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Thursday November 29 2012

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2012

ELDERLY MAN KILLED

84 YEAR OLD DOMINICK VENTRE OF 793 EAST 6TH AVENUE ROAD, ALTOONA, DIED LATE YESTERDAY AFTERNOON AFTER HE WAS STRUCK BY A CAR WHILE CROSSING THE STREET TO COLLECT HIS MAIL. LOGAN TOWNSHIP POLICE SAY VENTRE WAS WEARING FAIRLY DARK CLOTHING AT THE TIME AND AN ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION TEAM FROM THE ALTOONA POLICE DEPARTMENT IS ASSISTING IN THE INVESTIGATION. THE DRIVER SUFFERED CUTS ON THE HANDS DUE TO THE SHATTERED WINDSHIELD.
POLICE SAY IT’S TOO SOON TO SAY IF CHARGES WILL BE FILED.

ALTOONA HOUSE FIRE

2 ADULTS AND 3 CHILDREN GOT OUT SAFELY WHEN FIRE BROKE OUT JUST AFTER 7 WEDNESDAY MORNING AT 12-04 PARK BOULEVARD IN THE JUNIATA SECTION OF ALTOONA. FIRE CREWS WERE ABLE TO CONTAIN THE FLAMES MOSTLY INSIDE THE 2-STORY HOME, BUT THE ENTIRE BUILDING SUSTAINED SMOKE AND WATER DAMAGE. INVESTIGATORS SAY A FAULTY FORCED-AIR, GAS FURNACE WAS TO BLAME. DAMAGE IS ESTIMATED AT ABOUT 40-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

PENN STATE HAS RELEASED THE DETAILS OF FORMER PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER’S COMPENSATION FROM 2011. HE EARNED MORE THAN 3-POINT-2 MILLION DOLLARS IN TAXABLE INCOME, INCLUDING NEARLY 2-POINT-5 MILLION IN A SEVERANCE PACKAGE AFTER HE WAS FIRED DURING THE JERRY SANDUSKY SCANDAL. THE SEVERANCE CONSISTS OF 2 PAYMENTS THAT WILL BE HELD UNTIL JUNE 2017. AFTER TAXES, SPANIER WILL SEE OVER 860-THOUSAND DOLLARS OF THAT AMOUNT. SPANIER, ALONG WITH FORMER OFFICIALS TIM CURLEY AND GARY SCHULTZ, ARE NOW AWAITING TRIAL ON OBSTRUCTION, CHILD ENDANGERMENT, PERJURY, AND FAILURE TO REPORT ABUSE CHARGES.

FOLLOWING THE JERRY SANDUSKY SCANDAL, PENN STATE OFFICIALS SAY THEY HAVE NOW IMPLEMENTED MORE THAN HALF OF THE 119 RECOMMENDATIONS MADE IN THE FREEH REPORT. THE UNIVERSITY SAYS…AS OF OCTOBER…40 ARE COMPLETED AND 75 ARE CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS.  
PENN STATE PLANS TO HAVE ALL RECOMMENDATIONS COMPLETED BY THE END OF 2013. ONE IS THAT THE UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT BECOMES ACCREDITED AND OFFICIALS SAY THAT IS ON TRACK TO HAPPEN IN THE BEGINNING OF 2014.

G-Q MAGAZINE HAS RANKED JERRY SANDUSKY’S ATTORNEY JOE AMENDOLA AT NUMBER 10 ON THEIR LIST OF “THE LEAST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE OF 2012. THE PUBLICATION SAYS AMENDOLA SHOULD NOT HAVE PUT HIS CLIENT IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF BOB COSTAS DURING A NOTORIOUS TV INTERVIEW IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE SCANDAL. JOINING THE STATE COLLEGE LAWYER ON THE LIST ARE DISGRACED BICYCLIST LANCE ARMSTRONG, OLYMPIC SWIMMER RYAN LOCHTE, FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE MITT ROMNEY.

SHUSTER’S BIG JOB

9TH DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN BILL SHUSTER IS NOW THE HIGHEST RANKING PENNSYLVANIA CONGRESSMAN. THE 7TH TERM REPUBLICAN WAS NAMED CHAIRMAN OF THE US HOUSE TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE YESTERDAY. HIS FATHER, BUD SHUSTER, HELD THAT POSITION FROM 1995 TO 2001. BILL SHUSTER SAYS HE WANTS TO BUILD THE NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO HELP MAKE TRANSPORTATION MORE EFFICIENT. HE ALSO WANTS TO DEVELOP COASTAL PORTS AND FREIGHT TRANSIT ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

ALTOONA’S FINANCIAL RECOVERY

ABOUT 150 PEOPLE TURNED OUT AT A PUBLIC HEARING LAST NIGHT TO HEAR MORE ABOUT ALTOONA’S ACT 47 RECOVERY PLAN. MANY CAME TO PROTEST THE ACT 47 COORDINATOR’S RECOMMENDATION TO FOLD AMED INTO THE CITY’S FIRE DEPARTMENT. THE PLAN ALSO INCLUDES SOME TAX HIKES AND SHARING OF SERVICES WITH OTHER MUNICIPALITIES.

WILL CAMBRIA COUNTY MAN FACE DEATH PENALTY?

CAMBRIA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY KELLY CALLIHAN HAS NOT YET DECIDED IF SHE WILL SEEK THE DEATH PENALTY AGAINST 50 YEAR OLD GREGORY CONZO OF SUMMERHILL. POLICE SAY HE WENT TO THE SIERRA STREET HOME OF 37-YEAR OLD MICHAEL PCOLA NOVEMBER 5TH… ARGUED WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND…AND THEN HIT PCOLA IN THE HEAD WITH AN ALUMINUM BASEBALL BAT. PCOLA DIED 2 DAYS LATER. CONZO REMAINS IN THE COUNTY JAIL.

DRUG CASES

AFTER RECEIVING A TIP, ALTOONA POLICE BOARDED A GREYHOUND BUS YESTERDAY AND ARRESTED 25 YEAR OLD CRAIG SUMPTER WHO WAS TRAVELLING FROM PHILADELPHIA TO ALTOONA. COPS FOUND 126 BAGGIES OF MARIJUANA IN HIS BACKPACK. POLICE SAY THERE WERE ALSO 3 BLAIR COUNTY BENCH WARRANTS OUT FOR SUMPTER ALONG WITH 2 FROM PHILADELPHIA.

PRELIMINARY HEARINGS HAVE BEEN CONTINUED UNTIL EARLY JANUARY FOR STACEY AND LAWRENCE WHOLAVER OF NORTHERN CAMBRIA WHO ARE ACCUSED OF USING STACEY’S 3 CHILDREN…AGES 3, 5, AND 12…TO DELIVER PRESCRIPTION PILLS ON 3 DIFFERENT OCCASIONS. THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH STACEY’S FAMILY WHILE THE WHOLAVERS ARE IN THE CAMBRIA COUNTY PRISON.

GET IN THE SPIRIT!

THE 7TH ANNUAL SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS PARADE IS TONIGHT AT 6 IN DOWNTOWN ALTOONA. THE PARADE ROUTE STARTS AT THE 10TH AVENUE EXPRESSWAY AND 9TH STREET AND MOVES TO GREEN AVENUE…THEN 12TH STREET…TO 11TH AVENUE…TO 15TH STREET. IT WILL BE FOLLOWED BY THE TREE-LIGHTING CEREMONY IN HERITAGE PLAZA AND A FIREWORKS DISPLAY. WATCH FOR SOME DETOURS IN THE CITY, STARTING AT 4PM.