Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today's News-Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A 44-year-old Deer Lake woman whose home was destroyed by fire Saturday afternoon died as a result of injuries caused by the blaze. The Schuylkill County coroner says Susan Drummer died of inhaling too much smoke and severe burns. Forensic pathologist Dr. Richard Bindie determined the cause of death during an autopsy, with Coroner Joseph Lipsett. State Police fire marshals and Fire officials are still trying to determine a cause of the blaze.

The trial of four men accused of killing a Hazleton man is set to begin in September, according to District Attorney Jim Goodman. Anthony Locascio was beaten to death last September near Brandonville. Shane Roof, Andrew Tutko the Second, Jeffrey Gombert and Curtis Foose are accused of murdering Locasio. A hearing is also scheduled this week to determine if Foose may have the charges against him changed or dropped. The charges against the men include criminal homicide, conspiracy, robbery and assault.

Quick work by police nabs three men who tried to steal a car from a Girardville garage. 20 year olds Rick Erbe of McAdoo and Julio Mora of Hazleton, along with a 17 year old male from Hazleton, entered Krick's garage on East Mahanoy Street and attempted to hotwire a car there. The trio fled the scene after the owner attempted to stop them. Shenandoah police made the stop and the men arraigned and committed to jail.

State police have issued a public warning about transient criminals. These types of scams frequently take place during the summer, and often directed at older Pennsylvanians. Some of the more common schemes to be on the lookout for include home repair scams, where someone goes door to door offering to do repairs at very cheap prices, and take cash without either doing the work or using poor materials. Diversion thefts/ imposter frauds are also prevalent according to state police, where criminals pose as utility workers, inspectors etc. and distract homeowners while a break in occurs. Some simple hints to protect you...keep your doors locked when you are outside the property, check for identification from everyone who comes to your door and when in doubt, call police if the situation you are in doesn't seem right.

Schuylkill Transportation System is participating with other public transit systems nationwide for Dump the Pump day tomorrow, Thursday. The National Dump the Pump Day, sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, is a day to encourage people to ride public transportation to save money, protect the environment and reduce our reliance on foreign oil. All riders of the STS fixed route system will ride free on Thursday. STS Vice President for Public Transportation Mike Micko says people who use public transportation are helping to meet economic challenges for themselves, as well as for the county, state and nation.

The state House approved legislation this week that would require health insurance providers to cover chemotherapy treatment options the same. Roseann Cadau has more:


McKEESPORT, Pa. (AP) - Police in Allegheny County say masked robbers who have been preying on residents of a housing complex near Pittsburgh in recent weeks may have been responsible for a triple-fatal shooting yesterday. The medical examiner's office says the victims were 30-year-old Jahard Poindexter and 17-year Tre Madden, both of McKeesport, and 23-year-old Angela Sanders of Wilkinsburg.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Members of the state House of Representatives aren't getting the chance yet to vote on new taxes on Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction and another dime a pack on cigarettes. A $317 million tax package has been sent back to the Appropriations Committee following a contentious debate yesterday that exposed internal Democratic divisions.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Animal welfare groups are offering thousands of dollars for help in bringing to justice whoever is responsible for the hanging death of a dog at a North Philadelphia playground. The Pennsylvania SPCA says the female brown pit-bull mix was found hanging at the playground yesterday. Officials say they named the animal Flora after her death.

TYRONE, Pa. (AP) - A federal judge has approved a reorganization plan that will allow a western Pennsylvania hospital to emerge from bankruptcy next month. Tyrone Hospital filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2006 after ending that fiscal year with a $3.9 million loss. The Altoona Mirror reports the hospital is to emerge from bankruptcy by July 24th.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he'll tell BP executives he meets with today to set up a substantial escrow fund to pay for all the damage and cleanup. A BP statement says it looks forward to the meeting and that the company shares his goal of shutting down the gushing Gulf oil well and cleaning things up.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Faced with losing a showdown vote today Senate Democrats are scaling back a catchall tax and spending bill. They're trying to extend unemployment benefits and help doctors facing Medicare payment cuts but anxiety over record budget deficits is fueling the moves. The legislation also includes dozens of popular but expired tax breaks.

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel appears to be headed toward softening the Gaza blockade. Senior officials say top Israeli Cabinet ministers have decided on a plan to limit restrictions on Gaza to a
small list of goods that Israel says militants could use in their battle against the Jewish state. Officials say even those goods, such as steel and cement, could be allowed in coordination with the United Nations.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea warns that tension over the sinking of a South Korean warship could trigger nuclear war unless the U.N. Security Council acts impartially. The threat came hours after the country's U.N. ambassador told reporters at a rare news conference that its military will respond if the world body questions or condemns North Korea over the sinking.

PARIS (AP) - France is raising its retirement age from 60 to 62 in an effort to rein in its deficit. The change takes effect in 2018 and already is sparking angry reactions from the opposition
Socialist party and labor unions. Demonstrations against the measure were under way even before it was unveiled today. More protests are expected in September.


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