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Monday January 28 2013

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MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2013

SLICK ROADS

MORE WINTRY WEATHER THIS MORNING AND PENNDOT IS URGING MOTORISTS TO USE CAUTION WHEN THE ROADS ARE BAD. THAT MEANS SLOWING DOWN AND ALLOWING A GREATER FOLLOWING DISTANCE BETWEEN VEHICLES. PENNDOT ALSO SUGGESTS DRIVERS CARRY AN EMERGENCY KIT IN THEIR VEHICLES DURING THE WINTER. KITS SHOULD INCLUDE NONPERISHABLE FOOD, WATER, FIRST-AID SUPPLIES, WARM CLOTHES, A BLANKET AND SHOVEL.

FRANCISCIAN FRIAR TAKES HIS OWN LIFE

BLAIR COUNTY CORONER PATTY ROSS SAYS BROTHER STEPHEN BAKER LEFT A SUICIDE NOTE BEFORE HE DIED SATURDAY MORNING FROM A SELF-INFLICTED KNIFE WOUND TO THE HEART AT ST. BERNADINE’S MONASTERY IN HOLLIDAYSBURG. THE FRANCISCAN FRIAR WAS FACING ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUALLY ABUSING POSSIBLY HUNDREDS OF BOYS WHILE SERVING IN OHIO AND AT BISHOP MCCORT HIGH SCHOOL IN JOHNSTOWN. BAKER PREVIOUSLY REACHED A SETTLEMENT WITH 11 YOUNG MEN IN OHIO, BUT HE DID NOT FACE ANY CRIMINAL CHARGES. ATTORNEYS SAY THEY PLAN TO CONTINUE INVESTIGATING THE CLAIMS OF ABUSE AND POSSIBLY CHARGE BAKER’S SUPERIORS WITH NEGLIGENCE.

THE ALTOONA JOHNSTOWN CATHOLIC DIOCESE RELEASED A STATEMENT SATURDAY SAYING “BISHOP MARK BARTCHAK WAS SADDENED BY THE NEWS, BUT BECAUSE OF PENDING LEGAL ACTION, CANNOT MAKE FURTHER COMMENT REGARDING THIS MATTER. BISHOP MARK CONTINUES TO PRAY FOR EVERYONE DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME.”

MISSING MAN FOUND DEAD

A SOMERSET COUNTY MAN WHO HAD BEEN MISSING SINCE JANUARY 23 WAS FOUND DEAD YESTERDAY INSIDE HIS PICK UP TRUCK IN SOMERSET BORO. POLICE ARE CONTINUING THEIR INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH OF 53 YEAR OLD FRANKIE SASS OF FRIEDENS. THEY HAVE NOT RELEASED ANY MORE INFORMATION.

WOULD-BE BURGLARS CAUGHT

2 PEOPLE ARE IN THE CENTRE COUNTY PRISON, CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED BURGLARY AND DRUG OFFENSES. STATE POLICE SAY 31 YEAR OLD PAUL RIDER OF MADISONBURG AND 30 YEAR OLD KRISTAL PARKER OF BELLEFONTE TRIED TO BREAK INTO PHILIPSBURG HOSPITAL, WHICH IS CLOSED, EARLY SATURDAY MORNING. SECURITY HEARD A WINDOW BREAK AND CALLED THE COPS…THEN TROOPERS TRACKED PARKER THROUGH THE SNOW TO A NEARBY CAR. RIDER WAS FOUND AT A CONVENIENCE STORE A SHORT TIME LATER. HE WAS CARRYING COPPER CUTTING TOOLS, PIECES OF WIRE, PIPES AND DRUG SUPPLIES IN A BACKPACK. PRELIMINARY HEARINGS ARE SET FOR WEDNESDAY.

GAS PRICES UP

THE PRICE AT THE PUMP IS GOING UP. THE LATEST LUNDBERG SURVEY SHOWS THE AVERAGE PRICE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR UNLEADED ROSE IN THE LAST 5 WEEKS FOR THE SECOND TIME SINCE EARLY LAST OCTOBER. PRICES WERE UP CLOSE TO 2 CENTS A GALLON ON JANUARY 25TH COMPARED TO THE LAST SURVEY ON THE 11TH, AVERAGING $3.34. ALTOONA-AREA DRIVERS HAVE
BEEN PAYING $3.59 FOR WEEKS.

PRIVATIZING THE LOTTERY

THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND TREASURER ARE STILL CONDUCTING SEPARATE REVIEWS ON A DEAL TO GIVE MANAGEMENT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA LOTTERY TO CAMELOT GLOBAL SERVICES BASED IN GREAT BRITAIN. TREASURER ROB MCCORD SAYS HE’S STILL UNSURE WHETHER HIS DEPARTMENT WILL CUT CHECKS TO THE NEW MANAGEMENT FIRM, EVEN IF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS THE CONTRACT IS OK. GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT SAYS HE WOULD HAVE TO TALK WITH MCCORD IF HE DECIDES TO HOLD UP THE CONTRACTS.

FEWER DROP-OUTS

PENNSYLVANIA HIGH SCHOOLS ARE SEEING THEIR LOWEST DROPOUT RATE IN SEVERAL YEARS. A NEW FEDERAL REPORT SAYS THE DROPOUT RATE IN GRADES 9 THROUGH 12 FELL TO 2-POINT-1-PERCENT IN 2009-10. THAT'S THE LOWEST RATE SINCE THE 2003 AND 4 SCHOOL YEAR.