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Thursday September 24 2013

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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2013 GOODBYE TO A LOCAL JUDGE SENIOR BLAIR COUNTY JUDGE THOMAS PEOPLES DIED AFTER A BRIEF ILLNESS LAST WEEK AT THE AGE OF 77. FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL BE RECEIVED TODAY FROM 2 TO 4 AND 7 TO 9 AT JONES FUNERAL HOME IN ALTOONA. A FUNERAL MASS IS TOMORROW AT 10 AT THE CATHEDRAL OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT WITH BISHOP MARK BARTCHAK PRESIDING. IN MEMORY OF JUDGE PEOPLES, DONATIONS MAY BE MADE TO GARVEY MANOR NURSING HOME IN HOLLIDAYSBURG. MOTHER CHARGED WITH MURDER IN HUNTINGDON COUNTY, MARIA BOYD IS CHARGED WITH MURDER IN THE 2010 DEATH OF HER 6-WEEK-OLD SON, ANDREW, WHO HAD NUMEROUS BROKEN BONES, INTERNAL INJURIES, AND ALCOHOL IN HIS SYSTEM. IN COURT MONDAY, HER LAWYER ASKED THE JUDGE TO THROW OUT HER STATEMENTS TO AUTHORITIES. THE JUDGE HAS 30 DAYS TO RULE ON THE MOTIONS AND JURY SELECTION IS SET FOR NOVEMBER 4TH. GARAGE FIRE A GARAGE FIRE BROKE OUT LAST EVENING AT 510 MULBERRY STREET IN HOLLIDAYSBURG. FIRE CREWS SAY THE HOMEOWNER WAS TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL AS A PRECAUTION. NO WORD YET ON THE CAUSE OF THE BLAZE…OR THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE. SCHOOL DISTRICTS SUING THE ALTOONA MIRROR REPORTS THAT 6 LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CITY OF ALTOONA AND 2 BONDING COMPANIES AS THEY TRY TO COLLECT ALMOST 400-THOUSAND DOLLARS THEY CLAIM THEY ARE OWED BY THE CENTRAL TAX BUREAU OF PENNSYLVANIA, KNOWN AS CEN-TAX. AN ATTORNEY SAYS THE CITY WILL PROBABLY NOT BE THE MAIN FOCUS…AND IS ONLY NAMED BECAUSE IT CONTRACTED WITH CEN-TAX TO COLLECT EARNED INCOME TAX FOR THE CITY AND THE DISTRICTS IN 2007. CEN-TAX WENT OUT OF BUSINESS MORE THAN A YEAR AGO. THE DISTRICTS INVOLVED ARE: ALTOONA…SPRING COVE…BELLWOOD ANTIS…HOLLIDAYSBURG…PENN CAMBRIA…AND CLAYSBURG KIMMEL. NEW LEGISLATIVE SESSION STATE LAWMAKERS RETURNED TO HARRISBURG YESTERDAY TO BEGIN THE FALL LEGISLATIVE SESSION. DURING THE LAST SESSION, GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT FAILED TO WIN PASSAGE OF 3 MAJOR PRIORITIES…INCREASING GAS TAXES TO IMPROVE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS…PRIVATIZING THE SALE OF WINE AND SPIRITS…AND CHANGING THE STATE'S MAJOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSION SYSTEMS. EACH CHAMBER HAS 20 SCHEDULED VOTING SESSION DAYS THROUGH MID-DECEMBER. PASTOR FIRED PASTOR KEN KLINE SMELTZER HAS NOW BEEN FIRED FROM HIS JOB WITH A CENTRE COUNTY CHURCH OF THE BRETHERN. LAST MONTH, SMELTZER OFFICIATED AT A SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AT THE HOME OF STATE COLLEGE MAYOR ELIZABETH GOREHAM. SMELTZER TOLD THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES MONDAY THAT “A FEW THINGS HAVE TO PLAY OUT” BEFORE HE CAN SPEAK MORE ABOUT THE SITUATION. CAMERAS AT PENN STATE PENN STATE PLANS TO INSTALL AS MANY AS 450 VIDEO SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS IN ON-CAMPUS RESIDENCE HALLS, ENTRANCE LOBBIES, STAIRWELLS, ELEVATORS, AND COMMON AREAS. THE UNIVERSITY IS SPENDING 1-POINT-4 MILLION DOLLARS AT UNIVERSITY PARK. MANY STUDENTS SAY THE EXTRA CAMERAS WILL MAKE THEM FEEL A LOT SAFER, BUT OTHERS SAY IT’S AN INVASION OF PRIVACY. THE CAMERA INSTALLATIONS WILL START NEXT MONTH AND SHOULD BE COMPLETED IN MAY. PRISON COULD BE IN TROUBLE THE FUTURE OF PENNSYLVANIA’S ONLY PRIVATELY-OPERATED PRISON IN UNCERTAIN. A PUBLISHED REPORT SAYS MOSHANNON VALLEY CORRECTIONAL CENTER IN CLEARFIELD COUNTY COULD BE IN JEOPARDY OF LOSING ITS FEDERAL FUNDING. THE LOCK-UP HOUSES PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE U-S ILLEGALLY AND IT IS NOW COMPETING WITH AN OHIO PRISON FOR A CONTRACT RENEWAL. MOSHANNON PRISON'S CONTRACT WITH THE GOVERNMENT WAS SCHEDULED TO RUN THROUGH 2016, BUT A CUT IN FEDERAL FUNDING WILL LIKELY LEAVE ONE OF THE 2 FACILITIES WITHOUT A CONTRACT STARTING NEXT YEAR. THE MOSHANNON PRISON IS OWNED BY A FLORIDA-BASED GROUP AND EMPLOYS 265 PEOPLE. BEST PLACES TO WORK SOME LOCAL COMPANIES HAVE MADE THE “BEST PLACES TO WORK IN THE STATE” LIST. THE LARGE COMPANIES GROUP INCLUDES: HOME NURSING AGENCY AND SHEETZ, BOTH HEADQUARTERED IN ALTOONA…N-P-C IN CLAYSBURG…AND SOMERSET TRUST COMPANY. IN THE SMALL COMPANY GROUP, RELIANCE BANK FROM ALTOONA IS ON THE LIST ALONG WITH FIRST SUMMIT BANK…SENIOR LIFE JOHNSTOWN…AND WESSEL AND COMPANY ALL FROM JOHNSTOWN…ALONG WITH MISSION CRITICAL PARTNERS IN PORT MATILDA.