Monday July 16 2012

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MONDAY, JULY 16, 2012

APARTMENT BUILDING FIRE IN ALTOONA

ALTOONA FIRE CREWS ARE ON THE SCENE OF AN APARTMENT BUILDING FIRE AT LLOYD STREET AND EAST SECOND AVENUE. 2 BUILDINGS ARE REPORTEDLY INVOLVED, BUT THERE’S NO WORD OF ANY INJURIES SO FAR.

OVERNIGHT SHOOTING IN JOHNSTOWN

FEW DETAILS HAVE BEEN RELEASED, BUT ONE PERSON WAS REPORTEDLY INJURED ALONG THE 700 BLOCK OF KENNEDY AVENUE. THE VICTIM IS IN THE HOSPITAL.

SANDUSKY SCANDAL

VETERAN NBC SPORTS REPORTER BOB COSTAS BELIEVES "SOMETHING IS WRONG" IF PENN STATE PLAYS FOOTBALL THIS SEPTEMBER. COSTAS, WHO IS IN LONDON AHEAD OF THE SUMMER OLYMPICS, TOLD "MEET THE PRESS" THE BEST THING PENN STATE CAN DO RIGHT NOW IS TO VOLUNTARILY SUSPEND ITS FOOTBALL PROGRAM, OR HE THINKS IT'S A "GOOD BET THE DEATH PENALTY WILL BE RENDERED" BY THE NCAA FOR A YEAR OR MAYBE LONGER.  
PROSECUTORS IN JERRY SANDUSKY’S TRIAL INCLUDED TRANSCRIPTS OF COSTAS' INTERVIEW LAST YEAR.  IN THAT INTERVIEW, THE FORMER ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH GAVE SEVERAL VAGUE, RAMBLING ANSWERS…AND PAUSED FOR A LONG TIME WHEN ASKED IF HE WAS SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO CHILDREN.  

CONTRARY TO SOME REPORTS, PENN STATE OFFICIALS SAID YESTERDAY THAT NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE REGARDING THE JOE PATERNO STATUE OUTSIDE BEAVER STADIUM. UNIVERSITY SPOKESPERSON DAVID LA TORRE SAYS “NEITHER THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES NOR UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION HAS TAKEN A VOTE OR MADE A DECISION.” ESPN REPORTED THIS WEEKEND THAT THE TRUSTEES HAD DECIDED TO LEAVE THE STATUE IN PLACE. SOME FOLKS SAY THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT ANOTHER RIOT IF THE STATUE IS TAKEN DOWN.

THE MURAL ON HEISTER STREET IN DOWNTOWN STATE COLLEGE HAS CHANGED AGAIN. AFTER JOE PATERNO’S DEATH IN JANUARY, ARTIST MICHAEL PILATO PAINTED IN A HALO OVER THE COACH’S HEAD…NOW IT’S BEEN REMOVED. PILATO TOLD THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT DECISIONS HE EVER MADE, BUT HE REMOVED THE HALO WHEN HE HEARD PEOPLE SAYING IT WAS PLACED THERE TO MAKE PATERNO LOOK “SAINT-LIKE.” A BLUE RIBBON REMAINS ON PATERNO’S CHEST, WHICH PILATO SAYS REPRESENTS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AWARENESS.

MORE DETAILS OF JERRY SANDUSKY’S RETIREMENT DEAL HAVE BEEN RELEASED. ACCORDING TO THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES, JOE PATERNO REPORTEDLY TOLD SANDUSKY HE WAS TOO INVOLVED IN THE SECOND MILE TO BECOME HEAD FOOTBALL COACH AT PENN STATE AND HE NEGOTIATED HIS RETIREMENT PACKAGE IN 1998 AND 1999. IT INCLUDED A 20-THOUSAND DOLLAR ANNUITY THAT ENDED UP AS A LUMP SUM OF168-THOUSAND DOLLARS. HE ALSO RECEIVED THE TITLE OF PROFESSOR EMERITUS…AND ACCESS TO ATHLETIC FACILITIES, SUCH AS A LOCKER AND WEIGHT ROOMS. FORMER FBI DIRECTOR LOUIS FREEH’S REPORT SAYS THE DEAL WAS NEGOTIATED BEFORE A 1998 INCIDENT WHEN SANDUSKY ALLEGEDLY SHOWERED WITH A BOY. NO CHARGES WERE FILED IN THAT CASE.

THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTS THAT JOE PATERNO ALLEGEDLY NEGOTIATED A BETTER RETIREMENT PACKAGE WITH PENN STATE’S PRESIDENT AFTER LEARNING JERRY SANDUSKY WAS BEING INVESTIGATED FOR SEX CRIMES. THE BARGAINING REPORTEDLY BEGAN MONTHS BEFORE HIS FORMER ASSISTANT COACH'S ARREST IN NOVEMBER. THE DEAL CALLED FOR PATERNO TO BE PAID 3-MILLION DOLLARS AT THE END OF THE 2011 FOOTBALL SEASON IF HE MADE IT HIS LAST. THE UNIVERSITY WOULD FORGIVE 350-THOUSAND DOLLARS OF INTEREST-FREE LOANS. AND IT ALSO GAVE HIM USE OF THE SCHOOL'S PRIVATE PLANE AND A LUXURY BOX FOR PENN STATE FOOTBALL GAMES FOR THE NEXT 25 YEARS. THE PATERNO FAMILY ENDED UP GETTING A PACKAGE WORTH MORE THAN 5-MILLION DOLLARS AFTER JOE PATERNO DIED IN JANUARY.

STOLEN GUNS

A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF EAST COAST GUN SALES IS DUNCANSVILLE IS DUE IN COURT LATER THIS WEEK FOR A PRELIMINARY HEARING. 34 YEAR OLD JUSTIN MCELHENY OF IRVONA IS ACCUSED OF STEALING GUNS AND CASH FROM THE NOW-CLOSED BUSINESS LAST YEAR. POLICE SAY MCELHENY POCKETED CUSTOMER’S PAYMENTS AND ALSO USED THEIR CREDIT CARDS TO BUY GUNS FOR HIMSELF. THE CUSTOMERS HAVE ALL BEEN REIMBURSED. THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, AND FIREARMS IS STILL INVESTIGATING, BUT NO FEDERAL CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED SO FAR.

EARLY CORN HARVEST

AN EARLY SPRING FOLLOWED BY A HOT SUMMER IS ALLOWING SOME OF CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA'S SWEET CORN FARMERS TO HARVEST THEIR EARLIEST CROP IN YEARS…AND SEVERAL ARE EVEN BEGINNING A SECOND PLANTING. EXPERTS EXPECT SUPPLIES OF SWEET CORN TO BE ABUNDANT THIS SUMMER…AND THE SIZE, QUALITY AND TASTE IS VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT. SWEET CORN IS PENNSYLVANIA'S LARGEST VEGETABLE CROP, WITH OVER 16-THOUSAND ACRES IN CULTIVATION ACROSS THE STATE. IN OUR AREA, FARMERS ARE DEALING WITH DROUGHT CONDITIONS.

GAS PRICES

THE LUNDBERG SURVEY SAYS THE NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR REGULAR UNLEADED IS NOW $3.41, DOWN FROM $3.47…BUT IT MAY BE HEADING UP AGAIN DUE TO CRUDE OIL PRICES AND THE SUMMER DRIVING SEASON. STATEWIDE, THE AVERAGE PRICE IS $3.42. ALTOONA-AREA DRIVERS ARE PAYING $3.39.