Saturday, January 29, 2011



County Controller Melinda Kantner is leaving the Democratic Party. As reported by the Republican and Herald, during a fundraising event Friday night at Blu Tavern Restaurant, Kantner announced she'd be seeking re-election as an Independent. She has served as county controller since January 2008 as a Democrat. In the past year, Kantner has been involved in a series of battles with the county's external auditor, Sam Deegan, and the county commissioners concerning the duties of her office, with one skirmish settled in court and another courtroom showdown looming. Chairman of the Schuylkill County Democratic Committee, Ed Kleha suspended her indefinitely on Nov. 15 as a member of the Schuylkill County Executive Committee of the Democratic Party for a variety of reasons. Kantner's official re-election announcement brings the count of candidates vying for the controller's office to three. Republican Eric Hollen of Branch Township, announced his candidacy Thursday while Democrat Bradley Petchulis of Mar Lin, did so Jan 21. With her change in political party, Kantner will not be participating in the Primary Election. To run in the General Election Nov. 8, Kantner said the Schuylkill County Election Bureau will require her to collect a certain number of signatures between March 9 and Aug. 1. She did not know the number needed.


State police at Schuylkill Haven are investigating the theft of three copper and aluminum radiators taken sometime Wednesday from the roof of the Cressona Mall in North Manheim Township. Troopers said someone climbed to the roof and removed the radiators from a heating element mounted on the roof. Anyone with information is asked to call troopers at 593-2000.


Borough police were called to the home of Angela Tucker, 118 N. Chestnut St., at 11:40 p.m. Thursday regarding racist writings made in the snow. Tucker said someone wrote a racial slur and drew a swastika in front of her porch. Tucker provided the police with the name of a possible suspect and police photographed the writings. The investigation is continuing.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Pennsylvania woman charged last year in a global terror plot is scheduled for a change of plea hearing next week. Forty-seven-year-old Colleen LaRose of Pennsburg has pleaded not guilty to charges of helping foreign terror suspects intent on starting a holy war in Europe and South Asia. Federal prosecutors say LaRose used the online screen names "Jihad Jane" and "Fatima LaRose." Court records show LaRose is scheduled for a change of plea hearing in federal court in Philadelphia at 2 p.m. Tuesday. A message left for LaRose's attorney was not immediately returned Friday. Another woman, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, of Leadville, Colo., has also pleaded not guilty in the case.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia police say an off-duty New Jersey corrections officer fatally shot a man outside a bar in the city's Juniata Park section. It was not immediately clear what sparked the shooting, which occurred at about 2:40 a.m. Friday. The corrections officer was being questioned by police, but no charges have been filed. His name was not disclosed. The victim, identified only as a 28-year-old man, was shot once in the chest and once in the abdomen. He was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he died a short time later.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - A Lancaster, Pa., woman faces charges of illegally obtaining more than $100,000 while working as a caregiver for an elderly Hagerstown woman. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says authorities were holding 51-year-old Jackie Sue Carter in Lancaster pending an extradition hearing. She was arrested Tuesday while working at a Lancaster nursing home. Investigators say Carter stole more than $33,000 from Betty Eshelman's bank account. They say she obtained another $70,000 from the 86-year-old woman's accounts through deception, intimidation or undue influence. Police allege that Carter stole the money after Eshelman's husband died in January 2009.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is promising there'll be no environmental harm if his administration issues new permits for natural gas drilling in western Maryland. O'Malley said Friday in Annapolis that he would not apologize for protecting the natural environment to a greater degree than other states. Two firms are seeking permits to recover natural gas in Garrett County through a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The technique has been blamed for water contamination and reduced property values in parts of Pennsylvania. O'Malley says his administration won't approve any fracking permits until he is assured it is environmentally sound.

DALLAS (AP) - Fans from Green Bay and Pittsburgh won't get much of a break from the cold during Super Bowl week in Texas. The National Weather Service said Friday freezing temperatures will descend on the Dallas-Fort Worth area early in the week, and highs might not get out of the 40s until after the Feb. 6 game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
Meteorologist Dan Huckaby said freezing rain is possible Tuesday, and colder than normal temperatures are expected throughout the week. The overnight low Wednesday could be around 20. Most Super Bowl activity is later in the week, when Huckaby said there will be a gradual warming. Temperatures are forecast in the 70s this weekend with a chance of rain.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An attorney says Penn National Gaming Inc. has submitted the winning bid for Rosecroft Raceway. Michael Lichtenstein, a Potomac lawyer whose office handled the auction, said Friday the bid is for $10.2 million. He said the company would submit another $3 million, if it gets a bond from the state. Penn National edged out Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos in the auction for the Prince George's County track. Lichtenstein said a third party also bid, but he declined to mention who it was. Rosecroft filed for bankruptcy in June 2009.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The nation's largest cable TV company, Comcast, says it will complete its takeover of NBC Universal at just before midnight Eastern time. The deal will give Comcast Corp. 51 percent of the fourth-ranked broadcaster NBC, a bevy of cable channels and the Universal Pictures movie studio. It caps a yearlong regulatory review that resulted in conditions meant to keep it from stifling the growth of online video services such as Netflix and Hulu. Comcast will pay General Electric Co. about $6.5 billion in cash nd contribute $7.25 billion worth of cable channels such as E! Entertainment and The Golf Channel to NBC Universal. GE's stake will drop to 49 percent from 80 percent, but it plans to exit within seven years and leave Comcast the sole owner.


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