Saturday, December 18, 2010


Saint Clair Police are seeking information about a suspicious male who reportedly attempted to lure a child into his vehicle Thursday morning on the promise of puppies and candy. Police said the incident occurred about 7:55 a.m. in the 100 block of East Railroad Street as a boy was walking to school. The Saint Clair Elementary/Middle School, 227 S. Mill St., is less than a block away from where the incident occurred. The male is described as being Caucasian with short black hair and driving a four-door mid- or large-size SUV. Officers met with Saint Clair school district personnel to discuss the incident, police said, and to recommend preventative measures to ensure the safety of children. In addition, police said school crossing guards were instructed to be on alert and to report suspicious people or vehicles. Anyone with information on the identity of the male who approached the child is asked to call police at 429-3050. All information will remain confidential, police said.

A 23-year-old New Ringgold man escaped injury when he crashed a Dodge pickup about 9:35 p.m. Thursday in Lenhartsville. Troopers from Hamburg said Jeffrey E. Neifert was found slumped behind the wheel by a local resident and, when approached by troopers, was allegedly found to be under the influence of alcohol. Neifert failed field sobriety testing and faces charges of DUI and related traffic offenses, troopers said.

A Mahanoy City man remains in critical condition at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, after being found about 4:15 a.m. Friday on a Shenandoah street, police said. According to the Republican and Herald, Shenandoah Patrolman Christopher G. Zubris said police were dispatched after a man who refused identification called 911 and reported a man lying in the street near 536 W. Coal St. who appeared to have been assaulted. Zubris said when police arrived they found a man in his early 30s with heavy trauma to his body and face; however, police were unable to determine if the man had been assaulted or if the trauma was caused by an accident. Zubris said the man was not responsive and went unconscious while police attempted to assess him at the scene. Zubris said he was flown from Shenandoah to the hospital, where police later learned he was from Mahanoy City. Police are seeking the public's help, Zubris said. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Shenandoah police at 462-1008 or 462-1991.

A 22-year-old Hazleton man accused of DUI was also found to be a wanted on an outstanding warrant for aggravated assault. State Police at Frackvill said a traffic stop was conducted about 3:05 a.m. Friday along Route 924 on a vehicle driven by Roberto Alvarez-Marquez whom was found to be under the influence of alcohol. He was also allegedly in possession of a small amount of suspected cocaine. Troopers later learned that Alvarez-Marquez was wanted by Hazleton police on the warrant and was released into the custody of that department.

A Friedensburg woman escaped injury in a one-vehicle accident Friday morning on Panther Valley Road, state police at Schuylkill Haven said. Haley Sippel was driving a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero about 10:57 a.m. when she drove off the roadway while rounding a left curve and struck an embankment, causing moderate damage to the vehicle. Sippel, who was wearing a seat belt, be charged with driving vehicle at safe speed and driver's required to be licensed.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Police in Philadelphia have identified a woman who they say may be the third victim of a serial strangler. Authorities on Friday said Casey Mahoney of East Stroudsburg was found dead in a vacant lot in Philadelphia's Kensington area near a set of train tracks. Her body was found a few blocks from where the two earlier victims were discovered last month.

INDIANA, Pa. (AP) - A crossing guard and an elementary school student have been taken to hospitals after authorities say they were hit by a pickup truck in Indiana, Pa., about 45 miles
northeast of Pittsburgh. Authorities aren't releasing the names of the victims, but say the crossing guard and student were both from the Indiana Area School District.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Amtrak says power problems between Baltimore and Philadelphia turned one train's trip between Washington, D.C., and New York City into an 11-hour journey. Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm says a commercial power line fell on overhead wires around
8:45 p.m. Thursday, impacting eight trains. He says the lights and heat remained on.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Johnson & Johnson must pay $52 million in damages and penalties after a judge found the pharmaceutical company falsely reported the prices of its drugs. Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett says a Commonwealth Court judge rendered the verdict last week after a five-week trial in Easton, Pa.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Taxpayers can breathe easier for the next couple of years. President Barack Obama has signed into law a huge bill extending cuts for all Americans. The measure averts a tax hit for millions of people starting in two weeks on New Year's Day. In addition to preserving Bush-era tax cuts, it givers workers a break from Social Security taxes. It also extends unemployment benefits.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The ban on gays serving openly in the military could be nearing an end. The Senate is ready for a landmark vote today that could deliver a major victory to the gay community, liberals and President Barack Obama. If a procedural vote succeeds as expected the repeal could win final passage by late afternoon.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon authorities say the 19-year-old man accused in an alleged plot to bomb Portland's holiday tree lighting is being held in protective custody though there's no known threat. Multnomah County sheriff's Chief Deputy Michael Shults tells the Oregonian that a lot of jail inmates had friends and relatives at the Nov. 26 lighting ceremony.

PERUGIA, Italy (AP) - A court in Italy is expected to issue a key decision on whether to allow a full independent review of forensic evidence in the appeal of American student Amanda Knox's
murder conviction. The review would include contentious DNA evidence. A rejection would be seen as a blow to hopes of overturning the guilty verdict. Knox is serving 26 years in the sexual assault and killing of her roommate.

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's parliament has taken a step toward a unity government after months of political turmoil. Parliament voted to lift a ban on three Sunni Muslim politicians who had been kept from running in national elections in March because of accusations they had ties to Saddam Hussein's ousted regime.


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