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Friday December 20 2013

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2013

FATHER IN LAW PLEADS GUILTY

IN HUNTINGDON COUNTY COURT YESTERDAY, 66 YEAR OLD KENNETH LEIGHTY OF ALTOONA PLEADED GUILTY TO 3RD DEGREE MURDER FOR BLUDGEONING HIS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW TO DEATH 14 YEARS AGO AND LEAVING HER BODY ON HIS PROPERTY IN WARRIORS MARK TOWNSHIP. LEIGHTY WILL SPEND 7 TO 14 YEARS IN PRISON FOR THE MURDER OF 23 YEAR OLD SHERRY LEIGHTY WHO WAS GETTING DIVORCED FROM HIS SON IN 1999. LEIGHTY…WHO LED INVESTIGATORS TO HER BODY ON MAY 1ST…WILL BE SENTENCED FEBRUARY 27TH. HER FAMILY WILL FINALLY LAY SHERRY TO REST THIS WEEKEND.

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST NEPHEW

CAMBRIA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY KELLY CALLIHAN SAYS ALL CHARGES, INCLUDING SOLICITATION TO COMMIT MURDER, HAVE BEEN DROPPED AGAINST 26 YEAR OLD SHANE KRESTAR OF FALLENTIMBER, DUE TO A LACK OF EVIDENCE. KRESTAR’S UNCLE WENT TO THE POLICE IN OCTOBER AND SAID HIS NEPHEW HAD REPEATEDLY ASKED HIM TO KILL OR INJURE A GAY EMPLOYEE AT KEY LIFE HUMAN SERVICES IN COALPORT AFTER THE WORKER DEMANDED A RAISE AND PROMOTION. HIS UNCLE, JAMES HOOPSICK OF FLINTON, IS FACING CHARGES FOR ALLEGEDLY POINTING A SHOTGUN AT KRESTAR’S BROTHER, SHAWN, AT A PATTON CONVENIENCE STORE LAST MONTH.

DRUG RAID IN GALLITZIN

AUTHORITIES IN CAMBRIA COUNTY SEIZED 20-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN CASH, 2 POUND OF MARIJUANA, 150 GRAMS OF BATH SALTS, AND GUNS FROM THE HOME OF 55 YEAR OLD PATRICK HEALY ON CHURCH STREET IN GALLITZIN WEDNESDAY. ALSO ARRESTED WERE 40 YEAR OLD DENISE HOFER OF PATTON, 34 YEAR OLD FRANK KRATZER OF ALTOONA, AND 29 YEAR OLD RYAN WENDT OF DUNCANSVILLE. DISTRICT ATTORNEY KELLY CALLIHAN SAYS THE BATH SALTS HAD A STREET VALUE OF 15-THOUSAND DOLLARS AND THE POT 9-THOUSAND. PRELIMINARY HEARINGS ARE SCHEDULED MONDAY. ALL 4 ARE IN THE CAMBRIA COUNTY PRISON.

CHANGES AT STATE PRISONS IN CENTRE COUNTY

PENNSYLVANIA SECRETARY OF CORRECTIONS JOHN WETZEL SAYS CHANGES TO THE STATE PRISON SYSTEM ARE UNDERWAY AFTER A CLERICAL WORKER WAS ATTACKED, RAPED, AND LEFT UNCONSCIOUS BY AN INMATE AT THE STATE PRISON AT ROCKVIEW LAST SUMMER. 36 YEAR-OLD OMAR BEST IS AWAITING TRIAL. OFFICIALS SAY THE WOMAN BLEW HER EMERGENCY WHISTLE AS HE APPROACHED HER, BUT HELP DIDN’T ARRIVE FOR 27 MINUTES. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF S-C-I ROCKVIEW AND S-C-I BENNER, MARI-ROSE LAMAS, HAS BEEN REPLACED, EFFECTIVE THURSDAY. WETZEL SAYS PRISON ADMINISTRATORS FAILED TO APPOINT A UNIT MANAGER IN THAT HOUSING UNIT AND MONTHLY UNIT STAFF MEETINGS WERE NOT HELD. A NUMBER OF OTHER CONCERNS ARE ALSO BEING ADDRESSED.

SANDUSKY’S PENSION

JERRY SANDUSKY WILL TAKE PART IN A 3-DAY HEARING STARTING JANUARY 7TH THAT WILL DETERMINE WHETHER PENNSYLVANIA SHOULD HAVE STRIPPED HIM OF HIS 49-HUNDRED DOLLAR PER MONTH PUBLIC WORKER PENSION. A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE STATE EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM TOLD THE ASSOCIATED PRESS THAT PLANS CALL FOR SANDUSKY TO PARTICIPATE VIA VIDEO CONFERENCE FROM THE STATE PRISON WHERE HE IS SERVING 30 TO 60 YEARS.

CAMBRIA COUNTY’S BUDGET

DESPITE ON-GOING MONEY PROBLEMS, CAMBRIA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS VOTED 2 TO 1 YESTERDAY IN FAVOR OF A 60-POINT-1 MILLION DOLLAR, NO TAX INCREASE BUDGET. PENN HIGHLANDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE WILL GET 150-THOUSAND DOLLARS LESS NEXT YEAR AND OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO DEBATE THE 5-MILLION DOLLAR LOAN THAT WAS TAKEN OUT RECENTLY TO PAY OFF SOME BILLS. THIS IS THE THIRD YEAR COMMISSIONERS HAVE NOT RAISED TAXES AND THE SPENDING PLAN IS 1-POINT-7 MILLION DOLLARS LESS THAN THIS YEAR’S.

NO RATE HIKES

THE ALTOONA WATER AUTHORITY WON’T INCREASE WATER OR SEWER RATES IN 2014…AND THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT WILL BE THE FIRST TIME FOR NO HIKES SINCE 2008. OFFICIALS SAY PAYBACK FOR SEWER PLANT RENOVATIONS HAS LEVELED OFF…COSTS HAVE BEEN REDUCED…AND HEALTH CARE CONCESSIONS ON A NEW UNION CONTRACT OFF-SET A 2-PERCENT WAGE HIKE.

ALTOONA POLICE COLLECTING FOOD DONATIONS

THE ALTOONA POLICE DEPARTMENT’S FIRST ANNUAL “PROJECT SHARE” FOOD DRIVE IS TODAY. NON-PERISHABLE FOOD DONATIONS CAN BE DROPPED OFF IN FRONT OF LITTLE CAESAR’S PIZZA, NEXT TO MARTIN’S GROCERY STORE ON CHESTNUT AVENUE, FROM 10AM TO 6PM. SOME OF THE MOST NEEDED ITEMS INCLUDE: - MEALS IN A CAN (STEW, CHILI, SOUP) - CANNED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES - 100% FRUIT JUICES - TUNA/CANNED MEAT - PEANUT BUTTER - LOW SUGAR CEREALS DONATIONS WILL GO TO THE SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL FOOD PANTRY TO HELP LOCAL FAMILIES STRUGGLING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON. FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS WILL ALSO BE ACCEPTED.