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Tuesday March 12 2013

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TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2013

CLOSING ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS?

HUNDREDS OF PARENTS ATTENDED PUBLIC MEETINGS LAST NIGHT TO LET THE ALTOONA SCHOOL BOARD KNOW THEY ARE AGAINST THE PLAN TO CLOSE WRIGHT AND WASHINGTON -JEFFERSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS SAY ENROLLMENT IS DOWN AND THEY COULD SAVE UP TO 1-POINT-5 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. THE PLAN IS TO REALIGN ATTENDANCE TO BALANCE OUT CLASS SIZE THROUGHOUT THE DISTRICT.  THE OFFICIAL VOTE TO SHUT DOWN THE SCHOOLS IS NOW EXPECTED TO TAKE PLACE ON JUNE 12TH. 

SELLING VALLEY VIEW

THE DEADLINE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE YESTERDAY, BUT BLAIR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HAVE GIVEN BIDDERS UNTIL FRIDAY TO REVIEW INFORMATION AND SUBMIT FINAL PROPOSALS TO BUY VALLEY VIEW NURSING HOME. COMMISSIONERS ARE CONSIDERING 5 BIDS SO FAR, RANGING FROM 12-POINT-55 MILLION DOLLARS TO 16-POINT-1.

BODY IDENTIFIED

THE FAYETTE COUNTY CORONER HAS POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED THE BODY FOUND IN OHIOPYLE STATE PARK AS THAT OF 29 YEAR OLD JEREMY WALKER OF SOMERSET WHO DISAPPEARED FROM THE PARK IN JANUARY. THE CORONER SAYS WALKER DROWNED AND HIS BODY WAS DISCOVERED BY KAYAKERS ON SATURDAY. 

BANK ROBBER STRIKES IN EBENSBURG

A MAN WITH A KNIFE HELD UP FIRST NATIONAL BANK IN EBENSBURG EARLY MONDAY AFTERNOON. HE TOLD ABOUT 6 CUSTOMERS TO GET BACK, THEN ORDERED 3 TELLERS TO FILL A BLUE GIFT BAG WITH MONEY. THE ROBBER TOLD THE TELLERS “THANKS”…THEN FLED THROUGH A SIDE DOOR. HE’S A WHITE MALE…40 TO 50 YEARS OLD…ABOUT 5-10…AND 225 TO 250 POUNDS. HE WAS WEARING A DRESS HAT, A BLACK SCARF OVER PART OF HIS FACE, BLACK RIMMED GLASSES, A BROWN WAIST LENGTH COAT, AND BLUE JEANS.

CAR SLAMS INTO POST OFFICE

STATE POLICE SAY 25 YEAR OLD PATRICK LEEPER JUNIOR OF TYRONE WAS TRYING TO COMMIT SUICIDE LAST WEEK WHEN HE CRASHED HIS GIRLFRIEND’S CAR INTO THE TIPTON POST OFFICE, CAUSING EXTENSIVE DAMAGE. LEEPER’S PRELIMINARY HEARING IS TODAY ON CHARGES INCLUDING D-U-I, SIMPLE ASSAULT, CRIMINAL MISCHIEF, AND UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A VEHICLE. LEEPER ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTED THE WOMAN AND TOOK XANAX PRIOR TO THE POLICE CHASE. HE WAS ON PAROLE AFTER SERVING TIME FOR ROBBERY.

PENN STATE SCANDAL

THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE JERRY SANDUSKY SCANDAL CONTINUE CLIMBING. AS OF DECEMBER 31ST, PENN STATE PAID MORE THAN 41 MILLION DOLLARS IN LEGAL FEES, PUBLIC RELATIONS WORK, AND CONSULTATION COSTS. MORE THAN 8 MILLION WENT TO FORMER FBI DIRECTOR LOUIS FREEH FOR HIS REPORT. ALL EXPENSES ARE OUTLINED ON THE UNIVERSITY’S PROGRESS WEBSITE. THAT TOTAL DOES INCLUDE THE FIRST 12-MILLION DOLLAR PAYMENT TOWARD THE 60-MILLION DOLLARS IN NCAA FINES.

ONE OF JERRY SANDUSKY’S LAWYERS STILL SAYS THEY DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO PREPARE FOR TRIAL. LAST MONTH, JUDGE JOHN CLELAND DENIED SANDUSKY A NEW TRIAL AND SAID HIS TEAM OF ATTORNEYS HAD 3 WEEKS TO LIST ANY ISSUES. IN ADDITION, NORRIS GELMAN’S RESPONSE CLAIMS THE COURT DIDN’T LET THE DEFENSE QUESTION HOW LONG IT TOOK FOR THE VICTIMS TO REPORT THE ABUSE…AND HE SAYS PROSECUTORS MADE UNFAVORABLE COMMENTS TO THE JURY ABOUT SANDUSKY NOT TESTIFYING. THE DEFENSE ALSO BRINGS UP SOME OTHER ISSUES THAT COULD BE USED IN FUTURE APPEALS.

JURY PICKED FOR DRUG TRIAL

A BLAIR COUNTY JUDGE HAS AGREED TO LET KENNETH PINER OF ALTOONA TO WITHDRAW HIS GUILTY PLEA TO NUMEROUS DRUG CHARGES. JURY SELECTION WAS COMPLETED YESTERDAY AND TESTIMONY WILL BEGIN IN 2 WEEKS. PINER ADMITS STEALING 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. PINER’S NEPHEW, GLENN, YESTERDAY PLEADED GUILTY TO 11 CHARGES AND WAS SENTENCED TO 7 TO 20 YEARS IN A STATE PRISON.