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Wednesday, February 19 2014

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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2014

BACK TO BARGAINING TABLE

CONTRACT TALKS RESUMED YESTERDAYAND WILL CONTINUE TODAY BETWEEN UPMC ALTOONA OFFICIALS AND THE UNION REPRESENTING MORE THAN 800 REGISTERED NURSES. LAST WEEK, THEY STAGED A ONE-DAY UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE STRIKE AND THEY HAVE TALKED ABOUT DOING IT AGAIN IF A DEAL IS NOT REACHED. HOWEVER, A STRIKE NOTICE HAS NOT BEEN FILED. NURSES SAY THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT STAFFING AND NURSE-TO-PATIENT RATIOS…AS WELL AS RETIREMENT BENEFITS AND HEALTHCARE COSTS.

COACH ASSAULTED

42 YEAR OLD ROBERT ZEIDERS OF TYRONE IS ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING HIS SON’S JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL COACH EARLIER THIS MONTH. ACCORDING TO THE ALTOONA MIRROR, DOUGLAS THOMAS SAYS HE SUFFERED A SHOULDER INJURY WHEN HE WAS SHOVED FOLLOWING AN AWAY GAME. ZEIDERS…WHO FACES A PRELIMINARY HEARING MARCH 11TH…WAS APPARENTLY UPSET OVER HIS SON’S INELIGIBILITY AND PREVIOUS LACK OF PLAYING TIME.

ASSAULT AT PENN STATE ALTOONA

2 PENN STATE ALTOONA STUDENTS ARE SCHEDULED FOR A PRELIMINARY HEARING TODAY ON ASSAULT CHARGES. 22 YEAR OLD BONG WOO CHE AND HIS 20 YEAR OLD BROTHER, BONG JO CHE, ARE ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING ANOTHER KOREAN STUDENT WHO HAD REPORTEDLY DISRESPECTED BONG WOO. THE MEN ALLEGEDLY HELD THE STUDENT AGAINST HIS WILL AND THREATENED TO HAVE THE OTHER MAN AND HIS FAMILY KILLED IF HE TOLD ANYONE ABOUT THE BEATING. THEY ALSO ASKED WITNESSES TO LIE ABOUT THE ASSAULT. BONG WOO CHE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE CAMPUS ASIAN SERVICES CLUB.

ARRESTED FOR DOZENS OF BURGLARIES

STATE COLLEGE POLICE SAY 2 HEROIN ADDICTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE THAN 2 DOZEN BURGLARIES IN THE REGION OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS. 39 YEAR OLD RYAN REICHLIN AND 24 YEAR OLD AARON KLINGER OF STATE COLLEGE ARE IN THE CENTRE COUNTY PRISON. IN FACT, KLINGER WAS ALREADY LOCKED UP ON UNRELATED CHARGES. POLICE SAY THEY BROKE INTO HOMES AND STOLE VARIOUS ITEMS…RESOLD THEM IN PHILADELPHIA…AND USED THE MONEY TO BUY DRUGS.

SENTENCING FOR DRUG KINGPIN

43 YEAR OLD GEORGE LOWMASTER OF CARROLLTOWN FACES UP TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON WHEN HE’S SENTENCED TODAY IN JOHNSTOWN’S FEDERAL COURT. HE PLEADED GUILTY TO 4 COUNTS OF RUNNING A HUGE DRUG RING IN SEVERAL COUNTIES FOR MANY YEARS. 25 OTHER PEOPLE, INCLUDING LOWMASTER’S PARENTS, ALSO PLEADED GUILTY TO BEING INVOLVED.

STATE PATTY’S DAY

AS PENN STATE’S INFAMOUS STATE PATTY’S DAY DRINKING HOLIDAY APPROACHES ON MARCH 1ST, UNIVERSITY AND BORO OFFICIALS ARE OFFERING A FINANCIAL REWARD TO DOWNTOWN TAVERNS THAT AGREE TO HALT ALCOHOL SALES. ACCORDING TO STATE COLLEGE-DOT-COM, THERE IS A 4-TIER PAY SCALE AND BUSINESSES WITH AN OCCUPANCY OF 350 COULD RECEIVE 75-HUNDRED DOLLARS. LAST YEAR, THE UNIVERSITY PAID 34 BARS 5-THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH TO STOP SERVING ALCOHOL. THE DOWNTOWN ESTABLISHMENT OWNERS ARE STILL DECIDING WHETHER THEY WILL SERVE BOOZE OR NOT.

BLAIR COUNTY REASSESSMENT?

BLAIR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ARE CONSIDERING DOING A REASSESSMENT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN 50 YEARS AND THEY TELL WTAJ THEY ARE WAITING FOR A REPORT ON CURRENTLY UNEVEN PROPERTY VALUES. IT’S BEING DONE BY A LAW FIRM AND SHOULD BE AVAILABLE ON TUESDAY. ONCE THAT STUDY IS READY, OFFICIALS CAN DETERMINE THEIR NEXT MOVE.

GAS PRICES RISE

TRIPLE A FUEL GAUGE SAYS WESTERN PA GAS PRICES ROSE 5 CENTS THIS WEEK TO AN AVERAGE OF $3.56. ALTOONA-AREA DRIVERS ARE STILL PAYING $3.65. TODAY’S NATIONAL AVERAGE IS $3.37. THAT’S 6 CENTS HIGHER THAN ONE WEEK AGO AND 8 CENTS MORE THAN A MONTH AGO, BUT IT IS 36 CENTS LESS THAN ONE YEAR AGO TODAY.

PREPARING FOR THON

THON GETS UNDERWAY FRIDAY AT THE BRYCE JORDAN CENTER AS UP TO 15-THOUSAND PEOPLE WILL PACK THE ARENA TO RAISE MONEY FOR PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH. OFFICIALS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT SECURITY AND OTHER POSSIBLE PROBLEMS SO THIS YEAR STUDENTS WILL PARTICIPATE IN AN EVACUATION DRILL PRIOR TO THE EVENT. VOLUNTEERS HAVE BEEN GETTING THEIR ASSIGNMENTS ON WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. ANOTHER NEW THING THIS YEAR IS ORGANIZERS ARE KEEPING TRACK OF EVERYONE COMING IN AND OUT OF THE BUILDING WITH WRIST BANDS.