Saturday, January 28, 2012

Today's News Saturday January 28th, 2012

The former Cardinal Brennan Junior/Senior High School property will now be taxed under an agreement reached this week in Schuylkill County Court. As reported in the Republican Herald, under the agreement, the 95.5-acre property at 130 Academy Lane, Fountain Springs, has a fair market value of $825,000 - $650,000 for the buildings and $175,000 for the land. Judge Jacqueline L. Russell signed an order approving the stipulation and canceling the trial in the case, which had been scheduled for Feb. 21. The diocese conceded that the property can be taxed, since the school is closed and no religious activity is conducted there. As a result, the diocese will pay real estate taxes on the property to the county, township and district for the first time. Lawyers for the diocese, district, county and township signed the agreement Thursday to settle the real estate tax assessment appeal the diocese had filed Oct. 20, 2011. In the settlement, the parties accepted the appraisal of Raymond C. Geiger Jr., a certified appraiser with Raymond C. Geiger Real Estate, Allentown, in setting the property's fair market value.

McAdoo police are searching for the man who robbed the Fegley Mini-Mart at gunpoint Thursday night. According to police, the man entered the convenience store about 9:13 p.m. and pointed a black handgun at the clerk and demanded money. No one was hurt, police said. The robber made off with an undetermined amount of money, cigarettes, a pack of Mentos gum and a cigarette lighter, police said. He fled on foot, police said. Police said the man was wearing blue jeans, boots, a black hoodie, and a full red ski mask. The clerk believed the man had facial hair, possibly a goatee, and had a very soft voice. Police are checking surveillance videos and following up on leads. The Kline and Rush township police departments assisted. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 570-929-2590.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama and Republicans used
their weekly radio and internet messages to express differing views
about lack of action in Washington. Obama is calling for government
reforms to ease gridlock. For the Republicans, Florida Sen. Marco
Rubio says the lack of progress mostly reveals Obama's lack of
achievement and failed leadership.

UNDATED (AP) - The two leading candidates in Florida's
Republican primary are maintaining a sharp emphasis on wooing
voters ahead of Tuesday's ballot. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich
have multiple events today and through the weekend.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is
acknowledging publicly for the first time that a Pakistani doctor
charged with treason in Pakistan provided key information to the
U.S. for the Osama bin Laden raid. Panetta told CBS's "60
Minutes," in a profile to be broadcast on Sunday, that he's "very
concerned" for the doctor.

CAIRO (AP) - Syria's ambassador to Egypt is accusing Cairo of
failing to protect the Syrian embassy after it was stormed
yesterday. He's also accusing oil-rich Gulf Arab nations of backing
opponents of President Bashar Assad. Numerous Syrian activists have
taken refuge in Egypt.

LONDON (AP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in Britain for
talks with Prime Minister David Cameron, a day after France
announced it would withdraw its troops a year earlier than the 2014
date agreed by NATO. Britain's Foreign Office says the meeting "is
about long-term partnership and commitment beyond 2014."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Today's News Friday January 27, 2012

Local News Friday January 27, 2012

Penn State Schuylkill May Get Health Center

The CEO of Rural Health Association of Luzerne County spoke to a group of about twenty five people during a public meeting at Penn State Schuylkill Campus on Thursday. Ed Michael was there to discuss the creation of a Federally Qualified Health Center for Schuylkill County. He talked about the Black Creek Health Center that serves Wyoming and Luzerne counties, and what a clinic in Schuylkill County could provide for residents. These clinics primarily provide medical and dental services for people who do not have health insurance, but are available to people of all income levels. The effort to establish the clinic is spearheaded by Schuylkill County's VISION, and the public meetings are being held to allow people to learn and ask questions.

Spring Glen Man Will Go To Trial After Slashing Incident

Twenty five year old Joshua Thurman, of Spring Glen, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges that he attacked Natalie Barr. Thurman appeared before Magisterial District Judge Carol Pankake of Tremont on Thursday, and was sent back to Schuylkill County prison where he has been held since he was arrested on January 18 to await trial. He is being held on $250,000 straight cash bail. Thurman is accused of slashing Barr's throat with a box cutter knife, then knocking her down and beating her during an argument on the porch of the apartment building where they lived.

Mahanoy City Receives Grant For Downtown Improvement

A grant will help Mahanoy City make improvements to the downtown area. Reporter Sibrena Stowe has more:


Bill To Shrink Size Of State Legislature Passes Committee

Speaker of the Pennsylvania House Sam Smith has introduced legislation that would reduce the size of the House of Representatives. WPPA/T102 reporter Joe Oliver filed this story:


Small games Of Chance Bill heads To Governor's Desk

Legislation to amend the current Small Games of Chance law, allowing for non-profit associations to raise revenues to support their community and maintain their organizations, was approved in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and has been sent to the governor to be signed into law, said rep. Mike Tobash (R-125), who voted in favor of the bill. House Bill 169 will update the Local Options Small Games of Chance Act and allow for increased limits for prize payouts. The update to the Small Games of Chance was needed, as the limits have not been changed since 1988. Rep. Tobash was quoted as saying "This legislation will go a long way when it comes to helping nonprofit organizations, such as volunteer fire and ambulance groups, and other civic associations raise the money that they need to keep doing the great work they do in our communities." Small games of chance are used by charitable organizations to raise funds to pay for equipment, training, or to assist those in the local community.

State and National News Friday January 27, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Former Penn State football stars and others paid tribute to Joe Paterno in a huge campus memorial service that exposed a strong undercurrent of anger over his
firing. Paterno's son Jay received a standing ovation when he declared: "Joe Paterno left this world with a clear conscience."

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Ukrainian hockey coach charged with fondling a teen player in Philadelphia is due in court today. Federal authorities will seek to detain 48-year-old Ivan Pravilov. They say he threatened a teenage witness and has no local ties. An indictment charges Pravilov with taking a 14-year-old Ukrainian boy from Delaware to the coach's Philadelphia apartment this month and fondling him. His public defender isn't commenting on the charges.

READING, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania say a 65-year-old man was justified in shooting two teenagers - one fatally - who tried to rob him as he rode his bike along a popular river trail. Berks County District Attorney John Adams says the bicyclist acted in self-defense after three teens knocked him off his bicycle in Cumru Township on Wednesday. Police say two of the teens were assaulting the man when he pulled out a gun and shot them.

CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) - The longtime president of Dickinson College says he is going to retire. William Durden announced yesterday that the next academic year will be his last at the central Pennsylvania college. He'll step down on June 30, 2013. The 62-year-old Durden has been president of Dickinson since 1999.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Last year was a weak one for the economy, but it likely ended on a hopeful note. A survey by FactSet says the economy likely grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the
October-December quarter. The gain would represent modest improvement from this summer, when the economy grew just 1.8 percent.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The two Republican presidential candidates who've each won one primary apiece are sparring over Florida. At the last GOP debate before next Tuesday's Florida contest, frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich repeatedly clashed over issues such as immigration and spending. Rick Santorum got an applause when he told them to stop attacking one another.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - President Barack Obama is wrapping up a three-day tour to boost proposals he made during this week's State of the Union address. He'll visit the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor today and is expected to talk about college affordability. The head of the Republican party in Michigan says the visit is "a taxpayer funded campaign stop."

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making it clear she wants to step aside if President Barack Obama is re-elected. Clinton says she would stay on just long enough for a replacement to be named. Clinton told State Department staffers Thursday that two decades of service is enough, and that she's tired and is paying no attention to the GOP presidential debates.

KINGSTON, Ontario (AP) - A jury in Ontario, Canada soon will start deliberating the fate of a couple and their adult son, accused of drowning four family members. Prosecutors say the three
teenage daughters of Afghan-born Mohammad Shafia were killed because they dishonored the family by defying rules on dress and socializing. The fourth victim was Shafia's first wife, who was
living with him and his second wife.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today's News Thursday January 26, 2012

Local News Thursday January 26, 2012

Schuylkill County Commissioners Met On Wednesday

The Schuylkill County Commissioners met on Wednesday. Reporter Bob Bechtel was there, and he filed this story:


Hazleton Man Sent To State Prison After Trial No-Show

A Hazleton man who missed his trial on DUI charges in December was arrested by Hazleton Police, and has been sent to State Prison. Hector Berberena-Soto was scheduled for trial in Schuylkill County court on December 7, but failed to appear. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was apprehended on December 17. The charges stemmed from a car accident in September when Berbereno-Soto was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.23 percent, or three times the legal limit. In reviewing Berbereno-Soto's past criminal record, Judge Charles M. Miller called the defendant a danger to society, and committed him to eighteen months to five years in State Prison.

Pottsville Family Sickened By Carbon Monoxide

Pottsville resident Mallory Harig, who lives at 1102 Fairmont Avenue with her two children, smelled sulfur fumes in her home and began feeling ill, and she called for help. Pottsville firefighters arrived on scene to discover that the Harig residence, as well as the adjoining home of Craig Lambert, had extremely high levels of carbon monoxide gas. The Harigs were taken to Schuylkill Medical Center South Jackson for treatment, and firefighters ventilated the homes. On investigation, it was found that the stove pipe from the coal stove in Lambert's home came loose, and caused the problem. The carbon monoxide detector in the Harig residence was not functioning at the time. Pottsville Fire Chief Todd March said that all residents should install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors to protect themselves from this colorless, odorless gas.

Public Hearing In Schuylkill Haven Debates Need For Cell Tower

A public hearing was held in the Schuylkill Haven Council Chambers on Wednesday evening to discuss the need for a cellular tower that Verizon Communications has proposed in the borough. Richard Comi, of the Center for Municipal Solutions in Glenmont, New York testified for those who oppose the 195 foot tower's placement:


All parties have fifteen days to submit comments or relevant information to council, and a final decision could come sometime in March.

Argall Legislation Addressing Corrections Officers Pay Passes Senate

Legislation addressing pay differences between corrections managers and lower-ranking officers passed the Senate Tuesday by a final vote of 45-5. Senate Bill 1019, with David Argall as its primary sponsor, now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. Senator Argall said in a statement that "with two state correctional institutions in Schuylkill County, this problem is impacting morale and the DOC's ability to promote from within." He also had this comment about the bill:


State and National News Thursday January 27, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Thousands of students, alumni and fans took to the streets in and around Penn State to say goodbye to Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno. They lined the route of the funeral procession and watched in silence as the hearse carrying his casket drove by. Paterno died on Sunday at the age of 85, about three months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An American aid worker rescued by Navy SEALs in Somalia is being recalled as a role model for her college classmates. Thirty-two-year-old Jessica Buchanan was rescued early yesterday with a man from Denmark. They were working with a de-mining unit when gunmen kidnapped them in October. Buchanan graduated from Valley Forge Christian College in 2007.

SINKING SPRING, Pa. (AP) - Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania are investigating a shooting on a trail along the Schuylkill River that left one teenager dead and another wounded. According to
WFMZ-TV, officials in Berks County say the gunfire erupted yesterday during a confrontation between three 15- and 16-year-olds and a man who was riding his bicycle along a trail in Cumru Township.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the former owners of a Superfund site near Philadelphia have agreed to pay $2.1 million in past cleanup costs. The EPA says in a statement that Occidental Chemical Corporation, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations and Glenn Springs Holdings, Incorporated have also assumed responsibility for all future cleanup costs at the site, about 40 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

PARIS (AP) - French authorities have arrested the former top executive of a company at the center of a breast implant scandal. Implants affecting tens of thousands of women worldwide were pulled from the market in several countries amid fears they could rupture and leak silicone into the body.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. government still owns stakes in 458 companies helped in the financial bailout. The acting special inspector general for the bailout also says some of the nearly $133 billion that companies owe U.S. taxpayers will never be recovered.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The chairman of the National Labor Relations Board says he plans to push for new rules that would give unions a boost in organizing members. Republican lawmakers have been at odds with the board, saying it makes too many union-friendly decisions.

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi officials say insurgents have targeted a house belonging to two policemen brothers and their families, killing 10 people inside. The attack happened early Thursday
morning about 31 miles south of Baghdad. Officials say the two officers and eight others were killed after the insurgents planted bombs around the home.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A suicide bomber in southern
Afghanistan has killed at least three people and wounded more than
30 others. An official says the bomber slammed into the gates of a
building housing aid workers Thursday in Helmand province.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today's News Wednesday January 25, 2012

Local News Wednesday January 25, 2012

House Fire In Mahanoy City Leaves Nine Homeless

Mahanoy City firefighters were called to a report of a structure fire at 411 West Market Street at 5:13 p.m. yesterday. When they arrived they found a second floor bedroom on fire and heavy smoke in the structure. Fire Chief Randy Kalce reported that firefighters entered the building and knocked the fire down quickly, but the residence was left with damage from fire, smoke, and water. The property is owned by a man from Wilkes-Barre, and was rented to Joseph Vezo, Jennifer Taylor, and their six children who range in age from nine years to newborn. The family is being assisted by the American Red Cross, and has apparently moved in with relatives until repairs can be made. Chief Kalce credits the presence of a working smoke detector with limiting damage to the home.

Blue Mountain School Board Votes For Tax Increase In Preliminary Budget

During their most recent meeting, the Blue Mountain School Board voted 5-3 to approve the preliminary budget for 2012-2013. That budget includes expenses of just over $38 million and income of less than $37 million. That shortfall would make it necessary to increase the district's tax rate from the current 34.9 mills to over 36.8 mills. That is the maximum increase allowed by state law. The board will also apply to the state for exceptions for special education and retirement expenses. If granted, those exceptions would allow for further increases in the tax rate. Even with the proposed increases, the board still faces a shortfall of over one million dollars, which may be reduced by state and federal funding.

Pine Grove Borough Issues Water Boil Alert

Pine Grove borough officials have issued a water boil advisory for residents who live on South Tulpehocken Street between Maple and Wood Streets, and those living on Peach Street between Maple and Wood Streets. Borough workers will be making repairs to a fire hydrant in that area today, and will shut down the water main, causing a drop in pressure in the water system that may allow contaminants to enter the system. Residents should bring water to a boil for at least one minute, then allow it to cool, before using it. Residents will be notified when it is no longer necessary to boil tap water. For more information, call the Pine Grove Borough at 570-345-3555.

Men Needed For Charity Walk

The Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center, or SARCC, is looking for a few good men who are willing to participate in the next Walk a Mile In Her Shoes fundraiser. President and COO Jenny Murphy-Shifflet said the men will put on high heels for the charity walk, which will take place on February 16th at the YMCA on North Centre Street in Pottsville. The walk will be recorded and played on YouTube. Men who look good in heels are asked to call the SARCC offices in Pottsville at 570-628-2965 or in Lebanon at 717-270-6972 for more information, or go to

PennDOT Has A Website To Help Winter Travelers

When preparing for travel this winter, motorists can check road conditions on more than 2,900 miles of state roads by calling 511 or visiting The website is free, and it's available 24 hours a day. It has traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, average traffic speeds on urban interstates and expressways, and access to more than five hundred traffic cameras. The 511 site also provides easy-to-use, color coded winter road conditions for all interstates and other routes covered in the 511 reporting network. Twitter users can also follow local PennDOT information at

State and National News Wednesday January 25, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Another day of public mourning for the late Joe Paterno culminates today with a private funeral and burial service. Alumni, residents and students are expected to attend a four-hour visitation this morning before the afternoon funeral. A campus memorial service is set for tomorrow.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Jurors in the government corruption trial of state Representative Bill DeWeese are expected to hear more testimony from a former aide who handled DeWeese's campaign finances. Witness Kevin Sidella has been granted immunity. He acknowledged he devoted most of his legislative work time to campaign matters for the 2006 election.

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - Jurors in Washington County have convicted two men in the 2003 murder of an informant who was responsible for the arrest of one of the men on drug charges. John
Bronson Jr. and Michael Duncan were found guilty in the execution-style shooting death of John Newman.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a woman who was gunned down by a masked man at the north Philadelphia convenience store where she worked. Police say Rosemary Fernandez-Rivera was shot four times Monday evening in the Caribe Mini Market. Investigators believe the gunman intended to kill her.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal Reserve policymakers will be giving their forecast for short-term interest rates later today. They'll look at where they expect rates to be at the end of each of the next three years. Many private economists expect that the Fed unlikely will increase the borrowing rate before 2014.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fresh from his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama sets off today on a three-day tour of politically crucial states. He'll visit a conveyor belt maker in Iowa and an Intel plant in Arizona, promoting his agenda to attract more manufacturing to American soil. Obama's trip also includes Nevada, Colorado and Michigan.

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - Two aid workers who had been held captive in Somalia since October have been rescued by U.S. military forces. U.S. forces conducted a raid early this morning, freeing American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Hagan Thisted. They had been working with a de-mining unit of the Danish Refugee Council when they were kidnapped by pirates.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will be buried today. Before a private funeral, thousands of people are expected to attend a four-hour visitation. Paterno died Sunday of lung cancer, just two months after being fired in the wake of child sex-abuse charges against a former assistant.

WASHINGTON (AP) - School lunches are about to get healthier. First lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are announcing today that most school meals will have less sodium, more whole grains and more fruits and vegetables as sides. Pizza still will be on the menu, but it'll be made with healthier ingredients.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today's News Tuesday January 24, 2012

Local News Tuesday January 24, 2012

Two Schuylkill County communities are receiving an economic shot in the arm. WPPA/T102 reporter Sibrena Stowe has the story:


One Car Accident Near Blue Mountain High School Kills Tamaqua Man

State Police from the Schuylkill Haven barracks responded to a single vehicle accident on Route 443 near the Blue Mountain High School on Monday morning. A Ford Explorer driven by Mark Beltz, of Tamaqua, was travelling east on Route 443 when it left the roadway, struck a road sign, and travelled about twenty feet up a dirt embankment, where it struck several bushes. The vehicle spun and rolled onto its roof as it came back down the embankment, and stopped in the eastbound travel lane. Pottsville/Schuylkill Haven EMS transported Beltz to Schuylkill Medical Center South Jackson Street, where he was pronounced dead. Police are continuing their investigation, and an autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of death.

Candlelight Vigil For Paterno Held At Penn State Schuylkill

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night at Penn State Schuylkill Campus to pay honor to the former football coach Joe Paterno, who died on Sunday. Jodi Staller, Campus Marketing Communications Specialist, said about forty people from the campus and community shared tears and remembrances of Paterno, who coached the Nittany Lions for more than six decades. Today begins three days of mourning of Paterno in State College.

Clubhouse Of West Penn Archery Club Destroyed By Fire

A fast moving fire destroyed the clubhouse of the West Penn Archery Club on Sunday night. According to West Penn Fire Chief Dennis Fritzinger, most of the building had already been consumed by the fire when the first units arrived on scene. Because of that, no firefighters were sent inside the building, and the fire was attacked from outside. Fritzinger said the clubhouse is a total loss, but he had no estimate of the amount of damage. State Police Fire Marshall John Burns has been called in to try to establish the cause and origin of the fire. Firefighters from West Penn Fire Company No. 1 were assisted at the scene by Walker Township, New Ringgold, Mahoning Valley, and Tamaqua fire companies, as well as Penn Mahoning EMS.

Pennsylvania DEP Accepting Applications For Environmental Awards

Environmentally conscious businesses, organizations, and individuals have until January 30 to apply for the 2012 Governor's Environmental Excellence Award. The award is open to any Pennsylvania business, government agency, educational institution, individual or farm that has created or participated in the development of a project that promotes environmental stewardship and economic development. The projects must have been completed between August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011, and will be evaluated based on a number of criteria. Applications and more information can be found at, and clicking on the button "Apply for the Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards."

More Pennsylvanians Could Find Themselves On Brink Of Being Homeless

Fewer Pennsylvania families and veterans found themselves homeless in the past two years; a positive sign during tough economic times. But a new report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness says that scenario is bittersweet. Tom Joseph reports:


State and National News Tuesday January 24, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - The viewing, funeral and memorial service for former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno are scheduled for the campus where he worked for more than six decades before being fired in the wake of the child sex-abuse charges against a former assistant. Members of the board of trustees that replaced the coach say Paterno's family is putting the event together, but some of them will attend to pay their respects.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has offered his condolences to the family of legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who died on Sunday of lung cancer. The White House says the president spoke with Paterno's wife, Sue, and son, Jay, yesterday to express his condolences.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - State senators have approved a bill that would update Pennsylvania law to ensure residents continue to qualify for up to 13 weeks of federally paid jobless benefits. Senators voted 47-3 yesterday to send it to the House.

WYNNEWOOD, Pa. (AP) - A sports announcer for 45 years and a Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster for a quarter-century has died. Andy Musser was 74. Musser's son says his father died Sunday night at his home in Wynnewood in suburban Philadelphia. Musser retired in 2001 after 25 years with the Phillies. He worked throughout his tenure beside Harry Kalas.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Tonight President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to Congress. With his re-election campaign underway, the president is expected to urge higher taxes on the wealthy, propose ways to make college more affordable and offer new steps to tackle a debilitating housing crisis.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says his 2010 tax returns and an early report on his taxes for last year will generate chatter but not any surprises. At last night's debate in Tampa, Fla., Romney said, "I'm proud of the fact that I pay a lot of taxes." His tax returns show he paid about $3 million in federal income taxes and earned $21.7 million income in 2010, mostly from investments.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Mitt Romney says his Republican presidential rival Newt Gingrich was nothing but a consultant "hired by the chief lobbyist of Freddie Mac" when his firm was paid $300,000 by the mortgage giant. At last night's debate, Gingrich, scoffed at the suggestion he was "influence peddling" and said he's never
suggested that Romney's consulting working was lobbying.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal job discrimination complaints have risen to an all-time high. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received nearly 100,000 charges of discrimination during the 2011 fiscal year, the most in its 46-year history. Experts say the increase reflects the growing diversity of the nation's work force.

HICKMAN, Ky. (AP) - A man charged with killing the mayor of Hickman, Kentucky is scheduled to appear in court today. Thomas Lattus faces a murder charge in the Monday morning shooting of 68-year-old Charles Murphy, the mayor of the town of about 2,500 people. Police say Murphy had dated Lattus' stepmother.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Today's News Monday January 23, 2012

Local News Monday January 23, 2012

Hearings On Legislative Redistricting Held Today

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania will meet today for the purpose of hearing objections to the legislative redistricting proposal that was completed this month. It is expected that there will be several objections presented to the court during this session. The hearings will be televised live over the Pennsylvania Cable Network. Sessions of the court are normally recorded for later broadcast, but the Justices decided to allow live broadcast of these proceedings, noting the profound affect the redistricting plan will have on political districts across the Commonwealth. The hearing will begin at 9:30 this morning, with eleven appeals to be heard by the Court.

PennDOT Releases Roadwork Schedule For This Week

PennDOT Engineering District 5 Safety Press Officer Sean Brown has released the schedule for roadwork to be conducted this week. Crews are scheduled to be working on Route 209 between Port Carbon and Middleport; Route 895 between New Ringgold and Andreas; Lehigh Avenue in Frackville between I-81 and Route 924; Route 339 between Mahanoy City and Brandonville; Pine Creek Drive in Ryan Township between Barnesville and Hometown; I-81 northbound between the Lebanon County line and Exit 100; and I-81 southbound between Exit 138 and Exit 124. Motorists may experience lane restrictions and slowdowns in these areas.

Pedestrian Struck By Pickup Truck In Tower City

John Mayeresky, of Tower City, was driving his pickup truck on Saturday on Route 209 through the borough, when Joshua Bordner ran into the roadway in front of him. Mayeresky struck Bordner, causing him to roll onto the hood of the truck. Mayeresky then struck three parked vehicles, causing severe damage to them and throwing Bordner approximately seventy five feet. Bordner was found on the street under a pickup truck. He was transported from the scene by Tower City Ambulance to Schuylkill Medical Center East, then was transferred to Lehigh Valley Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition. Mayeresky was taken to Schuylkill Medical Center South to be tested for possible DUI charges. Schuylkill Haven State Police continue their investigation, and charges against Mayeresky are pending.

Rollover Accident Closes Route 61 On Frackville Grade

A single vehicle accident closed Route 61 on the Frackville grade on Sunday. A Jeep Liberty driven by Hye Hillibush was travelling southbound approximately one mile south of Mall Road when Hillibush lost control of the vehicle on a sharp turn. The Jeep left the roadway, struck an embankment, and rolled over. Traffic was stopped while Hillibush was removed from the vehicle. She was transported to Schuylkill Medical Center for treatment of unknown injuries, and the Jeep was towed from the scene.

Crash On I-78 Involving Car And Snow Plow

A PennDOT snowplow driven by Ray Boyer, of Leesport, was plowing snow from the right lane of Interstate 78 in Berks County on Saturday when a vehicle passed the plow in the left lane. The operator of the car, Javier Lugo-Ramos, of Lebanon, lost control on the snow-covered roadway, skidded off the right side of the road, and hit the guiderails. After the car bounced off the guiderails, it travelled back onto the roadway into the path of the snow plow. The driver of the plow truck swerved into the left lane to try to avoid hitting the car, but it slid in front of the plow and was struck, causing it to roll over onto its roof. Lugo-Ramos and his passenger were wearing seatbelts, and were not injured.

Theft Of Copper Wire Investigated By State Police

Pennsylvania State Police from the Frackville Barracks are investigating a theft from Blaschak Coal Company at 163 Delano Road in Mahanoy Township. Police report that the theft occurred sometime between 10:00 p.m. on Saturday and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Someone entered Blaschak's property and removed approximately six hundred feet of copper electrical dragline wire from a wooden spool. State Police ask that anyone with information about this theft contact them at 570-874-5300.