Friday, January 20, 2012

Today's News Friday January 20, 2012

Local News Friday January 20, 2012

Pennsylvania Game Commission Addresses Wild Bird Feeding

People have been feeding wild birds for a long time, but the Pennsylvania Game Commission has published a news release that says there are several things to consider before hanging that feeder. The first thing to look at is the health of the birds. Biologist Doug Gross says the preferred answer is to plant vegetation that is beneficial to birds rather than hanging a feeder, but if that isn't possible, then consider proper placement of a feeder, keep it clean, and fill it with the seeds that will attract the desired birds. The release covers other factors, like keeping the birds safe from predators, and other animals that may be attracted to the feeder. For the full release, go to, and check the Press Release button under Quick Clicks.

Senators Casey And Toomey To Display Unity At State Of Union

Democrat Bob Casey and republican Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania's current Senators, have stated that they will sit side by side during the State of the Union address on January 24 as a show of unity. Senator Casey stated that "Pennsylvanians want their lawmakers to work together to solve problems. Over the past year, Senator Toomey and I have collaborated on a host of issues. I look forward to sitting next to Senator Toomey, and to continuing our work on behalf of the Commonwealth." Senator Toomey said "I am pleased to sit with my colleague from Pennsylvania. (It) is a small but worthwhile step toward setting a civil and cooperative tone for the challenging work ahead of us."

Spring Glen Man Jailed For Slashing Attack

Joshua Thurman, of 34 Schoolhouse Road in Spring Glen, is in Schuylkill County prison after he violently attacked his girlfriend on Thursday night. According to State Police at Schuylkill Haven barracks, Thurman was on the front porch of the house he shared with Natalie Barr when he produced a box cutter knife and slashed her throat. He knocked Barr to the ground and continued to attack her by hitting her about the head and face. The attack was stopped through the intervention of a neighbor, and police were called to the scene. Thurman was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Carol Pankake on charges of attempted homicide, assault, terroristic threats, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is in prison in lieu of $250,000 straight cash bail.

County Firefighters Have A Busy Day

Firefighters from Frackville were called to fight a blaze at a former beauty salon on Lehigh Avenue on Thursday. The call came in as an odor investigation, and the fire was discovered in a back room of the building, which has been unoccupied for several months. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, limiting the damage to one room. State Police Fire Marshall John Burns has determined that the fire was intentionally set. In a separate incident, a smoky blaze severely damaged the offices of Alpine Building Supply along Route 183 in Wayne Township. Heavy smoke forced the closure of the roadway for a time, while firefighters worked to extinguish the flames that started above the ceiling of the one hundred year-old structure. A wood stove used to heat the building may be the cause of the fire.

Pa. House Of Representatives Scholarship Applications Available

State Representatives Jerry Knowles of the 124th District and Mike Tobash of the 125th District have announced that high school seniors can now apply for a Pennsylvania House of representatives Scholarship to help cover the cost of higher education. Two students who are preparing for post-secondary education are awarded four-year scholarships each year through a program funded by individual and corporate donors. Applicants must be Pennsylvania residents planning to attend a Pennsylvania school. For information, or to apply, go to or Application deadline is March 1, 2012.

State and national News Friday January 20, 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped for the third straight month in December and payrolls expanded slightly. The state Department of Labor and Industry estimates the rate fell to 7.6 percent from 7.9 percent in November.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency is once again vowing to deliver fresh water to four homes in a northeastern Pennsylvania village where residential water wells were found to be tainted by a gas driller. The agency made the announcement yesterday. Two Dimock Township residents tell The Associated Press the EPA told them the first tanker truck would
arrive this afternoon.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia's troubled school system has named a "chief recovery officer" and announced other leadership changes. The School Reform Commission has named Thomas Knudsen to a new title of chief recovery officer. He will function both as superintendent and chief financial officer of the cash-strapped district. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Knudsen previously led a turnaround at Philadelphia Gas Works. He will work under a $150,000, six-month contract.

READING, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say a woman in eastern Pennsylvania has been charged with third-degree murder after allegedly giving her 1-year-old granddaughter a fatal dose of painkillers while she was babysitting. The Reading Eagle reports state police filed an arrest warrant yesterday and Penny Kochel surrendered in connection with the May 2009 death of Leanna McEntee.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) - Six NATO troops have been killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The U.S.-led coalition says it's still investigating how Thursday's crash happened, but says there was no enemy activity in the area at the time. The coalition has not released the nationalities of those killed.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he's not releasing his tax returns until after Saturday's South Carolina primary. Newt Gingrich has released his tax returns, showing he paid more than $994,000 in federal taxes on more $3.1 million in income in 2010.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Newt Gingrich says his second wife's claims that he asked her for an open marriage are false. At Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in South Carolina,
Gingrich blasted the moderator for opening up the debate with the issue, and said, "I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this
country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office."

NEW YORK (AP) - Demonstrators in more than 100 U.S. cities say they'll "occupy the courts" Friday to protest a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that removed most limits on corporate and labor spending in federal elections. The group called Move to Amend says the protest will kick off petition drives to gain support for a constitutional amendment that would "ban corporate personhood."

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Police in San Francisco believe a man had too much to drink when he drove his SUV onto the underground tracks of the city's subway system, shutting it down for more than two hours Thursday. Forty-year-old Scott Mitchell was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving on train tracks and failure to obey a traffic sign.


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