Today's News-Saturday, December 31st, 2011
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Frackville Borough Has A Budget
Frackville Borough Council formally adopted its 2012 operating budget with no tax increase at Thursday's special meeting. As reported by the Republican Herald, the budget was tentatively adopted on Dec. 14, at which time estimated expenditures exceeded anticipated revenues, but in the past two weeks, borough council worked on closing the gap, resulting in a surplus. Before the budget was brought to a vote, Councilwoman Karen Domalakes requested an adjustment on a line item for fire protection by increasing the borough's contribution on the payment of the Good Will Hose Company's new fire truck from $2,500 to $5,000. The requested amendment was approved. The budget was formally adopted on a 4-1 vote, with President Ron Jordan, Vice President Bradley Gotshall, John Morgan and Domalakes voting in favor. The dissenting vote was made by Patrick O'Boyle. The budget also includes a contribution of $10,000 to the Frackville Free Public Library in 2012, up from $5,000 in 2011.
Tools Stolen In West Mahanoy Township
West Mahanoy Township police are investigating a burglary that occurred between 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at 213 S. Wylam St. in the Altamont section of the township. Police said James Sonnon Jr., Pottsville, employed by House Doctors Contractors, reported someone entered the home and stole tools valued at $1,845 before fleeing the area undetected. Police said the home owner, Phillip Klemow, was not there at the time. Anyone with information is asked to call police through the Schuylkill County Communications Center at 570-462-1991.
Hit and Run on Schuylkill Mountain Road
State police at Schuylkill Haven are investigating a hit-and-run crash that occurred at 1340 Schuylkill Mountain Road in South Manheim Township between 2:15 and 2:30 a.m. Friday. Police said an unidentified vehicle was traveled west when the driver failed to negotiate a right curve, crossed the eastbound lane and went off the road traveling through the front yard of the home owned by William Betz. Police said the vehicle then struck and damaged about 35 feet of split rail fence before the driver fled the scene, adding that the unidentified vehicle may be a Jeep Wrangler. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 570-593-2000.
Crash on Route 443
Two people were injured in a two-vehicle crash at 8:25 a.m. Friday on Route 443 near Shady Lane Road in North Manheim Township. State police at Schuylkill Haven said the crash occurred as a 1993 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 driven by Joshua A. Sophy, 18, of Orwigsburg, was traveling west on Route 443, while a 1990 Ford Bronco driven by Michael G. Kurchock, 53, of Port Carbon, was traveling east on Route 443. As Kurchock was slowing, beginning to make a right turn, Sophy crossed into the eastbound lane and struck Kurchock head-on. Kurchock was pushed backwards and came to final rest off the side of the eastbound lane, while Sophy continued to travel forward and struck a tree on the side of the eastbound lane, where it came to final rest. Both were transported to West Reading Hospital by Pottsville/Schuylkill Haven EMS for injuries of unknown severity. Sophy was charged with misusing lanes of traffic.
Forged Check Nets Charges
State police at Schuylkill Haven are investigating a theft and forgery that occurred between 9 and 9:15 a.m. Thursday at Union Bank and Trust Company, 25 S. Centre St., Pottsville. Police said James McGuire, unknown age and location, used a check belonging to Robert Dean Steffie, 59, of Auburn, in order to defraud him of $200. Anyone with information regarding the investigation is asked to contact state police at Schuylkill Haven at 570-593-2000.STATE NEWS
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A pair of Allentown homes structurally damaged by a massive sinkhole may have to be demolished. Allentown fire Chief Robert Scheirer (SHY'-uhr-er) says the 19th-century rowhouses have shifted badly. He says the conditions of several other homes are being assessed. City officials are unclear on what caused the sinkhole to open Thursday.
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia paralegal hired to administer family estates is charged with stealing $143,000 from clients. Bucks County police say Patricia Ann Fisher also paid herself about $34,000 in fees. The theft charges against the Chester County paralegal come as she faces her third DUI case since
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Republican hopeful Rick Santorum is stepping up his grassroots efforts in Iowa, turning his attention to delivering backers to next week's caucuses. The former Pennsylvania senator says his campaign is working hard on turnout efforts. Santorum has sent out a fundraising appeal on the heels of his improvement in polls.
DALLAS (AP) - Joe Paterno's son says his father is improving while undergoing treatment for lung cancer that was diagnosed last month, several days after he was fired as Penn State's head coach. Nittany Lions quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno calls JoePa "a fighter" taking on cancer as another challenge. Penn State is in Dallas preparing for the TicketCity Bowl on Monday against Houston.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have been leading polls of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa. But the two leading presidential candidates are leaving the stage their rivals today. Romney is scheduled to campaign in New Hampshire, while Paul is taking time off in his home state of Texas. Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry all remain in Iowa, where they are working to win over the many still-undecided voters.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Authorities in Southern California have not ruled out a connection between a car fire last night and a series of arson blazes earlier Friday in Hollywood. Fires were reported in nearly two dozen locations in the area during a four-hour period before dawn. Los Angeles Fire Capt. Jaime Moore says arson investigators consider the latest blaze in an underground garage in Hollywood "to be an incendiary fire similar" to the morning fires.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Police in Waterville, Maine, say they are now treating the case of a missing 20-month-old girl as a criminal investigation. Ayla Reynolds was last seen two weeks ago when her father put her to bed. Justin DiPietro reported her missing when she was nowhere to be found the following morning.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Ethiopian troops have opened a third front against al-Shabab militants in Somalia. A resident and a military officer says the Ethiopian troops entered a Somali border town today, prompting residents to flee. Kenyan troops are also fighting al-Shabab in Somalia's south, while African Union troops in Mogadishu have mostly pushed al-Shabab fighters out of the capital.
APIA, Samoa (AP) - The New Year's Eve parties have started a whole day early on Samoa. The South Pacific island nation realigned itself from the Americas side of the international date line to the Aisa side to be more in tune with its key trading partners. That made Samoa the first country to ring in 2012.