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Wednesday October 9 2013

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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013

SHUTDOWN’S IMPACT

PENNSYLVANIA IS IN THE TOP HALF IN A LIST OF STATES MOST AND LEAST AFFECTED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. THE SURVEY FROM WALLETHUB RANKS PENNSYLVANIA 18TH MOST AFFECTED OVERALL. THE GREATEST IMPACT IS IN VIRGINIA WHILE IOWA IS AT THE BOTTOM. WALLETHUB SAYS ITS OWN STUDY WAS AFFECTED BY THE SHUTDOWN, BUT SAYS IT FOUND ENOUGH PUBLIC DATA SOURCES TO DO ITS ANALYSIS OF THE 50 STATES AND WASHINGTON, DC.

DEATH PENALTY POSSIBLE

32 YEAR OLD MICHAEL SHUGARS OF PUNXSUTAWNEY COULD FACE THE DEATH PENALTY FOR THE MURDER OF HIS FRIEND, 33 YEAR OLD CHET HADDOW ON SEPTEMBER 13TH. POLICE SAY SHUGARS SHOT HADDOW AFTER A DRUG DEAL WENT BAD…THEN HE CUT UP THE BODY AND SCATTERED IT AROUND JEFFERSON AND INDIANA COUNTIES. FISHERMEN FOUND BODY PARTS IN MAHONING CREEK 2 DAYS LATER. YESTERDAY, SHUGARS WAIVED HIS PRELIMINARY HEARING.

SON PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO MURDER

IN CAMBRIA COUNTY COURT YESTERDAY, 31 YEAR OLD JONATHAN KUZMA OF JOHNSTOWN PLEADED NOT GUILTY IN THE AUGUST BLUDGEONING DEATH OF HIS FATHER, 52 YEAR OLD JOHN KUZMA. PROSECUTORS SAY THEY WILL NOT SEEK THE DEATH PENALTY. ACCORDING TO POLICE, KUZMA WAITED UNTIL HIS FATHER FELL ASLEEP…THEN HIT HIM TWICE IN THE HEAD WITH A HAMMER…STABBED HIM 15 TIMES…AND LEFT THE BODY IN THE BASEMENT. KUZMA THEN STOLE JEWELRY, MONEY, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND A HANDGUN FROM THE SAFE.

REWARD OFFERED IN MINK RELEASE

ON SEPTEMBER 24TH, SOMEONE RELEASED 5- TO 600 MINK FROM GEORGE RYKOLA’S MINK FARM IN CAMBRIA TOWNSHIP…NOW THE FUR COMMISSION U-S-A IS OFFERING A 5-THOUSAND DOLLAR REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE ARREST AND CONVICTION OF THE SUSPECTS. THE FLORIDA-BASED ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST GROUP, ANIMAL LIBERATION FRONT, HAS CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY AND FAMILY MEMBERS WERE ABLE TO GET BACK ABOUT 90-PERCENT OF THE MINK. THE FBI IS INVOLVED BECAUSE THE MINK RELEASE IS A FEDERAL CRIME UNDER THE ANIMAL ENTERPRISE TERRORISM ACT. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION SHOULD CALL 717-983-84-77 OR ANY LOCAL FBI FIELD OFFICE.

HIKERS RESCUED

EMERGENCY CREWS HAD TO RESCUE 3 HIKERS WHO GOT STUCK ON THE STEEP HILLSIDE NEAR JOHNSTOWN’S INCLINED PLANE EARLY TUESDAY AFTERNOON. THE WORKERS USED ROPE AND HARNESSES TO GET THE 2 MEN AND A WOMAN OVER TO THE INCLINE AND THEN BROUGHT THEM UP. THE HIKERS WERE NOT HURT.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

AT LEAST 19 MEN VICTIMIZED BY JERRY SANDUSKY HAVE REACHED SETTLEMENTS WITH PENN STATE. ACCORDING TO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, SOME OF THE CLAIMS SETTLED INVOLVE THOSE WHO TESTIFIED AGAINST THE FORMER COACH AT HIS TRIAL. PENN STATE PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED IT HAS ALLOTED 60-MILLION DOLLARS FOR SETTLEMENTS.

CENTRE COUNTY STATE REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT CONKLIN WILL HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING TONIGHT AT 7 AT THE PENN STATE GREATER ALLEGHENY CAMPUS IN MCKEESPORT. CONKLIN WILL DISCUSS HIS MULTI-BILL REFORM OF PENN STATE’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES. ALSO ATTENDING WILL BE FORMER STATE SENATOR ROBERT JUBELIRER AND TRUSTEE ANTHONY LUBRANO. FOLLOWING THE JERRY SANDUSKY SCANDAL, CONKLIN WANTS TO INCREASE ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY AMONG THE BOARD.

PENN STATE GRADUATE AND FORMER TRUSTEE CANDIDATE RYAN BAGWELL IS CHALLENGING PENN STATE TO RELEASE EMAILS THAT WERE WRITTEN AMONG UNIVERSITY TRUSTEES AND OTHER OFFICIALS FOLLOWING THE ARRESTS OF JERRY SANDUSKY AND THE FORMER ADMINISTRATORS WHO ARE ACCUSED OF COVERING UP HIS ABUSE OF CHILDREN. THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES REPORTS THAT PENN STATE IS FIGHTING BAGWELL’S REQUEST SAYING THE RELEASE OF THE RECORDS WOULD CAUSE SUBSTANTIAL HARM. THE OFFICE OF OPEN RECORDS HAS TURNED OVER SOME OF THE RECORDS AND ALSO PROVIDED A LIST OF 155 EMAILS IT SAYS WERE NOT PUBLIC UNDER EXEMPTIONS IN THE OPEN-RECORDS LAW.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING?

PENNDOT SECRETARY BARRY SCHOCH ATTENDED A CHAMBER OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY LUNCHEON IN STATE COLLEGE YESTERDAY AND HE HOPES THE STATE HOUSE VOTES SOON ON THE TRANSPORTATION FUNDING BILL. ACCORDING TO THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES, SCHOCH ALSO SAID THE 4-LANE UPGRADE TO ROUTE 322 IN POTTERS MILLS SHOULD BEGIN SHORTLY AFTER THE MONEY IS LINED UP. THE SENATE PASSED THE MEASURE IN JUNE AND IT CALLS FOR SPENDING 2-POINT-5 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR ON INFRASTRUCTURE, MAINLY THROUGH A GRADUAL UNCAPPING OF THE OIL COMPANY FRANCHISE TAX.

GAS PRICES FALLING, BUT NOT YET IN ALTOONA

ALTOONA-AREA DRIVERS ARE STILL PAYING $3.49, BUT TRIPLE A FUEL GAUGE SAYS WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA GAS PRICES FELL ALMOST 3 CENTS TO $3.45 THIS WEEK. THE NATIONAL AVERAGE IS DOWN 4 CENTS TO $3.35 AS U.S. AND GLOBAL MARKETS ARE WORKING TO EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AND RENEWED U.S. DEBT CEILING CONCERNS.

WINTER WILL BE EXPENSIVE

THE US GOVERNMENT SAYS HEATING BILLS THIS WINTER WILL LIKELY REACH NEAR-RECORD LEVELS. ACCORDING TO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, MORE THAN 90-PERCENT OF U-S HOMES WILL SEE HIGHER BILLS. NATURAL GAS USERS SHOULD EXPECT THE HIGHEST INCREASE. HEATING OIL CUSTOMERS WILL SEE A 2-PERCENT DROP, BUT WILL STILL PAY JUST SHY OF LAST YEAR’S RECORD AVERAGE.

BIG WEEK IN HAPPY VALLEY IT’S HOMECOMING WEEK AT PENN STATE AND ABOUT 800 STUDENTS ARE ALREADY CAMPING OUTSIDE OF BEAVER STADIUM PRIOR TO SATURDAY’S FOOTBALL GAME AGAINST MICHIGAN. THE BEST OF PENN STATE CARNIVAL IS TONIGHT ON THE OLD MAIN LAWN…AND THE HOMECOMING PARADE IS FRIDAY AT 6.