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Tuesday February 5 2013

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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2013

ELDERLY COUPLE KILLED

BLAIR COUNTY CORONER PATTY ROSS SAYS THE COUPLE WHO DIED IN A WRECK YESTERDAY AFTERNOON WAS CELEBRATING THEIR 63RD WEDDING ANNIVERSARY AND THE MAN HAD HEALTH PROBLEMS. HE WAS SPEEDING ALONG 31ST STREET WHEN HE FAILED TO STOP AT THE STOP SIGN AT UNION AVENUE. HIS CAR BROADSIDED A PICKUP TRUCK OCCUPIED BY 2 MALES. THE IMPACT FORCED THE VEHICLES INTO A CONCRETE BRIDGE BARRIER. THE MAN AND HIS WIFE, BOTH IN THEIR 80’S, WERE KILLED. THE PEOPLE IN THE TRUCK WERE ADMITTED TO ALTOONA REGIONAL TRAUMA CENTER WITH NON-LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES.

DEADLY FIRE

THE JOHNSTOWN FIRE CHIEF SAYS THE SUNDAY AFTERNOON FIRE THAT KILLED 26-YEAR OLD CRYSTAL THOMAS WAS ACCIDENTAL AND IT STARTED IN THE LIVING ROOM. THOMAS DIED FROM SMOKE INHALATION IN HER OAKHURST HOMES APARTMENT. CREWS WERE ABLE TO PUT THE FLAMES OUT QUICKLY AND AN APARTMENT NEXT DOOR SUFFERED MINOR SMOKE DAMAGE.

INVESTIGATING FRIAR’S ACTIVITIES

YOUNGSTOWN OHIO CATHOLIC BISHOP GEORGE MURRY HAS WRITTEN LETTERS TO ABOUT 12-HUNDRED ADULTS WHO ATTENDED JOHN F. KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL IN WARREN FROM 1985 THROUGH 1992 WHILE FRANCISCAN FRIAR STEPHEN BAKER TAUGHT AND COACHED THERE. HE’S HOPING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ALLEGED SEXUAL ABUSE BY BAKER WHO KILLED HIMSELF LAST MONTH AT ST. BERNADINE’S MONSTERY IN HOLLIDAYSBURG. HE HAD PREVIOUSLY SETTLED WITH 11 MEN WHO CLAIMED HE MOLESTED THEM. DOZENS OF OTHER POSSIBLE VICTIMS HAVE COME FORWARD SINCE THEN, INCLUDING SOME FORMER STUDENTS AT JOHNSTOWN’S BISHOP MCCORT HIGH SCHOOL.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

NEW STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL KATHLEEN KANE HAS NAMED FORMER U-S SUPREME COURT LAW CLERK GEOFFREY MOULTON JUNIOR TO LEAD THE INTERNAL INVESTIGATION INTO HOW THE SANDUSKY SCANDAL WAS HANDLED. DURING HER CAMPAIGN, KANE CRITICIZED GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT FOR NOT FILING CHARGES WHILE HE WAS ATTORNEY GENERAL. KANE, AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT WIDENER UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, IS KNOWN FOR HIS ROLE IN THE REPORT ON THE FAILED A-T-F RAID ON THE BRANCH DAVIDIAN COMPOUND NEAR WACO, TEXAS. PENN STATE OFFICIALS WON’T COMMENT, SAYING THE MATTER COULD RELATE TO ON-GOING LITIGATION.

A DAUPHIN COUNTY JUDGE HAS MADE CHANGES IN BAIL ORDERS FOR FORMER PENN STATE PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER AND HE WILL NO LONGER BE BARRED FROM CONTACTING THE UNIVERSITY’S TRUSTEES AND POTENTIAL PROSECUTION WITNESSES IN THE PERJURY CASE AGAINST HIM. SPANIER’S ATTORNEYS HAD ARGUED THE RULING WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND IMPRACTICAL BECAUSE SPANIER LIVES IN THE SAME HIGH-RISE APARTMENT COMPLEX IN COLLEGE TOWNSHIP AS 2 TRUSTEES AND THEY MOVE IN THE SAME SOCIAL CIRCLES. PRELIMINARY HEARINGS FOR SPANIER, GARY SCHULTZ, AND TIM CURLEY HAVE NOT BEEN SCHEDULED.

SUE PATERNO WILL SHARE HER PERSPECTIVE ON THE SANDUSKY SCANDAL WITH A NATIONAL AUDIENCE MONDAY. SHE WILL TALK WITH KATIE COURIC ON COURIC’S DAYTIME TALK SHOW. PART OF THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WAS TAPED RECENTLY AT PATERNO’S STATE COLLEGE HOME.

SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT HIRES ATTORNEY

THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT ALTOONA SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT DR. DENNIS MURRAY HAS HIRED LEGAL COUNSEL TO HELP HIM RESPOND TO QUESTIONS FROM BOARD PRESIDENT RYAN BEERS WHO CLAIMS ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF MAY HAVE RECEIVED PAY RAISES WITHOUT BOARD APPROVAL.
NO FORMAL CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED AND DISTRICT SOLICITOR DAVE ANDREWS IS INVESTIGATING.

NO MORE AMTRAK SERVICE?

PASSENGER RAIN SERVICE THROUGH CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA COULD COME TO AN END AS SOON AT OCTOBER. THAT’S THE DEADLINE FOR THE STATE TO DECIDE WHETHER IT WILL PAY AMTRAK 5-POINT-7 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. A LAW PASSED IN 2008 THAT REQUIRES THE STATE TO PAY FOR RAIL SERVICE ROUTES LESS THAN 750 MILES. AMTRAK’S PENNSYLVANIAN IS ABOUT 440 MILES AND RUNS FROM PITTSBURGH TO HARRISBURG, MAKING  STOPS IN ALTOONA AND JOHNSTOWN. RIDERSHIP WAS UP 2-POINT-2 PERCENT LAST YEAR.

STATE BUDGET

TODAY, GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT WILL DELIVER A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PLAN TO DEAL WITH OUR DETERIORATING HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES. ONE KEY ELEMENT IS EXPECTED TO BE A BIG HIKE IN A STATE GAS TAX PAID BY GASOLINE WHOLESALERS. OFFICIALS SAY THE FULL REMOVAL OF THE WHOLESALER’S TAX CAP WOULD RAISE AN ADDITIONAL 1-POINT-85 BILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY,  BUT SOME LEGISLATORS SAY THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT CONSUMERS WILL ACTUALLY BE PAYING THE HIGHER TAX BILL EVENTUALLY. DURING HIS CAMPAIGN, CORBETT PROMISED TO HOLD THE LINE ON TAXES, SO HIS ADMINISTRATION IS EXPECTED TO ARGUE THAT THEY ARE CLOSING A LOOPHOLE RATHER THAN RAISING A TAX.

HOOTERS CLOSES

ANOTHER LOCAL RESTAURANT HAS CLOSED ITS DOORS. EMPLOYEES AT THE HOOTERS SPORTS BAR ON PLANK ROAD IN ALTOONA RECEIVED A TEXT MESSAGE MONDAY TELLING THEM THE RESTAURANT IS CLOSING, AND THAT THEY SHOULD NOT REPORT TO WORK. SEVERAL OTHER ALTOONA RESTAURANTS HAVE ALSO CLOSED RECENTLY.