Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Today's News Tues. December 20, 2011

Local News For Tue. December 20, 2011

Mahanoy Township Police Arrest Man For Burglaries

Mahanoy Township Police have been investigating a string of burglaries in the area, and a call from a resident on Roosevelt Drive has led to the arrest of 23 year old Dennis Bachman. When Michael Stetts noticed a vehicle parked near his home, he got a description and the license number, and called police. They traced the vehicle to Bachman and went to his home, where it was discovered that he was in possession of stolen property that belonged to Stetts. Bachman admitted to police that he had committed other robberies at the same location on November 25 and December 14. Bachman was charged with two felony counts each of burglary and criminal mischief, as well as receiving stolen property, theft, and loitering and prowling at night. He was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Carol Pankake, and committed to Schuylkill County Prison in lieu of $5000.00 straight cash bail.

Pottsville Area Superintendent Announces Retirement

Pottsville Area School District Superintendent Dr. James Gallagher has announced that he plans to retire by spring. Dr. Gallagher announced his plans during an executive session of the school board on December 5, and will make it official during the next work session of the board on January 11, 2012. His work history with the district is extensive, having begun his career as a teacher at the high school in 1973. He became Vice-Principal of D.H.H. Lengel Middle School in 1981, principal of the High School in 1987, and superintendent of schools in 1993. Dr. Gallagher's retirement date is April 5, and the school board has appointed a committee to seek a replacement.

Festival of Lights Begins At Sundown Today

Members of the Jewish faith are preparing for the start of the eight day celebration of Hanukkah at sundown today. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian army in 165 BC, as well as the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. It is not a high religious holiday, but a time of festivity, with games, gift-giving, and family meals of foods cooked in oil. Each day brings the lighting of another candle on the menorah, which must be done according to a strict tradition that involves a total of 44 candles.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A bill to redraw Pennsylvania's Congressional districts while helping ensure the majority are held by Republicans is headed toward a final vote in the state House. Republicans defeated various Democratic amendments to the bill yesterday. A final vote is scheduled for today.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A bill that would refinance Pennsylvania's unemployment compensation debt to the federal
government is back in the state Senate's hands after passing the House in amended form. The House voted 193-to-1 yesterday to authorize bonds to pay off the federal loans.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania bill to authorize $1.7 billion in new state borrowing is nearly law after the divided state House voted to approve the measure that passed the Senate about six months ago. The House voted 119 to 75 yesterday to approve the bill the Corbett administration says is needed to keep construction projects going around the state.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A mentally disabled man says he didn't see his government benefit checks for 10 years after he began living with a woman now charged in a widespread fraud and abuse scheme. Edwin Sanabria also testified he was once kept in a closet that was nailed shut by Linda Weston. Sanabria testified yesterday at Weston's preliminary hearing.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senators already have left Washington for the holidays, but House Republicans want them back. The GOP says it wants to negotiate the payroll tax cut after the Senate passed a two-month extension last week. House Republicans want a one-year extension, but the Senate's top Democrat has said he'll refuse to
negotiate until the House passes the short-term version.

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - There are no signs of unrest or discord in Pyongyang as North Koreans mourn the death of leader Kim Jong Il. But the possibility of a power struggle has heightened tensions in the region. Meanwhile, state media are giving indications that Kim's youngest known son Kim Jong Un will succeed his father. They've been referring to him as "a great person born of heaven", a term previously used only for his father and grandfather.

ISLAMABAD (AP) - A Pakistani official says the CIA hasn't fired missiles at militants in the country since last month's deadly NATO airstrikes along the Afghan border. Tensions between Pakistan and the United States are at their lowest point in years following the airstrikes that killed 24 soldiers. The Pakistani army then closed its border with Afghanistan to trucks carrying U.S. and NATO war supplies.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Dangerous winter weather in the Great Plains is being blamed for at least six deaths. Two people were killed in the crash of a prison van in eastern Colorado and four people were killed in a head-on crash in New Mexico. The National Weather Service said about 10 inches of snow had fallen before dawn in western Kansas.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A man who planted a bomb along a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route in Spokane, Wash. in January will appear in court for sentencing today. Kevin Harpham could get up to 32 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges. Officials say the pipe bomb was loaded with lead fishing weights coated in rat poison, which can make it harder for bloodied wounds to clot.


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