Saturday, July 24, 2010

Today's News-Saturday, July 24, 2010

A former Minersville borough councilman presented allegations to current members last night that borough employees were completing tasks and performing services outside of their job description during work hours all under orders from their supervisors. According to the Republican and Herald, Walter Miscavage alleged that borough employees from the sewer and water authorities and the streets department have come before the council and to him privately to speak about several issues, and fear retribution. Miscavage claims that Borough employees were instructed to deliver coal in a private vehicle of a water authority member to the homes of relatives of other borough employees, employees were directed by water authority supervisors to mow private lawns, install furnaces in private homes and hunting lodges, sent to Bernville, Berks County, to paint lines in a private parking lot, install swimming pools in West West Terrace, fix a vehicle not belonging to the authority all on borough time. He also stated that the borough misallocated liquid fuels funding originally dedicated to Teaberry Hill but used in Cass Township. The move was allegedly documented by former treasurer Norman Woodford and submitted in a letter to the state auditor general's office. Twenty-three bonuses of $1,000 each were made from funding allocated for a sewer separation project. Miscavage said he would release the names involved at the next regular monthly council meeting. Borough solicitor Albert Evans said after Miscavage's statement, "Council has listened to a lot of these issues before." The next regularly scheduled public council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 in the council chambers at the Water Authority Building.

An act of aggressive driving July 16 led to an argument between drivers and charges for one, according to police. State police at Schuylkill Haven said a 17-year-old male from Schuylkill Haven was driving aggressively, and his passenger spit out of the car window at a another driver. The other driver, Jose Antonio Marrero, 44, of Pennsburg, followed the juvenile's car, according to police, and when the drivers pulled over on White Birch Road, West Brunswick Township, the two got into a verbal argument. Marrero broke the window of the juvenile's car and struck him in the face, police said. Charges of criminal mischief and harassment were filed against Marrero

A state Senator says we need to change the state law that controls all legislation dealing with mental health or intellectual disabilities. Don Rooney has details.


After more than 10 years, both the developer and opponents of a water bottling plant are one meeting closer to its potential approval. As reported in the Republican and Herald, the East Union Township Planning Commission voted to recommend the township's board of supervisors approve Stanley Frompovicz's water bottling plant, pending several changes. Commission members Ed Filozof and Kyle Mummey voted "yes"; Linda Croll was absent. The commission's hesitations stemmed from three permits, a zoning board variance and changes to the site design. Planning commission solicitor Donald Karpowich said the plant needs an SEO permit, which is for on-site sewer and provided by the township; an E&S permit, which is for erosion and sediment and provided by the county; and a sewage planning permit, which is provided by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The plant also needs a variance from the township's zoning board. Right now, plans for the plant include 46 parking spaces. The ordinance governing parking spaces for the plant stipulates that 138 parking spaces are needed. Finally, the plans for the plant must be modified to follow requirements from the fire chief, which include three fire hydrants, one on each corner of the building, rather than the one fire hydrant included; and a 20-foot-wide emergency access road circling the building. After Frompovicz, his attorney, Sam Scott, engineer Charles Yourshaw and members of the planning commission discussed modifying the site plan to comply with the fire chief's requirements, the commission heard public comments.

A 48-year-old Port Carbon man was committed to Schuylkill County Prison after being arrested by Pottsville police after a disturbance in the 600 block of Mauch Chunk Street about 8:45 p.m. Thursday. Police said John J. Kamant Jr. was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Stephen J. Bayer, Tamaqua, on charges of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, propulsion of missiles onto a roadway, persistent disorderly conduct, possession of a controlled substance and public drunkenness. Kamant was committed to prison unable to post 10 percent of $10,000 bail set by Bayer. Police said officers were called to the area by Edna Shay, 48, of Pottsville, who reported her ex-boyfriend, Kamant, came to her home and started to argue with her. Shay said Kamant also threw a beer can at her vehicle while she was driving, causing her to lose control and veer off the road onto a parking lot, police said. Shay said Kamant then approached the vehicle where she and her friend - Carrie Taylor, 57, of Pottsville - were sitting and continued to yell and throw full cans of beer at the vehicle, police said. Officers found Kamant standing on the sidewalk near Shay's home, where he was taken into custody. During his arrest, police said officers found several tablets inside a clear plastic baggie that were later identified as Xanax.

Gov. Rendell testified before the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday, presenting his ideas about how to overcome the shortfall in transportation funding in the Commonwealth. Don Rooney has more.


CHESWICK, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say the two men killed in a
natural gas well explosion yesterday in Indiana Township were
employed by a maintenance contractor and were were working on oil
tanks when the blast occurred. A third member of the team wasn't
hurt. The explosion sparked a smoky fire that smoldered for hours.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Officials at a zinc plant in Monaca say the
cause of Thursday's explosion that killed two workers is still
under investigation. The coroner says the men were 53-year-old
James Taylor of Alqiuippa and 41-year-old Corey Keller of Newell,
West Virginia.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - State officials say the new federal
extension of unemployment checks will help nearly 200,000
Pennsylvanians who lost the benefit in the past seven weeks, or
were about to lose it. Those eligible for the extension will be
notified by mail shortly.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A landmark restaurant in Philadelphia is
closing. Georges Perrier of Le Bec-Fin tells The Philadelphia
Inquirer he plans to close his world-renowned French restaurant by
spring. He says he's ready for a change.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Transit officials in Philadelphia are
changing the route names for the area's regional commuter rail
lines. As of this weekend, SEPTA has dropped the number-and-letter
route designators. Now, trains will be identified by their ultimate
destination only.

WASHINGTON (AP) - With some Bush-era tax cuts about to expire,
Republicans promise a fight to renew them. In the weekly GOP radio
and Internet address Indiana Congressman Mike Pence criticizes
Democrats for considering allowing the cuts to expire in January.
Pence says Americans know the country can't tax and spend its way
to recovery.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says an economic plan
from House Republican leader John Boehner will take the country
"backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward."
In his weekly radio and internet address, Obama also says the new
financial regulations he just signed are a "key pillar" of his
overall economic plan to reverse the recession.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says he's
encouraged at a gradually improving economy. This comes after
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress earlier this
week that the outlook for the country is "unusually uncertain."
Geithner says he's seeing "private investment expand again, job
growth starting to come back." The comments came in an interview
for NBC's "Meet the Press" tomorrow.

MIAMI (AP) - Bonnie has weakened to a tropical depression but
forecasters say the weather system is likely to strengthen as it
moves over the Gulf of Mexico. Dozens of vessels working at the
site of BP's ruptured oil well are leaving the area. Only a few
vessels are expected to remain Saturday, including ships relaying
video images of the wellhead. Those ships may try to stay.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - U.S. officials confirm that four
American service members have bee killed in a bombing in southern
Afghanistan as international forces step up the fight against the
Taliban. The latest deaths bring to 69 the number of international
service members killed in Afghanistan this month, including 52


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