Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today's News Wed. December 21, 2011

Local News Wed. December 21, 2011

PennDOT Working On Area Roadways

PennDOT is performing scheduled maintenance on many roads in and around Schuylkill County, including pothole patching, crack sealing, and shoulder repairs. The roads affected by this work include Route 443 between Orwigsburg and Schuylkill Haven and between South Tamaqua and Lehighton; Route 895 between Auburn and Deer Lake; Route 924 in Shenandoah; Route 125 between Tremont and Ravine; and Route 209 between Tremont and Tower City. The work is planned between 7:00a.m. and 3:00 p.m. through Friday December 23. Drivers should be alert for lane restrictions and traffic delays in these areas.

New Regulations For Teen Drivers Take Effect Christmas Eve

Teenage drivers in Pennsylvania will have to deal with new laws that take effect on Christmas Eve. These new laws require 65 hours of supervised behind the wheel driver training for permit holders younger than eighteen. That is 15 more hours than were needed before. Ten of those hours must be night time driving, and 5 hours must be during inclement weather. Drivers under the age of 18 will not be allowed to transport more than one passenger who is also under 18 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Junior drivers and passengers are required to wear seatbelts. Failure to do so will be a primary offense, which means officers may stop junior drivers and cite them just for failure to wear seatbelts. For more information, go to, and click on the "New Teen Driver Law 2011" button.

Multiple Collisions On Route 61 On Tuesday

Emergency responders and State Police were kept busy on Tuesday afternoon as there were two multi-car accidents on Route 61 in just over an hour. The first incident happened in North Manheim Township near Tobash Road as a car driven by Taylor Housel, of Schuylkill Haven was traveling southbound when it crossed the concrete divider and struck two vehicles that were traveling northbound. Housel and one other driver received minor injuries in the crash. Just over an hour later in Port Clinton something similar happened. Brandon Bashore of Schuylkill Haven was traveling southbound when the car he was driving crossed over the concrete divider and collided with two cars that were heading north. Bashore was taken to Reading Hospital, and Monique Brennan of Pottsville, who was struck head-on, was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital with moderate injuries.

Propane Leak At Alpha Mills In Port Carbon

An employee at Alpha Mills in Port Carbon averted a potential disaster when he discovered a leaking propane tank and took action. Maintenance Supervisor Glenn Sattizahn, who is also an Assistant Fire Chief in Schuylkill Haven, entered the building and realized there was a leak from a faulty valve on the propane tank on a forklift. Sattizahn took immediate action by turning off the heating plant in the building, opening all the doors, and calling 911. Port Carbon Fire Department responded and ventilated the building. Chief Mike Leibensberger credited Sattizahn with taking the appropriate actions to prevent an explosion.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A veteran Philadelphia sportswriter has been accused in a newspaper report of molesting children decades ago. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports three women and a man claim Bill Conlin groped and fondled them in the 1970s, when they were ages 7 to 12. Conlin is a Hall of Fame baseball writer and Philadelphia Daily News columnist. He retired yesterday from the paper.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia judge has ordered three suspects to stand trial in a case involving four mentally disabled adults who were found locked in a filthy basement. The judge dismissed charges against a fourth defendant, citing testimony that Eddie Wright was sometimes held captive as well.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Competing proposals to strengthen regulations over natural gas drilling and impose an impact fee on the industry appear headed to a joint committee of the House and Senate to iron out the differences. The House voted unanimously yesterday against the Senate's plan, which puts the bill on track for a conference committee.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Officials in Philadelphia say an ambitious plan to transform low-performing schools will improve education and help the city compete for millions of dollars in funding. The Great Schools Compact is an effort to identify and replicate best practices at the city's highest-performing schools, regardless of whether they are charter or district-operated.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - The European Central Bank is trying to reassure markets that banks will have long-term financing amid tensions triggered by the eurozone debt crisis. The ECB is making unprecedented three-year loans to the continent's banks in an effort to bolster Europe's stressed financial system. Results are to be announced today.

WASHINGTON (AP) - There's holiday acrimony across the Washington political landscape. President Barack Obama and his Republican rivals are slugging it out over efforts to prevent payroll taxes from increasing on 160 million workers on Jan. 1. House Republicans are demanding that the Senate join negotiations to produce an agreement within days. Senate Democrats say the House needs to pass a stopgap measure first.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration is about to reveal how it will tackle the problem of overtired airline pilots. Rules aimed at preventing airline pilots from flying while dangerously fatigued are to be released today. The effort stems from a deadly 2009 crash near Buffalo, N.Y.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The railroad is up and running in Afghanistan. Officials say Afghanistan's first major railroad service in the country's north should ease the U.S. military's supply flow and is key to future trade as it links Afghanistan to neighbors' railways. The train completed a 47-mile test run.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Anger in South Korea is directed against top intelligence, security and foreign affairs officials for failing to know about North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's death before an official announcement. Seoul's main opposition party is calling for the dismissal of the officials.


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