Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today's News-Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The state Department of Environmental Protection has pulled the mining permit of Lehigh Coal and Navigation. Citing illegal mining practices, repeated water quality violations and failure to reclaim mined lands, the agency suspended all mining activities of the company in Schuylkill and Carbon counties. DEP Secretary John Hanger says LC&N's management has shown "a persistent unwillingness and inability to mine in accordance with state and federal law". The suspension of the mining permit will remain in effect until the company brings its operations into full compliance. Authorities say that mine water from abandoned underground mines is affecting water quality in the Little Schuylkill River as well. Since 2008, DEP has issued 24 compliance orders against LC&N, assessing penalties of more than $91-thousand-dollars and previous suspensions. LC&N's operations encompass parts of Coaldale, Tamaqua, Nesquehoning and Summit Hill.

Authorities are investigating the explosion of a mailbox in Friedensburg. The vandalism was reported early Sunday at the Friedensburg Post Office, where a device was thrown in the mailbox, causing extensive damage to the bottom and back of the recepticle. Postal inspectors are conducting the investigation into the incident. Anyone with information should call them at 717-257-2330. It is a federal offense to destroy US Postal Service property.

State police from Frackville are investigating a case of criminal trespass in North Union Township. Sometime over a three week period, an unidentified individual entered a summer home in Cove Village, using a spare key to gain entry. While no damage was noted nor anything taken, state police have concluded that the prowler slept in the home during the illegal entry. State police advise homeowners not to leave spare keys outside their homes.

A Port Carbon man faces jail time for dealing heroin. The Republican Herald reports that 28 year old Rodolfo Valdez was sentenced to three to six years in state prison for drug related charges. Valdez had been found guilty in March of the charges of selling heroin on several occasions through a confidential informant in October, 2009. Pottsville police filed the initial charges against Valdez.

A Shamokin man remains in fair condition at Geisinger following a crash just before three p.m. Monday in Pine Grove Township. The crash happened at the intersection of Lovers Lane and Paradise Road when police say 57-year-old Charles Jones of Shamokin pulled into the path of another vehicle driven by 23-year-old Kristen Lucas of Tremont. Lucas and two young boys in her car were not hurt. Jones was flown from the scene to Geisinger.

A 29-year-old Shenandoah man faces numerous charges after leading police officers on a high-speed chase early Sunday morning along Route 901 that started in Locust Gap and culminated in the area of the 901 Pub after his Camaro struck a police cruiser. Michael Linkchorst, is now facing charges of aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol, fleeing or attempting to elude police, resisting arrest, and related counts. A passenger in his car 22-year-old Tina Layton, of Ringtown, also was charged with simple assault, resisting arrest, and public drunkenness involving the chase that began at 2:10 a.m. Both were sent to the Northumberland County Prison.

The Senate Government Management and Cost Study Commission has concluded a State Capitol public hearing that focused on higher education costs. Hanson Quickel has more from committee chairman, Senator David Argall.


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A grand jury that investigated the Pennsylvania legislative corruption scandal known as "Bonusgate" is recommending sweeping changes to how the Legislature conducts business. The report calls for reforms on how the General Assembly spends money, hires and supervises employees and conducts its annual state budget debate.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia jury has acquitted a 74-year-old man who shot a police officer in 1966 on murder and other charges filed following the officer's death in 2007. William
Barnes had already served 16 years for the attempted murder of Officer Walter Barclay during a botched burglary. Prosecutors had claimed the shooting that left Barclay paralyzed was the direct cause of his death more than 40 years later.

QUAKERTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania say a woman and a baby were hit by a vehicle, but the extent of their injuries wasn't immediately known. Quakertown police say the woman was pushing the child in a stroller Monday night when the vehicle struck them. No charges have been filed against the driver.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia fans flooded streets of the city following the Flyers' 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens that sends them to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 13 years. There were no immediate reports of problems from the crowds throughout the city.

LONDON (AP) - A strike by cabin crew is disrupting British Airways flights for a second day, mainly at London's Heathrow airport. The airline is struggling to operate as many flights as
possible during the five-day walkout. BA says it operated a full schedule from London's other two airports, but no more than 60 percent from Heathrow.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The Atlantis astronauts are getting their spaceship ready to come home for the last time. It's returning from the International Space Station. Only two missions remain as the shuttle program winds down.

BEIJING (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton may be in tough negotiations with China to resolve thorny issues on North Korea and Iran. But they pale in comparison to her daughter, Chelsea's,
wedding this summer. Clinton told a Chinese television audience that planning the upcoming nuptials are the most important activity in her life right now.

CHICAGO (AP) - The city of Chicago says it's waiting for a court order to hire firefighters in a long-running discrimination case. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sent the 15-year-old case back to a lower court to determine what will happen. The city estimates damages and pension obligations in the case could be as high as $45 million.

MANDARIN, Fla. (AP) - A north Florida man is glad his daughter didn't sleep in on Friday. About 30 minutes after Marwan Saman's daughter got out of bed, a 3-foot-long, 40-pound sonar buoy crashed through the roof of their Mandarin home and landed next to her bed.
A Navy plane on a training flight out of Jacksonville dropped the cylinder, which tracks submarines. No one was hurt.


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