Friday, December 02, 2011

Today's News Fri. December 2, 2011


Update On FEMA Recovery Centers

Although the FEMA recovery centers in Pennsylvania have closed their doors, assistance is still available to those who need it. Public Relations Officer Don North said that some residents are concerned that they cannot get help from FEMA now that the offices have closed, but that is not correct. Anyone who needs assistance from FEMA can still call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register for aid through the December 14 deadline. All information that was available at the recovery centers is still available by calling the 800 number.

PPL Electric Utilities Plans Upgrades to Phone System

In response to the problems that arose during major power outages this year, PPL has put forth a plan to make significant improvements to its communication system. Plans submitted to the state Public Utility Commission include increasing the number of phone lines by twenty percent, adding new customer service representatives, improving the outage reporting system, and refining the process for estimating restoration times during outages. David G. DeCampli, President of PPL Electric Utilities, said "It was clear from the impact of Hurricane Irene and the late October snowstorm that we had to improve our performance to better serve our customers."

IRS Seeks to Return $153 Million to Taxpayers

Uncle Sam would like to return over $150 million to taxpayers who did not receive their refunds because of incorrect mailing addresses. The Internal Revenue Service has a list of over 99,000 people whose refunds were returned to them last year. That includes 3,087 in Pennsylvania, and 22 in Schuylkill County. The average refund due to Pennsylvania residents is almost $2,000. The IRS has set up a website where taxpayers can find out if they are on the list. Just go to and click on "Where's My Refund?", or call 1-800-829-1954. The IRS suggests the use of direct deposit as a preferred alternative to a paper check. This eliminates the possibility of a refund being returned because of an incorrect address.

Local Hunters End Up On Wrong End Of Gun

Four local hunters were tracking a wounded deer through the woods in South Manheim Township on Wednesday afternoon when they found themselves at the business end of a handgun wielded by a local property owner. It was about 5:45 p.m., and the hunters were following a blood trail using flashlights when they apparently walked onto private property owned by 65 year old Jean Mintz. Mintz left her residence and fired a shot from a handgun to chase the apparent trespassers. Schuylkill Haven State Police were called, and arrested Mintz on charges of recklessly endangering another person. As it turned out, two of the people who were tracking the deer were Ms. Mintz'
s nieces.

Ryan Township Man Charged With DUI In September Death of Mahanoy Area Teacher

Edward O'Boyle, of Mahanoy City, has been charged with homicide by vehicle while D.U.I., involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle, D.U.I., crossing lanes of traffic, and failure to wear a seatbelt as a result of the September crash that took the life Mahanoy Area teacher Jeffery Donnelly. O'Boyle's vehicle crossed the centerline and struck a motorcycle that was being operated by Donnelly, causing Donnelly's death. At the time of the crash, O'Boyle appeared to be intoxicated, and was taken to a hospital for a blood alcohol test. Test results revealed that O'Boyle was over the legal limit, and he was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth Romig of Frackville. He posted ten percent of $25,000 bail, and awaits a preliminary hearing on the charges brought against him.

Identity of Man Who Broke Into Campers Revealed

The man who was arrested in November for breaking into campers at the Red Ridge Lake Campground has been identified as Jesse Ray Collmorgen, Jr. of Hempstead, Texas. A second suspect has also been arrested in connection with the break-ins. Shenandoah Police arrested James Robert Michael McCabe, Jr., of Ringtown, and charged him with multiple counts of burglary, criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, theft, and receiving stolen property. Both men were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth Romig, of Frackville, and have been committed to Schuylkill County Prison in lieu of bail.


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