Saturday, January 22, 2011



The trial of three local police officers winds down as the prosecution rested their case Friday. WPPA's Brittany has more:



The Democratic pool of county commissioner candidates got a little deeper Friday night when borough Mayor Gary Hess announced his bid for office. According to the Republican and Herald, Hess is dubbing his campaign platform "The People's Platform," Hess said his priorities include being proactive, bringing unity back to the courthouse, job creation, creation of business opportunities for entrepreneurs and being fiscally responsible. Hess, 53, president of Hess Catering Inc., said his years as a business owner have taught him much about serving people, lessons he will take with him to the courthouse, if elected. Hess joins Mount Carbon Mayor Jeffrey Dunkel and county businessman John Platchko who have announced their intentions to seek the Democratic nomination. Republicans who have announced their bids include current minority Commissioner Frank J. Staudenmeier, New Ringgold borough council President Larry Padora and former county administrator Darlene Dolzani.


Bradley Petchulis of Mar Lin, Norwegian Township, announced Friday he will take on Melinda Kantner in the May 17 election. As reported by the Republican and Herald, Petchulis, who holds a degree in business and administration from Albright College, Reading, serves as treasurer for the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority. He has also worked as a manager at his family owned business, Mar Lin Markets, for more than 20 years. In a written statement Friday, Petchulis said he hopes to "work diligently as the watchdog of Schuylkill County's monies, while working in harmony with all branches of county government." One of his duties with the municipal authority is to oversee its pension plan. The county controller sits on the county retirement board, which has authority over the county's public pension fund which pays out monthly to more than 400 retired county workers. Petchulis is also the zoning officer in Norwegian Township. Meanwhile, Democrat County Controller Melinda Kantner has reached out to Republican committee people for support in her bid to win another four-year term. Kantner said Friday "most" of the Schuylkill County Republican Party committee men and women received a letter and invitation to Kantner's re-election fundraiser Friday at a Llewellyn restaurant. County Republican Chairman Joseph Sterns has instructed his fellow party members to steer clear of Kantner's fundraiser. No Republicans have announced their intention to run for controller in the November general election


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Former Governor Ed Rendell says he ordered increased clinic inspections after a raid last year on a Philadelphia abortion clinic yielded gruesome accounts of bloody floors and baby parts in jars. Dr. Kermit Gosnell is charged with eight counts of murder. Prosecutors allege he fatally stabbed viable babies in the spine with scissors.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Prosecutors tell The Harrisburg Patriot-News they plan to seek the death penalty in the case of a central Pennsylvania man accused of killing a game warden during a poaching investigation. Twenty-seven-year-old Christopher Lynn Johnson is charged with the November shooting death of Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove outside Gettysburg.

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A snowstorm that moved up the East coast may be to blame for a fatal crash in Pennsylvania, where falling temperatures mean wind chills of around zero in some areas. The winter storm may have contributed to a crash that killed a tractor-trailer driver on Interstate 80 in northeastern Pennsylvania.


ISTANBUL (AP) - Six world powers are offering a carrot to Iran in hopes of achieving broader dialogue about Tehran's nuclear activities. The nation's today sidestepped Iran's refusal to
discuss scrapping uranium enrichment, offering instead to revive smaller-scale talks. But some diplomats familiar with the negotiations say the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany were trying a new tack after a frustrating 14-hours of talks yesterday.

BAGHDAD (AP) - An aide says anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has gone back to Iran after a two-week return to Iraq. It's not known when he'll return. Al-Sadr's surprise return to Iraq this month was part of his campaign to boost his credibility in the nation's political and religious circles after nearly four years in voluntary exile in Iran.

HOUSTON (AP) - Her new team of doctors plan to start immediately on rehab therapy for wounded Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords is under intensive care at Texas Medical Center in Houston after a trip from Arizona, where throngs of well-wishers gave her a farewell that brought a tearful smile.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - An official says an inland sea will surge across southeast Australia and threaten towns in its path for up to 10 more days. Record rains have caused flooding in Australia for more than a month. The floods began in northeast Queensland state, where at least 30 people died. But the focus has now shifted to the state of Victoria. The official says 75 towns there have so far been affected by flooding.

TOKYO (AP) - The International Space Station is about to get busy stocking up on supplies. A Japanese rocket is ferrying nearly 6 tons of food, water, clothing and experimental equipment. The rocket successfully lifted off from a remote island today on a mission designed to help fill a hole left by the retirement of NASA's space shuttle program.


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