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Friday March 8 2013

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FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013

2 FIRES. ONE DEADLY. ONE ARSON

AN ELDERLY MAN IS DEAD FOLLOWING A HOUSE FIRE IN CLEARFIELD COUNTY. THE BLAZE BROKE OUT AROUND 7 LAST NIGHT IN THE LIVING ROOM OF A HOME ALONG LAWRENCE AVENUE IN LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP. THE CAUSE IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION. THE VICTIM’S NAME HAS NOT YET BEEN RELEASED.

A STATE POLICE FIRE MARSHAL IN CAMBRIA COUNTY HAS DETERMINED THAT THE FIRE THAT DAMAGED A 2-STORY HOME ON KILLEN SCHOOL ROAD NEAR NICKTOWN MONDAY MORNING WAS INTENTIONALLY SET. THE HOME IS OWNED BY SCOTT FINNEGAN OF NICKTOWN AND THERESA FINNIGAN OF ALVERDA. THE HOME SUSTAINED MAINLY HEAT AND SMOKE DAMAGE AND THERE WERE NO INJURIES.

MAJOR DRUG BUST

STATE DRUG AGENTS AND THE HUNTINGDON COUNTY DRUG TASK FORCE ROUNDED UP MORE THAN 2 DOZEN SUSPECTS EARLY YESTERDAY MORNING IN A RAID THEY CALLED “OPERATION SPELLBOUND”. DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE ZANIC SAYS THIS WAS A HUGE HEROIN RING THAT DISTRIBUTED MORE THAN 3-THOUSAND BAGS OF DRUGS PER WEEK OVER THE PAST 3 YEARS WITH AN ESTIMATED STREET VALUE OF OVER 14-MILLION DOLLARS. A GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION INTO THE RING STARTED IN 2010. POLICE SAY 31 YEAR-OLD CURTIS KOEHLER STARTED THE OPERATION IN ALLENTOWN, THEN MOVED TO HUNTINGDON ONCE IT BECAME PROFITABLE. KOEHLER AND 3 OF THE SPELL BROTHERS FROM HUNTINGDON WERE ARRESTED LAST FALL. DURING THE INVESTIGATION, POLICE SEIZED AROUND 3-THOUSAND BAGS OF HEROIN AND 8 GUNS. COPS ARE STILL LOOKING FOR TERRANCE TRICE AND  ANTHONY RISKUS OF MOUNT UNION.

DRUGS IN SECRET COMPARTMENT

STATE POLICE SEIZED ABOUT 550 GRAMS OF COCAINE DURING A TRAFFIC STOP THURSDAY ON INTERSTATE 80 IN MARION TOWNSHIP, CENTRE COUNTY. A MINIVAN WAS PULLED OVER AND THE TROOPER NOTICED SIGNS OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. THE DRIVER, 29 YEAR OLD JASON RANDOLPH OF NEWARK NEW JERSEY, CONSENTED TO A SEARCH OF THE VEHICLE AND A TRAP DOOR WAS LOCATED UNDERNEATH THE PASSENGER SEAT. RANDOLPH AND A PASSENGER, 39 YEAR OLD JAMES MARTIN OF THE BRONX WERE LOCKED UP IN THE CENTRE COUNTY PRISON.

GUILTY PLEA CAN BE WITHDRAWN

A BLAIR COUNTY JUDGE HAS DECIDED THAT KENNETH PINER OF ALTOONA CAN WITHDRAW HIS GUILTY PLEA AND STAND TRIAL WITH JURY SELECTION TO START MONDAY MORNING. PINER ADMITTED HE STOLE SMALL AMOUNTS OF COCAINE AND CRACK…BUT SAYS HE WAS NOT PART OF THE MAJOR DRUG RING OPERATING OUT OF THE CORNER BAR AND GRILL. PINER WAS ORIGINALLY SENTENCED TO 19 TO 38 YEARS IN A STATE PRISON.

NASTY CRASH

17 TONS OF PROCESSED HUMAN WASTE SLID INTO A MARSH IN ANTIS TOWNSHIP IN BLAIR COUNTY EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING WHEN TRUCKDRIVER TODD KEITH OF TYRONE SLID OFF BELLWOOD AVENUE, STRUCK A DITCH, AND FLIPPED THE RIG ONTO ITS SIDE. KEITH SUFFERED MINOR INJURIES AND IS FACING CHARGES FOR DRIVING AT AN UNSAFE SPEED. THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION SUPERVISED CLEANUP, WHICH WAS COMPLETED BY BURGMEIER’S HAULING, THE TRUCK’S OWNER.

HEARING FOR ACCUSED KILLER

IN SOMERSET COUNTY COURT, A PRELIMINARY HEARING IS SCHEDULED TODAY FOR JONATHAN BEAL. THE 23-YEAR OLD IS ACCUSED OF STRANGLING HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND, JUSTINE JACKSON, THEN BURYING HER BODY IN A SHALLOW GRAVE ON A HILLSIDE OUTSIDE OF MEYERSDALE. HER REMAINS WERE DISCOVERED BY A HIKER IN NOVEMBER, ABOUT 2 MONTHS AFTER SHE WENT MISSING.  BEAL WAS CAPTURED 2 DAYS LATER BY U.S. MARSHALS IN LOUISIANA.

MISSING MAN

STATE POLICE IN CLEARFIELD COUNTY ARE LOOKING FOR A MISSING MAN. 40 YEAR OLD RONALD FORD JUNIOR OF SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA HAS BEEN MISSING SINCE FEBRUARY 21ST. HE WAS LAST KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN STAYING WITH A FRIEND IN THE DEER CREEK ROAD AREA OF MORRISDALE. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION SHOULD CALL TROOPERS AT 857-38-HUNDRED.

MEN STOLE FROM FAMILY MEMBERS

2 MEN ARE NOW CHARGED WITH STEALING 20-THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF JEWELRY AND CIVIL WAR-ERA RELICS FROM THE HOME OF THEIR AUNT AND UNCLE IN ROARING SPRING, BLAIR COUNTY. THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON WAS PREVIOUSLY ARRESTED AND CHARGES WERE FILED THIS WEEK AGAINST HIS COUSIN, KEVIN ANDERSON OF EVERETT. THE BURGLARY HAPPENED IN APRIL OF 2011. MORE THAN A YEAR LATER, CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON WAS CHARGED IN AN ALTOONA BURGLARY.

JOHNSTOWN INSURANCE JOBS MOVING

INSURANCE GIANT MET-LIFE SAID YESTERDAY IT WILL MOVE 26-HUNDRED JOBS FROM OFFICES IN JOHNSTOWN PENNSYLVANIA, MASSACHUSETTS, NEW JERSEY, CONNECTICUT, RHODE ISLAND, AND CALIFORNIA TO LOWER-COST LOCATIONS IN 2 NORTH CAROLINA CITIES. IN CONSOLIDATING THE RETAIL BUSINESS DIVISION, THE COMPANY WILL RECEIVE TAX BREAKS AND OTHER INCENTIVES THAT COULD REACH 100 MILLION DOLLARS. MET-LIFE IS CLOSING A FEW OFFICES ENTIRELY, BUT OFFICIALS SAY THE JOHNSTOWN OFFICE WILL NOT BE ONE OF THEM.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

WE LOSE AN HOUR OF SLEEP THIS WEEKEND AS DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS. REMEMBER TO TURN YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD ONE HOUR BEFORE YOU GO TO BED SATURDAY NIGHT. IT’S ALSO A GOOD IDEA TO CHANGE THE BATTERIES IN YOUR SMOKE ALARMS AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS.