TODAY'S NEWS 1.19.10
MARITAL PROBLEMS LINKED TO MURDER/SUICIDE
CINDY AND RANDOLPH ARNDT WERE EXPERIANCEING MARITAL PROBLEMS, OFFICIALS SAY. THE 44 YEAR OLD WOMAN FROM NEW RINGOLD SHOT HER 50 YEAR OLD HUSBAND IN THE CHEST WITH A .44 CAL HANDGUN BEFORE TAKING HER OWN LIFE LATE LAST WEEK. NO ONE WAS ELSE WAS IN THE RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF THE INCIDENT AND THE INVOLVED FIREARM HAS BEEN OBTIANED.
CRASH AT SCANLON BEVERAGE IN POTTSVILLE
INTOXICATION WAS TO BLAME IN THE CRASH THAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK AT SCANLON BEVERAGE IN POTTSVILLE. DEBRA ZERBEY OF PORT CARBON WAS MAKING A RIGHT HAND TURN INTO THE POTTSVILLE PARK PLAZA WHEN SHE STRUCK A STOP SIGN AND A CONCRETE LIGHT POST. ZERBEY WAS TAKEN TO THE SCHUYLKILL MEDICAL CENTER ON SOUTH JACKSON STREET. CHARGES ARE PENDING.
AN UNKNOWN SUSPECT WENT ON A MAILBOX SMASHING RAMPAGE LAST NIGHT. KATHLEEN KEENY, PAUL WOLFE JR AND KEVIN HOLLAND OF SUEDBERG ROAD IN PINE GROVE TOWNSHIP NOW HAVE TO THEIR MAILBOXES REPLACED. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON THE ALLEGED SMASHER IS TO CALL PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE OF SCHUYLKILL HAVEN.
DOMESTIC DISPUTE INVOLVES 22 RIFLE
RAYMOND ANDERSON, 32, THREATENED HIS 33 YEAR OLD WIFE, LARK ANDERSON WITH A 22 RIFLE EARLY YESTERDAY MORINING AT THEIR HOME IN NEW RINGOLD. RAYMOND WAS PLACED INTO CUSTODY AND WAS ARRAIGNED BEFORE JUSTICE JAMES REILEY. HE WAS COMMITTED TO SCHUYLKILL COUNTY PRISON IN LIEU OF $25,000 BAIL ON CHARGES OF TERRORISTIC THREATS AND SIMPLE ASSAULT.
HARRASSMENT AND HIT AND RUN
PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE RESPONDED TO A FIGHT AT 617 MOUNTAINTOP TERRACE IN KLINE TOWNSHIP YESTERDAY MORNING AROUND 6:15AM. STEVEN BENDER, 25 OF MCADOO AND VINCENT YATES, 27 OF HAZELTON WERE INVOLVED IN AN ALTERCATION AND WERE BOTH CHARGED WITH HARRASSMENT. PRIOR TO POLICE ARRIVING ON THE SCENE, YATES DROVE HIS 2001 CHEVY MALIBU INTO THE READ OF A PARKED 2003 DODGE PICKUP OWNED BY JOSEPH PANZERELLA IN FRONT OF 126 GROVE STREEET. YATES FLED THE SCENE PRIOR TO POLICE ARIVAL AND WILL BE CITED FOR CARELESS DRIVING, ACCIDENTS INVOLVING DAMAGE TO UNATTENDED VEHICLE OR PROPERTY AND DRIVING UNDER DUI SUSPENSION.
STATE GRANTS TO BOOST RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES IN DANVILLE, PA
STATE REPRESENTATIVE ROBERT BELFANTI JR ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THAT A TOTAL OF $500,000 IN STATE FUNDING WILL HELP PAY FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO THE DANVILLE AREA COMMUNITY CENTER POOL AND TO HELP DEVELOP A SITE FOR OFF-ROAD RECREATIONAL VEHICLES IN NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY. THE GRANTS ARE BEING AWARDED THROUGHT THE STATE’S COMMUNITY CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES, WHICH PROVIDES FUNDING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, RIVER AND TRAIL ORGANIZATIONS, LAND TRUSTS AND OTHER NON-PROFIT GROUPS FOR PLANNING, ACUIRING AND DEVELOPING PARKS, RECREATION AREAS, CONSERVATION AND GREENWAY PROJECTS.
PA HOTLINE CAN HELP AS POTHOLE SEASON BEGINS
THE FRIDGED TEMPERATURES OF THE PAST WEEK IS HELPING POTHOLES APPEAR SUDDENLY ON ROADWAYS ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA. STATE REPRESENTATIVE ROBERT BELFANTI JR ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT MOTORISTS CAN FIGHT BACK BY REPORTING THOSE POTHOLES TO A NEW STATE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT’S MAINTENANCE-FIRST HOTLINE AT 1-800-FIX ROAD. MOTORISTS SHOULD BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE LOCATION OF THE POTHOLE INCLUDING COUNTY, MUNICIPALITY, STREET NAME AND ROUTE NUMBER.
PA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN DRIVER SAFTEY RADIO CONTEST
PENNSYLVANIA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS CAN PARTICIPATE IN A STATE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT-SPONSORED RADIO CONTEST. THE STUDENTS ARE ASKED TO WRITE A 30 SECOND RADIO PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT ON SAFELY TOPICS SUCH AS AGGRESSIVE DRIVING, BUCKLING UP OR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE. THE PSA HAS TO INCLUDE THE PHRASE “DRIVE SAFE PA” WHICH PENNDOT INTRODUCED LAST YEAR AS PART OF ITS CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO HIGHWAY SAFETY. ONE FINALIST WILL BE CHOSEN FROM EACH OF PENNDOT’S 11 ENGINEERING DISTRICTS. THE WINNING STUDENTS WILL RECEIVE CERTIFICATES AND HAVE THEIR PSA PROFESSIONALLY RECORDED AND DISTRIBUTED TO RADIO STATIONS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE AREAS. EACH YEAR NEARLY 1,500 DRIVERS DIE IN ACCIDENTS ON PENNSYLVANIA ROADWAYS. FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF RULES VISIT DRIVESAFEPA.ORG
Plane with 53 Haitian orphans on way back to Pa.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A plane carrying dozens of Haitian orphans is
en route from their country's earthquake-ravaged capital to
Pittsburgh, where two local women who have been caring for them for
years hope to finalize their adoptions and place them with American
Gov. Ed Rendell is on the flight along with a crew of doctors
and congressmen. Rendell spokesman Gary Tuma says the flight will
stop in Miami and then fly to Pittsburgh.
The plane is scheduled to land early today.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says there are 53
orphans. Details of the operation to rescue them and their American
caretakers, sisters Jamie and Alison McMutrie, have been kept quiet
since a charity relief flight left Pennsylvania on Monday for the
Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.
CLINTON COUNTY CRASH
Van crash in central Pa. kills 2 men
HYNER, Pa. (AP) - State police in central Pennsylvania say a van
crash killed two men over the weekend.
Police in Clinton County say the van was traveling on Route 120
in Grugan Township at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday when it veered into an
embankment and crashed into a tree.
Police say 47-year-old driver Michael Dittus of Glenolden died
in the crash, and so did a passenger whose name has not been
Corruption trial looms for Pa. ex-lawmaker, aides
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The trial of a former Pennsylvania House
power broker and three ex-aides is about to get started with the
selection of a jury in Harrisburg, but the first testimony is still
two weeks away.
The judge presiding over the criminal trial of former Rep. Mike
Veon and the other defendants is also expected to rule today about
the use of e-mail evidence that prosecutors consider key to their
The Dauphin County trial of Veon, Brett Cott, Stephen Keefer and
Annamarie Peretta-Rosepink could take as long as a month. The
defendants are accused of conspiring to divert resources of the
Legislature toward campaigning.
Seven other defendants arrested a year and a half ago have
pleaded guilty to related charges. The eighth, former state Rep.
Sean Ramaley of Beaver County, was acquitted of all charges last
At least 10 injured in central Pa. apartment fire
LEWISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Emergency officials say at least 10 people
have been injured and dozens left homeless after a fire broke out
in a central Pennsylvania apartment building.
Mifflin County Emergency Management director Phil Lucas says six
people who suffered burns and smoke inhalation were in intensive
care, and two were reported to be in critical condition.
Officials say the fire broke out shortly before midnight Sunday
at the Elsessers Apartments in Lewistown.
Lucas says 30 to 50 people were evacuated. He says three of the
building's 28 units were severely damaged, and the remaining 25 had
smoke and water damage.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Former Villanova lacrosse captain shot in Philly
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The former captain of Villanova University's
lacrosse team has been shot in an early-morning altercation in
The father of 23-year-old Eddie DiDonato tells WPVI-TV that his
son was in critical condition following the shooting around 2:45
Police say the shooting in the Old City neighborhood stemmed
from an argument on the sidewalk. Police have charged 28-year-old
Gerald Ung, a Temple University law student, with attempted murder
and other offenses. It was not immediately clear if Ung had a
Old City is known for its bars and nightclubs. The incident was
captured by surveillance cameras at the local Fox TV affiliate,
whose offices are on the block where the shooting occurred.
DiDonato played four years on Villanova's lacrosse team before
graduating in May.
MISSING NUCLEAR GAUGE
Police, Pa. DEP looking for missing nuclear gauge
CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (AP) - State police and environmental officials
have been searching for a nuclear density gauge containing
radioactive material that is missing from a western Pennsylvania
Police and the Department of Environmental Protection say the
gauge was reported missing Friday from Jeff Zell Consultants, Inc.
in Coraopolis (kor-ee-AH'-poh-lis), about 10 miles west of
Pittsburgh. The company confirmed the device was still missing
Monday, but declined further comment.
DEP officials say there's no threat to the public as long as the
device isn't dismantled and the radioactive material in it isn't
released. The company is offering a $1,000 reward for its return.
The device is a Humboldt Model 5001 EZ122 and is about the size
of a shoe box.
Information from: The Herald, http://www.sharon-herald.com
Up to 140 to lose jobs as Philly-area plant closes
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (AP) - A representative of a Swiss chemical
and biological manufacturer says most of the approximately 140
employees at the company's suburban Philadelphia plant are likely
to lose their jobs when the plant closes by the end of the year.
Lonza Group Ltd. in Basel says the closure is part of a
worldwide restructuring expected to cut 450 of its 8,500 workers.
The first phase includes shutting the Upper Merion Township plant
and smaller facilities in Quebec and the United Kingdom.
Spokesman Dominik Werner says the Conshohocken plant, which
makes custom chemical ingredients for pharmaceutical manufacturers,
has about 80 professional or technical staffers and about 60 other
workers. He says "the vast majority" are expected to lose their
jobs, although some might go to other U.S. plants.
Help steps up, but so does scale of Haiti tragedy
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Authorities now estimate the number
of dead in Haiti could be 200,000, double the previous best guess.
And the earthquake that caused the carnage has left 1.5 million
people homeless. Injured survivors are dying in the streets,
doctors are begging for help and looters tear at one another amid
The U.N. World Food Program says it needs 100 million prepared
meals over the next 30 days. It's asking for more government
Doctors treating the seriously injured are in desperate need of
supplies including surgical instruments, anesthesia gear, alcohol,
sutures, and saws.
Former President Bill Clinton said during a visit Monday that
medical staffers had to use vodka to sterilize equipment.
The U.S. Air Force has resorted to an air drop of aid in Haiti.
The military has been reluctant to use air drops for fear of
drawing unruly crowds.
HAITI-FLEEING THE CAPITAL
Haitians fleeing capital in search of food, safety
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - An exodus is under way from the
shattered Haitian capital as thousands struggle to board buses to
flee hunger and violence .
One hope is that food will be easier to find in the countryside.
But both gasoline and food are scarce in Port-au-Prince, and bus
drivers have hiked fares, forcing some to pay more than three days'
wages for a seat.
One driver says he's never seen such urgency to get out of town,
even at Christmas. He says the higher fares are in response to a
doubling of gasoline prices.
Most of those fleeing said they were heading to small farms run
by their relatives, pressed on by the specter of starvation because
foreign aid has failed to reach much of the population.
US military gives aid flights priority; airdrops supplies into
UNDATED (AP) - The World Food Program says the U.S. military has
agreed to give aid deliveries priority over military flights at the
now-U.S.-run airport in Haiti's capital.
The Americans' handling of civilian flights had angered some
humanitarian officials who complained the Americans were creating a
bottleneck slowing needed aid to the earthquake-ravaged area.
The U.S. military has also reversed itself and airdropped water
and food into Haiti after earlier ruling out such a delivery method
as too risky.
Maj. Tanya Bradsher, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Southern
Command, said an Air Force C-17 flying out of Pope Air Force Base,
N.C., on Monday dropped 14,500 MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat, and
15,000 liters of water into a secured area 5 miles northeast of the
Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
Military officials are considering whether the method was
successful enough to be used throughout Haiti.
NEW: For La. Haitians, earthquake rekindles terror
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - For the small New Orleans Haitian community
that lived through Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in their
homeland is bringing back a barrage of bad memories and stress.
One of those is Pierre Confident, a 48-year-old electrical
engineer. His home was flooded with 5 feet of water during the 2005
He calls it "a nightmare."
Looking at his fellow Haitians today, he says they wish they had
even a flooded home to live in.
However, Haitians in New Orleans also see cause for hope.
Unlike the much-maligned response to Katrina, the U.S.
government's reaction to the disaster in Haiti has been swift.
President Barack Obama has pledged $100 million for relief, and
some 10,000 troops were ordered to the devastated nation.
NEW: Gates calls for closer defense ties to India
NEW DELHI (AP) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates is starting a
two-day visit to India today by appealing for closer military
cooperation to bring stability to South Asia.
Gates says the United States would like to help India and
Pakistan focus less on each other and more on the terrorism threat,
but the two countries prefer to settle their differences
Mutual suspicion drives heavy defense spending and large
standing armies for both countries.
Gates says India and Pakistan have demonstrated admirable
restraint since the three-day terror attack more than a year ago in
In an opinion piece published in The Times of India ahead of his
visit, Gates says the U.S. and India have been drawn together by
their shared values and should push for even greater security
Gates' visit includes meetings with the prime minister, foreign
minister and defense minister.
NEW: Mass. Senate candidates battle to the end
BOSTON (AP) - Republicans and Democrats in Massachusetts are
predicting a high turnout today as the battle to succeed the late
Sen. Edward Kennedy goes down to the wire.
Special elections tend to draw relatively few voters, but
Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown are locked in a
neck-and-neck race in a state that hasn't elected a Republican
senator since 1972.
Both candidates scoured the state for votes yesterday, with the
Democrats' 60-vote Senate supermajority at stake.
President Barack Obama needs Coakley, the state's attorney
general, to win today to deny Republicans the ability to block his
initiatives, including his signature health care overhaul.
Report: More men get economic boost from marriage
NEW YORK (AP) - A new analysis of census data suggests growth in
the number of working wives over the past 40 years has resulted in
a shift in who gets the biggest economic boost from marriage.
Historically, marriage was the surest route to financial
security for women. But a Pew Research Center report says it's now
men that benefit most.
A larger share of today's men are married to women whose
education and income exceed their own, and a larger share of women
are married to men with less education and income. Back in 1970,
the reverse was true.
Median household income rose 60 percent between 1970 and 2007
for married men, married women and unmarried women, but only 16
percent for unmarried men.
The Pew researchers noted that the economic downturn is
reinforcing the gender reversal trends, with men losing jobs more
often than women.
FBI PHONE RECORDS
Report: FBI illegally collected phone records
WASHINGTON (AP) - A published report says the FBI violated the
law in collecting thousands of U.S. telephone records during the
Citing internal memos and interviews, the Washington Post
reports the FBI invoked nonexistent terrorism emergencies or
persuaded phone companies to provide information. The report says
the result was more than 2,000 illegally gathered records between
2002 and 2006.
The Justice Department inspector general is expected to release
a report this month detailing the extent of the problem.
FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni said FBI Director Robert
Mueller did not know about the requests until after the inspector
general's investigation had begun.
Caproni told the Post that the bureau will await the inspector
general's report before deciding whether disciplinary action is
Obama to ask for more school grant money
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is expected to call for
an extra $1.35 billion in education grants when he visits an
elementary school Tuesday outside Washington.
The money would be in addition to $4.3 billion in competitive
set aside in the economic stimulus program. The first of those
awards, known as "Race to the Top," will be handed out in coming
Senior administration officials say Obama wants the new money,
which must be approved by Congress, to also be awarded
NJ medical marijuana bill is signed into law
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has signed
legislation granting chronically ill patients legal access to
Corzine's office said the governor signed the bill late Monday,
his last full day in office. Gov.-elect Chris Christie will be
sworn in Tuesday.
New Jersey is the 14th state to allow patients with diseases
such as cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis to use
marijuana to alleviate their pain and other symptoms.
The legislation allows for dispensaries to be set up around the
state where patients with prescriptions can access the drug.
Growing marijuana at home will remain illegal, as will driving
Assembly sponsor Reed Gusciora says New Jersey's medical
marijuana law is the strictest in the country.
Evacuations lifted in Calif. as storm tapers
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. (AP) - The first in a series of
winter storms expected this week has passed, easing fears of
dangerous mudslides in Southern California.
Evacuation orders have been lifted throughout the region and
some 200 residents were invited to return to their homes.
Los Angeles Fire Department officials said Monday evening that
the 83 homes in the San Fernando Mountain foothill areas scorched
by last summer's wildfires were out of danger, now that the storm
Also on Monday evening, officials with the region's power
providers boosted the number of customers without electricity to
about 63,000, up from around 20,000 earlier in the day. Officials
say the number grew as crews fanned out across the region and
better assessed the damage.
Kern County, Calif. fire officials say a man was killed when
strong winds blew a tree onto his home, crushing him in his sleep.
The National Weather Service reports that the area recorded wind
gusts up to 85 mph and about a half-inch of rain.
MLB umpires ratify five-year contract
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The major league umpires union have
overwhelmingly ratified a new five-year contract that included
increased flexibility on postseason assignments.
The contract, which runs through 2014, does away with the
prohibition against umpires working the World Series in consecutive
seasons, a provision the some in the union originally found
difficult to digest.
Management had sought to add that language after a series of
missed calls in the 2009 playoffs.
Joe West, the president of the World Umpires Association, says
"It was a good day for the union and a good day for baseball.
Baseball owners unanimously ratified the new agreement Thursday
at their meetings in Arizona.