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Thursday January 17 2012

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2013

OBAMA’S GUN SAFETY PROPOSALS

PRESIDENT OBAMA UNVEILED HIS PLAN TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE YESTERDAY AND U-S SENATOR BOB CASEY SAYS, FOLLOWING THE CONNECTICUT SCHOOL SHOOTING, HE SUPPORTS REINSTATING A MILITARY-STYLE ASSAULT WEAPON BAN. CONGRESSMAN GLENN THOMPSON OF CENTRE COUNTY SAYS HE DOESN’T BELIEVE THAT ADDITIONAL GUN RESTRICTIONS ON LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS WILL SERVE TO PREVENT FUTURE ACTS OF MASS VIOLENCE. HE ALSO RECOMMENDS IDENTIFYING GAPS IN OUR MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM. BOTH MEN SAY OBAMA’S PLAN DESERVES CONSIDERATION.

ARRESTS COMING SOON IN MURDER

WEST HILLS REGIONAL POLICE IN CAMBRIA COUNTY SAY CHARGES COULD BE FILED VERY SOON AGAINST THE MEN WHO KILLED 38 YEAR OLD VINCENT BLOOM AT HIS LOWER YODER TOWNSHIP HOME ON JULY 20TH. THE SUSPECTS STRUCK BLOOM IN THE HEAD WITH A HANDGUN, TIED HIM UP WITH AN ELECTRICAL CORD, DOUSED HIM WITH GASOLINE AND SET HIM ON FIRE. BLOOM DIED A WEEK LATER AT A PITTSBURGH BURN CENTER. POLICE ARE CURRENTLY WAITING FOR D-N-A EVIDENCE FROM THE CRIME LAB.

KILLERS STILL AT LARGE

IT’S BEEN 2 WEEKS SINCE 2 BLACK MEN SHOT 38 YEAR OLD ROBERT WILLIAMS JUNIOR IN HIS RICHLAND TOWNSHIP HOME. HE DIED 2 DAYS LATER…AND POLICE ARE STILL SEARCHING FOR THE SUSPECTS. POLICE CHIEF MICHAEL BURGAN SAYS, AS OF RIGHT NOW, THEY HAVE NO ONE THEY CAN CALL A PERSON OF INTEREST. AUTHORITIES ARE REVIEWING SURVEILLANCE VIDEOS FROM BUSINESSES IN THE AREA TO HELP THEM DETERMINE THE DIRECTION THE KILLERS FLED AND IF THEY WERE ON FOOT OR IN A VEHICLE. CAMBRIA COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS IS OFFERING A 4-THOUSAND DOLLAR REWARD FOR INFORMATION.

CHILD MOLESTER LIVING AT LOCAL MONASTERY?

THE “SURVIVOR’S NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS” OR “SNAP” RECENTLY SENT A PRESS RELEASE TO LOCAL MEDIA ALERTING THE COMMUNITY THAT BROTHER STEPHEN BAKER HAS BEEN LIVING AT ST. BERNADINE’S MONASTERY NEAR HOLLIDAYSBURG. BAKER WAS ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 11 BOYS IN OHIO IN THE 1980’S AND HE SETTLED WITH THE VICTIMS OUT OF COURT BACK IN OCTOBER. HE WAS NEVER CRIMINALLY CHARGED. OFFICIALS AT THE MONASTERY TELL WJAC THAT BROTHER STEPHEN IS REMOVED FROM ALL PUBLIC MINISTRY AND LIVES UNDER SUPERVISION WITH NO CONTACT WITH MINORS.

WHERE WILL PRISON GUARDS WORK?

PRISONER TRANSFERS ARE ALREADY UNDERWAY AS THE CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT MOVES AHEAD WITH PLANS TO SHUT DOWN THE STATE PRISONS AT CRESSON AND GREENSBURG. LAST NIGHT, UNION CORRECTIONS OFFICERS MET TO TALK ABOUT THEIR FUTURE. JOE FOX IS A GUARD AT S-C-I CRESSON AND ALSO PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL PENNSYLVANIA STATE CORRECTIONS OFFICERS ASSOCIATION THERE. HE TELLS WTAJ HE RECEIVED A LETTER MONDAY AND HE HAS A WEEK TO DECIDE WHERE HE WOULD BE WILLING TO WORK. FOX AND OTHERS AT LAST NIGHT’S MEETING DON’T THINK THE CRESSON FACILITY SHOULD BE CLOSED BEAUSE IT IS NOT IN DISREPAIR AND THEY DON’T HAVE THE HIGHEST COST-TO-INMATE RATIO. STATE LAWMAKERS ARE HOLDING A HEARING NEXT WEEK TO DISCUSS THE PRISON CLOSINGS.

PENN STATE TRUSTEES MEETING

PENN STATE’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES WILL ATTEND COMMITTEE MEETINGS THIS AFTERNOON AT UNIVERSITY PARK…AND THEY HOLD A VOTING SESSION TOMORROW. THE TRUSTEES WILL DISCUSS LOTS OF RECOMMENDATIONS AS THEY TRY TO IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY AND COMMUNICATION FOLLOWING THE JERRY SANDUSKY SCANDAL. TRUSTEES WILL ELECT NEW BOARD OFFICERS ON FRIDAY.

CHANGING INSPECTION & EMISSIONS LAWS?

GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT WILL UNVEIL HIS TRANSPORTATION PLAN LATER THIS MONTH AND SENATOR JOHN WOZNIAK OF CAMBRIA COUNTY IS HOPING THAT IT INCLUDES 2 MEASURES AFFECTING INSPECTION RULES FOR MOTOR VEHICLES. ONE WOULD ELIMINATE EMISSIONS TESTING IN 25 COUNTIES IN METROPOLITAN AREAS, WHICH WOZNIAK SAYS IT UNNECESSARY DUE TO CLEANER RUNNING VEHICLES. THE OTHER MEASURE WOULD GIVE NEW VEHICLE OWNERS A 2-YEAR REPRIEVE BEFORE THEY MUST GET THEIR CARS INSPECTED…A MOVE THE GOVERNOR’S TRANSPORTATION FUNDING ADVISORY COMMISSION ESTIMATES WOULD SAVE MOTORISTS 24 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

TAXPAYERS GETTING FLEECED?

LAST WEEK, GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT ANNOUNCED A DEAL TO PRIVATIZE THE STATE  LOTTERY USING A BRITISH COMPANY…A MOVE THAT STATE REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT CONKLIN OF CENTRE COUNTY CALLS   THE GREATEST FLEECING OF THE PA TAXPAYER IN HISTORY. CONKLIN SAYS AN ANALYST THINKS THE PLAN WILL COST THE STATE 12 BILLION DOLLARS OVER A 20 YEAR PERIOD AND EUROPEAN INVESTORS WILL GET FIRST CRACK AT THAT MONEY.  THE ANALYSIS IS BASED ON A 6-POINT-21-PERCENT GROWTH RATE AND DOES NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE FUTURE EXPANSION OF GAMES.  CONKLIN ALSO SAYS IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 70-PERCENT OF LOTTERY EMPLOYEES WILL BE RECEIVING A PINK SLIP.   

PER DIEMS FOR LAWMAKERS

THE PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW REPORTS THAT FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE RICK GEIST OF ALTOONA AND STATE SENATOR JOHN WOZNIAK OF CAMBRIA COUNTY TOPPED THE LIST OF LEGISLATORS WHO COLLECTED THE MOST IN PER DIEM FOOD AND LODGING EXPENSES LAST YEAR. GEIST COLLECTED OVER 48-THOUSAND DOLLARS DURING THE 2011-12 SESSION WHILE WOZNIAK COLLECTED NEARLY 26-THOUSAND. THAT’S IN ADDITION TO THEIR 83-THOUSAND-802 DOLLAR BASE SALARY, PLUS HEALTH CARE, DENTAL, AND VISION INSURANCE. JOHN MCGINNIS OF ALTOONA, WHO REPLACED GEIST, SAYS PER DIEMS SHOULD BE ELIMINATED, APART FROM LODGING EXPENSES.