S. and in Val de Reuil in France. It says it is also talking to other governments about the
vaccine needs. The company says it could begin commercial production in June.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Reports say North Korea has test-launched two more short-range missiles already today and may be preparing to fire a third. The North remains defiant after world condemnation of yesterday's nuclear test. South Korea's spy chief says the U.S. and China knew there was going to be a test a few minutes before it happened.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says the world must "stand up" to North Korea. But the question is how. The president says the underground test -- and its companion short-range missile firings -- are yet another step by the North in exactly the wrong direction and he's mulling the proper response.

TORONTO (AP) - In a lopsided vote, Canadian Auto Workers members have approved a cost-cutting deal with General Motors Canada. A union leader says the industry's crisis meant they had no choice. Approval is expected to make it easier for the company to get more loans from Ottawa.

PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix police call it a "tragic accident. Mike Tyson's 4-year-old daughter is on life support after she was found with her neck caught in the cord of a treadmill machine yesterday. Tyson left Las Vegas immediately to be with his family. The child's mother removed the cord, called 911 and tried to revive her.

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona officials say a wrong-way driver is dead after he hit three other vehicles on an interstate north of Phoenix. Four members of the same family and several other people were critically injured. Police don't know why the man was going the wrong way.


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