Saturday, July 25, 2009

Today's News - Saturday July 25, 2009

Christmas in July Dance and Raffle will be held Saturday, July 25, 2009 at the Elk's Lodge in Frackville. Tickets WILL BE available at the door. The raffle includes over 50 great prizes. Tickets will cost $15 and includes the raffle, free t-shirt, live entertainment by Karp-Palina-Swartz and Friends Plus special appearance by Tomosius K. with local hometown artists. BBQ and variety of finger foods- All drinks (alcohol/non-alcohol) not included in admission/raffle price - Cash bar at the Elk's. You do not have to be present to win the raffle but come out and dance, eat and drink for a great evening. Sponsored by the Frackville Recreation Board and Yuengling Brewery. ONLY 200 TICKETS BEING SOLD! GET All money raised will go to support the Frackville Christmas parade and annual holiday events. Doors open at 7pm. Event is from 8-12am.

The first phase of a roadway improvement project to install and upgrade storm water systems and handicap ramps in St. Clair is under way and set to wrap up in mid-September. As reported in the Republican and Herald, Barletta Materials & Construction Inc., Hazleton, is the contractor for the project, which includes about 35 inlets for storm sewer overflow, sewer pipes and about 68 handicap ramps. The first phase of the work is primarily in the east side of town. No dates are set for the second phase, which is still being drafted by the borough's engineers, but it won't be until at least next spring or summer when weather permits more outdoor work. According to officials, the handicap ramps are being constructed to meet PennDOT requirements for improvements at the sites of street maintenance. Another borough program, the conversion of the electrical light system, is also in its second phase, and the work will lead to some electrical power interruptions between about 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday.

A federal agency is encouraging people living in Schuylkill, Carbon and Luzerne counties to have a sample of their blood tested to determine whether they have been exposed to whatever is causing an unusually high incidence of a rare blood disorder. According to the Republican and Herald, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry confirmed in August 2008 that a statistically significant number of people living around the area of Ben Titus Road in Rush Township between Hazleton and Tamaqua have been diagnosed with polycythemia vera, or PV, a disorder that causes bone marrow to produce too many red blood cells. Because the same study identified two smaller, but still statistically significant, clusters of the disorder - one south of Frackville and one near Jim Thorpe - anyone living within the "greater hot zone area" is urged to participate in the blood sample testing. The hot zones are general areas radiating 10 to 20 miles or more from the center of the confirmed cluster areas. The test will screen for a genetic marker called JAK2, which researchers have identified as a possible indicator of PV. Hundreds have already registered to have their blood tested. The ATSDR has established blood testing centers at the Schuylkill Mall, Frackville, St. Jerome Church, Tamaqua, and Hazleton General Hospital. Blood samples will be collected Aug. 3 through 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again Aug. 10 through 13. Evening appointments are also available. Although scientists generally believe the incubation period for PV and other cancers is 10 to 20 years, prompting the ATSDR to urge people age 40 and older to undergo the blood test, everyone in the hot zones is urged to get the test regardless of age.

The partnership that wants to build a cargo airport asked Schuylkill County Court on Friday to force the county Zoning Hearing Board to consider its application for a special exception for the facility. As reported by the Republican and Herald, in a two-page petition, Gladstone Partners LP, Pittsburgh, alleged county Zoning Officer Carole A. Cooney-Syzdek exceeded her authority when she refused to process the application it filed on June 9. It asked the court to require the board to consider the application as having been filed on that date. That was two days before East Union Township, where part of the airport will be located, adopted its own zoning ordinance, and Cooney-Syzdek ruled the "pending ordinance doctrine" required her to refuse the application. East Union officials oppose the airport, which would be built west of Interstate 81 in Luzerne and Schuylkill counties. In March 2008, the supervisors adopted an ordinance banning aircraft from flying into and out of the township. Cooney-Syzdek's decision was improper, according to Gladstone. Gladstone alleged it received a letter on July 2 from the county saying it was returning both of its applications, one for a zoning permit and the other for a hearing, along with the appropriate fees.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A 28-year-old northeastern Pennsylvania man convicted of kidnapping a 14-year-old Pennsylvania girl and raping her in a motel last year has been sentenced to 47 to 94 years in prison. Derek Bengtsson was sentenced Friday by a Monroe County judge. At his trial in May, the East Stroudsburg man testified that the girl went with him willingly and the sex was consensual, but a jury convicted him after an hour and a half of deliberations. Police say the girl escaped when Bengtsson fell asleep. He fired shots when police arrived, starting a a 90-minute standoff with police.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pennsylvania has 218 men and five women on death row - the fourth-largest death row population in the United States. But it's been 10 years since anyone was actually executed. Pennsylvania brought back the death penalty in 1978, but only three inmates have been put to death since then. All had dropped their appeals. The most recent was Gary Heidnik, who got a lethal injection in 1999 for imprisoning, torturing and murdering two women in the basement of his Philadelphia home. Since Heidnik's death, Pennsylvania has come close to executions a few times. In 2000, Daniel Saranchak was to be executed for the 1993 shooting deaths of his grandmother and uncle, but a federal judge ordered a new trial, citing an ineffective lawyer. And George Banks was to be put to death in 2004 for the 1982 massacre of 13 people, but a state judge said he was too mentally ill.

READING, Pa. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the state Supreme Court to release 18 central Pennsylvania inmates sentenced to jail without attorneys present in court. ACLU of Pennsylvania attorney Mary Catherine Roper filed the petition Thursday. She says the 18 didn't have attorneys when sentenced to Berks County Prison for failure to pay child support. The ACLU learned of the cases when contacted by 45-year-old Cesar Cepeda Jr., sentenced by Judge Timothy Rowley in July 2008 to 15 months in jail. The ACLU says President Judge Jeffrey Schmehl has said all 18 inmates will get new hearings with attorneys present, but he has refused to release them in the meantime.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A fluorescent feathered friend has flown the coop in Philadelphia.
Officials at the Philadelphia Zoo say a tropical bird went missing Thursday during the Festival of Flight bird show. Zoo spokesman Bill Larson says the zoo is very worried about the juvenile sun conure (CON'-yer). Larson says the birds are trained to fly from one perch to another for the show but can get distracted or frightened and lose their way. The AWOL avian is mostly yellow with a green tail. Anyone who catches a glimpse of the bird is asked to alert the zoo.

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Slinky fans take note: the central Pennsylvania estate of the late matriarch of the toy empire is up for auction Saturday, including some unusual versions of that "fun and wonderful toy." Betty James died in November at age 90. She co-founded James Industries Inc., in 1945 with her husband, who invented the springy Slinky. James took over in 1960 after her husband left the family for a religious cult. Several years later, James moved the company from the Philadelphia area to her hometown of Hollidaysburg. An ad by the auctioneers at Roan Inc., bills James as "The Slinky-Toy Lady." Among the Slinkys listed for auction are an original neon Slinky Jr.; a set of "Goofy Droopy Eyes" slinky glasses; and a "Slinky Three Little Pigs" pull toy.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The New York Times says if certain members of the Bush administration had gotten their way, troops would have been sent into Lackawanna, N.Y., in 2002 to arrest a group of terror suspects. The paper says President George W. Bush ultimately rejected the idea, which had been embraced by Vice President Dick Cheney.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (AP) - Federal investigators are combing hospitals along the U.S.-Mexico border for at least two suspects who may have been injured in gunfire that killed a Border Patrol agent in Southern California. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times says police in Tecate, Mexico, report arresting an injured man found walking near the crime scene with a Border Patrol-issued weapon.

OCOTAL, Nicaragua (AP) - The ousted president of Honduras returned to his country for less than 30 minutes. Manuel Zelaya stepped over the border from Nicaragua and called on fellow Hondurans to resist the government that overthrew him. Then he retreated back to Nicaraguan territory.

BEIJING (AP) - A human rights monitor says some 30,000 Chinese steelworkers clashed with police in a protest over plans to merge their mill with another company. According to the report, several hundred people were injured in Friday's clash, and the other company's general manager was beaten to death by workers.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The so-called Octomom's 14 children are going to become reality TV stars. Nadya Suleman has signed agreements for each of her kids to earn $250 a day. Collectively, they would earn about $250,000 over three years.


Post a Comment

<< Home