Saturday, September 04, 2010

Today's News-Saturday, September 4, 2010

One of Pottsville's most famous sons will be honored on Monday, as the General George A. Joulwan ampitheater will be dedicated on Pottsville's east side. The retired Four Star General will take part in the dedication ceremonies at 4 p.m. The ampitheater is the crowning jewel of the Joulwan Park Playground and Skate Park. The Third Brigade Band and Schuylkill County Chorus will also perform and light refreshments served following the dedication. The public is invited and encouraged to bring lawnchairs. On Tuesday morning, General Joulwan will be at the Historical Society of Schuylkill County on Centre Street, where the Joulwan Room has been created with numerous momentos of Joulwan's auspicious career. Fund raising efforts continue to finish the Joulwan Room.

A Schuylkill County judge has ordered Controller Melinda Kantner to file two state-mandated financial reports by Oct. 1st. According to the Republican and Herald, County Judge Charles Miller ruled yesterday on a portion of a petition for writ of mandamus filed against Kantner last week by the county commissioners. A second part of the petition, which would require Kantner to fully cooperate with the county's external auditor, is still outstanding. It is unclear when it will be ruled on. Under the terms of Miller's ruling, Kantner must submit reports to the state Department of Community and Economic Development and the Court of Common Pleas within the next four weeks. Those reports were due July 1 and requests for extensions were twice denied by county Judge D. Michael Stine. Kantner has blamed the delay on Pottsville accountant Sam Deegan, who was hired last year by the commissioners to audit county books. Deegan and many county officials have blamed Kantner for the delay, alleging she has been either unable or unwilling to provide Deegan with financial documents and other paperwork needed to do the job. In his ruling, Miller cited Section 1720 of the county code. That section specifically states that it is the controller's responsibility to file the financial reports, regardless of any work done by an outside auditor. Another section of the code states the commissioners may hire an auditor if they so choose, but that decision has no effect on the controller's responsibility to file the reports. County officials have set Sept. 30 as the target date to complete the audit.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - State Senate Senate President Joe
Scarnati says Republicans are making a sincere effort to keep the
pledge between lawmakers and the governor to pass a new tax on
Marcellus Shale gas extraction. The Senate is slated to reconvene
September 20th.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Indiana County Coroner Michael Baker says it
may take weeks to confirm the identity of remains found in a
submerged barrel because a DNA comparison may be necessary. Baker
says state police continue to investigate the barrel that a dive
team found in the Conemaugh River, near Blairsville late Tuesday.

READING, Pa. (AP) - A former gun shop owner has been found not
guilty by reason of insanity on charges he held his family hostage
during a police standoff in January. A Berks County judge ordered
Jay Fisher committed to a psychiatric hospital. Investigators say
he became irate after his son left out a container of ice cream.

HAMBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania serviceman killed in action
during a rescue in the Vietnam war is being awarded a posthumous
Medal of Honor. The White House says the family of Richard
Etchberger, a native of Hamburg, has been invited to a ceremony in
Washington on September 21st.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is using his weekly
radio and Internet address to stress the importance of a healthy
middle class. Outlining what he's done, Obama touted job creation
efforts, trying to make college more affordable and stopping health
insurance companies from refusing to cover people with pre-existing
medical conditions. He says Labor Day is a day to "honor the
American worker."

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans say President Barack Obama's job
creation efforts are too tied up in government red tape to succeed.
In the weekly GOP radio and Internet address, Kentucky Rep. Geoff
Davis says he's proposing that Congress be required to take an
up-or-down vote on every new major rule. He calls it a
"much-needed restraining order."

CHATHAM, Mass. (AP) - It's Tropical Storm Earl now and it's off
to Canada today. Its brush with the Northeast was far less intense
than feared, dumping heavy, wind-driven rain on Cape Cod cottages
and fishing villages accustomed to nor'easters. There's some
flooding and power outages. Earl also did little to North
Carolina's Outer Banks.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Initial Treasury assessments
suggest it could cost at least $1.4 billion to repair the damage
from a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in New Zealand. Prime Minister John
Key has flown to Christchurch to inspect the damage says it's an
"absolute miracle" no one was killed. Key says it could be months
before the full extent of the damage is known.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Government investigators plan to take
possession of BP's failed blowout preventer after it finishes a
slow journey to the surface today from the bottom of the Gulf of
Mexico. Engineers are being careful so they don't damage it and
lose a chance to find out what went wrong. A new preventer has been


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