TODAY'S NEWS MONDAY 3.15.10
One Vehicle Crash I-81
Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a single vehicle crash on Interstate 81 in Ryan Township that happened around noon yesterday. Robert Wagman, 57 of Hazle Township, was traveling southbound on I-81 when he lost control of his vehicle due to slick roadways, and struck a guardrail. Wagman was not injured in the crash however his 2005 Chyster Pacifica had to be towed due to moderate damage. The Delano Fire Company and Ryan Township EMS assisted at the scene. Wagman will be cited for driving on roadways laned for traffic under Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
New Minersville Hit and Run
An unknown suspect backed into the driver’s side of a 2007 Hyundai Tuscon owned by Andrea Gaylor on Saturday night around 10:00pm. Gaylor’s vehicle was parked at 903 Hickory Street in New Minersville at the time of the hit and run. The suspect fled the scene without stopping after the incident. Anyone with information concerning this accident should contact the Pennsylvania State Police of Schuylkill Haven at 593-2000.
Several items were taken from a residence in Orwigsburg late last week. Samuel Boyer, 69 of Orwigsburg, had an Atlantic Gas pump, and electric water pump and a shop vacuum taken from his property at 103 White Tale Lane sometime between 6pm last Thursday night and 11:30 am Friday Morning. Anyone with information concerning this theft should contact the Pennsylvania State Police Schuylkill Haven Barracks at 593-2000.
The Schuylkill YMCA and YWCA are expected to merge sometime later this year in an effort to save money and better serve the members of the community. Both organizations have been working closely together under a joint operating agreement since the summer of 2006. The merger will utilize the space of the YWCA to its fullest, especially now since space at the YMCA is getting tight. The YWCA is currently only in use 1 time during the week for a co-ed gymnastics program for children on Mondays. The YMCA had its grand opening in May of last year, and became the first full-service YMCA in the county since 1972 when the facility at Market and 2nd was torn down.
Northeast wind-driven rain blamed for 6 deaths
EGG HARBOR CITY, N.J. (AP) - The weekend's brutal Northeast
rainstorm is being blamed for the deaths of at least six people.
Connecticut police say a woman died when a falling tree struck
her as she was walking late Saturday in Greenwich (GREN'-ich).
Strong winds and heavy rains uprooted trees, downed power lines
and flooded creeks. A half-million utility customers in
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut lost
Police say one person was killed in Westport, Conn., when a tree
fell on a car.
Authorities in Teaneck, N.J., say two neighbors were killed by a
falling tree as they headed home from a prayer service.
In Hartsdale, N.Y., a man died when a tree crushed the roof of
And in Rhode Island, an off-duty state trooper died Sunday after
his car hydroplaned in a patch of standing water.
Western Pa. flooding prompted some evacuations
SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) - Residents of western Pennsylvania are
cleaning up Sunday after rains that closed roads, flooded basements
and prompted some precautionary evacuations.
Somerset County 911 supervisor Joel Landis says about 45 people
were evacuated from several personal care homes in the Confluence
area in the southern part of the county on Saturday. He says
several residents were also evacuated from homes in Hollsopple and
Benson Borough from rising water in the Stonycreek River.
Landis says some roads were closed in the county and basements
of homes were flooded, but there have been no reports of serious
damage or injuries.
Pa. farm preservation program slows with economy
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Three decades after it began, a central
Pennsylvania county's model farmland preservation program is seeing
a slowing of county and private contributions amid the down
Since Lancaster County began its program 30 years ago this
spring, it has saved nearly 1,100 farms and about 85,300 acres.
That is more than any other county in the nation. But,
preservationists argue, that is only one-fifth of the county's
total agricultural acreage and not enough to ensure that farming
will remain viable.
And, according to a Lancaster Newspapers analysis, the program
is changing in ways that may imperil its future.
For one thing, the recession has meant a significant reduction
in the amount of money the county government is borrowing to
preserve farms. County commissioners are also promoting a
pay-as-you-go approach that may limit future funding.
And the private Lancaster Farmland Trust, amid declining
corporate and foundation support, is reducing the acreage it
preserves each year so that it can concentrate on monitoring farms
Information from: Intelligencer Journal,
3 charged in death during Philly-area robbery
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in suburban Philadelphia have
charged three men in the shooting death of a man who tried to stop
the gunpoint robbery of his nephew.
Police in Norristown say 48-year-old Stanford Jackson was
standing at his front door and yelled at two men who were holding
up his nephew in front of the home shortly after 9:30 p.m.
Thursday. Police say one of the men shot him, and he later died at
The pair and two other men fled in an SUV that was eventually
stopped by police. Eighteen-year-old Leveel Butler-Hayes was
charged with first-degree murder, 32-year-old Chroyya Gordon with
second-degree murder and 27-year-old Zetic Porter with attempted
The three were ordered held without bail; listed numbers for
them could not be found and it was unclear whether they had
Pa. highway deaths decline to record low
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The number of deaths on Pennsylvania's
highways has plunged to its lowest level since Model Ts still
chugged along the roads of the commonwealth.
Officials are crediting years of safety programs but cannot rule
out an assist from the struggling economy.
According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation figures,
1,256 people died in accidents in 2009. That's a 14.4 percent
decline from 2008 and the lowest total since the state started
keeping records in 1928. The previous low mark was 1,328 in
fuel-scarce 1944 during World War II.
Officials had no immediate explanation for the decline, citing
the cumulative effect of safety programs by state and local
governments and others. But a PennDOT spokesman also acknowledged
that less driving because of the recession may have been a factor.
Preliminary numbers indicate decreases in the number of deaths
attributed to alcohol, aggressive driving, and drivers or
passengers not using seat belts. But the number of fatalities in
crashes involving drivers age 65 and older increased from 259 in
2008 to 276 in 2009.
Obama reacts strongly to Mexican killings
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) - President Barack Obama is described
as "deeply saddened and outraged" over the killings of three
people in Mexico who had ties to the U.S. consulate.
One consulate employee and her husband were shot in their car
with their baby in the back seat. The child was not hurt.
Elsewhere, just minutes earlier, the husband of another consular
employee was shot to death and his two children were wounded.
All three had been at the same social event, but the embassy
says it's not clear if the shootings were related, or what the
The State Department is authorizing U.S. government employees at
six Mexican cities in northern Mexico to send their family members
out of the area.
Mexico's president expressed his indignation and condolences,
and vowed to solve the crimes.
Toyota to release latest on Prius probe
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Toyota holds a news conference Monday in San
Diego to release its early findings on an alleged case of sudden
acceleration by a Prius.
Both Toyota and technicians with the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration say they were unable to duplicate the
incident. That's raised questions in some minds about the sequence
But a lawyer for James Sikes, the owner of the Prius, says it's
not surprising officials couldn't replicate the sudden
acceleration, because they've never been able to. He notes that
Sikes never had a problem before in the three years he owned the
The California Highway Patrol says it's found no sign of a hoax,
and Sikes' wife says they have no plans to sue Toyota. Sikes has
turned down numerous requests for interviews.
UPDATE: Blackout leaves millions of Chileans in darkness
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Chilean officials are gradually restoring
electricity after a power failure plunged nearly the entire
population into darkness. People's nerves are already frayed after
the magnitude 8.8 earthquake, and the outage didn't help. Officials
say a transformer failure took down the power grid.
The director of the Interior Ministry's emergency office says a
1,200-mile stretch was affected.
Most of Chile's 17 million people live in that area. Many left
their homes and went into the streets.
UPDATE: Damage from storm may snarl commutes in Northeast
EGG HARBOR CITY, N.J. (AP) - The damage and flooding left in the
wake of a torrential rainstorm in the Northeast could keep some
people from their homes for days and cause headaches for the
The Long Island Railroad says flooding near an East River tunnel
could delay or cancel trains and advised commuters to give
themselves extra time.
Dozens of roads in New York are blocked by fallen limbs and
wires. And in Boston, the transit authority shut down stretches of
the Green and Red rail lines because of rising water.
In the New York-New Jersey area, airlines reported delays and
At least seven people died in storm-related accidents over the
weekend, and nearly half a million people were without electricity
in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut at the peak
of the storm.
Officials: no word on daredevils
REVELSTOKE, British Columbia (AP) - The Royal Canadian Mounted
Police aren't commenting on the identities of the three daredevils
who may have triggered an avalanche that killed two men.
A police official also declined to say whether the snowmobilers
would face charges, or if they're among the dead.
The avalanche occurred yesterday at an informal snowmobile rally
in the Canadian Rockies. Thirty people were injured, one
The official says they believe the slide was triggered by a
stunt known as high-marking. That's a contest to see who can race
up a slope and leave the highest mark.
A Montana man and his son, who were swept up by the avalanche,
were rescued. Thirteen-year-old George Hall says he say stars
floating in front of his eyes. His father suffered a huge gash on
the back of his head. The son was just banged up and bruised.
NEW RESIDENTS KILLED
2 people die in NJ home fire a day after moving in
FORT LEE, N.J. (AP) - Two people who'd moved into a northern New
Jersey town house a day earlier have died in a fire that started in
their kitchen and spread upstairs.
Police say the two men were found Saturday night in the
second-floor master bedroom of their home in Fort Lee, overlooking
the Hudson River.
Firefighters had to break down a door to get inside the unit in
the gated complex. They tried to resuscitate the victims, who were
pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.
Authorities say the fire likely started above a gas stove and
was an accident.
Woman, 92, charged in death of 98-year-old husband
SYDNEY (AP) - Police in Australia have charged a 92-year-old
woman with killing her 98-year-old husband.
Clare Tang is due to appear in court Tuesday on a murder charge
after her husband was found dead in their apartment in downtown
Sydney on Friday night.
New South Wales state police said in a statement that the
husband was found in the lounge room and that he had suffered head
wounds. A cause of death was still being determined.
Clare Tang was arrested at the scene.
A family friend tells Australian broadcasting that the couple,
from Shanghai, China, had been married for about 70 years, and that
Clare Tang appeared to love her husband deeply.
NEW: Gay seniors come out late, start second lifetime
MIAMI (AP) - Those who work with seniors say they're seeing
growth in the number of people in their 60s, 70s and 80s coming out
of the closet as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Social scientists have long noted that people are coming out
younger and younger. They say there's a similar trend at the other
end of the age spectrum.
Growing awareness and acceptance of varied sexualities and
gender identities in the U.S. helps explain the shift.
Support groups and services have cropped up to help such
Experts say coming out late in life comes with a unique set of
hurdles. That includes fear of being shunned by children and
grandchildren and a sense of loss over having fewer years to live
life outside the closet.
CENSUS-LET THE COUNT BEGIN
NEW: US census forms arrive in the mail: What to expect
WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 120 million U.S. census forms begin
arriving Monday in mailboxes around the country.
The government's once-a-decade population count will be used to
divvy up congressional seats and more than $400 billion in federal
aid. Fast-growing states in the South and the West could stand to
lose the most because of lower-than-average mail participation
rates in 2000 and higher shares of Hispanics and young adults, who
are among the least likely to mail in their forms.
The Census Bureau is urging cities and states to promote the
census and improve upon rates in 2000, when about 72 percent of
U.S. households returned their forms. If everyone who receives a
census form mailed it back, the government would save an estimated
$1.5 billion in follow-up visits.
Detroit city workers being warned to go scentsless
DETROIT (AP) - Change is in the air for Detroit city workers.
City employees will be urged not to wear perfume, cologne or
aftershave as a result of a settlement in a federal lawsuit.
Officials plan to place warning placards in three city
buildings. The signs will warn workers to avoid "wearing scented
products, including ... colognes, aftershave lotions, perfumes,
deodorants, body/face lotions ... (and) the use of scented candles,
perfume samples from magazines, spray or solid air fresheners."
The employee handbook and Americans with Disabilities Act
training also will bear warnings.
The Detroit News reports the move stems from a $100,000
settlement in a federal lawsuit filed in 2008 by a city employee
who said a colleague's perfume made it challenging for her to do