Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today's News-Wednesday, May 26, 2010-updated 7:30am

A Tuscarora man is dead after an incident with police Tuesday morning in Walker Township. State police report they responded to reports of a truck tractor driving through yards and menacing residents. Witnesses say 41 year old Scott Mackelvey of Tuscarora was mad when a friend, Tom Rowlands, reportedly refused to give Mackelvey a ride home from a bar early Tuesday. Mack stole the truck and crashed the truck into a tree at 70 Whitetail Crossing Drive in the Wildcat housing development, then entered Rowland's home and stole keys to a pickup truck. As police tried to stop Mackelvey, he rammed a state police cruiser repeatedly, almost hitting an off duty municipal police officer. Police shot and killed Mackelvey. State police say that Mackelvey had a history of run-ins with police in the past. An autopsy will be performed by Dr. Richard Bindie at Schuylkill Medical Center. State police troopers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative duties, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Two teenaged boys got into a fight yesterday afternoon in North Manheim Township. One has been charged with harassment. The 15 year old from Orwigsburg and a 14 year old from Schuylkill Haven got into a scuffle in the parking lot of McDonalds along Route 61 around lunchtime. The 14 year old punched the older boy, causing a bloody nose. State police at Schuylkill Haven handled the investigation.

A Schuylkill County lawmaker says legislation aimed at reforming "spot" property tax assessments passed the state House Tuesday. Tim Seip said the package of three bills would force school boards to have more open proceedings when considering reassessments of properties that are sold. Seip and other lawmakers have been pushing for reforms for several years. In fact, legislation passed the House and Senate twice in 2007-2008, only to be vetoed by Governor Rendell. Spot appeals have been used by school districts to gain additional tax revenues by revaluing properties when they are sold, while similar properties remain taxed at a lower rate. Seip says he's happy with the compromise legislation:


Similar legislation has been introduced in the state Senate as well.

Pottsville High School seniors will talk Schuylkill County history tonight at the Sovereign Majestic Theatre. The county's history is full of legendary figures, and will be discussed in a PowerPoint presentation as part of a project in the Social Studies Department at Pottsville High School. The program is free and open to the public at 7pm. The students making the presentation are Meg Halcovage, Jill Matz and Hannah Spece.

A city woman, accused of deceiving the Pottsville Housing Authority, waived her right to a preliminary hearing in a case where she received subsidized housing. 53 year old Alice Robinson was charged with theft by deception, after she continued to live in subsidized housing even though her husband, Leonard, was living there and had a criminal history. Robinson received more than $10-thousand-dollars in Housing and Urban Development funds, even though her request to allow her husband to live there was denied in 2007. Robinson's case will now be heard in Schuylkill County Court.

MOOSIC - The badly decomposed body found behind a professional building in Moosic, Monday has been identified as a Schuylkill County woman. 51-year-old Deborah Austin, of Zion Grove, was reported missing in early May. Her body was found Monday afternoon in her vehicle behind an office building at 340 Montage Mountain Road in Moosic. The body was badly decomposed but showed no signs of foul play. The Lackawanna County Coroner's office is waiting on results of toxicology tests to determine a cause of death.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania elections officials say Scott Conklin leads Jonathan Saidel by nearly 3,900 votes after tallying unofficial returns from all 67 counties in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. Saidel is close enough to trigger an automatic recount under state law, which could start next week.

BLUE BELL, Pa. (AP) - Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey says Congressman Joe Sestak should clarify what job the White House offered him to drop a primary challenge to Senator Arlen Specter. Sestak and the White House have declined to discuss the offer in detail, but Sestak has said he was offered a job to avoid challenging Specter.

HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in suburban Philadelphia say fire swept through a home, killing a 1-year-old girl and critically injuring her 4-year-old sister and her mother. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the blaze in the two-story home in Upper Southampton Township in Bucks County was reported yesterday afternoon.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A car bomb has exploded in a parking lot outside a small NATO military base in Afghanistan. The few hundred Canadian soldiers, American military police and U.S. and Canadian government development employees at Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar city have been ordered into bunkers. There's no information on casualties.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling on all nations for "a strong but measured response" to the sinking of a South Korean warship. A team of
international investigators concluded that North Korea torpedoed the ship in March. Clinton spent a few hours in Seoul discussing possible international responses with South Korean leaders.

COVINGTON, La. (AP) - BP is giving it another try and the stakes are high. By dawn today the oil company plans to pack the blown well in the Gulf of Mexico with heavy drilling mud and cement to try to stanch the gusher. Politicians and others are losing patience with the company over its failed attempts to stop the leak. It started more than a month ago after an offshore drilling rig exploded.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - President Barack Obama heads to northern California today to highlight the benefits of alternative energy sources. Obama will tour a solar panel manufacturing facility and speak to workers about expanding the clean energy sector to create jobs and aid the nation's economic recovery.

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) - A Long Island teenager could spend more than 20 years in prison when he is sentenced today. Jeffrey Conroy was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime in the killing of an Ecuadorean immigrant, Marcelo Lucero. The killing led to a Justice Department investigation of bias attacks against Hispanics.


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